FR Doc E9-16549[Federal Register: July 13, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 132)]
[Notices]               
[Page 33418-33424]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13jy09-43]     

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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--Model Demonstration 
Projects on Tiered Approaches for Improving the Writing Proficiency of 
High School Students; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2009

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.326M.
    DATES:
    Applications Available: July 13, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 12, 2009.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 24, 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

[[Page 33419]]

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 (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 from 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--Model Demonstration Projects on 
Tiered Approaches for Improving the Writing Proficiency of High School 
Students.

Background

    Writing skills are critical to success in both college and the 
workplace. With the inclusion of a writing portion on college entrance 
exams, such as the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), and the writing 
requirements in high stakes \1\ high school graduation exams, there is 
an increased emphasis on writing for all students in high school. 
Furthermore, college faculty and employers recognize that writing is a 
skill that students need to succeed in many postschool settings 
(Alliance for Excellent Education, 2007). Yet, according to the 
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), in 2007, despite 
overall gains in performance on the eighth- and twelfth-grade NAEP 
Writing assessment, only 33 percent of eighth-grade students and 24 
percent of twelfth-grade students scored at or above the proficient 
level in writing (Salahu-Din, Persky & Miller, 2008). Students with 
disabilities scored almost 40 points below the scores of all students 
who participated in the assessment. The NAEP data and recommendations 
from policymakers (National Association of State Boards of Education, 
2006) indicate the need to identify strategies that can improve writing 
proficiency among high school students.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ ``High stakes testing'' is ``the term used for assessments 
that determine if a student is retained in a grade or allowed to 
receive a diploma and graduate'' (Lynch, 2000, p. 216).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Students who have writing difficulties, including those at risk for 
and with learning disabilities, may benefit from a variety of 
instructional interventions, especially those that provide authentic 
writing opportunities, facilitate the development of self-learning 
strategies, and allow for extensive peer-to-peer interaction (MacArthur 
& Graham, 1993). Examining methodologies and interventions that have 
been effective in other educational settings may assist with developing 
strategies that can improve writing proficiency among high school 
students.
    In an educational context, schoolwide tiered approaches are 
sometimes used to improve student learning and behavior. Tiered 
approaches typically use the following evidence-based components: 
Universal screening, progress monitoring, high-quality core 
instruction, and instructional interventions at varying levels of 
intensity based on students' learning needs. Using a tiered approach, 
educators monitor student progress and make data-based decisions about 
curriculum, instructional interventions, and student supports (Johnson, 
Mellard, Fuchs & McKnight, 2006). In tiered approaches, students' 
responses to instruction are monitored to identify those students in 
need of more targeted and customized instruction (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2007).
    Educators most commonly implement tiered approaches in elementary 
schools (Deshler & Kovaleski, 2007; Duffy, n.d.; Johnson & Smith, 2008) 
and typically incorporate evidence-based instructional interventions 
related to reading, math, or behavior. Tiered approaches in elementary 
schools show promise for increasing students' achievement in each of 
these three areas (Burns, 2008; Canter, Klotz, & Cowan, 2008) and may 
be applied with writing instruction as well (Hessler & Konrad, 2008). 
Further, there is evidence that tiered approaches may serve as an 
impetus for educators to examine the referral process for special 
education services and promote early identification of children at risk 
for, or with, learning disabilities, particularly, students with 
specific learning disabilities (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2007; National Research 
Center on Learning Disabilities, 2004). Practices inherent in the 
application of tiered approaches, such as the alignment of expected 
outcomes, teaching strategies, and assessment, along with the 
improvement of instructional decisionmaking by educators in both 
regular and special education that is associated with tiered approaches 
may also offer secondary benefits for students (Cummings, Atkins, 
Allison, & Cole, 2008). These benefits include reductions in the 
frequency of challenging behaviors exhibited by students and enhanced 
academic engagement (Iovannone & Dunlap, 2006; March & Peters, 2002). 
Additionally, tiered approaches are characterized by collaboration 
between regular and special educators and teaching is tailored to 
student needs because instructional approaches are linked to student 
achievement (Duffy, n.d.).
    Less is known about the potential of these approaches for improving 
outcomes for high school students. Due to the differences between 
elementary and secondary school settings (i.e., increased student 
mobility across classes, variation in student schedules, and increased 
emphasis on academic content), there is a need for additional work on 
assessing the effectiveness of tiered approaches for specific content 
areas in high schools. Further, the field is learning that many of the 
same strategies used at the elementary level, are also effective, or 
may be effective, at the secondary level (Heartland Area Education 
Agency 11, 2004). However, there continues to be a need to identify 
adaptations that need to be made based upon the high school context. 
Therefore, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is 
establishing a priority for Model Demonstration Projects on Tiered 
Approaches for Improving the Writing Proficiency of High School 
Students.

Priority

    The purpose of this priority is to fund cooperative agreements to 
support the establishment and operation of three Model Demonstration 
Projects on Tiered Approaches for Improving the Writing Proficiency of 
High School Students (Projects) who have writing difficulties, 
including those at risk for and with learning disabilities. Each 
project must design, implement, and evaluate a tiered approach in high 
schools that incorporates evidenced-based components including 
screening, progress monitoring, core instruction, and instructional 
interventions at varying levels of intensity based on students' 
learning needs. The models must have writing as the core instructional 
component.
    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.

[[Page 33420]]

    Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its 
application--
    (a) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, 
activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project. A logic 
model communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides 
a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the 
project; 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 description of the proposed model (tiered approach), 
supporting evidence for the model as a whole, and empirical support of 
the critical evidence-based components, including the writing 
instruction and interventions that comprise the model;
    (e) The methods to be used for recruiting and selecting high 
schools if the applicant has not identified schools that are willing to 
participate in the model demonstrations. Applicants must put into place 
strategies for recruiting low-performing high schools. If the applicant 
has identified high schools willing to participate in the model 
demonstrations, also include a description of the demographics of the 
student population typically served by the schools, including 
information about the cultural and linguistic diversity of students. 
The final site selections must be determined in consultation with the 
OSEP Project Officer following the kick-off meeting;
    (f) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A one and one half day kick-off meeting to be held in 
Washington, DC, within four weeks after receipt of the award and a one 
day annual planning meeting held in Washington, DC, with the OSEP 
Project Officer during each subsequent year of the project period.
    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period; and
    (3) Two two-day trips annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP.
    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, each 
Project, at a minimum, must--
    (a) In year one of the project, collaborate with the other Projects 
funded under this competition to conduct a systematic review of the 
research on:
    (1) Tiered approaches, including tiered writing approaches in high 
school, and their evidence-based components; and
    (2) Writing instruction and interventions for high school students. 
To the extent possible, build on existing research reviews, such as 
those on tiered approaches conducted by the OSEP-funded National 
Research Center on Learning Disabilities (http://www.nrcld.org) and use 
the standards established by the What Works Clearinghouse for 
identifying evidence-based interventions and practices in the research 
review (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/). If it is not possible to use 
these standards, other rigorous standards must be used. This work must 
be completed during the first year of the project and result in a 
comprehensive description of any evidence on the application of tiered 
approaches in high schools and writing instruction for high school 
students;
    (b) Implement a model at the high school ninth grade level that:
    (1) Includes evidence-based components such as universal screening, 
progress monitoring, and writing instruction and interventions at 
varying intensity levels; and
    (2) May be adapted to address unique characteristics of the school 
that may affect writing proficiency, such as the cultural and 
linguistic diversity of the students.
    (c) Adopt a staggered implementation design with longitudinal data 
collection in at least two high schools (high school A and high school 
B) using the following approach:
    (1) Implement the model in one department in high school A in the 
fall of year two.
    (2) Implement the model in high schools A and B in the fall of year 
three.
    (3) Implement the model in high schools A and B in the fall of year 
four.
    (4) Collect data on the writing proficiency of all students who 
participated in the model as they move through high school even though 
the projects will only implement the writing intervention in the ninth 
grade.
    (d) Provide initial and ongoing professional development at the 
model demonstration sites to regular educators, special educators, 
related services providers, and administrators who are charged with 
implementing the model. Ensure that there is a process for providing 
feedback to these personnel on their implementation of the critical 
components of the model;
    (e) Implement an evaluation plan that includes a detailed 
description of the model and the critical components of the model, a 
description of the school and district variables required to implement 
and sustain the model, and the processes for collecting and analyzing 
specific project and cross-project data related to the:
    (1) Effectiveness of the model to improve student writing 
proficiency.
    (2) Fidelity of the implementation of the model and acceptable 
variations based on the unique characteristics of schools that may 
affect writing proficiency, such as the cultural and linguistic 
diversity of students.
    (3) Effectiveness of the professional development provided to 
personnel implementing the model. Common cross-site data to be 
collected must be determined in consultation with the OSEP Project 
Officer following the first cross-project meeting.
    (4) Effectiveness of the model to inform the special education 
referral process.
    (f) Identify methods for effectively supporting ongoing 
communication and collaboration among families, students, school staff, 
and project staff to support the implementation and evaluation of the 
model;
    (g) Document the effects of the model on additional variables 
identified by the Project such as changes in student engagement, 
challenging behaviors, and instructional decisionmaking;
    (h) Coordinate with the other Projects funded under this 
competition and the Model Demonstration Coordination Center (MDCC) to 
determine a cross-project plan for evaluating the impact of the models. 
The MDCC is a separate center funded by OSEP that is responsible for 
coordinating implementation and analyzing data to determine the 
effectiveness of the models. MDCC will develop a data coordination 
plan, cross-site data collection instruments, and common evaluation 
questions. MDCC will also synthesize and analyze data, monitor 
implementation fidelity, ensure data reliability, and foster 
information dissemination. As part of cross-site coordination, Projects 
must collect data across common measures as determined by MDCC that may 
or may not be the same as those proposed by the applicant. Common 
measures may include observations or data describing the context of 
schools, classrooms, or

[[Page 33421]]

students participating in the project, as well as schools, classrooms, 
or students who did not participate in the project. The purpose of the 
data is to provide information on the contexts in which models are 
implemented and the effectiveness of the models; Note: The following 
Web site provides more information on the project resource commitments 
necessary for MDCC collaboration, see section entitled, ``Project 
Resource Commitments'' at: http://mdcc.sri.com/projectResourceCommitments.aspx;
    (i) Communicate and collaborate on an ongoing basis with OSEP-
funded projects, including the National Center on Response to 
Intervention (http://www.rti4success.org/) and the Center on 
Instruction (http://www.centeroninstruction.org) to share information 
on successful strategies and implementation challenges regarding tiered 
approaches in high schools;
    (j) Develop a high-quality dissemination plan that reaches broad 
audiences including regular educators, special educators, related 
services providers, administrators, families, policymakers, and 
researchers.
    The plan must specify how the grantee will collaborate with MDCC 
and with OSEP's Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network;
    (k) Submit to the OSEP Project Officer and the Proposed Product 
Advisory Board at OSEP's Technical Assistance Coordinating Center 
(TACC), for approval, a proposal describing the content and purpose of 
any new product prior to development; and
    (l) Maintain ongoing communication with the OSEP Project Officer 
and the MDCC through monthly phone conversations and e-mail 
communication.

References

Alliance for Excellent Education, (2007, April). Making writing 
instruction a priority in America's middle and high schools. 
Alliance for Excellent Education Policy Brief. Washington, DC. 
Retrieved March 20, 2008 from http://www.all4ed.org/files/WritPrior.pdf.
Burns, M.K. (2008). Response to intervention at the secondary level. 
Principal Leadership, 8(6), 12-15.
Canter, A., Klotz, M.B., & Cowan, K. (2008). Response to 
intervention: The future for secondary schools. Principal 
Leadership, 8(7), 12-15.
Cummings, K.D., Atkins, T., Allison, R. & Cole, C. (2008). Response 
to intervention: Investigating the new role of special educators. 
Teaching Exceptional Children, 40(4), 24-31.
Deshler, D. & Kovaleski, J. (2007, December). RTI and secondary 
education: What are the implications? Conference presentation at the 
National RTI Summit. Washington, DC.
Duffy, H. (n.d.). Meeting the needs of significantly struggling 
learners in high school. Retrieved March 20, 2008 from 
http://www.betterhighschools.org/docs/NHSC_RTIBrief_08-02-07.pdf.
Fuchs, D. & Fuchs, L. (2007). A model for implementing 
responsiveness to intervention. Teaching Exceptional Children, 
39(5), 14-20.
Heartland Area Education Agency 11 (2004, April 1). Heartland AEA 11 
annual progress report. Retrieved May 7, 2009 from 
http://www.aea11.k12.ia.us/downloads/2004apr.pdf.
Hessler, T. & Konrad, M. (2008). Using curriculum-based measurement 
to drive IEPs and instruction in written expression. Teaching 
Exceptional Children, 41(2), 28-37.
Iovannone, R. & Dunlap, G. (2006). Curriculum & behavior problems. 
Alaska Education Service Agency Newsletter. Retrieved March 20, 2008 
from 
http://www.sesa.org/?view=article&catid=112percent3AFall+2002&id=385percent3ACurriculum+&Behavior--Problems:--Cause--=&Effect?=&Itemid=69&option=com--content.
Johnson, E., Mellard, D.F., Fuchs, D., & McKnight, M.A. (2006). 
Responsiveness to intervention (RTI): How to do it. Lawrence, KS: 
National Research Center on Learning Disabilities.
Johnson, E. & Smith, L. (2008). Implementation of response to 
intervention at middle school. Teaching Exceptional Children, 40(3), 
46-52.
Lynch, S. J. (2000). Equity and science education reform. Mahwah, 
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. March, J.K. & Peters, K.H. (2002). 
Curriculum development and instructional design in the effective 
school process. Phi Delta Kappan, 83(5), 379-381.
MacArthur, C. & Graham, S. (1993). Integrating strategy instruction 
and word processing into a process approach to writing instruction. 
School Psychology Review, 22(4), 671-682.
National Association of State Boards of Education. (2006). Reading 
at risk: The state response to the crisis in adolescent literacy. 
Retrieved May 5, 2008 from 
http://nasbe.org/index.php/file-repository?func=finishdown&id=439.
National Research Center on Learning Disabilities. (2004). Executive 
summary of the NRCLD symposium on responsiveness to intervention 
[Brochure]. Lawrence, KS: Author.
Salahu-Din, D., Persky, H., and Miller, J. (2008). The nation's 
report card: Writing 2007 (NCES 2008-468). National Center for 
Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. 
Department of Education, Washington, DC. Retrieved April 6, 2008 
from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2008468.

    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 only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,200,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications for the competitions announced in this notice, we may make 
additional awards in FY 2010 from the lists of unfunded applicants from 
the groups funded in this competition (See section V.2. Review and 
Selection Process for more information).
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $400,000.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $400,000 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: 3.

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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies; local 
educational agencies (LEAs), including public charter schools that are 
considered LEAs under State law; institutions of higher education; 
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

[[Page 33422]]

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 84.326M.
    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 all of the application narrative 
section (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 13, 
2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 12, 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 24, 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 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 program 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 page 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).

[[Page 33423]]

     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 84.326M), 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: U.S. Department of 
Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 
84.326M), 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 
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. Review and Selection Process: 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.

[[Page 33424]]

    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 provide information related to these 
measures in annual reports to the Department.
    Grantees also 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: Corinne Weidenthal, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4120, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-6529.
    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 8, 2009.
Andrew J. Pepin,
Executive Administrator for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
 [FR Doc. E9-16549 Filed 7-10-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P