LA Unified Hired 1,700 Teachers Without Full Credentials This School Year

LA Unified Hired 1,700 Teachers Without Full Credentials This School Year
Hollywood High Special Education teacher Shirley Woods conducts class remotely in Los Angeles on Sept. 8, 2020. (Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)
Micaela Ricaforte

LOS ANGELES—More than three-quarters of the teachers hired by the Los Angeles Unified District (LAUSD) this school year were not fully credentialed, according to a quarterly report by the LAUSD Board of Education.

The LAUSD hired 2,336 new teachers during the 2021–22 school year, among whom only 607 teachers, or 26 percent, were fully credentialed by the state to teach, the district reported during a March 29 Board of Education meeting.

To teach in California, individuals must go through a two-tier credential process, first earning a preliminary teaching credential in either a single subject or multiple subjects and then a “clear credential” after all requirements are met.

However, some public school districts, including the LAUSD, hire teachers without credentials through an internship program in which interns can earn their preliminary teaching credentials while gaining field experience.

The remaining 74 percent of LAUSD’s new hires who are uncredentialed will likely earn their credentials through LAUSD’s Intern, Credentialing, and Added Authorization Program (iCAAP).

Those in iCAAP must complete 160 hours of pre-service education orientation and pass both the state’s Teaching Performance Assessment and the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment in order to be recommended for the preliminary credential.

After receiving their preliminary credentials, participants must serve as teachers at an LAUSD school for two additional years to finish the internship program. Subsequently, program graduates may enter LAUSD’s 24-month Teacher Induction Program, which upon completion will earn them a California Clear Teaching Credential.

Meanwhile, the 607 newly hired teachers with clear credentials are eligible to receive a $5,000 signing bonus and will be assigned to the district’s 300 highest-need schools—including those with high rates of chronic absenteeism, foster and homeless youth, and suspension rates—according to the Board of Education report.

On April 5, the LAUSD Board of Education approved the firing of another 59 teachers for noncompliance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Though the March 29 report did not specify how many teacher vacancies remain, it is likely that the district already lost dozens of teachers after its COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees took effect on Nov. 15, 2021.

The district reported in December 2021 that it fired 496 staff members for noncompliance with the vaccine mandate.

This comes amid reports that the LAUSD has been facing a teacher shortage since the beginning of this school year.