Kathy Hoffman says pay is just one part of Arizona’s teacher shortage

Mar 13, 2019, 1:01 PM | Updated: 1:03 pm

PHOENIX – Pay is a major factor in Arizona’s teacher shortage, but it’s far from the only factor, according to Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.

“It’s really a broad issue,” she said Wednesday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes Show.

According to a survey conducted in January by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association, nearly one quarter of state teacher positions were unfilled.

The survey also found that more than half of the filled positions were taken by educators who do not meet the state’s standard teacher certification requirements.

Hoffman said rural communities have been “hit the hardest by this shortage,” so she’s been building a coalition that includes educators in those areas, county officials and Arizona State University.

“What we’re doing with this rural schools network is coming together to say ‘How can we use technology and video conferencing so if a student doesn’t have a calculus teacher, let’s say, in Payson but they have one in Show Low, how can they access that and get credits for that and make sure that we’re not letting this generation of our students in rural communities fall behind?” she said.

Hoffman said Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan to phase in raises of 20 percent by the 2020 school year addresses only part of what has made it difficult to recruit teachers.

She said rising health care costs and insufficient benefits packages are also part of the problem.

“I have always said that we need to have paid maternity and paternity leave for our young teachers who are starting families, to attract and retain them to the profession,” she said.

Another concern is the large classroom sizes that create high workloads.

“I would love to see more supports in the classroom, whether that be a teacher aid or even a parent volunteer, just getting more people to support our teachers in the classroom so that they can feel successful, feel that the can manage the classroom,” Hoffman said.

“But pay is still one of the fundamental issues that needs to be addressed.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

1 dead after argument leads to gunfire in downtown Phoenix

A man is dead after an argument escalated into gunfire in downtown Phoenix on Wednesday evening, authorities said.
17 hours ago
(Facebook Photos/State Farm Stadium, WM Phoenix Open)...

Sheriff Penzone says public’s vigilance is safety tool in security prep for Super Bowl

With high-profile sporting events on the horizon for metro Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said he's looking to the public to act as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.
17 hours ago
(Expansive Photo)...

Flexible workspace company Expansive opens 20,000-square-foot downtown Mesa location

Chicago-based Flexible workspace company Expansive has taken over a 20,000-square-foot location in downtown Mesa.
17 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Surprise Police Department)...

2 teenagers killed in Surprise when vehicle crashes into tree

Two teenagers are dead and two others are in the hospital after their vehicle crashed into a tree in Surprise on Wednesday.
17 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Child dies after getting hit by car while walking to school in Phoenix

A child died Thursday morning after getting hit by a car while he was walking to school with his father, authorities said.
17 hours ago
Supporters hold up signs reading "Bring Brittney Home" during a rally to support the release of det...

Arizona politicians react to news of Phoenix WNBA star Brittney Griner’s release

News of Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s release from a Russian prison was welcomed by political leaders in Arizona.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Kathy Hoffman says pay is just one part of Arizona’s teacher shortage