I’ve noticed a common problem as I’ve had the privilege of traveling throughout the state of Tennessee. This is especially true for the teachers with whom I’ve worked from rural districts – namely county districts that have a city system within their borders. The problem is retaining the best and the brightest teachers and preventing them from “defecting” to higher-paying positions in the city systems. Of course, this is not a problem relegated to just the state of Tennessee. And, I cannot blame teachers for making the move to the city systems. In many cases, the move is a considerable increase in pay. As an example, if I moved to the city system within my county, I’d see a $13,000 a year pay increase. Frankly, retaining teachers in lower-paying counties is a problem even without the lure of the higher-paying city systems.