Public school facilities and teacher job satisfaction
A growing body of research suggests the physical condition of public school facilities and the availability of resources, including technology, impact teachers' job satisfaction. The purpose of this study was to explore the difference between teachers who plan to stay in current positions and those who plan to leave in terms of their perceptions of the conditions of public school facilities and the availability of resources, including technology.
This quantitative study used data from the 2006 North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey. Over 64,000 teachers representing 85% of North Carolina's public schools and 115 districts in the state responded to the survey. Their responses to questions about Facilities and Resources were compared to responses to other questions regarding the aspect of the work environment that most influenced their job satisfaction and future professional plans. The respondents were then divided into two groups: (1) those wishing to stay in their current positions and (2) those wishing to leave. Independent Samples t-tests were performed alter a score was created for each respondent representing the mean satisfaction score on those variables representing the conditions of public school facilities and the availability of resources. This score was used to explore the difference between teachers intending to stay and those intending to leave their current positions. A significant difference was found between the responses of these two groups. Additionally, the responses of teachers in the 16 school districts that first received financial assistance in 2004 under the Disadvantaged Student Supplemental Funds (DSSF) and responses from the remaining 99 Non-DSSF school districts were analyzed in the same manner. The results confirmed similar patterns in teacher responses in those low wealth districts.
The study suggests that work environment and availability of resources do impact the job satisfaction of teachers and may be associated with their decisions to remain in teaching. Although many factors influence teacher job satisfaction and teacher retention, the results of this study confirm that educators and policymakers should address the physical conditions of public school facilities and availability of resources as part of their efforts to improve teacher job satisfaction and increase teacher retention.
0514: School administration