Protests Highlight California Teachers’ Frustrations

SACRAMENTO (AP) — Teachers converging this week outside the state Capitol to press for more education funding are showing that the profession has never seemed less appealing.

And enrollment has plunged at teacher colleges in California at a time when the state says it needs more highly qualified educators and a wave of baby boomer teachers is getting ready to retire.

The state Department of Education says 30,000 teachers and 10,000 teacher aides, clerks and other support staff have been laid off over the past three years. Education spending has declined nine percent during that period, while school enrollment has fallen by just one percent.

The 300,000 teachers who remain are coping with more students in each classroom, more responsibilities, less preparation time, and often, lower pay because of furlough days.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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