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Georgia’s largest school systems are still searching for dozens of special education teachers. The districts only have a few weeks before students head back to the classroom on Aug. 10.
So far, the Gwinnett school district has hired more than 1,400 new teachers. But it still needs to fill nearly 40 special education positions. Gwinnett County Public Schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach says a nationwide shortage of special education teachers has made hiring them more challenging.
“Part of it is because of the fact that there are not as many college students graduating who are certified to teach in special education,” says Roach. “Another piece of that, that’s a challenge, is that for someone to teach special education, not only do they have to be certified in special education, but in many cases they have to be certified in another area.”
Roach says the school system believes it can fill the open positions by the first day of school.
She says it’s currently working with Georgia Gwinnett College to help more paraprofessionals get certified as special education teachers.
Meanwhile, many other metro Atlanta school districts also have open positions in special education.
Cobb County, Georgia’s second largest school system, plans to hire 70 special education teachers before school starts. DeKalb County says it’s still looking for 60 special education teachers. Clayton County also has a number of open positions.