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Finding solutions for San Francisco's teacher shortage

"Classroom” by Flickr user Thomas Favre-Bulle, used under CC BY-NC 2.0 / Resized and cropped";


San Francisco schools have a problem. With just over a week left before kids return to the classroom, the district doesn't have enough teachers to teach them.

Specifically, they're short dozens of special needs teachers and assistants – those are the people who teach students with learning differences, emotional difficulties, or other challenges like autism.

MONICA VASQUEZ: What we're actually looking at in San Francisco Unified is, 'How do we get more people to go into the teaching profession?'

It's not just a local problem: last year 49 out of our 50 states reported a shortfall in special education professionals. So San Francisco has decided to do something it’s never done before: offer signing bonuses. Four thousand bucks for qualified applicants. KALW's Ben Trefny met up with SFUSD human resources chief Monica Vasquez to talk about short and long term solutions to the teacher shortage.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete story.

Interested in working for the SFUSD? Find out how to apply here.


Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.