California Secretary for Education Kerry Mazzoni said in a March 19 news conference, "This is the best time in our state's history to become a teacher. Salaries are higher, benefits are more attractive and the recruitment centers will provide a direct link between prospective teachers and jobs in California classrooms." In the next ten years, California will need to recruit an estimated 300,000 qualified teachers, she said.
The teacher recruitment centers are being administered by the Sacramento County Office of Education through funding provided by the California Department of Education. Each center is a consortium of school districts, county offices of education, colleges, universities, and community-based organizations.
Margaret Fortune, Director of the Northern California Teacher Recruitment Center (left), introduced State Senator Richard Alarcon (center) and Sacramento City Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Laura Bruno (right). Senator Alarcon authored SB 1666, which provided for the establishment of the regional recruitment centers. Laura Bruno spoke on behalf of school districts that will benefit from the efforts of the centers to attract individuals to the teaching profession.
Dr. Rex Fortune, Superintendent of Center Unified School District (right), and Sacramento County Office of Education Deputy Superintendent Michael Carlson (left) reviewed a portion of the advertising campaign that will increase awareness of the centers and the importance of the teaching profession.
The $9 million campaign, to be launched in California and other states in spring 2001, will involve TV, print, radio, Internet, and movie theater advertising. The advertising campaign is being coordinated by the California Center for Teaching Careers (CalTeach), www.calteach.com, an information and referral service for individuals considering or pursuing teaching careers.
Representing the Sacramento County Office of Education at the news conference were (L-R): SCOE Deputy Superintendent Michael Carlson, Sacramento County Board of Education President Elinor L. Hickey, SCOE Director of Fiscal Operations and Business Technology Mary Fager, Coordinator of Teacher Recruitment and Selection Effie Crush, and Board Trustee Brian Cooley.
- Northern California—Project Pipeline, a non-profit teacher training, and recruitment agency currently works in collaboration with campuses of California State University, University of California, and independent colleges and universities. Located in Sacramento and Alameda Counties, this center proposes to focus its teacher recruitment efforts in 30 Northern California counties. This project served as a model for the administration-sponsored legislation that creates regional recruitment centers.
- Central California—The Tulare County Office of Education will operate a Teacher Recruitment Incentive Program (TRIP) center serving 19 counties ranging from Stanislaus to Kern to San Luis Obispo. The center proposes a multifaceted approach to address the diverse recruitment needs of a region that includes school districts in agricultural, urban, mountain, and coastal areas.
- Inland Empire—A TRIP center serving Riverside, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties will be operated by the San Bernardino County Office of Education. More than 60 school district administrators in the region have agreed to cooperate in the center's efforts to place qualified teachers in every classroom.
- Los Angeles—In the Los Angeles area, where the need for hiring credentialed teachers is the greatest in the state, two TRIP centers are being established. One, operated through Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), has a goal of hiring 4,300 additional teachers to serve the needs of the district's 720,000 students. The district has nearly 5,000 teacher vacancies a year. Most of its schools are low-performing, and more than one-quarter of its teachers hold only emergency permits. A second Los Angeles TRIP center will be operated through the Los Angeles County Office of Education, serving the other 80 districts in the county, many of which have needs similar to LAUSD.
- Southern Region—The San Diego County Office of Education will operate a TRIP center in cooperation with every school district in Orange, Imperial, and San Diego counties and in partnership with regional colleges, universities, and private and government agencies.