June 15, 2021

Can CA withstand a teacher retirement boom?

CA schools could be facing the largest number of teacher retirements ever, but factors like enrollment drops should take the sting out of it.

Earlier this year, the STRS issued an ominous statement: teacher retirements in CA are projected to hit nearly record-breaking heights in 2021. The statement said that the numbers will be almost as bad as the year after the Great Recession when more than 16,000 teachers retired.

While short term effects are being felt in some areas, in many school districts the tsunami of retirements is barely registering as a ripple. While interviews with administrators, teachers, and union leaders do not paint a rosy picture of the situation, neither is it expected to be crippling.

Fremont Unified reported no significant difference between the number of retirees this year compared to last. At Long Beach Unified, which has about 12,000 employees, retirements over the past two years rose from 95 to 113. At Elk Grove Unified, there have been fewer certificated retirements this year than the previous one. At Oakland Unified, departures are higher than they have been in recent years, but the district is rapidly filling vacancies.

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