Key Coverage

Teachers Wanted: Passion A Must, Patience Required, Pay Negligible

Across the country, an improving economy has pulled teachers and potential teachers away from the profession, creating a growing national shortage. In California, where the number of teacher credentials issued declined 26 percent from the 2009-10 academic year to 2013-14, competition for qualified teachers is particularly stiff.  Enrollment in teacher preparation programs here is down even more according to the same report: 55 percent just from 2009 to 2013. (Nationally, enrollment in teacher preparation programs is down 10 percent from 2004 to 2012, according to federal estimates by the U.S. Department of Education and reported in Education Week.) Chronic underfunding of schools in California means that teaching jobs are not as secure as they once were and, in many parts of the state, ateacher’s salary won’t sustain a middle-class lifestyle.

Finding and keeping teachers who can excel at working in urban schools may seem a Sisyphean task.