Parents are feeling the pressure of a shortage of special education teachers

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SEATTLE – Luke Eizen is preparing for his sophomore year of high school in Seattle.

Luke is a special education student and his mother, Sara, says he was in an unstable learning environment last year.

“He didn’t know the professor,” Sara Eizen said. “And, there were so many new things. Getting into high school was already a big adjustment. And then only having a consistent qualified teacher for six weeks.”

SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN STAFF SHORTAGE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: EXPERTS

Luke has not had a qualified special education teacher for most of the past school year. Sara worries that this will harm her long-term studies.

Sara Eizen prepares her son, Luke, for his second year of high school.
(FoxNews)

“I’m frustrated,” Eizen said. “I’m angry. I’m upset. I don’t want to give up either. I want to fight for my son’s education.”

In 2019, 43 states reported a shortage of specialist teachers. Last year it rose to 48. Many teachers left because of the pandemic. And that made it more difficult for the teachers who stayed.

AS TEACHER SHORTAGE GROWS, SOME SCHOOLS BLUR AHEAD OF NEW YEAR

“In the midst of COVID, so many teachers have retired who have been emotionally drained from the experience we’ve had,” said special education teacher Danielle Kovach. “The workload does not go away.”

The shortage has led to more schools using substitutes who are sometimes not fully certified to teach special education.

43 states reported a shortage of education specialist teachers in 2019.

43 states reported a shortage of education specialist teachers in 2019.
(FoxNews)

“Not having this teacher in this class who has been trained and certified to work with people with disabilities is a challenge,” Kovach said.

Luke has had a year and a half of remote learning during the pandemic. Sara doesn’t know how her son will get back on track.

SCHOOL NEIGHBORHOODS ARE INCREASINGLY RECRUITING FOREIGN TEACHERS TO MAKE UP SHORTAGES

“I don’t feel confident for next year,” Eizen said. “Luke still has three years of school and unfortunately we don’t have a solid teacher yet.”

48 states are reporting a shortage of special education teachers in 2022.

48 states are reporting a shortage of special education teachers in 2022.
(FoxNews)

Sara feels like she’s running out of options for Luke to get the education he needs.

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“I feel like a failure as a parent,” Eizen said. “And it’s completely out of my control, but at the same time, I really feel like I’m letting my child down.”

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