Our teachers are vital assets in the success of our students. Many are hardworking and contribute so much time and energy for the betterment of our students. I know many teachers and understand their average workday and the many hours they spend on behalf of our community's youth.
As we reopen schools, the health and well being of teachers must also be taken into account. Some might have a partner or spouse that has a health impairment that should be considered. Some might have some health issues themselves that might make it challenging to face a full class of students. These are legitimate concerns that must be balanced with the mental health and wellbeing of students.
Many educational leaders are predicting a shortage of teachers in the near future. We must work to keep our most valuable asset in the classrooms of our schools and give them the support they deserve. Part of that support is compensation for the work they do. In the past, teachers have been fairly compensated, and we must work to ensure those goals and benchmarks set in the May 2018 legislation continue to be met so that teachers are paid a more fair wage.
WHAT I'VE DONE FOR TEACHERS
In the past, public school teachers in Arizona have been neglected in terms of their compensation and recognition. I worked through different committees and organizations in 2018 to encourage the pay raise passed in the Arizona legislature in May of that year. Those raises were long overdue. I have spoken often and worked with local community groups to raise awareness of teaching and make sure teachers continue to have the resources they need.
We also need to watch the costs of teacher benefits and make sure we offer the best health care packages available.
I have taught school, and I know firsthand the challenges facing teachers. For the past 30 years, I have been involved with education at various levels. My wife is a lifetime teacher, and several family members have been involved in education over generations of time. Teaching is part of my personal and family experience.