By Diana Lambert, EdSource
California schools collectively have billions of state and federal dollars to spend on programs to help students catch up on the learning they lost while school campuses were closed. But many districts do not have enough fully qualified teachers to fill regular classrooms, let alone to launch new academic programs this fall.
The state’s schools have struggled with teacher shortages for years, especially in the areas of special education, math, science and bilingual education, but the problem has worsened since the pandemic began. Research by the Learning Policy Institute, which consisted of interviews with district leaders from eight of the largest and nine of the smallest school districts in the state, found that the number of teacher candidates earning credentials declined during the pandemic.