Today we're highlighting and important article by William Joy (WFAA). Below are some excerpts.
Across a dozen North Texas School districts, retirements and resignations from January to July of 2022 were 48% higher than the average of the previous four years, from 2018 to 2021.
Smaller, suburban districts have seen the fiercest battles over race, library books and curriculums. In Carroll ISD, which is currently facing five federal civil rights investigations regarding discrimination, resignations and retirements in 2022 were up 40% compared to the previous four-year average.
Grapevine-Colleyville ISD made national news when the district’s first Black principal was placed on leave after being accused of teaching critical race theory when he sent a note to families after the death of George Floyd. The district also saw a 40% jump in retirements and resignations this year.
Keller ISD and Granbury ISD also both dealt with repeated book-banning controversies -- and, in turn, saw retirements and resignations rise 59% and 115% higher in 2022, respectively, compared to the previous four-year average.
An AFT survey found 66% of teachers are ready to leave their jobs. Then, this month, the Texas State Teachers Association similarly found that 70% feel on the verge of quitting -- the highest mark reported in the 40 years they’ve done the survey. A full 85% also said they didn’t feel support from state lawmakers.
School board meetings have become filled with vitriol towards teachers and librarians, particularly in suburban districts. And debates started to spring up over how race and sex should be taught, with teachers becoming criticized for reading diverse and long-established literature.
In November of 2021, Abbott asked TEA commissioner Mike Morath to investigate pornography in public schools. Roughly a year after that request, the TEA said it was not aware of a single arrest or closed investigation into the issue.
Steven Poole saw it coming. Poole leads the United Educators Association, which represents teachers in 43 districts across North Texas. "You have politicians who are demonizing [teachers], calling them 'groomers' or [saying] that they're indoctrinating their students," Poole said.
Poole believes the education crisis is partly intentional. State lawmakers have made clear their desires to see more charter schools and vouchers for private schools. Abbott was even in Dallas last week to endorse vouchers -- a system where public school tax dollars are diverted to instead help families send kids to private schools.
"There are bad actors out there who are cheering that teachers are leaving in droves -- because they want our public schools to fail, and they’re doing it for selfish reasons,” Poole said.