SACRAMENTO - California's First Lady Sharon Davis and California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed joined education leaders today to rollout new teacher recruitment ads and to welcome two prominent corporations to the critical campaign to recruit as many as 300,000 new California public school teachers over the next 10 years.
Aetna Retirement Services and Edison International have come aboard as the first major corporate sponsors of a new television advertisement campaign by CalTeach (California Center for Teaching Careers) designed to encourage both young people making first time career decisions and adults seeking a career change, to consider teaching.
Mrs. Davis welcomed the participation of Aetna and Edison in the new ad campaign, and expressed her support for the CalTeach program.
At a concurrent news conference in Bakersfield, June Webb, professor of education at California State University, Bakersfield; Larry E. Reider, Kern County Superintendent of Schools; and Bonnie Burrows, a CSUB alumna and CSUB's teacher of the year, spoke about the need for good teachers in Kern County schools.
"Here in Kern County, we are in need of 78 teachers right now," Webb said. "By 2007, the California Department of Education estimates that we will have more than 12,000 additional students in Kern County. Obviously we will need a comparable number of teachers for these children."
In Sacramento, CSU Chancellor Reed joined with the First Lady in welcoming the first corporate sponsors saying, "the CSU educates the majority of California's teachers, a responsibility we take seriously. But we can't do it alone. We need the ongoing involvement of the Legislature, the business community and all Californians to encourage the best and the brightest from a diverse constituency to become teachers. With financial support from the Legislature and the governor, CalTeach has been remarkably successful. Now, additional help from such prominent corporate sponsors such as Aetna and Edison will enable us to expand our efforts and reach an even larger audience."
The new ads, set to start their statewide run Oct. 4, focus on the need for role models in education and the personal rewards of being a teacher. They target both current students weighing first careers and mid-career professionals considering changing careers. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact CalTeach - a one-stop teacher recruitment, information and referral center administered by the California State University - via the CalTeach website (www.calteach.com) or the CalTeach toll-free hotline (1-888-CALTEACH).
Nancy Brownell, CalTeach director, pointed out that "teaching offers first, second or even third career professionals the unique opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of children, and serve as role models at a time when mentoring in schools today is crucial for the development and learning of our children. Through these new ads, we hope recent graduates and professionals changing careers will consider the personal rewards of teaching."
The sponsorship of the CalTeach ads by Aetna Retirement Services and Edison International marks just the beginning of CalTeach's goals of involving the business community in the quest for needed teachers. Their commitment to the program is recognition of the important role that quality teachers play in educating California's future workforce.
"Businesses depend on a well-educated workforce, and we cannot provide students a quality education without well-trained teachers," said Beverly Ryder, corporate secretary and director of educational and community relations for Edison International. "Through innovative programs such as CalTeach we will be able to identify and recruit the hundreds of thousands of new teachers California will need to ensure future generations receive the quality education they deserve."
"CalTeach is a terrific program designed to reach out to interested individuals and encourage them to consider teaching as a career," added Ron Barhorst, vice president, Western Region of Aetna Retirement Services. "It is the responsibility of all Californians to help make certain our schools and students have the qualified teachers they need to help enable them to become successful, productive citizens."
Assemblyman Kerry Mazzoni, D-San Rafael, chair of the Assembly Education Committee, said, "CalTeach was established in 1997 by the governor and Legislature to help address the increasing shortage of qualified teachers in the state. Continued state funding for this program has enabled CalTeach to broaden its outreach efforts to include a series of paid television advertisements and public service announcements (PSAs)."
CalTeach has also received funding assistance in grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Walter S. Johnson Foundation and the Stuart Foundation.
The CalTeach ads will run in California on outlets including CNN, Arts & Entertainment, The History Channel, VH-1, Lifetime, Univision, Telemundo, Nick at Nite, the Discovery Channel, Turner Network Television (TNT), the Learning Channel and Comedy Central. Two previously released public service announcements featuring actors James Avery and Maria Conchita Alonso continue to run.
Since the first CalTeach ads aired between January and June of this year, there have been more than 4.3 million 'hits' on the CalTeach website and more than 27,038 phone calls have been made to the toll-free hotline.
CalTeach works with prospective teacher candidates through an interactive website and a counselor-assisted telephone "helpline," providing information about education requirements, certification and job availability.
For more information, call toll-free 1-888-CALTEACH or visit CalTeach's website at www.calteach.com.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News