Via the Washington Post: Teachers have been fleeing Arizona in droves, resulting in such a serious shortage of experienced teachers that state officials are warning of serious consequences if the exodus continues.
Over the last five years, thousands of teachers have left the state, according to a 2015 report by the Arizona Department of Education, with this past school year being possibly the worst. The report warns if teachers keep leaving, “students will not meet their full potential” and “Arizona will not be able to ensure economic prosperity for its citizens and create the workforce of tomorrow.” It calls for increased pay for teachers and more overall education funding in the state.
Why are so many teachers leaving? Low pay, insufficient classroom resources and so many testing requirements and teaching guidelines that educators feel they have no instructional time and flexibility in their own classrooms, educators say. According to new Census Bureau statistics, Arizona is near the bottom of a state list of spending per student, $7,208, with the average per pupil spending around the country being $10,700 and near or at the bottom for classroom spending per student. But it is near the top of a list of states in getting public education revenue from the federal government.
In the Miami Unified School District east of [Phoenix], the superintendent is also a grant writer and the principal of the elementary school is also in charge of keeping the toilets running, as the district’s director of maintenance.