GUILFORD COUNTY, NC- According to the Public School Forum of North Carolina, 14.8 percent of the state’s teachers left their positions in the 2014-2015 school year, up from 14.1 percent in 2013-2014.
"It's definitely heartbreaking,” Anita Winfree, a mathematics teacher at Southern Guilford High School in Greensboro said.
"You have to have that steadiness in the classroom, that consistency,” she continued.
"They need teachers to excel,” mother Katelynn Utter said.
In Guilford County, 76 public school jobs still need to be filled before the start of the school year.
Guilford County Schools recruiter Darrick Bracy said he recruits teachers from both local and out of state colleges, and also programs like Teach for America.
Bracy said the school system will also train and certify people with different careers who are interested in becoming teachers.
"We're up for the challenges because our children are counting on us,” Bracy said.
Bracy said part of the state's teacher shortage has to do with fewer college students enrolling in education majors. Another part has to do with low pay, he said.
"It sometimes makes the teaching profession not as attractive as others,” Bracy said.
Governor Pat McCrory recently signed the state budget, which would allow a 5 percent increase in pay for teachers. That means the average teacher could make close to $50,000.
But even with the increase, Bracy said more needs to be done.
"It's a step in the right direction,” he said. “But we'd like it to be more frequent.”
Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools said it has similar recruiting tactics. They said they even try to recruit teachers from Puerto Rico because bilingual educators are in demand.