Last week, just days after the Arizona legislature passed the most expansive school voucher law anywhere in the nation, Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law another education measure decreeing that public school teachers are no longer required to have a college degree of any kind before being hired. Arizona teachers will only have to be enrolled in college in order to begin teaching the state’s public school students.
The law, SB 1159, was pushed by conservatives on the grounds that Arizona has faced a severe teacher shortage for the last six years, which, by this winter, left 26% of teacher vacancies unfilled and nearly 2,000 classrooms without an official teacher of record. That shortage has led supporters of the bill, including business interests such as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, to claim that loosening teacher credential requirements will help fill those staffing gaps. Opponents of the bill, however, point to the fact that Arizona has the lowest teacher salaries in the country, even while boasting a budget surplus of more than $5 billion.
FROM THE RIGHT:
While this new legislation makes it easier for those who want to become teachers to do so, it has been met with mixed reactions.
You have to have some experience. It’s going to allow people to do on the job training, and that’s where it’s scary,” Marisol Garcia, the President of the Arizona Educators Association, said.ABC/wjla.com