Assemblymember O’Donnell’s Bill to Address Teacher Shortage Passes Unanimously

Thursday, June 1, 2017

(SACRAMENTO) – A bill introduced by Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) to address the growing need for qualified teachers has passed the California State Assembly unanimously.   

Assembly Bill (AB) 169 establishes the Golden State Teacher Grant Program, which will award one-time grant funds of $20,000 to students in educator preparation programs if they commit to teach in a subject area especially impacted by the teacher shortage, such as math, science, bilingual education, or special education.

“The quality of education we provide to California’s students depends on the quality of our teacher workforce,” said Assemblymember O’Donnell, a teacher and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee.  “The Assembly’s overwhelming support for the bill recognizes the need to attract and retain educators who will empower students to pursue careers that move California forward.”

School districts across California are experiencing a serious shortage of qualified teachers.  Increased demand for K–12 teachers in California comes at a time when the supply of new teachers is at a 12-year low.  Enrollment in educator preparation programs has dropped by more than 70% over the last decade, and has fallen below the number of estimated hires by school districts around the state.

Studies indicate that scholarship programs are highly effective at recruiting students who would not otherwise pursue a career in teaching. This bill will put California in a better position to get teachers into the classroom and maintain the highest standards of the profession.

AB 169 now moves on to the Senate.

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Contact: Sophia Kwong Kim