Teacher shortage at 'crisis' levels just days before classes resume

The Arizona Department of Education is finishing a report regarding the critical shortage of teachers for districts resuming after summer break.

Current estimates put the shortage around 1,000 teachers. An exact number is expected once all schools resume class.

In the meantime, The Arizona Department of Education says steps are being taken to address the problem.

Emergency certification is ongoing for those with 4-year bachelor degrees to be placed immediately into classrooms. 

Other requirements have been condensed, reducing the lengthy requirements.

However, long term substitute teachers will be used to fill classrooms, but even then, some class sizes could double.

"We know that often times they can't find subs, so so that means classes would have to be combined, normally one teacher would have 20 to 25 students, now they would have between 40 and 50 students if a sub can't be found and we know students can't function and learn in those kinds of environments," said Cecilia Johnson, Associate Superintendent, Arizona Department of Education.

A new report on the teaching crisis in Arizona is due out next week.

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