Assembly Takes Action on Bills Impacting Teachers

Thursday, June 2, 2016

(SACRAMENTO, CA)- This week, the Assembly acted on a number of bills relating to education authored by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento). Among them were two which would positively impact teachers in California.

AB 2353 (Culturally Responsive Instruction) requires the CDE to include curriculum for culturally responsive instruction as a requirement to receive their teaching credential and as part of their continuing education requirement. The bill passed on a 78 to 0 vote. 

This bill was based, in part, on recommendations from the American Federation of Teachers report “Reclaiming the Promise of Racial Equity”.  The report speaks to the need for school districts to develop culturally competent educators and education systems that recognize that culture also influences how and what children learn.

“Our teachers need to understand the various cultural norms in order to better serve our student population,” said Assemblymember McCarty. “Studies have shown that once students feel comfortable with how a teacher communicates and presents their lesson plans, they will feel comfortable enough to focus and try to learn the content.”

AB 2122 (Paraprofessional Training) would establish the California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program which would recruit and train classified public school employees with the purpose of creating a career ladder for them to become teachers.  The bill passed with bipartisan support.      

In a recent report titled, “Addressing California’s Teacher Shortage” by Policy Link, several policy recommendations were given to address the shortage.  Two key policy recommendations were to create incentives to attract diverse individuals to teach in high need locations and fields and to establish innovative pipelines into teaching.

“The state needs to take strategic action to address the serious teacher shortage and build the pipeline to ensure more teachers are being recruited,” said Assemblymember McCarty.  “Restoring this program would provide districts an alternative for addressing the teacher shortage, especially in areas of math, science and special education.”

Both bills move to the Senate for hearing.