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Delaware: 16.2% of students are SPED; state gets federal grant money to help

Oct 6, 2019, Delaware State News: State gets grant for special ed training https://delawarestatenews.net/news/state-gets-grant-for-special-ed-training/ DOVER — Over the past seven years the state’s public school enrollment has increased by about 8,800 pupils. At the same time, the number of students with disabilities has climbed from around 17,200 to nearly 22,500. That discrepancy, one state officials have been grappling with for several years now, illustrates why education officials are so excited about a recent grant. The Department of Education announced Monday it has been awarded a federal grant worth close to $1 million. That money will allow the state, in partnership with the University of Delaware, to unveil a certification program for special education administrators. … The state will work with the University of Delaware to develop and evaluate the program. Hopefully, officials say, the new certificate will enable Delaware to better respond to the needs of its growing population of pupils with disabilities — a concern of great importance given the percentage of Delaware students in special education programs, which was between 12 and 12.5 percent every year from 2004 to 2011, has risen to 16.2 percent this year, according to state data. “If we can have special education directors that are ready on day one, it’s going to lead to better programs for our students that sometimes have the greatest challenges,” Ms. Mieczkowski said.