by Jim Nintzel
Teachers have been fleeing Arizona in droves, resulting in such a serious shortage of experienced teachers that state officials are warning of serious consequences if the exodus continues.Read the whole depressing report here.
Over the last five years, thousands of teachers have left the state, according to a 2015 report by the Arizona Department of Education, with this past school year being possibly the worst. The report warns if teachers keep leaving, “students will not meet their full potential” and “Arizona will not be able to ensure economic prosperity for its citizens and create the workforce of tomorrow.” It calls for increased pay for teachers and more overall education funding in the state.
Why are so many teachers leaving? Educators say reasons include low pay, insufficient classroom resources, and so many testing requirements and teaching guidelines that they feel they have no flexibility and too little authentic instructional time. According to new Census Bureau statistics, Arizona is near the bottom of a state list of spending per student, $7,208. The average per pupil spending around the country is $10,700, and the state is near or at the bottom for classroom spending per student. But it is near the top of a list of states showing which ones get the biggest percentage of their education revenue from the federal government.