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Durham County has experienced a higher turnover rate for teachers than the state over the last 5 years. 19.2 percent of teachers left after the 2015-16 school year versus 14.2 percent of teachers across the state. This turnover rate is the tenth-highest in the state and higher than Durham’s surrounding school districts and counties. While half of teachers leaving the county leave teaching altogether, half are leaving for other reasons. It is argued that one of the biggest reasons is teacher pay. Durham offers lower supplements than its neighbors which may be a significant contributor to this trend.
The reasons behind why many teachers leave the profession are detailed. Over the past decade, approximately half of North Carolina’s teachers of the year, many local and regional winners, and other good teachers, have left public school teaching. The stories of several high quality teachers and why they chose to leave the profession are detailed here.