Critical shortages of special education teachers and related services personnel (also referred to as specialized instructional support personnel), including SLPs, exist in all regions of the country. These shortages impede the ability of students with disabilities to reach their full academic, social, and emotional potential. Local school districts, and state and federal agencies all have an important role to play in reducing the acute shortage of the professions.
Barriers to attracting and retaining qualified SLPs into the profession have been documented by ASHA surveys and many other external sources. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 04) resulted in important changes that may affect the personnel qualifications for SLPs in school settings, which may influence how states and districts manage personnel shortages in their schools.