The U.S. Department of Education announced today the award of $24 million in grants to 22 states to improve personnel training systems to help children with disabilities. States receiving grants are: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The State Personnel Development Grants Program, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), provides funds to assist states in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, education and transition services in order to enhance results for children with disabilities.
"The quality of education our children with disabilities receive is dependent on how well-equipped the workforce is in supporting young people with disabilities," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. These grants will support states' efforts to improve their training systems for staff, and better serve children with disabilities as a result."
Under the program, states must partner with at least one higher education institution to implement the terms of the grant. States must also partner with at least one local education agency and either a Parent Training and Information Center, or a Community Parent Resource Center.
Grant awards will support several types of projects, including: recruitment and retention of highly qualified special education teachers; training in how to connect instruction for students with disabilities with the common core standards; teacher mentoring; collaborating with regular education teachers; and training in methods of positive behavioral interventions and supports to improve student behavior in the classroom.
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