Our state is facing a critical teacher shortage. That’s why Superintendent Kathy Hoffman launched a $5 million initiative in  partnership with NAU to create the first-of-its-kind teacher residency program in Arizona. This program is modeled after medical residencies and  is designed to help recruit, prepare, support, and retain high-quality K-12 teachers. The two-year program provides aspiring teachers with in-classroom experience, cost-of-living stipends, a master’s degree, and a job at a partnering school district. 

Arizona has been experiencing a dire teacher recruitment and retention problem for years due to our state's refusal to value our teachers and pay them their worth. The pandemic has only further fueled that burnout and our students are suffering the most. 

The teacher shortage we are currently seeing in our state is one of the most significant and severe issues facing our schools right now. We need leaders in all levels of government who are willing to create an Arizona where we are top in the nation for teacher pay, instead of demonizing and devaluing our public school systems.