Amid Shortage, CA Mulls Interstate Compact for Teachers
Wednesday, August 30, 2023
California's ongoing teacher shortage is fueling interest in joining the new Interstate Compact for Teachers, which would smooth the way for out-of-state teachers to work in the Golden State.
Ten states have signed the compact so far. A bill for California to join them has passed the state Senate and is expected to be taken up by the Assembly Education Committee during the next session in January.
Adam Diersing, policy analyst for the National Center for Interstate Compacts, part of the Council of State Governments, part of the Council of State Governments, explained the purpose of the compact.
"The compact is mostly designed to reduce the strain and the individual burden on teachers, who are required to produce a great level of documentation, retake examinations that they took earlier in their career, and relitigate their experience in the new state," Diersing outlined.
California faced a shortage of 10,000 teachers during the 2021-22 school year, but the California Teachers Association opposes the bill, saying it is unnecessary, as California already has a process to hire teachers from other states.
Diersing noted the compact started as a way to help military spouses find work when their families are transferred. Opponents worry about a potential "brain drain."
"Some states are concerned that their teachers will utilize the compact to leave," Diersing observed. "Frankly, we don't foresee that being an issue. That hasn't been an issue with existing licensure compacts that we've seen."
Another bill in the California Legislature, Senate Bill 765, would make it easier for retired teachers to reenter the workforce. California also offers an earn-while-you-learn program to train new teachers. However, a recent report found applications for teaching credentials had fallen by 16% last year.
Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.
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