Across the state of Texas, teachers’ dissatisfaction with their jobs has soared to a 40-year high, with approximately seven in ten teachers, or 70 percent of teachers, across the Lone Star State indicating that they are seriously considering leaving the teaching profession this year.
The poll, which was conducted by the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA), reflected that the dissatisfaction amongst teachers is growing relative to 2018.
In 2018, 53 percent of teachers indicated a desire to quit.
In general, the survey is conducted every two years; however, it was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.
Per the teachers’ association, a number of different reasons can explain the poll’s findings.
TSTA President Ovidia Molina stated that “lingering stress from the pandemic is a factor, but it isn’t the only one.”
Molina proclaimed that “political attacks on educators,” coupled with “inadequate pay,” have been exacerbated by “failure of state leaders to protect the health and safety of students and school employees.”
“[These factors] have combined to drive down the morale of teachers to the lowest level in recent memory and endanger our public school system,” Molina asserted.
Texas, similar to many other states across the nation, is suffering from a significant shortage in teachers.
According to the San Antonio Express-News, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has set up a task force within the Texas Education Agency during the first few months of the year, chiefly to analyze the problem and evaluate potential solutions to teacher shortages.
In addition to the job stressors, teachers also indicated that the pandemic was extremely stressful, with 94 percent of respondents indicating that their professional stress significantly elevated due to the unprecedented upheaval in life attributed to the virus. Of the participants, 82 percent also indicated that their personal financial stress had increased significantly.
A total of 688 teachers were surveyed. The teachers taught for an average of 16 years, and their average salary clocked in at $59,000, or approximately $7,000 below the national average.