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Despite complaints and booming economy, teachers remain in profession

The N.C. State Board of Education posted the draft 2017-2018 State of the Teaching Profession in North Carolina report this weekend.

All 115 LEAs reported their district-level employment data for the 2017-2018 reporting period. The calculations show that out of the 94,909 teachers employed during the 2016-2017 school year, 7,674 teachers were reported as attrition (i.e., no longer working in a North Carolina public school in the 2017- 18 school year), resulting in an overall state attrition rate of 8.09%. This state-level attrition rate is slightly less than the attrition rate of the 2016-2017 reporting year of 8.70%. Generally, teachers in North Carolina are remaining in the classroom. (Emphasis added.)

Teacher attrition declined for the third straight year and dropped by nearly a percentage point since 2016.  The overall state attrition rate for 2015-2016 was 9.04 percent.  It dropped to 8.70 percent in 2016-17.  It dropped again to 8.09 percent in 2017-18.

Thousands of teachers walked out of their classrooms last year to travel to Raleigh to protest Republican education policies and encourage voters to vote for Democratic candidates in the November election. Despite those efforts, Republicans maintained majority control of the N.C. General Assembly.

If teachers truly felt “disrespected” by Republican legislative policies, one could argue that they would be leaving the profession in greater numbers, pursuing the plentiful opportunities supplied by the Trump economic boom.

Terry Stoops / Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies

Terry Stoops is the Vice President for Research and Director of Education Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Before joining the Locke Foundation, he worked as the progra...

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