Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs creates panel to study teacher retention problem

Feb 3, 2023, 8:00 PM

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order Thursday aimed at figuring out ways to keep teachers in classrooms.

The order, the Democrat’s seventh since she took office a month ago, establishes an Educator Retention Task Force to address an issue she highlighted during her inaugural State of the State address.

According to the order, an estimated 25,000 people hold teacher certification in Arizona but aren’t currently working in classrooms.

Arizona ranks 44th for average teacher salary at $52,157, more than $13,000 below the national average, according to the National Education Association.

“The reality is we don’t have an educator shortage, what we have is a retention crisis,” Hobbs said in a press release.

“There are too many amazing professionals who had to leave a career they love because of the uncompetitive salaries, onerous policies and unfunded mandates that rob educators of the joy of teaching.”

Hobbs will appoint the 19-member task force, which will include one parent of a child currently in school along with a variety of education professionals from urban, rural and tribal areas.

Hobbs or her designee will chair the panel, and the governor will select a member to serve as vice chair.

The commission will be tasked with gathering feedback through stakeholder meetings, roundtable discussions and an educator survey. A final report with recommendations for improving teacher retention is due by Dec. 1.

The Educator Retention Task Force will disband after submitting the report.

Anybody interested in being named to the commission can submit their information through an online form that lists the criteria.

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs creates panel to study teacher retention problem