Our View: CSU teacher graduation numbers are cause for concern
Over the past decade, the Cal State University system has seen a huge drop in the number of graduated teachers.
According to its website, the CSU graduated 13,933 teachers during the 2003-04 school year.
In the 2011-12 school year, however, only 5,787 teachers graduated from the system, a 58.5 percent decrease from 2003-04, according to the CSU.
Reasons for the low number of graduating teachers include budget cuts at the state level, according to Cal State Long Beach Associated Dean for Graduate Studies and Research Shireen Pavri.
Pavri also said that an overall decrease in demand for teachers has contributed to the drop in teachers graduating from the CSU.
The decrease in teachers graduating from the CSU is reflected in enrollment figures for the College of Education.
According to Pavri, there were 1,843 full-time equivalent COE students in fall 2009.
For fall 2013, the number fell to 1,300 students, a 29.5 percent decrease.
Students who may have wanted to become teachers may be dissuaded by today’s alarmingly low demand for teachers.
We are extremely worried about the future of public education in California given the lower number of teachers graduating from the CSU.
According to the CSU website, the CSU was the largest provider of educators in 2007-08, when 52 percent of graduating teachers in the state came from the CSU.
How can the state properly educate its youth when the number of available teachers has shrunk considerably over the past decade?
It comes as no shock that the CSU has received far less funding than is needed to sustain a 23-campus system of approximately 437,000 students, according to the CSU website.
The state is investing less in the CSU than it has in the past. This adversely affects many parts of the system, like increased class sizes and a shortage of teachers.
According to Pavri, the lower demand for teachers can be attributed to local school districts’ not hiring and veteran teachers’ not retiring because of the bad economy.
Once the economy bounces back, though, and districts begin to hire and more experienced faculty choose to retire, it’s unclear if there will be enough teachers to fill the vacant positions.
Moving forward, we hope the state will invest more in education as a whole.
After seeing the number of graduating teachers drop 58.5 percent in almost a decade, it’s necessary that something be done soon.
The drop in graduating teachers is just one problem resulting from a lack of state funding, and it’s a problem affecting the state’s entire education system.