COVID-19

Poll: Nearly a third of Michigan teachers considering quitting due to coronavirus

A recent survey shows 7% of educators are already planning to leave the profession over coronavirus concerns.

Thousands of Michigan public school teachers may be planning to quit teaching or retire due to concerns over the coronavirus. Several thousand more say they are considering joining them, according to the results of survey released Thursday by the Michigan Education Association (MEA).

The survey of more than 15,339 teachers and support staff was conducted between May 15 and 22. It shows that 7% are planning to leave teaching, while another 23% might follow them.

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Teachers are concerned about their own health and safety as well as educational deficits caused by students missing so much school this year.

The possible attrition is worrisome in school districts already dealing with teacher shortages.

The survey shows that most teachers are skeptical that students can return to school as usual in the fall. Almost all think class sizes will need to be reduced to ensure students maintain safe distances from each other. Even then, most believe it will be difficult to enforce social distancing.

Educators are looking to health officials to lead the way.

“First and foremost, educators agree that public health experts are key in this process to determine how to keep everyone safe,” said Doug Pratt, the director of public affairs for the MEA. “The survey demonstrates the level of anxiety and concern our public educators have for their students, their students’ families, their colleagues and the communities they serve.”

You can see the full results of the survey here.

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