On Monday, Texas AFT published a survey that revealed a shocking truth due to the not-so-secret struggles Texas educators have been dealing with during the pandemic.
Two-thirds of teachers have given serious thought to leaving their jobs in the past year.
That’s 66% of a 3,800 Texas AFT members survey.
“The fact that two-thirds of educators are thinking about quitting is really frightening. In addition to long-neglected low wages and the stress of increasing workloads, the Omicron surge has created unbelievable chaos,” Texas AFT President Zeph Capo said. “Educators witness every day the devastating effects on our students when schools have staffing shortages. It’s only going to get worse unless teachers’ concerns are addressed.”
Teachers are reconsidering their profession because of the low pays, increasing workload, and concerns for their safety.
The Texas AFT survey asked school employees what would make them stay in public education:
- 45% wanted pay incentives
- 35% asked for changes to workload (fewer responsibilities)
- 8% wanted workplace safety
- 8% asked for changes to benefits
Additionally, the survey shows how the surge in the pandemic increased the discontent among school employees. Teachers are paying out of their pockets for N95 masks, bus drivers cover two or three routes each day, nurses are left alone and spend 95% of their time testing students and staff for COVID.
None of that guarantees them they will get paid COVID leave if they themselves get sick.
“Our message to leaders and politicians is: Listen to teachers, to school staff, to students, and to parents,” the Texas AFT said. “We want to work together in developing solutions to the real issues in our school like safety, supporting students through a crisis, and retaining dedicated, qualified school staff members.”