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Deer Valley Unified looking at 125 full-time vacancies to fill

Last day of school for this year less than a month away

Posted 4/19/24

Some work will wind down by the end of the Deer Valley Unified School District year next month, but ongoing efforts to hire new teachers will continue.

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Deer Valley Unified looking at 125 full-time vacancies to fill

Last day of school for this year less than a month away


Some work will wind down by the end of the Deer Valley Unified School District year next month, but ongoing efforts to hire new teachers will continue.

Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources Jenna Moffitt confirmed to the Independent that as of this month the district has received 140 certified resignations to be effective at the end of their respective 2023-24 contracts.

She explains that some of the vacancies have been filled and that human resources staffers are actively recruiting to fill remaining ones. Some employees who may be on leave could be on an approved medical leave or could be on an approved personal leave of absence, Moffitt notes.

“We do not know how many full time positions will be vacant/filled by the time we open the school year back up, as we may receive resignations past the time of this email,” Moffitt told the Independent via email on April 18. “But at this point in time we have approximately 125 [full-time equivalent] available to fill.”

Some positions are full time and others are part time, and include classroom teachers and other professionals such as school counselors and nurses.

This past September, for an eighth consecutive year, survey results from the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association (ASPAA) confirm Arizona’s continuing teacher shortage. Some 131 school districts and charter schools responded to the survey which focused on teacher vacancies, fill rates, and contracted teachers who have severed employment as of September for the 2023-24 school year.

The data at that time indicated about 29.7% of teacher vacancies across the state this year remain unfilled while 53.2% of the vacancies were filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements.

“Survey results reinforce the need to increase funding for public education,” the ASPAA, which has represented Arizona school personnel professionals a since 1970, shared in a statement. “Arizona teacher pay remains one of the lowest in the country.”

Moffitt says Deer Valley Unified tracks reasons for teacher turnover.

“We do collect information related to the reasons why an employee chooses to resign,” she said. “To date, the top three reasons why teachers resign are: 1-Personal reasons, 2-Retirement, 3-Moving Away.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne in his March State of Education report said he supports legislative efforts to raise teacher salaries as well as a bill to strengthen state law to require more district and charter administrative support for teacher discipline. He noted that those two issues were cited in a survey of teachers as the top two reasons for leaving the profession.

“Currently, we have 60,000 teachers in our classrooms. 8,000 of them are leaving each year,” Horne said. “Our educator preparation programs produce 1,900 per year that actually show up in our classrooms. 2,815 teachers also return to the classrooms. That is a net loss of about 2,300 per year. If that trend were to continue, it would eventually lead to zero teachers.”

The National Education Association in its “Rankings of the States 2022 and Estimates of School Statistics 2023” report notes that Arizona ($56,775) ranks 32nd in the U.S. when it comes to average salaries of public school teachers. The national average is $66,745.

“This is the state of public education in Arizona right now. We are overworked, underpaid, and underrespected,” Marisol Garcia, Arizona Education Association president, told reporters outside the State Capitol in March.

“Superintendent Horne unfortunately has the wrong solution to a problem we can all agree on, which is that we need more support in our schools. What we need, and what he’s citing, is teachers saying it’s not just salaries, we need support. Support doesn’t mean kicking out kids who are having a difficult time in our classroom, down the hall or out of our building. What we need is more adults. We need counselors. We need social workers.

On its website Deer Valley Unified cites a daily need for high quality substitute teachers in the district.

Substitutes are paid $130 per day and $65 for half day, according to DVUSD. Long term positions are paid $130 per day for the first 20 days, and are then increased to the daily rate of $175 on the 21st consecutive day.

Interested applicants need to apply online at https://educationalservicesinc.applytojob.com/apply.

Contact DVUSD Substitute Coordinator Keillynee Mendez by email at Keillynee.Mendez@dvusd.org or by calling 623-445-5061 for more information.

Questions regarding obtaining a substitute certificate can be directed to the Arizona Department of Education at 602-542-4367.