Despite a small uptick in the number of people enrolled in teacher preparation programs, the state still faces a large shortage of qualified teachers.

24,000 credentialed teachers are needed, but the pipeline produced only 8,000 last year.

Bill Raden and Eunice Park write in Capital & Main:

April findings by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing noted that 23,832 prospective teachers were enrolled in state teacher prep programs during the 2016-17 school year (the most recent data available) — an increase of nearly 2,500 over the previous year and 4,000 more than in 2012-13. But that’s still a trickle compared to the 77,705 enrollment over 2001-02. Last year alone the state came up short about 8,000 of the 24,000 fully credentialed teachers it needed. The result, said California’s newly appointed State Board of Education president Linda Darling-Hammond, is that “half the people coming in are not yet prepared and most likely are teaching in the highest-need communities.” The fix? Darling-Hammond said the state must restore discontinued programs, such as scholarships that cover teacher preparation program costs, or student loan forgiveness in exchange for teaching in high-needs schools or hard-to-fill subject areas.

As the new president of the State Board of Education, Darling-Hammond is well situated to push these reasonable fixes into reality.