The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is working to address a shortage of special educators by offering support to local school districts with the help of a new grant.
The Local Solutions to the Shortage of Special Education Teachers grant promotes hiring and retention of special educators by providing free services to teachers hired in 11 San Diego County school districts. These services include a special education intern program, teacher induction program, test preparation, added authorizations in special education, and retention incentives.
"Special education is one of the areas where districts really struggle with recruitment and retention," said Dr. Sheiveh Jones, director of the Teacher Effectiveness and Preparation team at SDCOE.
To be eligible for the special education intern program, a candidate must have a bachelor's degree, have passed the California Basic Educational Skills Test, and have passed the California Subject Exam for Teachers. To get started, candidates must first get a special education teaching position with a local school district or charter school, which will work with SDCOE to enroll them in the program.
Anyone accessing this grant through the select districts must commit to being a teacher for at least four years.
SDCOE is collaborating with the Tulare County Office of Education to roll out the program in San Diego County.