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Becoming a Special Education Teacher in Kansas

There are several requirements for becoming a special education teacher in Kansas. Follow along with the article to learn more about the educational and licensing requirements as well as salary statistics for this position.

Overview of Teaching Special Education in Kansas

Special education teachers are essential to the education system. Kansas requires some higher education and specialized experience to become a special education teacher. The state requires passing scores on Praxis tests covering general teaching knowledge by age range and specialized testing for specific endorsements. Kansas also requires completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program, as well as documented recent teaching experience.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree; completion of state approved teacher preparation program; 8 credit hours or 1 year of teaching experience within last 6 years
Exam Requirements Praxis PLT; Praxis content assessment for specialization
License Validity Period 2 years (initial license) 5 years (professional license)
Average Salary in KS (2018)* $54,340 (kindergarten and elementary school special education)
$54,610 (middle school special education)
$54,050 (high school special education)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% special education teachers nationally

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Job Description

Special education teachers provide daily teaching and assistance to individuals with physical, mental, and emotional developmental challenges. Helping students to learn and grow, special education teachers often work very closely with parents and school faculty to help create an optimized learning environment for their pupils. Tasked with helping to prepare students for a productive life, a special education teacher can make an immense difference in the quality of their students' lives.

Education Requirements

In Kansas, a bachelor's degree or higher is required to become a teacher. Special education teachers must specialize in the developmental areas where they will be teaching and complete a state-approved teaching program. Additionally, special education teachers must provide documentation of either 8 credit hours or 1-year of teaching experience within the last 6 years.

Exam Requirements

The state of Kansas requires Praxis testing for the age range a prospective teacher will teach. The Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) exam is divided into K-6, 5-9, and 7-12 grades. Teachers will need a passing score of 160 or better on these exams.

To teach special education in Kansas, new teachers will also need to pass a Praxis assessment in their particular area of knowledge, either Core Knowledge and Severe to Profound Applications, Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications, Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, or Teaching Students with Visual Impairments.

Initial Application

To become a special education teacher in Kansas, you must provide a completed application along with your official transcripts documenting recent teaching experience, and proof of completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program. You must also provide proof of any endorsement. New teachers must also submit to fingerprinting and provide a fingerprinting fee and an application fee. Your Kansas Initial License will is valid for a period of 2 years.

Renewal

You can renew your Initial License by submitting a renewal application for an Initial License along with your official transcripts reflecting recent teaching experience, proof of completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program, and a fee. At this time, you may be eligible to apply for a Kansas Professional License, if you hold a bachelor's degree and have completed 8 credit hours in an approved program. A Kansas Professional License is valid for a period of 5 years and has a fee associated with the application.