In June on ABC2's In Focus, we told you about the droves of teachers leaving the Harford County School District due to salary freezes for the past five out of six school years. Now, just a few weeks before the start of the new school year, the final numbers are in.
Between teachers leaving the district and retirements, a total of 300 teachers won't be returning to Harford County schools later this month.
The number of teachers leaving the district has gone up every year since 2010. This year, 208 teachers are moving on to other jobs and 92 are retiring. Last year, 141 teachers left and 80 retired.
GET CAUGHT UP ON THE STORY:
- No step increases or raises have Harford County teachers looking elsewhere for work
- No layoffs, raises for teachers in Harford County budget plan
- Harford County teachers protest over lack of school funding
School leaders have said the system is not getting enough funding to pay for any types of raises for any of its employees.
Harford County Education Association President Ryan Burbey said in June that if teacher pay remains stagnant, the county will continue to have trouble keeping and attracting teachers.
"If I'm a college graduate in education, I don't think I'm going to pick Harford County as my first choice," Burbey said. "Knowing that they've frozen their salary steps five out of six years and it could continue to happen."
The school district's goal this year was to avoid layoffs, so teachers again did not receive a step increase or a cost of living raise in their latest contract. I asked Harford County Schools Communications Manager Jillian Lader how the district will replace the hundreds of teachers who have left.
"Human resources and other school system staff are diligently working to identify and employee quality teacher replacements for the remaining 67 vacancies," she wrote in an e-mail.
The school system doesn't have much time to fill these vacancies. The first day of school for Harford County students is August 25th.