Four Programs Receive Funding Boosts to Recruit More Teachers and Diversify the Profession
Thanks to Record Investments in Educator Recruitment, Preparation, and Training

By Public Advocates and the California Teacher Residency Lab

Interested in becoming a teacher or recruiting fully credentialed teachers to serve your district’s students? This is the right place to start the journey!  Read on for a summary of key opportunities available to you from California’s recent investment into the recruitment, preparation and training of educators

This past summer, Governor Newsom signed AB 130, which allocated approximately $3 billion to educator preparation, training, and recruitment programs. This tremendous investment in educators and educators-to-be speaks to the current moment: a pandemic that has exacerbated the already-severe teacher shortage in our state and across the nation. Expanding and diversifying our workforce of teachers and incentivizing experienced teachers to teach in high-needs schools and fields are critical strategies to increase the number of educators in the state. 

Together, the Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program, Golden State Teacher Grant Program, Teacher Residency Grant Program, and National Board Certification Incentive Grant support these strategies. The following is a compilation of the new opportunities available from the state’s recent investments:

1. Golden State Teacher Grant Program – This grant offers up to $20,000 to education students currently enrolled in a professional teacher preparation program in high-needs fields such as special education, multiple subject teaching instruction, transitional kindergarten, bilingual education, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, STEM, including computer science, technology, engineering, mathematics, STEM areas, and other subjects. These include teacher internships and teacher residency programs. Upon completing their programs, teachers commit to teaching at a California priority school for four years. For more information, click here.

2. Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program – This program offers up to $24,000 over five years to classified employees, such as tutors, administrative assistants, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, and custodial staff, to earn teaching credentials and continue serving their school districts as teachers. For more information, click here.

3. National Board Certification Incentive Grant – This program offers eligible teachers $2500 to initiate the highly-regarded National Board certification process for teaching excellence and a $5000 annual stipend for each year of their five-year commitment to teach in high-priority schools. For more information, click here.

4. Teacher Residency Grant Program – This program offers candidates the opportunity to participate in year-long residencies, learn from a mentor teacher and earn up to $25,000 to cover their program costs. Building on the medical residency model, teacher residencies provide an alternative pathway to teacher certification grounded in deep clinical training. Residents apprentice alongside an expert teacher in a high-need classroom for a full academic year. They take closely linked coursework from a partnering university that leads to a credential and a master’s degree at the end of the residency year. They receive living stipends and tuition support as they learn to teach; in exchange, they commit to teaching in the district for three to five years beyond the residency. This model fosters tight partnerships between local school districts and teacher preparation programs. Residencies recruit teachers to meet district needs—usually in shortage fields. Then they rigorously prepare them and keep them in the district. For more information, click here.

Research shows that increasing teacher diversity has many positive academic and social-emotional benefits for students of color. Outcomes include, but are not limited to, increased reading and math scores, improved graduation rates, and less chronic absenteeism. What’s more, “teacher diversity may also benefit teachers of color who experience feelings of isolation, frustration, and fatigue when there are few other teachers of color in their schools. Increasing teacher diversity may improve satisfaction for teachers of color and decrease turnover, a key contributor to teacher shortages and school instability.”

Yet, teachers of color face several systemic barriers to recruitment and retention that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including insufficient access to funding to pay for tuition and housing while earning their credentials, lack of adequate preparation and mentoring, and disparate pass rates of licensure exams. This is even more troubling since research shows that underprepared and under-supported teachers leave the profession at a rate that is two-to-three times higher than fully prepared and supported teachers. Fortunately, this year’s state budget could prove to be a game-changer for teacher candidates as it offers them coursework alternatives to standardized basic skills, subject-matter competency, and reading instruction tests. Public Advocates has been pushing for decades for such reasonable alternatives to what can often be racially and culturally biased standardized teacher tests. 

Investments in residencies and other sustainable and high-retention pathways such as those made this year can also mitigate barriers to access and pave the way for the strong, diverse, and stable workforce that California needs. As has been noted:

High-quality teacher residencies can prepare effective teachers who stay in the profession, helping to reduce high rates of teacher turnover and end the revolving door of educators in the highest-need schools. In addition, residencies, when adequately funded, often provide financially feasible pathways for candidates and are more likely to recruit teachers of color than other pathways into teaching.

Educators and educators-to-be: Please click here for more information on how to apply for any of these programs.

Districts and partners: Please click here for more information about these programs, including how to host them or encourage teachers and teacher candidates to apply.

About the Authors

Public Advocates Inc. is a nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and racial discrimination by strengthening community voices in public policy and achieving tangible legal victories advancing education, housing, transportation equity, and climate justice.

The California Teacher Residency Lab (Lab) is a learning community where clinically-rich teacher preparation programs learn from each other and experts, strengthen their intra-program partnerships, and engage in formal and informal networking to support continuous improvement. In addition, participants access a technical assistance support system designed to help partnerships successfully implement key characteristics of effective residency programs.  The Lab emphasizes residency programs’ power in ushering a focus on equity-driven teacher preparation. The Lab is open to all CTC teacher residency grantees, including residency, expansion, and capacity grants. Contact  to learn more. Visit us at The California Teacher Residency Lab website.

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