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California Department of Education News Release



January 31, 2013

CONTACT: Janet Digmon

PHONE: 916-327-4217



State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces

California Receives State Personnel Development Grant to Fund Raising Educational Achievement for Students with Disabilities

SACRAMENTO ­ The California Department of Education (CDE) announced today that the state has been awarded a five-year, $11,000,000 federal grant to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. The State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) proposal for raising educational achievement for students with disabilities (Project READ) was submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in September under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and subsequently won the highest funding level from federal reviewers in the competitive award process. Beginning in 2013, for the next five years, these grant dollars will be used to fund teacher training and other related activities designed to improve education for all children, with a particular focus on better results for individuals with disabilities.  The CDE developed the work plan for the grant with input from parents, educators, and interested community members across the state. The grant activities will target middle school students with disabilities in 44 competitively selected middle school sites in high-need districts across the state. The goal of Project READ is to improve students’ reading achievement and improve academic performance by training, coaching, and providing follow up professional development to school staff in evidence-based reading instruction, intervention, and assessment practices.

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The CDE is a state agency led by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. For more information, please visit or by mobile device at You may also follow Superintendent Torlakson on Twitter at


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Project READ is a California Department of Education, Special Education Division project funded through a federal competitively-awarded State Personnel Development Grant to California (#H323A120019) provided from the U.S. Department of Education Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education act (IDEA), Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the position of the U.S. Department of Education.