Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill expanding training to increase teacher numbers

Jul 7, 2022, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:31 am
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona public schools now have greater access to recruitment and training options for teachers and other educational leaders after a bill expanding training was signed Tuesday by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Senate Bill 1159 allows people without a bachelor’s degree to begin training to become a teacher and complete their training while also finishing their degree, according to a press release.

Educators with expired licenses will also be given more flexibility to renew their licenses and return back to the classroom more comfortably.

The recently passed legislation sponsored by Sun City Sen. Rick Gray will create more pathways to promise the best talent, Emily Gullickson, president of Great Leaders, Strong Schools, said in the release.

The bill has potential to diversify the teacher and school leader talent pipeline, Tonya Strozier, principal of Holladay Fine Arts Magnet Elementary School in the Tucson Unified School District, said.

“There is an urgent need for teachers in Arizona,” Gray added. “I am proud to have sponsored this bill to open the door to future educators and prepare them to be in the classroom.”

Some leaders in a state border community echoed the bill’s importance and what it can do for students and teachers.

“It is difficult to recruit in a border community and for our model, which is dual language, it’s even more difficult,” Luis Perales, a school leader at Mexicayotl Academy of Excellence in Tucson, said in the release.

He added, “having more certification pathways will help us train and develop leadership positions internally and create high quality pathways for former students and community members who want to enter the classroom.”

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill expanding training to increase teacher numbers