View: Many factors contribute to teacher shortage

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The West Valley View reported that “burnout” is one of many factors contributing to a teacher shortage that studies show is widespread throughout Arizona.

ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy released an extensive study in May that found 42 percent of Arizona teachers hired in 2013 left the profession within three years.

That study, Finding & Keeping Educators for Arizona’s Classrooms, reported pay was a big factor. Arizona ranked last in the nation in elementary school teacher pay and 49th in high school teacher pay when both were adjusted for statewide cost of living.

Morrison Institute senior policy analyst Dan Hunting, the study’s principal researcher, said although pay was a significant issue contributing to the shortage, increased workload and a lack of support were also major factors.

“(Teachers) also feel oftentimes that they’re not adequately supported by their administration, either at the school or district level,” Hunting said. “A lot of districts, of course, are having to get very creative, because there’s not a lot of resources out there.”

Morrison Institute study found “Arizona is losing more teachers each year than it is producing from bachelor of education programs at its three state universities.”

Hunting’s research determined teachers are devoted to the profession, however.

“Even the people who I surveyed – the ones who said they were going to leave the profession within the next three years – a majority of those said that they liked their job,” Hunting said. “So teachers are very devoted to this profession, but it is just getting more and more difficult for them.”

READ: WV feeling pinch of teacher shortage