San Francisco Unified School District Faces “Urgent” Teacher Shortage

A city civil grand jury has found that San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has a teacher shortage that is “urgent” and “a matter of public concern.” The grand jury investigation found that almost a quarter of teachers in San Francisco public schools during the 2020-21 school year were not fully credentialed. This means that they did not have the necessary training and qualifications to teach in a public school.

The grand jury also found that 10% of teacher assignments in SFUSD were “ineffective.” This means that these teachers were not meeting the standards of their profession. The grand jury identified a few key factors contributing to SFUSD’s dearth of credentialed teachers: low starting salaries, a failure to publicize competitive benefits, and a protracted payroll snafu that left staff paychecks and benefits riddled with errors.

The starting salary for a newly credentialed teacher in SFUSD is currently listed at $63,000. This is lower than the starting salaries for teachers in many other Bay Area districts. The grand jury found that SFUSD’s failure to publicize its competitive benefits package is also a contributing factor to the teacher shortage. The district offers a variety of benefits, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid leave. However, these benefits are not well-known to potential teachers.

The grand jury also found that a protracted payroll snafu that left staff paychecks and benefits riddled with errors has contributed to the teacher shortage. This snafu occurred in 2019 and 2020, and it led to significant delays in teachers receiving their paychecks and benefits. As a result, many teachers were discouraged from working in SFUSD.

The grand jury’s report makes a number of recommendations to address the teacher shortage in SFUSD. These recommendations include increasing starting salaries, publicizing competitive benefits, and improving the payroll process. The grand jury also recommends that SFUSD create a more rigorous system for evaluating teachers and providing them with professional development opportunities.

The teacher shortage in SFUSD is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. The grand jury’s report provides a number of recommendations that can help to improve the situation. It is important for SFUSD to take these recommendations seriously and to implement them as soon as possible.