Special education staffing shortages ‘at a tipping point’

Due to lack of staff, some special education teachers say they are unable to provide legally-required education to students with special needs.
By: | December 21, 2021

School districts across Oregon, and across the country, are dealing with difficult staffing shortages. One shortage area that’s been especially hit hard is special education.

Oregon Senator Michael Dembrow has convened a group of people to find solutions to the school staffing shortages. He told KGW this month that he believes the biggest challenge when it comes to the school staffing shortage involves special education teachers and paraeducators.

Mary Darin, a speech-language pathologist for Portland Public Schools, works with kids who have special needs. She said even before the pandemic, special education teachers and paraeducators were more difficult to find.

“I feel like the challenges I’m going to bring up, we could have talked about three years ago. There has been, for a while, a lack of special education funding and support and staffing,” Darin said.

Read more from KGW8.