Special Education Paperwork:
How Much Time Does It Really Take?
Data Reveals How Much Teacher Time is Spent on Paperwork vs. Instruction
It’s no surprise that special education teachers (SETs) are faced with a lot of paperwork. What is surprising are the latest statistics on exactly how much time it takes to manage all of it. While there is a good reason for all of this paperwork, when does the administrative burden start affecting a teacher’s ability to plan and execute effective instruction?
Almost 40% of K-12 special educators reported spending 20% or more of their time on paperwork. This is the equivalent of a full SET work day or more per week.
Data shows that, on average:
- Despite administrators’ efforts to support SETs, they can underestimate the time it takes for teachers to complete certain administrative tasks.
- Up to half of an SET’s day is spent on paperwork; less than half of the day is spent on instruction.
- Due in part to paperwork, SETs tend to spend about 20% of class time on instruction.
- Technology is having an impact.