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Virginia Beach, VA: 25% of parents dissatisfied with SPED services

***Aug 25, 2017, Virginia Beach Pilot: Virginia Beach schools making changes to special-education program https://pilotonline.com/news/local/education/public-schools/virginia-beach-schools-making-changes-to-special-education-program/article_28cbdf02-3d02-5524-b896-50295b7257eb.html More than a quarter of parents with special-needs children who attend school in Virginia Beach said that they were dissatisfied with the division's services, according to a survey conducted as part of an independent audit last year. ... Alison MacArthur, who chairs a state special-education advisory committee and teaches in Loudoun County, said divisions face a "perfect storm" of challenges. First, the number of children with disabilities has nearly doubled to 6.6 million as of two years ago. Forty years ago, there were roughly 3.7 million, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Second, it's tough to find teachers who want to go into the field. Virginia annually lists critical shortage positions, and special education has been at the top for the past several years. "It is very difficult for the school systems right now," MacArthur said. Virginia Beach had nearly 7,900 students with disabilities last school year, according to state data. That was roughly 11 percent of its 69,085 total between pre-kindergarten and 12th grade. ...