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New initiative offers prospective teachers waived tuition

Posted at 9:30 PM, Sep 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-27 01:45:59-04

A new initiative launched to bring more qualified K-12 teachers into Arizona's classrooms by providing teachers with a tuition scholarship. 

Governor Doug Ducey announced theArizona Teachers Academy Tuesday. The program is being conducted at each of Arizona's public universities. Graduates of the program who teach in Arizona will have their tuition waived through a year-for-year tuition scholarship. 

"We are always looking for ways to support our teachers," said Bruce Johnson, University of Arizona's Dean of the College of Education.

Johnson says a big problem in Arizona classrooms right now is that teachers are leaving the profession well before retirement.

University of Arizona's Associate Dean of the College of Education Renée Clift attributes Arizona's teacher shortage to low pay and high college debt.

"The teachers are the future of the future and we need to support them and we need to send positive messages and we need to pay them a living wage," said Clift.

She says what is unique about the program offered at the University of Arizona is that new teachers in the state will be supported in their first year of teaching and will have a mentor.