Apex partnered with the Colorado League of Charter Schools to collect data on staff salary and benefits and the rates of staff turnover within charter schools in Colorado. These data are necessary to contextualize the range of salaries and additional compensation offered by charter schools and to provide insights on how charter schools can offer more competitive benefits to attract new staff.

Salaries varied based on position and years of experience, with staff with 10 or more years of experience having a higher average salary compared to staff with fewer years of experience. However, administrative positions (including deans, vice principals, principals, and executive directors), had the largest increase in average salary with more years of experience. Education level did not play a large factor in average salaries, and in some cases, the small sample size created salary averages that decreased with an increase in education. The most frequently offered key benefits focused on health insurances (medical, dental, and vision) and paid time off (both personal and sick leave). Only 63% of schools offer employee assistance and counseling, which may mean that a majority of charter school staff across Colorado do not have access to a mental health professional to help cope with increased burnout and mental health concerns. Given that increased burnout and mental health concerns were some of the top factors for mid-year staff departures, schools should look at how they can better support their staff’s mental health. The results from the second targeted survey showed that almost half of the participating schools reported more staff turnover compared to previous years. This is higher than the pre-survey, where only 11% reported more turnover. Some of the factors that contributed to staff turnover include COVID burnout, increased workload, salary concerns, and overall job satisfaction. As a result of mid-year staff departures, remaining staff face increased burnout and mental health concerns and increased workloads. Additionally, respondents reported that students may face up to 6 weeks of lost learning due to teacher turnover and may not be able to catch up academically, socially, and emotionally. To address mid-year departures, schools are focusing on increasing salaries and compensation for teachers and instructional staff; providing more support systems for staff; and more aggressive and intentional recruitment and hiring practices.