FR Doc E9-16385[Federal Register: July 10, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 131)]
[Notices]               
[Page 33226-33231]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr10jy09-44]   

Download: download files

----------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview 
Information; Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services 
and Results for Children With Disabilities--Regional Resource Centers; 
Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.326R.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: July 10, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 10, 2009.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 19, 2009.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with 
Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve 
results for children with disabilities by providing technical 
assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating 
useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by 
scientifically based research.
    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority 
is from allowable activities specified in the statute or otherwise 
authorized in the statute (see sections 663 and 681(d) of the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400, et 
seq.).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2009 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and 
Results for Children With Disabilities--Regional Resource Centers.

Background

    Over the last four decades, the Office of Special Education 
Programs (OSEP) has supported Regional Resource Centers to provide TA 
that is targeted to meet State-specific needs related to meeting the 
program requirements under Parts B and C of IDEA.
    Historically, each RRC functioned independently, serving primarily 
as a TA provider to State educational agencies (SEAs) in the RRC's 
region helping the SEAs address self-identified needs related to 
providing services to children with disabilities. In 1998, RRCs' 
traditional role as TA providers expanded when they also began serving 
as brokers of TA, linking SEAs and local educational agencies (LEAs) to 
relevant OSEP-funded TA centers. Over time, and as OSEP developed its 
monitoring of Part C programs and issued monitoring reports from 1998 
through 2003, RRCs began providing TA in their respective regions to 
the State Part C lead agencies (LAs).
    When IDEA was last reauthorized in 2004, the increased general 
supervision responsibilities of SEAs and LAs under Parts B and C, 
respectively, also increased the need for general supervision support 
and collaboration among RRCs and other OSEP-funded TA Centers (i.e., 
the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students with Disabilities 
and the Data Accountability Center) to provide coordinated and 
meaningfully informed TA. Specifically, sections 616(b) and 642 of IDEA 
require each State to have in place a State Performance Plan (SPP) that 
evaluates the State's efforts to implement requirements under Parts B 
and C of IDEA and that describes how the State will improve its 
implementation of these requirements. The SPP must include measurable 
and rigorous targets for quantifiable indicators in the priority areas 
described in section 616(a)(3) of IDEA. These priority areas for Part B 
are--providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least 
restrictive environment (LRE); reducing disproportionate representation 
of racial and ethnic groups in special education and related services, 
to the extent the representation is the result of inappropriate 
identification; and ensuring effective general supervision, including 
child find, transition, and dispute resolution. These priority areas 
for Part C are--providing early intervention services in natural 
environments and ensuring effective general supervision, including 
child find, transition, and dispute resolution.
    Additionally, sections 616 and 642 of IDEA require each SEA and LA 
to conduct many activities annually. Each SEA and LA must submit an 
Annual Performance Report (APR) to the Secretary on the State's 
progress in meeting its targets in each of the priority areas under 
Parts B and C of IDEA. There are 20 priority indicators under Part B 
(including early childhood transition, postsecondary transition, 
graduation, and dropout prevention) and 14 priority indicators under 
Part C (including provision of early intervention services in the 
natural environment, timely provision of services, timely evaluation, 
and early childhood transition). OSEP issues annual letters of 
determination and response tables for each State under Parts B and C of 
IDEA based in large part on the State's APR data in each of these 
priority indicator areas.
    In turn, SEAs must monitor and evaluate LEAs' implementation of 
Part B, and State LAs must monitor and evaluate the implementation of 
Part C by early intervention service (EIS) programs. Each year, the SEA 
and LA must publicly report on the performance of each LEA or EIS 
program in each of the priority areas and issue a local 
``determination.'' Through such reporting, SEAs and LAs are responsible 
for ensuring both the continuous improvement of results and functional 
outcomes for children with disabilities and the timely correction of 
noncompliance with IDEA requirements.
    The Department first issued its annual determinations under 
sections 616 and 642 of IDEA in 2007 and made one of

[[Page 33227]]

the following determinations for each State: (1) The State meets IDEA 
requirements, (2) the State needs assistance, or (3) the State needs 
intervention. Under section 616(e)(1) of IDEA, when conducting its 
second annual determinations in 2008, the Department was required to 
take enforcement actions for those States determined to be in ``needs 
assistance'' for two consecutive years. One of those enforcement 
options was advising a State of the availability of TA, including the 
resources of the RRCs and the need to utilize such TA. In 2008, the 
Department advised 25 Part B SEAs and 17 Part C LAs determined to be in 
``needs assistance'' for two consecutive years of the requirement to 
access TA under section 616(e)(1)(A) of IDEA. In 2009, the Department 
must take specific enforcement actions for those States determined to 
be in ``needs intervention'' for three consecutive years, which may 
include the development of an improvement plan or corrective action 
plan. These enforcement options will require continued and additional 
TA support of SEAs and State LAs.
    In addition, the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF), authorized 
by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Public 
Law No. 111-5, identifies four goals that the Secretary considers to be 
central to improving the results for children with disabilities. Areas 
addressed by these goals include: (1) Rigorous college- and career-
ready standards and assessments; (2) State longitudinal data systems to 
track progress from pre-K to college or work; (3) improvements in 
teacher effectiveness; and (4) intensive support for the lowest-
performing schools. The SFSF goals directly align with the SPP priority 
indicators and the SPP targets. The following Web site provides more 
information on ARRA: 
http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/recovery/factsheet/stabilization-fund.html.
    To ensure that RRCs are available to meet these increased TA needs, 
OSEP has determined that new funding is needed to support consistent 
and collaborative work between the six regional RRCs while addressing 
the increased SEA and LA general supervision responsibilities under 
Parts B and C of IDEA.

Priority

    The purpose of this priority is to fund cooperative agreements to 
support the operation of six RRCs that will collaboratively provide 
coordinated and research-based TA to SEAs and LAs to help them: (1) 
Meet Federal accountability requirements under IDEA; (2) implement 
systems of general supervision that improve results and functional 
outcomes for children with disabilities; (3) work with OSEP-funded TA 
centers, as appropriate, to develop, identify, and implement evidenced-
based tools and practices to increase the likelihood that SEAs and LAs 
will meet their SPP targets in the priority areas described in section 
616(a)(3), such as providing FAPE in the LRE, early childhood 
transition, secondary transition, postsecondary outcomes, graduation, 
and dropout prevention; and (4) develop and implement strategies that 
address the SFSF goals outlined in the ARRA and other critical goals 
that align with the indicators established under IDEA.
    The Secretary establishes the following geographic regions for the 
RRCs--
    Region 1: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New 
Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont;
    Region 2: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, 
North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia;
    Region 3: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, 
Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands;
    Region 4: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, 
Ohio, and Wisconsin;
    Region 5: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, 
North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs;
    Region 6: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, 
Washington, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Marianas, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the 
Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this 
priority. All projects funded under this absolute priority also must 
meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the 
priority.
    Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its 
application--
    (a) A logic model for the RRC that depicts, at a minimum, the 
goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed RRC. A logic 
model communicates how the RRC will achieve its outcomes and provides a 
framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the RRC;

    Note:  The following Web site provides more information on logic 
models and lists multiple online resources: 
http://www.cdc.gov/eval/resources.htm.

    (b) A plan to implement the activities described in the Project 
Activities section of this priority;
    (c) A plan, linked to the proposed project's logic model, for a 
formative evaluation of the proposed project's activities. The plan 
must describe how the formative evaluation will use clear performance 
objectives to ensure continuous improvement in the operation of the 
proposed project, including objective measures of progress in 
implementing the project and ensuring the quality of products and 
services;
    (d) A budget for a summative evaluation to be conducted by an 
independent third party;
    (e) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A four day kick-off meeting to be held in Washington, DC, 
within four weeks after receipt of the award, and an annual two-day 
planning meeting held in Washington, DC, with the OSEP Project Officer 
during each subsequent year of the project period. The initial kick-off 
meeting must allow time for the RRCs to collectively develop an action 
plan to address how they will share resources when appropriate (see, 
e.g., paragraph (f) below). The action plan for year one must be 
finalized within three months of the award. The action plans for years 
two and three must be developed at the close of years one and two 
respectively.
    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period.
    (3) A four-day Technical Assistance and Dissemination Conference in 
Washington, DC, during each year of the project period.
    (4) Four two-day trips annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP;
    (f) A line item in the proposed budget that will support the cost, 
shared among all of the RRCs when established, for hiring, at a 
minimum, one full-time coordinator (1 FTE) who will manage the 
collaborative work of the RRCs; and

    Note:  Over the last two decades the RRCs received direct 
support (e.g., workgroup facilitation and technology development 
support, etc.) from the OSEP-funded Federal Resource Center. In 2008 
the FRC was recompeted as the Technical Assistance Coordination 
Center (TACC). TACC is a coordination hub where the OSEP-funded 
centers and other Federal agencies find resources, collaborate, and 
problem-solve in order to conduct their work without

[[Page 33228]]

duplicating efforts. RRCs will receive the same level of support 
from TACC as all the other centers; however, the direct support once 
provided by the FRC (i.e., the coordination of activities with the 
small States consortium, coordination of cross-RRC workgroups, the 
planning and facilitation of monthly RRC meetings) will no longer be 
available to the RRCs.

    (g) A line item in the proposed budget for an annual set-aside of 
five percent of the grant amount to support emerging needs that are 
consistent with the proposed RRCs' shared project activities, as those 
needs are identified in consultation with OSEP.

    Note:  With approval from the OSEP Project Officer, the RRC must 
reallocate any remaining funds from this annual set-aside no later 
than the end of the third quarter of each budget period.

    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, each 
RRC must, at a minimum, conduct the following activities:

Knowledge Development Activities

    Each RRC, in collaboration with the other five RRCs, must--
    (a) During the first year of the project conduct a systematic 
review of the former RRCs and other OSEP-funded TA Centers, as 
appropriate, that--
    (1) Analyzes existing data (e.g., data on previously developed 
scopes of work, tools, products, and staffing) collected on the nature 
of the TA provided and its evidence base; and
    (2) By the end of year one, produces a summary report regarding the 
most effective types of TA and the best practices for implementing 
effective TA in SEAs and LAs; and
    (b) Conduct an annual review of--
    (1) Part B and Part C SPPs and APRs to evaluate States' progress in 
meeting their targets in each of the priority areas under IDEA; and
    (2) OSEP letters of determination and response tables, including 
letters of determination and response tables of States determined to be 
in ``needs assistance'' for two consecutive years and States determined 
to be in ``needs intervention'' for three consecutive years, in order 
to develop an action plan for supporting SEAs and LAs in their 
development of improvement and corrective action plans.

Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities

    Each RRC must--
    (a) Collaborate and communicate on an ongoing basis with the other 
five RRCs, the other OSEP-funded TA&D Centers, and the other centers 
funded by the Department's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education 
(e.g., The Regional Comprehensive Centers and the Equity Assistance 
Centers) to provide coordinated and research-based TA to SEAs and LAs;
    (b) In collaboration with the other RRCs and OSEP-funded TA 
Centers, as appropriate--
    (1) Develop action plans and activities based on OSEP-identified 
priorities, i.e., all indicators found in the Part B and C SPPs. Action 
plans and activities may include items mentioned in activities (a), 
(b), and (c) under this section but are not limited to these 
activities;
    (2) Develop TA tools and products related to SPP and APR 
requirements and evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of 
these tools and products through annual assessments;
    (3) Provide coordinated and research-based TA to SEAs and LAs to 
help them establish and implement strategies that address the four 
goals outlined in the ARRA and that are aligned with the indicators 
established under IDEA and other critical priorities related to 
improving outcomes for children with disabilities such as developing 
seamless, high-quality early childhood programs; scaling up successful 
models and strategies; and helping more students enter and complete 
college and get jobs; and
    (4) Assist SEAs and LAs in refining and improving State policies, 
procedures, or both related to the Federal accountability requirements 
under IDEA; and
    (c) Provide coordinated and research-based TA to SEAs and LAs to 
support them in meeting current IDEA requirements and OSEP initiatives 
for--
    (1) Meeting APR reporting requirements (e.g., data collection and 
analysis, and development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-
based improvement activities);
    (2) Identifying improvement activities and, through annual 
assessments, determining if the newly identified activities are 
effective;
    (3) Developing and implementing corrective action plans for LEAs 
and local providers, including implementation of enforcement actions 
for States in ``needs intervention'' for three consecutive years; and
    (4) Improving general supervision at the SEA and LA level, 
including improving skills in fiscal management, policy development, 
practices and procedures, monitoring systems, and the timely correction 
of noncompliance with IDEA requirements.

Leadership and Coordination Activities

    Each RRC, in collaboration with the other five RRCs, must do the 
following:
    (a) Establish and maintain an advisory committee to review the 
activities and outcomes of the RRCs' collaborative work and provide 
programmatic support and advice throughout the project period. The 
committee must include, but is not limited to, SEA special education 
directors, Part C coordinators, directors of OESE-funded Regional 
Comprehensive Centers, and directors of OSEP-funded TA centers. The six 
RRCs must submit the names of proposed members of the advisory 
committee to OSEP for approval within eight weeks after receipt of the 
award. At a minimum, the advisory committee must meet on an annual 
basis either in Washington, DC, or by electronic means.
    (b) Collaborate, on an ongoing basis, with OSEP-funded TA projects, 
especially those working on SPP indicators and general supervision. 
This collaboration must include the joint development of products, the 
coordination of TA services, and the planning and carrying out of TA 
meetings and events that are addressed in annual work plans.
    (c) Participate in, organize, or facilitate, as directed by OSEP, 
communities of practice (http://www.tacommunities.org) that are aligned 
with the RRCs' objectives as a way to support discussions and 
collaboration among key stakeholders.
    (d) Prior to developing any new product, whether paper or 
electronic, submit to the OSEP Project Officer and the Proposed Product 
Advisory Board at OSEP's TACC for approval, a proposal describing the 
content and purpose of the product.
    (e) Maintain and upgrade the existing RRCs' Web site portal. (This 
portal can be found at http://www.rrfcnetwork.org). This Web site must 
continue to meet government or industry-recognized standards for 
accessibility and must link to the Web site operated by TACC.
    (f) Contribute, on an ongoing basis, updated information on the 
RRCs' services to OSEP's TA&D Matrix (http://matrix.rrfcnetwork.org). 
The matrix provides current information on Department-funded TA 
services to a range of stakeholders.
    (g) Coordinate with the National Dissemination Center for 
Individuals with Disabilities to develop an efficient and high-quality 
dissemination strategy that reaches broad audiences. The RRCs must 
report to the OSEP Project Officer the outcomes of these coordination 
efforts.
    (h) Maintain ongoing communication with the OSEP Project Officer 
through monthly phone conversations, e-mail communication, and monthly 
reports.

[[Page 33229]]

Fourth and Fifth Years of the RRC

    In deciding whether to continue funding the RRC for the fourth and 
fifth years, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 
75.253(a), and in addition--
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of experts 
selected by the Secretary. This review will be conducted during a one-
day intensive meeting in Washington, DC, that will be held during the 
last half of the second year of the project period;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the 
RRC; and
    (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the RRC's activities 
and products and the degree to which its activities and products have 
contributed to changed practice and improved State Parts B and C 
general supervision systems, SPPs, and APRs.
    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and 
requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment 
requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.


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

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.
    Estimated Available Funds: $7,800,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2010 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,300,000.
    Maximum Awards: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $1,300,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. 
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in 
the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 6.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs; LEAs, including public charter 
schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public 
agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely 
associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-
profit organizations.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: General Requirements--(a) The projects funded under this 
competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in 
employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of 
IDEA).
    (b) Applicants and grant recipients funded under this competition 
must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of individuals 
with disabilities ages birth through 26 in planning, implementing, and 
evaluating the projects (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone, toll 
free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll free: 1-877-
576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: 
http://www.ed.gov/pubs/edpubs.html or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to 
identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.326R.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Page 
Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where 
you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use 
to evaluate your application. You must limit the application narrative 
to the equivalent of no more than 70 pages, using the following 
standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (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, the references, or the letters of support. 
However, the page limit does apply to the application narrative in Part 
III.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if 
you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: July 10, 
2009. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 10, 2009.
    Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted 
electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-
Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants site, or in 
paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates 
and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in 
paper format by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section IV. 6. 
Other Submission Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice. Deadline for 
Intergovernmental Review: August 19, 2009.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under 
Executive Order 12372

[[Page 33230]]

is in the application package for this competition.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by 
mail or hand delivery.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    If you choose to submit your application to us electronically, you 
must use e-Application, accessible through the Department's e-Grants 
Web site at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.
    While completing your electronic application, you will be entering 
data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an 
electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    Please note the following:
     Your participation in e-Application is voluntary.
     You must complete the electronic submission of your grant 
application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this 
competition after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait 
until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
     The hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6:00 
a.m. Monday until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 
8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of 
maintenance, the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 
6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 a.m. 
on Thursdays, Washington, DC time. Any modifications to these hours are 
posted on the e-Grants Web site.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you submit your application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: the 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications. You must attach any narrative sections of your 
application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF 
(Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the 
three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password 
protected file, we will not review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page 
limit requirements described in this notice.
     Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may 
wish to print a copy of it for your records.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number 
(an identifying number unique to your application).
     Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control 
Center after following these steps:
    (1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.
    (2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.
    (3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard-copy signature page of the SF 424.
    (4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at 
(202) 245-6272.
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
other forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System 
Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting 
your application on the application deadline date because e-Application 
is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by 
hand delivery. We will grant this extension if--
    (1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have 
initiated an electronic application for this competition; and
    (2) (a) E-Application is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between 
the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the 
application deadline date; or
    (b) E-Application is unavailable for any period of time between 
3:30 p.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date.
    We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability 
before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to 
confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may 
contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-
Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If e-Application is unavailable due 
to technical problems with the system and, therefore, the application 
deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users 
who have initiated an e-Application.
    Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the 
unavailability of e-Application. If e-Application is available, and, 
for any reason, you are unable to submit your application 
electronically or you do not receive an automatic acknowledgment of 
your submission, you may submit your application in paper format by 
mail or hand delivery in accordance with the instructions in this 
notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the 
U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), you must mail the 
original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.326R), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note:  The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a 
dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with 
your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, 
you (or a courier service) must deliver the original and two copies of 
your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, 
to the Department at the following address:

[[Page 33231]]

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.326R), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.
    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail 
or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by the 
Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix 
letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your 
application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification 
of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this grant 
notification within 15 business days from the application deadline 
date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application 
Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.
    2. Peer Review: In the past, the Department has had difficulty 
finding peer reviewers for certain competitions because so many 
individuals who are eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts 
of interest. The Standing Panel requirements under IDEA also have 
placed additional constraints on the availability of reviewers. 
Therefore, the Department has determined that, for some discretionary 
grant competitions, applications may be separated into two or more 
groups and ranked and selected for funding within the specific groups. 
This procedure will make it easier for the Department to find peer 
reviewers by ensuring that greater numbers of individuals who are 
eligible to serve as reviewers for any particular group of applicants 
will not have conflicts of interest. It also will increase the quality, 
independence, and fairness of the review process while permitting panel 
members to review applications under discretionary grant competitions 
for which they also have submitted applications. However, if the 
Department decides to select an equal number of applications in each 
group for funding, this may result in different cut-off points for 
fundable applications in each group.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a 
final performance report, including financial information, as directed 
by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an 
annual performance report that provides the most current performance 
and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary 
under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent 
performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements 
on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of 
performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed 
to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and 
quality of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve 
Services and Results for Children With Disabilities program. These 
measures focus on the extent to which projects provide high-quality 
products and services, the relevance of project products and services 
to educational and early intervention policy and practice, and the use 
of products and services to improve educational and early intervention 
policy and practice.
    Grantees will be required to report information on their project's 
performance in annual reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).

VII. Agency Contact

    For Further Information Contact: Rex Shipp, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4178, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7523.
    If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, 
at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by 
contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD, call the FRS, 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    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: 
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.

    Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated 
authority to Andrew J. Pepin, Executive Administrator for Special 
Education and Rehabilitative Services to perform the functions of the 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

    Dated: July 6, 2009.
Andrew J. Pepin,
Executive Administrator for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. E9-16385 Filed 7-9-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P