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Assessing the severity of California’s teacher shortage and what’s driving SoCal educators to leave or stay

A teacher helps students.
A teacher helps students.
Dorian Merina/KPCC

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While teaching K-12 education can be one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet, where educators have the opportunity to have a direct influence on the shaping of the young minds, it is also one of the most demanding and least rewarding jobs on the planet.

Many teachers work 50-60 hours a week for a relatively small salary, and many feel that school districts are more focused on raising test scores than identifying and meeting the differing needs of students. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that California and LAUSD here in Southern California are facing a dire teacher shortage and have been for some time. A recent study from the Learning Policy Institute in Northern California explains how bad the problem is, has been, and continues to get. Three quarters of the 200 districts surveyed reported having a hard time filling teaching positions, especially in low-income areas.

If you’re a current or former K-12 teacher in LAUSD, we want to hear from you today on AirTalk. If you left teaching, what made you do it? Did you make the right decision or do you have regrets? If you’re still teaching, what’s keeping you in it? Would you ever consider leaving? What would it take for you to leave the profession altogether?


Maura Walz, KPCC education editor