Retention of novice special educators employed by an interlocal
Throughout the United States, a framework exists in which special education teachers are employed in a dual organizational structure of special and general education. The composition of this framework is twofold, comprised of a special education interlocal or cooperative, and a public school district. Teachers working in this dual organizational structure face challenges that are unfamiliar to their peers who work for a single organization. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the retention of novice special education teachers employed in a dual organizational structure comprised of a special education interlocal and its member school districts. Social Exchange Theory was used as an analytical lens to support and inform this study. Study participants included 9 novice special education teachers, 4 veteran special education teachers, and 8 interlocal and school district administrators. The setting was a small urban interlocal located in a Great Plains state. My research showed that special education teachers working in a dual organizational structure of an interlocal and a local school district experienced unique circumstances that added to the many challenges already faced by novices entering the field. Teachers weighed the pros and cons of these circumstances when making decisions to stay or leave their positions.