With an eye toward increasing the number of school professionals prepared to serve kids with disabilities, federal officials are doling out millions of dollars to enhance training programs.

The U.S. Department of Education said this week that it will distribute $13.4 million in grants to colleges and universities across the country to beef up special education training.

Of the grants, $4.1 million will go toward helping places of higher learning prepare doctoral students to take on administrator and faculty positions in special education, early intervention and related services, the Education Department said.

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Meanwhile, $9.3 million is tagged for training teachers and other professionals to support children with disabilities in early intervention programs as well as regular and special education environments.

“We are committed to promoting equity and excellence at every level of the education system,” said Sue Swenson, acting assistant secretary for the Education Department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in announcing the funds. “These grants will give special education teachers and leaders the skills to help America’s students with disabilities achieve their academic potential.”

The grants ranging in size from about $174,000 to 250,000 each are headed to more than three dozen academic institutions.

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