In the most recent Sacramento Update from the CAPTA, we learned that our state is facing a critical teacher shortage. Some of the supporting details described in the article include:
- enrollment in teacher-credentialing programs has declined more than 75 percent in the past 15 years
- between 40 and 50 percent of new teachers leave the profession for their own reasons in the first five years
- salaries of a teacher is relatively low compared to the average salary in other professions that require comparable qualifications (…and remember, PUSD’s teacher salaries are ~80% of similar districts in CA)
- the shortage is particularly worrisome in the areas of math, science and special education, areas with disproportionate English language learners
The Learning Policy Institute did a thorough analysis of the shortage and has provided a detailed report with policy recommendations addressing areas of recruitment, training, and improving teaching conditions. Looking at San Diego County specifically, we are in a better position than many other counties throughout the state.
Our CA Legislature is also putting forth nine distinct bills to address the teacher shortage, many of them focusing on recruitment, training, and credentialing. (see the Sacramento Update cited above) Sadly, none of them seem to address salary directly, an obvious, realistic incentive to choose teaching as a career path.
Take this in addition to the recent report from Achieve, a national education advocacy nonprofit, examining our states’ progress in achieving college and career readiness for all students, and we see a credible and urgent need to prioritize education for our current and future generations.