FR Doc E9-21436[Federal Register: September 4, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 171)]
[Notices]               
[Page 45837-45843]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr04se09-47]  

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview 
Information; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for 
Children With Disabilities--Paraprofessional Preservice Program 
Improvement Grants; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.325N.
    Dates:
    Applications Available: September 4, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 3, 2009.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: January 4, 2010.

[[Page 45838]]

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) Help 
address State-identified needs for highly qualified personnel--in 
special education, related services, early intervention, and regular 
education--to work with infants, toddlers, and children with 
disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary 
skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined 
through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful 
in serving those children.
    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority 
is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 662 
and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 
20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2010 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:

Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With 
Disabilities--Paraprofessional Preservice Program Improvement Grants

    Background: Paraprofessionals provide important services to 
children with disabilities ages birth through 21 and their families. In 
early intervention (EI) programs, preschools, and elementary, middle, 
and high schools, paraprofessionals provide instructional support, 
modify instructional materials, implement behavioral management plans, 
assist in the implementation of postsecondary education transition 
plans, and collect data to monitor children's development and learning 
(Kellegrew, Pacifico-Banta, & Stewart, 2008; Mikulecky & Baber, 2005; 
Shkodriani, 2003). Kellegrew, Pacifico-Banta, and Stewart (2008) and 
Shkodriani (2003) note that paraprofessionals have become increasingly 
responsible for other activities involving children with disabilities, 
such as participating in the development of their Individualized Family 
Service Plans and Individualized Education Programs; providing direct 
services to children and their families, including small group 
instruction and one-on-one tutoring; and assisting with classroom 
management. Despite the critical roles that paraprofessionals play in 
the lives of children with disabilities, scant attention has been paid 
to ensure that early childhood or K through 12 paraprofessional 
preservice programs adequately prepare paraprofessionals to serve this 
population.
    In a survey of coordinators for the Part C infants and toddlers 
program under IDEA, half of the respondents indicated that their State 
had added or created new professional categories, particularly at the 
paraprofessional level (Center to Inform Personnel Preparation Policy 
and Practice in Early Intervention and Preschool Education, 2004a). 
Many States are trying to identify training opportunities for 
paraprofessionals in EI or work on strategies to increase the quality 
of preservice programs (Kellegrew et al., 2008). Coordinators for the 
Part B section 619 preschool program under IDEA also expressed concern 
about the adequacy of training of paraprofessionals, particularly to 
work with young children with disabilities and their families (Center 
to Inform Personnel Preparation Policy and Practice in Early 
Intervention and Preschool Education, 2004b). Although national 
professional organizations (e.g., The Division for Early Childhood of 
the Council for Exceptional Children and the National Association for 
the Education of Young Children) have personnel standards that could be 
used to guide the training of paraprofessionals working with young 
children with disabilities and their families, many of the certificate 
or associate degree programs that train paraprofessionals have yet to 
reach these standards or offer practicum experience in working with 
children with disabilities and their families (Chang, Early, & Winton, 
2005).
    Section 635(a)(9) of Part C of IDEA and section 612(a)(14)(B) of 
Part B of IDEA and 34 CFR 300.156(b)(1) of the IDEA Part B regulations 
require States to provide assurances that they have established 
paraprofessional qualifications that are consistent with State-approved 
or State-recognized certification, licensing, registration, or other 
comparable requirements that apply to the professional discipline in 
which those personnel are providing early intervention, special 
education, or related services. Westat (2002) reported that the average 
paraprofessional works in five different classes per week and serves 21 
students, 15 of whom have disabilities; consequently, it is important 
that paraprofessionals are trained to meet standards that will prepare 
them to provide effective services to all students. According to 
Giangreco (2003), paraprofessionals in elementary and secondary special 
education settings are under-trained or untrained to work with students 
with disabilities. Improving paraprofessional preservice programs will 
help ensure that paraprofessionals are adequately trained to meet the 
requirements under IDEA and thus, better prepared to meet the needs of 
children with disabilities.
    The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is establishing 
this priority to improve preservice programs for paraprofessionals who 
serve children ages birth through five and in grades K through 12 by 
enhancing or redesigning curricula to adequately train these 
paraprofessionals to address the needs of children with disabilities.
    Priority: The purpose of this priority is to provide Federal 
support to improve the quality of existing paraprofessional certificate 
or associate degree programs. Institutions receiving support under this 
priority must enhance or redesign the program curricula so that 
paraprofessionals are well-prepared to work with children with 
disabilities and their families. There are two focus areas under this 
priority. Under focus area A, the Secretary intends to support 
improvement grants for EI, early childhood special education (ECSE), 
and early childhood education (ECE) paraprofessional preservice 
programs. Under focus area B, the Secretary intends to support 
improvement grants for K through 12 paraprofessional preservice 
programs.

    Note: Applicants must identify the specific focus area, A or B, 
under which they are applying as part of the competition title on 
the application cover sheet (SF form 424, line 4). Applicants may 
not submit the same proposal under more than one focus area.

Focus Area A: EI, ECSE, and ECE Paraprofessional Preservice Programs

    The programs under focus area A include certificate or associate 
degree programs at institutions of higher education (IHEs), including 
community colleges, that train EI, ECSE, or ECE paraprofessionals to 
serve children ages birth through five. These programs under this focus 
area must enhance or redesign their curricula by: (1) Incorporating 
evidence-based and competency-based practices and content in special 
education into each course; and (2) providing at least one practicum 
experience in a program that serves children with disabilities ages 
birth through five and their families. Paraprofessional students must 
obtain the knowledge, training, and skills necessary to work 
effectively with licensed or certified practitioners to provide 
appropriate services to children with disabilities and their families. 
In addition, the programs under this focus area must ensure that 
program graduates

[[Page 45839]]

meet the qualifications for paraprofessionals that are consistent with 
the State standards in accordance with section 635(a)(9) of IDEA or 
section 612(a)(14)(B) of IDEA and 34 CFR 300.156(b) of the IDEA Part B 
regulations, as appropriate, or in States that do not have State 
standards, meet appropriate national professional organization 
standards for paraprofessionals.

Focus Area B: K Through 12 Paraprofessional Preservice Programs

    The programs under focus area B include certificate or associate 
degree programs at IHEs, including community colleges, that train 
paraprofessionals to serve students in grades K through 12. The 
programs under this focus area must enhance or redesign the curricula 
by: (1) Incorporating evidence-based and competency-based practices and 
content in special education into each course; and (2) providing at 
least one practicum experience in a setting that serves children with 
disabilities in grades K through 12 and their families. 
Paraprofessional students must obtain the knowledge, training, and 
skills necessary to work effectively with licensed or certified K 
through 12 practitioners to provide appropriate services to children 
with disabilities and their families. In addition, the programs under 
this focus area must ensure that program graduates meet the 
qualifications for paraprofessionals that are consistent with the State 
standards in accordance with section 612(a)(14)(B) of IDEA and 34 CFR 
300.156(b) of the IDEA Part B regulations or in States that do not have 
State standards, meet the paraprofessional standards in accordance with 
section 1119 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended.
    To be considered for funding under the Paraprofessional Preservice 
Program Improvement Grants absolute priority, focus area A or B, 
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.

    Note: The two focus areas under this priority only support the 
improvement of existing EI, ECSE, and ECE or K through 12 
paraprofessional preservice programs. This priority does not support 
the development of new paraprofessional preservice programs, nor 
does it provide for financial support of paraprofessional students 
during any year of the project. Projects training paraprofessionals 
in other related services, speech/language or adapted physical 
education are not eligible under these focus areas.

Application Requirements for Focus Areas A and B

    An applicant must include in its application--
    (a) A plan to implement the activities described in the Project 
Activities section of this priority. In this plan, applicants must 
describe first-year activities, include a three-year timeline and 
implementation plan, and indicate the projected number of graduates;
    (b) A budget that includes attendance at a three-day Project 
Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, during each year of the 
project period; and
    (c) An appendix that includes all course syllabi for the existing 
paraprofessional preservice program.

Project Activities for Focus Areas A and B

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the project, at a 
minimum, must conduct the following activities:
    (a) Based on the plan described under paragraph (a) of the 
Application Requirements, enhance or redesign the paraprofessional 
preservice program's curricula by incorporating evidence-based and 
competency-based practices and content in special education into each 
course and by providing at least one practicum experience in a setting 
that serves children with disabilities and their families. This work 
must be done in the first year of the project; must describe the 
proposed project activities associated with implementation of the 
curricula; and may be implemented with the approval of the OSEP Project 
Officer. The improved paraprofessional preservice program must--
    (1) Be aligned to State standards for paraprofessionals, or in 
States that do not have State standards, meet appropriate national 
professional organization standards for paraprofessionals; and
    (2) Be designed to ensure that paraprofessional students receive 
training, and develop knowledge and skills, in the following areas:
    (i) Collaborating and working effectively with licensed and 
certified professional practitioners, as appropriate.
    (ii) Implementing social-emotional and behavioral interventions and 
classroom management practices.
    (iii) Implementing instructional strategies to support early 
development and learning or academic achievement.
    (iv) Using technology to enhance children's development and access 
to natural learning opportunities or participation in the general 
education curriculum.
    (v) Observing and collecting data for progress monitoring.
    (vi) Communicating effectively with children and families.
    (vii) Assisting in the implementation of transition plans and 
services across settings from EI to preschool, preschool to elementary 
school, elementary school to secondary school, and secondary school to 
postsecondary education (post school) or the workforce, as appropriate.
    (viii) Working with children and families from diverse cultural and 
linguistic backgrounds, including limited English proficient children 
with disabilities.

    Note: In alignment with the principle outlined in the American 
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to make improvements in 
teacher effectiveness and in the equitable distribution of qualified 
personnel for all children, particularly children who are most in 
need, OSEP encourages programs to provide practicum experiences in 
high-poverty and rural settings.

    (b) Develop and implement a plan to ensure that program faculty 
have the necessary support, knowledge, and skills to implement the new 
content and to train paraprofessional students to work with children 
with disabilities.
    (c) Develop and implement a management plan for instituting the 
improved paraprofessional preservice program developed in the first 
year.
    (d) Demonstrate how the improved program will work with other 
projects funded by OSEP and the Department of Education to incorporate 
existing training resources on evidence-based practices (e.g., the IRIS 
Center for Faculty Enhancements: http://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu and 
CONNECT: The Center to Mobilize Early Childhood Knowledge: 
http://community.fpg.unc.edu/connect).
    (e) Submit the revised curriculum and syllabi for courses that are 
included in the improved program to the OSEP Project Officer at the end 
of the first year of the project period and make any necessary 
revisions required by the OSEP Project Officer.
    (f) Communicate and collaborate with the OSEP Project Officer to 
determine how the project will evaluate the project's goals and 
objectives, including the implementation of revised coursework, and how 
the project will report the impact to OSEP in annual performance 
reports and final performance reports.
    (g) Implement a plan to maintain the improved program once Federal 
funding ends.
    (h) If the project maintains a Web site, include relevant 
information about the revised program and documents in a

[[Page 45840]]

form that meets government or industry-recognized standards for 
accessibility.
    (i) Maintain ongoing communication with the OSEP Project Officer 
through monthly phone conversations or e-mail communication and 
participate in monthly grantee community of practice teleconferences, 
as directed by OSEP.
    References:

Center to Inform Personnel Preparation Policy and Practice in Early 
Intervention and Preschool Education. (2004a). Study I data report: 
The national landscape of early intervention in personnel 
preparation standards under Part C of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act. Farmington, CT: University of 
Connecticut Health Center. Available at: 
http://www.uconnucedd.org/per_prep_center/publications.html.
Center to Inform Personnel Preparation Policy and Practice in Early 
Intervention and Preschool Education. (2004b). Study I data report: 
The national landscape of early childhood special education in 
personnel preparation standards under 619 of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act. Farmington, CT: University of 
Connecticut Health Center. Available at: 
http://www.uconnucedd.org/per_prep_center/publications.html.
Chang, F., Early., D., & Winton, P. (2005). Early childhood teacher 
preparation in special education at 2- and 4- year institutions of 
higher education. Journal of Early Intervention, 27(2), 110-124.
Giangreco, M. (2003). Working with paraprofessionals. Educational 
Leadership, 61(2), 50-53. Retrieved April 9, 2008 from 
http://www.monarchcenter.org/pdfs/workwithparas_2003.pdf.
Kellegrew, D.H., Pacifico-Banta, J., & Stewart, K. (2008). Training 
early intervention assistants in California's community colleges. 
(Issues & Answers Report, REL 2008-No. 060). Washington, DC: U.S. 
Department of Education, Institute of Educational Sciences, National 
Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional 
Educational Laboratory West. Available at: 
http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/projects/project.asp?ProjectID=165.
Mikulecky, M.T. & Baber, A. (2005). ECS policy brief: from highly 
qualified to highly competent paraprofessionals: How NCLB 
requirements can catalyze effective program and policy development 
guidelines from the ECS paraprofessional expert. Retrieved January 
22, 2008, from 
http://www.ecs.org/html/IssueSection.asp?issueid=195&subissueid=112&ssID=0&s=Selected+Research+%26+Readings.
Shkodriani, G. (2003). Training for paraprofessionals: The community 
college role. Retrieved January 22, 2008, from http://hems.aed.org/
docs/Paraprofessionals.pdf.
Westat. (2002) Study of personnel needs in special education. 
Retrieved January 23, 2008 from 
http://ferdig.coe.ufl.edu/spense/KeyFindings.doc.

    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. 1462 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 IHEs only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$88,152,592 for the Personnel Development to Improve Services and 
Results for Children with Disabilities program for FY 2010, of which we 
intend to use an estimated $1,500,000 for the competition announced in 
this notice. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final 
congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow 
enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates 
funds for this program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2011 from this 
competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $145,000-150,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $150,000.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $150,000 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: 10.

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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs (as defined in section 101 of the 
Higher Education Act of 1965).
    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 competition as follows: CFDA number 84.325N.
    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 50 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.

[[Page 45841]]

     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: September 4, 2009.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: November 3, 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: January 4, 2010.
    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 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

[[Page 45842]]

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 84.325N), 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 
84.325N), 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 Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results 
for Children with Disabilities program. These measures include: (1) The 
percentage of projects that incorporate scientifically based or 
evidence-based practices; (2) the percentage of scholars who exit 
training programs prior to completion due to poor academic performance; 
(3) the percentage of degree or certification recipients who are 
working in the area(s) for which they were trained upon program 
completion; (4) the percentage of degree or certification recipients 
who are working in the area(s) for which they were trained upon program 
completion and are fully qualified under IDEA; (5) the percentage of 
scholars completing IDEA-funded training programs who are knowledgeable 
and skilled in scientifically based or evidence-based practices for 
children with disabilities; and (6) the percentage of program graduates 
who maintain employment for three or more years in the area(s) for 
which they were trained.
    Grantees may be asked to participate in assessing and providing 
information on these aspects of program quality.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Shedeh Hajghassemali, U.S. Department

[[Page 45843]]

of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4091, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7506.
    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: August 31, 2009.
Andrew J. Pepin,
Executive Administrator for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. E9-21436 Filed 9-3-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P