Trouble in paradise: California public schools cause ‘organizational trauma’

Amid a nationwide teacher shortage plaguing public schools, a report reveals California teachers have a lot to complain about.

The report, “Developing a Strategy for Teacher Retention and Recruitment,” comes from the University of California, Los Angeles. Notably, the University of California higher education system has been upended for three weeks by a strike involving over 48,000 employees.

After surveying 4,600 educators, UCLA found 21% (966) were seriously considering leaving the profession within the next three years. Another 22% listed their chances of leaving as “50-50.”

“I became less motivated because I realized very quickly that teachers have to take on a lot of work for unsatisfactory and unlivable wages,” one respondent wrote.

The majority reported it was difficult to find affordable housing near their workplace or to keep up with basic expenses.

When asked what officials can do to improve teacher retention, teachers’ top four priorities were better pay (76%), small class sizes (58%), more disciplinary policies for disruptive behavior (51%) and better staffing to reduce unmanageable workloads (46%). 

Notably, least among their concerns was a greater focus on diversity and inclusion (8%).

Teachers in Covina, for example, protested just last week, and were said to be near striking, over their district’s workload and poor healthcare.  

In Fresno County, teachers have clashed with local leadership for years, indicating not all problems can be fixed with more funding, of which California has plenty 

But in spite of the state spending more money, California’s public schools appear to be failing to improve.