GREENSBORO, N.C. — Recruiters with the Houston Independent School District in Texas will be in Greensboro Thursday looking to hire Triad teachers and luring them with higher salaries.
The average North Carolina teacher starts out making around $30,000 a year. School districts in Texas are offering teachers jobs at around $50,000.
“I’m going to a state where my pay is going up by 33 percent immediately,” said former Dudley High School history teacher Philip Baker, who is already packed and ready to move next week. “We began planning this move before we ever heard about these districts in Texas that were coming here to poach.”
Baker says he loved teaching at Dudley High School but says North Carolina’s low teacher salary doesn’t leave much promise.
“I applied to 4 different districts in the state of Texas and all asked why are you leaving your current job?” Baker said. “Very simply, I put down — financial security.”
Baker will begin in August working for a smaller school district southwest of Houston where the standard of living is about the same as the Piedmont Triad.
Parents of North Carolina students say the migration of teachers moving outside of the public schools is already underway.
“Friends that are teachers are thinking about leaving because of the pay,” said Carla Meissner, of Greensboro. “My oldest daughter’s best teacher has already left Guilford County Schools to work for a private school.”
The move of many teachers is no surprise for residents who blame lawmakers for failing to raise teacher salaries.
“If North Carolina can’t afford to pay their teachers and Texas can then I think it’s just a cut deal,” said Jim Reese, of Greensboro. “Go where the money is.”
Registration at the Houston Independent School District Job Fair starts at 8:00 a.m. at the Double Tree Hotel at 3030 High Point Road, Greensboro.