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AZ Education Superintendent Calls for Special Ed Funding Solution

Sedona AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman today delivered the first ever State of Special Education speech to the Arizona State Senate Education Committee. Superintendent Hoffman praised the proposal to increase special education funding by $50 million (AZ SB 1060), but recognized that more would be needed to fully address the challenges faced by an underfunded public education system.

Superintendent Hoffman also recognized the work the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) has done to support special education teachers suffering from higher rates of burnouts than general education teachers. ADE’s Teach Camp, developed in partnership with the Arizona Council for Exceptional Children helps retain new special education teachers by offering an extensive year long system of supports, including ongoing professional development and opportunities to share knowledge with peers.

“Our special education system is stretched so thin that schools and districts are constantly faced with difficult decisions on where to make cuts in order to provide even the most basic services special education students need,” explained Superintendent Kathy Hoffman. “SB 1060, which will increase funding is an excellent first step, but our state must continue to invest more comprehensively in special education funding in order to build a system that effectively serves the most vulnerable population of students.”

Superintendent Hoffman called on lawmakers to continue to support SB 1060 and to invest in Arizona’s public education system by supporting policies aimed at recruiting and retaining qualified special education teachers and support staff.

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