Few things have greater impact than a highly effective teacher in every classroom and a strong leader in every school, yet Arizona is facing a teacher shortage crisis.

A 2017 report by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy offers further insight into the teacher recruitment and retention issues we’ve been hearing about for several years.

In addition, we learn that high percentages of teachers are leaving the profession within their first few years and that rural and urban schools alike struggle to attract and retain quality educators.

If we care about the success of every student, this is an issue we cannot wait to address. Arizona’s students deserve better than last. And investments in our teachers and classroom will positively impact our communities and everyone’s quality of life.

Arizona should minimally work to move toward the national median. Understanding that this requires a tremendous ongoing investment of resources, Expect More Arizona is advocating for new funding to increase teacher pay over the long-term.

We must also create opportunities for meaningful professional development, high-quality mentoring, and induction programs, as well as student loan forgiveness programs for Arizona educators.