Editorial: Retaining Teachers Must be a Priority

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The Rocky Mount Telegram is out with an editorial calling on lawmakers to commit themselves to fixing our public schools. They cite a study showing that nearly 14% of teachers left their districts after the 2012-2013 school year. From their editorial,

While teacher pay raises approved this year by the N.C. General Assembly offered welcome relief in varying amounts to state educators, a new study shows North Carolina is losing its best and brightest classroom resources.

Better pay would seem to be a logical incentive for holding on to the best teachers we have. But it’s clear we’re suffering from a migration of talent, no matter what the root cause.

A new study presented to the N.C. State Board of Education showed that almost one in seven teachers left their school districts after the 2012-13 school year. That’s nearly 14 percent.

More than 1,000 teachers told survey conductors they left the profession altogether because of dissatisfaction with the job or to change careers. More than 700 others left North Carolina to take teaching jobs in other states. Many offer better salaries and benefits than North Carolina does.

The state can’t afford to continue losing this valuable resource without seeing dramatic consequences in job creation and economic recruiting. New businesses won’t come here if they don’t think the workforce is adequately educated.


  1. Pam Brodbeck's avatar
    Pam Brodbeck
    | Permalink
    You are mistaken that pay raises brought welcome relief. Only some teachers were given raises. NCDPI has the pay schedule for public viewing. Haven't met anyone who can make sense of this system.
  2. RW Paugh's avatar
    RW Paugh
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    NC might want to assure the curriculum is fact based rather than ideological. Also, give teachers the necessary resources and time to do their jobs, Most teachers are not in it for big money but they MUST have a "living wage."
  3. Dud's avatar
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    Many of us who have stayed have family or homes that are keeping us in place. If I were not a homeowner or living near my wife's family, I would have left by now. Pay is not the only issue, other cuts have made my job and my son's education worse.
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