February 23, 2022

The 2022-23 Budget

Educator Workforce Proposals

Summary. In this post, we provide background on teacher shortages and recruitment, describe the Governor’s proposals related to these issues, assess these proposals, and offer associated recommendations.


California Has About 300,000 School Teachers. In 2018‑19, about 295,000 full‑time equivalent teachers (latest data available) were employed in California’s public school system. This is an increase of 9.8 percent over the 2010‑11 level (the low point during the Great Recession). Coupled with the effects of statewide declining student enrollment, the statewide student‑to‑teacher ratio, in turn, has dropped every year since its peak in 2010‑11 when it was 23:1. In 2018‑19, this ratio was about 21:1—comparable to the level prior to the Great Recession.

Some Districts Unable to Find Credentialed Teachers. Despite growth in the teacher workforce prior to the COVID‑19 pandemic, some school districts in the state typically experience more challenges finding credentialed teachers than others. In 2018‑19, almost 3 percent of the teacher workforce (about 8,700 teachers) had an emergency credential. The share of teachers on emergency credentials has risen every year since 2009‑10, when the demand for teachers was lower. Certain subject areas and types of schools are more likely to rely on underprepared teachers. Specifically, in reports required by the U.S. Department of Education, California has identified shortages of special education, science, and math teachers nearly every year since 1990‑91. Additionally, low‑income urban schools and rural schools experience many difficulties with staffing, often heavily relying on underprepared teachers.

Statewide Teacher Recruitment Efforts Date Back Several Decades. The state has a history of somewhat short‑lived statewide teacher recruitment efforts. For example, the state ran the California Center on Teaching Careers (Center) program from 1997 to 2002. This program operated out of several California State University campuses to attract more individuals to the teaching profession. Between 2001 and 2004, the state funded the Teacher Recruitment Incentive Program which established six county offices of education (COEs) as regional teacher recruitment centers to recruit teachers for low‑performing schools. The authorizing legislation designated the Sacramento COE to select the regional recruitment centers and administer the program. Between 2006 and 2009, the state funded regional Personnel Management Assistance Teams (PMATs) to work with school districts to improve personnel management, recruitment, and hiring practices. COEs in six regions across the state were selected to serve as PMATs.

In Recent Years, State Has Funded Various Programs to Address Teacher Shortages. Figure 1 describes the programs that have received one‑time state funding since 2016‑17 to address teacher shortages. Some programs are aimed at increasing the supply of teachers. For instance, the 2016‑17 budget re‑established the Center at a COE. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) administered the competitive grant ($5 million one‑time Proposition 98) and selected the Tulare COE to run the Center.

Figure 1

State Has Provided $1.2 Billion Since 2016‑17 to Address Teacher Shortages

General Fund Unless Otherwise Indicated (In Millions)




Funding Allocation


Golden State Teacher Grant Program

2020‑21 and 2021‑22

Provides financial assistance to students enrolled in teacher preparation programs who commit to working in certain subject areas at schools where more than 55 percent of students are low income or English learners.

CSAC awards funds to participating teachers. This program was funded with $15 million federal funding in 2020‑21 and $500 million one‑time General Fund in 2021‑22


Teacher Residency Grant Program

2018‑19 and 2021‑22

Supports establishing and expanding teacher residency programs in special education, STEM, and bilingual education.

CTC competitively awards grants to districts, COEs, and school‑university partnerships. There are two grant types: (1) planning grants of up to $50,000 and (2) residency grants of up to $20,000 per resident in the new or expanded program.


Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program

2016‑17, 2017‑18, and 2021‑22

Provides financial assistance to classified school employees, such as instructional aides, to pursue teaching credentials.

CTC competitively awarded grants of $4,000 per participant per year for up to five years to districts, COEs, and schools.


Local Solution Grants


Provided funding to local efforts to recruit and retain special education teachers.

CTC competitively awarded grants of up to $20,000 per participant to districts, COEs, and schools. Grantees required to provide a dollar‑for‑dollar match.


Integrated Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Grants


Supported expanding integrated programs that allow participants to earn an undergraduate degree and a teaching credential within four years. Programs focused on special education, STEM, and bilingual education received funding priority.

CTC competitively awarded planning grants of up to $250,000 to universities.


California Educator Development Program


Assisted districts with recruiting and preparing teachers, principals, and other school leaders.

California Center on Teaching Careers competitively awarded grants to 26 districts, COEs, and schools. This program was federally funded.


California Center on Teaching Careers

2016‑17 and 2021‑22

Established a statewide teacher recruitment center to recruit qualified and capable individuals into the teaching field, particularly to low‑income schools in special education, STEM, and bilingual education.

CTC competitively awarded grant to Tulare COE to operate center.


Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program


Supported teachers pursuing authorization to teach bilingual and multilingual classes.

CDE competitively awarded grants to eight districts and COEs.




CSAC = California Student Aid Commission; STEM = science, technology, engineering, and math; CTC = Commission on Teacher Credentialing; COE = county office of education; and CDE = California Department of Education.

Pandemic Has Likely Worsened Teacher Shortages. Districts report challenges stemming from the pandemic with hiring a range of school staff, including qualified teachers. A national survey of teachers from January 2021 found that 23 percent of teachers were likely to leave their current job due to pandemic‑related stress by the end of 2020‑21, compared to an annual average of 16 percent before the pandemic. Data in California is consistent with this finding. According to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which manages the state’s pension system for teachers, 3,202 California teachers retired in the second half of 2020—a 26 percent increase relative to 2019. Although the pandemic appears to have accelerated teachers leaving the workforce, data on teachers entering the workforce—such as district hiring of new teachers and enrollment in teacher preparation programs in 2021‑22—have not yet been released. In addition to teacher supply challenges, recent state efforts to expand Transitional Kindergarten to include all four‑year‑old children will increase demand for classroom teachers.

Statewide System of Support Targets Additional Assistance to Low‑Performing Districts. California made major changes to its statewide system of support for districts starting in 2013‑14, in tandem with significant changes to the state’s school financing system. The state currently has a school dashboard that reports school and district performance based on measures aligned with key state priority areas. A district that is identified as low performing based on the school dashboard is to receive targeted support from its COE. In providing this support, COEs sometimes consult with other regional agencies known as geographic leads. Nine geographic lead COEs are charged with building the capacity of the COEs within their region to provide targeted assistance to local districts. COEs providing targeted assistance may also request the help of the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team (FCMAT)—the state agency that provides fiscal advice, management assistance, teacher workforce review, and other technical assistance to school districts.

Governor’s Proposals

Provides Nearly $54 Million for Various Teacher Recruitment and Support Activities. Of this amount, $46 million is provided on a one‑time basis, while the remaining $8 million is ongoing, as seen in Figure 2. The Governor provides mostly non‑Proposition 98 funding for these proposals, with the one exception of $5.2 million ongoing Proposition 98 included for the PMATs proposal. Three proposals provide additional funding for programs previously funded by the state, such as credential fee waivers, grants for integrated undergraduate teacher preparation programs (hereafter referred to as “integrated programs”), and PMATs. The remaining two proposals would fund new teacher assessment fee waivers and CTC to implement new teacher recruitment and support activities, such as developing a new virtual portal for prospective teachers.

Figure 2

Governor Proposes $54 Million in New Educator Workforce Spending

(In Millions)




Teacher assessment fee waivers


Waives certain examination fees for new teachers.

Initial credential fee waivers


Provides second round of funding to waive first‑time credential fees. The 2021‑22 budget provided $20 million for the first round of funding.

Integrated Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Grants


Supports expanding integrated programs that allow participants to earn an undergraduate degree and a teaching credential within four years. Programs for early childhood education, special education, and other high‑needs fields would receive funding priority.

K‑12 Personnel Management Assistance Teams (PMATs)


Re‑establishes regional PMATs to assist districts and charter schools with improving hiring, retention, and recruitment practices. CDE and CCEE would select seven regional COEs to serve as PMATs. Geographic lead COEs would be selected as PMATs. CCEE would evaluate the program by December 31, 2025. Of this funding, $322,000 is ongoing non‑Proposition 98 General Fund to fund one new position each at CTC and CDE. The remaining funding is ongoing Proposition 98 General Fund.

New CTC teacher recruitment and support


Establishes eight career counselors to provide technical assistance for prospective educators and one position to develop a new teacher recruitment web portal. Also includes a $900,000 contract for a public outreach campaign to highlight teaching profession. CTC would report on all outreach efforts by April 30, 2024 (and bi‑annually afterwards). Funding is ongoing non‑Proposition 98 General Fund.



aUnless otherwise specified, funding is one‑time non‑Proposition 98 General Fund.

CDE = California Department of Education; CCEE = California Collaborative for Educational Excellence; COE = county office of education; and CTC= Commission on Teacher Credentialing.


Long‑Term Demand for More Teachers Remains Uncertain. Demand for new teachers can be influenced by a variety of factors. Some factors are likely to drive up unmet demand. For instance, the pandemic likely increased short‑term demand for teachers, as more teachers left the profession early due to pandemic‑related working conditions. Transitional Kindergarten expansion also will increase demand for elementary school teachers over the next several years, as schools will need to serve more students in smaller class sizes. Furthermore, even prior to the pandemic, the state faced teacher shortages in the areas of special education, math, science, and bilingual education. In contrast, other factors could reduce demand for teachers. The state is expected to have declines in the school‑aged population for the foreseeable future, primarily driven by historically low birth rates. In addition, data from 2019‑20 indicated that the number of new teaching credentials issued was at a five‑year high, increasing by 16.5 percent compared to 2015‑16 levels. Pandemic‑related impacts on teacher supply could also be alleviated moving forward as schools and the state better manage the pandemic, and as the direct effects of the pandemic on schools begin to diminish.

Some State Action to Recruit and Support New Teachers Seems Reasonable… Although long‑term demand for more teachers is unclear, efforts to attract more individuals to the teaching profession are warranted to address the widespread, near‑term teacher shortages, particularly those driven by the pandemic. Even if these more acute shortages subside over the next few years, the state could benefit from having teacher sustained efforts in place, particularly in the areas of special education, math, science, and bilingual education. This would allow the state to act early and proactively to recruit new teachers if teacher supply would otherwise not meet immediate demand. Alternatively, if the state waited to act until widespread teacher shortages were apparent, many districts would struggle to find fully credentialed teachers in the meantime, especially given the lag between recruitment efforts and completing the teacher preparation process.

…But Governor’s Proposal for New Teacher Recruitment Activities Duplicates Other Existing Efforts. The Governor’s proposal would provide ongoing non‑Proposition 98 funding for CTC to develop a new virtual portal and teacher counseling team to support prospective teachers. The state, however, already has two other online platforms operated by separate entities to recruit new teachers and provide information about teacher credentialing requirements. The California Department of Education (CDE) hosts the TeachCalifornia.org platform using ongoing funding to provide accessible information for individuals interested in teaching, with an emphasis on teacher shortage areas. This platform was initially developed by the Sacramento COE, in its role running the Teacher Recruitment Incentive Program between 2001 and 2004. (The Sacramento COE continues to operate the platform as a contractor for CDE.) Separately, Tulare COE uses one‑time Proposition 98 General Fund to operate the Center’s online platform, CaliforniaTeach.org, aimed at recruiting new teachers and matching prepared teachers with employment opportunities. (The two platforms are not coordinated but do reference each other.) The state has a history of rather short‑lived statewide teacher recruitment efforts, as previously mentioned. Changing the statewide strategy for recruiting new teachers every few years, however, results in state funding to develop multiple resources with very similar information, rather than one coordinated, authoritative platform that all prospective teachers can use to guide them through a complex process and learn more about recent state educator workforce initiatives.

Building Off of Existing Efforts Could Start New Teacher Recruitment Sooner. Since the state might benefit from acting swiftly to address short‑term shortages, CDE or the Center may be better positioned than CTC to begin teacher recruitment activities sooner. Both CDE and the Center already have developed online platforms and established partnerships with higher education institutions, COEs, school districts, and other organizations across the state. The Center also has experience running statewide promotional campaigns to target prospective teachers. In contrast, CTC would need time to hire for the new proposed positions, develop their online teacher recruitment platform, and award the contract for a statewide promotional campaign.

Re‑Establishing PMATS Likely to Have Limited Impact. The Governor’s proposal to establish regional PMATs to provide personnel management assistance upon request of a district largely overlaps with existing expertise available through FCMAT and COEs. Districts can already request FCMAT to study and provide recommendations to streamline and improve the district’s teacher hiring process, teacher retention rate, extent of incorrectly assigned teachers, and supply of highly qualified teachers. COEs can also provide personnel management advice and convene district‑level human resource teams to discuss local issues related to teacher recruitment and hiring practices. We also believe the PMATs proposal might have some limitations. For instance, research generally finds that targeted, ongoing salary increases are the most effective type of financial incentive for attracting and retaining highly qualified teachers, especially in shortage subjects and hard‑to‑staff schools. Such financial incentives, however, are subject to collective bargaining, and teachers have a longstanding tradition of a single salary schedule. If districts’ current practices are primarily driven by collective bargaining agreements, assistance from a PMAT is unlikely to change district practices.

Fee Waivers Unlikely to Address Teacher Shortages. Credential and assessment fee waivers could accelerate the time line for some individuals already pursuing teaching to become fully credentialed, but are unlikely to result in additional new teachers joining the workforce. For these fee waivers to be an effective recruitment tool, prospective teachers would have to know about the waivers when they consider applying for a teacher preparation pathway. Evidence suggests that many prospective teachers do not know about these waivers. For example, even though initial credential fee waivers were available in 2021‑22, many new teachers submitted paper applications and payments by mail. By November 30, 2021, CTC had more than 10,000 credential fees that then needed to be manually processed and reimbursed. Furthermore, given the significant time and/or money prospective teachers would spend to pursue a teaching credential, waiving these fees are unlikely to make a difference in whether individuals decide to become teachers. Other efforts, such as streamlining the state’s complex credentialing requirements, could more effectively lower barriers to becoming a teacher.

No Concerns Over Additional Funding for Integrated Programs. We think additional state funding for integrated programs is an efficient approach to attract new teachers. Through integrated programs, individuals can earn an undergraduate degree and a teaching credential within four years, rather than pursuing a fifth year of education through a separate one‑year teacher preparation program. Integrated programs are also aligned with how other states prepare new teachers. From the initial $10 million provided in 2016‑17, CTC awarded grants to 41 institutions. Many grantees began enrolling undergraduate students in their integrated programs in 2018‑19. By 2019‑20, a total of 629 undergraduate students were enrolled in an integrated program, and 72 individuals had obtained their undergraduate degree and teaching credential.


Modify Proposal for New Teacher Recruitment Activities. To more quickly implement teacher recruitment activities, we recommend the Legislature provide funding to one of the existing entities that already do similar work. CDE and the Center are already positioned to build off existing infrastructure and expertise to respond more quickly to growing demand for more teachers. The Legislature will want to consider the various trade‑offs associated with funding either entity. For example, the Center has regional partnerships and experience running a statewide promotional campaign, but the CDE platform has more accessible information tailored based on an individual’s background (such as high school students and out‑of‑state teachers). The Legislature’s options for how to fund these activities would somewhat depend on which entity it tasked with conducting these activities. Providing state operations funding at CDE would require ongoing non‑Proposition 98 General Fund (limited‑term positions would be difficult to fill), but the state also could provide Proposition 98 funding if CDE were to use a COE as a contractor (consistent with its current activities). Providing funding to the Center would require Proposition 98 funding. Regardless of the selected entity, the Legislature could consider requiring broader coordination across CTC, CDE, higher education, K‑12 schools, and any designated entity to reduce further duplication of teacher recruitment efforts.

Reject Proposals for Fee Waivers and PMATs. We recommend the Legislature reject the Governor’s fee waiver and PMAT proposals—freeing up $36 million non‑Proposition 98 General Fund and $5 million Proposition 98 funding for other legislative priorities. Providing credential and assessment fee waivers would not address the underlying need for more new teachers to enter the workforce. For the PMATs proposal, districts already have access to personnel management assistance from FCMAT upon request. If the Legislature is interested in providing more statewide personnel management assistance, it could consider providing one‑time funding for FCMAT to train COEs on effective personnel management practices and incorporate this expertise when COEs provide broad‑ranging support and targeted assistance to school districts.

Approve Funding for Integrated Programs. We recommend the Legislature approve additional funding for the integrated programs. These programs offer a cost‑efficient and quicker option for interested undergraduate students to receive training and become teachers after graduating. The funding previously provided to establish more integrated programs also shows some promising results.