KDE awarded federal grant to recruit, retain local and state program leaders to improve outcomes for students with disabilities

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The Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE’s) Office of Special Education and Early Learning has been awarded a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.

The Kentucky LEADS (Leading, Educating, Advocating for Directors of Special Education) Academy is a five-year, $1 million federal grant designed to facilitate system change by increasing the number and capacity of certified directors of special education (DoSEs) and early intervention service leaders to improve services and results for children with disabilities.

In partnership with Kentucky’s Part C Early Intervention Services, Morehead State University, Western Kentucky University, Murray State University and the Kentucky Parent Training and Information center, the Kentucky LEADS Academy will work toward achieving three goals:

  • Goal 1 (Recruit): Increase the number of people who attain the state’s initial level of Advanced Educational Leader – Director of Special Education certification to ensure there is an adequate pipeline of eligible applicants to serve as state, regional and local leaders to promote high expectations and improve early childhood and educational outcomes for children with disabilities and their families.
  • Goal 2 (Retain): Increase and nurture the number of people whose job description includes supervising, directing, administering or coordinating special education programs who have attained the state’s highest level of Advanced Educational Leader – Director of Special Education certification.
  • Goal 3 (Increase Capacity): Expand and enhance the existing state network to ensure that state, regional and local leaders have the knowledge, skills and access necessary to improve early childhood and educational outcomes for children with disabilities and their families through the systems that serve them. 

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