Texas AFT Survey Results a ‘Disaster Declaration’ for Public Education 


Feb. 27, 2024 

CONTACT: Nicole Hill, press@texasaft.org 

Texas AFT Survey Results a “Disaster Declaration” for Public Education  

After a year of legislative inaction and gubernatorial bullying, Texas AFT member survey finds 75%  of K-12 school employees experiencing burnout, 69% of educators looking to leave, but also hope with 92% of educators declaring they are ready to vote

AUSTIN, Texas — Today, as Texans vote in party primaries where public education and private school vouchers are front and center, Texas AFT,  a statewide union of 66,000 members in K-12 and higher education, released the results of its 2024 membership survey.  

Following chronic underfunding and Gov. Greg Abbott’s political tantrums, Texas schools are facing a teacher retention crisis, an educator shortage, and major layoffs across the state. According to Texas Academic Performance Reports from the Texas Education Agency, the turnover rate for teachers in the 2022-2023 school year was 21.4%, an 81% increase from the 2009-2010 school year. All of these challenges come at a time when Texas has an unprecedented budget surplus. 

“The teacher retention crisis is here, and Texas educators are ringing the fire alarm. They’ve heard a lot of promises from politicians, but little action,” said Zeph Capo, president of Texas AFT. “We should consider the results of this survey to be the public education disaster declaration that Gov. Abbott doesn’t care enough to make. What should gall every Texan is how loudly their children’s teachers and counselors and nurses and librarians and bus drivers are begging for support and how little regard this state’s leadership has for them. Gov. Abbott is campaigning with the richest man in Pennsylvania’s money while your child’s school burns.” 

The survey solicited responses from 3,274 respondents in January 2024 via digital avenues only to Texas AFT members. Toplines from the survey results include

  • 92.1% say they plan to vote in March and November, and 95.6% say education issues influence who they will support.  
  • 77.5% of educators fear that privatization efforts like charter school expansion and private school vouchers will negatively impact their public school, including 59.4% of Republican educators surveyed. 
  • 68.9% of educators surveyed report that they have considered leaving the profession in the past year.  
  • 74.8% report experiencing burnout in the past 12 months. Roughly 1 in 5 has a second job after the school day ends in order to make ends meet. 
  • 82.4% of K-12 employees say they are concerned by the possibility of gun violence at their campus. 

Click here to view a presentation on Texas AFT’s 2024 Membership Survey results


The Texas American Federation of Teachers represents 66,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.