Title: Workforce watch
ALL VOLUMES CITATION PDF VIEWER THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090862/00018
 Material Information
Title: Workforce watch
Series Title: Workforce watch
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education, College of Education, University of Florida
Publisher: Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education, College of Education, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: February 2004
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090862
Volume ID: VID00018
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:

PB-18 ( PDF )


Full Text






rI


W SPI 0I
15RKOR,


An Insufficient Supply and a

Growing Demand for Qualified

Special Education Teachers

What State Policymakers Can Do


* Some 98 percent of the nation's
school districts report shortages of
special education teachers.
* Special education is the area with the
greatest shortage of teachers in 200 of
the largest cities in the United States.
* During the 2000-2001 school year,
approximately 47,500 special educa-
tion positions were filled by uncertified
personnel-a 23 percent increase
from the previous year.
* During the 2000-2001 school year,
approximately 808,000 students with
disabilities were taught by personnel
who were not fully certified.
here is a severe, chronic shortage
of special education teachers in the
United States. Retaining certified and
qualified personnel in special education
is an increasing challenge for state poli-
cymakers. Are you prepared to ensure a
quality special education teacher work-
force? Read on to gain insights from the
research.

Shortages Vary-Is Your State at
High Risk?
Some states and districts may be hit
harder by shortages than others. For ex-
ample, shortages vary:
* By state-with some states reporting
that more than 20 percent of special


education teaching positions are filled
by noncertified individuals.
* Within state-with high poverty, ur-
ban areas reporting high turnover
rates and unfilled openings compared
to their suburban counterparts, who
may have waiting lists of possible
candidates.
* By job description-with the area of
emotional disturbance experiencing
the greatest need nationally, followed
by the areas of specific learning dis-
abilities, multiple disabilities, and
mental retardation. [Note: All areas
of disability show shortages.]
* By diversity of teaching staff-with
estimates ranging from a five to a
12 percent diversity rate among the
teaching force in the coming years
(2005 2009), compared to 40 per-
cent of the student population.
Student enrollment figures prominently in
predicting teacher shortages. During the
1990s, the number of students with dis-
abilities increased by 20.3 percent, and
that growth pattern is expected to continue
during the next decade. Indeed, if stu-
dent growth trends continue, the number
of special education teaching positions
will increase by 33.7 percent, requiring
an additional 135,793 teachers by the
year 2008.


=-A growing demand, a de-
creasing supply, and an in-
crease in attrition-Are you
prepared to ensure a qual-
ity special education teacher
workforce?


FEBRUARY 2004
PB-18


STUDIES IN SPECIAL
EDUCATION









I = SPEIA EDUCATION WORKFORCEWATC INSIGHTS FRO RESARC


- -
ne
ci(
te
fu
W
ce
it
w
tic
dr
es
tif
th
lik
te
th


Prospects for meeting the de-
mands are not encouraging.
Currently, the nation is experienc-
ing a decrease in the number of
graduates from special education
teacher preparation programs.
The problem is compounded
by the fact that
only a portion
of graduates
)ne-third of actually enter
newly hired spe- teaching. More-
al education over, the reserve
achers are not pool of spe-
Ily certified. cial education
whilee quality is teachers-expe-
*rtainly at issue, rienced teachers
is questionable who are return-
hether this prac- ing to the profes-
:e actually ad- sion after an ab-
resses shortag-
becses short sence, or gradu-
because uncer- u
led teachers are ates of teacher
ree times more education pro-
kely than certified grams who de-
achers to leave played entry into
eir positions. the profession-
is not sufficient.

State Support to Address
Teacher Shortages

Attrition is a major contributing
factor in the demand for special
education teachers. Overall, the
annual attrition rate for special
educators is estimated at 13.5
percent, compared to 6.4 per-
cent for general education teach-
ers. This results in an annual loss
of approximately 22,000 special
education teachers.

Special educators report a variety
of reasons for leaving the profes-
sion that are specific to teaching
conditions in their field. These in-
clude:

Role overload-paperwork
burdens, heavy caseloads, lim-
ited resources, lack of plan-
ning and meeting time.


* Student characteristics that
place significant demands on
teaching and learning practices
(e.g., lack of progress, behav-
ior management requirements,
safety issues).

* Limited collegial support from
administrators and teachers.

Factors that affect general edu-
cation teachers' decisions to re-
main in the field-higher sala-
ries, entering the profession pre-
pared and certified, a collabora-
tive school climate, etc.-also in-
fluence special educators.

Even if you are not currently ex-
periencing shortages, retaining
qualified special education teach-
ers makes good sense. Systemic
and administrative support is criti-
cal to retention and to improving
teachers' ability to have a posi-
tive effect on outcomes for stu-
dents with disabilities. Following
are recommendations that state
policymakers may consider to at-
tract and retain special education
teachers:
* Ensure funding equity across
all state school districts.

* Conduct outreach activities to
attract teachers (e.g., recruit-
ment activities in high schools
and community colleges) and
use recruitment strategies such
as college scholarships, forgiv-
able loans, and financial in-
centives for teacher interns.

* Increase salaries and benefits
(e.g., bonuses, lower state tax
rates, assistance with housing
costs, bonuses for achieving
National Board Certification).

* Allow retired teachers to draw
full pensions and full salaries if
they return to the classroom.

* Provide incentives (e.g., finan-
cial bonuses, moving expenses)


for teachers who relocate to
critical shortage areas.

* Reduce barriers related to the
hiring process, including uni-
form hiring approaches, web
sites where candidates can
post applications, etc.

* Offer ongoing professional
development for teachers.


For More Information

Information reported in this brief was
based on two COPSSE papers:

The Supply and Demand for
Special Education Teachers,
by James McLeskey, Naomi
Tyler, and Susan Flippin.

* Special Education Adminis-
tration at a Crossroads:
Availability, Licensure, and
Preparation of Special Edu-
cation Administrators, by
Carl Lashley and Mary Lynn
Boscardin.

These documents can be found
on the COPSSE web site at
www.copsse.org.


-I CENTER ON
r PERSONNEL
E STUDIES IN SPECIAL
aC-P3SE EDUCATION
About COPSSE
The Center on Personnel Studies in Spe-
cial Education is funded by the Office of
Special Education Programs of the U.S.
Department of Education [cooperative
agreement #H325Q000002]. COPSSE
research is designed to inform scholars
and policymakers about beginning teach-
er quality, effective initial preparation, and
the effects of preparation alternatives. The
Center is directed by Drs. Paul Sindelar
and Mary Brownell. The policy briefs were
produced by Warger, Eavy & Associates.
University of Florida, 300 Norman Hall,
PO. Box 117050, Gainesville, FL 32611
352-392-0701 (X283), www.copsse.org

Opinionsexpressed here
do not necessarily reflect the
views of e he US Department
I- K r. of Education




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs