Teacher Turnover As High As 35% in Some NC Counties
North Carolina continues to hold onto its position as one of the worst states to be a teacher. Our legislature continues to leave teachers over-worked and under-paid. Fed up, our educators are leaving the system, realizing the promise for higher pay and greater appreciation in other states or in the private sector. In Washington County, for example, teacher turnover rates have reached as high as 34.43%.
Amid all the talk about “maintaining spending discipline,” tax cuts, and a $400 million budget surplus, one thing our self-congratulatory senators and representatives conveniently failed to mention was this unfortunate statistic: The statewide average turnover rate for overworked, underpaid and often fed-up public school teachers has now reached a five-year high.
The rate for the state as a whole, according to a just-released report, reached 14.8 percent. It was even higher in Moore County, at 16.79 percent.
What that means, in the simplest terms, is that roughly one in every six public school teachers in Moore County hang it up every year. Some simply retire. Others either to go into another line of work or cross over into South Carolina or one of the many other states where teacher pay rates are higher and the sense feeling appreciated is greater.
Across the state, it seems hard to overemphasize the importance of that statistic in terms of its effect on teacher and student morale, on the continuity and quality of instruction, and on the cost involved in maintaining a well-trained teacher force.