Arizona State Rep. Teresa Martinez (R-Maricopa) is calling for Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to drop out of the governor’s race due to firing a staffer while at the Arizona Legislature. Talonya Adams won a multimillion dollar jury verdict against the legislature for racial discrimination by Hobbs, her former boss, last week, the second lawsuit she’s won in the case. A jury found that Adams was fired in 2015 because she complained that her relatively lower pay was the result of racial and sex discrimination.
Martinez told The Arizona Sun Times, “I think it’s horrible that we have an elected state official who would have such behavior toward any race. I think anyone running for statewide office should look at people based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. For this woman to win two lawsuits where two courts found her showing racism — she should not be considered for any post in the state of Arizona, including the one she has now.”
About a quarter of teacher vacancies across the state remain unfilled in 2021, with 55.4% of the vacancies are filled by teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements, according to a Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association survey of 145 school districts and charter schools.
This marks the sixth consecutive year of teacher shortages in Arizona. Approximately a quarter of teacher vacancies have remained unfilled a month into each school year since 2016, ASPAA’s press release said.
Twenty-six percent of teaching positions were open a few weeks into the school year, a 6% increase from the 21% vacancy rate in 2019, even though there were 400 less positions to fill this year than in 2019. As of Sept. 10, 2021, ASPAA counted 1,698.67 vacancies in its Oct. 12 report.
U.S. News & World Report issued its list this week of the annual best places to live, and Phoenix came in at No. 40 of the 150 most populous metro areas. The city jumped up 13 places from last year. The report emphasized Phoenix’s relatively low cost of living, warm weather, and thriving job market. The rankings are based on quality of life, job market, value of living, and desire of people to live there.
Phoenix may have scored well this year due to a stable economy. Devon Thorsby, real estate editor at U.S. News, said in a news release, “It shouldn’t be a surprise that many metro areas that saw unemployment levels skyrocket in 2020 fell in the rankings, but those with greater employment stability tended to fare well.”