Photo of teacher and student California State University Teacher Preparation Program Wordmark
October 2008
Volume 1 - Issue 3
Photo of young student reading

"The source of this threatening shortage is driven by projected growth in student enrollment and predicted teacher retirements."

Teacher Demand to Increase During the Next Decade

A recently released study predicts a growing need for teachers in California.  WestEd, an educational research organization in San Francisco, has announced their concern for a growing demand for school teachers that will heavily impact the Central Valley and Inland Empire Counties.  Their report, “Trends in California Teacher Demand:  A County and Regional Perspective” strongly recommends that school district and county offices of education start now to determine the capability of local universities to meet their needs in the years ahead. 

The WestEd study indicates that the following counties will be most heavily impacted with a need for 3,000 or more new teachers by the 2015-16 school year:

1. Riverside: 10,622
2. Sacramento: 6,990
3. San Bernardino: 6,901
4. San Diego: 5,519
5. Orange: 3,805

6. Kern: 3,772
7. San Joaquin: 3,657
8. Santa Clara: 3,520
9. Fresno: 3,423
10. Los Angeles: 3,288

The source of this threatening shortage is driven by projected growth in student enrollment and predicted teacher retirements.  The teacher demand will be on top of other challenges facing those same Central Valley and Inland Empire counties.  They include high poverty rates, low educational attainment, and diverse student populations.

While the study is focused upon the number of new teachers that will be needed, it only addresses the production of teachers by reference.  It is necessary to study Appendix D (Table D1) to learn the significant number of teachers that are being produced by Institutions of Higher Education.  It is only in this way that a school district can determine how much or little the impact on them may be.

District and county offices are encouraged to consider which teacher preparation programs provide teachers who are best prepared to work in the unique contexts of local schools, and collaborate with those programs to shape the new teaching pool to address these unique needs.

The full WestEd study, prepared for Regional Educational Laboratory West, is available on line at