Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman’s statement:
“Last year, voters sent a clear message for us to fix education in Arizona. We face an unprecedented teacher shortage, spending per student remains among the lowest in the nation, and many of our schools need vital repairs. With the 20×2020 plan, we have made steps in the right direction and I’m committed to finding innovative ways to recruit and retain our educators across all fields. We must guarantee competitive pay for all educators, including our art, music and special education teachers, as well as support and classified staff.
“The governor’s proposed budget also invests in more school counselors and I applaud that decision. Well-trained and knowledgeable mental health experts are indispensable to a healthy and safe school environment. If we work together, we can find solutions to the challenges we face. We can explore creative ideas to address the teacher shortage, in addition to the Teachers Academy, like housing subsidies and paid paternity/maternity leave. We can find sustainable and dedicated revenue streams to fund our schools, and we can build a fair and equitable public education system that provides a high-quality education for students of all backgrounds. Voters expect us to do these things and our students deserve nothing less.”