The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs has awarded more than $35 million in funding for 138 new awards supporting personnel preparation, ongoing professional learning and leadership development to increase the number of well-prepared, diverse and effective personnel serving children with disabilities, according to a news release.
OSEP’s Personnel Development Program, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part D, funds activities that recruit, prepare and retain personnel who serve and support infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families. Personnel include early intervention providers; teachers; related services providers; administrators leading early intervention programs, schools, or local and state agencies; and university faculty who are preparing future generations of personnel to serve children with disabilities.
Data released in 2022 from the National Center for Education Statistics revealed 45% of U.S. public schools operated without a full teaching staff in October 2022, and special education teaching positions had the highest vacancy rates.
The 126 personnel preparation grants awarded require universities to use at least 65% of the federal funds for “scholar support,” which includes scholarships, tuition and fees, or other support to cover the costs required to complete the preparation program.
Additionally, 11 awards support personnel development through preservice program improvement grants, and one award funds a new national center to support school and early intervention program administrators to effectively implement the IDEA and improve systems serving children with disabilities.
Federal funds are awarded annually to support five-year grant projects. The following table identifies this year’s grants, grant title, number of new awards made for federal fiscal year 2023, the funding level for federal fiscal year 2023 and the five-year total funding.
|84.325 Grant Programs||Title||Number of New Awards for 2023||Funding from FFY 23 Funds||5-Year Total Funding|
|84.325D||Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel (Doctoral Preparation)||20||$8,532,569||$47,059,059|
|84.325K||Preparation of Early Intervention and Special Education Personnel Serving Children With Disabilities Who Have High-Intensity Needs||41||$8,870,090||$48,288,334|
|84.325M||Personnel Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Personnel at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities, and Other Minority Serving Institutions||34||$6,589,389||$40,395,227|
|84.325R||Preparation of Related Services Personnel Serving Children With Disabilities Who Have High-Intensity Needs||31||$6,338,229||$36,328,194|
|84.325N||Associate Degree Preservice Program Improvement Grants to Support Personnel Working with Young Children with Disabilities||11||$2,072,412||$10,138,594|
|84.325Z||National Center for Supporting School Building and Early Intervention Program Administrators To Effectively Implement IDEA and Improve Systems Serving Children With Disabilities||1||$3,000,000||$15,000,000|
|Total 84.325 Awards and Funding||138||$35,402,689||$197,209,408|
Learn more about the 84.325 program and this year’s award recipients here.