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Bill requiring AZ board to conduct annual teacher retention study moves forward

The Senate Education Committee has advanced a bill that would require the State Board of Education to complete an annual study on teacher retention.

The bill originated in the House and is sponsored by Republican Rep. Matt Gress. 

At a meeting Wednesday, he said the study will allow the state to know the number of, type, grade level and subject areas where teachers are needed.

“As a result, policy makers will have the data necessary to craft targeted recruitment and retention approaches based on the highest needs and informed by the data on the ground," Gress said.

The data the state currently gets is very limited. It’s volunteered by the schools through personnel reports. 

"Right now, all we get is an aggregated level of data, voluntarily reported by schools through the school personnel report — top level numbers," he said. "We can't really get into the weeds on where our shortages are, what grade levels, turnover, and time to fill those vacancies."

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