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Special Education Research and Development Center Program


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FY Awards

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Dr. Katherine (Katie) Taylor
(202) 987-0071


Under the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, IES supports special education research and development centers (R&D Centers) that are intended to contribute significantly to the solution of special education problems in the United States by engaging in research, development, evaluation, and national leadership activities aimed at improving the education system, and, ultimately, student achievement. Each of the R&D Centers conducts a focused program of research in its topic area. In addition, each Center conducts supplemental research within its broad topic area and provides national leadership in advancing evidence-based practice and policy within its topic area. For information on existing IES special education R&D Centers, please see

Under this program in FY 2024, NCSER seeks to establish a new R&D Center on the K12 Special Education Teacher Workforce (Teacher Workforce Center). The overarching goal of the Teacher Workforce Center is to provide national leadership on issues affecting the special education teacher workforce. Specifically, the R&D Center will be responsible for

1. Conducting a focused program of research, consisting of a cohesive set of studies that draw on existing data from statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDS), alone or in combination with other data sources, that will lead to a better understanding of the special education teacher pipeline and the role of specific programs and policies in shaping the special education teacher workforce and subsequent student and teacher outcomes.

2. Providing national leadership and building capacity by engaging in dialogue with researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and other key stakeholders in the special education community to improve research, practice, and policy; developing recommendations and/or products to improve data collection on the special education teacher workforce and facilitate further research; disseminating research findings; and training and mentoring doctoral students and early career investigators to conduct research focused on the special education teacher workforce.

3. Conducting supplemental, just-in-time research and/or national leadership activities based on emerging needs of state education leaders and the broader field.