Monday, May 16, 2016

May Revise Proposal Contributes to the Shortage of Latino Teachers

Kevin McCarty,
California State Assembly.
I watched today the hearings on the Education Finance subcommittee of the Budget Committee and the testimony on the May Revise in particular relationship to the recognized approaching shortage of teachers. 
It is good that the Governor’s proposal and the Dept. of Education response recognize this rapidly approaching problem, however their responses are inadequate. 
Outreach strategies and recruitment web sites are fine, but the proposals fail because  they fail to recognize that future teachers from the currently under represented Latino and Asian communities will not be there.  During the Great Recession the teacher preparation programs focusing on resolving the problem of under representation were cut back and eliminated. 
I will use Sacramento as an example, although the problem is state-wide. 
In Sacramento the Funds from the  Local Control and  Accountability Plan  were to be targeted to low income schools.  This increased funding has led to a dramatic need for new teachers.  Sacramento City Unified plans to hire 100 new teachers, and many other local urban districts will do the same.  This faculty growth will continue for from 3-5 years.
A more complete story of the Sacramento experience is here.

Significantly  credentialed teachers from the Latino community and several Asian communities will not be available to hire because the Sac State pipeline for minority teachers  has been broken.  A new generation of mostly Anglo teachers will be hired which will continue the past failure to integrate the teaching profession in this region. Ending the pipeline will shape the nature of the local teaching profession for decades. Latino students make up 37 % of Sac City Unified students, Asians 17.4 %, African Americans 17.7 %, and White students 18.8 %. Latino families now make up over 37 % of California residents and Latino descent children now make up over 50% of public school students.
What should you do?

It is too late to create new programs for teacher preparation for Fall of 2016, or to recreate programs that have been terminated.
Therefore I recommend that funds designated for improved teacher recruitment include a measure so that programs that have a history of providing a diverse teaching force receive a dedicated portion of the funds.
The programs designated in the Governor’s revise and the Dept. of Education proposals should be required to adopt strategies that will provide a diverse and representative teaching force.  If not, this teaching shortage “emergency” will be used by the specified institutions to re create the existing inequalities of opportunities.  The question facing the committee is are you going to recreate the past failure or begin to have teacher recruitment and preparation lead to a diverse teaching force? This proposed change is not on the stated agenda of the Governor’s revise, of the response of the Department of Education, nor is in included in the several bills currently proposed in the legislature. 
I encourage you to act to bend the arc of change toward justice. I am available to clarify this problem. 
Thank you for your consideration.   

Dr. Duane E. Campbell
Education and Democracy Institute.

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