Thursday, April 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

California sees fewer teachers as enrollment rises

By Christina Hoag

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Years of pink slips have taken a toll on California’s teachers to be sure, but the dim job market has also had an impact on people wanting to become teachers at a time when the state’s population of children reaching school age is rising.

While the numbers do not yet signal an outright teacher shortage, officials say they point to a worrisome trend of a graying workforce and fewer entrants into what has traditionally been one of the bulwark professions of the middle class.

“We’ve been worrying about this for a while,” said Juliet Tiffany-Morales, research analyst for SRI International who has studied education trends. “A shortage could materialize. There’s definitely a smaller pool of people going into teaching.”

So far, the profession is holding its own because school districts have increased class sizes to cope with teacher layoffs, and the number of retiring teachers has more or less equaled the number of new teachers, Tiffany-Morales said. Both figure in the 15,000 to 20,000 range.

But a pinch could arise with a predicted steady rise of 1.4 percent in the state’s population of school-age children over the next decade, a new transitional kindergarten grade for 4-year-olds that went into effect this fall and the introduction of national curriculum standards which will require retraining that some older teachers may not opt for.

“It’s definitely something that people are keeping an eye on,” said Holly Jacobson, director of the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning at WestEd, which tracks teacher supply trends. “There are a lot of variables at play so it’s hard to predict, but we’re seeing a shift in teachers.”

The biggest factor driving teacher demand is demographics. The state Department of Finance projects more than 87,000 more children will be entering school from the 2011-12 school year to 2021-22 — about 60,000 of them elementary schoolers with the Inland Empire counties seeing the biggest increases.

Meanwhile, teacher preparation programs are losing enrollment. At California State University, which trains half of the state’s teachers, the dropoff has been huge: from more than 31,000 teaching students in 2002-03 to just 11,000 in 2010-11.

Statewide, teacher credentials have dropped from more than 27,000 issued in 2003-04 to 18,700 in 2010-11, according to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

“Probably the biggest factor has been the job market,” said Beverly Young, CSU assistant vice chancellor of teacher education and public school programs.

The teacher workforce lost more than 23,000 teachers from 2008 to 2011, mostly due to layoffs caused by state funding cuts although there has also been a big increase in retirements, some through incentive programs, according to a report “Status of the Teaching Profession 2011″ by the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning.

Most of the laid-off teachers were those newer to the profession in accordance with the state’s last-hired-first-fired layoff policy, which has had a chilling effect on students contemplating teaching careers, Young said. “If you’re a college student, you’re seeing that happening,” she said.

But Jacobson noted that while teaching has fewer new entrants, a shortage is likely not imminent. Thousands of laid off teachers are available for open positions should they arise. Some laid off teachers may move into other fields, but many continue to work as substitutes and are waiting to be called from rehiring lists, she said.

While much has been made of a wave of baby-boomer retirements, California’s unstable economy has spurred many older teachers hang on longer, creating fewer openings. According to the 2011 report, 57 percent of teachers have more than 10 years of experience in 2010-11, up from 46 percent five years earlier.

While they will eventually retire, some more experienced teachers could be spurred to move on sooner with the introduction of the Common Core State Standards, a national curriculum that will require teachers to undergo retraining. “That could weed out some older people,” Jacobson said.

Experts note there are still teaching jobs available in fields that have longstanding shortages — math, science, bilingual and special education teachers have always been highly sought after, and some laid off teachers are going back to school to earn credentials in those areas. Inner-city and outlying rural schools also have high turnover.

Still, outside of those specialized areas, jobs are hard to come by.

Olga Rubio, professor and coordinator of bilingual authorizations at Cal State Long Beach, said it’s even hard to place student teachers with school districts, despite the fact that there are fewer students. “We squeeze by, but it really takes work and negotiating to get these student teachers placed,” she said.

In the past, student teachers would usually get hired by the district, but these days they are more likely to only find work as substitutes. “People who want to be teachers are deeply committed so they just do it and hope that sooner or later there’ll be a job,” she said. “It’s discouraging for them.”

Damon Brodowski, who is studying at Cal State Long Beach to earn his credential to teach middle and high school English, said he’s sticking with his career goal although he knows current job prospects are weak when he graduates in the spring.

To give the employment market time to bounce back, he’s planning on pursuing a master’s degree instead of job-hunting right away. He hopes that will make him a more attractive job candidate, as well as boost his pay, when schools start hiring again. He said he remains optimistic.

“I was kind of worried that there aren’t going to be any jobs when I get out of school, but there’s going to be a big need for educators again,” he said. “Teaching is just something I really enjoy. Seeing students progress and achieve their goals, that’s rewarding.”

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Jury deliberates murder, elder-abuse charges

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    Davis wins USA Today Best Cycling Town honor

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Benefit set to help local bike legend

    By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    State’s health care sign-ups beat projections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    California residents divided on drought solution

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A2

    Three killed in attack on Ukrainian base

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Downtown post office set to reopen

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3

    Run or walk to prevent child abuse in Yolo County

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Nominations sought for charity paint giveaway

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    Scholar will discuss human trafficking in Friday talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Per Capita Davis: Now, for some good news

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    Birch Lane hosts 50th anniversary party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Hannah Stein reads poetry at gallery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Food Co-op to offer free bags on Earth Day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Get in the picture with school board candidate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    KDVS hosts on-air fundraiser April 21-27

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tickets on sale for Pence Garden Tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Fundraiser planned for Allen’s campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    Food Co-op board plans open house

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis Downtown hosts candidate forum

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4

    Learn more about Google Glass at talk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Barbecue celebrates winter shelter program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Sign of things to come

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A8

     
    Davis Soroptimists celebrate 60 years

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    .

    Forum

    Fancy meeting you here …

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Public Health Heroes honored

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Don’t miss a Trokanski dance

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Frank Bruni: The oldest hatred, forever young

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

     
    Expert: Free parking is a myth

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Have they really learned?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    A great community effort

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    .

    Sports

    River Cats’ streak reaches six wins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Landry evolves into UCD women’s lacrosse leader

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Huge inning propels Pleasant Grove past DHS

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Giants edge Dodgers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Foster steps down as Lady Blue Devil basketball coach

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: Martinez, Chan come up big at gymnastics regional

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Kings drop season finale to Suns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Angels get past A’s in extras

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Wineaux: Good deals off the beaten path

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

     
    Rockabilly phenom to play at The Palms

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    HellaCappella showcases a cappella singing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    ‘One’ singular sensation to open at DMTC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    25th annual state clay competition exhibit at The Artery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Tapan Munroe

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, April 17, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6