Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a controversial measure allowing more people who lack formal teacher training to teach in public schools. SB 1042 changes existing standards, which require tests of professional proficiency, and instead allows anyone with “expertise in a content area or subject matter” to teach.
Ducey claims that the bill will allow more people to pursue teaching jobs in Arizona, which could fill the teacher shortage. However, he continues to ignore legislation like the proposed budget measure to increase teacher salaries by 4%, which would incentivize qualified people to take up teaching. Additionally, recent Republican support of the education voucher program indicates that they are ignoring fundamental issues with public school funding and support.
Under the new bill, school superintendents are able to create their own certification process instead of the state Department of Education, which previously decided who was qualified to teach. There is a strong opposition to the bill, with representatives like Isela Blanc (D- Tempe) arguing that the bill won’t solve the teacher shortage. They point towards increases in teacher salaries to solve the problem.
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