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Teacher Shortage is Reaching Critical Levels in Arizona

One hundred thirty five school districts and charter schools report ongoing challenges with Arizona’s teacher shortage in the third annual survey from the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association. This year, more than half of the identified teacher position openings remain vacant or are filled using alternative methods four weeks into the school year:

  • More than 500 teachers have already abandoned their jobs or resigned, up 13% over last year.
  • 1,328 teaching positions remain vacant
  • 2,491 teaching positions have been filled with people who don’t meet standard teaching requirements

The crisis means that many students are learning from long term substitutes and many teachers don’t have time to pay attention to each student because they are teaching combined and larger classes, curriculum in combined grades or extra classes with no time to plan.

The Morrison Institute report has documented low teacher salaries and difficult working conditions like these as large contributors to the shortage.

Last year, Children’s Action Alliance and AZ Schools Now brought specific proposals to Governor Ducey and the legislature to strengthen investments in classrooms and to boost teacher pay by 4% each year. The final budget they adopted included only a 2% bonus over two years. As the teacher shortage crisis continues, join us in demanding a statewide plan with resources to make our public education stronger.

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