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Jefferson Co, AL: District short 60 SPED teachers; "dire need right now"

Aug 10, 2023, WVTM TV, Birmingham, AL: Jefferson County Schools short 60 teachers district-wide, in need of special education teachers

The nationwide teacher shortage has hit the second-largest school district in Alabama, Jefferson County Schools.

"We would expect that we wouldn't have all our classrooms filled." Dr. Sandy Jolivette, the director of human resources, said.

On the second day of school, Jolivette is working hard to fill 60 open positions across the district.

“We are reaching out to our colleges and universities asking if they have individuals who have signed up to be teachers who can serve in long-term sub capacities or teachers who are coming into teaching as a second career,” Jolivette said.

Jolivette says there's a dire need right now for special education teachers and speech pathologists.

“Our speech pathologists work specifically with our students to ensure that they can communicate in whatever form, verbal, written, they can communicate and survive in the real world,” Jolivette said….

In Jefferson County, school leaders say the state has come up with a temporary special education certificate program that feeds teachers into the middle and high schools, but there's not an option for elementary schools.

"I know our superintendent is working at the state level to ensure our voices are heard and hopefully, the state will come out with something soon," Jolivette said.


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