According to a statewide report, fewer North Carolina public school teachers left the profession last year compared to the year before. 

But beginning teachers left at higher rates than those with more experience. 

The State Board of Education is required to submit a report on the state of the teaching profession annually to the North Carolina General Assembly. 

It includes information about vacancies and teacher attrition rates, based on the number of employees who leave the state public school system. 

The latest report, which was approved this month, shows slight improvement with 439 fewer teachers leaving last year compared to the year before.

Thomas Tomberlin with the Office of Educator Preparation and Licensure presented the findings at a board meeting in February. 

“The statewide average is in no way to suggest that all districts experience these two variables exactly the same way,” Tomberlin said. “There is wide variation across the state in how this is affecting individual districts.”

The Piedmont Triad region has a slightly lower attrition rate than the state as a whole – 6.9% compared to 7.78%. The report shows about 1,078 teachers in the region left the profession last year.

Tomberlin said attrition rates also vary among teachers at different levels of experience. 

“Our beginning teachers have almost double the attrition rate of our experienced teachers,” he said. “My fear is that we are not taking good enough care of our beginning teachers to ensure that they will persist in the profession. And this attrition rate is particularly problematic for the future of the pipeline.”

The report shows that about 13% of beginning teachers in the state left the job last year. The rate for experienced, licensed teachers was about 7%.

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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