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May 14, 2021  


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New Funding for Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Governor’s May Budget Proposal

May Revise Establishes New Statewide Educator Workforce Development Program and Greatly Expands Investments in Existing Grant Programs

(Sacramento) – Reversing California’s enduring teacher shortage, already exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, will be a primary focus of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing over the next several years according to the May Revise. 

Governor Newsom’s spending plan provides significant new funding intended to revitalize and expand teacher recruitment and development for CA public schools. 

The 2021-22 May Revise, which both introduces new proposals and expands on existing grant programs, includes urgent policy solutions needed to address California’s ongoing teacher shortage, which is expected to  grow as California experiences the second highest teacher retirement rate in the last decade. By growing existing programs and expanding new opportunities for increasing the number of prepared educators in California, particularly in designated shortage fields like special education, bilingual education, science, computer science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, and transitional kindergarten, California aims to target resources to ensure equitable access to maximize student and educator success. 

“Investing in our teacher workforce today will ensure the brightness of our future tomorrow,” said Mary Vixie Sandy, Executive Director of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  “Two key elements to our success as a state will be retaining our current resilient and committed teachers while revitalizing and expanding our efforts to recruit new highly motivated and well prepared teachers for our classrooms.  Governor Newsom’s recognition of the vital role classroom teachers play in preparing California students for an emerging and dynamic world and workplace is a welcome and innovative step forward.”

The May Revise includes the following teacher workforce proposals: 

  • Roadmap to Educational Employment Program - This multi-faceted workforce development strategy creates long- and short-term resources focused on recruiting and developing a diverse and talented workforce, framing the value of working in the education sector, and identifying resources to assist individuals moving into the education field. The roadmap includes: 
    • A comprehensive statewide education communication strategy to inspire the next generation of educators, whether they are high school students, college students or recent graduates, career changers or military veterans, classified staff or parents who have been working with schoolchildren, who are ready to make teaching their career.
    • A centralized, user-oriented information, outreach, and support tool to integrate public and private sector resources that support educator employment.
    • Support and guidance for local districts and education leaders to maximize essential resources to be prepared to welcome students, educators, and staff back in a post-COVID environment.
    • Establishment of regional educator recruitment and support centers throughout California to support educator candidates at all points along the preparation and employment process from expressing interest in becoming an educator through their first year of successful employment as a certified educator.
  • Computer Science Supplementary Authorization Incentive Grant Program - A new $15 million grant program to encourage current teachers to add a supplementary authorization allowing them to teach computer science courses. Local education agencies (LEAs) are eligible for grants of up to $2,500 per participating teacher, which must be used toward required coursework, books, fees, tuition, and release time, as applicable. Grantee LEAs must match state funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis. 
  • Teacher Residency Grant Program - First launched in 2018, the May Revise proposes to increase funding for the program from $100 million (January 2021 budget proposal) to $500 million which will be available over a five-year period. Funds may be used to establish new, or expand existing teacher, residency programs which pair a new teacher with an experienced mentor teacher. LEAs, Regional Occupations Centers or Programs and nonpublic, non-sectarian schools with a California Department of Education CDS code are eligible for grants of up to $25,000 per participating teacher candidate. Grantees must match state funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
  • Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program First - launched in 2016, the May Revise proposes to increase funding for the program from $25 million (January 2021 budget proposal) to $125 million which will be available for five years. Funds may be used to recruit current Classified school employees holding an associate degree or higher, to complete a teacher preparation program and to complete a bachelor’s degree if they do not already hold one. Participating classified employees are eligible for up to $24,000 over five years and must commit to working as a public school teacher for four years.

The State Legislature will debate these and other state budget proposals in the coming weeks. The Legislature must pass the budget by June 15, and once signed becomes effective on July 1, 2021.  

Updated March 28, 2023