Educator Shortages in Special Education

Special education teacher shortages have existed for decades. Unfortunately, the urgent need for short-term solutions to fill vacancies often works in opposition to long-term, systemic efforts to create an effective teacher workforce.

The Educator Shortages in Special Education Toolkit is organized around the guiding principle that short-term strategies to meet immediate demand must be intentionally paired with long-term, systemic strategies to attract, prepare, and retain effective special education teachers to create comprehensive shortage solutions.

The Toolkit is organized around a Facilitator’s Guide and three supporting sets of tools. If this is your first visit, we recommend starting with the Facilitator’s Guide.


The Toolkit is the result of a collaborative effort between the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) and the Collaborative for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, and was funded in part by the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.


Explore the Toolkit

Toolkit Facilitation Guide
Selection Tool
Data Tool

Watch the Webinar

Tools to Strengthen Educator Pipelines and Address Shortages

Date: Friday, August 23, 2019 

12:00-1:00 p.m. ET

The GTL Center now offers two new toolkits to support states and districts in identifying both short-term and long-term evidence-based strategies to address teacher shortages in special education while finding effective ways to diversify the educator workforce. The GTL Center and its partners at the CEEDAR Center and the Learning Policy Institute will provide an overview of the toolkits and answer participants’ questions about how the tools can be applied in your own state, district, preparation program, or school.

Download Slides