The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of more than $4.5 million in grants to operate 16 special education parent information and training centers in 14 states, including targeted centers for American Indians and military families.
Every state has at least one parent information center funded by the Department of Education to help improve results for children with disabilities. There are more than 104 centers nationwide.
“Research shows that all students, especially those with disabilities, are more successful when parents are part of the educational decision-making process,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These centers help families who have children with disabilities access services and negotiate the complex framework of special education rules and regulations.”
Parent information centers provide parents with the training and information they need to work with special education professionals in meeting the early intervention and special needs of children with disabilities. Many parent information centers work closely with state and local school systems to engage parents in working collaboratively to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. Common questions addressed by the centers include such topics as, “What kind of help is available if I suspect my child has a disability?” “Where can I go to get services?” And, “What are my rights?”
Five-year grants are used to operate the national network of centers with a portion staggered so that competitions are held yearly for the centers whose grants are expiring. In addition to parent information centers, the network includes Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), which receive three-year grants to assist underserved populations such as Latino parents in Philadelphia and Native American parents in New Mexico. For a list of Education Department-funded special education parent information and training centers, visit http://www.taalliance.org/ptidirectory/index.asp.
The following is a list of the grants announced today and the states or audiences served, including the contact information for the local project directors and the amount of each award:
AZ -- Phoenix, Raising Special Kids, Joyce Millard Hoie, email@example.com, $364,556.
DE -- Wilmington, Parent Information Center of Delaware Inc., Marie Anne Aghazadian, firstname.lastname@example.org, $208,000.
IA -- Des Moines, Access for Special Kids Resources Center Inc., Susan Myers, email@example.com, $251,929.
IN -- South Bend, Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs Inc. (IN*SOURCE), Dory Lawrence, firstname.lastname@example.org, $360,626.
MA -- Boston, Federation for Children with Special Needs, Robin Foley, email@example.com, $358,318.
MI -- Benton Harbor, Michigan Alliance PTI Region 2, Michelle Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, $403,970.
MI -- Detroit, Michigan Alliance PTI Region 1, Caryn Ivey, Caryn.email@example.com, $239,170.
MN -- Minneapolis, PACER Center, Paula Goldberg, firstname.lastname@example.org, $338,572.
MO -- Kansas City, Missouri Parents Act (IMPACT), Mary Kay Savage, msavage@ptimpact, $342,171.
MS -- Jackson, Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities, Pam Dollar, email@example.com, $266,988.
SD -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota Parent Connection Inc., Elaine Roberts, firstname.lastname@example.org, $204,562.
VA -- Falls Church, Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center, Suzanne Bowers, email@example.com, $392,689.
WA -- Tacoma, Wash., Partnerships for Action Voices for Empowerment (PAVE), Vicky McKinney, firstname.lastname@example.org, $350,567.
WY -- Buffalo, Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming Inc., Theresa Dawson, email@example.com, $174,500.
AMERICAN INDIANS -- Clearwater, Fla., Family Network on Disabilities of Florida Inc. - Native American Families, Prairie Flower Reuben, $243,778.
MILITARY FAMILIES -- Tacoma, Wash., Partnerships for Action Voices for Empowerment (PAVE), Heather Hebdon, firstname.lastname@example.org, $243,778.