SANTA CLARA (CBS SF) — Some San Francisco Bay Area school districts are working hard to attract new educators amid a statewide teacher shortage.
Marisa Hanson, president of the East Side Teachers Association in San Jose, said she thinks many people can’t afford to be a teacher.
“I think people aren’t going into teaching anymore because the pay is lower, especially in this area,” Hanson said.
It’s a simple lesson in mathematics: Bay Area cost of living is high and starting teaching salary is low. That equals a shortage in teachers.
A new report by the Learning Policy Institute says that the supply of new K-12 teachers is at a 12-year low but that the demand remains high as schools try to hire thousands of teachers lost during the recession.
Eric Heins, president of the California Teachers Association, said “basic rent is your monthly salary.”
“We’re just now beginning to get back to where we were in 2008 in the profession,” he added.
Some school districts are now offering housing for teachers while others are offering signing bonuses. A Monterey County school district is offering a $10,000 signing bonus.
Hanson said the San Jose School District is also considering offering bonus money to new teachers.
Hanson and Heins both began their careers as teachers and said that, for those with the passion to stand in front of a classroom, the reward at the end of the day is priceless.
“It’s tough, but if you’re right for it, it’s the best job ever,” Heins said.
Hanson said she found teaching very rewarding.
“I mean it feels good at the end of the day when you worked with a lot of kids and you feel like you’ve done a good job,” Hanson said.