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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
July 31, 2023

Dear Prospective Applicants:

2023 Request for Applications for the Family Empowerment Centers on Disability Grant

The California Department of Education (CDE), Special Education Division is pleased to announce the availability of the Request for Applications (RFA) for the Family Empowerment Centers on Disability (FECs) Grant pursuant to Education Code (EC) Section 56402(b)(1) to establish new FECs in the regions of the state established under the Early Start Family Resource Centers that do not possess an FEC. The establishment of FECs in every region of the state is critical as California continues to work toward improving educational outcomes for students with disabilities.

Parents and families need information, support, and training to ensure that their children and young adults with disabilities experience positive and successful learning experiences to reach their fullest potential and meaningfully participate at school and in their community. Senate Bill 511, Chapter 4.3 (EC section 56400–56414) was enacted in 2001 to award grants to establish FECs in all 41 regions of California. There are currently 40 FECs in operation that offer parents and guardians of children and young adults with disabilities community-based information and referral services, access to accurate information, specialized training, and peer-to-peer support.

In providing grant awards pursuant to EC 56402(b)(2), the Superintendent shall give priority to applicants that are able to ensure continuity of support for families transitioning from services under Part C to Part B of the federal IDEA (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.), either because the applicant operates a program of family support for parents of children with disabilities up to three years of age, or the applicant works in close partnership with an organization that does so, and shall take into consideration the capacity of applicants to carry out the activities specified in EC Section 56408. The CDE shall also consider applicants proposing to establish new FECs that serve regions with high concentrations of pupils who qualify for free or reduced-price meals, as indicated in EC Section 56406(c).

The 2023 Budget Act appropriated $13.8 million to fund the current 40 FECs, and to establish a new FEC in the remaining region of the state that does not possess one. Of this appropriation, $252,138 is set aside to establish a new FEC in the region of Lake County, which is the remaining region of the state that does not possess a center.

Interested applicants should note the FEC RFA Timeline of Activities in Section XI of the RFA.

If you have any questions regarding the RFA, please contact the Programs and Partnerships Unit by email at PPL@cde.ca.gov with “2023 FEC Grant RFA” as the subject line.

Sincerely,

Shiyloh Becerril, Director
Special Education Division
SB:nh

Last Reviewed: Monday, July 31, 2023
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