Indianapolis, IN— The subject of teacher shortages and educator burnout have driven news headlines and local debates in recent years, and a new survey of educators shines light on how they are feeling as the school year comes to a close.
The nationally representative survey was commissioned by EdChoice and conducted by Morning Consult. It included a sample of 961 K-12 educators from April 26 through May 6, 2023. It’s the 12th such survey EdChoice has conducted with teachers since March of 2020.
The most recent survey finds that private and charter school teachers are far more likely than their counterparts in district public schools to recommend the teaching profession to a friend or family member. Of those teaching in charter schools, 56% would recommend the profession, while 51% of those in private school classrooms would do the same. Only 29% of those teaching in district public schools would encourage others to follow their path. However, regardless of where someone teaches, their likelihood of promoting the profession has risen sharply since the last survey in October.
Educators working in private and charter schools were also more likely to report that they are thriving as opposed to suffering, and far more likely to say their school contributes to their personal happiness than those in district public schools.
“As we close out another school year, it’s important to understand how teachers in different schooling environments are feeling, and how their schools affect their overall mood,” said Paul DiPerna, Vice President of Research and Innovation at EdChoice. “While the improvements observed between our Fall survey and this most recent wave are encouraging, it’s clear there is still more work to do, and teachers continue to need our support.”
Overall, teachers are positive about the future, with 63% of respondents describing feeling a sense of purpose, 55% saying they feel hopeful, and 49% reporting optimism. Negative sentiment was far less common among educators who participated in the survey, though 27% did report feeling overwhelmed.
Notably, teachers are very supportive of K-12 choice policies, particularly education savings accounts (ESA). This is true regardless of the type of school they teach in, and respondents are supportive regardless of whether a description of the policies. Given the fact that more states than ever before created new ESA programs this year, the finding that 78% of teachers support this policy when given a description (64% without) is encouraging. Charter school teachers are the most supportive, though a majority of educators across the board say they are strongly or somewhat supportive.
“While it’s no surprise that teachers’ experiences and attitudes vary greatly and are heavily influenced by their teaching environment, the survey results are clear in that teachers support choice-based policies,” DiPerna said.
When considering responses from charter school teachers, one should use caution due to the representative, but still small, sample size. Ninety teachers from charter schools participated in this survey.
To speak with Paul DiPerna, contact Chantal Lovell at Chantal@edchoice.org, or 989-251-8388.
On behalf of EdChoice, Morning Consult administered an online survey to a national sample of 961 teachers between April 26 and May 6, 2023. Interviews were conducted in English. Weights have been applied to the respondent data to ensure the survey sample’s demographics are nationally representative. The demographic weighting targets for teachers are based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, and teaching experience. For more information about the polling methodology, visit: https://edchoice.morningconsultintelligence.com/methodology.
EdChoice is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization. Our mission is to advance educational freedom and choice for all as a pathway to successful lives and a stronger society. We are committed to understanding and pursuing a K–12 education ecosystem that empowers every family to choose the learning environment that fits their children’s needs best. EdChoice is a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Transparency Initiative and adheres to its standards and ethics. Learn more at edchoice.org.