As a new school year begins, hopes are high for a program aimed at reducing Arizona’s teacher shortage. The Arizona Teachers Academy is offered at all three of the main public universities. Students accepted into the academy receive tuition waivers and in return they commit to teaching in high-need, public schools in the state for as many years as they received scholarships. As the program enters its third year, legislators approved $15 million in funding for the academy. Arizona Board of Regents chair Ron Shoopman discussed the program’s impact.
“We find that teachers and people who want to teach are passionate not about the money they’re going to make, they’re passionate about helping children. Now it’s up to us and the school districts to provide the environment for those teachers to prosper,” Shoopman said.