A task force appointed by Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has recommended that the state raise its average starting teacher salary from $28,000 to $35,000, a hike of 25 percent. The committee chose $35,000 as the recommended starting salary because that’s the average starting pay for college graduates.
“The number of teachers in Arizona is not increasing rapidly enough to keep up with the population,” said John Haeger, the president of Northern Arizona University and the chairman of the Governor’s Committee for Teacher Quality and Support. “Compensation is one of the key issues.”
The committee’s draft recommendations also urge the creation of incentives for teachers to work in hard-to-staff schools, and the adoption of state standards for professional development.