Opinion

Gillis: Arizona: teachers among lowest paid in the U.S.

Posted 6/28/22

States basically, because of the libertarian and conservative influences keep our property taxes at incredibly low levels!

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Opinion

Gillis: Arizona: teachers among lowest paid in the U.S.

Posted

I read your article, “Leaving the Classroom,” with avid interest because of my strong belief that a robust K12 education system is the fulcrum necessary for a healthy Democracy and society!

I have volunteered for 25 years in the middle schools and mentoring and teaching in the graduate MBA and analytic master programs at both ASU and University of Washington (Seattle).

Your article covered in detail burnout, stress and isolation as the reasons for teachers leaving the classroom. However, in my personal and professional opinion and experience, you missed the most important reason that we are losing Arizona K12 teachers to other states: compensation!

Arizona K12 teachers are the lowest paid teachers in the United States basically because of the Liberterian, Conservative influences that keep our property taxes at incredibly low levels! The Freedom Caucus, of which I am a member, is very proud of our dramatically low property tax rates. That is the most important factor causing our loss of K12 teachers to other states for higher, reasonable compensation!

Just talk to the teachers that have left Arizona classrooms. K12 teachers cannot afford to live in Arizona on the low salaries they receive here!

I know that it is irreligious, but we need to raise our absurdly low property taxes in order to increase K12 teacher salaries so that we keep our K12 teachers in Arizona and attract back some of the best K12 teachers that have left for higher compensation in other states!

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