In a few short years there will be no one left to teach in Arizona. That’s not an alarmist’s statement, it’s just the nature of what’s to come.
This #RedforEd movement is important for all members of our great state because the government has not been executing the will of the voters. The price will be high. Education needs to be restored for the stability of Arizona, both economically but also socially and culturally.
Without arguing the merits of education, or the reasons education has been gutted, or any of the possible remedies, let us just look at the current state of affairs with educators (teachers) in Arizona.
- 24% of current teachers are within 4 years of retirement (source)
- 42% of new teachers leave the profession within 3 years (source)
- Almost 900 teachers left mid-contract in 2018 (source)
- 2,000 teaching jobs are unfilled (source)
- 3,400 teaching jobs are filled by unqualified people (source)
Let’s look at a couple of looming funding and financial issues that will only make this worse.
- The small extra funding the state has produced for education has come from Prop 123 (which was a sham to begin with). That has been ruled as illegal by a federal judge. That means education could be cut by another $344,000,000. (source)
- School districts may have to repay millions in mis-allocated (by the state) federal Special Education funding. (source)
- Insurance premiums have tripled between 2013 and 2017 (source) and are going up again this year!
- Teacher pay in Arizona, adjusted for cost of living in the state, is worst in the nation. Check out this map for great information.
- Funding for education has been in decline since 2001 when monitoring began by the Auditor General.
- In many cases teachers make less today than they did in the past. Here’s one example:
As awareness of the financial landscape increase among teachers, and as more would-be teachers look into the financial prospects of teaching, it will become increasingly difficult for schools to fill positions.
Who will be teaching in Arizona in five years?