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Portland, ME: 4 day week for SPED students due to teacher shortage

Sept 10, 2022, Recently Heard, Portland Maine: Portland, Maine, schools plan 4-day week for special education students
Public schools in Portland, Maine are considering moving to a four-day school week for special education students because the school district is unable to fill teaching positions.
If the four-day plan is implemented, these students will need to make up missed days at the end of the school year to meet Maine’s 175-day minimum school year.

“We are currently developing a plan to assess whether schools and programs have enough special education technicians to operate safely, and if they do not, temporarily reassign other special education technicians there for the support,” the district said in a statement. “We will only move to four-day weeks if even the reassignment plan cannot cover enough vacancies in a given school or program, so we don’t yet know the potential scope or impact.”

“This is our last step,” Superintendent Xavier Botana told WMTW. “So before that, we have a plan to do some temporary reassignments within the district from other positions elsewhere that might help us avoid coming to this. So we will have to be quite difficult to reach this level….

Some states, like Arizona and Florida, have found innovative ways to deal with what many in the education world call a crisis.

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey (R) removed the requirement that teachers have a bachelor’s degree to start teaching, allowing prospective teachers to begin training while earning their degrees.

The Florida Department of Education made a similar decision, allowing military veterans and their spouses to receive a five-year voucher to teach in classrooms without having a teaching degree.

Teacher unions are unhappy with steps taken by predominantly Republican-run states to be inventive in how they deal with teacher shortages….


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