70% of Texas teachers on the verge of quitting, survey shows

A survey released by the Texas State Teachers Association showed 70 percent of teachers are thinking about resigning. This comes as many school districts are struggling to hire staff.

"Teachers have to be paid, schools have to be maintained, and instructional materials and computers have to be purchased," Texas State Teachers Association Clay Robison said.

The Texas State Teachers Association has been tracking teachers' concerns for more than 40 years. This year, 688 members were surveyed, and 70 percent said they're seriously considering leaving teaching altogether.

"We hope some of them rethought it over the summer, and they probably did, and they’re back in the classrooms now, but many others did not, and they’re not there," Robison said.

Robison said it's because of the stress from the pandemic, being underpaid and political issues.

"I think a lot of that built up and a lot of teachers said, ‘well, I’m out of here,’" Robison said.

About 94 percent of the respondents said the pandemic increased the stress in their professional lives, 84 percent said their workload and planning requirements increased and 41 percent said they took extra jobs during the school year.

"They recognize this has a detrimental effect on their teaching, and they want to do the best for their students, but they also have to meet their families’ needs," Robison said.

As the school year fast approaches, thousands of unfilled teaching jobs across the state remain.

"If situations don’t improve, if the political climate doesn’t improve and the members of the legislature don’t start spending more money on public education and teacher’s salaries, it may get worse," Robison said. "The people that suffer are the school children. They’re learning loss could get worse and that puts the future of Texas at risk." 

The survey showed the average salary for a teacher of 16 years is $7,000 lower than the national average.