Abstract

The attrition and retention of special education teachers of color (SETOC) is a concern for school district leaders who are seeking racially and ethnically minoritized teachers to work with students of color with disabilities. We reviewed 47 articles from 2002 to 2020 regarding factors related to the attrition and retention of special education teachers (SET) to better understand the racial characteristics of the participants in the studies and to compare and contrast whether SETOC provide reasons for why they stay or leave that vary from reasons provided by their White colleagues. We found that researchers examining SETs have mostly ignored race and ethnicity when analyzing factors in the attrition and retention of SETs. Although empirical research on the topic is scarce, the articles that were analyzed in this review that also included an analysis of the experiences of SETOC often was framed using a racial lens in understanding factors that may cause them to stay in or leave the profession. We conclude with a discussion of major takeaways from the literature and recommendations for promoting a more robust research agenda on this topic for future considerations.

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