ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona program that pays for students to become teachers gets an extra $15 million

Oct 3, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 10:55 am

(Facebook photo/Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University)...

(Facebook photo/Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University)

(Facebook photo/Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University)

PHOENIX — More money is going to the state program that gives scholarships to students studying to become teachers in Arizona after demand exceeded available funding this year.

Gov. Doug Ducey is allocating $15 million to the Arizona Teachers Academy. The funds are federal dollars that the state can decide how to spend.

In total, the program will now have $36 million on hand for this year.

“That will allow us to fund the waitlist of students who had applied for the program of which we would not have been able to facilitate but for this relief,” Fred Duval, chair-elect of the Arizona Board of Regents, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

He said between 500-600 students were on a waitlist for the ATA, which is offered at the three state universities and two community colleges.

Arizona State University alone had 370 students on its waitlist and had stopped taking new applications while Northern State University had to cancel its summer session.

“The other schools were prioritizing I think rationally those students who had already been admitted into the academy but not admitting any new students,” Duval said.

The ATA gives scholarships to students who commit to teaching in Arizona public schools for as many years as they received funding. Ducey launched it in 2017 to help ease the teacher shortage in Arizona.

Enrollment for the program has increased every year. This year’s class of about 3,300 students is the biggest one yet.

The program also pays for current teachers to get additional certifications.

“What this program seeks to do is to use Arizona talent, keep good Arizona teachers in the classroom for as long as possible and to make sure that every child that deserves a good education gets one – and it starts in the classroom and it starts with a good teacher,” Duval said.

Duval proposed the ATA while running for governor against Ducey in 2014.

He said the governor called him and said he really liked the idea and wanted to move forward with it. Duval said this shows the teacher shortage in Arizona “isn’t red or blue.”

“This is a critical need that really isn’t a partisan issue whatsoever,” he said.

A recent survey by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association found nearly 27% of teacher positions remained open a few weeks into the new school year. That’s among the 130 school districts and charter schools that participated in the survey.

The association has been tracking the state’s teacher shortage since 2016. It’s twice-yearly surveys have found that about a quarter of teacher vacancies remained unfilled a month into each school year.

Duval said schools are “doing everything they can to find folks who will teach.” That includes hiring teachers who are pending certification as well as individuals hired from outside of the United States.

“These are all stopgap measures that school districts have to employ in order to make sure there’s somebody in the front of the classroom trying to teach some content,” Duval said.

He said the goal of the ATA is to help ease the statewide teacher shortage. And based on this year’s demand for the program, Duval said he projects next year’s budget request will likely be about $35 million, which he hopes the governor and state legislature will support that.

“We hope that the compelling need for and the success of this program will be such that regardless of who the new leaders are that they will embrace it,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

During an earnings call on April 18, 2024, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said engineer...

Amy Edelen/Phoenix Business Journal

Wafer production underway at TSMC’s Phoenix factory; Q1 earnings beat expectations

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. is making “significant progress” on its north Phoenix site with engineering wafer production already underway.

2 hours ago

Repeat killer sentenced to life in prison after murdering girlfriend...

KTAR.com

Tempe man sentenced to life in prison for murdering girlfriend

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said it sentenced Gary Cox, 60, a repeat killer, to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend.

2 hours ago

Mugshot of Alvin Massenburg II, who was arrested April 17, 2024, in connection with a fatal shootin...

KTAR.com

Suspect arrested 2 days after deadly shooting at Phoenix smoke shop

An arrest has been made in a Phoenix smoke shop shooting that left one man dead earlier this week, authorities announced Friday.

4 hours ago

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes speaks to reporters in Phoenix after the state Supreme Court up...

Kevin Stone

Arizona’s near-total abortion ban can’t be enforced before June 8, AG Kris Mayes tells providers

Arizona's near-total abortion ban can't be enforced before June 8, the state's top legal officer told medical providers this week.

5 hours ago

Harrison Ward was arrested on April 18, 2024, for his alleged role in a fatal Gilbert crash. (Maric...

KTAR.com

Wrong-way driver arrested in Gilbert after fatal crash

A man was arrested in Gilbert on Thursday for his role in a fatal, early morning wrong-way crash, authorities said.

6 hours ago

Follow @veenstra_david...

David Veenstra

Valley’s ultimate foodie festival returns this weekend with fried chicken, donuts and more

Prepare for a mouthwatering adventure as the Valley's ultimate global-inspired food festival is returning on Saturday to Peoria.

8 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.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Arizona program that pays for students to become teachers gets an extra $15 million