Special Education

Special Ed. Teacher Shortage Targeted

By Christina A. Samuels — October 25, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Two organizations devoted to the needs of children with disabilities are leading an effort to address shortages of special education teachers and other professionals in the field.

The fledgling organization, the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services, has met four times since its formation in August, said Susan T. Karr, the director of state education practices for the Bethesda, Md.-based American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, which is one of the coalition’s leaders.

The coalition has ambitions to pool the resources of several different organizations to tackle the complex problem, Ms. Karr said.

“We hope that because [recruitment and retention] would be our focus, that we are unique in that sense,” Ms. Karr said.

The National Association of State Directors of Special Education, based in Alexandria, Va., is the coalition’s other lead group. Other members include the Council for Exceptional Children, the Council of Administrators of Special Education, the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education, and the National Education Association.

“We have all the different perspectives together in one room,” Ms. Karr said. “We’re trying to be as comprehensive as possible.”

Her organization is working to get firm numbers on the recruitment and retention of speech-language pathologists.

In a 2004 ASHA survey of school-based speech-language pathologists, 62 percent of the respondents reported that there were more job openings in their schools than people seeking to fill them.

Anecdotally, Ms. Karr said, speech-language pathologists are concerned about a lack of planning time and an overwhelming amount of paperwork. Large caseloads are also a problem for many speech and language professionals who work in schools, she said.

In addition to pooling information, the coalition plans to lobby government officials and craft recommendations that can help districts address persistent shortages.

“We’re in our infancy stages, and this is not going to be something that’s solved overnight,” Ms. Karr said. But, she added, “we have a focused initiative.”

A version of this article appeared in the October 26, 2005 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Learning Differences?
Answer 10 questions to assess your knowledge on learning differences.
Special Education What the Research Says Co-Teaching: Valuable But Hard to Get Right
Teachers worry that cramped schedules, power struggles, and uncertainty can hinder learning for students with disabilities.
5 min read
special report v38 15 specialeducation 860
Fifth grade teacher Kara Houppert and special education teacher Laura Eisinger co-teach a class in Naples, N.Y., in 2018.
Mike Bradley for Education Week
Special Education Reports Teaching Students With Learning Differences: Results of a National Survey
This report examines survey findings about implementation of best practices for teaching students with learning differences.
Special Education New Discipline Guidance Focuses on Discrimination Against Students With Disabilities
The Biden administration aims to clarify how federal law protects students with disabilities.
6 min read
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington on Aug. 5, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona speaks at a White House briefing in August 2021. The U.S. Department of Education has just released guidance on protecting students with disabilities from discriminatory discipline practices.
Susan Walsh/AP