NASHVILLE, TN (WLAF) —On Monday, the Tennessee Department of Education announced a new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Technology Partnership Grant, making $1 million dollars available for Tennessee school districts to better support the educational needs of students with disabilities by addressing technology needs that are a result of COVID-19 school closures.
This grant, which uses federal IDEA discretionary funds, will support districts in purchasing additional assistive technology and other tools to increase access to services and instruction for students with disabilities during school closures.
Campbell County Director of Schools Jennifer Fields said, “The application process will begin mid-May. Districts will be receiving from $2,500.00-$20,000.00. After the grants have been awarded, we will receive guidelines on allowable expenditures for the grant for the amount awarded to Campbell County Schools.”
“All students must have access to learning and services during school closures,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “The department is continuing to work with districts to serve the needs of all students—and we know they are facing new and unprecedented challenges to delivering instruction to students with disabilities. This grant will help bridge those needs with new resources so school and district staff can continue the critical work of supporting and enhancing access and opportunities for students with disabilities.”
All school districts are invited to apply for the IDEA Technology Partnership Grant. Districts that submit applications meeting minimum requirements are eligible to receive funding per the demonstrated student need, ranging from $2,500 to $20,000.
The application, which is available now on ePlan, is due May 8. Awards will be announced May 15.
“Virtual learning provides schools opportunities to continue instruction for all students even during building closures, but it presents new challenges to serving students with disabilities who need direct support to access curriculum,” said Assistant Commissioner for Special Populations, Theresa Nicholls. “This grant provides additional resources to districts as they seek to serve all students during this time and increases the supports available to students with disabilities to ensure their access to learning opportunities.”
Additional application information for this grant is available on the department’s COVID-19 webpage. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/28/2020-6AM)