The Department of Education is putting a new emphasis on meeting the needs of students with disabilities, those who need to learn English, and students who attend schools in rural areas under its grant program for comprehensive school reform.
The $234 million program, created in 1997, is designed to encourage the poorest schools to adopt research-proven improvement programs. A notice in the Federal Register on Dec. 1 announces the new proposed priorities for the program and seeks public comment.
The announcement says that although, in the past, some service providers had recommended strategies for students with disabilities, those with limited English proficiency, or rural students, “there is still a need to provide schools with better information, guidance, and professional development on how to serve these students specifically.”
The program has two categories of service providers. The first helps states and districts evaluate and recommend studies of comprehensive reform programs. The department says it will give priority to projects in that category that provide matching funds from private groups. The second category is for projects that actually offer the school reform programs.
For both categories, the department says it will give priority to applicants that propose to help local educational agencies in more than one state.