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One In Seven NC Teachers Left Job Last Year, Report Says

A new report shows that the teacher turnover rate has been steadily climbing since 2010.
Gates Foundation via Flickr

An annual report shows that more North Carolina teachers left their jobs in 2012-13 than in previous school years.

Out of the 95,028 teachers employed, 13,616 teachers left their districts, resulting in an overall state turnover rate of about 14 percent, or about one out of every seven teachers.  

That number is a slight increase from the previous year’s turnover rate of 12 percent and 11 percent in 2010-11.

The report was released this week in a presentation to the State Board of Education by Lynne Johnson, director of Educator Effectiveness. She said that nearly 10 percent of teachers left their schools last year because they were dissatisfied with teaching, switched careers or resigned to teach in another state.

But she managed to point to some good news, “a reassuring data point is that almost a third of our teachers who left districts remained in education [in North Carolina],” Johnson said.

She said the second most cited reason for teachers leaving their districts is retirement, followed by family relocation.

Johnson looked to the State Board of Education for input on collecting teacher turnover data for the future, saying that they should find ways of ensuring more detailed information. Currently, the report includes five broad reasons for teacher leave that were created based on self-reported information from teachers.

During the School Board of Education meeting Wednesday, Johnson said that data discrepancies in the report were reported earlier and have since been resolved.

“There was evidence of a couple of issues, like overstated teacher count,” she said. “For instance a teacher working in four different schools, and some confusion on how to count that.”

Northampton and Halifax school districts had the highest teacher turnover, with about a third leaving last school year. The Surry County School District had the lowest rate with a loss of only seven percent of its teachers. 

Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.
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