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Education
An in-depth look at our region's emerging economic, social, political and cultural identity.

Fewer Teachers Left NC Public Schools, CMS Last Year, State Report Shows

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LISA WORF
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WFAE file photo

The number of teachers leaving North Carolina public schools declined in 2019, and that trend also played out in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell-Statesville and Kannapolis school systems.

That’s according to the annual State of the Teaching Profession report presented Wednesday to the state Board of Education.

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Credit WFAE
Here's the rate of teacher attrition in Charlotte-area public school systems from 2018 and 2019.

The state reported on the number of teachers who left public schools between March 2018 and March 2019 – and on the reasons they left. The goal is to prevent the loss of good teachers. Firings and forced resignations always account for a small minority of departures – 8% in the most recent year.

The report says just over 7,000 of the state’s 95,000 teachers left in 2018-19, or 7.5% of the workforce.

Several Charlotte-area districts topped 10%, including CMS, Gaston, Cabarrus, Union, Hickory, Mooresville and Kannapolis. Iredell-Statesville Schools reported the lowest turnover rate in the region: 6.6%, down from 11.8% the previous year.

It's not unusual for districts to report higher rates than the state average. Teachers who leave one North Carolina district to work for another — or to work for an in-state charter school — count toward the district's departure rate but not the state's.

Small districts, such as the Hickory, Mooresville and Kannapolis city districts, also tend to see bigger swings because each teacher represents a bigger percentage of the work force.