IS There a Teacher Shortage in the State of Arizona?

Short answer -- No.

According to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), the number of currently Certified Teachers in Arizona is nearly DOUBLE the number of public school teaching positions in the state.

In Arizona there are more than 200 public school districts controlling more than 1700 public schools. There are almost 50,000 public school teaching jobs in the state in any given school year. At the same time the ADE reports approximately 90,000 currently certified teachers in Arizona.

source: http://www.azed.gov/adeinfo/    (under "Quick Info")

So, What is Going On?

The public school districts in Arizona are suffering from a two-part problem:

One part is Recruitment and the other part is Retention.

These are the terms given by the people who have been researching the Arizona Teacher Shortage.

When a district cannot get certificated teachers to apply for the available job positions, the district is having a Recruitment problem.

When a district cannot get their currently employed teachers to accept a contract for the next school year, or cannot get them to even complete the current school year contract, the district is having a Retention problem.

ALL public school districts in the state of Arizona report having both recruitment and retention problems.