SC for Ed survey shows many educators plan to leave their current jobs

Making The Grade

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — A newly-released survey by education group SC for Ed shines light on educators’ concerns as the school year takes hold.

And there’s a lot of them.

“Right now, we’re in a very bleak situation,” SC for Ed founder Lisa Ellis said. “And who’s ultimately hurting from this is the students.”

SC for Ed surveyed over 4,000 teachers and other school staff from Sept. 10 through Sept. 18 in what the group calls its “Temperature Check.” Educators from districts statewide answered.

The end result? A detailed illustration of educators’ biggest worries and headaches.

When respondents were asked to rate the state’s response to schools reopening on a scale of one through five, with one representing strongly disapprove, 71 percent of all responses were a one or two.

Just eight percent were a four or five.

Meanwhile, over 27 percent of school staff surveyed said they plan to leave their current jobs.

“Because of how the state and district leadership has treated them,” Ellis said. “And so in the midst of an already teacher shortage crisis, now you’ve got quarter surveyed saying that this is it for them.”

Another finding of the survey says nearly three quarters of those who answered are teaching some sort of combination of in-person and virtual lessons. It adds that many responses outline being required to do both at the same time, which can lead to challenges for students and staff.

Many teachers also report working long hours.

“They’re with their students during the day, and then they’re going home and working until nine, 10 o’clock at night just to prepare for the next day,” Ellis said.

It also brings up concerns over PPE, possibly underreported vacancies, among others,

Ellis said the pandemic will leave lasting impacts on education. Some, she said, will be positive. For instance, she mentioned many have realized students can be taught without tests in the pandemic.

She is concerned though about a lack of good teachers in the future.

“Not only are you seeing teachers leaving, but you’re seeing how the public and how state and district leadership has treated teachers,” Ellis said. “Not only just in not providing safe working conditions, not providing proper PPE.”

She also brought concerns over the teacher pay freeze in South Carolina.

“You’ve got teachers who are working twice as hard or three times as hard or four times as hard, and they’re working at last year’s salary,” Ellis said. “In no way does that make it enticing for people to want to come into the profession.”

You can read more of the survey’s findings here.

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