Information provided by the Office of Assemblyman Robert Rivas.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Golden State Teacher Grant Program into law on June 28, and funded it with $89 million in the state budget, according to a press release.
The program, proposed by Assemblymembers Robert Rivas and Patrick O’Donnell in Assembly Bill 1623, delivers one-time $20,000 grants to aspiring teachers to help them cover the cost of the training they need to enter the classroom.
The grants are targeted to those who commit to teach four years in hard to staff subject areas where California is currently facing shortage of teachers – primarily bilingual education, special education and STEM, and in schools that have had a particularly hard time hiring qualified educators, the press release stated.
“Teachers change lives and are the bedrock of our public education system,” Rivas said in the new release. “That’s why it’s critical we fight to support them. I authored the Golden State Teacher Grant Program to do just that and help schools bring more teachers into the classrooms where they’re needed most.”
According to the press release, California’s pipeline of new teachers hovers near a 12-year low and the number of new credentials issued has dropped by about 50% during the same period. Additionally, over the past five years, the number of waivers issued when schools cannot find a fully-qualified credentialed teacher has nearly doubled.
“Every student deserves an opportunity to achieve,” Rivas said. “Yet, this opportunity is harder to come by in schools located within low-income communities or schools heavily comprised of English language learners that suffer from a teacher shortage. I applaud the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature for taking this important action to help bring more teachers into our public school classrooms.”