This installment of #NCED Updates includes the latest state teacher pay ranking, another union-led strike coming in May, various education bills of note, and blips from the teacher turnover report.
Let’s start with a history lesson:
In 2009, Democrat Governor Perdue and the Democrat-controlled legislature furloughed state employees and both cut and froze teacher pay.
Perdue said at the time “Everybody is willing to give up a little of their salary.” Teachers gave up, on average, around 15.6% of their salaries, yet there were no protests in the streets of Raleigh and the NCAE was silent.
The Republicans took over the General Assembly in 2011, they had to deal with massive debt left behind by Perdue and her party in the legislature. North Carolina ranked 47th in the country for teacher pay at that time according to the teachers union, the NEA.
Remember, the NEA creates their ‘national average’ pay rate based on what other states are paying and that average it is not weighted, does not adjust for cost of living, nor takes into account the value of benefits packages, bonuses, deferred compensation, teacher experience level. In other words, it is a set of rankings ideal for the NEA’s purposes of driving up pay rates and thereby increasing their dues.
By 2013, the legislature started to fix the teacher pay issues, resulting in five consecutive years of raises (around an average 19% overall increase) and raising the starting teacher salary to $35,000.
The NEA has ranked North Carolina 29th this year. That’s an 18 spot jump in five years.; if one accounts for the cost of living, NC is really 20th.
Read the key findings of the 2019 NEA report.
Another Strike Coming on ‘May Day’
The North Carolina affiliate of the NEA, one of the nations two largest teacher’s unions, is planning another teacher’s strike in May. The NC Association of Educators (NCAE) has announced the next strike will be on May 1, a day which also known as “May Day.”
May Day, which is the day picked to be the “International Workers’ Day” by socialists and communists, is supposed to be a tribute to the Haymarket riot of 1886. However, in recent times, it’s been an excuse for anarchists, communists, and socialists to riot and destroy property.
Education Bills of Note
Recently filed education bills include:
- House Bill 377 Reduce Testing
- House Bill 315 Instructional Material Selection
- House Bill 295 Prohibit Corporal Punishment in Schools
- House Bill 362 15-Point Scale for School Performance Grades
- House Bill 354 Modify Weighting/School Performance Grades
- House Bill 276 Modify Low-Performing School Definition
- House Bill 266 School Annual Report Card
It will be interesting to see how HB 377 plays out. For years, there has been a call for lowered amounts of testing in K-12 public schools. Opinions have differed on the subject, some saying that the end of year tests r summative tests, which HB 377 aims to get rid of, are necessary for charting student achievement. Others have argued that formative tests given several times a year are a better option to gauge student achievement and aid in informing ongoing instruction.
There has been a lot of confusion in the media about the school performance scale bills. I wrote about this at North State Journal last month when HB 145 was introduced. What that bill did was propose making permanent the 15-point scale we have been temporarily operating on.
HB 362 is the latest version of HB 145, but HB 354 is different. HB 354 changes the school growth score and the school achievement score each to 50% of the total school performance score. Right now, the school achievement score is 80% and the school growth score is 20%.
SB 318 will require school districts and boards to keep repositories of certain materials for parental inspection, hold public hearings for changes, require parental consent for various programs and activities and more. I recommend reading SB 318’s bill summary.
A full list of education-related bills for the current legislative session can be viewed here.
This year’s teacher turnover report received very little exposure compared to previous years. Various ‘education non-profits’ and the NCAE said little if anything about it. Maybe that’s because only 704 left NC teaching to go to another state in 2017-18. That’s around .01% of the state’s 94, 909 teachers.
The overall attrition rate dropped again for the 3rd year in a row to 8.1%. The rate was 8.65% in 2016-7 and 9.04% for 2015-16.
The top five reasons this year are retired w/ full benefits (1,651), family Relocation (943), career Change (884), reasons unknown (830), to teach in another state (704).
I’m still waiting on data from the NC Dept. of Public Instruction on the number of teachers hired and the number of licenses granted during 2017-18.
It’s worth noting that the report indicated that less experienced teachers are the ones who seem to be leaving:
“The state attrition rate for Beginning Teachers (fewer than three years of teaching experience) is approximately 59% higher for beginning teachers than for their more experienced counterparts (12.34% BT vs. 7.25% for non-BTs). Beginning Teachers account for approximately 25% (25.1%) of all teachers who separate from employment in NC public schools.”
Teach for America (TFA) teachers still have the highest attrition rate of all the various categories. The TFA attrition rate for 2017-18 was 31.42%. This number does not include TFA teachers in charter schools.
Another interesting piece from the report is that between March 2017 to March 2018 an average of 4.4% (4,145 teachers) teachers moved from one district/school to another or to a public charter school.
Warren County Public schools had the highest turnover rate for 2017-18 with 32.5%. Last year’s report it was Weldon County schools with 22.07%.
Key Findings below are taken directly from the report:
1. Generally, North Carolina teachers are remaining in the classroom. The overall state attrition rate for 2017-2018 is 8.1%.
2. There were 94,909 teachers employed in NC between March 2017 and March 2018. Of these teachers, 7,674 are no longer employed in NC public schools (including those not teaching in public charter schools).
3. Teachers with fewer than three years of teaching experience are considered Beginning Teachers in NC. During the period between March 2017 and March 2018, there were 15,595 Beginning Teachers (BTs) employed statewide and 1,925 were reported as attrition. The attrition rate for Beginning Teachers in NC is 12.34%, substantially higher than the attrition rate for those not classified as a Beginning Teacher (5,749/79,314≈ 7.25%).
4. 5,636 Lateral entry (LE) teachers were employed, and, of those, 874 (15.51%) were no longer employed in NC public schools in March 2018. A total of 1,176 teachers were employed in North Carolina as Visiting International Faculty (VIF) teachers, and 197 (16.75%) of those teachers left employment with NC public schools; a total of 261 Teach for America (TFA) Teachers were employed in March 2017, and 82 (31.42%) were no longer employed in NC public schools in March 2018. (see Table 1)
5. The majority (53.9%) of teachers who left employment in NC public schools cited “Personal Reasons” for their decision to depart. Retirement with full benefits and family relocation were the largest individual reasons (21.5% and 12.3%, respectively) cited for teachers’ decision to leave employment in NC public schools. (see Table 2)
6. On average, teachers who leave employment with the state have lower teaching effectiveness (as measured by EVAAS index scores) than their counterparts who remain employed in NC public schools. This relationship holds true when departing teaches are compared with remaining teachers in terms of years of teaching experience. (see Table 3 and Charts 2 & 3)
7. LEAs experience attrition as the combined effect of teacher attrition from the state and mobility of teachers from one LEA to another LEA/charter school. On average, 4.37% of the state’s teaching force changed employment during the measurement period. The average effect of the LEA-attrition rate for the state is 12.45% (8.09% state attrition rate + 4.37% mobility rate). There is a wide range of LEA-attrition rates across the state. (See Table 8)
8. Some LEAs are able to recapture their losses due to teacher attrition by capitalizing on teacher mobility. The rate at which LEAs are able to attract transferring teachers to their system is defined as the “recoupment rate”. The LEAs with the highest and lowest recoupment rates are listed in Table 9.
9. Hard to Staff subject areas are determined by teacher vacancy reports submitted by the LEAs. For elementary schools, core subject teaching positions exhibit the highest vacancy totals. In middle schools (6-8) LEAs have the highest vacancies for mathematics and in high schools (9-12) the highest vacancies are for CTE. (See Tables 11 and 12)