Just last year, California’s teacher shortage forced schools to hire more than 10,000 underprepared teachers.
The Learning Policy Institute has found that low-income students of color are 3 times more likely to be taught by an underprepared teacher.
Underprepared teachers fall into 3 categories (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing):
- Teachers who provisional intern permits, short-term staff permits, or waivers. These permits allow school districts to fill immediate and urgent staffing needs.
- Teachers who have limited assignment teaching permits. This permit allow credentialed teachers to teach outside of their subject area to fill a vacancy or staffing need.
- Aspiring teachers who are given intern credentials. This type of credential is awarded to teachers in training who have demonstrated competency in a subject, but have yet to fully complete a teacher preparation program or met the performance assessment requirements for a license.
Addressing the teacher shortage is our students’ top priority. When it comes to Relationship Centered Schools, thousands of students have identified that school staff is the number one resource to help them succeed.
- In Long Beach Unified, emergency teaching credentials grew by 70% in Long Beach schools between 2014-15 and 2015-16.
- In Fresno Unified, substandard teaching authorizations grew by 21% between 2014-15 and 2015-16, with emergency-style credentials accounting for nearly half of the district’s substandard authorizations.
- In Eastside Union High School District emergency-style credentials increased by 123% in East Side Union High School District between 2014-15 and 2015-16.
- In San Jose Unified special Education substandard authorizations more than doubled in San Jose USD between 2014-15 and 2015-16.
- In Oakland Unified special education substandard credentials increased by nearly 30% in Oakland USD in just one year (2014-15 to 2015-16).
Right now, California legislators have a choice. We can idly stand by, or do something.
Our legislators can choose to address the teacher shortage by passing the California State Assembly proposed budget package to address teacher shortages that:
- Invests in expanding teacher residency programs for aspiring teachers to become and remain teachers.
- Provides service scholarships for teachers who enter into high-need education fields like math, science, bilingual and special education.
- Prioritizes developing our teacher training and professional development by providing an additional 1,000 grants for classified employees to obtain their teaching credentials. As well as providing funding for the bilingual teacher professional development program.
Every student deserves a teacher that is fully prepared. Because at the end of the day, prepared teachers means prepared students.