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San Diego: Students' safety in question; SPED staff shortage

Nov 22, 2017, Voice of San Diego: Parents Say They Fear for Students' Safety Amid Special Ed Staffing Shortage https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/education/parents-say-fear-students-safety-amid-special-ed-staffing-shortage/ San Diego Unified has 100 special education aide vacancies. The district also has roughly 11 full-time teacher vacancies, nearly all for classes for students with the most severe disabilities. Parents of students with special needs say that without aides, their children have wandered out of class or eaten rocks. … The concerns voiced at the meeting echo a survey of elementary school principals from October. When the administrators were asked to list the five most serious concerns that have negatively impacted their workload since July, they singled out special education concerns in their responses: “Staffing. Absorbing another schools mod/severe with little additional support staff for very high needs students.” “Lack of SPED staffing.” “Paraeducator allocation is insufficient creating supervision and safety concerns.” “Vacancies in critical Sped positions such as [Special Education Behavioral Technician], Teacher. I am spending all day, every day supporting student behavior needs that are physically aggressive and safety concerns.” … Davis, the parent at Sherman, is still trying to figure out what’s best for her daughter under the circumstances. “We all work so hard to get the little bit we can,” Davis said. “It’s hard to think about uprooting my daughter and trying to enroll her in a new school. But I just want her to be happy when she’s going to school. I want her to learn, not be kicking and screaming.”