Report: State has problem hiring, retaining quality teachers – CBS 5 – KPHO

7 Feb

Coming to a state near you!

PHOENIX (CBS5) –

The Department of Education just released a report on whether Arizona makes the grade when it comes to recruiting and retaining quality teachers. From the looks of it, the state is failing.

“I teach because I love it,” said Beth Maloney, who teaches in the hard-hit Dysart Unified School District. She spoke in a panel Thursday night on how to attract and retain teachers.

“We’ve had some incredible staff members let go and it’s incredibly heartbreaking,” Maloney said.

Though she was just named Arizona’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, she always worries she could be next.

“It’s hard to say any of us are really safe at this time at all,” Maloney said.

A state education task force published startling statistics from surveys conducted by the Arizona School Administrators Association.

They found 62 percent of 79 districts who responded had open teaching positions. There were 938 positions filled by substitutes in the 2013-14 school year, an increase of 29 percent from the previous year; 53 percent of districts reported teachers breaking their contracts during the 2013-14 school year; 42 percent of districts said teachers who left reported moving on to careers with higher pay; 24 percent of the workforce in education will be eligible to retire within four years.

“Currently a lot of money is going to corporations on the pretense of growing more jobs, which has not happened,” said Andrew Morrill, the president of the Arizona Education Association. He said he’d like to see fewer tax breaks for big companies so education could get the funding it deserves.

“Is the priority educating our students or is our priority sending money out of state as entitlements to corporations?” Morrill asked.

“I don’t think it’s as poor as it’s made out to be,” said state Rep. Paul Boyer, who is a teacher. Although the task force also reports Arizona spends far less per student than the national average, Boyer said paying teachers more is a nice idea, but is not an overnight fix-all solution.

“I do think sometimes it can be more of a marketing problem. “We should be talking more about what we’re doing well,” Boyer said. More…

via Report: State has problem hiring, retaining quality teachers – CBS 5 – KPHO.

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