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U.S.: "Massive special education teacher shortage"; 98% of districts don't have enough

Apr 21, 2023, KLKN TV, Lincoln, NE: Nebraska researchers looking to tackle massive special education teacher shortage

A team of Nebraska researchers is creating a program to help develop and retain special education teachers amid a massive shortage nationwide.

Right now, 98% of our country’s school districts don’t have enough, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Get SET Nebraska will serve as both a mentorship and professional development program, to keep teachers in the field by finding what will make the job more enticing to them. Project Manager Pamela Brezenski said they want to reduce work stress while boosting job satisfaction, so they’re gathering data for schools on why teachers leave.

“Some special education teachers feel buried, but our program provides them with the information they need to be able to answer questions — and know who to contact for answers — so they feel like they are empowered to make some decisions,” she said.

One thing that’s been causing special ed teachers to leave the profession is too many procedural elements like paperwork, meetings and policy practices rather than a focus on the students….

Many states have also tried to address the shortage by lowering their licensing standards to find more teachers.

Nebraska currently has a bill that would do that by removing skills tests for writing, reading and math in favor of more comprehensive ways to verify teacher competency.

But Education Week reported that that change won’t affect the lack of special education teachers….


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