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Percentage distribution of the level of importance K–12 teachers who voluntarily left teaching attributed to any reason for leaving and percentage who listed a given reason as the most important reason for leaving, by selected reason for leaving: 2012–13

  Level of importance      
Reason for leaving Not at all important   Slightly important   Somewhat important   Very important   Extremely important   Most important reason for leaving  
Personal life factors                        
Because I wanted to take a job more
conveniently located OR because I moved
83.4   2.1 ! 3.6 ! 4.9   6.0   4.6  
Because of other personal life reasons (e.g.,
health, pregnancy/childcare, caring for family)
52.4   2.9   7.7   11.1 ! 26.0   24.0  
Because I decided to retire or receive retirement
benefits from last year's school system
60.1   1.4 ! 7.8 ! 11.1   19.5   14.0  
                         
Salary and other job benefits                        
Because I wanted or needed a higher salary 75.3   3.5 ! 8.2   7.1   5.9   7.2 !
Because I needed better benefits than
I received at last year's school
84.8   2.3   4.8 ! 5.4 ! 2.6    
Because I was concerned about my job
security at last year's school
83.3   4.0   5.6   4.5 ! 2.6 !  
                         
Career factors                        
Because I decided to pursue a position
other than that of a K–12 teacher
61.1   4.8 ! 6.4   10.4   17.3   7.9  
Because I decided to take courses to improve
career opportunities WITHIN the field of education
80.5   2.7 ! 4.0 ! 5.0   7.8   2.1  
Because I decided to take courses to improve
career opportunities OUTSIDE the field of education
87.1   3.4 ! 4.5 ! 2.6   2.3 ! 0.5 !
Because I was dissatisfied with teaching as a career 58.9   7.9   12.2   11.7 ! 9.4   2.8 !
Because there were not enough opportunities
for leadership roles or professional advancement
at last year's school
75.9   5.8 ! 9.5   3.9   4.9 ! 1.1 !
                         
Assignment and classroom factors                        
Because I was dissatisfied with my job description or
assignment (e.g., responsibilities, grade level, or
subject area)
66.4   10.1   11.4   7.5   4.6    
Because I did not have enough autonomy over my
classroom at last year's school
70.1   7.7   8.3   8.2 ! 5.7    
Because I was dissatisfied with the large number of
students I taught at last year's school
70.4   10.4 ! 9.5   5.7   4.0 !  
Because I felt that there were too many intrusions on
my teaching time at last year's school
56.7   9.8   15.3   10.4   7.7   1.0 !
                         
School factors                        
Because I was dissatisfied with workplace conditions
(e.g., facilities, classroom resources, school safety)
at last year's school
68.3   9.9   12.9 ! 4.9   4.0    
Because student discipline problems were an issue at
last year's school
60.6   8.8   13.6   10.3 ! 6.7   2.7 !
Because I was dissatisfied with the administration at
last year's school
61.2   7.4   10.0   8.6 ! 12.8   3.4 !
Because I was dissatisfied with the lack of influence I
had over school policies and practices at last year's
school
61.8   8.8   16.6   5.5   7.4   0.6 !
                         
Student performance factors                        
Because I was dissatisfied with how student
assessments and school accountability measures
impacted my teaching or curriculum at last year's
school
55.7   7.3   12.2   12.8   12.1   3.2  
Because I was dissatisfied with how some of my
compensation, benefits, or rewards were tied to the
performance of my students at last year's school
71.3   3.7   17.2   2.7   5.1    
Because I was dissatisfied with the support I received
for preparing my students for student assessments at
last year's school
69.7   4.7   8.9   11.8 ! 4.9 !  
                         
Others                        
Because of other factors not included in previous items1 47.6     2.7 ! 3.0 ! 10.5 ! 22.6  
! Interpret data with caution. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is between 30 percent and 50 percent (i.e., the standard error is at least 30 percent and less than 50 percent of the estimate).
‡ Reporting standards not met. The coefficient of variation (CV) for this estimate is 50 percent or greater (i.e., the standard error is 50 percent or more of the estimate).
1The shown distribution does not sum to 100% because teachers only rated "Other factors" if they wrote in an additional factor as a reason for leaving; 34.4% of teachers did not specify additional reasons for leaving.
NOTE: This table includes teachers who voluntarily left the teaching profession after the base year. These respondents were asked to choose, from various reasons, the most important reason in their decision to leave their base year (2011–12) school. Respondents who left teaching involuntarily, including because their contract was not renewed, they were laid off, or their school closed or merged, are not included. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding and because some data are not shown.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS), "Former Teacher Data File," 2012–13.