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Grants to Train "Highly Qualified" Special Education Teachers


The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded $4.37 million to 14 universities to train doctoral and post-doctoral students in early intervention, special education, or related services. Said Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings in a press release:

"We hope to build a corps of highly qualified personnel to help children with disabilities reach their academic potential. Research has consistently suggested that there is a persistent need for additional special education and related services personnel who have been trained at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels. These experts can play a critical role in improving the quality of services for children with disabilities and their families."

You can see a list of the lucky universities and the amount of money each has been granted here. A full description of the grant program is here.


I think it is great the someone wants to fund more research and education that will eventually help students with disabilities and special needs of all kinds. My fear is that the training of only a select group of teachers will not be enough. Yes, those who are trained will be better qualified to work with needy students, but it ends with them if they don't share their training with colleagues. I think that all specially-funded training for any teacher should include training on how to share and model what they have learned with their colleagues. If the learning stops with the ones who attend the training sessions, that is not realy a very productive way to use money, in my estimation.

It looks like this post-doc grant program is part of a larger grant opportunity, and part of the grant will devote funds to increasing the number of teachers who will work directly with students. I agree with you that learning has to be shared widely or you're not getting the most for your grant dollar.

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