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BCSD tries to lure more teachers with higher pay

Posted at 12:03 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 22:03:22-05

District officials approved a new labor contract late Tuesday evening that may help to entice more experience teaching staff to work in the Bakersfield City School District. 

Previously, new hires were capped at just under $60,000 regardless of their teaching experience or education. 

With the new contract, teachers with more experience and higher level education can now be paid accordingly.

"It's a big deal because what it does is allow new teacher hires coming from other school districts to bring along with them all of their verifiable years of service," said BCSD board member Andrae Gonzales.

According to The Washington Post, "the supply of new teachers in California is at a 12-year low, with enrollment in education preparation programs having dropped by more than 70 percent over the last decade."

An officials from The Kern County Superintendent of Schools said Kern County is also facing the shortage.

"There are a lot of positions available within Kern County, we have teacher vacancies that basically went unfilled this year by credential teachers so we definitely do have a shortage," said Toni Smith, assistant superintendent, human resources. 

Kern County Superintendent of Schools said they are working to create informational events to attract first time teachers.

At the state level -- legislators are moving for new measures to bring teachers back, including three new bills aimed at enticing more teachers. 

  • Senate Bill 62 would reinstate student loan forgiveness for teachers who work at certain schools that meet specific requirements such as a school with a teacher shortage. 
  • Senate Bill 915 would help with teacher recruitment. 
  • Senate Bill 933 would expand teacher residency programs. 

"We must continue to attract new educators in our district in addition, we have the natural retirements and transitions and promotions in the district, so we need to fill those positions as well," said Gonzales. 

Gonzales said the district is projected to grow more next year and they anticipate hiring 150 more teachers.

"We are really looking at recruiting teachers, not just within the local region, but statewide and throughout the country," said Gonzales, "So we will continue to focus on our students and our schools and continue to seek out new ways we can be attractive."