In 2016, the CFT co-sponsored legislation to establish a teacher credentialing program for classified employees, and the 2016-17 state budget included $20 million to fund the campaign for five years.

The California Classified School Employee Teacher Credentialing Program currently provides grants to school districts and county offices of education to provide 1,000 classified public school employees up to $4,000 per year to earn four-year degrees and credentials.

The CFT, responding to overwhelming demand, advocated for more funds. As a result, the 2017-18 state budget provides $25 million for the second year of the program, making it the state’s largest investment to address the teacher shortage.

Each year, growing numbers of classified staff and paraeducators earn teaching credentials. In the process they are raising their income, diversifying faculty ranks, and helping to fill the teaching shortage.