Tough times for special ed departments in Oklahoma

By: Robin Beal Email
By: Robin Beal Email

ARDMORE, Okla. -- Oklahoma school districts are facing new challenges in special education as they try to recruit the best and brightest to teach kids who need a little extra help.

High school can be difficult enough for your average adolescent with the pressures of growing up, but imagine how much more challenging it is for kids with special needs. For those special teachers we depend on to instruct them, their job is getting harder. Special education teachers now have more students and more paperwork for each student than ever before.

Educators say the paperwork has gotten so bad some special education teachers are opting for early retirement. Add to that dwindling numbers of new teachers willing to spend so much extra time and money in school to get certified, and that is leaving school districts in a bind.

"It’s very hard, and we can call all over the state of Oklahoma and other surrounding states and they're not graduating a whole lot of special ed teachers." Ardmore city schools spokesperson Geneva Matlack says.

Coming up tonight at Ten. we will take a closer look at the special challenges of recruiting special educators, and we will introduce you to one local teacher who says the mountains of paperwork mandated by the state are just too much.

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  • by me Location: Oklahoma on Mar 24, 2008 at 08:41 PM
  • by new sp ed teacher Location: oklhoma on Mar 24, 2008 at 07:00 PM
    I'm considering changing careers...not enough pay for time put in and feel I don't have time to teach because of the amount of paperwork required. It's discouraging.
  • by Mom Location: Oklahoma on Mar 24, 2008 at 03:43 PM
    Their biggest challenges is getting administrators that really allow them to do what they need to do. Most schools are so determined to save money that they just look good on paper, but are not really doing anything. These same schools which can't afford services for special needs kids always seem to have money when it comes to buying football equipment, or building a new track. The money the state gives for special ed should stay with the kid, whichever school they choose to go. That ways schools wouldn't try to run off special needs kids just so they don't have to provide them services.
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