California is Still Struggling With a Lack of Qualified Teachers

Although the situation looks to be improving slightly, California is still having a difficult time producing enough qualified teachers to educate the state’s six million public school students.

New figures from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing show that 23,832 individuals were enrolled in teacher preparation programs during the 2016-2017 academic year. That’s 500 more than the year prior and 4,000 more over 2012-13. However, the state issued just six more credentials in 2017-2018, falling far short of the number of qualified teachers the state needs. Out of an estimated 24,000 new teachers needed for the 2017-18 academic year, per the Learning Policy Institute, just 16,000 received the credentials they require.

“We have not turned the corner and we are not yet headed in the right direction in terms of getting qualified teachers into all classrooms,” said the Institute’s head and State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond (EdSource). 

The credentialing commission has issued a growing number of short-term or provisional permits. But that still means a significant number of the state’s new teachers aren’t fully prepared for the job ahead. That worries experts tremendously. To address the shortage, they’re calling for increased preparation and forgiveness programs to aid prospective educators in their march toward full qualification.


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