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States Get Millions To Train Special Educators


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Nearly two dozen states will benefit from millions in new federal funding to improve training for those working with special education students in the nation’s schools.

The U.S. Department of Education says it is sending more than $24 million to 22 states. The funding is intended to help recruit and retain highly-qualified special educators, support teachers in blending the needs of those with disabilities and the new common core standards and train educators to utilize positive behavioral interventions and supports, among other initiatives.

“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 in announcing the new money late last week. These grants will support states’ efforts to improve their training systems for staff, and better serve children with disabilities as a result.”

States receiving the new funds are required to partner with at least one higher education institution, a local education agency and either a Parent Training and Information Center or a Community Parent Resource Center to implement the funding.

Between $539,304 and $2.2 million will go to 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 funding is part of the State Personnel Development Grants Program which is authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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Comments (8 Responses)

  1. Venessa Smith says:

    I think this is great for those states involved, as long as the allocations are use specifically as projected. As an EC teacher of behavioral discipline, I strongly encourage this funding in support of Exceptional Children and staff that work daily to make a diferences. Common Core must be implemented with these students at a level in which they can achieve and not feel that they have been left out of the model. To do this we must have trained professionals to address Common Core with standards that allow growth based on individual needs and not just for the sake of saying we’re trying something new.

  2. Kathleen A. Whelan, M.F.A., LLC says:

    With the highest rates of autism in the nation, New Jersey isn’t even on the list?!?!?!

  3. Diane says:

    Special education is a service NOT a placement and students should be referred to as students who receive special education services NOT as special education students. Students who don’t receive special education services but get tutored in math are not referred to as tutor students. Words and labels can have a negative impact on the people we are trying to help and should be used in only a positive manner.

  4. Vanessa Higdon says:

    Living in an area where a dual endorsement in special and general education is available, I urge those states considering this to use caution. Our local university requires so little special education preparation for this dual endorsement that candidates for employment in our district are poorly prepared to teach special education.

  5. Betty Ed Young says:

    I don’t know why I wasn’t surprised that the “great” state of Texas didn’t get any of those federal funds….since our governor would prefer to “cut off his nose to spite his face” rather than to request any much needed funding for our schools…shame on you rick perry!!!

  6. hdemic says:

    waste of money

  7. Carmen Allen says:

    “and train educators to utilize positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS)” = in other words use our children as guinea pigs and use experimental analysis, which is what PBIS is :(

  8. Ruth Lature says:

    I certainly hope some of this money is going to train teachers who work with students who have dyslexia. Dyslexia conprises, by far, the largest group of students with disabilities. These are often students who are very bright and creative. They are the left-out children with the invisible disability.

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