The State Council is discussing teacher dismissals and vacancies

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The State Board of Education met this week to discuss a variety of issues, including the loss of tuition, the state of the teaching profession and the concerns of council members over the composition of the head of state Parental Advisory Commission. The governor’s task force DRIVE also met this week.

Read our article on the new State Department of Public Education (DPI) report on lost study time here.

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Do teachers leave the profession?

A Report on the state of the teaching profession submitted to the State Council on March 2 suggested that fears about a massive outflow of teachers due to COVID-19 may have been exaggerated. The catch is that the report only covered last school year. And if the number of teachers leaving the profession has not increased much, the number of vacancies in the districts has increased.

On the slide below you can see the destruction of teachers and their mobility from 2017-18 to 2020-21. Destruction is when teachers leave the profession. Mobility is when they move between districts but stay in the profession. The percentage of teachers leaving the profession increased from 7.53% in 2019-2020 to 8.20% in 2020-21. However, the share of teachers moving between districts over the same period decreased from 4.94% to 2.96%.

Slide from the report on the state of the teaching profession

In the chart below you can see the reasons for the outflow of teachers. In 2020-21, the most common reasons for leaving the profession were personal reasons (44.6%), followed by other reasons (25.5%), out of control of the district (24%) and at the initiative of the district (5.9%). To learn more about these reasons, check page 10 of the report.

Slide from the report on the state of the teaching profession

A press release from the State Department of Public Education (DPI) describes the increase in teacher outflows as follows:

“The teacher resettlement rate in the 2020-2021 school year did increase from 7.53% in the previous year, but was only slightly higher than in each of the previous three years, starting in 2017-2018. amounted to 8.1%. «

In addition, in a press release on the relative stability of the disappearance rate noted the head of state education Catherine Truit.

“Certainly, the extermination of state teachers remains a concern and an issue we need to address more aggressively,” Truit said, “but figures for the 2020-21 school year show that the state has not seen much growth in teachers leaving classes, at least in the first 12 months of the pandemic. We will assess the consequences of the second year of the pandemic, if we can analyze the data for the 2021-22 school year.

Truit wrote a view on the destruction of teachers what you can read here.

However, Council of State Chairman Eric Davis looked to a future that he expected would have a higher level of teachers leaving the profession. In a press release, he said:

“While last year’s data may seem encouraging, the current staff shortage and the high probability that the Great Resignation will affect our schools later this school year should challenge all of us to aggressively launch additional district and state-level strategies to retain staff and fill vacancies until the next school year. “

Heads of districts and schools across the state note the number of vacancies they have not only in teaching but also in support positions, such as bus drivers. As noted on Twitter by Liz Schlemmer of WUNC, teacher vacancies increased significantly last year compared to the previous three years.

Patrick Miller, head of Green County Schools and chairman of the Professional Teacher Training and Standards Commission, suggested that the mismatch between retirement and vacancies in 2020-21 may be due to people deciding not to enroll in the teaching profession.

“You can’t assume you leave the profession if you’ve never enrolled,” he said.

Here is a report on the state of the teaching profession.

Here is a presentation of the State Board of Education.

Turn on the parent advisory commission

After the announcement applications for a new parent advisory commission were opened On February 23, at this week’s meeting, Truit received a significant response from council members.

Each of the states regions of education will be represented by six parents or guardians in the following composition:

  • Two of the traditional public schools
  • One of the charter schools
  • One from home school
  • One from a private school
  • One “public school participant from the largest county in each of the 8 regions, including: Bancombe, Catawba, Cumberland, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Pete, Wake”.

Board member Jill Kamnitz expressed “concern about the composition” of the commission. In particular, she questioned the reasonableness of including two parents who do not attend public schools in a commission tasked with commenting on public schools.

Truit noted that most of the parents on the commission will be from public schools: two from traditional public schools, one from charter schools and one free member who can come from both the charter and the traditional public school.

But Vice President Alan Duncan said that if you consider only representatives of traditional public schools, the composition of the commission guaranteed only 33% representation. In contrast, 78% of the state’s students are traditional public school students, he said, so the composition of the commission would not be representative.

Duncan mentioned that perhaps they could have expressed concern in advance if they had consulted with the Council. He also said that neither the DPI nor the Council of State have any “significant” powers over private or home students.

Truit abandoned this notion.

“First of all, this Council does a lot of things and comments on a lot of things that it has no jurisdiction over, so I disagree with that argument,” she said, adding that she told the Council about her commission only out of politeness. and was not obliged to consult with them.

Duncan also recalled that on the same day as Truit announced the opening of the application period, her campaign sent out a letter mentioning the commission and asking for donations. He said he had heard from some people questions about whether receiving campaign emails could give recipients an advantage when it comes to applying to the commission.

Screenshot of Catherine Truit’s campaign letter

Truit said the email did not violate any laws or ethical standards and that it was “normal” for elected officials to send emails on topics related to their work that include a “donate” button.

As for whether receiving an email is an advantage, she said, “People can hint at anything about whether it’s an opportunity to pay for a game.”

She said that if they have no evidence, then no insinuations should be made.

Board member James Ford also questioned Truit.

“I am concerned about the inclusion of all parents, especially those who will have the least voice in the system,” he said before asking Truit that part of the application requires advice from a public figure or educator. .

“What’s the value of that?” He asked.

He also asked her who would select the parents for the commission and what they would decide on.

Truit said the app includes “specific questions” about parents ’views on public education and that the answers to those questions guarantee diversity. She said there would be geographical diversity, but the application did not ask for race or ethnicity.

As for the benefits of the recommendations, Truit said she wanted to make sure that the people applying were actually parents and that they wanted to be part of the commission “for the right reasons”.

She said decisions would be made by an internal commission at the DPI, consisting of 10 people, of which she is a member. She said she would share those names as soon as they are resolved.

Truit said she would be happy to address the concerns of members of the State Council if the commissioning process continues, adding that their concerns were “premature”.

Kisha Clemens, CEO of 2020 and advisor to the board, said justice requires a deliberate effort to include marginalized people. She said the lack of these efforts against the commission was “problematic”.

Truitt replied that the application had been sent, among other things, to the school district’s homelessness and migrant liaison officers, and she reiterated that she would be happy to consider the Council’s concerns if the commission’s process continued.

COVID-19 updates

The State Board of Education heard an update on COVID-19, which included the fact that the state and the country could finally emerge from the latest surge.

Slide from a presentation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on COVID-19.

The presentation also included an update on mask recommendations, which said that as of March 7, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) no longer recommends universal mask requirements in schools, although students and staff should provide support if they want to wear. one.

Governor Roy Cooper recently encouraged by school districts to take off their mask mandates, however vetoed the bill from state lawmakers who would allow parents to refuse to wear a mask to their children even if their county has a mandate. Lawmakers are expected to try to overcome the veto, but no action is planned yet.

Slide from a presentation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on COVID-19.
Slide from a presentation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services on COVID-19.

The position of the staff of the State Council

State Council Chairman Eric Davis has announced that Maria Peter-Martin will take over as director of the State Council for Operations and Policy. She moves on to Dean Townsend Smith, who leaves to become a senior director of Dudley Flood Center for equity in education and opportunities at the North Carolina Public Schools Forum. Peter-Martin previously worked at DPI as deputy head of county support before leaving in 2019 to become head of schools in Peterson, Virginia.

DRIVE Task Force

Task Force to Develop a representative and inclusive vision of education (DRIVE) met on Monday, February 28, where he officially announced that Governor Roy Cooper had signed Order 243 – extension of the service life of the task force until December 31, 2023.

The task force has also announced the date of its second DRIVE summit, to be held June 17 at North Carolina State University A&T. The summit was originally scheduled for April, but the planning committee postponed it to the summer in hopes of attracting more K-12 faculty.

During Monday’s meeting, the task force heard a presentation by DPI District Director for Human Capital Tom Tomberlin on The work of the round table of human capital. Tomberlin said he would present the recommendations of the roundtable to the State Board of Education in April, and a commission on the training and standards of the professional educator will meet before that to finalize and approve its recommendations to the Board.


Editor’s Note: Patrick Miller is a member of the EducationNC Board.

Rupen Fafaria

Rupen Foforia is a reporter on equity and differences in education at EducationNC. It exists to cover, including telling stories of problems that have not been reported.



The State Council is discussing teacher dismissals and vacancies

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