More than 40% of California teachers are ready to quit their jobs due to exhaustion, stress, and the increasing cost of living.
California has experienced a shift in its culture, economy, and politics. Throughout the past few years the state has lost enough of its population to also lose a seat in congress along with experiencing a 1.8% drop in public school enrollment and struggling to keep educators in the system. Now, a recent poll has revealed that 4 in 10 California teachers are ready to quit.
It was recently noted that up to 70% of teachers in the Los Angeles area were considering quitting due to a variety of factors, but the main one being, they cannot afford the high cost of living in the area. Now, a Hart Research Associates survey has reviewed that this sentiment is widespread throughout the state. Some 40% of California teachers affiliated with the California Teachers Association noted that they have considered leaving the profession.
A whopping 92% of respondents admitted that their job has become “exhausting.” 89% described their job as “stressful.” This coincides with the main reason that California teachers are considering quitting the profession, “burnout.”
Teacher burnout has become a common issue. It’s a topic that has been discussed all throughout the pandemic. California teachers are having to take on more responsibilities due to more educators quitting their jobs.
This creates a self-perpetuating cycle. California teachers grow overworked while barely being able to afford the massive tax rates and cost of living in their state. They get even more responsibilities piled onto them and are asked to combine classrooms or juggle more students and suddenly they cannot handle the additional workload being piled onto them so more of them quit, leaving even more work for the remaining teachers.
Despite this, the state is also educating less children and is projected to continue to experience record enrollment drops for decades. So whether or not California teachers are truly overburdened with too many students, or they are merely suffering because California’s tax rates and expensive economy is becoming unsustainable is uncertain. What is clear is that the state received billions in taxpayer-funded COVID relief money, and has continued to increase its education budget.
Despite these efforts, proficiency rates have declined, interest in the public school system has dropped, and California teachers are less satisfied with their jobs than ever. So how can this be remedied? 76% of teachers polled also indicated that teacher pay needs to become a more serious focus or lawmakers.
But if schools are serving less students, and proficiency rates are down, districts are not likely to receive more funding without continuing to raise taxes. This is another cycle that does California teachers no good. While they may gain more pay, the cost of living goes up when taxes are yet again raised and their pay increases barely keep up with the rates their paying into the state economy.
The public education system is in turmoil. While claims that schools are underfunded continue to circulate, states are passing higher education budgets than ever before, offering teachers massive bonuses, and working to draw students back into the system. Unfortunately, this has done nothing to stop political bias from being forced onto public schools by the department of education, curb school violence, or reduce the youth mental health crisis and California teachers can’t afford the high tax rates brought on by the state’s irresponsible spending practices.
California teachers are struggling and this isn’t likely to end anytime soon. 4 in 10 educators in the state are considering giving up on the profession. In order to combat this, the education system is in need of a serious overhaul that includes better oversight, management, and new initiatives to properly focus the money they already have, instead of continuing to overtax parents and teachers to fund failing schools.