Time for Idaho to act on its special education problem

As a parting gift before the new year, the Idaho Board of Education released a painfully grim picture for teacher recruitment and retention in its ironically named “Teacher Pipeline Report.”

That report details a current a woefully inadequate current mechanism to attract and retain qualified teachers in the Gem State that is anything but a pipeline delivering the necessary flow of new talent.

A few takeaways: One third of newly certified teachers in Idaho leave to teach in greener pastures outside Idaho; one in 10 current Idaho teachers will call this year their las t— much higher than the national average; of teachers quitting, three out of four are doing so before retirement age.

And while recruiting and training highly qualified teachers of all kinds across grade levels and content areas is concerning, let’s narrow this discussion to a persistent trend that is plaguing Idaho’s schools: the ability to find and retain special education educators.

It is an open secret that finding qualified special education teachers — particularly in rural areas — is just about as easy as electing a Democrat to a State office. Good luck!

Source: Time for Idaho to act on its special education problem | Columns | idahostatejournal.com

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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