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Special Education—National Activities—State Improvement, State Improvement Grant Program
The State Personnel Development Grants (SPDG) program provides grants to help state educational agencies (SEAs) reform and improve their systems for personnel preparation and professional development of individuals providing early intervention, educational, and transition services to improve results for children with disabilities.
The SPDG program focuses on professional development needs. Awards are provided only to State Education Agencies (e.g., the Hawaii Department of Education). Each state must spend at least 90 percent of its funds on professional development activities, including the recruitment and retention of qualified special education teachers. No more than 10 percent of the state's funds can be spent on state activities, such as reforming special education and regular education teacher certification (including recertification) or licensing requirements and carrying out programs that establish, expand, or improve alternative routes for state certification of special education teachers.
Awards are based on state personnel development plans that identify and address state and local needs for the preparation and professional development of personnel who serve infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or children with disabilities, as well as individuals who provide direct supplementary aids and services to children with disabilities. Plans must be designed to enable the state to meet the personnel requirements in Parts B and C (section 612(a)(14)) and section 635(a)(8) and (9)) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These plans must also be integrated and aligned, to the maximum extent possible, with state plans and activities under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Higher Education Act of 1965