Culver City Observer -

New, Inexperienced Teachers Come To Culver Schools

 

September 14, 2017



Contributing Columnist

In 2014-15 our district hired so many new teachers that almost one in five teachers (18.3%) in our district were first and second year teachers with very little or no real classroom experience. The State’s Education Dept. has just released new data for the school year 2015-16. (See the latest CCUSD data here.) Even though this latest data is almost two years old it does show a disturbing trend in the increased hiring (22.3%) of first and second year teachers. In some cases, at a couple of individual schools the percentage was even more concerning. The Middle School had 28.3% (over 1 in 4) of its teaching staff with little or no real experience and at Farragut that ratio had increased from 20.7% (one in five) in 2014-15 to 34.5%, or one in three teachers on school staff.

Be Careful What You Wish For

In 2012, under previous superintendent David LaRose the Board embarked upon a plan to spend down our reserves by investing in employee salaries with one-time money from the Reserve Fund. After spending over $16.0M dollars on district salaries over the past five years what results do we have to show? One result is that our average district salary went from 44th to 41st when compared to the other 48 unified school districts in LA Co. Hmmm.

The Board also decided to offer teachers a $20,000 early retirement incentive, which, by the way, could also increase a retiree’s pension. I can only guess that the Board's $20,000 incentive was too lucrative and now our children’s education is suffering for it with the hiring of so many new and inexperienced teachers to our teaching staff because our low average salary puts us at a distinct disadvantage when teachers compare us to other districts. All these million-dollar increases, of course, only adds to the bottom line we taxpayers are having to pay to shore-up the State Teachers’ Retirement System, CalSTRS.

 

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