High teacher turnover in local schools - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

High teacher turnover rates reported in local schools

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JEFF DAVIS PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Education requirements aren't the only things changing in schools. For some parish school systems, the changes have taken a toll on the number of employees in the schools.

Many teachers and administrators are closing the book on their education careers. For most educators, it's the uncertainty of the new changes and the future of public education.     

Changes such as school funding cuts, teacher evaluation changes and high stakes testing have taken a toll on school systems, like Jeff Davis Parish.

"It's tough right now," said Brian LeJeune, Assistant Superintendent for Jeff Davis Parish. "We've lost some good people and we don't need to lose anymore."

As reform takes shape in the public schools across the state, LeJeune said in Jeff Davis, the level of anxiety and stress among teachers is at an all time high.

"It's the uncertainty of what will occur with one test determining whether you have a job or not," LeJeune said. 

This uncertainty has caused 56 employees from the Jeff Davis School System to leave -- five administrators, 25 retiring teachers and 26 teacher resignations all in one school year.

LeJeune said those 56 employees make up 17 percent of the total number of educators in the Jeff Davis School System, which is close to 350 teachers.

LeJeune said the School Board is helping the teachers feel like there is hope.

"Right now, they look at everything and they look at all the negatives and they're just having a tough time coping with it and we've been telling them, you know, we'll get through this together, but it's hard when your livelihood is on the line," he said.

The educators are concerned and LeJeune is concerned, but this is not just in Jeff Davis Parish. It's happening all across the state.

"People are leaving and fewer people are getting in, so where are the teachers going to come from?" LeJeune said.

It's expecting the unexpected, but for some teachers it's a risk they just can't make.

LeJeune said the School Board will continue to provide professional development and other methods of support to the teachers in Jeff Davis Parish.

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