NEWS RELEASES 2013-14 :: DECEMBER 4, 2013


More teachers left their jobs last year according to the 2012-2013 Annual Report on Teachers Leaving the Profession presented today to the State Board of Education at its meeting in Raleigh. According to the statewide report, local school systems had an average teacher turnover rate of 14.33 percent for 2012-13, which is higher than the 2011-12 rate of 12.13 percent.

"Although the turnover rate was higher last year, it is reassuring to know that more than a third of the 13,616 teachers who left their districts remained in education," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "The statistics that trouble me are the hundreds of educators who left their jobs in 2012-13 to teach in another state or resigned because they were dissatisfied with teaching or wanted a career change. I am concerned that if changes are not made, low pay and a lack of support will push even more educators out of North Carolina classrooms and the teaching profession."

Local district turnover rates ranged from a high of 35.09 percent in Northampton County Schools to a low of 7.31 percent in Surry County Schools. Local district figures are included in the full report available at

The number one reason teachers reported for leaving their districts was to teach in another North Carolina school district or charter school. Retirement was listed as the second most cited reason for leaving the classroom. The third most common reason teachers cited for leaving was family relocation.

Of the 13,616 teachers that reported leaving their districts in 2012-13, 6,719 (49.35 percent) had tenure. This number is up from the 5,599 teachers (47.48 percent) who left with tenure in 2011-12. A total of 887 teachers reported that they left their districts in 2012 -13 because they were dissatisfied with teaching and/or seeking a career change. This number is up from the 816 teachers who cited this same reason last year. A total of 455 teachers reported resigning to teach in another state and this number also is up from 341 in 2011 -12. The number of teachers who reported leaving their districts to teach in another NC school district (2,851), to take a non-teaching position in education (1,447), or to teach in a charter school (145) or private school (143) also have increased since last year.

Also as a part of the report, school districts were asked to identify the subject areas in which they had the most difficulty hiring appropriately-licensed teachers. The top five were high school science, special education, high school math, middle school science and middle school math.

The State Board of Education and Department of Public Instruction currently have a number of initiatives in place to help recruit and retain teachers. Efforts include:

  • alternative entry licensure routes;
  • beginning teacher support programs;
  • regional licensure centers to help lateral entry teachers;
  • 12 percent pay increases for teachers with National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification;
  • special recognition and awards programs, such as N.C. Teacher of the Year;
  • North Carolina Teacher Corps (through March 2014);
  • Troops to Teachers;
  • teacher scholarship loans; and
  • Future Teachers of America/Teacher Cadet programs, to encourage students to consider a teaching career.

"These efforts are helpful, but the most effective way to keep teachers in North Carolina classrooms is to give them and their profession the respect they deserve," Atkinson said.

To read the full 2012-13 Annual Report on Teachers Leaving the Profession, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.