By Jackie Burrell
Monday, December 31st, 2007 at 12:53 pm in Schools.
The 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 districtÂ 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,Â you justÂ don’t have a drivers license at the moment. That argument didn’t serve Britney Spears very well. We’ll seeÂ 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 spentÂ nearly anÂ entire semester one year without a credentialed teacher, justÂ a string of subs – 13 of them between the start of school and Christmas (we stopped countingÂ 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 teachersÂ has been at the forefront of education politics for the last decade, it’s a tad disingenuousÂ forÂ Mt. D administratorsÂ to say they simply “forgot” to file 76 teachers’ credentials on time, as required by law.