Staffing shortages are a major factor in the struggle to support students with special needs, special education experts told Fox News Digital.
Dr. Douglas C. Arnold, Executive Director, National Association of Pupil Services Administrators
US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona sent a “Dear Colleagues” letter addressing labor shortages in K-12 education. According to letter, “The U.S. Department of Education (USDE) is committed to supporting districts and schools across this country in addressing teacher and staff shortages, minimizing disruption to in-person learning, and meeting student needs. That is why we are urging you to use resources from the $122 billion made available through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) (Pub. L. 117-2) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund and a portion of the $350 billion made available through the ARP’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to ensure that students have access to the teachers and other critical staff they need to support their success during this critical period. This includes moving quickly to implement short-term strategies while also considering longer-term investments.”
According to the letter, ARP provides vital resources to hire additional educators and school staff and to improve compensation to recruit and retain educators and school staff. School districts should act with urgency to keep schools open for in-person learning and ensure they do not waste this opportunity to make critical investments. The letter also describes (1) evidence-based and promising short- and long-term strategies for addressing teacher and staff shortages that can be funded through ARP ESSER and (2) examples of how ARP and previous relief funds are already being used to attract and retain teachers and staff. These strategies can help to fill currently open positions and add and fill new roles, such as providing one-time initial hiring incentives, or short-term investments in additional staff to support students and educators and increased needs.
This resource was developed by EALA partners to give an overview of strategies for preparing and developing highly qualified general and special education teachers. It will show how states and districts can invest Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to address the current and growing need for educators to support students with disabilities and their peers. It shares data and research on both current challenges and recommended strategies and outlines recommended actions for states, districts, and educator preparation programs.
New staff, new tech and even new classrooms — that’s just some of what school superintendents across the country are buying with the windfall of COVID-19 relief dollars Congress has sent their way since the pandemic began. Those are the findings of a new survey of hundreds of school leaders put together by the national School Superintendents Association (AASA).
Read the full article.
In plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, states are detailing how they will use COVID-19 relief funding to recruit and retain teachers, including strengthening the teacher pipeline through “Grow Your Own” programs, offering financial incentives, providing staff mental health supports and creating alternative licensure routes.
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An aspiring school psychologist splits his time between two local schools in Hamilton County, Ohio.
During an average week, Christopher Perry, a Miami University graduate student in the educational psychology department, works directly alongside professional school psychologists to help boost the academic, social, and emotional success of students in each school.
He’s been placed by the Hamilton County Educational Service Center (HCESC) to support a severely understaffed area of education, to provide a critical service desperately needed in most school districts everywhere, and all while getting the experience he’ll need to soon do the job himself.
The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is focusing on strategies to attract, prepare, and retain effective personnel—general and special education teachers, early childhood personnel, and related services providers—who have the knowledge and skills needed to provide effective instruction, interventions, supports, and services to children with disabilities. This is a topic that is important for schools, states, communities, businesses, districts, and professional organizations. This topic disproportionately affects children with disabilities and their families due to the many unfilled positions and high attrition rates among special education teachers, early childhood personnel, and related services providers. This page provides research and resources for stakeholders to explore potential strategies and innovative approaches to address this critical need.
Attract, Prepare, Retain: OSEP National Summit on Improving Effective Personnel for Children with Disabilities
October 27–29, 2020
The event host and moderator is Laurie VanderPloeg, OSEP Director, U.S. Department of Education.
Learn more about this event.
Tuesday October 27, 2020: Panel on Attracting Effective Personnel
Wednesday, October 28, 2020: Panel on Preparing Effective Personnel
Thursday, October 29, 2020: Panel on Retaining Effective Personnel
Originally posted by the Learning Policy Institute
California is in the midst of a severe and deepening shortage of special education teachers—and it is not alone. The field of special education at large has long been plagued by persistent shortages of fully certified teachers, in large part due to a severe drop in teacher education enrollments and high attrition for special educators. As a result, students with disabilities who often have the greatest needs are frequently taught by the least qualified teachers.
To better understand the nature of the shortage in California, and what can be done about it, the Learning Policy Institute released California’s Special Education Teacher Shortage.
Read the full article.