Reasons Why There is A Shortage of Special Educators

America is facing a major shortage in a number of subject areas. But there is no more dramatic shortage than in Special Education. No state- no school district- no school can find a sufficient number of qualified, licensed special educators. Many are hiring unlicensed, uncertified teachers. Some states are resorting to importing Special Educators from foreign countries who work on short-termed-visas. How severe is the problem?

  • 49 states report a shortage of special education teachers
  • 3 percent of special education teachers leave the profession – nearly double the rate of general educators.
  • 82 percent of special educators report there are not enough professionals to meet the need of special education students
  • All school districts and 90 percent of high poverty schools have difficulty recruiting qualified special educators.


  • Could it be the inordinate amount of time and effort to complete IEP’s?
  • Could it be the fear of lawsuits?
  • Could it be the extra hours that Special Educators need to put into the job?


Whatever the reasons, the most vulnerable students in our educational system go without the minimum needs necessary in order for them to succeed.