California Educator

March 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 55

EARL ROIDER JR.: Maybe pay a fair wage. In our current labor negotiations, the district wants to provide a one-half percent increase. Really? And stop demonizing teachers. KAREN STOUT: What about the ones who already work for you — especially in areas with difficult, poverty-stricken students and dangerous neigh- borhoods? Fund teachers to become special education teachers in addition to their general ed credential with no-in- terest loans or better. HAYLEY BOWMAN: I'm a new teacher and have applied to over 10 districts. Why are we all talking about a teacher shortage when new teachers like me can't get a full-time job? As far as I and my fellow new teacher friends are concerned, there is no shortage. JENNIFER MOLESS: How this could have possibly come to pass, given how teachers make big bucks to teach in luxury classrooms? Between the respect afforded them (Chris Christie meant to say he'd give the teachers unions flowers, not punches! John Kasich didn't mean to say he'd outlaw faculty lounges — he wanted to outlaw staff rooms without day spa facilities!) and summers off, who wouldn't want to teach? JOHNNA LEE-GARCIA: I can afford to teach in the Bay Area only because of my husband's job. If not for that, I'd be in suburban Houston, where a teacher's pay can buy a nice brick home in a relatively short time. (No labor protections, which sucks, but if you can't afford your own place, what's the point?) I can't understand why teachers stick around CA. Subsidized housing? Give me a freaking break! KEN JOHNSON: We are hiring noncredentialed people in the Central Valley. My district starts at $50K and tops out at $98K. Housing is much cheaper than the Bay Area; SF is an hour away. ALECIA HORN: Pay them more, respect substitutes, enforce behavior expectations for students, help them decrease class size, don't expect them to teach three years' worth of mate- rial in less than one year. Boom. HOLLY RENEE CUMBIE: Help with child care would be fabu- lous. More $$$ of course. Heck, I'd love some debt forgiveness. JENNIFER TACHELLA RAYMOND: Many places in the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley are begging anyone to set foot in the classroom. Retention rates are so low that some districts in my area are giving a signing bonus. You can't walk into the best districts and expect to find a job. You have to get experience and then move into top districts. OPAL LYNN JOHNSON: When I was deciding what to get a credential in, an instructor told me to go with special edu- cation and I would always have a job. This has proven to be the case. My district alone has five special ed openings. Districts are competing with each other for special ed teachers. I am currently looking at high-paying districts that will take all 20 years of my experience as credit. JACKIE CULLUM: In LAUSD they are forcing older teachers to retire, so they can hire new teachers who receive less pay. If you want teachers, treat them with respect and let them teach. Stop telling them how to do their job and stop focusing on stupid test scores. The only thing that those tests really test is how well you take a test. TONY PESQUEIRA: Teacher shortage reports are false, espe- cially gen ed elementary. TINA ANDRES: My district has no shortage. They are trying to get as many teachers as possible to retire with an incentive so they don't have to lay off. All of the new charters opening up in the fall will take away the possibility of doing any hiring. This is hap- pening all over Orange County. BONNIE CEDIEL: New teachers are told they will not be earning Social Security retirement benefits. They will be earning a pension which they will be paying into. What they don't understand is that they will be losing chunks of their own SS retirement benefits that they have already earned because of the Windfall Elimination Provision. We are talking losing $1,000 to $2,400 every month! NOELLE CLARK-HILL: How about paying us what we deserve and letting us have a say on the curriculum we are choosing? ELLIE BURTON: In the 37 years I taught in California, educa- tional quality declined, parents and students were much more disrespectful, and students were lazier by far. Retired teachers cannot collect the social security that many are entitled to. People (led by Carl DeMaio and Chuck Reed) want to eliminate teacher pensions. Were I entering the workforce today, it would likely not be in the teaching field. JILL BOHN: If you have a math, science or special ed credential, you are gold. KEN JOHNSON: Actually, if you're standing upright and breathing, you are gold. What to Do About the Teacher Shortage? e statewide teacher shortage, brought on by budget cuts during the Great Recession when many lost their jobs and the pipeline dwindled, is a sore subject for educators. e shortage has been exacerbated in regions such as the Bay Area, where the cost of living far exceeds educator salaries. What should districts and administrators do? CTA's Facebook page buzzed with comments. Taking Action CTA has formed a Teacher Pipeline Workgroup to address this serious issue. There is also fresh research from Learning Policy Institute's recent report "Addressing California's Emerging Teacher Shortage." The report notes what can help attract and retain good educators: targeted recruitment efforts; funding and improved pathways to earn teaching credentials; mentoring, especially for newer educators; higher salaries, improved working conditions, stable retirement and job security; loan forgiveness; and training for principals to become great instructional leaders. 17 March 2016

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - March 2016