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While supply and demand for fully qualified special education teachers has ebbed and flowed for nearly 30 years, demand has consistently outpaced supply nationally. These shortages imperil the opportunity for students with disabilities to receive an appropriate, individualized educational program, as guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). State leaders might want to consider the key policy differences in states with lower rates of uncertified special education teachers. And what might be learned from these policies and applied to future policy proposals to address shortages?


Understanding Special Education Teacher Shortages



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Ensuring Students with Disabilities Leave School Ready to Succeed

By Kristin K. Liu, Martha L. Thurlow and Sheryl S. Lazarus

State boards can watch policies for red flags that hold students back.





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Debunking Myths about Students with Disabilities

By Karla Phillips-Krivickas

State policy should confront the pervasive low expectations that the outcomes reveal.





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Supporting Students with Disabilities throughout the Year

By Angela Johnson and Elizabeth Barker

The data point up a need for services that extend beyond the school year.





Reenvisioning the Future with Universal Design for Learning

By James D. Basham

Build a system that supports each student rather than a mythical average one.






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Supporting English Learners with Disabilities

By Drew S. Fagan and Luis Javier Pentón Herrera

Equitable education means overcoming challenges in identification, staff training, and funding.





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Understanding Special Education Teacher Shortages

By David Peyton and Kelly Acosta

State policies meaningfully affect recruitment and retention.







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