April 13 Meeting Focus on Public Education

Join us on April 13 to discuss Public Education and the Department of Education’s proposed policies. Find out about the threat posed to public education such as the “portability” policy, and how this budget has been crafted to direct money away from public schools and into private hands under the guise of school choice. We will examine how the federal government will attempt to leverage California into accepting a voucher system by placing restrictions on Title I funding as well as the planned cuts of funding for teacher training and low income student programs while offering huge tax credits for donations to private school scholarships. We will also discuss how these policies will impact not only local public schools but the local economy.

Today's Teacher Layoffs Threaten Tomorrow's Classrooms

The Los Angeles Times' Larry Gordon has a story about how years of pink slips has lead to a dramatic fall in the number of people training to be teachers. As Gordon explains:

Education experts are warning of a shortage of new teachers in a few years as large numbers of baby boomers start to retire from teaching jobs and larger numbers of youngsters enter elementary school.

"It's a very dramatic decline," noted Dale Janssen, executive director of the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing. "It's kind of difficult to encourage people to become teachers when every time this time of year they hear about 20,000 pink slips going out."

In California, the number of teaching credentials issued annually fell 29% during the last five years, from 28,039 in 2004-05 to 20,032 in 2009-10, according to a new report by the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The biggest decline, nearly a 50% drop during that period, was in the multiple subject credential usually required to teach elementary school youngsters, while some demand for high school math and science teachers remains.

The decisions we make today will have an impact well into the future. Who are the teachers going to be–not to mention the veteran teachers–in ten years as the bay boom generation retires after we've removed a generation of teachers through pink slips and kept another generation away from the profession?