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Preschool Grants for Children with Disabilities

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Purpose

Program Office: Office of Special Education Programs

CFDA Number: 84.173
Program Type: Formula Grants
Also Known As: Special Education Preschool Grants, Part B, Sec. 619


PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

This program provides grants to states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to make special education and related services available to children with disabilities, ages 3 through 5 and, at a state's discretion, to 2-year-olds with disabilities who will turn 3 during the school year. At their discretion, states may include preschool-age children who are experiencing developmental delays, as defined by the state and measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, who need special education and related services. Funds are distributed to eligible SEAs based on the amount each state received in FY 1997 and on the relative number of children aged 3 through 5 in the state's general population and the number of these children living in poverty. The formula contains numerous provisions for situations in which the appropriation for the program remains constant, increases or decreases, and several maximum and minimum funding limitations. States must distribute the bulk of their grant awards to local education agencies (LEAs). They may retain funds for state-level activities up to an amount equal to 25 percent of the amount they received for FY 1997 under this program, adjusted upward each year by the lesser of either the rate of increase in the state's allocation or the rate of inflation. The amount that may be used for administration is limited to not more than 20 percent of the amount available to a state for state-level activities.


TYPES OF PROJECTS

Funds under this program are used by SEAs and LEAs to make special education and related services available to 3- through 5-year-old children with disabilities and, at a state's discretion, to 2-year-old children with disabilities who will reach age 3 during the school year. Permitted expenditures include the salaries of special education teachers and costs associated with related services, including, but not limited to, speech-language pathology services, physical and occupational therapy, psychological services, parent counseling and training, and social work services in schools. States may use set-aside funds not reserved for administration for: direct services for children eligible for services under this program; support services; and provision of early intervention services (which shall include an education component that promotes school readiness and incorporates preliteracy, language, and numeracy skills) in accordance with Part C to children with disabilities who are eligible for services under Sec. 619 and who previously received services under Part C until such children enter, or are eligible under state law to enter, kindergarten; and other state-level activities. In FY 2006, this program served 704,087 children.


Additional Information

This program provides grants to states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to make special education and related services available to children, ages 3 through 5, with disabilities. Funds are distributed to eligible entities through a formula based on general population and poverty. Under the formula, each state is first allocated an amount equal to the amount it received in FY 1997. For any year in which the amount allocated to the states is equal to or greater than the prior year level, 85 percent of the funds above the FY 1997 level are distributed based on the state's relative percentage of the total number of children, ages 3 through 5, in the general population. The other 15 percent is distributed based on the relative number of children, ages 3 through 5, in each state who are living in poverty. The formula also includes several floors and a ceiling regarding the amount a state can receive in any year. For any year in which the amount allocated to the states is less than the previous year, awards are reduced according to a statutory formula relative to the amounts the states received in FY 1997 and any increases over the 1997 amounts taken as a percentage of all such increases for all states.

States must distribute the bulk of their grant awards to local education agencies (LEAs) and education service agencies. They may retain funds for state-level activities up to an amount equal to 25 percent of the amount they received for FY 1997 under the Preschool Grants program, adjusted upward each year by the lesser of the rate of increase in the state's allocation or the rate of inflation. The amount that may be used for administration is limited to 20 percent of the amount available to a state for state-level activities.

At their discretion, states may include preschool-age children who are experiencing developmental delays, as defined by the state and as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, who need special education and related services. States, at their discretion, and LEAs, if consistent with state policy, may also use funds received under this program to provide a free and appropriate public education to 2-year-olds with disabilities who will turn 3 during the school year.


 
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Last Modified: 05/05/2014