Federal Register: August 4, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 149)]
[Notices]               
[Page 41997-42004]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr04au97-101]


[[Page 41997]]

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Part II


Department of Education

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Individuals With Disabilities Education Act; Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year 1998; Notice


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act; Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year 1998

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year 
1998.

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SUMMARY: On June 4, 1997, the President signed into law Pub. L. 105-17, 
the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments, amending 
the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
    This notice provides closing dates and other information regarding 
the transmittal of applications for fiscal year 1998 competitions under 
four programs authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act (the Act, as amended by the 1997 amendments). The priorities under 
these programs are based on the statutory provisions in the Act or on 
previously published priorities, as indicated in each priority. Only 
changes authorized by the 1997 Amendments to IDEA were made to 
priorities previously published. For example, the Act no longer refers 
to ``youth with disabilities''. ``Youth with disabilities'' is no 
longer distinguished from ``children with disabilities'' under the Act; 
therefore, all references to ``youth with disabilities'' have been 
deleted from the priorities. Also, the types of entities eligible to 
apply for grants under these programs have been changed where necessary 
to reflect changes in the Act.
    This notice supports the National Education Goals by improving 
understanding of how to enable children with disabilities to reach 
higher levels of academic achievement.
    Note: The Department of Education is not bound by any estimates 
in this notice.

Research and Innovation To Improve Services and Results for Children 
With Disabilities (CFDA No. 84.023)

    Purpose of Program: To produce, and advance the use of, knowledge 
to (1) improve services provided under the Act, including the practices 
of professionals and others involved in providing those services to 
children with disabilities; and (2) improve educational and early 
intervention results for infants, toddlers, and children with 
disabilities.
    Eligible Applicants: State and local educational agencies; 
institutions of higher education; other public agencies; private 
nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; and 
Indian tribes or tribal organizations.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 76, 77, 80, 
81, 82, 85, and 86; and (b) The selection criteria included in 
regulations in 34 CFR 324.31.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of 
higher education only.

    Priorities: Under sections 661(e)(2) and 672 of the Act and 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), the Secretary gives an absolute preference to 
applications that meet the following priorities. The Secretary funds 
under these competitions only those applications that meet these 
absolute priorities:
    Absolute Priority 1--Field-Initiated Research Projects (84.023C). 
This statutory priority provides support for a wide range of field-
initiated research projects that support innovation, development, 
exchange, and use of advancements in knowledge and practice designed to 
contribute to the improvement of early intervention, instruction and 
learning of infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities as 
described in section 672 of the Act.
    Applicants and resulting projects must involve individuals with 
disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project. (See section 661(f)(1)(A) of 
the Act).
    A project must budget for a trip to Washington, DC. for the annual 
two-day Research Project Directors' meeting.

Invitational Priorities

    Within Absolute Priority 1 the Secretary is particularly interested 
in applications that meet one or more of the following invitational 
priorities. However, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) an application that 
meets one or more of these invitational priorities does not receive 
competitive or absolute preference over other applications:
    (1) Projects to address the specific problems of over-
identification and under-identification of children with disabilities. 
(See section 672(a)(3) of the Act).
    (2) Projects to develop and implement effective strategies for 
addressing inappropriate behavior of students with disabilities in 
schools, including strategies to prevent children with emotional and 
behavioral problems from developing emotional disturbances that require 
the provision of special education and related services. (See section 
672(a)(4) of the Act).
    (3) Projects studying and promoting improved alignment and 
compatibility of general and special education reforms concerned with 
curricular and instructional reform, evaluation and accountability of 
those reforms, and administrative procedures. (See section 672(b)(2)(D) 
of the Act).
    (4) Projects that advance knowledge about the coordination of 
education with health and social services. (See section 672(b)(2)(G) of 
the Act).
    Project Period: The majority of projects will be funded for up to 
36 months. Only in exceptional circumstances--such as research 
questions that require repeated measurement within a longitudinal 
design--will projects be funded for more than 36 months, up to a 
maximum of 60 months.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary rejects and does not consider an 
application that proposes a budget exceeding $180,000 for any single 
budget period of 12 months. However, because of budgetary 
considerations contingent upon congressional action, the Secretary may 
change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.
    Page Limits: The applicant must limit the Part III of its 
application--Application Narrative, to no more than 50 double-spaced 8 
\1/2\  x  11'' pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, 
bottom, and sides). Please refer to the ``Page Limit Requirements for 
All Applications'' section of this notice for more specific information 
on this page limit requirement.
    Absolute Priority 2--Student-Initiated Research Projects (84.023B). 
This absolute priority was published in the Federal Register on 
November 21, 1994 (59 FR 60054).
    This priority provides support for short-term (up to 12 months) 
postsecondary student-initiated research projects focusing on special 
education and related services for children with disabilities and early 
intervention services for infants and toddlers, consistent with the 
purposes of the program, as described in section 672 of the Act.
    Projects must--
    (1) Develop research skills in postsecondary students; and
    (2) Include a principal investigator who serves as a mentor to the 
student researcher while the project is carried out by the student.
    A project must budget for a trip to Washington, DC for the annual 
two-day Research Project Directors' meeting.
    Applicants and resulting projects must involve individuals with 
disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project. (See section 661(f)(1)(A) of 
the Act).

[[Page 41999]]

    Project Period: Up to 12 months.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary rejects and does not consider an 
application that proposes a budget exceeding $20,000 for the entire 
project period. However, because of budgetary considerations contingent 
upon congressional action, the Secretary may change the maximum amount 
through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    Page Limits: The applicant must limit Part III of its application--
Application Narrative, to no more than 25 double-spaced 8\1/2\  x  11'' 
pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, bottom, and 
sides). Please refer to the ``Page Limit Requirements for All 
Applications'' section of this notice for more specific information on 
this page limit requirement.
    Absolute Priority 3--Initial Career Awards (84.023N). This absolute 
priority was published in the Federal Register on March 5, 1996 (61 FR 
8810).
    Background: There is a need to enable individuals in the initial 
phases of their careers to initiate and develop promising lines of 
research that would improve early intervention services for infants and 
toddlers, and special education and related services for children with 
disabilities. Support for research activities among individuals in the 
initial phases of their careers is intended to develop the capacity of 
the special education research community. This priority would address 
the additional need to provide support for a broad range of field-
initiated research projects--focusing on the special education and 
related services for children with disabilities and early intervention 
for infants and toddlers--consistent with the purpose of the program as 
described in section 672 of the Act.
    Priority: The Secretary establishes an absolute priority for the 
purpose of awarding grants to eligible applicants for the support of 
individuals in the initial phases of their careers to initiate and 
develop promising lines of research consistent with the purposes of the 
program. For purposes of this priority, the initial phase of an 
individuals career is considered to be the first three years after 
completing a doctoral program and graduating (e.g., for fiscal year 
1998 awards, projects may support individuals who completed a doctoral 
program and graduated no earlier than the 1994-95 academic year).
    Projects must--
    (a) Pursue a line of inquiry that reflects a programmatic strand of 
research emanating either from theory or a conceptual framework. The 
line of research must be evidenced by a series of related questions 
that establish directions for designing future studies extending beyond 
the support of this award. The project is not intended to represent all 
inquiry related to the particular theory or conceptual framework; 
rather, it is expected to initiate a new line or advance an existing 
one;
    (b) In addition to involving individuals with disabilities or 
parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, implementing, and 
evaluating the project, as required by the Act, include, in its design 
and conduct, sustained involvement with nationally recognized experts 
having substantive or methodological knowledge and expertise relevant 
to the proposed research. Experts do not have to be at the same 
institution or agency at which the project is located, but the 
interaction must be sufficient to develop the capacity of the 
researcher to pursue effectively the research into mid-career 
activities. At least 50 percent of the researcher's time must be 
devoted to the project;
    (c) Prepare its procedures, findings, and conclusions in a manner 
that informs other interested researchers and is useful for advancing 
professional practice or improving programs and services to infants, 
toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families; and
    (d) Disseminate project procedures, findings, and conclusions to 
appropriate research institutes and technical assistance providers.
    A project's budget must include funds to attend the two-day 
Research Project Directors' meeting to be held in Washington, DC each 
year of the project.
    Applicants and resulting projects must involve individuals with 
disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project. (See section 661(f)(1)(A) of 
the Act).
    Project Period: Up to 36 months.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary rejects and does not consider an 
application that proposes a budget exceeding $75,000 for any single 
budget period of 12 months. However, because of budgetary 
considerations contingent upon congressional action, the Secretary may 
change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.
    Page Limits: The applicant must limit Part III of its application--
Application Narrative, to no more than 30 double-spaced 8\1/2\ x  11'' 
pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, bottom, and 
sides). Please refer to the ``Page Limit Requirements for All 
Applications'' section of this notice for more specific information on 
this page limit requirement.
    Program Authority: Section 672 of the Act.

Personnel Preparation To Improve Services and Results for Children With 
Disabilities (CFDA No. 84.029)

    Purpose Of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) help 
address State-identified needs for qualified personnel in special 
education, related services, early intervention, and regular education, 
to work with children with disabilities; and (2) to ensure that those 
personnel have the skills and knowledge, derived from practices that 
have been determined, through research and experience, to be 
successful, that are needed to serve those children.
    Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education and private 
nonprofit organizations.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 85, and 86; (b) The selection criteria included in regulations 
in 34 CFR 318.22; and (c) 34 CFR 318.31-33.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of 
higher education only.

    Priorities: Under section 661(e)(2) and 673 of the Act and 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), the Secretary gives an absolute preference to 
applications that meet the following priorities. The Secretary funds 
under these competitions only those applications that meet these 
absolute priorities:
    Absolute Priority 1--Preparation of Special Education, Related 
Services, and Early Intervention Personnel to Serve Infants, Toddlers, 
and Children with Low-Incidence Disabilities (84.029A). This absolute 
priority was published in the Federal Register on May 9, 1996 (61 FR 
21230).
    Background: The national demand for educational, related services, 
and early intervention personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and 
children with low-incidence disabilities exceeds available supply. 
However, because of the small number of these personnel needed in each 
State, institutions of higher education and individual States are 
reluctant to support the needed professional development programs. Of 
the programs that are available, not all are producing graduates with 
the prerequisite skills needed to meet the needs of the low-incidence 
disability population. Federal support is required to ensure an 
adequate supply of personnel to serve children with low-

[[Page 42000]]

 incidence disabilities and to improve the quality of appropriate 
training programs so that graduates possess necessary prerequisite 
skills.
    Priority: The Secretary establishes an absolute priority to support 
projects that increase the number and quality of personnel to serve 
children with low-incidence disabilities. This priority supports 
projects that provide preservice preparation of special educators, 
early intervention personnel, and related services personnel at the 
associate, baccalaureate, master's, or specialist level.
    The term ``low-incidence disability'' means a visual or hearing 
impairment, or simultaneous visual and hearing impairments, a 
significant cognitive impairment, or any impairment for which a small 
number of personnel with highly specialized skills and knowledge are 
needed in order for children with that impairment to receive early 
intervention services or a free appropriate public education.
    Applicants may propose to prepare one or more of the following 
types of personnel:
    (1) Special educators including early childhood, speech and 
language, adapted physical education, and assistive technology 
personnel;
    (2) Related services personnel who provide developmental, 
corrective, and other supportive services that assist children with 
low-incidence disabilities to benefit from special education. Both 
comprehensive programs and specialty components within a broader 
discipline that prepares personnel for work with the low-incidence 
population may be supported; or,
    (3) Early intervention personnel who serve children birth through 
age 2 with low-incidence disabilities and their families. Early 
intervention personnel include persons prepared to provide training 
for, or be consultants to, service providers and case managers.
    The Secretary particularly encourages projects that address the 
needs of more than one State, provide multi-disciplinary training, and 
include collaboration among several institutions and between training 
institutions and public schools. In addition, projects that foster 
successful coordination between special education and regular education 
professional development programs to meet the needs of children with 
low-incidence disabilities in inclusive settings are encouraged.
    Applicants and resulting projects must involve individuals with 
disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project. (See section 661(f)(1)(A) of 
the Act).
    To be considered for an award an applicant must satisfy the 
following requirements contained in section 673(f)-(h) of the Act--
    (a) Demonstrate, with letters from one or more States that the 
project proposes to serve, that States need personnel in the area or 
areas in which the applicant proposes to provide preparation, as 
identified in the State's comprehensive system of personnel development 
(CSPD) under Parts B and C of the Act;
    (b) Demonstrate that it has engaged in a cooperative effort with 
one or more State educational agencies to plan, carry out, and monitor 
the project;
    (c) Provide letters from one or more States stating that they 
intend to accept successful completion of the proposed personnel 
preparation program as meeting State personnel standards for serving 
children with disabilities or serving infants and toddlers with 
disabilities;
    (d) Meet State and professionally-recognized standards for the 
preparation of special education and related services personnel (See 
section 673(g)(2) of the Act); and
    (e) Ensure that individuals who receive a scholarship under the 
proposed project will subsequently provide special education and 
related services to children with disabilities for a period of two 
years for every year for which assistance was received or repay all or 
part of the cost of that assistance, in accordance with regulations to 
be issued by the Secretary.
    The application requirement described in paragraph (e) is required 
by section 673(h)(1) of the Act (20 U.S.C. 1474(h)(1)). Because this 
provision was added to the Act during the recent reauthorization, the 
Secretary has not had the opportunity to promulgate regulations, but 
expects to do so before grant awards are made. In order for an 
applicant to provide the assurances required by statute, the applicant 
must, at a minimum, describe:
    (1) How it will notify trainees of the work or repay requirement; 
and (2) How it will notify trainees when the regulations are finalized. 
The Secretary encourages applicants to award stipends and scholarships 
that last at least for one-year. By having at least one-year stipends 
and scholarships, it would be less likely that any trainee would enter 
work or repay status before the regulations are in effect.
    Each project funded under this absolute priority must--
    (a) Prepare personnel to address the specialized needs of children 
with low-incidence disabilities from different cultural and language 
backgrounds;
    (b) Incorporate best practices in the design of the program and the 
curricula;
    (c) Incorporate curricula that focus on improving results for 
children with low-incidence disabilities;
    (d) Promote high expectations for students with low-incidence 
disabilities and foster access to the general curriculum in the regular 
classroom, wherever appropriate; and
    (e) Develop linkages with Education Department technical assistance 
providers to communicate information on program models used and program 
effectiveness;
    (f) If the project prepares personnel to provide services to 
visually impaired or blind children that can be appropriately provided 
in Braille, prepare those individuals to provide those services in 
Braille (See section 673(b)(5) of the Act);
    Under this absolute priority, the Secretary plans to award 
approximately:
    * 55 percent of the available funds for projects that
support careers in special education, including early childhood 
educators;
    * 30 percent of the available funds for projects that
support careers in related services; and
    * 15 percent of the available funds for projects that
support careers in early intervention.
    A project's budget must include funds to attend a two-day Project 
Director's meeting to be held in Washington, D.C. each year of the 
project.

Competitive Priority

    Within this absolute priority, the Secretary under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii), and section 673(g)(3)(B) of the Act will select an 
application from an institution of higher education that is 
successfully recruiting and preparing individuals with disabilities and 
individuals from groups that are underrepresented in the profession for 
which they are preparing individuals over an application of comparable 
merit that does not meet the priority.
    Project Period: Up to 36 months.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary rejects and does not consider an 
application that proposes a budget exceeding $300,000 for any single 
budget period of 12 months. However, because of budgetary 
considerations contingent upon congressional action, the Secretary may 
change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.
    Page Limits: The applicant must limit Part III of its application--
Application Narrative, to no more than 40 double-spaced 8\1/2\  x  11'' 
pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top,

[[Page 42001]]

bottom, and sides). Please refer to the ``Page Limit Requirements for 
All Applications'' section of this notice for more specific information 
on this page limit requirement.
    Absolute Priority 2--Preparation of Leadership Personnel (84.029D).
    This statutory priority supports projects that support leadership 
activities such as: (a) Preparing personnel at the advanced graduate, 
doctoral, and postdoctoral levels of training to administer, enhance, 
or provide services for children with disabilities; or (b) providing 
interdisciplinary training for various types of leadership personnel, 
including teacher preparation faculty, administrators, researchers, 
supervisors, principals, and other persons whose work affects early 
intervention, educational, and transitional services for children with 
disabilities.
    To be considered for an award, an applicant must satisfy the 
following requirements contained in section 673 (f)-(h) of the Act--
    (a) Demonstrate, with letters from one or more States that the 
project proposes to serve, that States need personnel in the area or 
areas in which the applicant proposes to provide preparation, as 
identified in the State's comprehensive system of personnel development 
under Parts B and C of the Act, if the purpose of the project is to 
assist personnel in obtaining a degree;
    (b) Demonstrate that it has engaged in a cooperative effort with 
one or more State educational agencies to plan, carry out, and monitor 
the project;
    (c) Meet State and professionally-recognized standards for the 
preparation of special education and related services personnel, if the 
purpose of the project is to assist personnel in obtaining a degree; 
and
    (d) Ensure that individuals who receive a scholarship under the 
proposed project will subsequently perform work related to their 
preparation for a period of two years for every year for which 
assistance was received or repay all or part of the cost of that 
assistance, in accordance with regulations to be issued by the 
Secretary.
    The application requirement described in paragraph (d) is required 
by section 673(h)(2) of the Act (20 U.S.C. 1474(h)(2)). Because this 
provision was added to the Act during the recent reauthorization, the 
Secretary has not had the opportunity to promulgate regulations, but 
expects to do so before grant awards are made. In order for an 
applicant to provide the assurances required by statute, the applicant 
must, at a minimum, describe: (1) How it will notify trainees of the 
work or repay requirement; and (2) How it will notify trainees when the 
regulations are finalized. The Secretary encourages applicants to award 
stipends and scholarships that last at least for one-year. By having at 
least one year stipends and scholarships, it would be less likely that 
any trainee would enter work or repay status before the regulations are 
in effect.
    Applicants and resulting projects must involve individuals with 
disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project. (See section 661(f)(1)(A) of 
the Act).
    A project's budget must include funds to attend a two-day Project 
Director's meeting to be held in Washington, DC each year of the 
project.

Invitational Priorities

    Within Absolute Priority 2 the Secretary is particularly interested 
in applications that meet one or more of the following invitational 
priorities. However, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) an application that 
meets one or more of these invitational priorities does not receive 
competitive or absolute preference over other applications:
    (a) Projects designed to foster successful coordination between 
special education and regular education teachers, administrators, 
related services personnel, infant intervention specialists, and 
parents.
    (b) Projects that coordinate their professional development 
programs for regular and special education personnel.
    (c) Projects that include recruitment of leadership personnel from 
groups that are underrepresented, including individuals with 
disabilities, in educational leadership positions.
    Project Period: Up to 48 months.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary rejects and does not consider an 
application that proposes a budget exceeding $225,000 for any single 
budget period of 12 months. However, because of budgetary 
considerations contingent upon congressional action, the Secretary may 
change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.
    Page Limits: The applicant must limit Part III of its application--
Application Narrative, to no more than 40 double-spaced 8\1/2\ x 11'' 
pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, bottom, and 
sides). Please refer to the ``Page Limit Requirements for All 
Applications'' section of this notice for more specific information on 
this page limit requirement.
    Absolute Priority 3-- Preparation of Personnel in Minority 
Institutions (84.029E).
    This statutory priority supports awards to institutions of higher 
education whose minority student enrollment is at least 25 percent, 
including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, for the 
purposes of preparing personnel to work with children with 
disabilities. Awards must be made consistent with the objectives in 
section 673(a) of the Act.
    To be considered for an award, an applicant must satisfy the 
following requirements contained in section 673 (f)-(h) of the Act--
    (a) Demonstrate, with letters from one or more States that the 
project proposes to serve, that States need personnel in the area or 
areas in which the applicant proposes to provide preparation, as 
identified in the State's comprehensive system of personnel development 
under Parts B and C of the Act.
    (b) Demonstrate that it has engaged in a cooperative effort with 
one or more State educational agencies to plan, carry out, and monitor 
the project;
    (c) Provide letters from one or more States stating that they 
intend to accept successful completion of the proposed personnel 
preparation program as meeting State personnel standards for serving 
children with disabilities or serving infants and toddlers with 
disabilities;
    (d) Meet State and professionally-recognized standards for the 
preparation of special education and related services personnel; and
    (e) Ensure that individuals who receive a scholarship under the 
proposed project will subsequently provide special education and 
related services to children with disabilities for a period of two 
years for every year for which assistance was received or repay all or 
part of the cost of that assistance, in accordance with regulations to 
be issued by the Secretary.
    The application requirement described in paragraph (e) is required 
by section 673(h)(1) of the Act (20 U.S.C. 1474(h)(1)). Because this 
provision was added to the Act during the recent reauthorization, the 
Secretary has not had the opportunity to promulgate regulations, but 
expects to do so before grant awards are made. In order for an 
applicant to provide the assurances required by statute, the applicant 
must, at a minimum, describe: (1) How it will notify trainees of the 
work or repay requirement; and (2) How it will notify trainees when the 
regulations are finalized. The Secretary encourages applicants to award 
stipends and scholarships that last at least for one-

[[Page 42002]]

 year. By having at least one-year stipends and scholarships, it would 
be less likely that any trainee would enter work or repay status before 
the regulations are in effect.
    Applicants and resulting projects must involve individuals with 
disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project. See section 661(f)(1)(A) of 
the Act).
    A project's budget must include funds to attend a two-day Project 
Directors' meeting to be held in Washington, DC each year of the 
project.
    Project Period: Up to 48 months.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary rejects and does not consider an 
application that proposes a budget exceeding $200,000 for any single 
budget period of 12 months. However, because of budgetary 
considerations contingent upon congressional action, the Secretary may 
change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.
    Page Limits: The applicant must limit Part III of its application--
Application Narrative, to no more than 40 double-spaced 8\1/2\  x  11'' 
pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, bottom, and 
sides). Please refer to the ``Page Limit Requirements for All 
Applications'' section of this notice for more specific information on 
this page limit requirement.
    Program Authority: Section 673 of the Act.

Training and Information for Parents of Children With Disabilities 
(CFDA No. 84.029)

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this statutory priority is to 
ensure that children with disabilities, and their parents, receive 
training and information on their rights and protections under this 
Act, in order to develop the skills necessary to effectively 
participate in planning and decisionmaking relating to early 
intervention, educational, and transitional services and in systemic-
change activities.
    Eligible Applicants: Parent organizations, as defined in section 
682(g) of the Act.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, and 85; and (b) the selection criteria included in 34 CFR 
316.22.
    Supplementary Information: Under sections 682 (e)(1) and (e)(2), 
the Secretary is required to: (1) Make at least one award to a parent 
organization in each State, unless the Secretary does not receive an 
application from such an organization in each State of sufficient 
quality to warrant approval; and (2) select among applications 
submitted by parent organizations in a State in a manner that ensures 
the most effective assistance to parents, including parents in urban 
and rural areas, in the State. If there is more than one parent center 
in a particular State, the Secretary expects that the parent center 
projects will coordinate activities to ensure the most effective 
assistance to parents in that State.
    Priority: Under sections 661(e)(2) and 682 of the Act, and 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), the Secretary gives an absolute preference to 
applications that meet the following priority. The Secretary funds 
under these competitions only those applications that meet this 
absolute priority:
    Absolute Priority--Parent Training and Information Centers 
(84.029M).
    Each parent training and information center funded under this 
absolute priority must satisfy the following requirements contained in 
Section 682(b)and (c) of the Act--
    (1) Provide training and information that meets the training and 
information needs of parents of children with disabilities in the area 
served by the center, particularly underserved parents and parents of 
children who may be inappropriately identified;
    (2) Assist parents to understand the availability of, and how to 
effectively use procedural safeguards under the Act, including 
encouraging the use, and explaining the benefits, of alternative 
methods of dispute resolution, such as the mediation process described 
in the Act;
    (3) Serve the parents of infants, toddlers, and children with the 
full range of disabilities;
    (4) Assist parents to----
    (A) Better understand the nature of their children's disabilities 
and their educational and developmental needs;
    (B) Communicate effectively with personnel responsible for 
providing special education, early intervention, and related services;
    (C) Participate in decision making processes and the development of 
individualized education programs and individualized family service 
plans;
    (D) Obtain appropriate information about the range of options, 
programs, services, and resources available to assist children with 
disabilities and their families;
    (E) Understand the provisions of the Act for the education of, and 
the provision of early intervention services to, children with 
disabilities; and
    (F) Participate in school reform activities.
    (5) In States where the State elects to contract with the parent 
training and information center, contract with the State education 
agencies to provide, consistent with sections 615(e)(2)(B) and (D) of 
the Act, individuals who meet with parents to explain the mediation 
process to them;
    (6) Network with appropriate clearinghouses, including 
organizations conducting national dissemination activities under 
section 685(d) of the Act, and with other national, State, and local 
organizations and agencies, such as protection and advocacy agencies, 
that serve parents and families of children with the full range of 
disabilities;
    (7) Upon request from a Community Parent Resource Center, establish 
a cooperative partnership in accordance with section 683(b)(3) of the 
Act; and
    (8) Annually report to the Secretary on----
    (A) The number of parents to whom it provided information and 
training in the most recently concluded fiscal year, and
    (B) The effectiveness of strategies used to reach and serve 
parents, including underserved parents of children with disabilities.
    A parent training and information center that receives assistance 
under this absolute priority may also conduct the following 
activities----
    (1) Provide information to teachers and other professionals who 
provide special education and related services to children with 
disabilities;
    (2) Assist students with disabilities to understand their rights 
and responsibilities on reaching the age of majority, as included under 
section 615(m) of the Act; and
    (3) Assist parents of children with disabilities to be informed 
participants in the development and implementation of the State's State 
improvement plan under the Act.
    An applicant must identify special efforts it will undertake----
    (A) To ensure that the needs for training and information of 
underserved parents of children with disabilities in the area to be 
served are effectively met; and
    (B) To work with community-based organizations.
    Applicants and resulting projects must involve individuals with 
disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the projects. (See section 661(f)(1)(A) of 
the Act).

[[Page 42003]]

    A project's budget must include funds to attend a two-day Project 
Directors' meeting to be held in Washington, DC each year of the 
project.

Competitive Priority:

    Within this absolute priority, the Secretary, under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(i), gives preference to applications that meet the 
following competitive priority:
    Providing parent training and information in one or more 
Empowerment Zones or Enterprise Communities. The Secretary awards 5 
points to an application that meets the competitive priority relating 
to Empowerment Zones or Enterprise Communities published in the Federal 
Register on November 7, 1994 (59 FR 55544). These points are in 
addition to any points the application earns under the selection 
criteria for the program.
    A list of areas that have been selected as Empowerment Zones or 
Enterprise Communities is included in an appendix to a notice published 
in the Federal Register on December 6, 1995 (60 FR 62699).
    Project Period: Up to 60 months.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary rejects and does not consider an 
application that proposes a budget exceeding $400,000 for any single 
budget period of 12 months. The Secretary rejects and does not consider 
an application that proposes a budget exceeding this maximum amount. 
However, because of budgetary considerations contingent upon 
congressional action, the Secretary may change the maximum amount 
through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    Page Limits: The applicant must limit Part III of its application--
Application Narrative, to no more than 40 double-spaced 8\1/2\  x  11'' 
pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, bottom, and 
sides). Please refer to the ``Page Limit Requirements for All 
Applications'' section of this notice for more specific information on 
this page limit requirement.
    Program Authority: Section 682 of the Act.

Technology And Media Services For Individuals With Disabilities [CFDA 
No. 84.026]

    Purpose Of Program: The purpose of this program is to promote the 
development, demonstration, and utilization of technology and to 
support educational media activities designed to be of educational 
value to children with disabilities. This program supports providing 
free educational materials, including textbooks, in accessible media 
for visually impaired and print disabled students in elementary, 
secondary, postsecondary, and graduate schools.
    Eligible Applicants: State and local educational agencies; 
institutions of higher education; other public agencies; private 
nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; 
Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 
80, 81, 82, 85, and 86; and (b) The selection criteria included in 
regulations for these programs in 34 CFR 332.32.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of 
higher education only.

    Priority: Under sections 661(e)(2) and 687 and 34 CFR 75.105 
(c)(3), the Secretary gives an absolute preference to applications that 
meet the following priority. The Secretary funds under this competition 
only those applications that meet this absolute priority:
    Absolute Priority--Recorded Audio Cassettes for Visually and Print 
Disabled Students (84.026K). This absolute priority was published in 
the Federal Register on November 7, 1994 (59 FR 55544).
    Background: This priority would support recording, producing, 
duplicating, and distributing 15/16 ips (inch per second) four-track 
cassette versions of textbooks and other educational reading materials 
for students (elementary, secondary, postsecondary and graduate) who 
are visually or print disabled. These cassette tapes will help provide 
equal educational opportunities to target students and lessen some of 
the barriers they face in the classroom.
    Priority:
    To be considered for funding under this priority, the project 
must--
    (1) Handle all requests for materials, including confirmation of 
eligibility by disability;
    (2) Ensure the project activities are conducted in compliance with 
section 121 of the Copyright Act, as amended.
    (3) Record or duplicate the books on 15/16 ips (inch per second), 
four-track cassettes of one hour per track recording time. (Publishers 
must be provided rights to copies of the master tape and rights to 
market the cassettes as they see fit);
    (4) Mail the cassettes on a free-loan, postage paid basis;
    (5) Handle returned cassettes, preservative re-recording, and all 
other associated administrative and circulation functions; and
    (6) To the extent that funds are not sufficient to meet the demand 
for free materials, place a priority on providing free materials that 
are not otherwise required to be provided by educational agencies or 
institutions.
    Applicants and resulting projects must involve individuals with 
disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project. (See section 661(f)(1)(A) of 
the Act).
    A project's budget must include funds to attend a two-day Project 
Directors' meeting to be held in Washington, DC each year of the 
project.
    Project Period: Up to 36 months.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary rejects and does not consider an 
application that proposes a budget exceeding $4,500,000 for any single 
budget period of 12 months. The Secretary rejects and does not consider 
an application that proposes a budget exceeding this maximum amount. 
However, because of budgetary considerations contingent upon 
congressional action, the Secretary may change the maximum amount 
through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    Page Limits: The applicant must limit Part III of its application--
Application Narrative, to no more than 40 double-spaced 8\1/2\  x  11'' 
pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, bottom, and 
sides). Please refer to the ``Page Limit Requirements for All 
Applications'' section of this notice for more specific information on 
this page limit requirement.
    Program Authority: Section 687 of the Act.
    Page Limit Requirements For All Applications: Part III of the 
application, the Application Narrative, requires applicants to address 
the selection criteria that will be used by reviewers in evaluating 
individual proposals. Applicants must limit the Part III--Application 
Narrative, to the specific page limit requirement listed under each 
priority. The Application Narrative must be double-spaced 8\1/2\  x  
11'' pages (on one side only) with one inch margins (top, bottom, and 
sides). This page limitation applies to all material presented in the 
application narrative--including, for example, any charts, tables, 
figures, and graphs. The application narrative page limit does not 
apply to: Part I--the cover sheet; Part II--the budget section 
(including the narrative budget justification); and Part IV--the 
assurances and certifications. Also, the one-page abstract, resumes, 
bibliography, or letters of support, while considered part of the 
application, are not subject to the page limitation. Applicants should 
note that reviewers

[[Page 42004]]

are not required to review any information provided in addition to the 
application information listed above. All sections of text in the 
application narrative must be double-spaced (no more than 3 lines per 
vertical inch). If using a proportional computer font, use no smaller 
than a 12-point font, and an average character density no greater than 
14 characters per inch. If using a nonproportional font or a 
typewriter, do not use more than 12 characters to the inch. Double-
spacing and font requirements do not apply within charts, tables, 
figures, and graphs, but the information presented in those formats 
should be easily readable. The Secretary rejects and does not consider 
an application that does not adhere to these requirements.
    For Applications and General Information Contact: Requests for 
applications and general information should be addressed to the Grants 
and Contracts Services Team, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, room 3317, 
Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2641. The preferred method for 
requesting information is to FAX your request to: (202) 205-8717. 
Telephone: (202) 260-9182.

Ingergovernmental Review

    Except for the Research and Innovation to Improve Services and 
Results for Children with Disabilities, all other programs in this 
notice are subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79. The objective of the Executive order is 
to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened 
federalism by relying on processes developed by State and local 
governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial 
assistance.
    In accordance with the order, this document is intended to provide 
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for 
those program.

               Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Application Notice for Fiscal Year 1998              
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Application     Deadline for      Maximum              Estimated
        CFDA No. and name         Applications    deadline   intergovernmental  award  (per    Page    number of
                                    available       date           review         year)\1\   limit\2\    awards 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
84.023C  Field-Initiated                                                                                        
 Research Projects..............      08/08/97     10/01/97  .................     $180,000        50        14 
84.023B  Student-Initiated                                                                                      
 Research Projects..............       8/08/97      2/06/98  .................       20,000        25        12 
84.023N  Initial Career Awards..       8/08/97     10/01/97  .................       75,000        30         4 
84.029A  Preparation of Special                                                                                 
 Education, Related Services,                                                                                   
 and Early Intervention                                                                                         
 Personnel to Serve Infants,                                                                                    
 Toddlers, and Children with Low-                                                                               
 Incidence Disabilities.........       8/08/97     10/01/97        12/01/97         300,000        40        16 
84.029D  Preparation of                                                                                         
 Leadership Personnel...........       8/08/97      9/26/97        11/25/97         225,000        40         6 
84.029E  Preparation of                                                                                         
 Personnel in Minority                                                                                          
 Institutions...................        8/8/97      9/26/97        11/25/97         200,000        40        16 
84.029M  Parent Training and                                                                                    
 Information Centers............       8/08/97     10/17/97        12/14/97         400,000        40        13 
84.026K  Recorded Audio                                                                                         
 Cassettes for Visually and                                                                                     
 Print Disabled Students........       8/08/97      9/12/97        11/10/97       4,500,000        40         1 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The Secretary rejects and does not consider an application that proposes a budget exceeding the amount      
  listed for each priority for any single budget period of 12 months.                                           
\2\ Applicants must limit the Application Narrative, Part III of the Application, to the page limits noted      
  above. Please refer to the ``Page Limit'' section of this notice for the specific requirements. The Secretary 
  rejects and does not consider an application that does not adhere to this requirement.                        

    Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the TDD number: (202) 205-8953. Individuals with disabilities 
may obtain a copy of this notice or the application packages referred 
to in this notice in an alternate format (e.g. Braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the Department as listed 
above.
    Information about the Department's funding opportunities, including 
copies of application notices for discretionary grant competitions, can 
be viewed on the Department's electronic bulletin board (ED Board), 
telephone (202) 260-9950; on the Internet Gopher Server (at Gopher://
gcs.ed.gov); or on the World Wide Web (at http://gcs.ed.gov). However, 
the official application notice for a discretionary grant competition 
is the notice published in the Federal Register.

    Dated: July 30, 1997.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 97-20454 Filed 8-1-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P