Teacher credentialing totals in an upswing

Teacher credentialing totals in an upswing

(Calif.) The number of new teaching credentials issued in California reached a five-year high in 2016-17 with just over 16,500 issued—surpassing the 15,224 issued in 2012-13.

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing reported that last year there were also almost 7,600 teaching permits issued and 4,350 intern credentials.

Although districts throughout the state and in many parts of the nation are struggling to find enough teachers to cover all classrooms, the numbers from California are at least encouraging after the recession years when interest in the teaching profession waned.

Key areas of curriculum continue to be problematic:

  • Last year, just over 1,000 new teaching credentials were issued in math, well below the five-year-high reached in 2012-13, when almost 1,500 math credentials were issued.
  • Science is a slightly better story. Slightly fewer than 1,400 new credentials were issued last year–just under the 1,577 issued in 2012-13.
  • Special education had almost 4,500 permits and waivers issued, as well as 3,386 credentials—down from the 3,749 credentials issued in 2012-13.

Not surprisingly, the number of substitute permits issued in 2016-17 hit a new five-year-high of 62,415. That number has grown each year since 2012-13, when just over 42,000 substitute permits were issued.

By far the vast majority of the substitute permits—some 61,000—were for 30-days.

Another area of concern is the number of teachers getting authorizations for bilingual teaching. Over the past ten years, the number of bilingual authorizations has fallen by more than one third: 1,205 in 2007-08, to just 817 in 2016-17.

Last year, just over 700 bilingual teachers received an authorization in Spanish; 45 in Mandarin; and 19 in Korean.

Over the past two years, legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown have spent close to $500 million on teacher training and development programs intended to improve the teacher shortage.

Included was $45 million in one-time money to help existing classified employees of districts to become certified classroom instructors. Another $5 million went to support teacher recruitment and retention.

This year, the governor has proposed spending $100 million to help with instruction of early learners with disabilities by increasing the number of special education teachers.

As proposed, the state would provide $50 million to fund competitive grants on a one-time basis to local educational agencies. LEAs would be required to partner with colleges or universities to prepare and recruit new teachers in special education and provide a match on a dollar for dollar basis. Grant awards would be for up to $20,000 per teacher candidate, and the grants would be administered by the CTC.

Another $50 million would be provided under a competitive setting that would also be overseen by the CTC and require a local match. Awards would be up to $20,000 per candidate.

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