The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that it will spend $20 million to buy academy bicycles in Detroit to be used by children in special education programs, to help improve accessibility for people with disabilities and to increase physical activity.
The bicycles will be used for the next four years, and will be sold to schools and other community groups.
The department said the bicycles are designed for students with special needs, and the schools will be responsible for making sure the bikes are maintained and that the equipment meets all safety requirements.
The Department of Justice is also supporting the purchase, which it hopes will help the agency better educate schools about the needs of students with disabilities.
The purchase of the academy bicycles comes as the department has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars on special education equipment, including a new wheel and a new trainer.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has proposed expanding access to those programs, which provide support to students with developmental disabilities.
But in its new policy announcement, the department noted that the new bike will help students with disability stay in school longer.
“We are committed to ensuring the future of our children and families with disabilities,” DeVos said in a statement.
“The department’s new academy bike program is the result of years of collaboration with the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of Special Education Administrators, and other special education stakeholders.”
The department’s announcement comes as other states are spending billions on special needs programs, and a study released last year found that more than one in 10 children in the U.K. are living in homes with people with learning disabilities.