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Jen:  Is it legal for me to substitute at my school one to two times per week and not service my special education students?

  1. I am an RSP teacher who provides pull out services for students. I have had my substitute cancelled on more than one occasion due to substitute shortages so other general education teachers can attend conferences/trainings off site. I am told to cancel my SPED services for the day. Is this legal? I work in California.

  2. Is it legal for mild/mod classes of 16 students to be dropped of with a general Ed teacher(not inclusion) for 30 minutes? The reason for drop off is to fulfill the contractual required 30 minutes prep all teachers receive. The class does have 2 aids. California.

  3. I work at a school and my question is a normal substitute is pulled and put in a special education classroom with severely disabled and violent students. Is this legal? Can they sub with no special education training?

    • This is a very bad situation for the students, & aide. States may have different positions on this, but how can the students be provided FAPE with this happening? Reporting this to the principal & special ed director are a place to start. The school is violating its responsibility to educate the students, & support the staff. A complaint to the state education agency is also an option if this cannot be fixed at the district level

  4. I am a Title 1 paraprofessional reading Interventionist. I pull 50 students daily K-6th for reading. I am also paid 100% through Title 1 funds. My principle pulls me a lot to sub for teachers. Can they do this when my job is to give intervention to students for reading, through Title 1? Our union director said if we say no to the principle, then that is insubordination. What is the law regarding this in Michigan?

    • It is possibly illegal or unethical in a number of ways. A person paid from special education funds should not be doing this. Schools can get around this by paying the person partially or totally with other funds. But the students with Dyslexia you serve are being denied some amount of service. Often it is recommended that educators put a document in their file saying they object to doing this, but have been told to keep doing it.

  5. What about vice versa? If a sped teacher is out, are they required to obtain a sub or do all responsibilities transfer to the gen ed teacher?

    • The special education services in the IEP should be continued. Since it was decided that another teacher should provide services it seems that these should not be given to the general ed teacher. But a sub is likely to need support from sp ed staff in providing services.

  6. I am a SPED Inclusion teacher in Texas and there isn’t a substitute in my class due to leveling of teachers and it seems as though I am expected to be the teacher for my inclusion class without communication nor request. I walk in the class and no one is there or shows up. Am I supposed to be paid substitute pay on top of my salary?

  7. In Texas can a Special Education teacher be used in a General Education classroom that does not have any Special Education students. We sign a paper at the end of the year that says something like ” we were always used in a Special Education Role.

    • Legally, yes, if the appropriate percentage of the time this happens is paid from general ed funds. Otherwise, this is an illegal use of special ed funding, and potentially creates problems for the district, and you. I say this as a retired TX special ed director, who also worked for the state education agency.

        • Jessica, that likely depends on state law, & rules, & district policy. A school attorney should be able to answer this, but discussing your concerns about this with the sp ed director might get things changed. When I was a director an aide told me this was happening, & I was able to get it stopped.

        • Hi Jessica, If you are not qualified to be a substitute, you can and should tell your admin.

          After schools re-opened, some districts had shortages of qualified teachers so districts moved the goalposts for qualified substitutes. You should be able to find your state’s requirements on the state Dept of Ed website.

  8. I have the same problem. I am an inclusion teacher an I am asked to be a substitute and my students don’t have a teacher. I live in New Jersey. I have talked to he Union, the Director of Special Services and the principal with have received no help. What else canI do?

  9. Legally, it would depend on the state’s laws on Special Education, I believe. If the minutes as per their IEPs/ARDs are not being met (e.g. co-teach for 45 minutes per day), then you should NOT be pulled to sub as sometimes depending on the master schedule, it will be difficult to make up during the instructional day and may require you to stay after-school for tutorials (or do summer school). Overall, you, as the Special Education teacher, would have to owe time despite you following administrators’ directives in regards to subbing. I would bring this to the leadership team in that you being not there to support the Special Education teacher is hurting their academic and social success. I wish you luck in solving this. Hope this helps.

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