Coalition Offers New Resources on Personnel Shortages In a time of school budget constraints, the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services is keeping personnel issues at the forefront with new resources for school-based providers. “During these tough economic times, schools are being asked to make impossible budgetary decisions, often resulting in layoffs ... School Matters
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School Matters  |   September 01, 2010
Coalition Offers New Resources on Personnel Shortages
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Professional Issues & Training / School Matters
School Matters   |   September 01, 2010
Coalition Offers New Resources on Personnel Shortages
The ASHA Leader, September 2010, Vol. 15, 25. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM.15112010.25
The ASHA Leader, September 2010, Vol. 15, 25. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM.15112010.25
In a time of school budget constraints, the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services is keeping personnel issues at the forefront with new resources for school-based providers.
“During these tough economic times, schools are being asked to make impossible budgetary decisions, often resulting in layoffs of teachers and related services personnel,” said Kimberly Hymes, the Council for Exceptional Children representative to the coalition. “At a time when our nation is facing a national shortage of special educators, our country must do more to ensure effective recruitment and retention strategies for these professionals.”
Coalition members are monitoring the situation nationally and ASHA is developing a resource for speech-language pathologists to use in dealing with budget cuts in their districts.
The coalition, which includes more than 30 national, state, and local organizations, works to sustain a discussion among all key stakeholders on the issue of personnel shortages in education settings. It also aims to develop and share personnel shortages data and information and to improve policies and practices affecting personnel shortages. The coalition is co-chaired by ASHA and the Council for Exceptional Children.
The following resources are available:
  • Key recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Coalition members are advocating for a multi-pronged approach to address personnel shortages. The goals include changes to terminology in federal laws, programs to address recruitment and retention, mentoring/induction programs and strategies, and development of a comprehensive needs assessment data system. View the recommendations [PDF] online.

  • New data on personnel shortages. Access updated reports and data on personnel shortages by profession online.

  • Webinars on personnel shortages. In collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the Coalition will offer two free webinars this year on personnel issues: “Laying the Groundwork: What Principals Can Do to Support Beginning Special Education Teachers through Mentoring and Induction” with Paul T. Sindelar, University of Florida, on Oct. 21; and “Mentoring for Your Instructional Support Staff: An Effective Strategy for Achieving Recruitment, Retention, and Successful Service Delivery” with SLPs Jean Blosser (Progressus Therapy) and Fran Silverman (Anne Arundel County Public Schools), on Dec. 9.

  • A previous webinar,Principal Leadership Supporting Special Education Personnel and Related Services Providers,” is available as a free download online.

  • A dialogue guide for school personnel. Begin a conversation about the shortage of special education school personnel in your state, district, or community using this three-part dialogue guide. The guide outlines participants, goals, and tips for discussion and provides a summary of the issue, questions for discussion, and resources. The dialogue guide [PDF] is available online.

For more information about the coalition, contact Kim Hymes, director of policy and advocacy, Council on Exceptional Children, at kimh@cec.sped.org, or Susan Karr, ASHA associate director of school services, at skarr@asha.org.
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September 2010
Volume 15, Issue 11