Minnesota must address special ed teacher shortage

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 13, 2013 - 7:34 PM

State, districts must be proactive to meet need for teachers.

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bgronniJun. 13, 13 8:51 PM

Who wants to try and teach someone that abuses you? Many of these kids should not be in school but in an institution. I find it amazing that anyone would want to be a Spec Ed teacher. Hats off to them.

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JesusrulesJun. 13, 13 9:58 PM

Solution: I am a classroom teacher with 15 years experience. I would get my special education credits and license if my district paid for it. I think the more experience with students, the better, when it comes to special ed teaching.

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Mnnative2Jun. 14, 13 7:21 AM

As a special education teacher for more than twenty years it's not the kids that are the biggest problem. It's the mountains of paperwork mandated by the state with rules that keep changing, the unrealistic demands by the parents that the district won't say no to because of fear of a lawsuit, and the endless meetings to discuss the paperwork. The teaching always takes a back seat. Any committee should have special education teachers on it so the fix doesn't make things any worse.

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warren33Jun. 14, 13 7:39 AM

I have 20 years of experience in special education. The paperwork and meetings are so horrible I've come to the conclusion its time to get out! I'm currently looking for something else. Nice job advocates and lawyers!

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jenninminnJun. 14, 13 8:44 AM

Mnnattive2: Absolutely spot on. So before all the folks start posting who have never been in a special ed classroom and know nothing about teaching special ed first hand, but have lots of ideas to fix it (like get rid of unions, only educate those who "can learn" or vouchers for all blah, blah, blah), just know you nailed it.

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TheDarkOneJun. 14, 13 9:46 AM

There would be a much smaller shortage of Special Ed teachers if we went back to putting all Special Ed kids in their own school, as is done in Germany. Instead, the U.S. has cast its lot with the so-called "inclusive" model which requires them in every school. I seriously question whether that is the model which ultimately best serves the needs of Special Ed students. This teacher shortage is simply one of the ramifications of that choice coming home to roost. The paperwork requirements probably don't help things either.

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threein2Jun. 14, 13 9:51 AM

The federal government, which mandated these programs, has never stepped up to the plate with funding. They've never even reached 20% of their share, and now are below 15%. It not time for Minnesota to do it's job, it's time for the feds. Come on, John Kline. Do your job!

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kindaliberalJun. 14, 1310:48 AM

Not much in the editorial on the working conditions of special ed teachers other than paperwork which is just another huge added burden. A safe workplace should be the number one priority in any job. It seems to be forgotten for those teachers. You can offer more money, free education, whatever. It don't mean anything if you feel afraid and unsafe at work. Until safety of teachers is addressed this problem will not be solved. That will take resources that it seems no one is willing to spend.

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jcrew45Jun. 14, 1311:31 AM

Can someone knowledgable comment about what the average starting salary would be for a special ed teacher in the metro area? Average salary after 5 years? Is the special ed designation worth more in starting salary? Just curious

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jenninminnJun. 14, 1311:49 AM

jcrew: You can go online in any district and view starting teacher salaries as well as what it is with experience (which is the determination of each district as to whether they acknowledge your experience from somewhere else teaching when you are hired), generally in the 30's. There is no extra money or designation for special ed.

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