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Researcher: Arizona's Teacher Shortage Is About More Than Teacher Pay

As the debate rages on over the funding of Arizona’s public schools, the conversation is almost always about teacher pay. Arizona’s teachers are some of the lowest paid in the country, and they have called for raises to address the state’s ongoing teacher shortage for years now.

One researcher who has taken an in-depth look at Arizona’s teacher attrition problem said it’s not so simple.

Amy Heineke, associate professor of education at Loyola University Chicago, used to be a teacher in Arizona. She did her dissertation on the implementation of the Structured English Immersion, or SEI, program here in 2008. Then, she came back five years later to see how it’s worked. She found that some of the policies surrounding the SEI programs are directly affecting teacher attrition in Arizona and contributing to the state's larger teacher shortage.

Heineke joins The Show's Lauren Gilger to talk about her findings.

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.