(a) Professional Development Activities.--A State educational agency that receives a grant under this subpart shall use the grant funds to support activities in accordance with the State's plan described in 20 USC 1553, including 1 or more of the following:
(1) Carrying out programs that provide support to both special education and regular education teachers of children with disabilities and principals, such as programs that--
(A) provide teacher mentoring, team teaching, reduced class schedules and case loads, and intensive professional development; (B) use standards or assessments for guiding beginning teachers that are consistent with challenging State student academic achievement and functional standards and with the requirements for professional development, as defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; and (C) encourage collaborative and consultative models of providing early intervention, special education, and related services.
(2) Encouraging and supporting the training of special education and regular education teachers and administrators to effectively use and integrate technology--
(A) into curricula and instruction, including training to improve the ability to collect, manage, and analyze data to improve teaching, decisionmaking, school improvement efforts, and accountability; (B) to enhance learning by children with disabilities; and (C) to effectively communicate with parents.
(3) Providing professional development activities that--
(A) improve the knowledge of special education and regular education teachers concerning--
(i) the academic and developmental or functional needs of students with disabilities; or (ii) effective instructional strategies, methods, and skills, and the use of State academic content standards and student academic achievement and functional standards, and State assessments, to improve teaching practices and student academic achievement; (B) improve the knowledge of special education and regular education teachers and principals and, in appropriate cases, paraprofessionals, concerning effective instructional practices, and that--
(i) provide training in how to teach and address the needs of children with different learning styles and children who are limited English proficient; (ii) involve collaborative groups of teachers, administrators, and, in appropriate cases, related services personnel;
(iii) provide training in methods of--
(I) positive behavioral interventions and supports to improve student behavior in the classroom; (II) scientifically based reading instruction, including early literacy instruction; (III) early and appropriate interventions to identify and help children with disabilities; (IV) effective instruction for children with low incidence disabilities; (V) successful transitioning to postsecondary opportunities; and (VI) using classroom-based techniques to assist children prior to referral for special education; (iv) provide training to enable personnel to work with and involve parents in their child's education, including parents of low income and limited English proficient children with disabilities; (v) provide training for special education personnel and regular education personnel in planning, developing, and implementing effective and appropriate IEPs; and (vi) provide training to meet the needs of students with significant health, mobility, or behavioral needs prior to serving such students; (C) train administrators, principals, and other relevant school personnel in conducting effective IEP meetings; and (D) train early intervention, preschool, and related services providers, and other relevant school personnel, in conducting effective individualized family service plan (IFSP) meetings.
(4) Developing and implementing initiatives to promote the recruitment and retention of highly qualified special education teachers, particularly initiatives that have been proven effective in recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers, including programs that provide--
(A) teacher mentoring from exemplary special education teachers, principals, or superintendents; (B) induction and support for special education teachers during their first 3 years of employment as teachers; or (C) incentives, including financial incentives, to retain special education teachers who have a record of success in helping students with disabilities.
(5) Carrying out programs and activities that are designed to improve the quality of personnel who serve children with disabilities, such as--
(A) innovative professional development programs (which may be provided through partnerships that include institutions of higher education), including programs that train teachers and principals to integrate technology into curricula and instruction to improve teaching, learning, and technology literacy, which professional development shall be consistent with the definition of professional development in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; and
(B) the development and use of proven, cost effective strategies for the implementation of professional development activities, such as through the use of technology and distance learning.
(6) Carrying out programs and activities that are designed to improve the quality of early intervention personnel, including paraprofessionals and primary referral sources, such as--
(A) professional development programs to improve the delivery of early intervention services; (B) initiatives to promote the recruitment and retention of early intervention personnel; and (C) interagency activities to ensure that early intervention personnel are adequately prepared and trained.
(b) Other Activities.--A State educational agency that receives a grant under this subpart shall use the grant funds to support activities in accordance with the State's plan described in 20 USC 1453, including
1 or more of the following:
(1) Reforming special education and regular education teacher certification (including recertification) or licensing requirements to ensure that--
(A) special education and regular education teachers have--
(i) the training and information necessary to address the full range of needs of children with disabilities across disability categories; and (ii) the necessary subject matter knowledge and teaching skills in the academic subjects that the teachers teach; (B) special education and regular education teacher certification (including recertification) or licensing requirements are aligned with challenging State academic content standards; and (C) special education and regular education teachers have the subject matter knowledge and teaching skills, including technology literacy, necessary to help students with disabilities meet challenging State student academic achievement and functional standards.
(2) Programs that establish, expand, or improve alternative routes for State certification of special education teachers for highly qualified individuals with a baccalaureate or master's degree, including mid-career professionals from other occupations, paraprofessionals, and recent college or university graduates with records of academic distinction who demonstrate the potential to become highly effective special education teachers.
(3) Teacher advancement initiatives for special education teachers that promote professional growth and emphasize multiple career paths (such as paths to becoming a career teacher, mentor teacher, or exemplary teacher) and pay differentiation.
(4) Developing and implementing mechanisms to assist local educational agencies and schools in effectively recruiting and retaining highly qualified special education teachers.
(5) Reforming tenure systems, implementing teacher testing for subject matter knowledge, and implementing teacher testing for State certification or licensing, consistent with title II of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
(6) Funding projects to promote reciprocity of teacher certification or licensing between or among States for special education teachers, except that no reciprocity agreement developed under this paragraph or developed using funds provided under this subpart may lead to the weakening of any State teaching certification or licensing requirement.
(7) Assisting local educational agencies to serve children with disabilities through the development and use of proven, innovative strategies to deliver intensive professional development programs that are both cost effective and easily accessible, such as strategies that involve delivery through the use of technology, peer networks, and distance learning.
(8) Developing, or assisting local educational agencies in developing, merit based performance systems, and strategies that provide differential and bonus pay for special education teachers.
(9) Supporting activities that ensure that teachers are able to use challenging State academic content standards and student academic achievement and functional standards, and State assessments for all children with disabilities, to improve instructional practices and improve the academic achievement of children with disabilities.
(10) When applicable, coordinating with, and expanding centers established under, section 2113(c)(18) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to benefit special education teachers.
(c) Contracts and Subgrants.--A State educational agency that receives a grant under this subpart--
(1) shall award contracts or subgrants to local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, parent training and information centers, or community parent resource centers, as appropriate, to carry out its State plan under this subpart; and (2) may award contracts and subgrants to other public and private entities, including the lead agency under part C, to carry out the State plan.
(d) Use of Funds for Professional Development.--A State educational agency that receives a grant under this subpart shall use--
(1) not less than 90 percent of the funds the State educational agency receives under the grant for any fiscal year for activities under subsection (a); and (2) not more than 10 percent of the funds the State educational agency receives under the grant for any fiscal year for activities under subsection (b).
(e) Grants to Outlying Areas.--Public Law 95-134, permitting the consolidation of grants to the outlying areas, shall not apply to funds received under this subpart.
(Amended by P.L. 18-446, Sec. 654.)