We recently submitted our first phase of an application in Arizona to become a provider and it looks like it might be just in the nick of time. A recent article highlighted a survey that said open teaching positions in Arizona have hit the crisis level.

A survey of 230 districts revealed:

  • 25% of the 8,200 empty slots went unfilled. Districts filled another
  • 22 percent of the open spots were filled by unconventional means, like leaving a long-term substitute in place or hiring someone with an “emergency” credential
  • Another 465 teachers walked off the job or just didn’t show up for work in the first four weeks of the semester.
  • Districts unable to find credentialed teachers filled nearly 1,000 of the 2,000 remaining vacant positions with long-term substitutes,
  • 34 classrooms with administrators who took to the classroom,
  • 540 of the positions were filled with teachers on reduced contracts,
  • 55 positions were filled by university teaching students who didn’t yet have a degree,
  • 65 by creating multi-grade classrooms and 146 by combining existing classes.

Out of the 1,800 people hired without conventional credentials, about

  • 733 were awaiting their certification
  • 347 had “emergency” certificates with the promise they would eventually get a credential
  • 576 received an “interim” certificate while working on an internship
  • 156 were immigrants here on a work visa

All in all – when people say there is no teacher shortage we kind of chuckle – that’s great to say from a high level think tank, but down at the HR level – they know they cannot find the talent. We need to fill the open teaching positions in Arizona now.