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Bilingual teacher shortage

I'm writing for Education Next on what's changed since the passage of Prop. 58 with a focus on the bilingual teacher shortage, which appears to be constraining the expansion of dual-immersion programs. 

Does it make sense to ease teacher certification requirements and, if so, in what way?

Some districts (Natomas, Pittsburg, Bakersfield) are offering signing bonuses or other financial incentives to recruit bilingual teachers. Are there other districts offering extra money to bilingual teachers? 

Great question Joanne. I have not seen any specific research on whether Prop. 58 is affecting the demand for bilingual teachers, but I know that the issue came up in GTDFII discussions (see: https://gettingdowntofacts.com). I’ve reached out to someone about this and will let you know what I hear.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we know much about the prevalence of the use of signing bonuses or other incentives to try to recruit or retain teachers in hard-to-staff subjects. Often times states don’t collect this type of information statewide so what we know about it will depending on whether there’s an enterprising person who took it upon her/himself to collect the information. I can tell you a bit more about where you can get historical information for the country as a whole (from the Schools and Staffing Survey and the new National Teacher and Principal Survey: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ntps/), but I’m guessing this isn’t really what you are looking for.

Lastly, as for your question on easing certification requirements, this is a complicated and contentious area as it touches on normative views about what you think the connection is between certification requirements and teacher workforce quality. Let’s chat about this as I think it would be more efficient!


Late breaking addendum (and a shout out to Jeannie Myung for the info): Ilana Umansky’s report State Policies to Advance English Learners’ Experiences and Outcomes in California’s Schools touches on Prop 58 so you might want to look at this too.