MUNCIE, Ind. – Within the last nine months, nearly one-fifth of all teachers in Muncie Community Schools have resigned.
About 75 new and veteran educators put in their notices after the district continues to face an $11 million deficit. This includes about 50 percent of teachers at Northside Middle School who left their jobs.
One teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, has been with the district for three years and said during her second year of teaching she noticed a downhill spiral.
“There were rumors going around constantly of whether there would be massive RIFs, if you're new to the district you're going to lose your job, you're going to have to have a larger class size,” she said.
She said the uncertainty of her job created poor morale.
"It's been emotionally difficult. In addition to getting up every day, you have to consistently remind yourself I love my job. But then you get there, and you're like I hate my life right now. It stopped being fun,” she said.
Eventually, the educator said she was asked to cross an ethnical line.
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"I got really tired of being told, well we collected Fs and we had to send your name in because you give too many Fs. Or this parent wants their student to have a better grade,” she said. “We need to work with them."
The Muncie Community Schools Superintendent released a statement on the lack of teacher retention within the district:
Some teachers failed an “extraordinary” amount of students and it’s up to them to reach each child, while administrators and parents plat a supporting role. The district values its staff, but has been hit “particularly hard” by a number of factors.
In April, the Muncie School Board voted to close three of the district’s elementary schools as part of its deficit-reduction plan.
Storer Elementary, Mitchell Elementary and Sutton Elementary closed at the end of the school year in May.
Northside Middle School was originally included in those cuts, but the board chose to keep that school open.