Lincoln County lost 81 of its teachers during the 2003-04 school year, a turnover rate that is lower than the state average.
The Lincoln County Schools turnover rate decreased from 11 percent during the 2002-03 school year to 10.6 percent during the past school year. The state average for teacher turnover is 12.4 percent.
The number one reason for teachers leaving their jobs in Lincoln County was retirement.
â€œAs we know, the baby boomers are at or near retirement age,â€ said Walter Hart, assistant superintendent for human resources. â€œRetirements are going to continue to impact this district and this state when it relates to teacher turnover.â€
These retirements come at the same time the state faces a significant teacher shortage.
The state must hire 10,000 teachers a year to staff existing classrooms, but only 3,100 students graduate from private and public colleges in the state, according to North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.
â€œOn the supply side of the problem, North Carolinaâ€™s public and private colleges and universities and community colleges need to produce more teachers,â€ said Mike McLaughlin, editor of the Centerâ€™s North Carolina Insight magazine, where the research is published.
â€œAnd on our retention side of the problem, the local school systems need to do more to nurture beginning teachers to prevent an early exit from the profession,â€ said McLaughlin.
In Lincoln County the turnover rate was highest in high schools. The number of high school teachers leaving the county, however, has decreased form 43 percent of all teachers who left the system to 37 percent of all teachers who left the system.
During the September Board of Education meeting, Hart told board members that there is little the school system can do to keep many of the departing teachers.
Their reasons included teachers becoming stay-at home-parents, going back to college, and taking care of family with medical problems.
The following issues were also covered at the Board of Educationâ€™s September meeting:
Â· Kim Dodgin of Pumpkin Center Elementary School was honored as the 2004-05 counselor of the year.
Â· Staff at Lincolnton High School and volunteers presented their goals for the schoolâ€™s centennial celebration to the board.
Â· A fire hydrant for Love Memorial Elementary School was approved.
Â· The designs for high school expansions covered under the $47 million bond were approved.by Sarah Grano