School districts looking for more Special Education teachers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.(KELO)- Special Education teachers are in short supply.

Now, a move by the Sioux Falls School District to recruit more Special Ed teachers may have made it even more difficult to keep the positions filled.

The District is offering a $10-thousand signing bonus to new teachers.  Last year, they offered a $5-thousand bonus.

That has sent the wrong message to veteran Special Ed teachers in the district like Lori Pokela  (POH-kuh-luh) who’s speaking out on it.

Pokela says a number of veteran Special Ed teachers in the district have decided against returning to the classroom this year since the School District announced the hiring bonus.

Fellow Special Education teacher Jess Mulhair joined Pokela, telling board members the signing bonus took her breath away.

The dispute comes as existing teachers were considering their contract offers.

Unofficially, the number of Special Education openings grew from 13 to more than 20 after the signing bonus was announced.