Stress is a leading cause for leaving teaching in a public school: Percent share of teachers citing each possible reason

Reason Percentage
The stress and disappointments of teaching weren’t worth it 43%
I didn’t like the way things were run at my school 32%
Other 32%
I did not get enough support from my district or school 29%
My pay was not sufficient 24%
I found a better job that is education-related (e.g. school administration, tutoring) 23%
I found a better job that is not education-related 13%
COVID-19 was the only reason I left public school teaching 7%
I found a better traditional teaching job in another school 6%
I found a better nontraditional teaching job (e.g. leading a learning pod or teaching in a micro school) 5%

Notes: December 2020 responses from 958 K12 public school teachers who had left teaching in a public school before or after the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to the survey question: “What were the reasons you left teaching in a public school, regardless of whether COVID-19 influenced your departure?” Respondents were allowed to cite more than one reason, therefore reasons listed do not sum to 100%. 

Source: Table B.8 from Melissa Kay Diliberti, Heather L. Schwartz, and David Grant, "Stress Topped the Reasons Why Public School Teachers Quit, Even Before COVID-19," RAND Corporation, 2021.  

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