Nashville, TN – The Tennessee Department of Education has been awarded a five-year, $5.5 million State Personnel Development Grant to strengthen instructional practices for serving students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.
The State Personnel Development Grants (SPDG) program, administered through the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education, assists state education agencies and their partners to improve results for children with disabilities through systems of professional development and dissemination of knowledge about best practices to educators and families.
This grant, called the Teaching All Students grant, will build on the department’s previous SPDG and support teachers in providing students with disabilities with meaningful access to and participation in standards-aligned instruction.
“We are thrilled to receive this SPDG to continue our work ensuring all students are given the opportunity to reach their fullest potential,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “All students deserve to receive a great education and this grant enables the department to support teachers in providing excellent instruction to students with disabilities.”
The Teaching All Students grant will fund a multi-year training to help high school teachers and staff build an accessible learning environment for all students, with the goals of reducing the achievement gap and increasing the graduation rate and enrollment in postsecondary education (e.g. inclusive higher education, technical colleges, community colleges) and competitive integrated employment for students with complex needs.
“This new SPDG will provide the department with the resources and capacity to support our LEAs in the important work of instructing students with the most significant cognitive disabilities,” said Theresa Nicholls, Assistant Commissioner for Special Populations.
“We have accomplished great things through our previous SPDG and look forward to expanding on that work to ensure every student has the opportunity to achieve their goals,” Nicholls stated.