Teachers Assert That Salary Disparities Are To Blame For The Arizona Teacher Exodus

In another state, an Arizona teacher is resigning from the classroom to work as a security guard. The reason: more money.

Jon Knapp, a middle school teacher in Peoria, tells ABC15 that he has turned in his resignation since his average pay of $40,000 a year is not sustainable.

There is “no assistance from the state or even municipal administrations that make me believe things will improve any time soon,” he added.

Knapp has enough money to get by, but it may be difficult to make ends meet and pay the bills.

In a one-bedroom apartment, he and a roommate sleep on futons, he claims.

Even though he didn’t want to leave the pupils he’d taught, the poor income was a major factor in his quitting the classroom.

It was on my mind to leave last year. But then I changed my mind, since I wanted to stay with my children.” “he said.

In Kingman, a music instructor Susan Collins says she’s not alone in her decision to leave the classroom since the compensation isn’t adequate for her one-person home.

In addition to a Master’s degree, Collins has 30 years of experience teaching music lessons.

I love being there, but as the only breadwinner in my family, the financial burdens I bear have been particularly heavy.

As many districts still have contracts out, it’s not known how many teachers will depart classrooms throughout the state.

Almost 9% of Dysart Unified School District’s certified staff (teachers) are not renewing their contracts this school year.

106 of the 1,220 teacher contracts filed for 2022-2023 were not submitted.

In comparison, 1,165 teacher contracts were offered for 2021-2022, but only 67 applications were received.

From 94.2 to 91.3 percent, the retention rate has decreased.

“Even though we had a modest increase in job turnover this year, our retention rate is still in line with what is currently being seen throughout the country’s employment markets. “We are on track to fill all 52 teacher positions for the 2022-2023 school year prior to the start of classes,” a district official stated.

More than one-fifth of the district’s 9,000 workers are considering quitting Mesa Public Schools.

As a result, 368 classroom instructors and 114 administrative assistants will be quitting their jobs in the coming months.

According to the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association, 31 percent of teacher openings stay unfilled and 47.7 percent of vacancies are filled by instructors who do not match the state’s certification criteria.

Special education, math, and science all have shortages of skilled instructors, according to the researchers.

In an interview with ABC15, the Department of Education said that the number of teachers and support workers leaving the classroom before the conclusion of the school year is unknown since they don’t have any form of data monitoring system.

TJ Shope was on the Coolidge school board for 12 years.

This year, “I don’t know whether it’s going to be any better or worse, we certainly don’t have numbers on the proportion of individuals who have signed or quit contracts,” he said.

Currently, Republicans hold a majority in the Senate and are engaged in budget negotiations.

As he said, “the baseline of the budget shows that the formula expenditure would grow.” It’s my view that we’ll be putting some extra money into it, but I’m not sure at this point in time what that figure is.”

ABC15 inquired as to whether the state’s $5.3 billion surplus might be used to increase funding for teachers or the classrooms.

“I know that there are varying plans that are out there that people are putting forth, but at the end of the day we have to put forth a plan that is sustainable long term,” said Senator Shope. “Being a board member as long as I was, I always have concerns on the school districts and governing boards and putting money to where the legislative intent of those dollars go.”





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