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New proposed budget includes $900 million towards teacher shortage in California

The final budget must be approved by the legislature and will be updated in May
Posted at 9:36 PM, Jan 19, 2020
New proposed budget includes $900 million towards teacher shortage in California

Governor Newsom unveiled his $222.2 billion budget last with and in it was a proposal of $900 million towards education.

Among the education issues, Newsom hopes to focus on the need to address the shortage of teachers in California.

According to Newsom, there is specifically a shortage of teachers in math, science and for students with disabilities.

Leslie O' Connor, the principal at San Luis Obispo High School, believes low salaries contribute to issues surrounding teacher recruitment and retention for those subjects.

“We’re asking someone to after their degree complete a teaching program and then come into the world of work and even in the best of districts, they are probably going to have an entry salary of maybe $50,000 and other industry partners are saying we will give you $90,000,” said O' Connor.

Newsom's proposal would make it more affordable to become a teacher and would offer them more money to teach subjects that are most needed.

One of the proposals would provide $100 million to fund a $20,000 bonus for teachers who work four years in a high-need subject at a high-need school.

O' Connor says he believes there are opportunities within the district to help local college students remain in San Luis Obispo County after graduation.

“Maybe we can create internship opportunities for teaching candidates who are early in their development to maybe partner with us and then help grow our own product,” said O' Connor.

Jon-Paul Ewing, the department head for science at Paso Robles High School, said he understands why some leave the profession.

"Science is rough. We are usually the first ones at school every day and we're the last ones to leave usually," said Ewing.

Ewing also said he does see other ways the budget towards education could help bring some relief.

“Reduce class sizes hands down. Make the number of students that teachers are teaching smaller. It’d be better for the students and it’d be better for the teacher,” added Ewing.

The final budget must be approved by the legislature and will be updated in May.