PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Brown University released a new report on teacher retention and staffing within the Providence Public School District (PPSD).

Most notably, the report said that while the applicant pool for staffing has grown, it’s still too small to meet the district’s needs.

Researchers said that job vacancies remain a stubborn challenge for the district, but it’s not unprecedented.

The report also found that teacher retention is “relatively high” at 88% and is currently higher than at the start of the pandemic. It also increased slightly in 2022.

More teachers are also now leaving the district to go to other Rhode Island districts than those who are entering from other state districts, the report also said. That is a shift from previous years, the report added.

“Truly transforming education for students in Providence requires ongoing efforts to attract more teachers, create schools where teachers want to stay and thrive, and staff all classrooms consistently with highly effective teachers,” Co-Author John Papay said.

PPSD Superintendent Dr. Javier Montañez said the district has done a few things to mitigate the staffing issue, such as beginning the hiring process early, launching recruitment campaigns, and offering incentives for jobs in high-need areas.

“As school districts nationwide struggle with staffing in the wake of the pandemic, it is vital that we understand and adapt to this nuanced problem,” Montañez said.