Search This Blog

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Special Education Teacher Shortages

In The Politics of Autism, I write about special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

In Honolulu, Manolo Morales reports at KHON:
Experts say a 12-year-old special education student allegedly choked by his teacher on Hawaii island brings to light a bigger problem: a severe shortage of properly trained teachers.

So what's causing that, and what can be done to fix the problem?

Officials at the University of Hawaii College of Education say there are enough graduates every year to fill the need. The problem is they don't stay in special education very long.

Diana Lambert at EdSource:
California has earmarked nearly $200 million over the last four years to address the state’s persistent teacher shortage, but it is not enough, according to new studies that are part of “Getting Down to Facts II,” a research project focused on a wide array of statewide education issues.
The teacher shortage has worsened in recent years as state funding for education improved and districts began lowering class sizes and bringing back programs like summer school and the arts, which were frequently eliminated during the recession, increasing the need for more teachers.
Declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs after the economic downturn and teacher attrition also have contributed to the shortage of educators. Teacher turnover currently accounts for 88 percent of the demand for new teachers, according to the research.
“The story is still bleak,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and the author of “Teacher Shortages in California: Evidence about Current Status, Sources, and Potential Solutions,” one of the research project’s 36 reports released this week. The reports were written by more than 100 authors, including many prominent researchers from California
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Quick Facts: Special Education Teachers
2017 Median Pay$58,980 per year
Typical Entry-Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNone
On-the-job TrainingNone
Number of Jobs, 2016439,300
Job Outlook, 2016-268% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2016-2633,300

What Special Education Teachers Do
Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. They adapt general education lessons and teach various subjects, such as reading, writing, and math, to students with mild and moderate disabilities. They also teach basic skills, such as literacy and communication techniques, to students with severe disabilities.
Work Environment
Most special education teachers work in public schools, teaching students from preschool to high school. Others work in private schools, childcare services, and other institutions. Many work the traditional 10-month school year, but some work year round.
How to Become a Special Education Teacher
Special education teachers in public schools are required to have a bachelor’s degree and a state-issued certification or license. Teachers in private schools typically need a bachelor’s degree, but may not be required to have a state license or certification.
The median annual wage for special education teachers was $58,980 in May 2017.
Job Outlook
Overall employment of special education teachers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. School enrollment and the demand for special education services should drive employment growth.
State & Area Data
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for special education teachers.
Similar Occupations
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of special education teachers with similar occupations.
More Information, Including Links to O*NET
Learn mo