Why the union says Norwalk special education teachers are quitting

NORWALK — The growing number of staff vacancies, particularly in special education, is creating an unsustainable environment in the city’s public schools, the head of the local teachers’ union has said.

As of Oct. 27, Norwalk Public Schools said the district had a total of 65 vacancies. The openings included 26 state-certified positions — administrators, speech pathologists, teachers, school counselors, social workers, school psychologists and long-term substitutes — and 39 uncertified positions. Of the 26 certified vacancies, Norwalk Schools declared 15 to be teaching positions.

Of the 65 vacancies, the district said 24 were “specialty learning positions” and 11 were paraprofessionals who provide support to teachers.

The district did not comment on the vacancies.

Following special education openings, Mary Yordon, president of the Norwalk Federation of Teachers, said existing special educators often have to step in and do the work of one and a half or even two people.

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