PHOENIX — The teacher shortage crisis in Arizona continues to grow, with 2,166 vacant teacher positions statewide, according to a recent study.
The Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association study found that 1,088 teachers either abandoned or resigned from their position within the first four weeks of the school year.
Justin Wing, former ASPAA president, said he thinks one of the reasons behind the vacancies is due to other teachers persuading their children not to become teachers.
“Students who are going into college have more access, they can research more about different fields,” Wing said. “When you read about the teacher field, unfortunately, there’s not a lot of high recognition or respect for teachers.”
Wing also said teacher’s pay is “much lower” compared to other professions that require a college degree.
“It is challenging for schools to hire and retain effective teachers when the candidate pool is dry,” said Wing. “We must make a collective effort to ensure that the availability of effective teachers is an urgent priority for next year and years to come.”