Who Wants to Teach in Arizona?

| July 1, 2015

By Marian Salzman • CEO Havas PR North America • HUFF POST Education

We expect teachers to be smart–certainly smart enough to graduate with a good degree, smart enough to know their subject(s) in depth, smart enough to inspire a whole range of students, smart enough to deal with students’ parents and smart enough to manage their own life well.

So imagine a smart, young teacher checking out job prospects and weighing the pros and cons of working in Arizona. The great weather, the gorgeous scenery, a whole host of outdoor activities and that special Southwest vibe all give Arizona great lifestyle appeal. But life should be about more than leisure time, especially for professionals entrusted with teaching our nation’s students. So as a tech-savvy millennial with a pile of student debt, that smart, young teacher goes online to see how the Grand Canyon State stacks up in the nitty-gritty of grown-up life.

First stop is WalletHub, which claims to “help you make smarter financial decisions.” Scanning its Best and Worst States for Teachers for 2014, it takes a while to find Arizona. It doesn’t rank at the absolute bottom overall (job security helps), but at 46th out of 51 the difference is academic, no pun intended. On salary rankings (adjusted for cost of living), it’s 48th, for pupil/teacher ratio it’s 49th, and for public school spending it’s 50th. Just-released U.S. Census Bureau data shows that Arizona dropped from a rank of 39 (out of 50) in state funding per pupil to dead last over two decades.

In fairness, Gov. Doug Ducey is working to reverse that, and he has made some innovative proposals in recent weeks. Also worth noting: Arizona is fighting a tough battle in regard to its demographics. Its population growth has been third highest in the country since 1992; as part of that growth, however, it is ranked No. 9 in the U.S. in increase of residents under age 18, No. 49 in the growth of its tax base of 18- to 64-year-olds, and back up to No. 13 in the rise in those over 64 — the people with an increased demand for state resources.

To sum up, compared with most other states, this is the prospect facing a teacher in Arizona: relatively bigger classes with fewer resources for less take-home pay.

…Read the full article HERE

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Category: Education

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