Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) and the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County (TAAAC) have been engaging in collaborative discussions to support special education teachers in their work. In recognition of the increasing workload of special education teachers due to federal, state, and local requirements, AACPS and TAAAC have announced a series of joint initiatives to support these educators.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Bedell and TAAAC President Nicole Disney-Bates announced the following supports for special education teachers:
- Experienced special education teachers who opt to assist conditionally certificated teachers once per month with various aspects of their position and associated requirements can do so. They will receive additional pay for that work.
- Special education certified teachers teaching in general education positions and who have experience writing IEPs, testing, or delivering services can opt to work with a small caseload of students and receive additional pay for that work.
- Special education teachers and related service providers can opt to work on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and related paperwork for an additional small caseload of students’ IEPs and related paperwork. They will receive additional pay for that work.
AACPS and TAAAC also jointly recognize that AACPS retirees have been hired to assist special education teachers with their responsibilities associated with testing. General education teachers are encouraged to be certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI), and schools should maintain teams of CPI-certified staff to support students’ emotional regulation in all environments. Professional development should be relevant and applicable to the work of special education teachers and related service providers.
Dr. Bedell said, “Our special educators and related service providers do incredible work in the face of ever-mounting paperwork and other documentation requirements. We must recognize them for that and show them that we value them.” Ms. Disney-Bates said, “We are excited for this collaborative effort with AACPS to provide additional opportunities to retain and recruit special education teachers and related service providers.”
AACPS and TAAAC will also continue to advocate at the state level to reduce requirements of special educators that take them away from their important work of supporting students and partner in recruitment efforts to hire special educators at AACPS.