Bright Star Schools won a $250,000 grant Friday to improve teacher retention, which is a current problem in education and can be even more challenging for charter schools. The funding will affect teachers at seven Bright Star schools based in Los Angeles, California, and will allow for additional family leave, better snacks in the teachers’ lounge, fitness activities at school as well as advice from a nutritionist.

Six grants, totaling nearly $900,000, were handed out by locally based Great Public Schools Now, an organization dedicated to ensuring all Los Angeles students receive a high-quality education.

Myrna Castrejón, executive director of Great Public Schools Now, said, “We know that teachers are the most important factor within a school, and that keeping great ones in the classroom can have an immediate and profound effect on students.”

An early study published in 2011 of Los Angeles area charters, found that they were having to replace on average 50% of their instructors every year.

“It’s time to stop perpetuating the myth of the teacher martyr and start creating working conditions that allow instructors to make teaching a lifelong career,” said Melissa Kaplan, Bright Star’s chief academic officer.

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