North Carolina's Education Exodus Continues In A New School Year
The raises passed by the General Assembly were supposed to stop the exodus of qualified teachers from North Carolina, but new reporting from WRAL shows that teachers continue to leave the state for more respect and better pay. From their article,
Despite the pay raises for teachers included in the new state budget, some veteran teachers say they are fed up with the growing demands of the job and what they see as a lack of respect from state leaders, and they are walking away from the classroom.
Barbara Hawley taught school for 15 years before resigning two weeks ago from her job as a second-grade teacher at Pleasant Union Elementary School in northern Wake County. She said years of eroding respect in her profession had finally worn her down.
"It's been a long and frustrating road," Hawley said Friday. "Public schools are not being supported financially."
Years of tight budgets have cut support services to the bone, she said, putting more responsibilities on teachers' shoulders. A growing number of classroom assessments also added to her workload, she said.
"The reality is we work 7 (a.m.) to 6 (p.m.) and take work home," she said.
"The messages are, 'You need to do more. You need to do more with less because that's the way it is. Just buckle down and do it.' Well, I've been buckling down for a long time now, and my buckles are tight and they're hurting," she continued. "I think I have a lot to give. I think I had a lot more to give had I not been completely crushed by all that's being passed down to us."
While these raises may have given a big pay bump to new teachers, it has done almost nothing to improve North Carolina's abysmal standing in per pupil spending. We need to invest in all aspects of our public education system to ensure we retain high quality, experienced teachers.