Nashville – The Tennessee Department of Education has been awarded a $3.4 million grant through the United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs to improve the lives of special education students through instructional services.
“Our goal is for all Tennessee students to gain the knowledge and skills to live full, productive lives,” Education Commissioner Timothy Webb said. “This grant will allow us to provide students the services they need and improve the education climate all around.”
The grant will be distributed over the next four years and objectives include increasing literacy skills, improving school and instructional climate, improving math outcomes for all students, improving early childhood outcomes for young children diagnosed with autism, identifying and remedying existing inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers – including special education teachers and ensuring low income and minority children with disabilities are not taught by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teacher at higher rates than other children.
Through the grant, the department will also be providing technical assistance and professional development for general and special education teachers to facilitate the use of evidence based and scientifically validated teaching methods.
“This grant provides us additional resources to give students the tools necessary for their continued educational success,” said Joe Fisher, Assistant Commissioner for Special Education.
Throughout the grants cycle, the Division of Special Education will focus on aligning current education initiatives and collaborating with other departments to maximize outcomes for all students, especially students with disabilities.