Bush's Teacher Turnover Record in Texas

In 2000, there were estimated to be more than 44,000 teacher vacancies with only 14,000 new recruits to fill the jobs. In fact, projections show that Texas is expected to have a 66,000 teacher shortage by 2020.

Many Texas Teachers Considered Quitting. According to the Texas Education Agency, 19,000 out of 280,000 Texas teachers were expected to leave teaching in 1999, either for other jobs or to retire. The teacher shortage is expected to get worse as fewer college graduates choose teaching as a career and as public school enrollment grows by 65,000 new students a year. Projections by University of Texas researchers showed that Texas will be 66,000 teachers short by 2020. In 2000, the State Board of Educator Certification estimated there will be more than 44,000 teacher vacancies in the next school year with only 14,000 new recruits available to fill the jobs. A 1996 Texas State Teachers Association study showed 44 percent of Texas teachers were seriously considering leaving the profession. Many of those teachers cited poor working conditions and inadequate pay as their reasons for considering the change. The survey also showed that 30 percent of teachers held outside jobs during the school year. [Austin American-Statesman, 5/27/99; San Antonio Express-News, 4/20/96; Fort Worth Star-Telegram/AP, 4/28/00]

Texas Faces Teacher Shortage. A 1995-96 teacher pay survey showed that more than one quarter of Texas public schools had vacancies that could not be filled with a qualified teacher, compared to 15 percent nationally. Also, one-third of new Texas teachers leave teaching by their third year, while half have left by their fifth year. In 1999, Anne Roussos, spokeswoman for the state Board for Educator Certification, said that the state faced a critical shortage of science, math, special education, foreign language, English as a Second Language and bilingual teachers. For 2000-2001, Texas faced teacher shortages in the same areas, and in science and technology applications for secondary school. [San Antonio Express-News, 1/25/97; Austin American-Statesman, 1/13/99; TSTA News, based on Commissioner of Education report, www.tsta.org]

Bush's Education Commissioner Acknowledged Teacher Shortage. In 2000, Bush-appointed education commissioner acknowledged Texas' teacher shortage and the need for improvement in teacher pay and benefits. "We've got to do a better job of retaining teacher -- too many leave after three years," Texas Education Commissioner Jim Nelson said. "There clearly is a shortage. ... If we don't watch out, that is going to be a handicap." [Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5/10/00]

Teachers' Group Said Low Teacher Pay Caused Teacher Shortage. In its annual pay survey studying teacher salaries in 1995-96, the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) warned that if Texas would face a serious teacher shortage if it did not improve pay. "If we don't start to address teacher recruitment and retention, we're going to be dealing with a very severe crisis in the very near future and we're going to have an increase in the number of classrooms in this state that don't have a certified teacher in them," said TSTA President Richard Kouri. [San Antonio Express-News, 1/25/97]

Many Texas Teachers Forced to Take Other Jobs. According to a Texas State Teachers Association study, 28 percent of Texas public school teachers work a second job at night to make ends meet. In addition, 43 percent of Texas teachers plan to leave or are considering leaving teaching. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram/AP, 4/28/00] See TSTA - In The News

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