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School staff shortage in New Haven area most acute for special education

NEW HAVEN — New Haven-area students with special needs could be especially impacted by school staff vacancies in the upcoming school year.

Many district officials say shortages are most acute among professionals who work with students who need the most support. They named special education teachers, paraprofessionals and multilingual educators as the most difficult positions to fill.

Hamden had about six teaching vacancies Friday morning – half in special education – as well as 14 para-educator openings, according to an email from new superintendent of schools Gary Highsmith.

“The vast majority of (para-educators) support special education teachers and provide instruction and other supports to students who receive special education services,” Highsmith said.

As of Aug. 18, New Haven had 120 teacher vacancies, according to an email from district spokesperson Justin Harmon.

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