It’s no new information that teacher shortages are affecting the nation as a whole, but Arizona has been hit especially bad. (With no help from Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s new law allowing teachers to be hired with no formal teaching training)
In 2014, Arizona ranked 48th in average per pupil spending, and the teacher salaries were noticeably lower than the national average. With lawmakers approving an abysmal budget with a 2 percent raise to teachers spread over two years, things don’t seem to be getting better anytime soon.
The Republic conducted an analysis of data from 162 school districts and found that 22 percent of those teaching lacked full qualifications to be in the classroom. Two thousand of them lacked formal teaching training and dozens lacked a college degree, The Republic‘s Ricardo Cano wrote.
The data, alarmingly, accounts for about 80 percent of Arizona’s 1.1 million public school students in 2016-17.
Linda Valdez explains, “It may be the most important job in our society. It offers immense personal rewards. But we’ve given control of the state to people who don’t value teachers or public schools.”