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Special Ed. Grants Awarded for Data, Parent Assistance, School Climate

The Education Department has announced grant awards for several areas related to special education:

Data: Westat, Inc. of Rockville, Md. will receive $6.5 million to create the National Technical Assistance Center to Improve State Capacity to Accurately Collect and Report IDEA Data (one hopes that the name will eventually be something catchier than NTACISCACRID). Westat will work with states to upgrade their ability to report high-quality data under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Part of the center's work will also be to help states with their state performance plans and annual performance reports, which is already seeing changes under the department's shift to "results-driven accountability."  

Parent Assistance: More than $14 million will be used to operate eight special education parent technical assistance centers that work with families of children with disabilities. The Education Department already funds 98 parent centers around the country; these newly funded entities will provide support and resources to the centers in a given region. The department has created a list of regional contacts.

School Climate: The University of Oregon will receive $1.6 million to continue operating the Technical Assistance Center for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. I explored the center and some controversy over its work in a recent article. 

Transition: Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., was awarded $200,000 for a project aimed at helping black students with emotional, intellectual and behavior disabilities integrate into the community and find jobs.

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