ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Anchorage School District has a started a new school year with two dozen vacancies in special education.

It's not a new problem for the district. KTVA-TV (http://ow.ly/RU1KF ) reports that in December 2014, there were 31 openings for special education teachers and related services.

Districts across the country also struggle with hiring and retaining special education instructors.

The Anchorage district is trying to provide incentives for educators to work in special education. District executive director for special education Cindy Anderson says one of those incentives involves reimbursing 80 percent of tuition costs associated with special education certification.

She says the high cost of moving to Alaska is one of the challenges.

To get by, the district contracts with outside agencies for certain positions such as speech pathologists.