The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), Special Education Unit, was recently awarded a five year federal State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG). Goal Four of the grant is to support efforts to recruit and retain qualified, fully licensed special education personnel to work in Arkansasí public schools. One objective within this goal is to recruit paraprofessionals interested in advancement toward earning a teaching license in special education.
A one-time non-renewable stipend of up to $1,000 will be awarded to 20 prospective paraprofessionals each year who (will) work in an Arkansas school district; with the highest number of special education teacher vacancies; the fewest number of fully licensed special education teachers; identified by Title II with hiring inequities; and/or high attrition rates of licensed special education teachers. The stipend will help defray tuition and incidental costs for obtaining the state-required coursework or experience needed to become fully qualified.
Priority will be given to paraprofessionals who:
- Are currently employed by school districts/cooperatives,
- Agree to work in an Arkansas school district/cooperative for a period of time equal to the length of time they received the stipend,
- Are listed on the ADE Paraprofessional Registry as having completed the CORE Training Modules.
Paraprofessionals interested in pursuing the stipend program will be required to submit a completed application form and letters of recommendation from both the principal and the special education supervisor. Applications and letters of recommendations should be sent to Donna Broyles 1401 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 450, Little Rock 72201 by December 15, 2009.