TN Dept. of Education announces $5M in grants to support students with disabilities

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Tennessee Department of Education has announced grants totaling $5 million for school districts to provide innovative compensatory services and support for students with disabilities due to extended COVID-19 related school closures.

These one-time compensatory grants will be disbursed to districts July 1 according to the TDOE.

“As districts prepare for the coming school year, it will be important to evaluate the impact extended school closures have had on the learning of all students.

As part of this work, the department is continuing to work closely with our district leaders to give them the support they need to serve students with disabilities in a COVID reality, and has reprioritized funding to ensure we can make available an additional $5 million to help fulfill a critical, expressed need to deliver compensatory education services and ensure all students receive the supports they need this fall.

Now more than ever, it is important to ensure that all of our children are served and these funds will help our state reach that goal.” 

Commissioner Penny Schwinn

What are compensatory services?

TDOE says that compensatory services are services that should be provided to a student, when services have been delayed/postponed.

It is supposed to deliver services to a student to make up for what the student should have received in order to provide a free appropriate public education.

“We recognize that districts are working extremely hard to meet the needs of all students, including students with disabilities, during periods of extended school closures.

Despite these efforts, we also know that some students will require compensatory education this fall. The department is committed to providing the support and fiscal resources to ensure that districts are able to provide these services to the students who need them.” 

Theresa Nicholls, Assistant Commissioner for Special Populations

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