Special Education Teacher Shortages

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Special Education Teacher Shortages

Special Education Teacher Shortages | Los Angeles County Special Education

While the number of special education teachers across the country may not be making major news broadcasts, those directly involved in this field are uncomfortably aware of the special education shortage throughout the country. In fact, special education teacher shortages are reported in 49 out of 50 states, making this a nearly nationwide dilemma.

The reasons for this are manifold. It can be difficult to get the education needed to become a special education teacher. Many of these teachers eventually leave their fields due to excessive workloads. In other cases, school districts simply cannot afford the salaries for these teachers and are not motivated to hire more to meet the district’s needs. Some states also make it difficult for well-educated teachers to become licensed for special education or to become re-licensed years down the road.

Impact on Children with Special Needs

This is disturbing news for the six million children and teenagers living in the United States who currently require special education teachers and resources. These children are often left at a disadvantage, desperately needing this specialized education but finding themselves without the necessary resources to succeed in life. This could include anything from insufficient teachers in the school setting to too few speech therapists in low-population areas.

By 2020, this problem is only expected to have grown. By then, it is estimated that there will be a need for an additional 15,000 psychologists in school districts throughout America. This shortage of psychologists means that it will be difficult for parents to get thorough assessments for their children to determine whether they need special education resources from the school district. Low-income parents may be forced to keep their children in regular classes with their peers because they will not have enough money to get additional assessments themselves. Parents who do have money to pay for private psychological assessments may be forced to pay for something that was promised to them at no cost by the government.

Special education students and their families have been dismissed in many ways by school districts across the U.S. and by the state of California. Many of these students would do quite well if placed in the right classes and given the best resources. Our attorneys at Newman, Aaronson, Vanaman understand these concerns and work to advocate for the best educational resources available and for additional funding for school districts. Contact us if you need help.

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