Intercepts

A listening post monitoring public education and teachers’ unions.

California Solves Teacher Shortage

Written By: Mike Antonucci   – Jun• 06•13

California gets bashed for having the worst-run government since the death of Nero, but let’s give credit where credit is due. The state has been living under the specter of a looming teacher shortage since at least 2004. As late as last year, California Watch and the Commission on Teacher Credentialing were still warning us of an imminent crisis.

But after reviewing Census Bureau and National Center for Education Statistics data for the years 2006-2011, we can report the good news that California has a pool of more than 42,000 experienced K-12 teachers who are available for work. Not only did the teacher workforce shrink by 14 percent in that five-year period, but there are fewer students to educate as well. Statewide, enrollment dropped almost one percent, and 15 of the 20 largest school districts lost students.

The recession hit California hardest of all states, with its tax system most vulnerable to downturns in the market. Only two districts in the top 70 exceeded the national average in per-pupil spending. One of those, however, was Los Angeles Unified, the state’s largest district and more than five times larger than the second-ranked district, San Diego. Almost one of every 9 students in the state attended Los Angeles schools.

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