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  • Writer's pictureReach University

ABC News: Why there's a special education and STEM teacher shortage and what can be done

Experts say obstacles include recruitment, funding and institutional support.

"A nationwide survey conducted by ABC News this school year found that much of the country doesn't have enough educators -- and that in many cases, districts suffer from a lack of subject matter experts, too," reports Arthur Jones II of ABC News. "Two parts of the subject matter pool are particularly strained, according to local education officials: special education and science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM," Jones continues.

With 78% of K-12 public school principals finding it "somewhat" or "very difficult" to fill specialized positions with certified talent, innovative district and county education leaders are turning to Reach University's job-embedded apprenticeship degree to effectively recruit, train, and staff diverse and qualified STEM and specialized teacher talent.

Reach's partners, Allan Carver, Superintendent of Schools for California's Siskiyou County Office of Education, and Karen Eoff, Director of Arkansas' Southeast Education Service Cooperative, share their experience in utilizing Reach's on-the-job teacher training program to grow their own representative, #STEM-qualified, and specialized teacher talent with Jones. Perspectives include:

  • "We've got to figure out how to take people who are already happy being in schools and help them become our teachers," Carver said. "The Reach model, with the apprenticeship, was just a home run for us."

  • "Reach has been one of our best tools because of the support, affordability, the 'come alongside and we will help you' approach," Eoff said.

Read the full article from Arthur Jones II, with contributions from Gabe Ferris, of ABC News here.

Learn more about Reach's approach to building math-confident educators here and STEM-qualified educators and Liberal Studies degree holders here.

Photo Illustration courtesy of ABC News

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