GLENDALE, Ariz. — State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman attended the 2022 Arizona Educator Job Fair on Saturday morning hosted by the Arizona Department of Education.
Hoffman addressed the need for more educators.
"This is about supporting our schools because we know that the teacher shortage is one of the most significant issues, severe issues facing our schools right now," Hoffman stated.
She said the need is especially great in rural areas where it's harder to attract and retain educators.
"Many of our schools are reliant on long-term substitute teachers, meaning they have not gone through a teacher prep program and they’re not fully certified as a teacher but rely on them because they simply cannot fill the positions."
The Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association (ASPAA) reports that 31% of teacher vacancies across the state this year remained unfilled.
"We're talking in the thousands," Hoffman said of the open teaching positions in the state. "Especially in this most recent year, we’re actually seeing the teacher shortage is being even more exacerbated because of the burnout teachers are feeling after the last couple years of dealing with the pandemic."
Hoffman said around 1,000 people registered for the career fair and job interviews were conducted on-site.
Representatives from more than 130 districts and charters across Arizona set up booths to recruit candidates.
"I think people want to learn more about what types of job opportunities are available in our schools," Hoffman continued. "So of course, the obvious one is classroom teacher but people here are also hiring bus drivers, counselors school psychologists, cafeteria workers, we have so many professionals who support our school community."
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