Will North Carolina's Public Teachers Leave the State?

Oct 31, 2013

At a recent forum on education that took place at UNCW, some speculated that North Carolina’s top teachers are being recruited by better-paying school districts outside the state. While WHQR unearthed scant evidence of this trend in action presently, the 2013-2014 school year could bring shifts across state lines.

According to Dr. Edward Pruden, superintendent of Brunswick County Schools, a $10,000-dollar salary gap divides North Carolina teachers from those in the neighboring states of Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

"I have friends in Virginia public schools along the North Carolina border, and I was recently told that those school systems are mining the best teachers out of North Carolina."

Indeed, Valdivia Marshall, assistant superintendent of Virginia’s Halifax County Schools, reports that in an effort to fill Virginia’s critical shortage areas—which include special education, math and foreign languages--she’ll be ramping up recruitment across the state border. Marshall says her district is even willing to fight for good teachers who are under contract in North Carolina.

"Typically, we release our people if they are offered another position which is considered a promotion. Now, if we’re trying to fill a teaching position with a person that currently is under contract in North Carolina, I would call HR to make sure that they would release that individual."

Top-ranking administrators from three other school districts just across the Virginia border, however, say they have not been actively targeting North Carolina’s educators. But some say that could change come springtime, when they start filling next year’s teaching positions.