A survey released last week has declared that over a fifth of teaching positions in Arizona remain unfilled this school year.
Data from the Arizona School Personnel Administrator’s Association determined that 21% of teacher positions across Arizona this year are vacant, and almost half of the filled positions are taken by people who do not meet the state’s certification requirements.
25% of teacher positions across the state at this point were unfilled in 2018. That figure was about 18% in 2017.
“These results reinforce the need to increase funding for public education,” the Arizona School Personnel Administrator’s Association said in a press release. “Arizona teacher pay remains one of the lowest in the country, even with the recent education budget increase.”
Gov. Doug Ducey implemented a plan two years ago to raise teacher’s salaries by 10% last year and 5% this year.
According to the Governor’s Office, the average teacher’s salary this school year is $55,361. Last year the average salary was estimated at $61,730.
“School districts and charter schools compete nationally for the limited pool of candidates,” the association said in the release. “The inability to offer competitive salaries severely limits public schools from attracting the best and the brightest.”