The U.S. Department of Education in a press release has announced the award of $2.5 million in grants to operate 23 Community Parent Resource Centers in 17 states and a Parent Training and Information Center to serve American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
The centers provide parents with the training and information they need to work with professionals in meeting the early intervention and special needs of children with disabilities.
With the new grants, the Department now funds 87 information centers for parents of children and youth with disabilities. Every state has at least one Parent Training and Information Center that assists parents as they work to ensure their children receive a free, appropriate public education as guaranteed by federal law. In addition, the centers provide services to underserved parents of children with disabilities in targeted communities throughout the country.
“Parent centers empower families who have children with disabilities by helping them understand their rights and the services to which their children are entitled under the law,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. said.
“These community parent resource centers are powerful levers for ensuring equity in diverse communities across the country,” he added.
The training center and many resource centers work closely with state and local school systems to engage parents in working collaboratively to improve outcomes for their children.
Community Parent Resource Centers receive grants to assist underserved families of children with disabilities in metropolitan areas like Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, while others work in rural areas in Alaska, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, among others.
Nigel Belle, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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