State Schools Chief Jack O’Connell announces training grants for special education teachers
Superintendent Jack-O'Connell
Superintendent Jack-O'Connell
California State Superintendent of Public Instruction

SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today announced 27 school districts will share $26.6 million in Professional Development in Reading for Special Education Teachers Pilot Program grants. The list of grantees is attached.
“There’s a critical need to provide professional development for special education teachers in California,” said O’Connell. “We must ensure that students receiving special education services are given the maximum access to a good education so they can reach a higher level of achievement and be well prepared for college or the world of work after high school. This grant will provide support to special education teachers so they can improve reading and language-art instruction to special education students and help them reach their full potential.”
Approximately 10 percent of California students are designated as needing special education services. However, according to the California Department of Education’s 2006 document, Developing Highly Qualified Teachers and Administrators Initiative, there is a critical shortage of qualified teachers in a number of fields, including special education. Between 14 percent and 49 percent of special education teachers are also underprepared, meaning they do not possess a full credential.
Carryover funds from the federal Reading First program provided funding for this competitive three-year Pilot Program grant. The grants were separated into two groups: Priority 1 grants provide funding to local educational agencies eligible but currently not participating in Reading First, to give professional development for special education teachers in reading for kindergarten through grade three. Priority 2 grants are for Reading First districts’ special education teacher professional development in kindergarten through grade twelve. The funds must be used to train and support these teachers in the use of reading/language arts instructional programs for students receiving special education services.
Eligible applicants included local educational agencies with a great need for special education teacher professional development. The goal is to provide students needing special education services with adequate reading instruction through core or intensive intervention programs so they will make progress toward grade-level reading proficiency, meet all reading/language arts goals of his or her Individualized Educational Program, and move closer to the proficiency level outlined in the California English Language Content Standards.
The grantees were selected based on the quality of their applications. The grantees will be held accountable for assisting special education teachers in fully implementing the requirements of the grant. The requirements include providing opportunities for special education teachers to learn how to deliver instruction to increase student progress, the grantee’s use of student assessments, monitoring of student academic progress, demonstrated leadership, professional development plan, and collaboration between general and special education staffs.
For more information on the Professional Development in Reading for Special Education Teachers Pilot Program grant, please visit

Professional Development in Reading for Special Education Teachers Pilot Program

Priority 1 Grants

County Name Local Educational Agency Amount

Fresno Parlier Unified School District $97,500
Orange Capistrano Unified School District $1,462,500
Riverside Corona-Norco Unified School District $1,365,000
Riverside Val Verde Unified School District $390,000
San Bernardino Chino Valley Unified School District $975,000
San Joaquin Lodi Unified School District $916,500

Priority 2 Grants

County Name Local Educational Agency Amount

Alameda Oakland Unified School District $643,500
Contra Costa Mt. Diablo Unified School District $585,000
Fresno Fresno Unified School District $4,018,749
Los Angeles Hacienda-La Puente Unified School $858,000
Los Angeles Lancaster School District $1,248,000
Los Angeles Palmdale School District $1,950,000
Merced Merced City School District $780,000,00
Orange Santa Ana Unified School District $2,535,000
Sacramento Elk Grove Unified School District $2,905.500
Sacramento Robla School District $214,500
San Bernardino Ontario-Montclair School District $1,599,000
San Diego Cajon Valley Union School District $253500
San Diego South Bay Union School District $390,000
San Francisco San Francisco Unified School District $2,248,500
San Mateo Ravenswood City School District $351,000
Santa Clara San Jose Unified School District $897,000
Solano Vallejo City Unified School District $1,677,000
Trinity Lewiston Elementary School District $19,500
Ventura Rio Elementary School District $253,500
Ventura Santa Paula Elementary School District $331,500
Los Angeles Los Angeles Unified school District $1,311,583