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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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AZ Educators Rally to Address "Teacher Retention Crisis"

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Monday, March 27, 2023   

Arizona educators spoke out about what they're calling a teacher retention crisis in the state and released a proposed budget for how the state should address the issue.

According to the Arizona Education Association, as of last January, Arizona has almost 2,900 teacher vacancies.

Of the vacancies that have been filled, they say 45% of them have been filled by individuals who don't meet standard teacher certification requirements.

President of the Tucson Education Association Margaret Chaney said each one of those vacancies translates to a classroom full of students being taught by what she calls a "long-term sub" or classrooms being combined.

"Arizona has plenty of experience in talented educators," said Chaney, "but far too many are leaving the profession faster and earlier than previous years because of low salaries, underfunded schools and a lack of respect."

Those with the AEA released their 2023 Educator's Budget and are calling for increased salaries and wages so that Arizona can compete with other states to keep teachers in Arizona schools.

Amber Gould, a Glendale High School English teacher, was one of those at the event that spoke about her experience as an educator of more than 10 years in the state.

She called on lawmakers to work with educators to solve the issues plaguing Arizona's public school system - and says it is unfair for teachers to have to fill in the gaps with their own time, money and energy.

"I realized I could make a much higher salary if I was a manager over at Quick-Trip, and I've been in my district for over 10 years," said Gould. "The other issue is that our health care is so expensive."

An estimated $600,000 of the proposed budget goes toward providing health care for educators.

Arizona Education Association president Marisol Garcia says 80% of educators in the state are women, many who have children and struggle for accessible health care.




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