Outside the Box


Is N.C. really a destination for teachers? Not so much

Posted April 19

Teaching in N.C. classroom

“North Carolina: a destination for teachers,” is a headline that suggests teachers might finally find what they’ve been looking for in a career in education: a living wage, adequate classroom resources and support, ample professional development opportunities and due process when a conflict arises that could result in the loss of a job. Many of those elements of the teaching profession, however, have been diminished or even eliminated over the past several years in North Carolina. Read Lindsay Wagner's well-researched report on how a career in North Carolina public education has been diminished in recent years.

“We are enjoying a teacher in-migration in spite of—not because of—the policy framework we’re dealing with,” saidDr. Thad Domina, an education policy researcher and associate professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. Domina said North Carolina is a destination for people, period — there are roughly 1.5 in-migrants to every out-migrant, and the state ranks in the top five for migration in the United States, according to a report by a moving company that has tracked migration patterns since 1977. “Teaching forces are simply keeping up with population growth,” said Domina, who said he doesn’t think folks’ decisions to move to North Carolina has much to do with how attractive it is to teach here. Instead there are greater economic forces at play -- the relatively low cost of real estate and the fact that the economy has been getting stronger with each year since the Great Recession, making it easier for families to secure jobs and move.


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