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.”

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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.