Phoenix Union partners with iTeach to help fill 150 teacher vacancies

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Tuesday, October 24, 2023 - 3:25pm

Audio icon Download mp3 (1.11 MB)

The Phoenix Union High School District sign displays a message on N. Central Avenue in Phoenix on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023.
Bridget Dowd/ KJZZ
The Phoenix Union High School District.

The Phoenix Union High School District has partnered with iTeach, an alternative teacher preparation and certification program that allows anyone with an existing bachelor's degree to get an alternative teaching certificate.

iTeach West Region Program Director Kimberly Thaggard said every district has the right to establish their own educator preparation program, but that can be costly.

“Just to establish an educator preparation program — that includes the curriculum, the teachers, the assessments, the technology — that can start out anywhere from $500,000 to 800,000," Thaggard said. "For Phoenix Union, they wanted to use that money in different ways. So they reached out to iTeach to provide a program that was already established, had already been vetted and approved by the Arizona Department of Education."

Now, Phoenix Union can recommend eligible candidates within their schools, and iTeach takes it from there, allowing the district to spend those funds elsewhere.

Phoenix Union hopes the partnership will help it fill 150 teacher vacancies.