Education Department Expands IDEA Help Centers
The number of training centers across the country designed to assist families in accessing services for students with disabilities is on the rise.
Federal education officials said Tuesday that they are awarding more than $9.8 million to expand the number of centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education to 101, an increase of one center from this time last year.
There is at least one training center in each state tasked with helping parents of kids with disabilities navigate the special education system, officials said.
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“Parent centers are critical in helping to empower parents and families who have children with disabilities,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in announcing the new funding. “These centers help parents understand the services to which their children are entitled and deserve under the law.”
The new grant money will go toward funding 25 Parent Training and Information Centers located in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
In addition, the Education Department said that $1.1 million is being awarded to centers in nine states and Puerto Rico specifically to assist families from underserved communities.
Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that the number of federally-funded centers increased by one since last year.