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Weldon schools lead state in teacher turnovers

Posted January 14, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Weldon city schools lost almost half of their teachers last year, according to new teacher turnover statistics.

The school district saw a 41 percent decrease to its 90-teacher school system in Halifax County. Weldon had the highest percentage of teacher turnover in the state. Edgecombe County was second with 26 percent. Wake County saw 11 percent of teachers being replaced.

“To actually hear the numbers, they are alarming,” said Michelle Winstead, a former parent teacher organization president in Weldon.

Small school districts struggle to keep teachers Small school districts struggle to keep teachers

David Jones, executive director of human resources for the district, said teacher turnover affects the classroom experience for the district’s 1,050 students.

“It changes what goes on in that classroom. It changes the expectations of the students,” Jones said.

Jones said small town school systems like Weldon, which operates independently of Halifax County, have a tough time bringing in teachers, especially those with families because of the lack of activities in the area.

“There are a lot of things that a city such as Charlotte can offer that a Weldon can’t offer,” said Jesse Dingle, the Department of Education's talent manager in charge of recruitment and retention.

School administrators in Weldon say many teachers leave to take jobs in neighboring districts or in Virginia. Officials said they plan to focus on recruiting teachers outside of the state.

Administrators also said they will ask the state to require educators with state teaching fellowships to work in an assigned geographic area.

Halifax County schools saw a turnover of 20 percent from the 2007-2008 school year. Nearby Roanoke Rapids lost about 15 percent.

Statewide 13,432 or nearly 14 percent of teachers left their jobs in 2007-2008. A total of 83,534 educators stayed at their jobs. The percentage lost was an increase from 12 percent the previous year.

State Department of Education statistics show some of the top reasons teachers leave jobs are to teach elsewhere in the state or country, retirement, family relocation and childcare.

Nationally the teacher turnover rate is nearly 17 percent, according to the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future.


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  • Amruby Jan 16, 2009

    Teaching is the only job on earth where they pay you to be physically, mentally and verbally abused on a daily basis. Been there done that and have about 24 dozen T-shirts to show for it.

  • Timetogo Jan 15, 2009

    This is not surprising! Most teachers come into the position with dreams of making a difference. Administrators stick them in a packed classroom of various leveled students and make them pass them whether they deserve it or not. Teachers use their OWN money for anything 'extra' they want for their class (from the little money the state pays them) and they are given NO support from administration when discipline problems arise in the classroom (or parents come to argue that their precious little one did no wrong). Just make the county LOOK GOOD with passing percentages!! I wouldn't have the job and I admire anyone who can stick it out!!

  • oldrebel Jan 15, 2009

    I realize in any kind of ranking system, someone has to be "last" but I do wonder how much the school's administration has to do with the turnover rate.

  • ncguy Jan 15, 2009

    That's what you get when the children you teach are threatning you with violence and verbal barages. If the children were taught respect at home it would be different.

  • rmgirl Jan 14, 2009

    OK, now let's see the turnover rate at DPI...

  • bs101fly Jan 14, 2009

    and Wake County is closing fast with it's forced year round and non-stop reassignments.
    no WAY I'd teach in Wake!

  • Tackman792000 Jan 14, 2009

    Old Pirate 2, I agree with your comments 100%. Being originally from that area it's just not a whole lot of job opportunities for spouses who aren't working in the school system. The area needs more attractive industries but with the economy as it is, it's doubtful that industries would consider relocating or building in that area. Almost like a no-win situation.

  • Rolling Along Jan 14, 2009

    How does Weldon stack up on the supplement pay? That is always a factor. In addition to the relatively remote location.

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jan 14, 2009

    Having done volunteer work in this school, I didn't think the school was that bad. The students are trying hard but have low expectations. I know one teach for America teacher who is trying to make a difference and they say its not a bad system.