Gov. Brown’s Proposed Budget Is Inadequate to Address Teacher Shortage

Last week Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed 2017-2018 budget, and it doesn’t include any new funds to address the teacher shortage in California. Ed Source is reporting that the budget does highlight the $35 million that was allocated this year to assist school districts recruit new teachers.

According to Ed Source:

” ‘No additional investments are being proposed in the governor’s budget, given both the investments that were made (in the 2016-17 budget) as well as the fiscal pressures now facing the state,” said H.D Palmer, a spokesman for the Department of Finance.

“That, however, shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that there are no teacher training activities that are funded and underway,” he said.

Some educators and advocates who wanted the state to fund programs that would immediately increase the number of teachers in the classroom said they were disappointed. But they’re also optimistic the state legislature could help their case by introducing bills in coming months to fund new programs. Or, the governor himself could add teacher recruitment spending if the state’s financial forecast improves later on.”

Governor Brown has decided to proceed cautiously with the state budget because of uncertainty regarding the funding of Obamacare and income and sales tax revenue has fallen short of the projections. California is in a tight spot, and the governor doesn’t want to increase spending.

This is the problem with the boom and bust of the economy and relying on capital gains tax revenue, which is tied to the stock market. Legislators and local school districts will have to come up with creative ways to find money to address the teacher shortage. This might come in the form of bonds or other ways of raising money.

According to a survey released this fall, three quarters of school districts in the state reported as shortage of teachers. When students don’t have regular full-time teachers, districts rely on lesser qualified substitute teachers, and classroom overcrowding becomes an issue.

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