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Updated Report Provides Solutions to Improve Arizona’s Teacher Labor Market

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The Arizona Community Foundation has partnered with the Steele Foundation to release an updated “Strengthening and Supporting the Teaching Job in Arizona” report, which provides an in-depth data analysis and policy scan of the labor market for educators in Arizona. This report builds on the findings of the 2018 report “Arizona State Funding Project: Addressing the Teacher Labor Market Challenge,” both conducted by the non-profit organization Education Resource Strategies (ERS).

“Strengthening and Supporting the Teaching Job in Arizona” is a result of the Arizona Community Foundation’s and the Steele Foundation’s efforts to fund research on how to address teacher retention challenges. Compared to other states in the U.S., teaching conditions in Arizona are particularly difficult and have become more so since the 2018 report was released. Arizona faces nearly twice the rate of teacher vacancies than the national average, making it among the highest in the nation.

“We cannot begin to move forward without recognizing the challenges our K-12 education system faces, particularly our state’s decades-long legacy of underinvestment in public education,” said Anna Maria Chávez, Arizona Community Foundation President & CEO. “However, Arizona’s flexible state policy is conducive to reforms, and offers an opportunity to redesign the teaching profession in a way that makes it more attractive and sustainable for current and future educators.”

“Research shows us that when it comes to student learning and outcomes, teacher quality matters more than any other in-school factor,” said Marianne Cracchiolo Mago, President and CEO of the Steele Foundation. “This report uses data to help us create viable, long-term solutions that Arizona’s leaders can implement to recruit and retain exceptional teachers in our schools.”

This updated report is an important part of the Arizona Community Foundation’s focus on teacher retention and recruitment. Building on updated data, it provides sustainable solutions to invest in and support teachers, with specific actions that Arizona’s school districts, superintendents, and schools can take. The practical solutions it proposes have been tested and piloted, both within Arizona as well as in other states that have economic, political, and educational systems similar to Arizona’s.

“Strengthening and Supporting the Teaching Job in Arizona” is now available in its entirety here.