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UNQUALIFIED TEACHERS = $1.3 mil

By Jackie Burrell
Monday, December 31st, 2007 at 12:53 pm in Schools.

textbooksThe Mt. Diablo School District just racked up $1.3 million in state fines after California Department of Education officials discovered that 76 teachers on the district payroll lacked teaching credentials in 2005-06.

Naturally, the district is appealing the costly decision. In its defense, the district claims all its teacher had credentials, but administrators failed to file them with the county before the teachers’ first day… which is kind of like saying, you know how to drive, officer, you just don’t have a drivers license at the moment. That argument didn’t serve Britney Spears very well. We’ll see what the state says here.

The fact of the matter is, finding and keeping credentialed teachers is not a new problem for the massive Mt. Diablo District. Just ask Ygnacio Valley High chemistry students, who spent nearly an entire semester one year without a credentialed teacher, just a string of subs – 13 of them between the start of school and Christmas (we stopped counting after that).

Considering that parents, faculty and the press have been on Mt. D’s case about staffing problems, No Child Left Behind mandates “qualified teachers,” the landmark ACLU/Williams Settlement targeted unqualified teachers specifically, and the issue of properly credentialed teachers has been at the forefront of education politics for the last decade, it’s a tad disingenuous for Mt. D administrators to say they simply “forgot” to file 76 teachers’ credentials on time, as required by law.

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