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$7.7 Million in Grants Awarded to Eight States to Improve Training Systems to Help Students with Disabilities

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The U.S. Department of Education today announced the award of $7.7 million in grants to eight states to improve training systems to help students with disabilities. The winning states are: Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Wyoming.

The Special Education -- State Personnel Development Grants Program provides funds to assist states in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, education, and transition services in order to enhance results for children with disabilities.

"The quality of education our students with disabilities receive is dependent on how well the workforce is prepared to address their needs," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "These grants will support states' efforts to improve their training systems for staff, and better serve students with disabilities as a result."

Under the program, states must partner with at least one higher education institution to implement the terms of the grant. They must also partner with at least one local education agency and either a Parent Training and Information Center or a Community Parent Resource Center.

Grant awards will support several types of projects, including: recruitment and retention of highly qualified special education teachers; training in how to connect instruction for students with disabilities with the common core standards; teacher mentoring; collaborating with regular education teachers; and training in methods of positive behavioral interventions and supports to improve student behavior in the classroom.

For more on the Special Education -- State Personnel Development Grants Program, see In addition, for information about the specific grants, please visit Following is a list of the grants, including contact information for the local project directors and the amount of each award:

State Personnel Development Grants