The U.S. Department of Education is shelling out millions in funding to help recruit and train teachers and administrators serving children with disabilities.

The federal agency said this week that it’s sending $7 million to seven states to enhance preparation and professional development focused on early intervention, special education and transition services.

Grants ranging from about $530,000 to nearly $1.5 million are headed to state education departments in Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina and Oregon.

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The funding will help support a variety of projects, the Education Department said, including recruiting and retaining special education teachers and training on ways to help students with disabilities access the general education curriculum.

In order to qualify for the funding, federal officials said that states must partner with a college or university, at least one school district and a parent training or resource center in order to implement their professional development program.

“It is critical that we support our nation’s educators and elevate the teaching profession by supporting strong teacher and principal preparation and professional development,” U.S. Secretary of Education John King said in announcing the funds. “These awards help educators learn practices that will improve outcomes for all children, including children with disabilities.”

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