Johnston County Schools had a 14.01 percent teacher turnover rate last year and officials expect the numbers to grow unless teachers receive more pay. At issue is Johnston County schools offering lower supplements to teachers than surrounding school districts like Wake County.
Brian Vetrano, Chief Personnel Officer for Johnston County Schools, said the turnover rate was still lower than the statewide average of 14.84 percent last year. It was also lower than the turnover rate in Harnett (19.42%) and Wilson counties (16.6%), but higher than Sampson (10.7%), Wayne (11.6%), and Wake (13.36%).
If a teacher is promoted to an assistant principal, guidance counselor or media coordinator, Vetrano said the state still counts it as turnover. However, a teacher who changes schools within the district is not counted.
Vetrano said a substantial number of Johnston County teachers left last year to teach in another district. The number of teachers leaving due to a career change, retirement, or family responsibilities were down. The number of teachers leaving due to family relocation was up slightly.
Of the teachers who left Johnston County Schools last year, 52% left to teach in Wake County. That’s up from 42% from the previous year. “They don’t have to travel very far to increase their salary,” Vetrano told the school board.
Vetrano said there continues to be a need to maintain competitive supplements for teachers.
Superintendent Dr. Ed Croom said the school board and county commissioners must work together to address the problem and provide more resources to teachers.