Northampton Schools dealing with headwinds on teacher hiring and retention

May 24, 2023
Northampton County Public Schools

The Northampton County School System, like many school systems and businesses nationwide, is dealing with strong headwinds with teacher hiring and retention.

School Superintendent Dr. Lisa Martin gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday night’s work session defending the schools request for an additional 7% for salaries.

Likening the issues to a stool, she broke down the main problems to three: shortages in applicants, low salaries and limited available housing.

Dr. Martin said Northampton has had 16 resignations and retirements at this very moment, a number she described as high for a faculty their size. She also said the number of college graduates entering the teaching field is falling.

As for salaries, Northampton is currently ranked 79 out of 131 statewide for teachers with bachelor degrees and no teaching experience. For teachers with 5 years experience, Northampton falls to 95th and for veteran teachers the County falls ever further to 121st statewide.

She also contended both Accomack and Northampton County have a limited availability of affordable workforce housing, making it difficult for teachers on low salaries to find decent places to live.

“The beauty of the Shore and the nature here is what attracts people,” said Dr. Martin. “We just need to be more competitive with salaries and get some more workforce housing.”


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