Increased demand for K–12 teachers in California comes at a time when the supply of new teachers is at a 12-year low. Enrollment in educator preparation programs has dropped by more than 70 percent over the last decade, and has fallen below the number of estimated hires by school districts around the state. Many signs point to shortages:
- In mid-October, two months after the school year started, EdJoin, the statewide educator job portal, still listed more than 3,900 open teaching positions—double the number listed at that time in 2013.
- In 2014-15, provisional and short-term permits (issued to fill “immediate and acute” staffing needs when a fully credentialed teacher can’t be found) nearly tripled from the number issued two years earlier, growing from about 850 to more than 2,400.
- In all, the number of teachers hired on substandard permits and credentials nearly doubled in the last two years, to more than 7,700, comprising a third of all the new credentials issued in 2014-15.
- Estimated teacher hires for the 2015-16 school year increased by 25 percent from the previous year, while preliminary credentials issued to fully prepared new teachers increased by less than 1 percent from the previous year, and enrollment in teacher education programs increased by only about 2 percent.
Although shortages are occurring across a range of subject areas, the problem is most acute in mathematics, science, and special education. Each of these high-need fields has been marked by a drop in the number of preliminary credentials issued to new teachers and a significant increase in the number of temporary permits, waivers, and intern credentials.
Learn more about the teacher shortage in California and specifically the Bay Area in the report below.