CHANDLER, AZ - It's “back to school” for Chandler students Monday.
As students across the state begin to head back to the classroom, schools are facing teacher shortages.
There are still plenty of graduate students out there trying to become teachers.
But educators say the problem is keeping them here in Arizona.
The annual teacher retention rate is just 65 percent, and educators say we're losing teachers to surrounding states because of low pay.
They say teacher salaries have stayed about the same since the recession hit.
“We have a teacher shortage, and we’re trying to retain the best teachers we can get. And in order to do that, we have to have a competitive salary and give them working conditions that make them want to come back and teach,” said Chris Thomas with the Arizona School Boards Association.
Parents we spoke with at Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary School in Chandler said they want to see more money going to teachers and students.
“They're molding our future. These kids are going to take care of us one day. So I definitely think they need more money,” said Jennifer Hall.
A task force has been set up at the state Capitol to come up with some recommendations to fix the issue.
They hope to have a plan ready by the end of September.