Discretionary Grants

Discretionary grants are grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education through a competitive process.

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) conducts application reviews through a formal peer review process using a standing panel. The reviewers who serve on the standing panel score applications based on the legislative and regulatory requirements as well as by the published selection criteria established for the grant programs and projects.

A complete and searchable description of currently-funded discretionary programs and projects authorized by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) can be found at OSEP IDEAs That Work.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of Education Discretionary Grants.

Discretionary Grant Opportunities

OSEP provides discretionary grants to state educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and other nonprofit organizations to support technical assistance and dissemination, technology and media services, state personnel development grants, personnel preparation, state data collections, and parent-training and information centers.

Grant Program Purpose Overview Resources*
Technical Assistance and Dissemination Improve services provided under the IDEA, including the practices of professionals and others involved in providing services that promote academic achievement and improve results for children with disabilities Overview Resources
Educational Technology, Media, and Materials For Individuals with Disabilities Support accessible technology and educational media and material Overview Resources
Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities Help states meet state-identified needs for adequate numbers of fully-certified personnel to serve children with disabilities by supporting competitive awards Overview Resources
State Personnel Development Grants Help state educational agencies reform and improve their systems for personnel preparation and professional development of individuals providing early intervention, educational, and transition services to improve results for children with disabilities Overview Resources
Technical Assistance on State Data Collection Improve the capacity of states to meet the IDEA data collection and reporting requirements Overview Resources
Parent Training and Information Centers Ensure parents of children with disabilities and youth have access to resources, information, and training Overview Resources
  *Resources listed in this table are resources specific to grantees.

Applying for Grants at the Department of Education

The Department’s Budget News Page provides the latest information about Congressional activities on the Department’s appropriations.

The Department hosts a series of online resources for Department of Education grant applicants:

Special Education Research Programs

The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) is responsible for special education research and is located within the Department’s Institute for Education Sciences. Information on current NCSER grant competitions can be found at the NCSER’s website.

Individual Funding

OSEP does not provide grants to individual families or educators. Please visit the Department’s Grant Site for more information about student loans or grant opportunities.