TDOE Announces $1 Million IDEA Innovation Grant

Friday, June 12, 2020 | 01:02pm


Friday, June 12, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Victoria Robinson


TDOE Announces $1 Million IDEA Innovation Grant

Third Grant Opportunity to Support Local Districts in Addressing Needs of Students with Disabilities 


NASHVILLE, TN—The Tennessee Department of Education today announced a new Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Innovation Grant, making $1 million dollars available to support Tennessee school districts in implementing innovative ways to remediate for the loss of instruction during school closures for students with disabilities.

This grant will help make available federal IDEA funding to districts through a competitive grant application. Districts may apply for $5,000 to $20,000, with funding awarded to the highest evaluated applicants.

"The department is working with our district partners on minimizing the disparities students with disabilities experience due to school closures. We have prioritized funding, making this the third grant available specifically for supporting students with disabilities during COVID-19,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “As with everything related to the pandemic, we are navigating a new frontier in education, and it will require us to be innovative and creative in serving students. We are pleased to make this competitive grant available to support our districts leading the way in innovatively serving students with disabilities.”

The application is available starting Friday, June 12 through June 29 in ePlan. Additional application information for this grant is available on the department’s COVID-19 webpage.

“We are encouraged by the creative and innovative ways that districts have responded to the challenges associated with COVID-19. This creativity and innovation will be needed more than ever as we begin the process of reopening schools,” said Theresa Nicholls, Assistant Commissioner for Special Populations. “The loss of instruction due to extended school closures will have an even greater impact on vulnerable student populations, such as students with disabilities. These grants will provide much needed supports for the remediation of students with disabilities as we look forward to the relaunching of schools.”

The IDEA Innovation Grant is the third grant made available to districts specifically intended to help address the needs of students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes an additional $5 million through IDEA part B funding formula to provide compensatory services and a $1 million Technology Partnership Grant to address technology needs that are a result of COVID-19 school closures.

For more information on these grants, and to access the Department of Education’s guidance documents on school closures, visit our Coronavirus Resources page or Reopening Guidance page. For Tennessee Department of Education media inquiries, contact