Arizona continues to experience a severe teacher shortage, according to the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association (ASPAA).
ASPAA surveys school districts and charters four weeks and four months into each school year.
In a press release issued Monday, officials say the December 2020 survey results show there is little progress made to the severe teacher shortage in Arizona.
Recent data indicates about 27% of teacher vacancies across the state remain unfilled while about 47% of the vacancies are filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements.
Officials say Arizona teacher pay remains one of the lowest in the country, even with the recent education budget increase. Meanwhile, Arizona has one of the highest class size ratios in the country.
In addition to the continued teacher shortage, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted staffing in education. More teachers and staff are separating employment or have taken a full-year, unpaid leave of absence than in previous years with the primary reason related to COVID-19, according to ASPAA.
The survey focused on teacher vacancies and teachers who have already severed employment as of December 2020, and 200 school districts and charter schools throughout Arizona participated.