Education advocates fear mass teacher exodus


They say teachers can't wait any longer for a pay raise, and some of them aren't.

"I quit" was the bold headline on the resignation letter from Wake County teacher Nicole Truehart that was published Friday in The News & Observer.

"Whether or not they listen to me or not, I put it out there," Truehart said. "Something's got to give."

Truehart spoke to WTVD via FaceTime from her son's field trip. Soon she'll be running similar outings as a full-time tour guide. After 17 years in the classroom, working extra jobs, going years without a pay raise and feeling disrespected, Trueheart has lost her passion and said she's had enough.

"Money is a part of it, but more so is the continuous what's happening in the classroom, more responsibility, more accountability, more testing -- more, more more, less pay," Truehart said. "And when I say less pay, it's because I'm not even getting a cut, but I'm not even getting a step in pay, forget the raise."

"There goes another one," said NCAE President Rodney Ellis.

Education advocates fear what they say has become a mass teacher exodus across the state, despite a proposal this week by Gov. Pat McCrory to boost teacher pay an average 2 percent statewide. McCrory also wants to revamp the way teachers are paid in the long-term.

"I don't think you can do anything less than a 5 percent increase that's going to make teachers continue to stay in North Carolina," Ellis said. "I think at the end of this school year, you're going to see more teachers leaving the profession and leaving our state."

Last month, Wake County schools announced 600 teachers have resigned since July. Trueheart signed her resignation letter number 601.

"Too little too late," Truehart said. "I just am done with it. I've had enough."

Trueheart will finish out the school year, but she doesn't plan to return to teaching. Any pay raise will need to be approved by the General Assembly.

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