by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Every year, the mainstream media highlights teacher recruitment visits from representatives of the Houston Independent School District (HISD). They note how North Carolina teachers are eager to make the move to Houston because they’ll receive higher pay and presumably better working conditions. The underlying purpose of these stories is to imply that the reforms implemented by Republican legislators are driving teachers away.
The truth is that HISD has a teacher turnover problem. Currently, HISD has over 650 vacant teaching positions and the end of the school year is still several weeks away. They are so desperate for teachers, that they have placed ads on Craigslist.
Last year, I noted that their teacher turnover rate was 19 percent. There is reason to believe that they will match or exceed that turnover rate this year.