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In Michigan: Finding Solutions for SPED Teacher Shortage

As the teacher shortage in Michigan continues to affect the state, national shortages like the ones for special education teachers have led to new approaches to finding solutions for the issue.

According to Lansing City Pulse, in a survey of 46 out of the 56 intermediate school districts in Michigan, most districts selected special education teachers as one of their most critical shortages. 

Special education teacher pay differs by district in the United States, with 2022 median pay at $62,950 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earlier this school year, the city of Detroit began offering bonuses to attract more special education teachers to district programs, an initiative that has shown positive results in other states.

Universities like Central Michigan University, an AACTE member, offer expedited teaching programs for special education by waiving the need for students who want to teach special education from student teaching in a general education setting.

In order to attract more college students to teaching in general, the state has provided grants for district “grow your own” programs, in which current district employees can take university classes to become certified teachers. There is also the Talent Together initiative, which pays school employees and community members to get teaching credentials.

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