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The California Department of Education

Improving the Special Education System in California

A State Personnel Development Grants Program CFDA 84.323A


Background: The original State Improvement Grant (SIG), as delineated in the 1997 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), provided the California Department of Education (CDE) with a unique opportunity to forge broad-scale, collaborative partnerships to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. As a result, the CDE changed the system of stakeholder input, opening the planning and resource allocation process to a highly representative and inclusive stakeholder group, in compliance with IDEA Section 1452(b). The original grant, followed by the SIG Supplement and SIG2, enhanced California’s vision of a special education system of services to meet and align with California’s state performance goals.

Project Purpose: The purpose of the FY 2006 State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) is to continue to reform and improve California’s system of personnel preparation and professional development to increase student achievement and improve outcomes for students with disabilities birth through 21.

Project Outcomes & Objectives: Project outcomes were selected by CDE, together with the SPDG advisory group and the State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR) stakeholder groups (now combined into one large and diverse stakeholder group called Improving Special Education Services: Through Planning, Personnel Development, and Performance Reporting Group, or ISES.) Project activities aligned with SPP improvement strategies are designed to achieve the project’s objectives and produce outcomes that directly address needs as articulated by California’s SPP and APR.


Project Design and Activities: To achieve these objectives, California’s State Personnel Development Plan will provide and scale up high quality professional development, training, and technical assistance in the use of literacy strategies and positive behavioral supports that are scientific or evidence-based; will employ follow-up sessions, wrap-around training and technical assistance, intensive coaching, and Web-based tools and communications to sustain and support the knowledge and skills that personnel have previously gained; and will enhance California’s ability to recruit and retain highly qualified special education teachers. The California SPDG’s significant activities include the following:


IDEAS that Work!

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.