FOX10 Investigates: High number of teacher transfers common?

Mobile County Public Schools start back Thursday, August 7 and there are some changes at J.E Turner Elementary School for the 2014-2015 school year. The most notable change is the teaching staff.

At the end of the 2014 school year, 21 teachers were given mandatory transfers from J.E. Turner Elementary School.

Sources tell Fox10 News only six of those teachers are returning.

According to Mobile County Public Schools Superintendent Martha Peek, a large number of transfers from one school is not unusual.

“Yes it’s not uncommon there can be a lot of different reasons teachers decide to move,” Peek said.

Fox10 News thought the number seemed high so we did some fact checking of our own. Fox10 News submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the school system asking for the number of mandatory and voluntary teacher transfers from schools throughout Mobile County in the last five years.

After sorting through more than 120 listings, we found just nine schools with more than 20 mandatory teacher transfers.

  • In 2009, 21 teachers were transferred from both Lee Intermediate and Bessie Fonville Elementary Schools.
  • In 2010, Scarborough Middle had 27 teacher transfers.
  • In 2012, Hamilton Elementary had 28 transfers, Lee Elementary School 34, Denton Middle School 29 and Satsuma High School 48.
  • In 2014, 37 teachers were transferred from Eichold-Mertz and 21 were transferred from J.E. Turner Elementary

What’s the reasoning behind some of these transfers?

Four of the schools listed are in Chickasaw and Satsuma, cities which formed their own school systems and Bessie Fonville Elementary closed.

That leaves four schools with more than 20 mandatory teacher transfers.

Fox10 News asked the Mobile County Public School System about the reasons for the high numbers or transfers. In its reply the school system said, “We don’t discuss personnel matters…As far as the number of teachers that left a school, there could be many different reasons which we do not go into”.

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