Jul 10, 2022 - Economy

Arizona educators can start teaching while finishing degree under new law

Students attend class on the second to last day of school in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Arizona educators can begin teaching in public schools while still earning a college degree under a new state law signed by Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday.

The big picture: The new law, which aims to alleviate the state's teacher shortage, is one of a number of the drastic measures states are taking to ease the general labor shortage.

Driving the news: Under the Arizona law, people can start and finish their training to become a teacher while also working on their college degree.

  • As noted by a local CBS station, this means that Arizona educators only need to be enrolled in a degree program to begin teaching in schools.

What they're saying: Ducey said in a news release that the law was aimed at giving public schools greater options to recruit educators.

  • This legislation "will ensure that more Arizonans have the opportunity to pursue a career in education and help get our kids caught up," Ducey said. "Arizona families know the importance of this effort — teachers are critical to our kids’ success today and well into their future."

Background: Almost a third of teacher positions in Arizona were vacant as of January, according to a survey from the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association.

  • Another 48% of teacher positions were filled by people "not meeting standard teacher requirements," the study found.
  • The state's superintendent has also expressed concerns that there will not be sufficient teachers for the next school year, according to a Phoenix radio station.
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