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***14% increase in SPED 2017-2018: Nat'l Center for Education Statistics

Aug 8, 2019, San Jose (CA) Spotlight: San Jose school district unveils plan to hire special education teachers The number of special education students across the country is rising, but teachers qualified to teach those students aren’t — especially in the South Bay where soaring rents and cost-of-living are squeezing educators out. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that the number of public school students that required special education services rose 14 percent during the 2017-2018 school year. That’s seven million students. The shortage is plaguing school districts across the nation, including the San José Unified School District. In 2019, there were more than 3,500 students with special education needs and just 160 teachers with the qualifications to teach them. District leadership now aims to fix this problem, thanks to a grant from the California Local Solutions to the Shortage of Special Education Teachers. The $1.4 million grant was invested into “Rise into Special Education,” a program that offers current district employees training and mentorship to earn special education credentials. “We cover all of the costs associated with the tuition, the books, the testing fees, the credential fees, fingerprinting,” said Jacqueline Murphy, SJUSD’s director of human resources. “In addition to the financial support, they’re also working with our best (special education) teachers to be able to apply those learnings in the classroom.”… Through RISE, Murphy and Reddy also hope to address the problem of high employee turnover and burnout associated with special education. …


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