Arizona has been grappling with a shortage of established teachers in public schools across the state, according to education officials.
Large numbers of new teachers and teachers getting ready to retire have left a gap of experienced classroom instructors, the Arizona Capitol Times reported this week.
The Arizona Department of Education said the agency has compiled data showing thousands of the state’s teachers have left in the past five years. The Greater Phoenix Education Management Council, a coalition of 42 Arizona school districts, estimates that 72,000 employees left the Arizona State Retirement System before reaching retirement. The education department reported an annual teacher retention rate of about 65 percent.