Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Request For Proposals for Special Education Resource Teacher Academy

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Learning Services
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Federal Programs; Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Technology Coordinators; Test Coordinators; General Business Managers; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors; Techstart Coordinators or Contact Name; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin); Child Nutrition Directors/Managers; Data Stewards (SIS; eSchool; eFinance; TRIAND); District Coordinators (ALE; Homeless; ESOL; SDFS & Foster); Parent Involvement Coordinators/Facilitators; CTE Coordinator (COOPs and regular school districts); Facilities / Maintenance Director

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Memo Text

Special Education Resource Teacher Academy

The Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) seeks proposals from Arkansas Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to create Special Education Resource Teacher Academies to prepare licensed teachers to add the Special Education Resource endorsement.  Although DESE will approve Special Education Resource Teacher Academy proposals for a two-year period, the award must be renewed annually based on availability of funds, satisfactory performance on participant evaluations, compliance with DESE reporting and requirements, and the success rate for Special Education Resource Teacher Academy graduates passing the Praxis© Special Education: Core Knowledge and Applications (5354) upon first administration. The Special Education Resource Teacher Academy will be at no cost to the participant.

Public school districts in Arkansas have an obligation to provide the personnel and resources necessary to effectively provide a Free Appropriate Public Education for students with disabilities in each student’s least restrictive environment.  This obligation includes having an adequate number of highly qualified teachers who are skilled in providing the supports students need to progress in the general education curriculum [IDEA Section 1414 (d) (1) (A) (i) (II)(aa)].

The Special Education Resource Teacher Academy programs will prepare educators who are currently licensed in K-6, 4-8, or 7-12 ELA, Math, or Science to receive endorsement from DESE to teach the content area in which they are currently licensed to students with exceptionalities in an inclusive and/or resource setting. The Academy should be designed to begin in the summer with on-going sessions/support throughout the school year.  All participants should ideally have the opportunity to complete the entire program within one year of their acceptance to the Special Education Resource Academy.

A completed RFP proposal packet, grant budget and budget narrative, and Statement of Assurances, along with appropriate support data and a letter from the college President must be submitted by March 31, 2021, to:

Matt Sewell, Director of Special Programs
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
1410 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 450
Little Rock, AR 72201  

Anticipated timeline of Special Education Resource Teacher Academy determination process:

  • Proposal packets are due to DESE by March 31, 2021.
  • Selected sites will be notified no later than April 15, 2021.

If you have questions about the RFP for the Special Education Resource Teacher Academy, please contact Matt Sewell at 501-682-4221 or at

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