Selected tag: retention
Many states struggle with shortages of special education teachers (SET). To address the shortage problem in the long term, policymakers, preparation providers, and state and district administrators must ensure that any short-term strategies are combined with a comprehensive plan that includes long-term systemic strategies to strengthen the supply, preparation, and retention of special education teachers.
Thousands of additional children will soon be eligible for special education services after state officials eliminated an illegal cap that artificially tamped down Texas special education rolls for a decade. But even if the state fully funds the estimated $3 billion cost of providing that extra instruction, educators say one big question remains: Where will schools find up to 9,000 new special education teachers?
Chicago Public Schools has more than 700 unfilled jobs for special ed teachers, classroom aides and clinicians. It’s trying to fill the gap by waiving the city residency requirement to hire teachers in special education and other “hard-to-staff” areas; by launching a teacher residency program with a New York-based graduate program; and by starting an early hire program that offers jobs to education students who commit to teaching in “high-needs” areas.
Teacher shortages across the country are getting so dire that they’re forcing some school districts to live stream lessons, replacing educators in many classrooms. According to The Wall Street Journal, tens of thousands of high school students nationwide are now getting lessons taught by a remote teacher to occupy many hard-to-fill positions in areas like science, math and special education.
This report says that the nationwide teacher shortage is much more nuanced than typically reported. One nuance is that the number of teacher graduates is growing. A nationwide study cited within the NCTQ’s report shows that there were over 3.8 million public school teachers in 2015-16 — an increase of some 400,000, or 13 percent, over the previous four years. Yet only about half of these graduates fill a teaching job on any given year.
Out of the 220 districts that responded to the survey, 91 percent reported experiencing a teacher shortage, with most feeling the pinch in science, math, and special education. Eighty-five percent of the surveyed districts applied for emergency permits for people who don’t have teaching licenses, or educators who are hired to teach subjects outside their licensure.
Hundreds of districts across the country are grappling with a growing teacher shortage — especially in key areas such as math and special ed. Increasingly, teachers in areas like math and science are leaving for higher-paying private sector jobs after a few years. As a result, many teachers who remain are being asked to do more, and class sizes are growing. The two main reasons teachers are leaving are that they aren’t paid enough, and that teaching in the US is too demanding. The article cites some strategies for how to fix this nationwide shortage and retention issue.