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No Educator Left Behind:
Special Education Requirements

No Educator Left Behind is a series providing answers from the U.S. Department of Education to questions about the federal No Child Left Behind Act and how it will affect educators. If you have a question about No Child Left Behind, send an e-mail to Ellen Delisio, and we will submit your question to the Department of Education.


Could the new requirement that secondary special education teachers be highly qualified in every subject they teach discourage people from entering the field?

U.S. Department of Education:

The No Child Left Behind Act reinforces the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was passed in 1997. IDEA stated that all special education students should be taught by teachers who are competent in the subjects they teach. Many college special education teacher preparation programs now include significant content coursework for their students.

Current special education teachers may become highly qualified through the state's High Objective Uniform State System of Evaluation (HOUSSE).

For more information, see No Educator Left Behind: Experienced Teachers and Highly Qualified Provision, and No Educator Left Behind: New Teachers.

Read previous questions and answers in our No Educator Left Behind archive.