Report: AZ Teacher retention, recruitment, pay at crisis levels

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PHOENIX (3TV) –
Arizona schools are facing a crisis in the classroom.

This is according to a new report released Thursday by ASU’s Morrison Institute.

It shows the Grand Canyon State has reached “crisis levels” when it comes to recruiting and retaining teachers.

Currently, 74 percent of schools administrators questioned for the study report a shortage of teachers.

In addition, 42 percent of teachers hired in 2013 left the profession within three years.

When it comes to pay, a big factor in recruiting and retaining teachers, the state doesn’t stack up well with others.

[RELATED: Teacher gives latest pay raise low marks]

The Morrison Institute found elementary school teachers here are the lowest paid in the country.

High school pay ranks 48 out of 50 states.

The new report comes as state lawmakers are brokering a deal to boost salaries for teachers.

Senate President Steve Yarbrough says legislators are looking at a 2 percent bump phased in over two years.

The proposal is larger than Gov. Doug Ducey’s original offer of 0.4 percent.

A 2 percent raise means about an extra $1,000 a year for someone earning the average salary of roughly $50,000.

But for teachers who haven’t seen significant raises in years, it’s not enough.

Activist groups are demanding a 4 percent increase next year.

These groups have put a lot of pressure on the governor and the Legislature to increase teacher pay.

Ultimately, it will be resolved in the state budget.

State leaders are close to a deal on a state spending plan, but no word yet on when they will finalize it.

-Originally published by Dennis Welch, AZ Family on 4/20/17 at 5:50 pm