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Texas AFT Member Poll: Most are Burned Out and are Considering Quitting

Logo - Texas American Federation of Teachers, Texas outline map with aft in the center and Texas AFT words.

Results of the Texas American Federation of Teachers (Texas AFT) member-only annual survey released Tuesday reflects that (within the past year):

  • 75 percent of Texas K-12 school employees reported experiencing burnout, and

  • 69 percent of educators considered leaving the profession.

A total of 3,274 Texas AFT members responded to the poll — conducted earlier this year — that was open only to the union’s 66,000 members who are employed by the state’s K-12 and higher-ed sectors.

Texas AFT also cited — in announcing the survey results — TEA data reflecting that the turnover rate for public school teachers in the 2022-23 school year was 21.4 percent, an 81 percent increase from the 2009-10 school year.

A “State of Education Disaster”
The union cited a combination of the survey responses, the TEA teacher retention data and news that school districts across the state are experiencing severe budgetary shortfalls — even in the midst of a state budgetary surplus — in complaining that the governor should (but won’t) declare a state of education disaster for Texas.

“The teacher retention crisis is here, and Texas educators are ringing the fire alarm,” said Texas AFT President Zeph Capo, adding:

“What should gall every Texan is how loudly their children’s teachers and counselors and nurses and librarians and bus drivers are begging for support and how little regard this state’s leadership has for them.”

The survey reflects that — among the union’s K-12 sector membership — 77.5 percent (including 59.4 percent of Republican respondents) fear that privatization efforts (like charter school expansion) and private school voucher like programs (that are being aggressively pushed by the governor with the support of a billionaire donor from Pennsylvania) will negatively impact their public schools.

Plan to Vote
Nearly all (92.1 percent) of the respondents said they plan to vote in March and November — and 95.6 percent of them said education issues will influence which candidates they will support.

Other responses by K-12 employees:

  • 82.4 percent say they are concerned by the possibility of gun violence at their campus.
  • Roughly 1 in 5 reported having after-school jobs to make ends meet.

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