AZ Teachers Academy to receive funding

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The Arizona Teachers Academy is set to receive $15 million in funding. This will help alleviate academy waitlists and will help support future teachers in our state. The Academy is a popular program at the state universities, providing scholarships in exchange for teaching service for students who want to become teachers.

Regent Fred DuVal of the Arizona Board of Regents describes how this funding will impact education in the state.

What is the Arizona Teachers Academy?

“We offer to students, if you agree to come get a degree and you agree to teach, we will pick up your tuition, for every year you agree to teach we will pick up your tuition,” DuVal said.

How did this idea come about?

“I ran for Governor against Doug Ducey, and after I proposed this idea he pulled me aside and said, ‘I like that idea, and I’m probably going to beat you and when I do I’m going to use that,’ and he was good to his word and put me on the board,” said DuVal.

He believes that Ducey put him back on the board was so he could see the project to completion. “He gets a lot of credit for funding it; we built it, he has been funding it and so we are growing,” he explained.

How much is the program growing?

“To give you some scale, the first couple of years, two to three hundred students, we’re now at about 3,000 students in the academy. We have now graduated about 3,200 to date,” he said.

He mentioned the teacher shortage in that 1,000 classrooms were without teachers this Fall. “We don’t have enough teachers and we don’t keep teachers long enough. The work arounds are really painful to think about,” he said.

“We are growing, but we probably need to triple the program in order to catch up given the fact that we have this lagging 1,000 classroom number behind us,” he said.

Fred DuVal, Regent/Arizona Board of Regents

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