Why are Teachers Leaving (Percentages)

published by Theresa Cullen

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Why are OK Teachers Leaving? 
This study was completed in August/September 2017 by using snowball sampling on social media (Facebook advocacy groups and Twitter) to ask teachers who had left the state to fill out a survey about why they left.  287 total responses were received but this was reduced to 250 when duplicate, incomplete and invalid entries were removed. Specific sampling audience were teachers who had taught in Oklahoma after graduation for a least a year. All data are self-reported. 

Teachers left Oklahoma left for many reasons, money being the biggest, but respect also being a factor they cited often. Participant comments discussed less stress, ability to plan better, especially when it came to milestones like buying a home and paying down student loans (54% are still paying down student debt). There were many surprising reasons, including 24.5% that expressed they did not want their own children educated in the current OK education climate.  For the teachers who shared comparable financial data (240/250), the difference in pay averaged over $19,000 per respondent and amounted to $4,582,000.00 per year. 
For more information please contact Dr. Theresa Cullen at the University of Oklahoma [email protected]  The survey is still open at
I am able to pay my bills and actually put money in savings and still have spending money.
Yes. While I loved my job, students, and town I worked in, the situation in the schools did not seem to be getting better anytime soon. It's not perfect where I am now either, but the quality of life is higher.
Participant Responses
Yes. We were able to purchase our 1st home. I don't have to work the after school program to make ends meet and it doesn't feel like I'm fighting for my life with the legislation every year.
I work very hard, as I did in Oklahoma, but I feel more appreciated. Also, the facilities are so much nicer. My building was very old, and it flooded a lot. Bugs fell from the ceiling onto my desk. My office was a small windowless room. I feel like we are more of a Team in my new career. Several times in my 9 years here, we have been given a raise. The raises were awarded retroactively.