Preparing for the teacher retirement ‘tsunami’

As predicted, a wave of teacher retirements has hit California school districts. But so far, they’re taking it in stride. Retention efforts combined with massive student enrollment declines have served to mitigate what could have been an enormous challenge.

We’re not out of the woods just yet. Many more teacher retirements could be coming on top of the 26% increase seen in the second half of 2020. That raises a question posed last week by CalMatters’ Eli Wolfe: Can California withstand a teacher retirement boom? 

One way to ease the impact is by removing barriers for those entering the teaching profession. That’s on the menu. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 state budget proposal would allow teaching credential candidates to bypass the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) or the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET) if they earned an A or B in qualifying coursework or tests. The provision would eliminate one of the roadblocks to quickly growing California’s qualified teacher workforce.

The Assembly and Senate budget subcommittees on education have recommended approval. The blueprint still needs support from the full Legislature by June 15.