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Poll: Texas Teachers Want Out

Education

Teacher in a classroom with students | Image by Shutterstock

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A recent poll found Texas teachers are considering leaving their profession due to a number of factors, ranging from low salaries to high stress levels.

According to a recent online survey conducted by the Charles Butt Foundation, many teachers in the state of Texas are dissatisfied and want to quit.

Of the nearly 1,300 teachers polled, the majority chose the option stating they had “seriously considered” leaving their teaching profession this year. This percentage is up 19% from two years prior and 9% from last year.

Those who participated in this survey were chosen at random by the Texas Education Agency from its 2020 roster of all teachers in the state. Every teacher selected for the survey participated.

The Charles Butt Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded by (and named after) the chair and CEO of H-E-B, which is the largest privately held employer in the state of Texas.

The survey asked teachers what, if any, steps they have taken towards acting on their consideration of leaving the profession. The answers reflected that 93% of teachers had begun preparing resumes and attending interviews for positions outside the education field.

“That’s a huge, startling number,” Shari B. Albright, the president of Charles Butt Foundation, said of the recent surveys. “We need for our public schools not only to survive but to thrive and flourish.”

Texas has recently seen a teacher shortage. In an effort to help incentivize teachers to stay, some larger districts like Houston have budgeted for larger teacher salaries. Smaller districts across the state that are not able to offer the same competitive salaries instead are offering things like shorter work weeks, with four days instead of five.

Gov. Abbott formed a task force last spring to help develop new ideas to get teachers to remain in school positions.

The Charles Butt Foundation survey indicated that teachers who said they feel unfairly compensated are earning $50,000 or less a year. The survey also showed teachers feel that morale is low and many ongoing training sessions must be done unpaid and on their own time.

Of those polled, 97% said in the survey that a positive work environment would help keep them in their jobs. Less than 47% said they felt their current workplace met that standard.

“I fear an exodus, [but] it’s not inevitable,” Albright said.

This is not the first survey to find many teachers wanting to exit their field. In August, a Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) poll determined that 70% of teachers were on the cusp of quitting the profession, up from 53% when it was last conducted in 2018.

“Lingering stress from the pandemic is a factor, but it isn’t the only one,” explained TSTA President Ovidia Molina. “Inadequate pay, political attacks on educators, and the failure of state leaders to protect the health and safety of students and school employees also have combined to drive down the morale of teachers to the lowest level in recent memory and endanger our public school system.”

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William McBreen
William McBreen
12 days ago

Maybe they need to lay off their work agenda before they do anything

Vanessa
Vanessa
12 days ago

In the real world, your increase in pay is merit/performance based why doesn’t that concept exist in the teaching profession anymore, if u cannot performing in what u are trained to do well. Why with u expect more $$$. Is there a reward for showing up? Maybe u should be given a “Participation Trophy” is that what is being presented as achievements to our young?

Linda Smith
Linda Smith
12 days ago

This is really a disconnect on what is going on in the schools. I have 2 daughters who are teachers. One has already left the profession. The other one is working on it. A key problem is in the classroom and the lack of support by administration. The disrespect, kids not doing their work, and PHONES, are major issues. The teachers can’t do anything about phones at the school my daughter works at (she was used to confiscating them at a prior district in another state she worked at if they were causing a problem so the kids knew she was serious). These kids will watch movies, listen to music, do live chats with friends, etc. And the irony is she sticks to her guns and will fail them, but we are pretty certain these kids are being moved up anyways. So go figure why teachers are losing faith in the profession. These girls both have Master Degrees and will probably home school their own children if needed because too many parents out there also contribute to the problem. The problems start at home and carry over to the schools. We have a generation of adults who do not know how to be parents and it carries over to our schools. So the only schools that fair well are schools of choice where they still have rules for the kids and parents are involved and the kids know if they do not perform or have behavior problems, they are out. Hence, why 70% of teachers want out!

S Upchurch
S Upchurch
12 days ago

Hmmmm. In the past HEB has promoted Drag Shows for children to attend.

Abby
Abby
12 days ago

So sad to see these %’s increase so much! $50,000/year is so low, especially when you consider that we basically are putting our future (the children) in their hands! Definitely disturbing and something needs to be done!

Connie
Connie
11 days ago

As a teacher vivid was definitely a strain because of the forced mask
Mandates. Afterwards many of us feel that the constant addition of new regulations as well as hb2525 is only one small factor that makes teachers want to quit. The trs retirement system straka the teacher so that they have no hopemod retiring because the payout is very low and you have to work an excessive about T of years in order to get any retirement at all .

Temple Lindsey
Temple Lindsey
11 days ago

Excellent ! This would be the perfect time for a group of teachers to start a chain of private schools ! A franchise of private schools with a merit based curriculum, focused on S.T.E.M, traditional History, and Literature and sans the “social studies” mumbo jumbo is what parents and students are starving for now more than ever. Let the education market reward the best teachers, destroy the teachers unions, and increase demand for results based education centers, as opposed to woke indoctrination babysitters. Defund Public Education !!

Holtsys
Holtsys
11 days ago

If they were teaching instead of indoctrinating, they might think differently. Parents are fed up with it.