Special Education

Preparing Students for Life After Special Education? Here’s How Federal Dollars Can Help

By Corey Mitchell — September 18, 2019 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

New guidance from the U.S. Department of Education spells out how school systems and state agencies can coordinate to help students with disabilities prepare for life after high school.

A 16-page Q & A produced by the agency’s special education and postsecondary education offices outlines how schools can use the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and vocational rehabilitation funds to support dual-enrollment programs, create college and transition options for students with intellectual disabilities, and finance other initiatives designed to ease the transition between grades K-12 and postsecondary education and training.

In most cases, to use the federal funds, a student’s Individualized Educational Plan team must determine that the dual-enrollment courses or transition programs are necessary to provide a free appropriate public education. When federal IDEA and vocational rehabilitation funds can’t be used, the document explains that students apply for individual federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and work-study opportunities, to pursue postsecondary and dual-enrollment options.

As part of the federal education department’s national back-to-school tour, Johnny Collett, the assistant secretary for the office of special education and rehabilitative services, recently visited a program for young students with intellectual developmental disabilities that allows students an opportunity to explore education and employment at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

“The department is committed to ensuring that students and youth with disabilities are held to high expectations and have the resources and supports needed to expand their learning opportunities and prepare them for success in postsecondary education or careers,” Collett said in a statement introducing the Q & A.

While high school graduation rates for students with disabilities are on the rise, life after graduation remains a concern. Students with disabilities are less likely to enroll in college or find employment after high school than their peers without disabilities. These students also are more likely than those without disabilities to enroll in vocational schools for postsecondary education and to earn less on the job.

Related Reading

Students Face Uncertain Paths After Special Education

Experience is Key for Special Ed. Students Headed to the Workplace

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education Opinion 20 Ways to Support Students With Learning Differences This Year
Embed student voices and perspectives into the classroom is one piece of advice educators offer in this third pandemic-affected school year.
16 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Special Education Schools Must Identify Students With Disabilities Despite Pandemic Hurdles, Ed. Dept. Says
Guidance stresses schools' responsibilities to those with disabilities, while noting that federal COVID aid can be used to address backlogs.
2 min read
School children in classroom with teacher, wearing face masks and raised hands
DigitalVision/Vectors/Getty
Special Education Attention Deficit Rates Skyrocket in High School. Mentoring Could Prevent an Academic Freefall
Twice as many students are diagnosed with ADHD in high school as in elementary school, yet their supports are fewer, a study says.
4 min read
Image of a child writing the letters "ADHD" on a chalkboard.
Getty
Special Education Opinion Q&A Collections: The Inclusive Classroom
Ten years of posts from experienced teachers of students with learning differences.
2 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty