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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina schools are losing teachers and adding more students.

New school data shows there were nearly 96,000 teachers in North Carolina working with more than 1.5 million students as of October.

State schools chief finance officer Philip Price says that means schools need an additional 740 teachers if the extra 17,000 students are divided into classrooms of 23 each.

Karey Harwood of the advocacy group Public Schools First says the trend of more students and fewer teachers has been underway for several years, increasing class sizes, making it more difficult for teachers to be effective, and potentially hurting student performance.

An annual teacher turnover report discussed Wednesday by the state school board says almost 14,000 teachers left their jobs last year, primarily to teach somewhere else.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • gcassidy

    What you are forgetting guest, is that all students are not created equal. Those of us at at-risk schools hope for growth rather than passage because most of our children can barely cope with school because they come from unimaginable home lives and no support at home. So, is it fair to compare me to a teacher with no at risk students who has a high passage rate? You are comparing apples to oranges.
    Most of our students are behind, half are on medication of one type or another and struggle to get through the day.
    On the topic of getting something for nothing….Most of the teachers at my school also work 10 to 12 hour days, use their planning period for meetings with parents or copying. Half our staff comes in on Saturdays and all teachers work at home a couple hours a night and on weekends. Summers are 1 and a half months long, usually spent preparing for the next year or recovering from the last. We work over breaks at home or go into school. We are not asking for something for nothing but a fair wage. I have been a teacher for 12 years (second career), I have a master’s degree and am a Nationally Board Certified Teacher and I still only make 42,000 dollars a year. As a single parent of two teenagers I have two other jobs to support them. I made more in my 5th year in business when I was 25 years old and that was 20 years ago. Does that sound like a fair deal? Does that sound like we want something for nothing? If I was working in Ohio (my home state) I would be making $20,000 dollars more with a union behind me and I would not have to work 3 jobs to support my family and I might even see them more just for crossing a few state borders. That is ridiculous. How many attorneys or professionals do you know start out at a wage the same as an office secretary and have to go back to school just to get a raise, work 13 years to climb to the wage of a first year professional in other jobs? NC hasn’t given raises for 5 years and yet our responsibilities and accountabilities keep growing. Does that sound fair…obviously, you don’t know many teachers and what we really do or the type of students all of us are teaching.

  • Abby

    WELCOME to the debasement of education for your child. The citizens of North Carolina are going to get what they deserve – in spades!!!

  • bigaltheterp@gmail.com

    There is plenty of money for teachers. It is just a matter of teachers standing up to conservative greed and claiming resources for education rather than letting legislators claim resources for banker/corporate greed. In the banking capitol of the US that is NC, It has literally come down to private school v. public school. It really makes you wonder who is hounding these education articles, boo-hooing people who justifiably don’t want NC to be last in teacher pay.

  • Guest7969

    You certainly haven’t looked at the budget and compared it to past education budgets…have you!? Also, the Democrats have put us in the mess we’re in right now….THEIR leadership got our system EXACTLY in the shape it’s in!

  • Guest7969

    that TEACH…should take a step back and ACTUALLY do some research on just what the State passed…it INCREASED money to education…It made AUTOMATIC bonuses and pay raises go away and made it based on performance…WELCOME to the real world where you don’t get something for nothing!

  • Erlkoenig

    Can you do the math??????

  • guesty1O1

    Welcome to the “new” NC! Mississippi’s new state slogan – “thank God for North Carolina!” Thanks General Assembly and Gov, I hope you understand what your historical legacy will be in this state.

  • Erlkoenig

    Before you libs panic, do the math.

    1,500,000 ÷ 96,000 = 15.6 students per teacher.

    Those .6s are future liberals.

  • Nonicomb

    Nice job on your math. You are correct. However, you are missing at least two key factors in your equation: planning periods and special needs classes.

    Your equation relies on the (rather flawed and incorrect) assumption that all teachers are teaching a class full of students at any given point during the day. Most teachers have an average of one planning period each day, thereby eliminating that teacher from the equation in that given moment and displacing those 15.6 students, causing the remaining classes which are in session to increase in size.

    For arguments sake, let’s just say that at any given time during the day, 1/4 of teachers are not teaching but working during their planning period. That would mean that 72,000 teachers have a class with an average of 20.8 students. Still not a bad deal, I will admit.

    Another important issue at play here, is the fact that not all teachers have the same types of classes. The EC classes (Exceptional Children) have far fewer students per teacher in order to best accommodate their special needs. The number of Advanced Placement Courses (with its rigorous workload) offered in high schools has increased as well. Not all students meet the criteria required for enrollment in an AP class. These classes tend to be smaller in size, and the remaining students who do not qualify for them are divided among the other high school level options offered. Yet another type of teacher employed in this state is the ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. These educators’ duties range from teaching their own classes to co-teaching (ex. a Chemistry teacher may have a large number of ESL students, thereby creating the need for an ESL teacher to co-teach). ESL teachers may also serve more than one school at a time.

    Just a few things to consider before jumping to uninformed conclusions. What’s that saying about “assuming”?

  • Tired of it Citizen

    You’re not supposed to use simple division!!!!!!

  • GuestMan.

    Gov. McRotten and his tea bagger cronies are turning North Carolina back to the 1960s. That is what happens when you elect a bunch of carpet bagggers that do not like our state being the most progressive in the South.
    We are now the most regressive state in the nation and the way we are treating our teachers is indicative of the total indifference the people have to our future and our children’s future.
    Why can’t we find someone like Terry Sanford or Jim Hunt to lead our state? Look at what we have. All he needs to do is actually put on the clown suit and it would be perfect.

  • Erlkoenig

    Did you do the math? There is something screwy with this report.

    Or you can just hurl insults and demonstrate your ignorance?

  • Matt

    Most local teachers I know have around 30 students per class. Teachers are fleeing, but at least Goolsby got his tax cut. How long till it trickles down?

  • Zorro

    You don’t want teachers, people (government and the public). You want someone to ‘sit’ your children without calling you for any problem. You don’t care about the curriculum (or lack thereof) as long as there is a magic test score number that allows a pass of grade even when you know your kid can’t spell, read or do math without a calculator. You really don’t care if a teacher knows the material they are teaching and you certainly don’t care if they are held in any kind of respect. I know because of your actions. I know because of what the legislature did and at least one local member refused to answer any of my questions about why they made the decisions they did during their last session. I know because you are leaving it up to the very ones who need support from you. You think they sit behind a desk all day. You think they just walk out at three o’clock while you have to work until five. You think they have a myriad of summer fun-filled days doing nothing while you work year-round. You know about the bullies and problems children in your child’s class (your child might even be the one that takes most of a teacher’s attention) but you sit quiet and say nothing. It IS the teacher’s job to handle it all anyway. You did your part – you sent your issuance to school. That’s all you have to do, right? Twenty years ago, it was so bad half of the first year teachers in NC quit during that first year. Now they are not only quitting, they are leaving. Good job. You will only have those in education who can get no other work. You will only have those left who have no place else to go – and that does nothing to enhance your job performance. You will have those who don’t care any more. I know you don’t care because that will be the teachers’ situation, not yours. But I also know one more thing: you are going to have children who can’t comprehend what they read so they will not know what they are supposed to do living or at work. You will have children who can’t do math and they will be cheated, you will have children who can’t think for themselves. But then, you will always be around to handle things for them, won’t you?

  • nc tax payer

    where is all the ed. lottey money going. no one will ask where all that money going,

  • MikeG

    The education lottery is no longer earmarked for education, but instead going into the general fund. “Education Lottery” is a misnomer.

  • John A. Difloure

    Hey Libs. Life is tough but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.

  • abby

    And it’s about to get a lot more stupid in NC! As they say, a public that does not respect its teachers is going to get exactly what it deserves!

  • 1234543

    we are all doing more with less, teacher’s have a steady pay, benefits, and a lot of time off, don’t cry on my shoulders, man up, do what you are paid to do! taxpayers are stretched thin enough.

    One more thing to figure into your equation, teachers aids, that wasn’t available in the past.

  • GuestMan.

    Everything I said is true. I read posts on here and you hurl enough insults to make someone hurl.
    What wasn’t true? He is a tea bagger. He is from out-of-state. They are screwing our teachers.
    I guess you would like future generations to be as dumb as you are.

  • Zorro

    Are you kidding me? Teachers’ salaries went down hill from HUNT’S first term on until today. The NCEA agreed not to back the teachers in return for the building they so desperately wanted at the time. This is not a new problem; it is not a Tea Bagger problem, not a Republican problem. This is a national disgrace. Get your facts right. I was there. I know how long we have been bullied. Why no union here? I don’t like unions BUT I worked over 30 years without anyone to stand up for educators. The so-called NCEA teacher’s group has been a laughing stock for a long time – but it’s not so funny. And as far as how many teachers per student – you folks working on the math show your own stupidity. Three special ed students can equal thirty ‘regular’ students. Gifted students in a class of thirty, if they are truly gifted and not one of the ‘let-ins’ (I know about them, too) I was an examiner for qualification into the program can be more than two teachers can handle together. You just don’t get it. There is no adequate way to ‘figure’ a ratio if you have never taught.

  • Erlkoenig

    Thanks for complimenting my math skills. I wasn’t government educated.

    Your seemingly valid points don’t demonstrate there is a teacher shortage. We need more data. The 1,400 that left could be the dead wood. Education may very well improve now. Teacher jobs need to be market driven like any other industry. Government driven is sure to be swollen with losers.

    This throw away article was designed for knee-jerk reactions. And it worked. The lib-jerks reacted.

  • A teacher

    The 1,400 that left were the SMART ones who would prefer not to live in poverty just for the privilege of working and living in NC.

    I can move 20 miles south and make $5k more a year. I can move anywhere else and make more money. I choose not to because I’m invested in my community. Time you should do the same.

    I attended both private and public when I was younger and regardless of where I went I succeeded because I had parents at home that made sure I did my homework, minded my manners, and respected my elders. I can assure you this is the problem facing education. There is such a vast difference in family life from one school’s population to the other within counties and within the state. You can not treat them equally. You can not look at the test scores and believe that it was the teachers at school A in Charlotte and school B in Brunswick County that was the difference. The way they are trying to fund public and private schools are creating pockets of throw-away people who amount to nothing, fill jail cells, work fast food restaurants, and depend on the government for assistance. This is not hurting the upper class, but the working middle. No one seems to get that.

  • Connie Hubbard

    This explanation is likely much too complicated for the author to whom you responded to comprehend. I teach in South Dakota, another state that forgets the future will still be here when we die, and we need to prepare our children for it. And that costs money. Some may have to give up their third flat screen TV and PS whatever.

  • heliwega

    I think the lottery money is supposed to go to capital projects, like remodeling or new roofs or buildings, not salaries or books or pencils.

    Bottom line here is the fools in Raleigh were voted in by the people, and can be voted out just as easily. Remember these posts starting next year when some of them have to run for reelection. The people still hold the power–vote the durn fools out of office.

  • SurfCityTom

    in November? Voter apathy allowed Puffy Saffo and cronies to be successful and gain re-election. Look how they repaid those who voted for them; approved a $3.86 million bailout for their buddy Schoninger.

    Voter apathy may well allow Brian Berger to score a 4 year extension.

    Why do you think local voters will act any differently when state wide offices are up for re-election?


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