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The number of new teaching credentials issued in California dropped 12 percent last year, marking the eighth straight year the state has seen a decrease in the number of initial credentials, according to figures released Thursday.

California issued 16,450 new teaching credentials in 2011-12, down from 18,734 in 2010-11, according to an annual report from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The decrease was seen across all types of preliminary teaching credentials – multiple subject, single subject and education specialist, the commission reported.

The state has seen a nearly 30 percent drop in the number of new credentials issued over the past five years, according to the report.

Fewer students are also enrolling in teacher preparation programs, the numbers show. Some 34,838 students enrolled in preparation programs in 2010-11, the most recent year for which data is available. The total enrollment was down 33 percent from 2006-07, when 51,744 enrolled.

The commission prepares its report each year for the Legislature and governor. Reports from prior years are available on the commission’s website.

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