An Analysis of Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers in High Poverty Urban and Rural Areas
Campbell, Stephen Patrick
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The purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive analysis comparing highly qualified and non-highly qualified special education teachers in the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey. It examined how the qualifications of special education teachers varied among K-12 public schools according to the urbanicity of the school and the proportion of students in poverty within a school. Variables included those related to teacher qualifications, demographic characteristics, and school characteristics. The findings demonstrated that there were differences in the demographic characteristics of highly qualified and non-highly qualified special education teachers. There were no statistically significant differences found for urbanicity alone. There were statistically significant differences found for poverty levels. Statistically significant differences were also found for both highly qualified and non-highly qualified special education teachers when poverty quartiles were analyzed by urbanity locales. The findings emphasize the need to provide targeted interventions to promote, retain, and supply all schools with qualified special education teachers. The findings also indicate there is an unequal distribution of highly qualified special education teachers within identified poverty levels and urbanicity.
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