What’s behind spike in NM teacher retirements?

According to recent news reports the number of retirements in New Mexico’s public school system has spiked by 40% this year. According to the Associated Press, Albuquerque Public Schools spokeswoman Johanna King said exit interviews “show many reasons for retiring, including health reasons, feeling overworked, leaving New Mexico, and not liking remote teaching.”

Those are all likely and reasonable causes. While there has been a well-publicized increase in pursuit of education alternatives (everything from home school to charters) during the pandemic, the unions claiming to represent teachers have largely driven policy in “blue states” like New Mexico.

But, it is easy to forget that throughout the pandemic and numerous policies (often supported by the unions) haven’t necessarily been supported by large numbers of actual teachers. If anything, THAT seems likely to be the biggest issue.

  1. It is going to be a challenge for New Mexico and other states to find teachers and other professionals to replace retirees;
  2. This is just another reminder that government-run and managed monopolies don’t just hurt students. They often drive frustration among professionals who feel more like cogs in a machine than respected, trained professionals.