Jul 19, 2014 3:30 PM by Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - Education officials in Arizona are grappling with what they say is a shortage of established teachers in public schools across the state.
The Arizona Capitol Times reports that large numbers of new teachers and teachers getting ready to retire have left a gap of experienced classroom instructors.
According to the Arizona Department of Education, thousands of the state's teachers have left in the past five years.
The department says their data shows an annual retention rate of about 65 percent.
Educators say the shortage will only get worse as more Baby Boomer-age teachers retire in the coming years.
Superintendents at Arizona schools say low pay and no raises are causing the mass exodus.