They’re outta there! Teachers aren’t waiting til’ the bell rings – fed up with ridiculously low pay, underfunded schools, and feeling underappreciated by just about everyone, they want to leave their jobs now.
A full 50% of public school teachers across the nation have “seriously considered” quitting – not only their job, but leaving the profession of teaching – in the last couple years, according to the results of a recent PDK Poll.
That percentage of teachers who have considered leaving the profession (50%) goes up to 62% for teachers who feel undervalued by their community, who think their pay is unfair, or earn less than $45,000 a year. Also, just over half (54%) of those teachers who think their school is underfunded have considered leaving.
They’re also mad as heck – the majority of teachers said they’d vote to go on strike for higher pay and more funding given the right conditions. Not only that, but the vast majority of parents and the general public said they’d support them. (This isn’t mere speculation – it could happen again. Last year, a teacher strike wave, beginning in West Virginia, spread across six states).
“I work 55 hours a week, have 12 years’ experience, and make $43K,” said one teacher survey respondent about why she’d quit. “I worry and stress daily about my classroom prep work and kids. I am a fool to do this job.”
Another said, “I have a master’s degree and more than 25 years’ experience and am making less than I was making 10 years ago but am putting in many more hours now.”
In other survey results, lack of funding is hurting public schools, say both teachers and parents. Regular Americans who were not teachers said that the biggest problems their local schools faced were lack of public funding, with 60% saying schools didn’t have enough money. Even among more affluent Americans, the majority said that their public schools were underfunded, too.
- 60% of teachers say they are unfairly paid. (In related news, data recently revealed that one in five teachers are overburdened by their housing costs. Additionally, a recent analysis by the Pew Research Center that 18% of teachers took second jobs during the school year to make ends meet).
- 55% say they’d take a vote to strike for higher pay. For teachers earning less than $45,000 a year, that support rises to 67%.
- 75% of teachers say the schools they teach in are underfunded.
- Only half (52%) of public school teachers say their community values them a “great deal” or a “good amount.” (Only 10% said they feel they’re valued a “great deal.”) The remaining feel valued “just some” (31%) or a little or not at all (16%.)
- Don’t follow me. A majority (55%) of teachers say they wouldn’t want their own child to go into the profession, due to poor pay, job stress, the lack of respect and feeling undervalued.