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Kansas Board Of Education Member Says Political Climate To Blame For Teacher Shortage

Sam Zeff/KCUR
The Kansas State Board of Education heard a report that the number of teachers leaving the state to teach elsewhere is up 63 percent in five years.

The Kansas State Board of Education today heard about the increasing number of teacher leaving the state to teach elsewhere.

In the past five years the number of teachers moving out of state to teach has ballooned from 400 to over 650, a 63 percent increase.

The report also said that the number of teachers simply leaving the profession almost doubled since 2011.

Marie Carter, personnel manager for the Topeka School District, says the political climate in Kansas is to blame.

“And then they leave to go to another state to teacher because of what they read about out legislature, the laws they pass and the money that’s been taken away from us.”

Several state board of education members expressed concern over the large number of teachers fleeing the state and said the state needs to improve teacher pay and the legislature needs to make teachers feel more appreciated.

Sam covers education for KCUR and the Kansas News Service. Before joining the station in August 2014 he covered health and education for KCPT.