[Federal Register: July 17, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 136)]
[Notices]               
[Page 34731-34737]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr17jy09-33]      

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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--National Center on 
Postsecondary Outcomes for Students With Disabilities; Notice Inviting 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009.

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

DATES:
    Applications Available: July 17, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 17, 2009.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 26, 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 (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

[[Page 34732]]

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--National Center on 
Postsecondary Outcomes for Students With Disabilities.
    Background: In order to monitor and assess the effectiveness of 
programs and services provided under Part B of IDEA, and to improve 
postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities (such as 
competitive employment or enrollment in some type of postsecondary 
school), collection, organization, and analysis of accurate data on 
postsecondary outcomes are necessary at both the Federal and State 
levels. A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) study (GAO-03-
773) entitled ``Special Education: Federal Actions Can Assist States in 
Improving Postsecondary Outcomes for Youth,'' released on July 30, 
2003, underscored the need for more information to assess postsecondary 
outcomes for students with disabilities. This study found that while a 
majority of students receiving IDEA services completed high school with 
a diploma, a lack of accurate data has made it difficult to determine 
what happens to these students after they leave high school.
    In their IDEA Annual Performance Reports (APRs), States are 
currently required to report postsecondary outcome data on students who 
received IDEA services (in response to Indicator 14). The outcome data 
must include all students who received IDEA services and are no longer 
in secondary school, including those who have been competitively 
employed, are enrolled in some type of postsecondary school, or both, 
within one year after leaving high school (20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B)). In 
order to address Indicator 14, States must gather data on the 
competitive employment and postsecondary education experiences of these 
students, including students who have dropped out or aged out, one year 
after leaving school, either by: (a) Conducting a census (surveying all 
students who received IDEA services and are no longer in secondary 
school (referred to in this document as ``school leavers'')); or (b) 
using sampling techniques to establish a target group of respondents. 
The following Web site provides more information on Indicator 14: 
http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/bapr/index.html.
    For a number of years, the Department's Office of Special Education 
Programs (OSEP) has supported States in their ongoing efforts to 
develop and improve systems to collect and use postsecondary outcome 
data for accountability, decisionmaking, and program improvement 
purposes. For example, in 2004, OSEP funded the National Post-School 
Outcomes Center for Students with Disabilities to help States develop 
and implement practical, efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable 
strategies to collect and use outcome data to improve secondary 
education, transition, and postsecondary outcomes for students with 
disabilities. The following Web site provides more information on the 
work of the National Post-School Outcomes Center: 
http://www.psocenter.org/.
    In addition, with the enactment of the American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), Congress and the new Administration 
recently signaled their collective interest in ensuring that States and 
local educational agencies (LEAs) take steps to improve the collection 
and use of data. Specifically, in order to be eligible for funding 
under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF), Governors must submit 
an application containing an assurance that ``the State will establish 
a longitudinal data system that includes the elements described in 
section 6401(e)(2)(D) of the America COMPETES Act (20 U.S.C. 9871).'' 
Through the ARRA, Congress also appropriated $250 million for the 
Department's Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) grant 
program.\1\ These funds may be used ``for Statewide data systems that 
include postsecondary and workforce information.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The purpose of the SLDS grant program is to support States 
that seek to plan, develop, implement, or expand a statewide 
longitudinal data system. Such expansion may include, but is not 
limited to, developing interoperability with postsecondary data 
systems, creating consolidated P-16 data systems, and importing 
workforce data. The following Web site provides more information on 
the SLDS grant program: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/SLDS/index.asp.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While not all States have yet developed and implemented such 
statewide longitudinal data systems, between the assurances required 
under the SFSF and the additional $250 million appropriated for the 
SLDS program under the ARRA, the Department anticipates a great deal of 
State-level activity in this area over the next few years. As States 
work to develop and expand longitudinal data systems, it will be 
important that such systems are designed to collect and produce valid, 
reliable, and accurate data that meet the information needs, to the 
extent feasible, for implementing and reporting on Federal programs--
including data related to programs and services under Part B of IDEA, 
such as the post-school outcome data required for purposes of Indicator 
14.
    In accordance with the goals recently identified by the 
Administration under the SFSF and ARRA, States and other entities 
should move away from their reliance on stand-alone data collections 
and move toward more centralized and cost-effective data collections. 
Meanwhile, though, States must continue collecting and submitting 
required annual data on key outcomes under Federal programs, including 
Part B of the IDEA.
    For purposes of collecting Indicator 14 data, while States have 
made progress in developing and implementing data collection and 
dissemination systems to conduct survey research and collect, analyze, 
and disseminate the results from this survey research in a timely 
manner, there is still an ongoing need for technical assistance to 
support State efforts to produce valid, reliable, and accurate 
postsecondary outcome data.
    To obtain the necessary data for Indicator 14, roughly half of 
States currently use sampling techniques to establish a target group of 
respondents and the rest employ census methods (surveying all school 
leavers). However, across both sampling and census methods, States have 
faced ongoing difficulty securing a response rate that will ensure that 
the responding group is representative of the State's school leavers--
that is, representative in terms of racial demographics, disability 
group, and circumstances for leaving school. To address such technical 
challenges, States continue to need support in: (a) Improving and 
implementing data systems that will help them attain a group of 
respondents who are representative of the State's school leavers; and 
(b) overcoming challenges in contacting these school leavers, including 
students who have dropped out of school. In addition, States need 
support in disaggregating and utilizing postsecondary outcome data at 
the local level for accountability, decisionmaking, and program 
improvement purposes.
    For these reasons, the Department proposes to support a new 
National Center on Postsecondary Outcomes that will: (1) Provide 
ongoing support to help States overcome challenges associated with 
existing data collections that are used to obtain post-school outcome 
data for Indicator 14; and (2) support and promote State efforts to 
ensure that data for Indicator 14 may eventually be collected through 
consolidated (or linkable) statewide longitudinal data systems.

[[Page 34733]]

    Priority: The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative 
agreement to support the establishment and operation of a National 
Center on Postsecondary Outcomes for Students with Disabilities 
(Center) that will provide technical assistance and disseminate useful 
information to States on: (1) Improving the efficiency, cost-
effectiveness, and technical adequacy of postsecondary outcome data 
collections and implementing the improved data collections; (2) 
producing valid, reliable, and accurate data for reporting on Indicator 
14; (3) collecting data for Indicator 14 from State longitudinal data 
systems; and (4) using postsecondary outcome data to strengthen 
accountability, decisionmaking, and program improvement systems related 
to improving postsecondary outcomes for students receiving IDEA 
services.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this 
priority. The project 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 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 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 an 
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.
    (3) A four-day Technical Assistance and Dissemination (TA&D) 
Conference in Washington, DC, during each year of the project period.
    (4) One two-day trip annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP; and
    (e) 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 project's activities, as those needs are 
identified in consultation with OSEP.

    Note: With approval from the OSEP Project Officer, the Center 
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, the 
Center, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:
    Knowledge Development Activities.
    (a) Review annually the technical adequacy of all States' Indicator 
14 data collection methods. For States using sampling methods, this 
includes ensuring that the States' samples, or target groups of 
respondents, are representative of the State's respective school 
leavers--that is, in terms of racial demographics, disability group, 
age, gender, and circumstances for leaving. The results of this 
analysis must be shared with the OSEP Project Officer and used by the 
Center to determine the type of TA that States need.
    (b) Design a plan to support all States in gathering and reporting 
Indicator 14 data from a consolidated or linkable State data warehouse 
of longitudinal data (e.g., SLDS).
    (c) Identify specific student level data elements needed to 
accurately report Indicator 14 data in open source resources such as 
the voluntary standards and guidelines of the National Center for 
Education Statistics and the specifications of the Schools 
Interoperability Framework Association to ensure valid, reliable, and 
accurate data.
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities.
    (a) Provide general TA to States to assist them with:
    (1) Improving their data collection and dissemination systems used 
to obtain accurate postsecondary outcome data.
    (2) Developing and implementing effective procedures for collecting 
postsecondary outcome data from LEAs and helping States utilize these 
procedures.
    (3) Disaggregating and analyzing the postsecondary outcome data 
collected on students receiving IDEA services to drive decisionmaking 
at the local level that will lead to valid, reliable, and accurate data 
and program improvement.
    (b) Analyze State SPP/APR Indicator 14 submissions to determine 
those States that lack firmly established data collection and 
dissemination systems and thus have the most need for TA.
    (c) Provide TA to States, including States with projects funded 
under the SLDS grants program. This TA must be designed to help ensure 
that statewide data systems include data concerning students receiving 
IDEA services for the Part B Indicator 14 collection and for reporting 
on post-school outcomes required by IDEA. TA may be provided through 
the use of video conferences, teleconferences, or onsite meetings.
    (d) Conduct two regional meetings each year of the project period 
focused on providing training and information related to data 
collection and the use of data to make informed decisions to improve 
secondary education, transition, and postsecondary outcomes to State 
educational agency (SEA) and LEA staff.
    (e) Identify a minimum of five States to partner with in each year 
of the project period. The Center must obtain approval from OSEP before 
making the final selection of partnering States. Once a State is 
selected as a partner, the Center will continue working with the State 
for the entire project period. (The Center will work intensively with 
five States the first year, five more States the second year, etc. so 
that at the end of the project period, it is working or has worked with 
25 States in total.) The Center must provide each partnering State with 
TA in its first year of working with the Center. This TA must include a 
thorough analysis of the State's needs as well as frequent 
communication between the Center and the State in determining how these 
needs can be met. The TA may be provided through multiple site visits, 
videoconferencing, or other means. After providing the first year of TA 
to the State, the Center must analyze the State's Indicator 14 data 
annually for the remaining project period to determine the level of TA 
the State needs.
    (f) Provide a continuum of general TA&D activities (e.g., managing 
Web sites, listservs, and communities of practice, and holding 
conferences and

[[Page 34734]]

training institutes) on evidence-based practices that promote the use 
of postsecondary outcome data for accountability, decisionmaking, and 
program improvement.
    (g) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility and that links to the Web site 
operated by OSEP's Technical Assistance Coordination Center (TACC).
    (h) Prepare and disseminate reports and other materials on data 
collection, accountability, decisionmaking, program improvement, and 
related topics as requested by OSEP. In consultation with the OSEP 
Project Officer, make selected reports, documents, and other materials 
available for parents, educators, service providers, members of 
professional organizations and advocacy groups, researchers, and 
others, as appropriate.
    (i) Develop materials and guidance for States and provide targeted 
TA related to their SPP and APR performance and compliance 
indicator(s), as requested by OSEP.
    Leadership and Coordination Activities.
    (a) Sponsor a series of joint meetings with representatives from 
the Data Quality Campaign, the Council of Chief State School Officers' 
Education Information Management Advisory Consortium (EIMAC), the 
Longitudinal Student Data Systems Task Force and its Special Education 
Subcommittee, the U.S. Department of Education's Family Policy and 
Compliance Office, the U.S. Department of Labor, vocational 
rehabilitation services, postsecondary institutions and other 
stakeholders to discuss and identify:
    (1) Methods to obtain data on students who leave the State for 
postsecondary education, employment, or other purposes.
    (2) Standards and best practices necessary to allow States to share 
data on Indicator 14 by querying their higher education and 
unemployment databases.
    (3) Available databases that could potentially provide Indicator 14 
data, including unemployment system and wage records, the National 
Student Clearinghouse, and other systems related to data collection and 
the use of data to make informed decisions to improve secondary 
education, transition, and postsecondary outcomes.
    (b) Compile and share data from States' APRs and updated SPPs for 
IDEA Part B Indicator 14 by--
    (1) Reviewing relevant sections of each State's APR and updated SPP 
and summarizing the data on this indicator;
    (2) Developing a summary report for Indicator 14 that includes 
information about States' progress in meeting targets for the indicator 
as well as any revisions made to States' data collection; and
    (3) Providing this summary report to OSEP in a timely manner and 
participating in OSEP-requested teleconferences to discuss the findings 
of the summary report.
    (c) Establish and maintain an advisory committee to review the 
activities and outcomes of the Center and provide programmatic support 
and advice throughout the project period. At a minimum, the advisory 
committee must meet on an annual basis in Washington, DC, and consist 
of representatives from SEAs and LEAs, large scale data specialists, 
individuals with disabilities, educators, parents of individuals with 
disabilities, vocational rehabilitation, labor and postsecondary 
representatives, and service providers that work with transitioning 
youth and adults with disabilities. The Center must submit the names of 
proposed members of the advisory committee to OSEP for approval within 
eight weeks after receipt of the award.
    (d) Communicate and collaborate, on an ongoing basis, with other 
projects funded by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services, including the National Dropout Prevention Center for Students 
with Disabilities, the National Secondary Transition Technical 
Assistance Center, the National High School Center (jointly funded with 
the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education), Parent Centers, the 
Regional Resource Centers, the Data Accountability Center (DAC), IDEA 
Partnership Project, and related projects funded by the Rehabilitation 
Services Administration, the National Institute on Disability and 
Rehabilitation Research, and IES. This collaboration could include the 
joint development of products, the coordination of TA services, and the 
planning and carrying out of TA meetings and events. The Center must 
collaborate with DAC on the analysis of the technical adequacy of 
States' Indicator 14 sampling plans.
    (e) Participate in, organize, or facilitate, as directed by OSEP, 
communities of practice (CoP) that are aligned with the Center's 
objectives as a way to support discussions and collaboration among key 
stakeholders. The following Web site provides information on CoP: 
http://www.tacommunities.org/.
    (f) 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.
    (g) Coordinate with the National Dissemination Center for 
Individuals with Disabilities to develop an efficient and high quality 
dissemination system that reaches broad audiences. The Center must 
report to the OSEP Project Officer the outcomes of these coordination 
efforts.
    (h) Contribute, on an ongoing basis, updated information on the 
Center's services to OSEP's Technical Assistance and Dissemination 
Matrix (matrix.rrfcnetwork.org/), which provides current information on 
Department-funded TA services to a range of stakeholders.
    (i) Maintain ongoing communication with the OSEP Project Officer 
through monthly phone conversations and e-mail communication.
    (j) Conduct a summative evaluation of the Center in collaboration 
with the Center to Improve Project Performance (CIPP) as described in 
the following paragraphs. This summative evaluation must examine the 
outcomes or impact of the Center's activities in order to assess the 
effectiveness of those activities.

    Note: The major tasks of CIPP are to guide, coordinate, and 
oversee the summative evaluations conducted by selected Technical 
Assistance, Personnel Development, Parent Training and Information 
Center, and Technology projects that individually receive $500,000 
or more funding from OSEP annually. The efforts of CIPP are expected 
to enhance individual project evaluations by providing expert and 
unbiased assistance in designing evaluations, conducting analyses, 
and interpreting data.

    To fulfill the requirements of the summative evaluation to be 
conducted under the guidance of CIPP, the Center must--
    (1) Hire or designate, with the approval of the OSEP Project 
Officer, a project liaison staff person with sufficient dedicated time, 
experience in evaluation, and knowledge of the Center to work with CIPP 
on the following tasks:
    (i) Planning the Center's summative evaluation (e.g., selecting 
evaluation questions, developing a timeline for the evaluation, 
locating sources of relevant data, and refining the logic model used 
for the evaluation).
    (ii) Developing the summative evaluation design and instrumentation 
(e.g., determining quantitative or qualitative data collection 
strategies, selecting respondent samples, and pilot testing 
instruments).
    (iii) Coordinating the evaluation timeline with the implementation 
of the Center's activities.

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    (iv) Collecting summative data; and
    (v) Writing reports of summative evaluation findings;
    (2) Cooperate with CIPP staff in order to accomplish the tasks 
described in paragraph (1) of this section; and
    (3) Dedicate $40,000 of the annual budget request for this project 
to cover the costs of carrying out the tasks described in paragraphs 
(1) and (2) of this section, implementing the Center's formative 
evaluation and traveling to Washington, DC, in the second year of the 
project period for the Center's review for continued funding.
    Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project: In deciding whether to 
continue funding the Center 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. The Center must 
budget for travel expenses associated with this one-day intensive 
review;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the 
Center; and
    (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the Center's 
activities and products and the degree to which the Center's activities 
and products have contributed to changed practices in SEA and LEA 
accountability, decisionmaking, and program improvement in the area of 
postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities.
    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: $800,000.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $800,000 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: 1.

    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 project (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 84.326U.
    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 17, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 17, 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

[[Page 34736]]

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 26, 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 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 84.326U), 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

[[Page 34737]]

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 
84.326U), 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. 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.
    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.
    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: Selete Avoke, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4120, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7260.
    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 the Office of 
Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to perform the functions 
of the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.

    Dated: July 14, 2009.
Andrew J. Pepin,
Executive Administrator for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. E9-17126 Filed 7-16-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P