Report: Newer NC Teachers More Likely To Quit

Nov 2, 2016

About 9 percent of the state's teachers left North Carolina's public schools in the 2015-2016 school year, according to a draft report from the Department of Public Instruction. Teachers with less than three years of experience were more likely to leave the classroom than their more seasoned counterparts.

There are more than 95,000 teachers in North Carolina public schools, and last year 8,636 of them left the classroom or the state. The attrition rate includes about 2,200 who retired. But about 4,000 of the teachers who left did so for personal reasons, like family relocation or childcare issues.

About 800 teachers left to teach in another state, down from more than a 1,000 the year prior.

The report shows that teachers with less than three years of experience are more likely to quit. Their attrition rate was nearly 13 percent, while experienced, licensed teachers had an attrition rate of around 8 percent.

Attrition rates also varied widely depending on the district. Northampton County schools, for example, had an attrition rate of around 21 percent, meaning 21 percent of its teachers are no longer employed in North Carolina public schools. That district also lost another 11 percent of its teachers to other North Carolina school districts. Halifax County schools also lost more than 30 percent of its teachers.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story published Friday, October 28, and aired on 91.5 WUNC-FM, incorrectly compared the turnover rate from the 2015-2016 school year to the prior year. It is not accurate to compare the 9 percent turnover rate from the 2015-2016 report to the 15 percent rate in 2014-2015 because the Department of Public Instruction changed the way it calculates the turnover rate.