Arizona Teachers Leaving State For Many Reasons
Teachers have been leaving Arizona schools for many reasons recently, causing a huge shortage of educators in the desert state.
According to the Washington Post, thousands of teachers have left Arizona in the past five years for many reasons including low pay, insufficient classroom resources and too many testing requirements that do not allow teachers flexibility in their own classrooms.
This year marks one of the biggest shortages of teachers in Arizona, according to a 2015 report by the state's department of education.
The report says, if teachers keep leaving, "students will not meet their full potential. ... Arizona will not be able to ensure economic prosperity for its citizens and create the workforce of tomorrow."
Arizona is in need of better education funding for the state while the report urges for an increase in wages for teachers.
The conservative state pays about $7,208 per student a year, making it one of the states that pays the least for education, according to a new Census Bureau statistics.
More Arizona teachers are taking on double the amount work following the big cut in staff, The New York Times reports.
"We've asked our teachers to double up -- everybody is doubling up," said Sherry Dorathy, the superintendent in an Arizona school district. "And we haven't given our teachers a raise in seven years."
The Miami Unified School District is facing a 4 percent cut in next year's budget. Dorathy is also a grant writer, principal for an elementary school and the director of maintenance of the entire school district.
Since the recession hit the nation, more than 450,000 students have enrolled in school since 2007 with no additional funding.
The economic crisis caused nearly 30 other states to spend less on school funding. Yet, experts say politics and policy have also played a major role while state economies are still trying to recover.
Arizona is one of the few states that have struggled with the deepest cuts in education from kindergarten to the 12th grade in the U.S. Other states include Idaho, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wisconsin.
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