NEW: Expanding The Arizona Teachers Academy

News Release

January 13, 2020

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today announced the latest efforts to grow the Arizona Teachers Academy and get more qualified teachers to the front of Arizona classrooms. The Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes an additional $15 million in ongoing funding to grow the Teachers Academy, which allows students who commit to teaching in an Arizona public school to graduate from college debt-free.

During today’s State of the State Address, Governor Ducey said:

Through the Arizona Teachers Academy we made a commitment to our aspiring teachers -- you stay and teach in Arizona, and we’ll cover your college tuition.

The effort is paying off. Enrollment in the Teachers Academy has skyrocketed, with 2,170 students now participating. We’re proud to have some of the students and graduates of our Teachers Academy here today. Ladies and gentlemen, will you join me in welcoming these new Arizona teachers.

This year, we intend to build on our momentum with reforms sponsored by Senator Paul Boyer, allowing even more students to go through the Academy. Students seeking degrees in math and science. Teachers specializing in educating blind children. Arizona’s future depends on these educators. Let’s provide them with access so they can get to the front of the classroom -- debt free.

Since 2017, participation in the Teachers Academy has grown exponentially, with over 2,170 students participating in the fall 2019 semester.

This year, the Governor’s Office intends to work with Senator Paul Boyer to attract more students to the Teachers Academy pipeline. Reforms include:

  • Expanding participation by allowing college students pursuing all majors to enter the program, which will help recruit Arizona’s best and brightest college students to become teachers.
  • Expanding Teachers Academy slots to current teachers teaching in “dual enrollment” courses in high school. A new national policy requires that teachers have a master’s degree to continue teaching dual enrollment college courses in high school. Opening the Arizona Teachers Academy to these existing teachers will protect them from having to use their personal funds to cover these costs.
  • Allowing graduates of the Teachers Academy to teach at schools that serve primarily public school students. Currently, a school such as the Foundation for Blind Children, which transports children in from district schools across the valley, is barred from receiving teachers though the Teachers Academy. This reform changes that.

Governor Ducey’s Executive Budget also will include additional marketing dollars to help recruit more potential teachers for the Teachers Academy.