Flavor slowly returning to teaching careers

Flavor slowly returning to teaching careers

(Calif.) After tumbling to record lows in the wake of the 2008 recession, participation in teacher preparation programs is slowly rebuilding, according to a new report from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Layoffs and drastic funding cuts caused enrollment in teacher training programs statewide to fall almost 63 percent in the years following the recession.

The number of new teaching students rose to almost 24,000 in 2016-17, the most recent year data is available.

That numbers is still well below the nearly 52,000 of students enrolled in teacher training in 2006, but significantly improved from the 19,000 teacher programs attracted in 2013.

How the new numbers correlate to the future of teacher demand is not clear. Staff reported that there is no statewide method for collecting data on classroom labor needs.

That said, however, the CTC also noted that the California Department of Education estimated that there will be a need for about 20,000 full-time equivalent teachers in 2018-19. That number is also up significantly from 2011-12 when only 10,360 new teachers were needed.

The report also highlighted the number of temporary permits and certification waivers—which is another window into the staffing needs at school districts.

The CTC reported that the number of short-term permits and provisional internships issued by the state have grown from less than 1,200 in 2013-14 to nearly 6,000 in 2017-18.

Overall, there were a total of 16,518 new teaching credentials issued in California in 2017-18—which represented an increase of close to 10 percent from 2013-14, when just under 15,000 credentials were issued.

The largest number of credentials –almost 5,300—continues to be given for instructors prepared for multiple subjects, which is largely what is needed for elementary schools. There were also 4,555 credentials issued to single-subject teachers, which are commonly used in middle schools and high schools.

The most common pathway to a credentials remains through an institution of higher learning—about 12,000 last year. Another 4,100 teachers from other states received their California credentials in 2017-18, and about 400 more were trained though a district internship program.

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