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Report: NC teacher turnover rate down slightly

Posted November 1, 2014

— Slightly fewer teachers left North Carolina last year than the year before, but more left because they were dissatisfied with teaching or wanted to teach in another state, according to a state Department of Public Instruction draft report.

Of the 96,010 public school teachers employed last year, 1,011 said they left because they were dissatisfied with teaching or had a career change. The year before, nearly 900 teachers left for those reasons.

More teachers also left to teach in another state. Last school year, 734 teachers left, compared to 455 in the previous year.

The state report only counts teachers who left as of March. Schools in Houston made recruiting trips to North Carolina in the spring and summer, looking for teachers who wanted better pay. North Carolina lawmakers are trying to get the teachers’ salaries to the national average – they approved an average seven percent increase this summer.

But, overall, fewer teachers left last year than the year before. The turnover rate slightly dipped to 14.12 from 14.33 in 2012-13. That is partly because fewer teachers retired and fewer moved to non-teaching education jobs in education.

Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement saying that he is proud of the progress made to raise pay for North Carolina teachers, but that “we still have a long way to go.”

The report shows the highest turnover rate in rural counties and among STEM and special education teachers.

Turnover rates ranged from a high of 34 percent of teachers in Washington County to a low of 6 percent in Clay County Schools.

The State Board of Education is expected to review the report next week.

This report first appeared on WUNC/North Carolina Public Radio as part of its education coverage.

Reema Khrais is the 2014 Fletcher Fellow focused on Education Policy Reporting. The Fletcher Fellowship is a partnership between WUNC
and UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication funded in part by the Fletcher Foundation.


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  • bmac813 Nov 5, 2014

    This just didn't Start, My daughter Graduated from ECU in 1998 and than People were Going to Florida and else where because the Pay was Better.
    This is just More Liberal hatertrid

  • Doug Pawlak Nov 5, 2014
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    Yes. This only goes until March as well.

  • bill0 Nov 5, 2014

    This is a pretty misleading headline. Teachers moving from one NC school to another NC school isn't really isn't a useful statistic. They bury the useful stat in the article - ie the number of teachers leaving for other states or leaving teaching entirely. 1,844 left this year vs 1,355 last year. That is a 36% increase and pretty alarming. We need to be training and attracting the best teachers, not driving them away.

  • Smilester Nov 5, 2014

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    I couldn't disagree more. A better educated workforce is a better workforce. More qualified workers make more money which leads to less people needing government assistance and more paying taxes.

  • whistler411 Nov 5, 2014

    Let's see if they fund the "historic" raise next year, since it isn't an election year. I'm betting they say they don't have the fund......

  • LetsBeFair Nov 5, 2014

    maybe the teacher raises are taking affect, because of Thom Tills retention efforts after all.

  • Ryan Kurtz Nov 5, 2014
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    You're right about one thing, schools are not money making institutions, they're a drain on the tax payers.

  • tracmister Nov 5, 2014

    There has been a steady decline of qualified teachers coming out of universities, other states, and those leaving. This is a problem with the way schools are run. However, the NCGOP has done absolutely nothing about one of the causes. When the military has a problem, they don't fire all the soldiers, they get a new commander. The problems with most schools isn't Teachers, it's leadership.

  • juliomercado Nov 5, 2014

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    Actually, if one puts those two last years in a perspective with the preceeding ten, there was a mass exodus. 14% if bad and a shift of a few percentage points is negligible. I wonder if the NC GA got the message from Tillis' slim majority. How many of the states 90,000 teachers voted for Hagan or didn't vote at all? I would wager most. The Tillis win actually should put the Republican GA and Governor on notice that had better fix teacher exodus and soon. Finally, the 2016 election year will actually start next Fall. Should the GA fail to take care of schools next year I suspect McCrory has an uphill battle to stay in office. Don't let 50,000 votes out of 11,000,000 give you too much of a warm feeling.

  • miseem Nov 5, 2014

    Gov. Pat McCrory issued a statement saying that he is proud of the progress made to raise pay for North Carolina teachers, but that “we still have a long way to go.”

    Just don't expect them to go anywhere next year. The NCGA will wait until the upcoming election year of 2016, hoping that it will serve as well as it did this year in fooling people into believing they really like and respect teachers. And you may want to forget all of those things McCrory said about possibly expanding Medicaid. Something will come up to change that. Remember, he did not promise anything, just said we'll see.