In an effort to help meet the critical need for teachers in California, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) is coordinating a recruitment effort aimed at finding highly qualified teachers for low-performing schools.
"Our goal is to deliver a project that helps place the best teachers in the schools where they are needed the most," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon.
The California Teacher Recruitment Program is authorized by Assembly Bill 146 (Laird), Budget Act of 2005, which provides up to $3 million for the program. In January 2006, the California Department of Education (CDE) invited California county offices of education to compete for the funding. In April, SCOE was selected to lead the project.
SCOE has released a second Request for Proposals (RFP). The deadline is July 27, 2006, at 5 p.m.
SCOE released an earlier RFP, which indicated program funds were not to be used for teacher training. This was a requirement specified by CDE. Proposals received in response included teacher training activities. Following consultation with CDE, a new RFP with a less restrictive statement about teacher training is being released.
SCOE will select a contractor through a competitive bidding process, monitor the contractor's work and expenditures, and evaluate the program. The contractor will be required to focus its efforts on the recruitment of teachers meeting federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) standards that are of the following types:
- special education teachers in grades K–12,
- mathematics teachers in grades 7–12, and
- science teachers in grades 7–12.
The contractor will have to identify three distinct geographic areas in California in which to focus its recruitment efforts. Each identified area must have its own set of teacher recruitment needs, challenges, and opportunities that differs from the other two areas.
"For example, one area might be a fairly inexpensive place to live, but not necessarily someone's first choice, while another place might be relatively expensive to live in," said Bob Carlson, SCOE Director of Student Assessment and Program Accountability. "One area might have plenty of higher education institutions that produce credentialed teachers, while another may not."
The contractor will be required to focus special attention on teachers with ethnic backgrounds other than White (non-Hispanic). Similarly, efforts must be made to recruit male K–12 special education teachers and female mathematics and science teachers for grades 7–12. Also, the contractor must work on recruiting individuals for whom teaching is a first career and individuals who currently work in other fields.
SCOE's costs for completing its responsibilities total $109,483, leaving up to $2,890,517 available for the contractor. The program is expected to begin June 22, 2006, and end on January 31, 2008. The project will be evaluated to gauge its success.
For more information about the California Teacher Recruitment Program, call (916) 228-2653.