Asm. Robert Rivas’ Program to Support Teachers Signed Into Law $89 Million for Golden State Teacher Grants Included in State Budget

Thursday, June 27, 2019

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Governor Newsom signed the Golden State Teacher Grant Program into law and funded it with $89 million in the state budget. The program, proposed by Assemblymember Robert Rivas and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, delivers grants to aspiring teachers to help them cover the cost of the training they need to enter the classroom. Grants are targeted to teachers who commit to teach in subject areas where California is currently facing a severe shortage of teachers – primarily bilingual education, special education and STEM, and in schools that have had a particularly hard time hiring qualified educators.

“Teachers change lives and are the bedrock of our public education system,” said Assemblymember Rivas. “That’s why it’s critical we fight to support them. I authored the Golden State Teacher Grant Program to do just that and help schools bring more teachers into the classrooms where they’re needed most.”

Currently, California’s pipeline of new teachers hovers near a 12-year low and the number of new credentials issued has dropped by close to 50% during the same period. Additionally, over the past five years, the number of waivers issued when schools cannot find a fully-qualified credentialed teacher has nearly doubled.

To address this, the Golden State Teacher Grant Program, proposed in AB 1623 and adopted in the 2019-20 State Budget, will provide a one-time $20,000 grant for prospective teachers who commit to teach for 4-years in hard to staff subjects, such as bilingual education, special education, and STEM courses, in schools acutely impacted by the shortage.

“Every student deserves an opportunity to achieve,” continued Rivas. “Yet, this opportunity is harder to come by in schools located within low-income communities or schools heavily comprised of English language learners that suffer from a teacher shortage. I applaud the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature for taking this important action to help bring more teachers into our public school classrooms.”

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