Summit on Education Takes up Issue of Fewer NC Teachers

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The UNC Board of Governors came together earlier this week to discuss the fact that fewer NC students are going into education. They considered such factors as the sharp decline in teaching applicants and reasons students do not choose education as a viable career path. They also made recommendations that include higher pay for teachers, better integration with Education Colleges, and stronger teacher preparations.  From the WNCN article,

Mandy Bien has spent nine of her 10 years as a teacher at Kingswood Elementary in Cary.

“I certainly knew going into it that it was not something I was going to come make my millions in," Bien said.

Her principal at Kingswood Elementary said 8 years ago, between 150 to 200 applications would come in for each job posting.

“We are lucky to find 10 qualified people to talk to at this point in time,” Bien said.

In the UNC system, the number of students in education majors was down 12 percent in the fall compared with a year ago.

That number is down 27 percent in just 5 years.

“The luster and the status of teaching over the past few years has been materially diminished. It has been tarnished somewhat," said North Carolina Teacher of the Year James Ford.

The dean of UNC-Charlotte's College of Education, Ellen McIntyre, said students still want to teach but it's their parents who discourage them.

“Parents are dissuading their children from going into education. Eighteen-year-olds think $33,000 is a good salary, but their parents know they can't raise a family on that amount of money," McIntyre said.

"Some of those kids have a first-year teacher year after year after year after year and that's really where the heart of this problem is," she said.


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