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ABSS teacher turnover rate up, but lower than state average

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The latest annual “State of the Teaching Profession in North Carolina” report shows 145 out of 1,494 teachers  (or about 9.7 percent) employed with the Alamance-Burlington school system in 2022-23 quit their jobs that year – and most said they were leaving to teach for another North Carolina public school system or charter school.

The 2022-23 teacher turnover rate for ABSS reflects an increase of 1.6 percentage points from the previous 2021-22 school year.  During that period, 119 teachers (8.1 percent of a total of 1,466 teachers employed) left ABSS 2021-22; and 47 of those teachers planned to teach for another N.C. public school system or charter school, representing what the report terms a “mobility” rate of 3.2 percent, according to the latest report from the state Department of Public Instruction.

At 9.7 percent, the 2022-23 teacher turnover rate for ABSS, however, is lower than the statewide rate (11.4 percent), by 1.7 percentage points (see accompanying charts).

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ABSS’ teacher turnover rate ranked ninth out of 16 public school systems located within the state’s Piedmont Triad region.  Caswell County had the highest turnover rate, 13 percent, in 2022-23; Asheboro city schools had the lowest turnover rate, according to the report.

Nearly all (125) of the 145 teachers who left ABSS in 2022-23 reported they were leaving to teach for another public school system or charter school in North Carolina, based on the latest report that DPI presented last week to the state Board of Education.  (This aspect of the report is now defined as “mobility.”)

DPI’s latest “State of the Teaching Profession” report reveals: 38 left to teach for Guilford County schools; 27 left to teach at a charter school; 14 left to teach in Orange County Schools; 13, in Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools; and the other 33 teachers who left ABSS went to work for other N.C. public school systems.

The teacher turnover rate for ABSS last spiked during the 2012-13 school year, when 210 (14.08 percent) of the 1,491 teachers left the local school system that year.

DPI has continued in recent years to revise how it reports teacher turnover rates to the General Assembly.  The state’s latest annual report breaks down the following data:

DPI’s latest draft report on the teaching profession in N.C. public schools includes:

  • The “state attrition rate,” or the number of teachers who leave the profession altogether;
  • The “mobility rate,” which reflects the number of teachers who left to work for another N.C. public school system;
  • The local “attrition rate,” or the number of teachers who either left the profession, as well as those went to work for other N.C. public school systems;
  • The “recoupment rate,” or the rate at which N.C. public school systems replenished their teaching forces;
  • The “vacancy rate,” or the number of open positions for which there was not an appropriately licensed teacher.

ABSS has experienced a gradual increase in the teacher turnover rates during both the 2022-23 and prior, 2021-22 school years (see accompanying chart).

That mirrors a statewide trend, as the state’s overall teacher turnover rate increased by 3.6 percentage points between the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years, from 7.8 percent during the 2021-22 school year to 11.4 percent during the 2022-23 school year that ended in June 2023.

Meanwhile, the newly-revised format for the state’s annual report on the teaching profession also details the subject areas in which each public school system had the greatest number of vacancies.  (That section of the report lists ABSS as having 1,471 teaching positions in 2022-23; while other portions of the report list ABSS as having 1,494 teachers during that school year.  No reason is given for the discrepancy.)

The number of vacant teaching positions in ABSS increased from the 106 vacancies at beginning of the school year to 187 vacant teaching positions as of the 40th day of the 2022-23.  The majority of vacant positions (40 out of were in “core” instructional areas in kindergarten through fifth grade, according to DPI’s report.

School board members have not yet publicly discussed DPI’s annual report, which states that it is currently in draft form and subject to revision.

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