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I-Team: Nationwide shortage of qualified teachers creating challenges for local school districts

Local school districts are about to start the new year and one of their big challenges is making sure they have enough teachers. 

There is a teacher shortage nationwide, and especially in California. 

There will be more than 250 new teachers on the job in the Coachella Valley's three school districts this fall, after months of recruiting.    

Desert Sands Unified and Palm Springs Unified will go coast to coast on recruiting trips looking for teachers. 

They focus on states that have similar credentialing qualifications so teachers can move here and be able to qualify for a credential quickly. 

Desert Sands also made a big push this year on social media to recruit. 

Coachella Valley Unified keeps its recruiting efforts closer to home, saying they do most of their recruiting through their own job fairs. 

Retirements are a big factor with nearly 90 teachers retiring in the three local districts after last school year. 

The presidents of the Desert Sands and Coachella Valley Teachers Associations also say job satisfaction is a factor, especially post-Covid. 

Their frustrations include student and parent behavior. 

The biggest issue, however, is fewer college students choosing teaching as a profession. 

In California, the state issued 16% fewer credentials to teachers in the '21-'22 school year over the previous year. 

Local administrators say the trends change every five to six years. 

In some cases, districts are offering bonuses for hard-to-fill positions like math, science and special education.    

The valley does offer districts one advantage when it comes to recruiting young teachers. 

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has put the valley on the map when it comes to recruiting young teachers from out of state. 

Another potential solution could be California joining the "Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact."   

Ten states have already signed on to the agreement that allows teachers to move between those states and get an equivalent license without further education. 

For information on available positions in local school districts and how to apply, visit these sites: 

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John White

John White anchors News Channel 3 Live at 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m.on KESQ-TV and CBS Local 2. Learn more about John here.


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