KPCC: Want to teach science or special ed? California may soon have a scholarship for you

Thursday, June 8, 2017

As excerpted from 89.3 KPCC.

California public schools are facing a shortage of teachers — specifically, a shortage of teachers qualified to teach math, science, bilingual or special education.

So state lawmakers are considering making an offer to prospective teachers: commit to teach in these high-need subjects and we'll take a bite out of your tuition costs.

Members of the California Assembly recently approved the creation of a grant program that would offer $20,000 scholarships to prospective teachers who promise to teach science, technology, engineering, math, bilingual education or special education in a public school for four years.

“We need more people getting into teaching," said the bill's author, Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D-Long Beach). "We also need to get the people in the pipeline and out of the pipeline. We need to get them trained in a much more expeditious fashion, and that takes money. It takes money on our side, and it takes money on their side."

O'Donnell's staff said the current state budget draft sets aside $25 million for the proposed "Golden State Teacher Grant Program," enough to fund scholarships for roughly 1,200 prospective teachers.