Shortages Hub

Every Student Deserves an Equitable Opportunity to Achieve.

Special education teacher shortages have existed for decades. Unfortunately, the urgent need for short-term solutions to fill vacancies often works in opposition to long-term, systemic efforts to create an effective teacher workforce.

The Educator Shortages in Special Education Toolkit is organized around the guiding principle that short-term strategies to meet immediate demand must be intentionally paired with long-term, systemic strategies to attract, prepare, and retain effective special education teachers to create comprehensive shortage solutions.

The Toolkit is organized around a Facilitator’s Guide and three supporting sets of tools. If this is your first visit, we recommend starting with the Facilitator’s Guide.

The CEEDAR Center and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders have produced the Educator Shortages in Special Education: Toolkit for Developing Local Strategies to assist states, educator preparation programs, and districts in intentionally pairing short-term strategies to meet immediate demand with long-term, systemic strategies to attract, prepare, and retain effective special education teachers to create comprehensive shortage solutions.

In this webinar, Meg Kamman and Lynn Holdheide demonstrate the Toolkit’s intended audience and use.

This PD Pack explores the causes and implications of the Special Education Teacher shortage across the country. Each module offers unique tools for mitigating this national issue, including mentorship and induction, alternative route programs, diverse partnerships, and more.

Preparing and Retaining Effective Special Education Teachers: Short-Term Strategies for Long-Term Solutions

Many states struggle with shortages of special education teachers (SET). To address the shortage problem in the long term, policymakers, preparation providers, and state and district administrators must ensure that any short-term strategies are combined with a comprehensive plan that includes long-term systemic strategies to strengthen the supply, preparation, and retention of special education teachers.

An Opportunity to Invest in the Educator Workforce

State and local education agencies have been provided $176.3 billion of funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II and ESSER III), which is a one-time funding opportunity to strengthen and support the educator workforce so that educator shortages do not continue to plague our nation’s schools. In a recent letter to schools and districts Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recommended using American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) funds to implement short and long-term strategies to address educator shortages. This brief is intended to help state education agencies and local education agencies strategically leverage the federal recovery funds to attract, prepare, and retain educators

Addressing Shortages of Educators in an Uncertain COVID-19 Landscape: Viewing Teacher Candidates as Assets

Co-authored by the CEEDAR Center, AACTE, and GTL Center, this brief offers concrete ways teacher candidates can be leveraged to better support veteran teachers during the shift to distance learning, or new education models as schools reopen.

Short-Term Strategies for Dealing With Shortages of Special Education Teachers

Schools and districts facing teacher shortages often have few options for filling vacant special education teacher positions. Although the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that special education teachers be fully licensed when beginning to teach, many special education teachers receive their certification through fast-track routes that do not fully prepare them with the knowledge and skills they need to be effective. Research has demonstrated that special education teachers who have gone through a full preparation program are more likely to provide effective instruction, increase student achievement, and remain in the classroom. However, when vacancies occur and fully-prepared special education teachers are not immediately available, what can schools and districts do to ensure that students are served and teachers are supported? This brief outlines short-term strategies that, when paired with long-term comprehensive strategies, can be employed to hire, prepare, and support teachers in schools and districts facing special education teacher shortage crises.

Policy and Practice Portrait: Teacher Shortages

We simply do not have and cannot keep enough effective teachers. Whether the problem stems from insufficient pay, inadequate preparation and professional learning support, poor working conditions, or all of these, the result is the same. Not all students have equitable access to effective teachers. This paper discusses possible solutions to addressing teacher shortages.