For the first time, Atlanta Public Schools is offering a referral incentive to attract special education teachers.
The district will pay APS employees $500 if they refer a special education teacher who the district ends up hiring for the start of next school year.
APS plans to hire about 40 special education teachers. The district will pay the incentive for the first 30 special education teachers it hires.
Employees eligible to receive the money must work in a school, but can’t be school administrators.
This is the first time the district has offered an employee referral incentive for special education teachers, though it has used similar incentives for other hires, including bus drivers.
District spokesman Seth Coleman said the market for special education teachers “has been persistently tough for years, both locally and nationally.”
“We believe our special education referral campaign, along with other ongoing recruitment initiatives, will assist our principals to be fully staffed with quality educators on the first day of school,” he said, in a written statement.
Prospective special education teachers must be certified by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and meet other requirements.
Atlanta principals have filled two thirds of their school vacancies, more than they had by this time last year.
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