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Colorado: Districts short 200 special ed teachers statewide

Aug 18, 2022, Montrose [CO] Press: School district short on special education teachers, reflecting statewide issue https://www.montrosepress.com/news/school-district-short-on-special-education-teachers-reflecting-statewide-issue/article_ad5d5546-1f69-11ed-a7bc-a37c43c44806.html

Although the Montrose County School District has filled most of its licensed positions, there are gaps when it comes to special education staff, Superintendent Carrie Stephenson told the school board at its Aug. 9 meeting.

“The majority of licensed positions have been filled within the district with the exception of special education positions,” Stephenson said. “We are still short five special education teachers.”
Stephenson told the board that Colorado had 300 vacant special education teachers a month ago, and is down to 200 open positions. There is a shortage of special education teachers across the nation.

“There’s been a lot of recent statewide reporting regarding school districts in Colorado struggling with staffing vacancies and teacher shortages at all grade levels and in both general and special education roles,” Stephenson said in a later email….

The superintendent continued: “In the meantime, we will still meet all the students’ needs and will be as creative as possible with the resources we have. We’re able to try exciting new workarounds which include paying for general education teachers to pursue their special education endorsement and teach special education provisionally while they pursue their certification and also supporting existing paraprofessionals who want to finish their degrees and become special education teachers in our district.”…