A state program that seeks to address California’s teacher shortage by training school employees to become classroom teachers appears to be paying off.
The California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program has helped turn nearly 300 classified staff members into credentialed instructors, and thousands of additional candidates are in the pipeline, according to a new report from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Classified staff include instructional assistants, office workers, technicians, custodians, IT professionals and other non-credentialed school and district employees.
Since 2016, lawmakers have allocated $45 million for this initiative, which is intended to offset tuition costs for candidates who want to become teachers and already have some school experience. The state’s teacher shortage has been well documented in recent years, and finding science, math and special education teachers has become particularly challenging.
The Orange County Department of Education is among the agencies that have been tapped by the state to award grants to classified employees.
And here are some additional stories from the week ending Jan. 10:
- In March, Brea voters will decide the fate of Measure G, which would raise $123 million through the sale of bonds to upgrade aging facilities, modernize security features and add new technologies to local schools.
- Local high school students organized a trolley tour that focused on the history of Santa Ana after taking part in a program through the Heritage Museum of Orange County.
- OCDE partnered with the Orange County Human Relations Commission for the first of two forums that openly addressed hate-motivated incidents and shared strategies for supporting students in safer, more connected campuses.
- Lawmakers in California are looking for ways to make school spending more transparent under the Local Control Funding Formula. A work group commissioned by the state superintendent will recommend ways to ensure the funding model is serving the students it was intended to support, including English learners, low-income students and foster youth.
- For the third year in a row, Santa Ana High School music teacher Victor de los Santos has been named one of 10 finalists nationwide for the Grammy Music Educator Award. The accolade is presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum.
- A USA Today series on Latinos living in the United States says more schools are teaching in English and Spanish, but additional work is needed to help elevate children from diverse backgrounds.
- Orange Coast College will be the Southern California hub for NASA’s ROADS on Mars Student Challenge, which will give local students a chance to complete a simulated Mars mission — and possibly win a trip to the Kennedy Space Center for the next rover launch.
- Once considered low-profile, the Orange County Board of Education is attracting statewide attention and has become a flash point for the 2020 elections, the Orange County Register reports.
- School bond measures, dual enrollment in college and special education will be among the bigger issues for the Capistrano Unified School District in 2020, according to school board President Jim Reardon, who was interviewed by the Capistrano Dispatch.
- And finally, author and performer Joy Harjo, who was recently named the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, will be the featured speaker at next month’s 11th annual Creative Edge Lecture. Interest has been pretty high in this, and in fact we’re told it’s already at capacity.
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