New report: Teacher turnover drops, but remains high in North Carolina

People_16_Teacher_BlackboardTeacher turnover has dropped in North Carolina, according to a new state report, but remains high in a state that has seen thousands of educators leave for employment in other states over the last decade.

This year’s annual teacher workforce report pegs the state’s teacher attrition rate just higher than 9 percent. Compared to last year, when turnover exceeded 14 percent, it’s a substantial drop, but the report counted another 828 teachers leaving North Carolina to work elsewhere.

It’s also a six-year low for North Carolina, based on last year’s survey.

The draft report counts 8,636 teachers leaving their jobs in 2015-2015.

The majority, or about 53 percent, departed for “personal reasons,” a designation that includes myriad causes, including work outside the state, family reasons, dissatisfaction with the job and more.

Teacher recruiting and retention has been under a spotlight in recent years in North Carolina, following legislative cuts that critics blame for mounting attrition in the state and waning interest in the profession.

Policy Watch reported this year that the number of students seeking teaching degrees in the UNC system has plummeted in the last decade.

The draft report, which will be presented to the State Board of Education next week, comes on the heels of a new national report that pegs the K-12 cuts in the state among the worst in the nation over the last decade.

It also comes weeks after a memo from Gov. Pat McCrory’s chief budget officer requested that all state departments, including the public schools, turn in budget reduction proposals totaling 2 percent.

That’s about a $173 million cut for the state’s schools, and, according to top education officials, could threaten thousands of teaching jobs and imperil funding for low-wealth counties, classroom supplies, teaching assistants and more.

Check back with Policy Watch for more analysis of this important report.

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