SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will host a Teacher Recruitment Summit at the California Department of Education (1430 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814) on August 14, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in State Board Room 1101. Thurmond and guests will address the media at 10:30 a.m.
The Teacher Recruitment Summit is open to individuals from all organizations focused on work in this area, which includes teacher credentialing programs, school districts and county offices of education, pipeline programs, and AmeriCorps programs. This event will formally launch a coalition to engage in direct recruitment of teacher candidates on a statewide basis.
Summit attendees will hear from Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President of the California State Board of Education; Dr. Mary Vixie Sandy, Executive Director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing; and Dr. Travis Bristol, Associate Professor of Teacher Education and Education Policy at the Berkeley School of Education.
“Addressing the educator shortage is one of the most important things we can do to support student achievement,” Thurmond said. “We must increase compensation, prioritize training, improve working conditions, and pursue all strategies that can help our schools add the staff needed to help our students thrive. The Summit and launch of the new coalition will help us maximize every idea and opportunity for reducing the teacher shortage.”
Like most states in the nation, California is experiencing a teacher shortage. Teacher recruitment has largely been led by the 1,000 individual districts in the state, and the California Department of Education historically has not had the staffing capacity to engage in direct teacher recruitment or support in this area. Now, Thurmond’s team at the California Department of Education, along with other partners, are embarking on a bold effort to change this and are offering resources to assist school districts in their efforts to recruit teachers. In recent months, Thurmond launched a one-stop recruitment portal that allows teacher candidates to get information in one place, including on how to pursue a teaching credential, how to find vacancies at districts, and ways to access resources to support their education and credentialing.
Thurmond developed and sponsored legislation in 2022 that made it possible for those pursuing the opportunity to work in schools as a mental health clinician to receive the $20,000 Golden State Teacher Grant. In 2019, Thurmond sponsored a bill that resulted in tax credits that school districts can use to build educator housing, and Thurmond is currently sponsoring Assembly Bill 1169 (Wilson) to further expand educator housing.
This year, Thurmond developed and sponsored Senate Bill 765 (Portantino), which would make it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom on a short-term basis. The provision in Senate Bill 765 related to residency grants was incorporated into the 2023 budget trailer bill and, as such, has already increased the subsidy available for teacher candidates in residency training programs from $25,000 to $40,000.
In support of new statewide teacher recruitment efforts, Thurmond and the California Department of Education have developed a Public Service Announcement campaign to inspire future teacher candidates and hosted numerous teacher recruitment hiring fairs with California Volunteers, the State Service Commission that selects 3,000 undergraduate “College Corps” service members annually to serve as civic leaders, including as tutors and mentors in schools. Thurmond is prioritizing California Volunteers, with its 3,000 College Corps members and 7,000 members in other service corps, as a key pipeline for teacher recruitment.
Participants in the Summit on Teacher Recruitment will take part in small groups to brainstorm specific strategies to support teacher recruitment and to make recommendations. Group breakout discussions may include:
Developing strategies to help retired teachers return to schools as short-term substitutes
Identifying strategies to recruit teacher candidates from other states, including military spouses with teaching backgrounds
Establishing and strengthening “grow your own” programs
Identifying ways to help classified and expanded learning staff get on the path to becoming credentialed teachers
Anyone interested in attending the summit or becoming part of the statewide teacher recruitment coalition should RSVP to TeachinCA@cde.ca.gov.