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Thousands Of Vacant Teacher Positions In Arizona

Hiring teachers in Arizona is impossible, according to school administrators.

A survey by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association (ASPAA) of nearly 130 Valley school districts showed as many as 8,000 teacher vacancies.
The report also found that almost 500 teachers either didn’t show up or quit within the first month this year.

“We have many, many thousands of students that do not have a highly qualified teacher in the classroom,”

Jason Hammond, the group's president-elect

  • The ASPAA found nearly half of all open teacher positions will stay vacant or be filled by someone who doesn’t meet standard teaching requirements.
  • Other Valley school districts with few openings credit out-of-state, even out-of-country, recruiting from as far as the Philippines.
  • AZ teacher exodus leaves more than 1K Valley classrooms vacant

Teachers are leaving the profession, and leaving Arizona for bigger paychecks, according to a CBS 5 questionnaire. The questionnaire was sent to 40 Valley school districts.

“We think this is the largest documented teacher shortage that Arizona has faced in decades,”

Andrew Morrill, President of the Arizona Education Association and a former high school English teacher

  •  State’s teacher salaries are among the lowest in the country
  • The state requires so many exams and guidelines that seasoned teachers feel limited in their ability to be creative
  • A recent Census report, the state is dead last in dollars spent in the classroom.

“Teachers are leaving the profession. They’re leaving in debt and they’re leaving in tears,”

said Morrill

Last week, Governor Doug Ducey announced a plan to add $1.8 billion to Arizona’s public schools over five years, by using state trust land dollars.

“Governor Ducey has been listening and working on a plan to put significant resources in our schools in the face of our budget challenges. This plan does that. Our goal is to get this $2 billion to the schools as quickly as possible, and we are working closely with the education community to make that happen.”

A statement sent to CBS 5 from the governor's office

The plan would need to pass the legislature and a public vote in an election and would be at least one and a half years away.