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Teacher shortage briefing draws more than 60 at Capitol 

Legislative and policy staff from the offices of 37 California Senators and Assemblymembers attended a briefing on the teacher shortage hosted by CSBA at the Capitol on Thurs., Jan. 26. CSBA members and staff were joined by staff of the Learning Policy Institute to present results and real-time data from a survey of more than 200 CSBA member districts.

Download “California Teacher Shortages: A Persistent Problem”: Brief | Fact Sheet

LPI Executive Director Patrick Shields and staff began the briefing by presenting additional data culled from the survey. In the ensuing panel discussion, CSBA members Juliana Feriani (Tuolumne COE, former CCBE President), Beatriz Leyva-Cutler (Berkeley USD, CSBA Delegate) and Daina Lujan (South San Francisco USD) gave various accounts of how the teacher shortage is affecting schools in their districts and counties and what the contributing factors are, such as a shortage of affordable housing options in rural Tuolumne County and the particularly damaging effects of the shortage on special education classes.

The recently-released fact sheet shows that 75 percent of the districts surveyed reported a shortage of teachers. Of those districts reporting a shortage, nearly 90 percent are faced with a shortage of special education teachers, with nearly 60 percent short on science and math teachers. Eighty-three percent of districts serving the largest concentrations of low-income students reported shortages, compared to 55 percent of districts with the fewest – similarly, 83 percent of districts with the largest concentrations of English learners reported a shortage, compared to 64 percent with the fewest.

Also attending the briefing were members of both the Senate and Assembly Education Committees, the Senate Budget Committee, the California Department of Education, Department of Finance, Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the Senate Office of Research and various other organizations and departments. Several other legislative staff members have reached out to CSBA and LPI for information on the teacher shortage, as several bills to address the issue have been or are expected to be introduced prior to the deadline for new legislation on February 17.

CSBA remains committed to addressing California’s teacher shortage and will keep members updated on the progress of new bills on the issue as they are introduced. Click here for additional reports on the teacher shortage.