Number of young California educators fell 40 percent during recession

Published: Monday, Jul. 15, 2013 - 3:18 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2014 - 5:34 pm

The story for thousands of new or would-be teachers during the last five years: Go to college, pick a major where you'll make a difference, wind up without a job.

The number of California public K-12 and community college educators age 30 and under fell by 19,000, or 40 percent, from 2007 to 2012, according to the latest valuation report from the state's teacher retirement system.

Before the recession started, there were about 50,000 young teachers and administrators at public schools across the state. By 2012, there were barely 30,000.

By comparison, the number of California educators over 40 barely budged from 2007 to 2012, dropping by about 2 percent, state figures show.

State law mandates that teacher layoffs be based on seniority, meaning younger teachers tend to get cut first. Efforts to modify or find exceptions to the law have been resisted by the state's teacher union.

Younger teachers are often heavily concentrated in low-performing schools with high levels of student poverty. Many of these schools saw the most teacher turnover during the recession.

This chart shows the number of active educators by age enrolled in the state's teacher retirement program.

Source: California State Teacher's Retirement System Note: Includes full-time California public school K–12 teachers, community college instructors and public school administrators enrolled in CalSTRS defined benefit program.

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