Coalition Supports Investing ESSER Funds in Supporting Special Educators
Educating All Learners partners released a guide on how to invest Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds—federal COVID-related stimulus funds dedicated to education—to develop qualified special education teachers.
In their report, the coalition suggests two strategies: improving pathways to teaching and building existing teacher capacity. The report identifies four key challenges to a strong special education workforce and uses state specific case studies to suggest solutions.
To improve pathways, the group recommends grow-your-own programs, recruitment of paraprofessionals/instructional assistants, and teacher residencies. To build existing capacity, they suggest micro-credentialing, continuing education units, and incentivizing added credentials and endorsements in special education.
Each recommendation includes a discussion of how to use ESSER funds in their implementation.