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Where does Tucson Unified stand on alternative certification for teachers?

During the week of May 4, Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1042 into law. This law provides additional pathways to the classroom that were previously not available.

At Tucson Unified School District, we value our teachers -- all teachers. Arizona supports a variety of ways to become a teacher, and this law adds additional paths to certification. We must stress that a traditional education at a major university is our preference. We also agree with education advocates that this is not the solution to the teacher crisis in Arizona. It is one more tool in our recruiting toolbox, and it's a tool many of our principals have been asking for.

The district will continue to actively recruit diverse potential or certified teachers and to seek to hire the most effective teachers available. We will continue to target individuals who are both traditionally prepared and those admitted into the profession through alternative certification programs.

We have exceptional teachers currently in our district who seek to make our communities better and love our schools and students. Our students deserve to have great teachers and role models, and in Tucson Unified, we want anyone joining our team to have a heart for students and to be committed to making a difference. If the broadened certification opportunities in the state will assist in building access for great teachers, we support that effort.

So what kind of support does Tucson Unified School District offer a new teacher?

Tucson Unified is committed to supporting all new teachers. We provide a week-long New Teacher Induction in July, before the start of the new school year. Our new teachers also spend two years with a Teacher Mentor to get one-on-one advice, support, training and collaboration. Additionally, Tucson Unified offers districtwide professional development on Wednesday afternoons and PLC (Professional Learning Communities) on all campuses.