turnoverMore than 13,500 teachers left their local school districts in the last year, according to figures presented to the State Board of Education on Wednesday.

The teacher turnover rate averaged 14.12 percent statewide, down just slightly from 2012-13.  But some local districts saw an alarming level of teachers leaving the profession.

Washington County saw more than 34% of its teachers leave, followed by Weldon City
(33%) Halifax (31%) and Northampton (28%). Districts with the lowest amount of turnover included Clay County (6%) , Camden County (6.45%), and Graham County Schools (6.67%).

The self-reported reasons for leaving the profession could be placed in one of five categories:

*  Teachers who left for personal reasons: 5,030 responses This includes teachers who resigned due to a career change, family circumstances, health issues, to teach in another state, dissatisfaction with teaching, seeking a career change or decided to retire with reduced benefits.

*  Teachers who left the district but remained in education: 4,093 responses This includes teachers who resigned to teach in another district, charter school or non-public school, or moved to a non-teaching position within the district or at another district or agency.

Source: NC Department of Public Instruction

Source: NC Department of Public Instruction

* Teachers who left for reasons beyond district control: 2,353 responses This includes teachers who retired with full benefits, moved due to military orders, resigned because their Visiting International Faculty term or Teach for America term expired, or left due to reduction in force.

* Teachers who were terminated by the local school district: 1,123 responses This includes teachers who resigned in lieu of non-renewal or dismissal, did not obtain or maintain their license, were not rehired when their probationary contract ended or were dismissed.

* Teachers who left for other reasons: 958 responses This includes teachers who either resigned for reasons not listed in the survey or did not give a reason.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said in addressing the turnover rate the state cannot ignore the importance of classroom support:

“A number of the reasons why teachers leave their district or the profession can be addressed by just giving their profession the respect it deserves. We have high expectations for teachers and their pay and classroom support need to reflect that,” Atkinson said.

To read the draft report and see local figures on teacher turnover, click here.


While Republicans registered big wins in the 2014 mid-term elections, it’s worth noting the significance of Rep. Alma Adams‘ victory in North Carolina’s 12th congressional district. In winning the special election to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Mel Watt, Adams will become the 100th woman currently serving in Congress.

As reports “for the first time in American history, the number of women sitting in Congress will hit triple digits.”

It’s also the first time in more than a decade that an African American woman has had a voice in the state’s congressional delegation. (Eva Clayton, who was the first black woman elected in North Carolina to serve in Congress, left office back in 2003.)

Adams, a Greensboro Democrat who served in the state legislature for more that 20 years, joins us on NC Policy Watch’s News & Views this weekend to discuss the milestone and the work that lies ahead in representing the district.

For a preview of her radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:

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For those with election fatigue – yes,  there is more going on this week than the mid-term races. Here are three stories that have North Carolina educators buzzing:

  • The Superintendent of the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system announced Monday that he will resign from the post this Thursday to  Heath Morrison's official picture 200x250spend more time with his family, catching almost everyone in the district off-guard. You can read Superintendent Heath Morrison’s resignation letter here. You can also read the Charlotte Observer’s latest article speculating on what may be behind Morrison’s sudden departure.
  • The State Board of Education will discuss Wednesday the decision by Wilmington’s Charter Day School Inc. not to release the salary information of Roger Bacon Academy employees. All charter school operators faced a September 30th deadline to release that information. The Wilmington Star News has a preview of what comes next in this dispute. For more background, check out Sarah Ovaska’s recent blog post on the ‘trade secret’ salaries. .
  • Finally, The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting read on three governors who made deep cuts to higher education and may pay the price on Election Day. The gubernatorial races profiled are in Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. Here’s an excerpt from Eric Kelderman’s article:

    Whether or not the incumbents win, the tight races may be a signal from voters that fiscal restraint has its limits, said Daniel J. Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

    “What message is sent in states with these close matchups?” Mr. Hurley asked. “Did these Republican lawmakers take it too far in terms of cutting taxes and reducing spending?”


Top10-smWith so much attention on North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race, many voters may be surprised that on the back on the ballot they have a chance to decide whether they want to amend the state’s constitution. The proposal would allow individuals charged with a felony to waive their right to a trial by jury in favor of a bench trial.

What are the pros and cons of this proposed amendment?

Listen to Chris Fitzsimon’s recent radio interview with professor Jeff Welty of the UNC School of Government:


EARLYWith early voting drawing to a close on Saturday, the number of people voting in person and taking advantage of the convenience of early voting is approaching 700,000.

Associated Press’ Gary Robertson reports:

State Board of Elections data show nearly 690,000 people had cast ballots from the start of early voting Oct. 23 through Wednesday at centers in all 100 counties. It closes Saturday afternoon.

Democrats have cast 49 percent of early in-person votes this fall, compared to 47 percent in all of early voting in 2010, according to the board data. Republicans comprise 31 percent of this year’s vote and unaffiliated voters are at 20 percent. During 2010, Republicans cast 36 percent and unaffiliateds at 17 percent.

If you’re stumped about what’s on the ballot or who to vote for beyond the race at the top of the ticket, be sure to check out the 2014 North Carolina Voter Guide, where you can see a side-by-side comparison of every  candidate in all 100 counties.

Also take time to listen to our recent radio interview with Brent Laurenz, Executive Director of the nonpartisan North Carolina Center for Voter Education who discusses the voter guide and the future of public financing:

For a list of early voting times and locations, click here. To find your correct polling place for Tuesday, November 4th, click here.