[Federal Register: May 23, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 100)]
[Page 33309-33312]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



[CFDA No. 84.326J]

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Grant
Applications under the Special Education--Technical Assistance and
Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with
Disabilities Program

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year
(FY) 2000.


    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to provide
technical assistance and information through programs that support
States and local entities in building capacity to improve early
intervention, educational, and transitional services and results for
children with disabilities and their families, and address systemic-
change goals and priorities.
    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.
    Applications Available: May 31, 2000
    Deadline for Transmittal of Application: July 17, 2000
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 17, 2000
    Estimated Number of Awards: 1
    Maximum Award: We will reject and will not consider an application
that proposes a budget exceeding $1,900,000 for any single budget
period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary may change the maximum
amounts through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    Project Period: Under this priority, the Assistant Secretary will
make one award for a cooperative agreement with a project period of up
to 60 months subject to the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a) for
continuation awards. During the second year of the project, the
Assistant Secretary will determine whether to continue the Center for
the fourth and fifth years of the project period and will consider in
addition to the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a):
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of three experts
selected by the Assistant Secretary. The services of the review team,
including a two-day site visit to the project, are to be performed
during the last half of the project's second year and may be included
in that year's evaluation required under 34 CFR 75.590. Costs
associated with the services to be performed by the review team must
also be included in the project's budget for year two. These costs are
estimated to be approximately $6,000;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of
the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the
project; and
    (c) The degree to which the project's design and technical
strategies demonstrate the dissemination of significant new knowledge.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80,
81, 82, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99; (b) The selection criteria for the
priority under this program are drawn from the EDGAR general selection
criteria menu. The specific selection criteria for this priority are
included in the funding application packet for the applicable

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

    General Requirements: (a) The Project funded under this notice must
make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified
individuals with disabilities in project activities (see Section 606 of
    (b) Applicants and the grant recipient funded under this notice
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 IDEA).
    (c) The Project funded under this competition must (1) use current
research-validated practices and materials, and (2) communicate
appropriately with target audiences, including young people, families,
State and local agencies, and employers.
    (d) The Project funded under this priority must budget for a two-
day Project Directors' meeting in Washington, D.C. during each year of
the project.
    (e) Part III of the application submitted under the priority in
this notice, the application narrative, is where an applicant addresses
the selection criteria that are used by reviewers in evaluating the
application. You must limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than
70 pages using the following standards:

[[Page 33310]]

    * A ``page'' is 8.5" x 11" (on one side only) with one-
inch margins (top, bottom, and sides).
    * Double-space (no more than three lines per vertical
inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles,
headings, footnotes, quotations, and captions, as well as all text
in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
    * If using a proportional computer font, use no smaller
than a 12-point font, and an average character density no greater
than 18 characters per inch. If using a nonproportional font or a
typewriter, do not use more than 12 characters per inch.

    The page limit does not apply to Part I--the cover sheet; Part II--
the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part
IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the
resumes, the bibliography or references, or the letters of support.
However, you must include all of the application narrative in Part III.
    We will reject your application if--
    * You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
    * You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the
page limit.

Waiver of Rulemaking

    In most instances the Assistant Secretary is required to offer
interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities.
However, section 661(e)(2) of IDEA makes the Administrative Procedure
Act (5 U.S.C. 553) inapplicable to the priority in this notice.
    Priority: Under section 685 of IDEA and 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we
consider only applications that meet the following priority: Absolute
Priority--Secondary Education and Transition Technical Assistance
Center (84.326J)
    Background: Federal activities in support of transition have
shifted in focus from a historical emphasis on the needs of students
with significant disabilities to a more recent emphasis on students
with high-incidence disabilities. Yet, based on the results of the
National Longitudinal Transition Study of Special Education Students
(NLTS) and data from the Monitoring and State Improvement Program
Division of the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), it has
become apparent that the transition needs of all students with
disabilities are not being adequately met.
    The transition needs of students with disabilities are reflected in
many factors. First, school completion rates for students with
disabilities are low, while at the same time, national studies report
that students with disabilities who complete high school are more
likely to be employed, to earn higher wages, and to enroll in
postsecondary education and training. Second, the labor market demands
higher levels of education and skills, and the completion of high
school and further education become even more critical. Third,
practitioners lack knowledge about integrating academic and career
preparation into a seamless, individualized education program for youth
with disabilities. Finally, general education initiatives have
increased public accountability through more rigorous curriculum
standards, large-scale assessment of student performance in relation to
those standards, and increased graduation requirements.
    To help meet demands for improved results, the IDEA Amendments of
1997 put forth a broader vision of secondary education with greater
emphasis on participation and involvement in the general curriculum as
a means to improve educational results for students with disabilities
and to increase their rates of high school completion. Moreover,
earlier transition planning is expected to result in improved
postsecondary education participation and employment rates. To achieve
this vision of improved postschool outcomes, collaborative partnerships
must be developed among multiple systems, such as education, vocational
rehabilitation, workforce development, health, social security,
housing, and transportation.
    To ensure full implementation of IDEA and to achieve quality
education and transition results for students with disabilities and
their families, Congress found that National technical assistance,
support, and dissemination activities were necessary. For that reason,
the Secondary Education and Transition Technical Assistance Center
(SETAC) will be established to carry out activities that are national
in scope, coordinated with other technical assistance and dissemination
efforts, and aligned with other Federally-funded synthesis and research
centers and institutes in order to avoid duplication. The goals of this
Center are to:
    (a) Promote secondary education and transition models that
integrate academic, career, work-based, and community-based learning;
    (b) Support State and local capacity building to improve education
and transition results for youth with disabilities;
    (c) Promote systemic change by facilitating school and community-
based linkages in the provision of transition services to youth with
disabilities; and
    (d) Translate research into practice by using technical assistance
and dissemination mechanisms.
    The Center will be responsible for a wide range of work, including
developing products and materials, conducting technical assistance
activities that are topic-specific, and disseminating information about
research-based models and practices. The Assistant Secretary is
particularly interested in projects that engage the active
participation of multiple partners.
    Priority: The Assistant Secretary establishes an absolute priority
to support a Center that will identify and promote effective policy and
practice to improve secondary education and transition results for
children with disabilities. At a minimum, this project must--
    (a) Provide technical assistance and information by:
    (1) Developing a network of researchers, technical assistance
providers, and disseminators of research-based and promising practices
to facilitate transition from post-secondary education, work, and
independent living. This network must:
    (i) Work collaboratively with other researchers, technical
assistance providers, and disseminators to:
    (A) Coordinate technical assistance and dissemination activities;
    (B) Develop communication and dissemination strategies; and
    (C) Develop products that include research findings and promising
practices, including findings from OSEP-supported research and lessons
from the School-to-Work program and other Federal youth transition
programs, and are designed to broaden the capacity of technical
assistance and information providers, particularly regular and special
education technical assistance and information providers;
    (ii) Include, at a minimum, Federally-funded national research
institutes, technical assistance providers, and disseminators that
address secondary education and transition issues. These entities may
include, for example, the Research Institute for Secondary Education
Reform; the Institute for Academic Access; the Center for Promoting
What Works; the National Center for Education Outcomes; Regional
Resource Centers (RRCs); the National Information Center on Children
and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY); the National Center on the Study
of Postsecondary Education Supports; the National Clearinghouse on
Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities (HEATH); the
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research; and
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers, as well as researchers,

[[Page 33311]]

assistance providers, and disseminators from regular education, such as
the National Dissemination Center for Career and Technical Education
and other related projects.
    (2) Targeting, through proactive strategies and coordination with
the IDEA Partnerships, organizations of policymakers, service
providers, local-level administrators, and families. Targeted technical
assistance must:
    (i) Include policy and practice briefs explaining comprehensive
secondary education and transition service requirements, and other
emerging issues, trends, and legislation;
    (ii) Include tools based on (i) above to assist in implementing
research-based best practices; and
    (iii) Be designed to use research-based and promising practices to:
    (A) Improve academic results in secondary education;
    (B) Improve transition practice;
    (C) Increase postsecondary education participation rates and
employment rates; and
    (D) Prevent dropouts and increase high school completion rates.
    (3) Conducting, in consultation with OSERS, a dynamic and
innovative national summit in years two and four of the project. The
summit must:
    (i) Be designed to:
    (A) Identify research-based and promising practices and initiate
discussion on emerging issues and trends that affect postsecondary
results for youth with disabilities, particularly through secondary
education and transition services; and
    (B) Sustain development and implementation of systems linkages and
systems collaboration for effective transition; and
    (ii) Include participants who are national experts in the field or
key representatives of Federal agencies, and national organizations,
and participants who represent local level leadership, families,
employers, and persons with disabilities; and
    (iii) Support systemic collaboration among SEAs, LEAs, and Federal
education and workforce development programs including Healthy and
Ready to Work, Youth Opportunity Grants, Youth Councils established
under the Workforce Investment Act, relevant Social Security
Administration programs, related Rehabilitation Services Administration
and National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
programs, relevant mental health programs, and other related programs
and projects.
    (4) Designing and implementing capacity-building training
institutes on improving results for youth with disabilities,
participation and involvement in the general curriculum, self-
determination, interagency collaboration, implementation of the
transition requirements of IDEA, and strategies for addressing other
identified needs. The purpose of the training institutes is to assist
technical assistance providers and disseminators to reach front-line
service providers. The institutes must:
    (i) Help develop, implement, and sustain systemic changes in
secondary special education and transition services, that will improve
results for all youth with disabilities and their families, including
youth from minority backgrounds and youth with limited English
    (ii) Provide training for RRCs, HEATH, NICHCY, IDEA Partnership
Projects, Parent Training Centers, and national technical assistance
providers and disseminators; and
    (iii) Provide targeted assistance to State technical assistance and
information systems, including systems change projects. Targeted
assistance includes training and technical assistance activities for
implementing research-based practices, increasing participation in the
general education curriculum and in large-scale assessments, developing
effective interagency collaborations, and sustaining systemic change.
    (b) Use state of the art technologies, such as accessible and
interactive web sites, list servs, chat rooms, and video-conferencing,
in providing technical assistance and disseminating information,
including technical assistance and information on research-based and
promising practices.
    (c) Design and carryout a strategic management plan, including
project evaluation. This plan must be designed to provide information
to guide necessary, ongoing refinements to the structure, activities,
and products that will improve the impact and effectiveness of the
Center and will be collaboratively developed with the OSEP project
officer and other Federal officials, customers, and network members
during the first three months of the project. This plan must include:
    (1) Annual data collection activities for needs assessments if
extant data are not available;
    (2) A clear description of effective strategies for meeting and
evaluating project goals and activities;
    (3) Goals, objectives, and activities that support the IDEA
Government Performance Results Act (GPRA) Performance Plan; and
    (4) Procedures for measuring the impact of the Center on its
primary purpose--to identify and promote effective policy and practice
for secondary education and transition services for youth with
    (d) Support, through internships or other collaborative
arrangements, graduate students who will concentrate their studies in
secondary special education or transition services and who show promise
for continued service in leadership positions. These graduate students
must be involved with all aspects of project activity.
    (e) Meet with the OSEP project officer in the first four months of
the project to review the needs assessment, evaluation plan, technical
assistance, and dissemination approaches and the plan for collaboration
with various network members.
    (f) Budget three trips annually to Washington, DC (two trips to
meet and collaborate with U.S. Department of Education officials and
one trip, as specified in the general requirements, to attend the two-
day Office of Special Education Programs Technical Assistance Project
Directors' Conference).
    Competitive Preferences: Within this absolute priority, we will
give the following competitive preference under section 606 of IDEA and
34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), to applications that are otherwise eligible for
funding under this priority:
    Up to ten (10) points based on the effectiveness of the applicant's
strategies for employing and advancing in employment qualified
individuals with disabilities in project activities as required under
paragraph (a) of the ``General Requirements'' section of this notice.
In determining the effectiveness of those strategies, the Assistant
Secretary can consider the applicant's past success in pursuit of this
    For purposes of this competitive preference, applicants can be
awarded up to a total of 10 points in addition to those awarded under
the published selection criteria for this priority. That is, an
applicant meeting this competitive preference could earn a maximum
total of 110 points.

FOR APPLICATIONS CONTACT: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), P.O.
Box 1398, Jessup, Maryland 20794-1398. Telephone (toll free): 1-877-
4ED-Pubs (1-877-433-7827). FAX: 301-470-1244. Individuals who use a
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call (toll free) 1-
    You may also contact Ed Pubs via its Web site http://www.ed.gov/
pubs/edpubs.html or its e-mail address edpubs@inet.ed.gov

[[Page 33312]]

    If you request an application from Ed Pubs be sure to identify the
competition as follows: CFDA 84.326J.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Grants and Contracts Services Team,
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., room 3317,
Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 260-9182.
    If you use a TDD you may call the Federal Information Relay Service
(FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer
diskette) on request to the contact persons listed in the preceding
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application
package in an alternate format by contacting the Department at the
address listed. However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an
alternate format the standard forms included in the application

Intergovernmental Review

    The program in this notice is 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, we intend this document to provide
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for
those programs.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at either of the
following sites:


To use the PDF you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is
available free at either of the previous sites. If you have questions
about using the PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO),
toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC area at (202)

    Note: The official version of this document is the document
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal
Regulations is available on GPO Access at:


    Dated: May 17, 2000.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 00-12923 Filed 5-22-00; 8:45 am]