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Department of Education Seeks Your Comments on “Attracting, Preparing and Retaining” Effective Special Educators

Attract, Prepare and Retain Effective Personnel graphicThe Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has developed an initiative called “Attract, Prepare and Retain Effective Personnel.” They have requested feedback from the field.  Specifically, the invitation states:

“We invite you to share your thoughts on how we can best support States in their work to Attract, Prepare, and Retain Effective Personnel. Sharing your challenges and successes can make a difference for others facing similar challenges.” 

The deadline for submitting comments is September 30, 2019.  Learn more.

AACTE President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone will be submitting comments highlighting collective work through AACTE.  In addition, we urge you to submit comments which could include the following:

  • Examples of how your program (s) have been successful in attracting and preparing and retaining new special educators;
  • Examples of strong partnerships with the state and/or school districts with whom you partner;
  • Specific strategies you have used, which might include:
    • Programs to recruit paraprofessionals to become certified special educators,
    • Scholarships or loan forgiveness programs available to special education candidates,
    • Partnerships with high schools and/or community organizations to develop a pipeline,
    • Specific strategies to increase the diversity of your enrollment,
    • Strong clinical practice, which might include one year residency programs with a master special educator,
    • Dual certification programs, and
    • Induction and mentoring programs for new teachers.

Highlighting the effective work of your programs demonstrates that teacher preparation is a critical part of the solution to addressing the challenging teacher shortage. You have earned your bragging rights!  Let the Office of Special Education Programs know about your good work. 



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Jane E. West

AACTE Education Policy Consultant