Teachers for special education classes a glaring need, official says

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Clark County School District has around 750 teacher vacancies right now. That’s the largest number of open positions since 2014. Among the most needed educators: special education teachers.

“It’s very concerning,” said John Vellardita, Executive Director of the Clark County Education Association.

“About 32,000 kids are going into a classroom where there isn’t any full-time licensed professional.”

The Clark County Education Association says CCSD has around 150 vacant special education teaching positions.

“They require a unique attention. And it’s got to be matched with a skillset and experience that that kind of special education teacher has, that no other teacher has.”

Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara said Monday licensed educators from the district’s central offices are being placed into those special ed classrooms, as a short-term fix.

“They’ve been deployed to schools to help us address some of the vacancies, as one of our efforts to make sure that we have a certified, highly qualified teacher in their classrooms,” Jara said.

The district is also looking beyond borders to shrink the shortage.

Over the past couple years, they’ve hired several* special ed teachers from the Philippines.

Jing Espiritu, a senior advisor with the National Federation of Filipino American Association, said, “They again recruited for this year. I mean, that probably speaks a lot that the Filipino special ed teachers are doing very well.”

While the CCEA says these are good steps, the long-term solution should be to encourage qualified teachers to stay in Nevada by offering better pay and benefits.

“The school district has to invest in its current teachers to keep them here and also to recruit new ones,” Vellardita said.

The CCEA says there are also huge teacher vacancies in elementary schools and Title I schools.

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