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Government grant makes possible new UF education center for teachers of students with disabilities


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Thanks to a recent government grant, UF will head a new program that aims to provide better resources for teachers of students with disabilities.

UF’s College of Education will receive $25 million over the next five years to help improve the education of special and general education teachers.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs has granted the first $5 million award to establish the Collaboration for Educator Development and Accountability and Reform Center (CEDAR) .

Mary Brownell, a special education professor at UF, is very excited for what this grant will do for students.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen this sort of focused effort that involves all the three parties that are most likely to make a difference for students with disabilities,” Brownell said.

She said the funding will help with the professional standards and preparation for both special and general eduation.

“I would say that the preparation for general education teachers to teach students with disabilities, and leaders to teach students with disabilities, is really inadequate,” she said. Ideally, this grant would help change all of that.

There is currently a lack in the system to educate students with disabilities, and Brownell described that to work with students with disabilities requires a lot of knowledge.

There is a “daunting amount of knowledge that someone needs to have to effectively do this job,” Brownell said.

She said the new center will help improve the prior knowledge the professors already have. It will collect the comprehension that leaders and teachers will need to better provide learning to students with disabilities.

Look for the CEDAR Center in Jan. in UF’s College of Education’s Norman Hall.

Sami Main edited this story online.

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