University awarded grant to improve academics for children with disabilities

U.S. Department of Education granted the University $10 million to improve education for children with disabilities.

Layna Darling

The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $10 million grant to the University of Minnesota’s National Center on Educational Outcomes to fund research into testing accommodations for K-12 students with disabilities.

The organization will receive $2 million annually over the next five years to narrow their assessment of educational needs for students with disabilities from a state level to a district level. The award will also help develop training materials for teachers.

The funds will also go toward helping states collect and report educational data under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, according to a Monday news release.

“It is great to have an expanded focus in the five-year grant to continue NCEO’s activities,” NCEO director Martha Thurlow said in an emailed statement. “We will work more closely now with states as they support their districts to increase participation in and improve performance on all assessments.”

The research could help develop more appropriate instruction for children with disabilities and, in turn, cultivate higher academic performance, said NCEO Senior Research Associate Sheryl Lazarus.

“That means more students going to college and having careers,” she said.