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ERIC Number: ED574452
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 44
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 17
Finding & Keeping Educators for Arizona's Classrooms
Hunting, Dan
Morrison Institute for Public Policy
Quality teaching is essential to providing children with the knowledge and skills necessary for a high quality of life. It's essential to the economy, as well. Business thrives when it has ready access to an educated workforce, allowing Arizona to compete for the best industries and companies. Quality teaching helps build the society in which we live today and tomorrow. This report uses hard data as well as voices from teachers themselves to describe the current state of Arizona's educational workforce, specifically focusing on the factors that attract new teachers into the profession and those factors that drive too many existing teachers out of it. Highlights of the findings include the following: (1) Teachers of the baby-boom generation are approaching the end of their careers and will soon exit the profession as they retire. Meanwhile, mid-career teachers are leaving the classroom for various reasons, and fewer young teachers are taking up the profession; (2) Forty-two percent of Arizona teachers hired in 2013 were no longer teaching in an Arizona public school by 2016. Fifty-two percent of Arizona charter school teachers hired in 2013 left within three years; (3) Twenty-two percent of the teachers hired between 2013 and 2015 were not teaching in Arizona after one year; (4) Over one-third of Arizona teachers have been in the classroom for four years or less; (5) The large number of low-experience teachers helps explain the state's low overall education expense, since so many teachers are near the bottom of the pay scale; (6) Arizona is losing more teachers each year than it is producing from bachelor of education programs at its three state universities; (7) Median pay for Arizona's elementary school teachers has dropped by 11 percent since 2001. For high school teachers, the decline has been 10 percent; (8) When adjusted for statewide cost-of-living, elementary school teacher pay is the lowest in the nation. High school teacher pay ranks 49th of the 50 states; (9) A large majority of teachers surveyed indicate that they are very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their careers; (10) Seventy-four percent of administrators surveyed said their schools are currently experiencing a shortage of teachers; (11) Hiring of new teachers was reported as being somewhat or extremely difficult by 85 percent of rural school administrators, compared to 77 percent of those in urban districts; (12) Some rural Arizona districts are importing inexperienced teachers from the Midwest only to later export high-value veteran teachers back to the Midwest; (13) Finding qualified teachers is difficult in specialized areas such as math, science and special education; and (14) The demographics of the teaching profession are lagging the changing demographics of the state. Just 14 percent of Arizona teachers are Latino, compared with 44 percent of K-12 students. Methodology is appended. [The following people contributed to this report: Thom Reilly, Andrea Whitsett, Samantha Briggs, Joseph Garcia, Bill Hart, and Ed Spyra.]
Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Arizona State University. P.O. Box 874405, 215 East 7th Street Suite 203, Tempe, AZ 85287-4405. Tel: 480-965-4525; Fax: 480-965-9219; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Helios Education Foundation; Arizona Community Foundation; Pike and Susan Sullivan Foundation
Authoring Institution: Arizona State University, Morrison Institute for Public Policy
Identifiers - Location: Arizona