Local News

Report: NC teacher turnover rate down slightly

Posted November 1, 2014 11:10 a.m. EDT

— 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.