The State Board of Education has approved a $209,000 contract with Kansas University.
The university will provide the state's special education teachers the latest on how to best teach their students to read.
"The special ed teacher will then have the benefit of what the latest research is for teaching reading to special education kids," said education board member Bill Wagnon, a Topeka Democrat whose district includes Lawrence.
He said it made sense for the board to contract the program out to experts rather than try to administer it through the Department of Education.
The contract allows the program to be extended to special education students after earlier successes with other students.
"It's been highly successful for kindergarten, first- and second-graders. Because it's been so successful, we now hope to extend it to our special education students," Deputy Education Commissioner Alexa Posny said. "These strategies are scientifically based because research that has been done clearly shows the success of the program," Posny said.
The board agreed unanimously to authorize the $209,909 contract with the university's Research Center. The money comes from a Reading First grant, funded through federal No Child Left Behind legislation. Included in the proposal was a similar contract with Emporia State University for about $205,000.