NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In most school districts, teacher contracts have come to an end.
That's when school administrators find out exactly how many of their teachers will be leaving or coming back.
In Nacogdoches the turnover rate is higher than administrators want. NISD's central office had some theories as to why.
It's unsettling for schools when as many as 85 resignations are submitted like what happened in Nacogdoches.
That's over a 25 percent turnover rate for professional staff. Was Superintendent Sandra Dowdy alarmed?
"No. And I have to say I don't like it," Dowdy said. My goal is certainly, again, to retain as many of the staff as we can."
Resignations, retirements, even terminations led to the turnover.
"We lost some good teachers," Dowdy said.
The "improvement required" district is facing numerous state accountability requirements for both administrators and teachers. Some veteran teachers would rather leave than face all the changes and scrutiny. Dowdy's response ...
"Student outcomes will not change until adult behavior changes, so what is it in our behavior that we have to change to say we're not going to accept status quo, that we're going to have the highest expectations for students, and we have to change something in order to do that," Dowdy said. It's not work hard. It's work smarter."
Dowdy said a reason for high turnover is teachers are increasingly switching districts and careers.
"And that's across the state, so you have fewer to draw from, so something has to happen at the state level to start recruiting people back into the field," Dowdy said.
Just today, Representative Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches introduced a bill which he states will provide funding for teacher pay raises and retention.
School administrators will wait and see if it's enough to attract and keep people in teaching careers.
Dowdy said right now, the Nacogdoches ISD is sitting at 97 percent fully staffed. Recruitment started as early as November 2016.