School District struggles to find TK teachers

By Patricia Farris

News Review Publisher

Since students now qualify for transitional kindergarten if their birthdays occur between September 2nd and December 2nd, school districts in California are pressed to find kindergarten teachers. California wants to lure all four-year-olds to public schools within the next four years. The question is will there be enough teachers to meet this challenge.

The Sierra Sands Unified School District (SSUSD) is among the many districts looking for transitional kindergarten teachers.

Assembly Bill 130, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom into law July 9, 2021, provides the universal prekindergarten/transitional kindergarten expansion requirements and implementations guidelines.

This new law revises the time spans for those mandatory and optional admittance requirements to be phased in from 2022- school year to the 2025-26 school year. At this time school districts or charter schools would be required to admit children who will have their fourth birthdays by September 1.

School districts throughout the state are struggling to hire kindergarten teachers- a challenge for districts already in the midst of an educators shortage coming out of the pandemic.

“We are working hard to recruit and hire appropriate levels of staffing for all programs,” said SSUSD Superintendent Dr. Dave Ostash. “As we are all aware, it is an increasingly challenging task for school districts across the state to fully staff, given the shortage of qualified candidates.”

Our priorities he said are to fully staff with our own hires.

“In some cases, particularly with specialists, such as school psychologists, or speech and language pathologists, we may temporarily fill with employment agencies who have pools of candidates who are willing to serve until we find a permanent hire,” stated Ostash.

Story First Published: 2022-04-15