by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
According to a blog post by Keung Hui of the News & Observer,
A Wake County Teacher of the Year has resigned, just not the Wake County Teacher of the Year.
Twitter has been lighting up since Monday with tweets about the “ Wake County Teacher of Year 2014 moving to Ohio,” with Jenny Callahan saying that low pay is forcing her to leave the state. It’s been picked up by Democrats to accuse state Republican legislators, who are fighting over a plan how to raise teacher pay, of not doing enough to keep teachers from leaving North Carolina.
Callahan isn’t the district’s Teacher of the Year. But she was the Teacher of the Year for Partnership Elementary School in Raleigh. Each Wake school nominates a teacher for the districtwide program.
Callahan states that she is leaving North Carolina because she is unsatisfied with her compensation. According to the NC Department of Public Instruction, she received a salary of $42,446 plus a Social Security contribution of $3,100 plus a nearly $6,000 contribution to her retirement account plus $5,285 for health insurance this year.
I truly wish her the best in Ohio because it is going to be difficult for her to find a teaching job. According to the Ohio Education Research Center’s December 2013 brief, “Ohio Schools Projected To Lose Teachers As Numbers Of Students Decline” (PDF),
In summary: fewer teachers will be needed in coming years; high numbers of retirees are reducing teacher stocks; more students and teachers are moving from private to community schools; licensed administrators exceed the number of available jobs; many trained teachers don’t get licensed but when they do and stay at their jobs they earn more; and numbers of teachers varies across grades and subject areas.
Public and community elementary and secondary schools educated about 1.72 million students in 2011?12. But with diminishing birth rates, especially in 2008 with the onset of the recession, and a small net migration out of state, Ohio has been losing 1,500 students annually since 1995.
If birth rates don’t recover, the pace of declining enrollments will increase. If student?teacher ratios remain constant, schools are likely to need 700 fewer teachers annually between 2011 and 2018.
On the other hand, teaching jobs will be plentiful in North Carolina for years to come.