The shortage in educators trained in special education is an old story, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune provides depth to the issue in an recent article which notes that while more than 800 special education teachers quit in last school year, only 417 new special educator teaching licenses were granted in that timeframe.
As a result, the state is relying more on teachers who do not have special education training, teachers are traveling hundreds of miles to provide services at far-flung schools, and specialists are working with students over the Internet, the article says. The piece also notes the paperwork burden on teachers, and the fears they have of some of their students, who may have problems with aggression. From the piece:
These are some of the hardest jobs in teaching," said St. Paul attorney Amy Goetz, who has built a law practice fighting on behalf of special ed students. "They should be some of the most well-supported people, but they're not. ... Instead, we starve them of resources and they burn out."
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.