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U.S. Department of Education Announces $2.4 Million in Grants to 20 Institutions to Improve Special Education Teacher Training Programs


The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of $2.4 million in grants to 20 institutions in 15 states to help train highly qualified teachers of students with high incidence disabilities, such as learning disabilities, emotional disturbance and mental retardation.

The awards, made under the Special Education Preservice Training Improvement Grants Program, are meant to improve the quality of special education teacher preparation programs and ensure that graduates meet the highly qualified teacher requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“We consistently hear from state, local and higher education officials that personnel preparation programs for special education teachers should be restructured or redesigned for graduates of these programs to meet the highly qualified teacher requirements in IDEA,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

The grants announced today cover the first year of what’s expected to be five-year projects overseen by the Education Department’s Office of Special Education Programs.

During that first year, the grant recipients will begin upgrading their teacher preparation programs with research-proven strategies designed to improve outcomes for children with high incidence disabilities.

They will also coordinate their efforts with the National Center to Enhance the Professional Development of School Personnel by using the center’s Web-based training modules.

In addition, the money is to be used to:

* Address the specialized needs of children with high incidence disabilities from diverse cultural and language backgrounds, including those with limited English proficiency.
* Provide extended clinical learning opportunities, field experiences and mentoring opportunities in local schools. And,
* Use field-based training opportunities in high-poverty communities and in schools not making adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Following is a list of the grant recipients. For more information, see

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Special Education Programs
Special Education Preservice Training Improvement Grants
CFDA No. 84.325T

(State, city, institution, project director, grant amount)

* AL—Birmingham—University of Alabama-Birmingham, Renitta Goldman, $100,000.
* CA—Chico—California State University, Chico, Teresa Davis, $146,661.
* CA—Los Angeles—Loyola Marymount University, Teresa Jimenez, $122,265.
* CO—Greeley—University of Northern Colorado, Harvey Rude, $99,932.
* FL—Orlando—University of Central Florida, Mary Little, $110,744.
* GA—Valdosta—Valdosta State University, Karla Hull, $142,875.
* ID—Boise—Boise State University, Keith Allred, $149,990.
* IL—Joliet—University of St. Francis, Srimani Chakravarthi, $100,832.
* KS—Lawrence—University of Kansas Center for Research, Sean Smith, $117,904.
* ME—Gorham—University of Southern Maine, Catherine Fallona, $127,543.
* MD—College Park—University of Maryland, Phillip Burke, $113,176.
* NC—Greensboro—North Carolina A&T University, Cathy Kea, $100,000.
* NV—Las Vegas—University of Nevada, Kristin Sayeski, $149,253.
* OH—Dayton—Wright State University, Catherine Keener, $100,000.
* OH—New Concord—Muskingum College, Linda Morrow, $111,718.
* TX—Odessa—University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Karen Smith, $139,102.
* VA—Fairfax—George Mason University, Kelley Regan, $136,635.
* VA—Harrisonburg—James Madison University, Cheryl Beverly, $119,759.
* VA—Radford—Radford University, Elizabeth Altieri, $149,958.
* VA—Richmond—Virginia Commonwealth University, Colleen Thoma, $109,810.



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