Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County has announced new opportunities for teachers to earn a monthly pay increase in exchange for providing extra support to special education programs.
This initiative between the school system and the teacher’s union, announced last Tuesday, would provide a $40 per hour pay increase once a month to experienced special education teachers. They would assist conditionally certified teachers with various aspects of their position and associated requirements, including testing, writing individual education plans and other paperwork.
The announcement is part of an ongoing effort to recognize the increasing workload of special education teachers because of federal, state, and local requirements, the school system said in a news release.
“We are excited for this collaborative effort with AACPS to provide additional opportunities to retain and recruit special education teachers and related service providers,” Nicole Disney-Bates, president of the teacher’s union, said. “We look forward to continuing this collaborative work in providing additional compensation to all school staff for their dedication to this county and our students in a time of nationwide shortages.”
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The goal of this initiative is to promote more experienced teachers to share their talent, wisdom and experience, Bob Mosier, a school system spokesperson, said.
Teachers with special education certificates who are in general education positions and have experience writing individual education plans and testing can are eligible to work with a “small caseload” of students in exchange for additional pay. The school system has also hired retired county teachers to assist special education teachers with responsibilities associated with testing. These re-hired retirees will be responsible for assisting teachers in performing tests that assess students’ growth within their programs.
“These are the type of collaborative efforts in which we need to engage to help build a school system that is great in all aspects,” Superintendent Mark Bedell said in the release. “Our special educators and related service providers do incredible work in the face of ever-mounting paperwork and other documentation requirements, and we must recognize them for that and show them that we value them.”
In the future, the school system expects to provide professional development specifically tailored for special education teachers.
Details on what that professional development would include are not fully fleshed out yet, but the school system and teachers association recognize that professional development for special education teachers should be “relevant and applicable” moving forward, Mosier said.