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More than three-fourths of Texas teachers say they have seriously considered quitting the profession largely because of a perceived lack of respect and support, according to a new survey by the Charles Butt Foundation. Excessive workload and inadequate pay were other major reasons that teachers are considering leaving, The Dallas Morning News and other media outlets reported.
The percentage of teachers considering quitting has risen to 77% this year from 58% in 2020, when the foundation conducted the first survey on the subject.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Texas has experienced a teacher shortage that prompted the Texas Education Agency to form a task force to address the issue. No official findings have been released.
The statewide survey included 1,291 public school teachers drawn randomly from TEA’s 2020 roster of teachers. Among those teachers who seriously thought about leaving the profession, 68% updated their resumes, while about one-third applied for another job.
“This isn’t just teachers not feeling satisfied,” research associate Victoria Wang told The Morning News. “They’re actively taking steps to leave the classroom.”
The foundation is named for the CEO of H-E-B, the largest privately held employer in Texas. Its goal is “pursuing a more equitable and prosperous future for all Texans,” according to its website.
Drought conditions ease
Welcome rains across the state have eased drought conditions, with 62.3% of the state in moderate to severe drought, affecting about a third of the state’s population, according to drought.gov. That is down from the end of June, when drought conditions covered 86% of the state.
Most of East Texas and South Texas and the El Paso area are no longer experiencing drought. Severe drought remains prevalent around the San Antonio and Midland-Odessa areas and eastward to the Abilene region.
Abbott: Electric grid safe this fall
The state’s electric grid should have no problem handling power demand this fall, Gov. Greg Abbott said after meeting with members of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Public Utility Commission. A joint meeting was held last week to discuss the issue, although typically there are few challenges to the grid during autumn and spring because of decreased demand.
The new forecast by ERCOT predicts plenty of power available in October and November, despite planned shutdowns by a number of Texas power plants for scheduled maintenance.
“The State of Texas continues to monitor the reliability of our electric grid, and I thank ERCOT and PUC for their hard work to implement bipartisan reforms we passed last year and for their proactive leadership to ensure our grid is stronger than ever before,” Abbott said.
The grid faced unprecedented demand this summer with triple-digit temperatures across most of the state for weeks on end.
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations drop
The number of new COVID-9 cases reported by the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University during the past week dropped to 49,326, down about 10% from the previous week, with 133 new deaths reported, also a decrease. DSHS reported 2,440 lab-confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations, just slightly lower than the previous week.