/ Modified oct 14, 2015 2:50 p.m.

Study: Stop Arizona Teacher Exit with Respect, Better Pay

Advocacy group draws conclusion from survey of more than 6,000 Arizona teachers.

Sunnyside classroom spotlight Freshman literature teacher Michelle Callahan-DuMont at Sunnyside High School.


Stories about teacher shortages are a constant in the news.

Tucson Values Teachers, an advocacy organization, released a survey Wednesday that looks to answer why educators might leave the classroom.

The study’s bottom line?

Arizona teachers do not feel respected– financially or professionally. The study found Southern Arizona teachers are paid 32 percent less than the national median.

“We will not have great schools until we have great teachers,” said Marian Salzman, executive chair of Tucson Values Teachers. “We won’t keep great teachers until we are paying them fairly and showing them all those benefits of being part of a professional society.”

Respect isn’t just about money, Salzman said. More than 6,000 teachers ranked their profession as one of the least respected – well below doctors, actors and small business owners.

“All professions are admirable, but people who are teaching our children are a little bit more important in a lot of our lives, and we need to show them that respect,” Salzman said.

She said that can start with a simple thank you from parents.

Read a summary of the study here.

MORE: Arizona, News, Tucson
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