Call to increase funding due to teacher shortage

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On the show today, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman, talked about the current teacher shortage and the need to increase school spending.

There are hundreds of people in Arizona who currently have their teaching certificate, they just aren’t teaching in the classrooms, according to Hoffman.

This is not a new issue, COVID, teacher retention, and burnout have all been causes in this shortage, according to Hoffman.

“Part of how our school leaders are addressing this issue in the immediate is by hiring emergency certified substitutes. So they are filling these positions with people who have not gone through a teacher preparation program,” Hoffman said.

The problem with this is, without the correct teacher preparation, these students might not get the level of education they should be receiving, according to Hoffman.

There is also some teachers who are going through college courses that prepare them to be teachers, which could be better than hiring emergency certified substitutes because they only need a high school level of training to be teaching in the classroom, according to Hoffman.

A recent celebration in education is a 500 million bipartisan budget that was added to public education funding, but there is a spending cap on school districts which makes them not allowed to spend the money that was allocated to them, according to Hoffman.

This cap was lifted for this year but has plans to take affect again for the next school year.

This has a huge impact on education because it limits the ability to budget out for schools and also give teachers acceptable salaries, according to Hoffman.

Hoffman has called on Gov. Ducey to lift this cap, but has gotten no immediate response.

“They said that they acknowledge the issue and they seem to think there’s a plan to address it but they will no longer be in office come January,” Hoffman said.

To suspend this law, it would take a 2/3 vote, and to repeal it, it would need voters approval in 2024, according to Hoffman.

Kathy Hoffman, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Kathy Hoffman, Superintendent of Public Instruction,

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