CA’s effort to turn school staff into teachers starts to pay off

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A state program that recruits classroom aides, food service workers and bus drivers – who are already on campus and invested in local schools – and trains them to become teachers is one innovative way California is trying to combat its teacher shortage.

The California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program has helped transform 299 school employees into teachers, with thousands more in the pipeline, according to a new report from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Legislators have approved $45 million for the program since 2016, as part of an ongoing effort to address a teacher shortage that has left many classrooms without a fully credentialed educator. Finding teachers, especially those teaching science, math, special education and English language learners, has become a daunting challenge, particularly for school districts in areas with high housing and other costs.

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