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Teacher turnover at lowest rate in more than a decade


The Alamance-Burlington school system posted its lowest teacher turnover rate in more than a decade during the 2020-21 school year – though most ABSS schools were closed for eight months last year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s latest “State of the Teaching Profession in North Carolina report” shows that, 106 ABSS teachers left the school system in 2020-21, representing a turnover rate of 7.1 percent.

Nearly half (45.25 percent) of teachers who left ABSS in 2020-21 cited personal reasons, according to the latest report on teacher turnover that the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released last week (see accompanying charts).

By comparison, the teacher turnover rate for ABSS was more than 4 percentage points higher (11.41 percent) higher during the 2010-11 school year, according to DPI.

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The highest teacher turnover rate reported for ABSS in recent memory was during the 2012-13 school year, when 210 teachers left, representing 14.08 percent of the total of 1,491 teachers employed with the local school system.

The new report from DPI reveals that about half of the teachers (59 teachers) who left ABSS in 2020-21 did so to work for another N.C. public school system or charter school.
DPI several years ago revised how it reports teacher turnover rates to the General Assembly. Instead, the annual report contains the following data:

[Story continues below charts.]

• 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.

Overall, a smaller percentage of teachers left ABSS in 2020-21 school year than during the 2019-20 school year. Last year’s teacher turnover rate declined by two-tenths of 1 percentage point from the rate for 2019-20, though 19 fewer teachers were employed with ABSS last year than in 2019-20, according to DPI’s report.

The personal reasons for leaving included: family relocation; health issues; childcare responsibilities; career change; retirement with reduced benefits; and to continue education.
Employer-initiated reasons for leaving included: termination; non-renewal of a probationary or an interim contract; resigned in lieu of termination or contract non-renewal; and failure to obtain or maintain a state teaching license.

Other reasons for teachers leaving included: retirement; end of employment term (visiting international faculty); military deployment; death; and/or other unknown reasons.
School board members have not yet publicly discussed DPI’s annual report, which is currently in draft form and subject to revision.

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