Nearly All LA Teachers Are Seriously Considering Quitting

A new report suggests that up to 70% of all current LA teachers in the public school system are seriously considering leaving their jobs.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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LA teachers

A recent article in The Guardian reported that nearly 70% of LA teachers have recently considered quitting. Although the information has not been publicly disclosed on the union website, this spells trouble for the public education system. The ongoing teacher shortage is already affecting the 2022-2023 school year and future prospects have noted troubling trends. 

LA teachers are struggling with various challenges. From enrollment drops to chronic absenteeism, and new policies which interfere with the learning process and focus on political rhetoric, it’s no wonder educators are having difficulties with their profession. As if classroom culture wasn’t frustrating enough, the cost of living in California is so high that teacher pay cannot keep up, and taxes are likely to continue to rise as inflation ravages the economy and the housing market. 

A whopping 60% of LA teachers admitted that they cannot afford to live in the areas they are teaching. In order to make ends meet, many educators in these communities are working second jobs. Los Angeles currently has the highest rental rates in the United States, and the cost of basic supplies increased by 20% between 2018 and 2021 alone. 

As if that weren’t concerning enough, the Los Angeles Unified School District experienced a 5% enrollment drop during the previous school year and this trend isn’t likely to pass. The district has predicted a 30% decline within the next 10 years. This is in addition to a 40% chronic absenteeism rate. What students do come to class are no longer subjected to failing grades. The state recently removed D and F grades from student report cards. LA teachers who believe in using failure to help students improve and eventually succeed can no longer do so. 

While public schools are funded by local, state, and federal taxes, they also generally create budgets based on enrollment rates, attendance, and student progress. By these criteria, California districts should be shrinking their funding and lowering taxes, but instead have passed a massive new record-breaking public school budget. While some LA teachers hope that this will increase teacher salaries, the money is focused on providing “free” tax-payer funded school meals and student mental health services. This will unfortunately increase taxes, and once again, raise the cost of living.

Instead of balancing budgets or working with teachers to directly solve the public school crises plaguing California, lawmakers are focused on spending more money. That money comes directly from the taxpayers — which include the LA teachers who are already suffering from teacher pay gaps. While many other professions offer opportunity for growth, most teachers wish to remain in the classroom and so their salaries do not increase at the same rates. 

LA teachers

In addition, plenty of LA teachers are finding the benefits of seeking employment opportunities with private schools or even starting their own small community-based micro schools. This places more burden on the teachers who remain working for taxpayer-funded public institutions. They are also under more scrutiny as federal initiatives to insert politics into the classroom have faced serious backlash from parents and so burnout and teacher stress is at an all-time high.

LA teachers are expected to do more with less than ever. They are working to teach classes that are empty and adhere to new standards while facing a growing cost of living that overshadows their pay. Based on massive budget hikes and an increase in taxpayer-funded initiatives, the situation will only grow worse. Whether the 70% of teachers who are considering quitting do so or not, area districts are struggling to balance community needs with intelligent spending measures.