Arizona’s severe teacher shortage continues, ASPAA survey shows - AZEdNews
Sections    Thursday March 30th, 2023

Arizona’s severe teacher shortage continues, ASPAA survey shows

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  • Justin Wing and Dr. Susan Lugo   |   Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association

A Creighton Teacher Helps A Student. Photo By Brooke Martinez/ AZEdNews

Arizona schools continue to experience a teacher shortage according to the latest Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association (ASPAA) survey results. ASPAA has been collecting and sharing teacher shortage information on a semi-annual basis.

The ASPAA January 2022 report indicates about 31.0% of teacher vacancies across the state this year remain unfilled while 47.7% of the vacancies are filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements.

Since 2016, approximately a quarter of teacher vacancies remained unfilled a month into each school year. Meanwhile, there has been a continued increase in teacher vacancies being filled by individuals through various alternative pathways as they did not meet the standard teacher requirements. While providing career change opportunities has plenty of advantages, Arizona continues to not address the reasons our youth are not entering into the education field.

These results reinforce the need to increase funding for public education. Arizona teacher pay remains one of the lowest in the country, even with the recent teacher salary increases.

Arizona children deserve the best teachers and a stable workforce. School districts and charter schools compete nationally for the limited pool of candidates. The inability to offer competitive salaries severely limits public schools from attracting the best and the brightest.

The severity of the teacher shortage must be addressed. Arizona’s leaders must make a collective effort to ensure the recruitment and retention of effective teachers through increased funding. Highly educated and skilled workforce are cornerstones to a growing and thriving economy.

The survey focused on teacher vacancies and teachers who have already severed employment as of January 2022, and 143 school districts and charter schools throughout Arizona participated.

Current figures are listed on the following page. We are available to the media for further comments or questions.

Arizona’s severe teacher shortage continues, ASPAA survey shows ASPAA-page-1
ASPAA survey results January 2022