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Teacher Shortage Looms in Wake County

Posted January 23, 2008
Updated January 24, 2008

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— Wake County schools could face a new crisis. In the next few years, 25 percent of teachers in the county will be eligible to retire.

School superintendent Del Burns talked about the statistic during his mid-term report. The projection has also got others thinking, such as school board member Eleanor Goettee.

“We have a real crisis looming, I do believe," she said.

As many as 2,200 Wake County teachers could retire within the next five years.

“I really feel like I got a good deal. I enjoy what I do. I really do,” Millbrook High School teacher Diana Turner said.

Turner, has worked for the Wake County school system her entire career and is among those teachers who could retire soon. Retirement and teacher turnover have led to a hiring frenzy for some principals.

“We have hired 12 new teachers to start today – the second semester of this year,” Millbrook High School Principal Dana King said.

Goettee said a way to prevent a teacher shortage is to keep younger teachers from leaving the field.

“There are huge numbers of master teachers who want additional roles, responsibilities and, with that, reward and recognition,” she said.

Goettee, a former teacher, wants new positions created for senior teachers, such as having them mentor newer teachers.

“I think it's time to professionalize the profession. We don't need to be in lock step with the state salary schedule that pays teachers solely on experience and credentials,” Goettee said.

Goettee first raised her concerns about the potential teacher shortage last year. She said she plans to continue bringing it up during committee meetings.

It is important to note that not all teachers eligible to retire will do so. By state law, they can sit out for six months and then come back to work.


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  • iamforjustice Jan 25, 2008

    I stand behind what I posted Gandalf. But its Friday and you still make me laugh...lol. I love your comments degrading me. Anyways have a good weekend.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Jan 24, 2008

    Let the teachers teach, all this extra stuff just gets in the way.

  • mindcrime Jan 24, 2008

    The solution is to make government schools compete on a level playing field, and allow the free market to function. Return every tax dollar collected in the name of funding public schools, to anyone who does not use the service of said public school. As long as those of us who don't utilize the government schools are forced to subsidize them, the government is giving themselves a de-facto monopoly on education. Competition is a good thing, mmmkay?

  • gandalf1 Jan 24, 2008

    "Why not make prisoners teach. There are some very smart prisoners and we won't have to pay them." iamforjustice

    I believe this is the most asinine post you have ever made and trust me there have been a lot of contenders for that award. You should really seek some sort of professional help. Stop being for justice and start being for living a life without ignorance.

  • 867-5309 Jan 24, 2008

    Easy now. It's unfortunate teachers wages and benefits are getting cut, but it's necessary. In North Carolina we have to make sure we are providing cable tv for all the inmates. They also need basketball courts and professors to come teach some college courses to them. We also have to make sure all the people who refuse to work still have a form of income from the state.

    And don't forget about the illegal aliens, they all depend on our tax dollars so their kids can go to school and to the hospital whenever they need to.

  • iamforjustice Jan 24, 2008

    Why not make prisoners teach. There are some very smart prisoners and we won't have to pay them.

  • Kristen_-_RN Jan 24, 2008

    Our school board continues to astound me. I still find it hard to believe that Mr. Burns really was a teacher... seriously?

    Teachers (and nurses for that matter) absolutely need more autonomy and respect - a revamp of the profession (and stress there on the word profession) before the shortage becomes even more critical.

    They are dangerous, unglamourous and relatively low paying jobs - in which there is heaped tons of abuse, disrespect and arm-chair quarterbacking. And when the rare teacher is caught doing something inappropriate or illegal - it makes headlines. The millions of teachers who change lives daily are anonymous. We give vague accolades about caring, kindness and being "special" - but nothing about how educated these educated professionals really are.

  • random musings Jan 24, 2008

    The fact that many people blame the teachers for their child's bad grades certainly can't help. NO...its not their fault- or the kids fault...it must be the poor teachers fault!

    Kudos to the good teachers out there! I do not envy their job!

  • flashlight Jan 24, 2008

    Well with MySpace and MTV doing most of the parenting today, it's no wonder teachers leave the profession because of having to corral the problem students all day instead of actually teaching. Treat the causes of the problem, not the symptoms.

  • Tater Salad Jan 24, 2008

    and people want to move to Wake County KNOWING these conditions exsist?

    3 more years and I'm leaving this mickey mouse managed county in the dust (given the recent water shortage, literally in the dust)