Highly qualified personnel are critical in the provision of quality early intervention and preschool special education for young children with disabilities. The 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), outlines that states are "required to ensure that highly qualified personnel are recruited, hired, trained and retained to provide special education and related services to children with disabilities" [Section 612(a)(14)(D)]. Like many states, Colorado is experiencing difficulty in recruiting and retaining personnel to serve young children with disabilities and their families who are enrolled in Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education.
To address this need, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) are collaborating to award individual grants to support early childhood educators from Colorado’s Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant. Funds will target eligible applicants enrolled in, or recently graduated from, higher education, licensure and certification programs in disciplines with known shortages and in geographic areas in which employers are unable to recruit or retain appropriately endorsed early intervention and preschool special education personnel. Established Need Criteria Areas of established need have been identified through survey of local programs and are documented in the Established Need Criteria Table (Attachment A).
Grantees can use funds for one of three allowable purposes:
1. Scholarships for Tuition
2. Loan Repayment
3. Recruitment and Retention Programs
The expected project outcome is to increase the pool of qualified professionals in geographic areas that experience the most difficulty recruiting and retaining personnel to work with children birth – 5 years of age with disabilities and their families who are enrolled in early intervention services or preschool special education, as well as providing loan repayment and scholarship support.
Approximately $80,000 is available for distribution to Local Education Agencies (LEAs), AUs, CCBs or Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). An applicant may request no more than $5,000 per year for a total of $10,000 over the two year grant period. Re-application is required in the second year.
Submit your application for the RTT - Early Learning Challenge Fund Scholarship and Incentive Program:
The original plus 3 copies of the application must be received by Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 4:00 p.m
. In addition to the 3 hard copies, send an electronic copy of the application to: Competitive Grants Email
. Faxes will not
be accepted. Incomplete or late applications will not
Meeting Name: Early Childhood/IDEA Scholarship, Recruitment & Retention Opportunity 2014
For program questions contact:
Kasey Herndon ( Email
Nancie Linville ( Email
For fiscal/budget questions contact:
Marti Rodriguez ( Email
For RFP specific questions contact:
Lynn Bamberry ( Email