Teacher Shortages in Special Education: A Growing Liability

Labor shortages have always been a concern in certain industries, but never has there been a more impactful concern for the future than in the education sector. Teacher shortages are on the rise and school systems across the country are open to new liabilities and increased risk. One portion of the education system in particular that is seeing a rise in liability is special education, a fragile area of education. In recent years, special education teachers have increasingly been let go due to lack of qualification, or special education departments have been reduced as new teachers have been hard to come by.

Special Education By the Numbers

A report featured by NPR detailed that 12.3% of teachers in the special education field leave their profession and never return, or at least don’t return to teaching in the specific subject matter. That’s a level that’s twice as high as general education teachers who leave their profession. What’s more, 49 states out of 50 report a shortage of special education teachers/personnel, which is related to the fact that 51% of all school districts – not to mention 90% of all high-poverty schools – are reporting higher difficulty of hiring qualified teachers.

School districts have been trying to amp up their recruiting efforts as special education teachers are the ones in the highest demand. One way they’re doing this is by using more visible recruiting platforms such as LinkedIn and Indeed, which haven’t traditionally been used before. However, the high turnover coupled with the more

Educators Liability

With the growing shortage in special education teachers, school systems are seeing liabilities becoming more of a risk factor. Labor shortages in general have seen companies hire unqualified employees with the intention of filling gaps in their workforce. This temporary measure only serves to solve the issue thru a short-term lense, but doesn’t account for long-term needs.

When it comes to the special education portion of education, schools are hiring teachers that may not have the right training just so their rooms have an educator’s presence. In fact, some school districts have been known to hire general education teachers who have no training in this area of curriculum. This opens them up to legal issues related to students not receiving a proper education.

An Educators Liability insurance policy can help keep educators and their schools’ administrators and boards protected from claims related to negligence. A liability policy is a line of defense that offers peace of mind for those in the education system. When schools look for short-term solutions, a policy like this offers long-term reputational safety.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc., is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502.