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The following is an excerpt from a Forbes analysis by digiLEARN Board Member Phyllis Lockett. For the full piece, click here.

In recent weeks, the nation turned its eyes to my hometown of Chicago, as 21,000 teachers walked out on strike. It’s an image we’ve grown used to: Whether it’s Los Angeles, Oklahoma or West Virginia, teachers are making it clear they need additional support to do the job we ask of them.

Nationally, 44% of new teachers leave the field within five years—a higher number than ever before. From 2011 to 2016, enrollment in teacher preparation programs fell by 35%. And as the workforce shrinks, those who stay shoulder additional burdens: Data suggests teachers spend an average of $459 of their own money a year on supplies, with teachers in high-poverty schools spending even more. Eighteen percent work a second job. For years now, we’ve asked our teachers to do more with less. We’ve got to change that.

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