The 2022 Texas Teacher Survey conducted by the Charles Butt Foundation reported that in the past year 77% of public school teachers in Texas considered leaving their positions or the teaching profession, an increase of 19% since 2020. A secondary finding was that the presence or absence of administrative support was a key factor in the decision making about whether to leave. Teachers are the backbone of the U.S. education system which exists to educate future generations of citizens and leaders, and the teacher–student relationship is one of the most important school-related factors to student learning and success (Ronfeldt et al., 2013). The loss of this relationship is a problem for schools. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of campus-level variables on campus teacher turnover in Texas public elementary schools. The variables were student socioeconomic status; the number of students in the school; the percentage of English language learners in the school; the campus principal’s tenure in the role of principal and at their current campus, and whether the principal has attended the Texas Instructional Leadership Program, as well as the district-level variable of district geographic classification. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) techniques were used to examine turnover at the campus level in public elementary schools in the state of Texas. School- and district-level variables were examined to determine their relationship to campus turnover. Data were obtained directly from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website and through Public Information Request (PIR) to the TEA. This study was underpinned by systems theory (von Bertalanffy, 1968) and its component theory cybernetics (Wiener, 1961), both of which examine the structure and functioning of multifaceted systems and their component parts.

The findings confirmed previous research that student socioeconomic status is a key indicator of teacher turnover (Holme et al., 2017), noting that the tenure of the principal on the campus can decrease the amount of teacher turnover. The variables of English language learner and number of students in the school had minimal positive impact on campus teacher turnover. The HLM process identified that the principal tenure variable has more impact between school districts than within districts. The research implications include the need for continued study of factors impacting teacher turnover and continued use of HLM to highlight the impact of variables at different levels. Practice implications suggest continued principal leadership development that includes components of communication, relationship building, and creation of a productive, supportive school culture.

Date of publication


Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Dr. Kim Nimon; Dr. Andrea Ellinger; Dr. Gary Miller


Ph.D. in Human Resource Development