A survey taken by the Texas State Teachers Association in 2018 was alarming enough. It indicated that 53 percent of Texas teachers had seriously considered quitting. But it's gotten worse.

The most recent one taken is truly stunning. It revealed that 70 percent of Texas teachers wanted to quit--or at least were seriously thinking about it. That's the highest percentage ever. And this revelation comes in the midst of an already disturbing teacher shortage in the Lone Star State. I wonder how many of our incredible teachers in Kilgore, Longview, and Tyler, Texas are considering quitting right now.

It's likely you may be able to make some educated guesses as to why so many of our teachers, even those who LOVE their work, are considering leaving their classrooms.

So, what are the main reasons 70 percent of Texas teachers are seriously thinking of quitting?

Of course, Covid in its varying forms had been a concern. But that definitely doesn't begin to summarize all of the issues leading to so many, who sincerely love what they do, feeling compelled to consider a change.

ABC 13 reports that:

"Many teachers said they feel burned out from pandemic-related stress, political pressure from state lawmakers, less support from parents and financial burdens."

One might imagine that the political issues and the fallout they can have in the classroom have been an emotional burden on our teachers. I can't even imagine how difficult that must be to navigate in 2023. I've always held teachers in the highest regard, and this just amplifies that.

And then there are the financial burdens teachers in Texas face.

I get angry every year when I see teachers I know in East Texas having to post GoFundMe's online asking for help to get the supplies they need for their classrooms every year. I'm not angry because they're asking. I'm angry because they shouldn't have to raise money to buy the supplies they need to teach OUR children.

It's admirable to see celebrities, business owners, and people in our communities help out our teachers, truly. But shouldn't teachers be able to trust that the supplies they need to do their job will be part of the deal?

And then there's the average salary earned by our Texas teachers. And the retirement benefits are that great. 

This same survey revealed that for a teacher who has been teaching for 16 years, the average salary is around $59,000. That's less than the national average by about $7,000. The survey found that the average salary for a teacher who has been teaching for 16 years is $59,000 in Texas, which is $7,000 lower than the national average.

And then, of course, there's the concern over basic safety for themselves and for their students.

"Texas State Teachers Association spokesperson Clay Robinson said following the Uvalde mass shooting, teachers are worried about their safety and want gun reform," reports ABC 13.

Robinson went on to say that state lawmakers will be heading into the next legislative session with a surplus in the budget. He feels they should be able to use that surplus to help teachers--starting with a significant salary increase. He'd like to see it rise to a starting salary of $70,000.

In your opinion, what is the best thing we could do to address the extreme teacher shortage we're facing in Texas right now? I'd love to hear from you at tara.holley@townsquaremedia.com.

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