Date of this Version
This paper addresses the national quantity demand, supply, and shortage of special education teachers (SETs) in comparison to general education teachers (GETs). The main data source was the 1999-00 Schools and Staffing Survey. Results indicated that the total demand for SETs increased 38% from 240,000 in 1987-88 to 330,000 in 1999-00, a rate of growth greater than the 26% increase observed for GETs. For entering teachers, the reserve pool was the predominant source of supply of both SETs and GETs. However, only 46% of first-time SETs completed extensive teacher preparation with degree majors in their primary areas of teaching, whereas the comparable figure for GETs was 82%. As an indication of the inadequate supply of extensively prepared teachers in special education, about 28% of first-time teachers hired in special education positions had completed teacher preparationi in generale education. Finally, a modest decline in the supply of degree graduates in special education has occurred since 1997-98 in spite of the increasing quantity demand for entering SETs.
Date Posted: 10 November 2008
This document has been peer reviewed.