Feeling undervalued, underpaid, and overworked, vast numbers of Texas teachers are seriously considering leaving the profession. Yet a new statewide survey by the Charles Butt Foundation identifies promising retention strategies related to improved support and working conditions.

The survey of a random sample of Texas public school teachers finds that 77 percent have seriously considered leaving the profession, up 19 percentage points in two years. Moreover, 72 percent have taken concrete steps to do so, from preparing resumes and conducting job searches to interviewing for another position. Even excluding those nearing retirement age, six in 10 expect to move on within five years.

Pay is a major factor: Eighty-one percent of Texas teachers say their pay is unfair, up 12 points in a year. Forty-one percent report working an additional job out of financial need, in most cases during the school year.

In addition to pay concerns, nearly all Texas teachers – 98 percent – spent their own money on classroom supplies; among them, the median amount was $500. Seventy-five percent spent their money on supporting their students’ needs, with a median of $200.