The number of teachers leaving North Carolina public school classrooms increased slightly from last year according to the 2014-15 Annual Report on Teachers Leaving the Profession just presented to State Board of Education members. In 2014-15, 14,255 teachers left their local school districts resulting in an overall state turnover rate of 14.84 percent. This percentage is slightly up from the 14.12 percent reported in 2013-14.
State Superintendent June Atkinson expressed concern over the report’s findings saying, “In the past five years, the state’s teacher turnover rate has increased in all but one year (2013-14). We won’t reverse this trend until we address the root causes of why teachers leave the classroom.”
Local district turnover rates ranged from a high of 33.55 percent in Northampton County to a low of 5.75 percent in Graham County. All local district figures are included in the full report.
The 28 self-reported reasons teachers gave for leaving were combined into the five categories below to promote comparisons and to illustrate relationships.
1. Teachers who left for personal reasons: 5,681 responses
This includes teachers who resigned due to a career change or dissatisfaction with teaching, family circumstances, health issues, to teach in another state, or decided to retire with reduced benefits.
2. Teachers who left the district but remained in education: 4,492 responses
This includes teachers who resigned to teach in another district, charter school or non-public school, or moved to a non-teaching position within the district or at another district or agency.
3. Teachers who left for reasons beyond district control: 2,126 responses
This includes teachers who retired with full benefits, moved due to military orders, resigned because their Visiting International Faculty term or Teach for America term expired, or left due to reduction in force.
4. Teachers who were terminated by the local school district: 982 responses
This includes teachers who resigned in lieu of non-renewal or dismissal, did not obtain or maintain their license, were not rehired when their probationary contract ended or were dismissed.
5. Teachers who left for other reasons: 974 responses
This includes teachers who either resigned for reasons not listed in the survey or did not give a reason.
The State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction have a number of initiatives in place to help recruit and retain teachers including alternative entry licensure routes, beginning teacher support programs, 12 percent pay increase for National Board Certification and Troops to Teachers.
The turnover report reflects the time period from March 2014 to March 2015. During this time frame, 96,081 teachers were employed in North Carolina public schools. This report does not include charter schools’ teacher turnover data as charter schools are not required to report turnover data since their teachers are employed “at will” and only 50 percent of them are required to hold teacher licenses.