Principals and administrators are looking for creative recruiting methods to reduce Arizona's teacher shortage this spring.
There were 1,000 teachers missing from classrooms when the 2015-2016 school year started, according the Arizona Department of Education. As a result, substitute teachers filled in until permanent employees could be hired.
Take a look at the map below to see the student-to-teacher ratio in Valley districts for fiscal year 2015, according to the Auditor General. (For a fullscreen view, click here)
ABC15 has learned some schools heavily recruit in Midwestern states trying to lure new teachers with our warm weather.
One teacher recruiter said five Arizona districts had representatives at a recent educator job fair in Illinois. Some have even hired international teachers in hard-to-fill math, science and special education slots.
Many districts create robust internship programs to lock in aspiring teachers early, or they cast a wide net for millennials by turning to craigslist ads and social media blasts.
Take a look at the map below to see average teacher salaries for districts in the Valley in fiscal year 2015, according to the Auditor General. (For a fullscreen view, click here)
The Department of Education says the shortage is caused by retirements of older teachers and also by the poor retention rates of new hires. Officials also blame overall low teacher pay and lack of mentoring and support for new hires as to why there is a shortage in Arizona.