Here are a few more details on that program to convert elementary school teachers (who San Diego Unified has too many of) into special education teachers (who San Diego Unified needs more of):

  • Teachers who sign up must enroll at a local university for a master’s degree in special education, and San Diego Unified will pick up the tab for tuition, fees and books. The teachers who complete the program will then “be available to teach in a special education assignment” for three years in a row, starting with this coming school year, according to an agreement between the teachers’ union and the school district.
  • Forty spots are available in the program and K-6 teachers, who are in oversupply, will get first dibs at the program.
  • The deal is off and San Diego Unified can get its money back if teachers don’t hold up their end of the bargain, unless the teacher defected because of a serious medical condition or family matter.
  • The price tag for the program could hit $648,000 — roughly $10,300 to $16,200 per person — and will be paid out of federal stimulus money earmarked for helping students with disabilities. San Diego Unified believes that the costs may actually be lower because the estimate is based on what would happen if the maximum number of teachers signed up and went to the more expensive program.

The agreement will go up for a vote at the school board Tuesday.


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