Arizona schools chief Hoffman concerned about staffing next fall amid teacher shortage

May 24, 2022, 4:35 AM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said Monday she’s worried there won’t be enough teachers for next school year amid a shortage.

“I am concerned based on what I am hearing in terms of teacher burnout and the fact that all of our neighboring states are offering teachers significant raises, whereas here in Arizona we’ve remained stagnant over the past couple years,” Hoffman told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Hoffman said many districts have told her they’re having a hard time finding qualified applicants.

“Bigger districts can have over 100 teaching positions open that just don’t have applicants or don’t have competitive applicants, or qualified applicants they can hire,” she said.

Hoffman said she will have a better idea of what the staffing numbers will look like as the start of the school year gets closer, but that the districts do have a plan in place if there aren’t enough teachers.

“If it ends up there isn’t enough teachers, schools will have to use emergency certified teachers,” Hoffman said.

“The system relies on emergency certified teachers who have not gone through a teacher prep program and you only need to have your high school degree to be an emergency certified teacher.”

Hoffman said Arizona schools already rely heavily on these teachers.

She added the state has been faced with a teacher shortage for years and that districts have had to find other ways to recruit educators.

“More and more I’ve talked to school leaders who are recruiting from other countries as well,” Hoffman said. “We do have quite a few teachers in Arizona from the Philippines and some other Latin America countries as well.”

Hoffman stresses the need for local lawmakers to consider giving teachers another raise for the upcoming school year with the state sitting on a $5 billion surplus.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Mega Millions button lit up on a lottery ticket machine...

Kevin Stone

Mega Millions lottery tickets purchased in Scottsdale, Tucson win $50,000 each

Two Arizona Lottery players each won $50,000 in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, officials announced Monday.

14 minutes ago

Car crashes into power pole in Phoenix, 2 critically injured...

Serena O'Sullivan

2 men in critical condition after car crashes into power pole in Phoenix

Two men are in critical condition after a car crash involving a power pole in Phoenix on Monday, officials said.

1 hour ago

An image from Google Street View shows the third-party post office between a Jimmy John's and a Dun...

Southeast Valley shopping center temporarily evacuated after bomb threat

Multiple businesses at a southeast Valley shopping center were temporarily evacuated Monday because of a bomb threat, authorities said.

3 hours ago

A DUI suspect drove down a 200-foot embankment in Cottonwood before a second DUI suspect was arrest...

Arizona DUI suspect’s car careens down 200-foot embankment before 2nd DUI suspect arrested

A DUI suspect drove down a 200-foot embankment in Arizona on Saturday morning before another DUI suspect attempted to evade police at the crash area, authorities said.

3 hours ago

Split panel image of the front of an Albertsons grocery store on the left and a Kroger plastic bag ...

Kevin Stone

Arizona joins federal lawsuit to block merger of grocery giants Kroger and Albertsons

Arizona is part of a federal lawsuit filed Monday to block the controversial merger of Kroger and Albertsons, two of the nation’s largest grocers.

4 hours ago

The eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain freeway was closed in Phoenix on Feb. 26, 2024, for a fatal c...

Eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain Freeway reopens in Phoenix after fatal wrong-way crash

The eastbound Loop 202 South Mountain freeway reopened in Phoenix after a fatal wrong-way crash shut down traffic on Monday, officials said.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Arizona schools chief Hoffman concerned about staffing next fall amid teacher shortage