School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Kevin White


Teacher Migration, teacher attrition, teacher turnover, Title I schools, teacher retention


Education | Educational Leadership


Teacher migration is a fundamental challenge facing many school districts in the United States (Djonko-Moore, 2016). School leaders in Title I schools, which predominately serve minority and low-income students, expressed difficulties retaining teachers who were opting to transfer to lateral positions in non-Title I schools (Whipp & Geronime, 2017). The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological research study was to identify intrinsic and extrinsic factors that led to teachers’ lateral migration from a Title I to a non-title I school. In order to highlight participants’ rationales, the principal researcher posed the following research questions: What were teachers’ perceptions of the organizational characteristics that impacted their decisions to migrate; how did student behavior and parental involvement impact teachers’ decisions to migrate; and how can Title I schools decrease teacher migration? Maslow’s (1943) theory of hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s (1959) two-factor theory provided the framework for this study, which included qualitative data from 13 former Title I teachers in a large, suburban, public school district located in the southern part of the United States. This study found that interpersonal relationships, school environment, and leadership skills were the main factors that led to teacher migration. The commonly described factors that teachers shared in this study were job satisfaction, teacher autonomy, workload and its related stress, parental involvement, student disciplinary methods, unsupportive leaders and targeting teachers.