Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Job Glut, Teacher "shortage"

So I am still working on my article regarding the numbers of applicants per teaching job to dispel the "teacher shortage crisis" myth.
I talked to a district today that said they have credentialed (that means BA + 1 or more additional years of schooling), experienced (i.e. they've taught 1+ years) teachers applying for jobs... no surprise... but wait! These teachers are applying for substitute and IA (Instructional Aide aka Teacher's Aide) positions.
The average IA works 3 hours per day 180 days a year, at $8-14 an hour. That means professionals are desperate enough for employment that they are competing- rather stiffly, too- for positions that pay $4,320 to $7,560 a year. Substitutes fare better on paper, making $90- $120 a day, but working 180 days a year with earnings of $16,200 - $21,600 is but a dream. I worked in three districts, taking any and all sub positions (even the less desired i.e. adult ed, alternative ed, expulsion, medically fragile...) and worked an average of 2 days a week. This was before the budget crisis. Now, any teacher that was RIFed gets "first dibs" as a sub in their former district. A non-tenured, 1st or 2nd year RIFed teacher gets first dibs at sub jobs for 24 months, tenrued RIFed teachers, 39 months. Therefore, the thousands of teachers RIFed in the past few years are working as substitutes so that unemployed new teachers, out of state teachers, and non-union (i.e. charter, private) teachers are unlikely to support themselves as a sub.
Once the educational climate improves, the type of teachers I just listed are still out of luck for any job but an IA. Why? All unionized schools in California- covering 96% of teachers- follow the same month rule for hiring. To elaborate, let's say there is an elementary position open at District X. 100 people apply. Out of those 100, two are former employees, Mrs. Y, a two-years-ago RIFed tenured teacher of Dist. X, and Mr. Z a recently RIFed first year teacher at Dist. X. Well, the job will likely go to Mrs. Y due to unionization, seniority, and collective bargaining which covers teachers after they leave a school. If for some reason she denies the job, Mr. Z gets it. If he declines, then it goes to the "public".
This creates a permanent underclass of teachers; all new, out of state, or non-union, haven't worked in a union school for 24-39 month teachers are forever at the bottom of the barrel for jobs. They are highly unlikely to ever obtain a career in a tough job market.
And yet, even the CDE (California Dept. of Ed) perpetuates this "teacher shortage crisis" myth, as can be seen at or the even more golden article from the CTA (California Teacher Assoc.) claiming California will n
eed an additional 100,000 teachers in the next decade ; California currently employs approximately 304,000 teachers.
Maybe the moon is hiring? Lunites probably have a better education system; think I'll move.

1 comment:

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