In a number of school districts, there is a shortage of teachers with only a short time left before the start of the new school year.
In Arizona, at least 1000 teacher positions still need to be filled. Some officials say the teacher shortage is nothing new, as low salaries, low support, and a high turnover rate make it difficult to attract teachers during the summer months.
‘’We’ve been working very hard since the spring to fill all our positions,” said Balsz School District Superintendent Jeffrey Smith.
According to Smith, there are currently 4 or 5 teacher openings in his district, and little likelihood that those positions will be filled by the start of school on July 27.
He is not alone. An Educator Retention and Recruitment Task Force was created by the Arizona Department of Education in response to large numbers of teachers leaving. Results show persistent problems with low pay, increasing workload, and high turnover leaving fewer mentors for new teachers.
25 percent of the state’s teachers will become eligible for retirement next year