Teachers in North Carolina are leaving their schools at a significantly higher rate this year.

The governor and legislature have targeted teachers for punitive measures, and they are succeeding in making teaching a less desirable career path.

Lindsay Wagner of NC Policy Watch reports:

“In 2008-09, only 35.55 percent of teachers who had tenure, also known as “career status,” left their jobs. That percentage has steadily risen and last year nearly half (49.35%) of all of those who left their positions were tenured teachers.

Mooresville Graded School District Superintendent Dr. Mark Edwards said it’s important to consider the fact that the state will see large numbers of baby boomers retiring during the next five years or so.

“We need to recruit people to stay,” said Edwards to his colleagues at this month’s State Board of Education meeting in Raleigh.

North Carolina ranks 46th in the nation in teacher pay. It takes 15 years for a teacher to make about $40,000 a year.

Last summer, state lawmakers decided to stop funding the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, which awards scholarships to North Carolina high school students to pursue teaching degrees in state. Graduates then must teach for four years in North Carolina. More than 75 percent of Teaching Fellows teach in the state beyond five years, and many stay on for their entire careers.

Lawmakers took some of the money designated for the Teaching Fellows program and put it toward expanding the state’s presence of Teach For America (TFA), a national program designed to place graduates without degrees in education in teaching posts that are in low-performing schools.”

You can see where this is going.

As the state pushes out experienced teachers and eliminates its Teaching Fellows program, it clears the way to hire more inexperienced TFA, who pledge to stay for only two years. Call it turmoil by design.

Eric Guckian, the governor’s senior education advisor, is a TFA alumnus.

– See more at: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/2013/12/05/teacher-turnover-in-north-carolina-significantly-higher-than-previous-year/#sthash.xL5z2KML.dpuf