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Horne: New ADE task force will develop new strategies to retain AZ teachers

The Arizona Department of Education has launched an Educator Recruitment and Retention Task Force.

ADE hopes its members will help develop new strategies to address the state’s teacher shortage. 

The department held a kickoff event this week where educators and stakeholders met to discuss Arizona’s school staffing issues.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said this task force is different from the one launched by Gov. Katie Hobbs at the beginning of her term. 

“Katie Hobbs has one person who deals with education," Horne said. "I have 600 people who deal with education all the time. So I thought this was a problem that should be attacked with some expertise.”

Horne said as he sees it, the three major reasons educators leave the state are teacher pay, lack of academic success in schools, and lack of support from the administration, especially when it comes to discipline.

“When the administrators don’t support teachers in discipline, the classroom becomes disorderly and it becomes a terrible situation for kids to learn in and also for teachers to teach in," he said. "If I were a teacher, I’d leave the profession if I were stuck in that situation.”

There are not a lot of details yet on what will come from the task force, but Horne says he plans to release a report on its results.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.