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Steven A. Greenburg, Education Law
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Suite 100
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4567

Phone: 831-458-9900
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Special education and teacher qualification levels

What a special needs child’s education experience is like can be impacted by many things. This includes what is in their IEP and how closely their IEP is followed. So, when issues come up regarding their child’s IEP, how a parent responds can matter greatly. Skilled education lawyers understand the complex and impactful nature of IEP issues and can advise parents when it comes to such issues.

Another thing that can be very impactful on a child with disabilities is how qualified the special education teachers at their school are.

A recent report by the Learning Policy Institute looked at the qualification level of the teachers at California public schools. Specifically, the study looked at how many of the state’s public school teachers don’t meet the standard credentialing requirements.

Teachers who don’t meet such standard requirements can still work in public schools in the state if they are given an intern credential, waiver or permit. Teachers given such temporary credentials are only supposed to be hired in connection to acute staffing needs.

According to the report, 10,200 intern credentials, waivers and permits were issued here in California during the 2015-16 school year. This was an increase from the previous school year. The past few school years have seen increases in temporary credentials. As an illustration of how much temporary credentials have gone up, the 2012-13 school year saw less than 5,000 such credentials issued in the state.

According to the report, this trend is reflective of the teacher shortage in the state.

The report indicates that the area of special education is one that has seen a particularly high level of temporary credentialing lately. According to the report, teachers given an intern credential, waiver or permit make up 64 percent of new special education teachers in the state.

This raises some questions about how qualified and prepared new special education teachers are here in California. What impacts do you think high levels of temporary credentialing among new special education teachers has on special education in the state?

Source: Los Angeles Daily News, “Shortage puts more unqualified teachers in classrooms, survey says,” Fermin Leal, Feb. 11, 2017

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