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Wake Co. sees jump in teacher turnover

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Doug Thilman of WCPSS Doug Thilman of WCPSS
CARY, N.C. - Wake County is seeing significant turnover in teachers – and still looking to hire teachers as the traditional school year approaches.

Wake County has hired more than 1,200 new teachers for the 2014-15 school year, a number that is significantly higher than a year ago, school officials say.

Doug Thilman, assistant superintendent for human resources, said some of the new teachers have already started with year-round schools and others will join traditional schools.

Wake County usually hires about 1,000 teachers a year, a spokeswoman said. The school system is still hiring and staff is working overtime to fill vacancies with the traditional school year set to start Monday.

Spokeswoman Lisa Luten said there are “not a huge number of vacancies.”

Wake assistant superintendent for human resources Doug Thilman was scheduled to address the issue with reporters Thursday morning.

The issue has been a big one at many schools, with teacher turnover on the rise and out-of-state districts like Houston looking to poach North Carolina teachers. Teacher salaries have been stagnant in recent years, frustrating teachers and leading many to look for other employment.

WCPSS said April 17 that the system already had lost 600 teachers, a number it called “alarming.” At the time, officials said that was a 41 percent increase from the year before.

Wake County, the largest school system in North Carolina, employs about 9,000 teachers. Wake County teachers get a supplement in addition to their state salary.

The issue has had intense political overtones this year. In 2013, the Republican-led General Assembly did not give teachers a raise, an outcome that ignited much debate.  

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