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NEWS RELEASES 2005-06

NEWS RELEASES 2005-06 :: SEPTEMBER 27, 2005

STATE RECEIVES GRANT TARGETED AT EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN NEEDS; FUNDS TO BE USED TO EXPAND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Thanks to a $6.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, more exceptional children teachers across North Carolina will be able to take advantage of quality professional development opportunities that have proven successful in improving the academic performance of students with disabilities.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said she was excited to hear that North Carolina was one of nine states to receive the State Personnel Development Grant. "The State Personnel Development Grant will enable us to build upon the success of its predecessor, the State Improvement Grant, which has been significant in providing our exceptional children teachers with instructional techniques that have positively improved learning opportunities for exceptional children."

As a recipient of this competitive funding, North Carolina will receive $1.31 million dollars annually for the next five years to:

  • improve the basic skills performance of students with disabilities;
  • increase the percentage of qualified teachers of students with disabilities;
  • increase graduation rates and decrease dropout rates of students with disabilities; and
  • improve parent satisfaction with, and support of, school services for students with disabilities.

The State Personnel Development Grant builds upon efforts initiated under the State Improvement Grant the NCDPI received in 2000. This grant was used to plan and implement a statewide comprehensive system of personnel development and program support services. As a result of this grant, staff found that more students with disabilities achieved at higher levels when provided appropriate instruction; teachers must be trained to use explicit, systematic, multi-sensory instructional methods to be effective in teaching students with learning difficulties; and students reading below grade level will progress faster when placed in small instructional groups for remedial instruction.

NCDPI's Exceptional Children Director Mary Watson said she was looking forward to taking the State Improvement Project to the next level. "We have demonstrated that with appropriate instructional strategies and quality trained and supported teachers, students with disabilities can make significant yearly progress in academic performance. Thanks to the State Personnel Development Grant, we will be able to continue and expand upon the success we've experienced."

Currently, North Carolina public schools serve almost 200,000 children with disabilities. For more information on the State Personnel Development Grant, please go online to www.ncsip.org or contact the NCDPI's Communications Division at 919.807.3450.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 126 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.