Gretchen L. Indiana

Special Education Matters

Exposing the issue of low teacher pay for special education teachers.

Dear Future President,

I believe that you are fully aware of the issues that plague our country, and I believe that you are fully capable of fixing or improving these problems. However I would like to provide you with my view of the issue of special education funding. For the last six years I have been exposed to the special education program in schools. My younger sister is in the program and I know firsthand all of the meetings and paper work that go into one child educational journey in the special education program. Although teachers are hit with all this extra work, they still continue to receive a lower salary than general education teachers. I believe that Special Education teachers should receive higher pay because they have greater responsibility and they have more paperwork and meetings to attend than other teachers.

The average salary of a general education teacher in a high school in the United States is $47,532 and the average salary for a special education teacher is $35,220. A nearly $12,000 dollar difference in salaries deserves to be leveled. Special Education teachers deal with paperwork, emotional and social issues that could come at any time and parent meetings. The teachers also have to make lesson plans and individualize each child’s education. At times there could be 8 students with 8 different lesson plans. The teacher is required to not only plan the individual lesson but they are also required to teach each student. Special Education teachers also deal with the additional issues. Increasing the annual salary for Special Education teachers could also help with the turnover rate. Special Education teachers have the highest turnover rate and they are the hardest kind of teachers to find. Increasing the salary for the amount of work required could help keep teachers for longer periods of time.

I believe for those reasons that special ed teachers should be paid just as much or more than general education teachers. I hope that you will consider making some changes so that teachers will be just as enticed to become special education teachers and so that the rate of turnover for special education teachers will not be nearly as high

Thank you for your time,