The Social Injustice of the Have-Nots in the Special Education Teacher Shortage


  • Gerlinde G. Beckers Southeastern Louisiana University


special education teacher shortage, students with disabilities, educational impact, educational reform


This position paper identifies the complexity of the special education teacher (SET) shortage and the social injustices of the already marginalized population of students with disabilities (SWD). Nationally, policy reforms and teacher certification initiatives may have unknowingly perpetuated the shortage of SET in an attempt to increase the supply and strengthen the impact of teacher quality on student outcomes. There are documented factors contributing to the shortage as well as initiatives designed to increase the supply of SET. The disparities in the access to highly qualified SET for SWD have been evident for decades. The negative impact on academic and behavioral outcomes of SWDs are even greater for those SWDs who experience the intersectionality of race, low-socioeconomic status, certain geographical location, and low-incident disabilities. An immediate call to action is required for sustainable resolutions to increase the supply of highly qualified SET to ensure SWDs access to a free, appropriate, public education and eliminate the modern day “Have Nots” of the already marginalized in society.

Author Biography

  • Gerlinde G. Beckers, Southeastern Louisiana University


    College of Eductation 

    Department of Teaching & Learning



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