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Brunswick County dealing with 'mass exodus' of teachers

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Brunswick County Schools experienced a huge loss in teachers this past school year. More than 180 teachers left the district, and with the first day of school fast approaching, Brunswick County still has more than ten spots to fill.

According to the HR department lost an average of 10 teachers per month.

"We did lose 181 teachers," said HR Director Mark Pasier, who labeled it a mass exodus.

About a third of the teachers who left during the 2013-2014 school year were from elementary schools, and 40 percent were from high schools.

District spokeswoman Jessica Swencki says it's definitely been an issue.

"Our numbers this past year are slightly higher than they have historically," she said.

But she says Brunswick County is not alone.

"Teacher attrition rates in North Carolina, across the entire state, could be described as a mass exodus," Swencki said.

In the briefing the school board got Tuesday night on the issue, it was noted many of the teachers leaving were relatively new. Swencki says this is because they have not built deep roots, so it is not surprising for teachers to head to, say, South Carolina for a pay raise.

"They pay a different rate for their teachers so you can earn more money if you cross the state of North Carolina lines," Swencki said.

Brunswick county wants to focus on the teachers coming into the area rather than leaving. They currently have 12 empty spots to fill but Swencki says they are not rushing anything.

"We still have a very high standard," she said. "We want to make sure the teachers that are in those classrooms are the right fit.'

It may not take long to fill those jobs. Since this news broke last night, the district has already received an influx of applications from teachers looking for work.

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