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.
Video recordings and slides from the 2019 ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall, the second installment in the town hall series, are now available.
The event featured a moderator and panel to address the need to expand the school-based speech-language pathologist (SLP) workforce. Panelists presented innovative strategies and solutions to attract, prepare, and retain school-based SLPs. View presentation slides and video from the event.
A new, free toolkit is now available to help lead state and district teams through a collaborative process in developing a comprehensive approach for addressing special education teacher shortages.
The toolkit, “Educator Shortages in Special Education: Toolkit for Developing Local Strategies,” is a collaborative effort between the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders and the Collaborative for Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform, both funded by the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
The free resource is organized around a facilitation guide and three supporting tools. Aligned with current efforts from OSEP, the collaborative process featured in the toolkit intentionally examines shortages across the entire career continuum—from attracting to preparing to retaining teachers—so that all students with disabilities have access to effective teachers.
Please join the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) for the 2019 ASHA Schools Virtual Town Hall, “Attract, Prepare, and Retain School-Based SLPs,” on Monday, December 9, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., EST. This free livestream event will feature a moderator and panel to address the need to expand the school-based SLP workforce.
Town Hall participants will learn from school-based SLPs, school district decision makers, and state education departments about strategies to attract, prepare, and retain school-based SLPs. Attendees will be able to ask questions and comment during the event. Register today.
Originally posted by CBS News, April 11, 2019
Only three out of five schools across the country have full-time school nurses often forcing school administrators, with no medical training, to step in and provide some level of care. Over the past several years, multiple children have died after facing medical emergencies in their schools when no nurse was on duty.
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Originally posted by Marketplace.org, February 13, 2019
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rates of diseases like diabetes and epilepsy have surged in children over the past few decades. Mental health needs have increased. Despite this, a 2018 study in the Journal of School Nursing found that fewer than 40 percent of schools employ full-time school nurses.
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Christina A. Samuels and Alex Harwin
Originally posted by Education Week, December 5, 2018
The number of special education teachers nationally has dropped by more than 17 percent over the past decade, a worrisome trend in a career path that has seen chronic shortages for years.
Originally posted by The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois), November 12, 2017
A “perfect storm” of factors—including tough licensing requirements, fears about state funding, low starting salaries, and negative perception of education—has affected the amount of vacancies in Illinois public schools. There are currently 2,013 unfilled positions in the state, including teachers, administrative staff, and school support staff, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.
Originally posted by EducationDIVE, October 19, 2017
“In the first year of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s STEP UP and Teach program, 150 paraprofessionals enrolled in the program, which provides up to $4,800 in tuition reimbursement, professional development and guidance from a mentor as the candidates take on more teaching responsibilities in classrooms and work toward their degree. … Many [of the] paraprofessionals come from the communities where they work, which in diverse school districts can help to increase the numbers of educators who share the same race, ethnicity and home language as the students they serve.”
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