Availability of Special Education Teachers Academic Article uri icon


  • A national shortage of fully certified special education teachers has been a persistent concern over the years. The purpose of this study was to examine teacher availability by analyzing data from the annual reports to Congress over a 10-year period. Findings indicate (a) that there is a nationwide shortage of teachers who are qualified to teach across all disabilities, including a particularly disproportionate shortage in the area of emotional and behavioral disorders, and (b) that there has been a dramatic decrease in the teacher shortage rate, beginning in the 19931994 year and continuing in subsequent years. Possible explanations for this decrease may be the expanded reliance on the proliferation of alternate or emergency certification, inclusionary practices, personnel preparation training grants, and noncategorical certification. In the short run, alternate or emergency certification routes may decrease the shortage of special education teachers; however, we caution against the use of these routes to teacher certification, if they become an institutionalized alternative to a comprehensive teacher education program.

published proceedings

  • Remedial and Special Education

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Katsiyannis, A., Zhang, D., & Conroy, M. A.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Katsiyannis, Antonis||Zhang, Dalun||Conroy, Maureen A

publication date

  • July 2003