California is already ranked dead last (50th) in student-to-teacher ratios, and would need 100,000 additional teachers right now just to bring that ratio to the national average.
Over the next ten years, California would need to replace 106,000 teachers (one-third of the current workforce) just to maintain current staffing levels - the ones that have us ranked 50th.
Even before the layoffs, California faced significant challenges in recruiting and retaining teachers:
• Nearly 1 in 3 teachers leaves the profession within seven years.
• Thirteen percent of teachers leave the profession by the end of their second year.
• Every year, 1 in 10 teachers working in high-poverty schools transfer away to other schools.
• California’s demand for new Math and Science teachers in the next 10 years is expected to be over 33,000 – and the current rate of teacher production in the state cannot come close to meeting that need.
• The number of people earning a teaching credential, and enrollment in teacher-preparation programs in California are both on the decline at a time when we need to be training more teachers to fill those upcoming needs.
• California has made significant progress in the past few years in reducing the number of under-qualified teachers (teachers on emergency credentials or teaching out-of-subject). However, there are still some significant challenges in recruiting highly-qualified teachers in Math, Science and Special Education, and in high-poverty school districts. These needs further underscore the importance of teacher recruitment and retention.
Continuing cuts to education have resulted in over 17,000 teachers being laid off with more threatened, and unknown scores of others leaving he profession – or the state – in search of economic stability. And all of this will happen right as this “perfect storm” is brewing. California’s students deserve more, and our economic future demands better.