Fifty-seven (57) Filipino Special Education (SPEd) teachers were recently hired by southern Nevada in the Clark County School District (CCSD) to fill the open positions.
The shortage of SPEd teachers appears to be nothing new around the area. Starting in 2017, eighty-four (84) Filipinos were sent to southern Nevada to fill in the spots for teaching in special education. In 2018, one hundred and five (105) teachers more were requested to be stationed.
With seven hundred and fifty (750) classroom vacancies, CCSD received one thousand and three hundred (1,300) teachers ahead to start off the school year which includes Filipinos.
Preparation for the new special education teachers
Starting off the school year with these arrangements means a long-term plan for substitute teachers. CCSD confirmed that new teachers have to undergo training for prepping them the skills they need until the school finds full-time teachers.
A SPEd teacher, Lucienne Marie Andres, mentioned that they started training last January and have to spend six months for the required paperwork and licenses. She added that it was “tedious” but all “are worth it” when it was settled.
From age twenty-three (23) to thirty (30), this year’s Filipino teachers are being trained on classroom management as well as managing individualized planning.
Clark County mentioned that vacancies rest on the following fields: elementary schools, SPEd, math, and science. New teachers in CCSD has a base salary of forty thousand and nine hundred dollars ($40,900).
The school currently offers J1 visas for overseas teachers who are willing to work in Nevada for three (3) years. After the term, teachers are offered to renew contracts and spend another two (2) years to work in CCSD.
On August 2, it was reported that teacher shortages are most prevalent in special education sectors and elementary education which has one hundred and forty (140) and three hundred and fifty (350) unfilled positions respectively.
Fewer vacancies of fifty (50) spots were revealed in math, science and English subjects at the middle and high school levels, mentioned by Tya Mathis-Coleman from CCSD’s human resources department.
Teacher shortages started in 2015 with almost eight hundred eighty-one (881) vacancies. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the downhill decline of teachers resulted from low pay and gross disinvestment.
Not only that, teacher pay freezes started to occur in 2017 and 2018 which was also seen as one of the reasons for the teacher shortages in the school district.
To deal with the vacancies, the school principal selects long-term substitutes from other countries to fill the teaching open positions, particularly for special education and elementary level.