The Coming Teacher Shortage
Large numbers of new teachers and teachers who are ready to retire have left a gap of experienced classroom teachers in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Education has compiled data showing thousands of teachers have left schools in the past 5 years. The greater Phoenix Education Management Council estimates that 72,000 employees left the Arizona State Retirement System before reaching retirement. The Arizona Education Department reported annual teacher retention rate at 65 percent.
Arizona superintendents say that low pay and no raises are causing the mass exodus.
This isn’t just a problem for Arizona but for the nation as well. I believe that the problem isn’t just l0w wages but also an assault by conservatives who believe that anyone can teach and that educational accountability only means teacher accountability.