San Diego

15 San Diego School Districts Looking to Hire Teachers Amid 10-Year Shortage in Supply

Over the next ten years, anticipated retirements are expected to open up 100,000 jobs statewide

 Fifteen San Diego school districts are looking to hire teachers as the supply of available teachers reaches a 10-year low.

Doctor Judy Mantle with National University says the supply of teachers has reached an alarming level. 

"The shortage has actually been creeping up on us over a period of years, but it's at a point right now where it's almost what we would refer to as a crisis," Mantle said.

A report by the Learning Policy Institute found that estimated teacher hires for the 2015-16 school year rose 25 percent from the previous school year, a number that has been steadily growing.

At the beginning of this school year, many districts scrambled to start school with enough teachers, according to the report. This upcoming school year, the state is anticipating a shortage of 22,000 teachers.

Over the next ten years, anticipated retirements are expected to open up 100,000 jobs statewide.

San Diego is no exception to the statewide trend, Mantle said.

"In some cases we're even have difficulty recruiting substitute teachers," she said. "So that tells you that this is a critical shortage."

An official with San Diego Unified School district said that unfortunately education is not seen as an attractive field to go into. When the economy suffered, so did schools, who weren't hiring as much. It slowed down retirement for many teachers. Now, as many prepare to retire, there are not enough to take their places. 

Parents agree something needs to be done.

 "I think it's really sad, you know, because these are the ones that are teaching our children and our children are the future," Heather Perea, the parent of an elementary school student, said. "With the lack of teachers, I mean, how are our kids going to learn?"

Kimberly Leistiko, a mother of four elementary school kids, said she worries the quality of the education will suffer as a result.

"We don't just want to put anybody in there in the schools," Leistiko said. "We want to have teachers who are prepared to deal with the students and their issues."

National University held a career fair for their students Wednesday where districts across San Diego, including San Diego Unified School District, spoke with students from 4 to 7 p.m. San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is one of several districts participating in a career fair at National University--to recruit more teachers for the upcoming school year.

SDUSD officials say they are working on a "teacher pipeline" program that would encourage their own students to go into the education field and help them get into college and then return to the district as teachers.

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