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Retaining Special Education Teachers in Nebraska: A Comprehensive Retention Program

Subcontract

Research Team

Name Name

Principal Investigator: Amanda Witte

Co-Principal Investigators: HyeonJin Yoon

Funding Information

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Education—Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)

Subcontract from: Nebraska Department of Education (NDE)

Award Date: Oct 8, 2021

End Date: Jul 31, 2026

Abstract

This project is funded by a subcontract from the Nebraska Department of Education.

The ability of states to deliver high-quality special education instruction to students with special needs depends on the availability of specially trained teachers with appropriate backgrounds, credentials and certifications.

Unfortunately, special education staff shortages are a growing problem nationally, leaving many students with special needs at further risk for compromised educational outcomes. 

This project is designed to address Nebraska's need to retain special education teachers across the career continuum — and at every level of experience — by developing a systematic statewide program to address special education teacher retention. 

Researchers will collaborate with consultants, stakeholders, education service units and local school districts to:

  • Develop a comprehensive retention plan that includes a leadership academy for administrators and a mentoring program for early career teachers; 
  • Develop a system for collecting and reporting statewide special education teacher retention data;
  • Implement, test and refine a comprehensive retention plan;
  • Scale-up the retention plan to schools statewide; and
  • Ensure plan sustainability through partnerships and infrastructure changes.


Academic Intervention & Learning

Nebraska researchers are exploring which factors influence special education teachers’ preparation and retention, including available professional development opportunities.
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