The End of Special Education Part VI: AZ Parents, Heads Up!
There are generally too many stupid education and special education stories these days to comment on them all, but this one is worthy of everyone's attention. My "The End of Special Education" series has gained a lot of attention since Betsy DeVos' confirmation hearing, so I'm taking it up again.
Arizona lawmakers want to do away with specially certified teachers for students with disabilities. You can read the article from the Phoenix New Times here. You can read the full text of the Arizona Senate Bill 1317 here.
The offending language, changing the law to allow non-special education certified teachers is:
INCLUDES INSTRUCTION THAT IS DELIVERED BY ANY PERSON WHO IS CERTIFICATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 15‑203 AND WHO IS DETERMINED BY A PUPIL'S INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM TEAM TO BE AN APPROPRIATE PROVIDER BASED ON THE PUPIL'S INDIVIDUALIZED NEEDS.Arizona lawmakers are giddy over this, however, IDEA (y'know, that pesky disabilities in education civil rights law the SecEd never heard of) clearly states that a teacher must be specially certified to teach students with disabilities. The federal law states (emphasis mine):
SEC. 612. [20 U.S.C. 1412] STATE ELIGIBILITY.
(a) (14) PERSONNEL QUALIFICATIONS.—
C) QUALIFICATIONS FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS.—The qualifications described in subparagraph (A) shall ensure that each person employed as a special education teacher in the State who teaches elementary school, middle school, or secondary school—
(i) has obtained full State certification as a special education teacher (including participating in an alternate route to certification as a special educator, if such alternate route meets minimum requirements described in section 2005.56(a)(2)(ii) of title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section was in effect on November 28, 2008), orpassed the State special education teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in the State as a special education teacher, except with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school who shall meet the requirements set forth in the State’s public charter school law;
(ii) has not had special education certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis; and
(iii) holds at least a bachelor’s degree..
(D) POLICY.—In implementing this section, a State shall adopt a policy thatEducation Lessons From A Sparkly District: The End of Special Education Part VI: AZ Parents, Heads Up!: