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Hoffman announces new efforts for improving Arizona’s schools

PHOENIX — Arizona’s public schools chief announced Thursday that she is launching new efforts for improving the state’s education system.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James & Pamela Hughes Show she is creating a student advisory council.

“I am just so excited to get their input on issues including curriculum, testing, school facilities, arts education (and) technology,” she said.

Students from grades 5 to 12 may apply to join the council. Fifteen students will be chosen and serve from October through the end of the school year.

Hoffman also announced what she hopes will be a solution to Arizona’s teacher shortage.

“We are going to be creating two new positions within the department that are solely focused on teacher recruitment and retention issues,” she said.

She said she has also been working with the Arizona Department of Economic Security to fill other positions in schools.

“I said, ‘Great, we need bus drivers, we need paraprofessionals, teacher aides, cafeteria workers. We have those jobs.'”

Hoffman said while the state’s school system has historically been underfunded, things are improving.

“Oftentimes teachers are hearing, ‘Our schools are broken,’ or ‘Our schools are the worst,'” she said.

“But that’s not always the case. Our teachers and students are working so hard. It’s just making sure they have the right resources and training to be successful.”

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