By Beth Meyerhoff, Education Legislative Advocate
AB 1675 (Ward)
Expedited Teacher Credentialing for Spouses of Active Duty Armed Forces Members
California State PTA took a support position on a bill that will streamline the barriers to obtaining a license for military spouses who hold out-of-state teaching credentials. Assembly Bill 1675 (Ward).
Military spouses often have only a short stay in California. Teaching is the most common occupation for military spouses. Lengthy relicensing requirements could discourage spouses from applying for their California teaching credential. With 40,000 military spouses in California and 10% identifying education as their career, Assembly Bill 1675 (Ward) could potentially benefit 4,000 military spouses and our California students and schools.
Under this bill, the California Teaching Credential Commission (CTC) teaching credential application process is streamlined so spouses need to submit: 1) fingerprinting / background check; 2) proof of out-of-state credential; 3) proof of military orders. Once the paperwork is submitted, the CTC would have seven days to process the application with the goal of spouses teaching within 30 days of submitting paperwork. The bill would also require the CTC to post information specific to its policies affecting the military community on its website in order to improve accessibility on these policies.
This bill would address the teacher shortage in California. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that nationwide, there are 567,000 fewer educators in our public schools than before the pandemic. According to a survey conducted by the National Education Association, 55% of educators are looking to leave the teaching profession earlier than they had planned. In 2017-18, 80% of California school districts reported a shortage of qualified teachers.
California State PTA supports practices to hire highly qualified teachers. Recruiting and hiring fully credentialed military spouses will ensure that all students have access to well prepared and effective teachers.