NC Imports More Teachers Than Exports – #nced

The refrain from groups using education as a their weapon of choice to beat the Republican led legislature over the head has been ‘teachers are leaving NC in droves’.

Some local media even got in on the act; many failing to unpack the teacher turnover report’s number whatsoever in favor of sensational headlines. National media like Washington Post did it to.

Why? North Carolina is a key domino in flipping the South blue. Everything Democrats and the Left do is about flipping NC blue, people. Everything.

Back to those ‘droves leaving NC’.

Once we looked at the math behind those ‘droves’, those groups fell pretty much silent. Instead of reacting to those groups this year, Dr. Stoops at John Locke has gotten out ahead of their likely coming narrative.


In a newsletter published in October, I compared the number of teachers who came to North Carolina with the number who departed the state for teaching positions elsewhere.  Based on NC Department of Public Instruction (DPI) data, I concluded that the state is a net importer of teachers.

At the time, the 2014-2015 figures were not available and thus not included in my analysis.  I recently obtained the numbers from the NC DPI, and the story has not changed.  During the 2014-2015 school year, North Carolina licensed (via interstate reciprocity agreements) and subsequently employed 1,880 out-of-state teachers.  At the same time, 1,028 public school teachers resigned to teach in other states. All told, the state imported 852 more teachers than they exported last year.

Between 2010 and 2015, 10,380 out-of-state teachers received North Carolina teaching licenses and were employed as classroom teachers in North Carolina public schools the following school year.  During the same period, 3,222 teachers abandoned North Carolina to teach in an inferior state.  The net gain for the state was over 7,100 teachers.

So, the good news is that North Carolina maintains a “teacher trade surplus” when it comes to employing teachers. 

Stoops goes on to note, however that the number of imported teachers has declined in the last two years, while teachers leaving the state increased over a four-year period.

I can head those groups like Progress NC , their Comms director, and their protest group AIM Higher Now It’s the regressive legislature’s attacks on education! It’s teacher pay! It’s all their fault!

Not so fast. Stoops also notes that there is a high turnover rate for out-of-state teachers who are licensed in North Carolina. In other words, they aren’t hanging around once they get a few years in.

Stoops hasn’t been able to determine why that turnover rate is so high, which to me, speaks to the lack of information the Department of Public Instruction is collecting in their exit interviews. The NCGA rectified that with SB 333. It would be interesting to know what state we see the most teachers come from.

Some headlines from around the country that might look oddly familiar to folks in NC:

You get the idea. Nearly every state has similar headlines. All one need to is Google.

In Georgia, teachers are leaving in ‘droves’ too, but they blame it on  high-stakes testing. High stakes testing tied to Common Core? Likely.

Finally read this one from 2012 — from New York, land of some of the highest paid teachers in the country.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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