Lowcountry school districts looking to fill positions in special education

Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 9:36 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 11:46 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - In the Charleston County School District, leaders are hoping to hire more people to keep up with the increasing number of students in special education.

“We typically see special education vacancies every year. Some years it’s higher than others, but we’re always looking for teachers,” CCSD Director of Human Resources Melissa Cario Parrish said. “We see the need across the board in every region of the district, it’s a continuous need.”

Officials say that while they partner with colleges, universities, and alternative programs throughout the United States to find candidates, finding people that are going into this field is becoming more difficult.

CCSD currently partners with the College of Charleston to offer a program that allows teachers to receive the certification they need to become special education teachers, while assisting them in covering the costs of their classes.

In the Colleton County School District, officials are still looking to fill three classroom vacancies in special education and two positions in the related services department. Cliff Warren, the assistant superintendent for Human Resources and Operations for the district, says the critical need for teachers is in all areas, but special education has always been a critical need area.

“Those that go into special education definitely have the heart and desire to do that because they are coming into a very difficult situation and a lot demands that are on them as far as paperwork is concerned and extra duties and responsibilities,” Warren said. " They are getting the same pay as a regular teacher, and they are doing a whole lot more. "

The district offers a $2500 signing bonus for people filling special education positions.

The Berkeley County School District says they currently have 30 openings for special education.

A spokesperson for Dorchester District Two says they do not have any positions open right now, but they are in the middle of the hiring process and figuring out who is going to retire.

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