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Proposed scholarship program aims to help tackle teacher shortage

Sadly, there are things that have the potential to get in the way of special needs students getting a high-quality education. One is there not being enough qualified special education teachers in the school system they are a part of. Concerns about the possibility of this problem arising here in California are among the concerns that have come up in connection to the teacher shortage in the state.

One of the possible tactics California is currently looking into for addressing the shortage is a proposed scholarship program. The recent state budget draft purportedly includes funding for the proposed new program.

The program would provide academic scholarships to individuals who promise to teach in certain high-need fields. Individuals who receive the scholarship would be expected to teach in a public school in a high-need field for at least four years. They would have a five-year period to meet this four-year requirement.

Under the funding proposed in the budget draft, the proposed program would have funds to give scholarships to well over 1,000 prospective teachers. Special education is among the high-need fields the proposed scholarship program is aimed at trying to draw more prospective teachers to.

So, one wonders, if the state ultimately decides to go with this scholarship program, how much it will impact how many special education teachers are coming into the California school system. One also wonders what other types of measures the state will take in upcoming years to try to ensure that California schools have enough special education teachers to meet the needs of the state’s students with disabilities.

How the state responds to issues that could pose problems when it comes to special education, such as a possible special education teacher shortage, is not the only thing that can be incredibly impactful for special needs students. So too can how individual school districts in the state respond to such issues. So, when a parent with a special needs student feels an issue has come up that has the potential to harm their child’s education interests, they may want to have an education lawyer help them with working with their child’s school district to try to find ways to ensure the issue doesn’t end up depriving their child of a quality education.

Source: 89.3 KPCC, “Want to teach science or special ed? California may soon have a scholarship for you,” Kyle Stokes, June 8, 2017

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