TUCSON- Arizona Governor Doug Ducey created the Arizona Teachers Academy in 2017 to tackle the statewide teacher shortage.
“In 2017 Governor Doug Ducey called on the three state universities to come up with a way to make teacher education affordable or free,” said Carl Liaupsin, the Department Head of University of Arizona’s College of Education.
Arizona Teachers Academy helps student teachers receive a scholarship that covers their tuition and fees at either Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University. In return, the students will commit to teaching at an Arizona public school.
“That allows up to take folks who are coming back for a masters degree from other fields and they can get finished in one year, it is really fast for us to get some teachers out into the field,” said Liaupsin.
During Ducey’s 2019 State of the State address, he mentioned the success of the program with 221 students already enrolled.
Ducey plans to allocate more money and support into the academy to expand the pipeline for Arizona teachers.
Enrollment numbers expect to more than double this year and 2020-2021 projection rates predict to enroll nearly 615 teachers, according to the academy.
“We are looking for people who love the community, love the schools, love working with the students and we think that those are the people who are more likely to stay and help really make a difference,” he said.
For the fiscal year 2020 budget, $21 million will be invested to expand the Arizona Teachers Academy.