FR Doc 2010-12610
[Federal Register: May 25, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 100)]
[Notices]               
[Page 29327-29333]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr25my10-47]                     
                  
         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview 
Information; State Personnel Development Grants (SPDG) Program Notice 
Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.323A.

    DATES:
    Applications Available: May 25, 2010.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 9, 2010.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 7, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program, authorized by the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended (IDEA), is to 
assist State educational agencies (SEAs) in reforming and improving 
their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in 
early intervention, educational, and transition services in order to 
improve results for children with disabilities.
    Priority: This priority is from the notice of final priority for 
this program, published in the Federal Register on June 9, 2006 (71 FR 
33578).
    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: State Personnel Development Grants Program 
Priority:
    The Assistant Secretary establishes a priority to assist SEAs in 
reforming and improving their personnel preparation and professional 
development systems for teachers, principals, administrators, related 
services personnel, paraprofessionals, and early intervention 
personnel. The intent of this priority is to improve educational 
results for children with disabilities through the delivery of high 
quality instruction and the recruitment, hiring and retention of highly 
qualified special education teachers.
    In order to meet this priority an applicant must demonstrate that 
the project for which it seeks funding--(1) Provides professional 
development activities that improve the knowledge and skills of 
personnel as defined in section 651(b) of IDEA in delivering 
scientifically-based instruction to meet the needs of, and improve the 
performance and achievement of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and 
children with disabilities; (2) Implements practices to sustain the 
knowledge and skills of personnel who have received training in 
scientifically-based instruction; and (3) Implements strategies that 
are effective in promoting the recruitment, hiring, and retention of 
highly qualified special education teachers in accordance with section 
602(10) and section 612(a)(14) of IDEA.
    Projects funded under this priority must also:
    (a) Budget for a three-day Project Directors' meeting in 
Washington, DC during each year of the project;
    (b) Budget $4,000 annually for support of the State Personnel 
Development Grants Program Web site currently administered by the 
University of Oregon (http://www.signetwork.org); and
    (c) If a project receiving assistance under this program authority 
maintains a Web site, include relevant information and documents in a 
form that meets a government or industry-recognized standard for 
accessibility.
    Statutory Requirements.
    State Personnel Development Plan.
    An applicant must submit a State Personnel Development Plan that 
identifies and addresses the State and local needs for personnel 
preparation and professional development of personnel, as well as 
individuals who provide direct supplementary aids and services to 
children with disabilities, and that--
    (a) Is designed to enable the State to meet the requirements of 
section 612(a)(14) and section 635(a)(8) and (9) of IDEA;
    (b) Is based on an assessment of State and local needs that 
identifies critical aspects and areas in need of improvement related to 
the preparation, ongoing training, and professional development of 
personnel who serve infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children with 
disabilities within the State, including--
    (i) Current and anticipated personnel vacancies and shortages; and
    (ii) The number of preservice and inservice programs;
    (c) Is integrated and aligned, to the maximum extent possible, with 
State plans and activities under the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA); the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended; and the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA);
    (d) Describes a partnership agreement that is in effect for the 
period of the grant, which agreement must specify--
    (i) The nature and extent of the partnership described in 
accordance with section 652(b) of IDEA and the respective roles of each 
member of the partnership, including, if applicable, an individual, 
entity, or agency other than the SEA that has the responsibility under 
State law for teacher preparation and certification; and
    (ii) How the SEA will work with other persons and organizations 
involved in, and concerned with, the education of children with 
disabilities, including the respective roles of each of the persons and 
organizations;
    (e) Describes how the strategies and activities the SEA uses to 
address identified professional development and personnel needs will be 
coordinated with activities supported with other public resources 
(including funds provided under Part B and Part C of IDEA and retained 
for use at the State level for personnel and professional development 
purposes) and private resources;
    (f) Describes how the SEA will align its personnel development plan 
with the plan and application submitted under sections 1111 and 2112, 
respectively, of the ESEA;
    (g) Describes strategies the SEA will use to address the identified 
professional development and personnel needs and how such strategies 
will be implemented, including--
    (i) A description of the programs and activities that will provide 
personnel with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of, and 
improve the performance and achievement of, infants, toddlers, 
preschoolers, and children with disabilities; and
    (ii) How such strategies will be integrated, to the maximum extent 
possible, with other activities supported by grants funded under 
section 662 of IDEA;
    (h) Provides an assurance that the SEA will provide technical 
assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) to improve the quality 
of professional development available to meet the needs of personnel 
who serve children with disabilities;
    (i) Provides an assurance that the SEA will provide technical 
assistance to

[[Page 29328]]

entities that provide services to infants and toddlers with 
disabilities to improve the quality of professional development 
available to meet the needs of personnel serving those children;
    (j) Describes how the SEA will recruit and retain highly qualified 
teachers and other qualified personnel in geographic areas of greatest 
need;
    (k) Describes the steps the SEA will take to ensure that 
economically disadvantaged and minority children are not taught at 
higher rates by teachers who are not highly qualified; and
    (l) Describes how the SEA will assess, on a regular basis, the 
extent to which the strategies implemented have been effective in 
meeting the performance goals described in section 612(a)(15) of IDEA.
    Partnerships.
    Required Partners.
    Applicants must establish a partnership with LEAs and other State 
agencies involved in, or concerned with, the education of children with 
disabilities, including--
    (a) Not less than one institution of higher education; and
    (b) The State agencies responsible for administering Part C of 
IDEA, early education, child care, and vocational rehabilitation 
programs.
    Other Partners.
    An SEA must work in partnership with other persons and 
organizations involved in, and concerned with, the education of 
children with disabilities, which may include--
    (a) The Governor;
    (b) Parents of children with disabilities ages birth through 26;
    (c) Parents of nondisabled children ages birth through 26;
    (d) Individuals with disabilities;
    (e) Parent training and information centers or community parent 
resource centers funded under sections 671 and 672 of IDEA, 
respectively;
    (f) Community-based and other nonprofit organizations involved in 
the education and employment of individuals with disabilities;
    (g) Personnel as defined in section 651(b) of IDEA;
    (h) The State advisory panel established under Part B of IDEA;
    (i) The State interagency coordinating council established under 
Part C of IDEA;
    (j) Individuals knowledgeable about vocational education;
    (k) The State agency for higher education;
    (l) Noneducational public agencies with jurisdiction in the areas 
of health, mental health, social services, and juvenile justice;
    (m) Other providers of professional development who work with 
infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children with disabilities;
    (n) Other individuals; and
    (o) An individual, entity, or agency as a partner in accordance 
with section 652(b)(3) of IDEA, if State law assigns responsibility for 
teacher preparation and certification to an individual, entity, or 
agency other than the SEA.
    Use of Funds.
    (a) Professional Development Activities--Consistent with the 
absolute priority announced in this notice, each SEA that receives a 
grant under this program must use the grant funds to support activities 
in accordance with the State's Personnel Development Plan, including 
one or more of the following:
    (1) Carrying out programs that provide support to both special 
education and regular education teachers of children with disabilities 
and principals, such as programs that--
    (i) Provide teacher mentoring, team teaching, reduced class 
schedules and case loads, and intensive professional development;
    (ii) Use standards or assessments for guiding beginning teachers 
that are consistent with challenging State student academic achievement 
and functional standards and with the requirements for professional 
development, as defined in section 9101 of the ESEA; and
    (iii) Encourage collaborative and consultative models of providing 
early intervention, special education, and related services.
    (2) Encouraging and supporting the training of special education 
and regular education teachers and administrators to effectively use 
and integrate technology--
    (i) Into curricula and instruction, including training to improve 
the ability to collect, manage, and analyze data to improve teaching, 
decisionmaking, school improvement efforts, and accountability;
    (ii) To enhance learning by children with disabilities; and
    (iii) To effectively communicate with parents.
    (3) Providing professional development activities that--
    (i) Improve the knowledge of special education and regular 
education teachers concerning--
    (A) The academic and developmental or functional needs of students 
with disabilities; or
    (B) Effective instructional strategies, methods, and skills, and 
the use of State academic content standards and student academic 
achievement and functional standards, and State assessments, to improve 
teaching practices and student academic achievement;
    (ii) Improve the knowledge of special education and regular 
education teachers and principals and, in appropriate cases, 
paraprofessionals, concerning effective instructional practices, that--
    (A) Provide training in how to teach and address the needs of 
children with different learning styles and children who are limited 
English proficient;
    (B) Involve collaborative groups of teachers, administrators, and, 
in appropriate cases, related services personnel;
    (C) Provide training in methods of--
    (I) Positive behavioral interventions and supports to improve 
student behavior in the classroom;
    (II) Scientifically based reading instruction, including early 
literacy instruction;
    (III) Early and appropriate interventions to identify and help 
children with disabilities;
    (IV) Effective instruction for children with low-incidence 
disabilities;
    (V) Successful transitioning to postsecondary opportunities; and
    (VI) Classroom-based techniques to assist children prior to 
referral for special education;
    (D) Provide training to enable personnel to work with and involve 
parents in their child's education, including parents of low income and 
limited English proficient children with disabilities;
    (E) Provide training for special education personnel and regular 
education personnel in planning, developing, and implementing effective 
and appropriate individualized education programs (IEPs); and
    (F) Provide training to meet the needs of students with significant 
health, mobility, or behavioral needs prior to serving those students;
    (iii) Train administrators, principals, and other relevant school 
personnel in conducting effective IEP meetings; and
    (iv) Train early intervention, preschool, and related services 
providers, and other relevant school personnel in conducting effective 
individualized family service plan (IFSP) meetings.
    (4) Developing and implementing initiatives to promote the 
recruitment and retention of highly qualified special education 
teachers, particularly initiatives that have proven effective in 
recruiting and retaining highly qualified teachers, including programs 
that provide--
    (i) Teacher mentoring from exemplary special education teachers, 
principals, or superintendents;

[[Page 29329]]

    (ii) Induction and support for special education teachers during 
their first three years of employment as teachers; or
    (iii) Incentives, including financial incentives, to retain special 
education teachers who have a record of success in helping students 
with disabilities.
    (5) Carrying out programs and activities that are designed to 
improve the quality of personnel who serve children with disabilities, 
such as--
    (i) Innovative professional development programs (which may be 
provided through partnerships with institutions of higher education), 
including programs that train teachers and principals to integrate 
technology into curricula and instruction to improve teaching, 
learning, and technology literacy and that are consistent with the 
definition of professional development in section 9101 of the ESEA; and
    (ii) The development and use of proven, cost effective strategies 
for the implementation of professional development activities, such as 
through the use of technology and distance learning.
    (6) Carrying out programs and activities that are designed to 
improve the quality of early intervention personnel, including 
paraprofessionals and primary referral sources, such as--
    (i) Professional development programs to improve the delivery of 
early intervention services;
    (ii) Initiatives to promote the recruitment and retention of early 
intervention personnel; and
    (iii) Interagency activities to ensure that early intervention 
personnel are adequately prepared and trained.
    (b) Other Activities--Consistent with the absolute priority 
announced in this notice, each SEA that receives a SPDG under this 
program must use the grant funds to support activities in accordance 
with the State's Personnel Development Plan, including one or more of 
the following:
    (1) Reforming special education and regular education teacher 
certification (including re-certification) or licensing requirements to 
ensure that--
    (i) Special education and regular education teachers have--
    (A) The training and information necessary to address the full 
range of needs of children with disabilities across disability 
categories; and
    (B) The necessary subject matter knowledge and teaching skills in 
the academic subjects that the teachers teach;
    (ii) Special education and regular education teacher certification 
(including re-certification) or licensing requirements are aligned with 
challenging State academic content standards; and
    (iii) Special education and regular education teachers have the 
subject matter knowledge and teaching skills, including technology 
literacy, necessary to help students with disabilities meet challenging 
State student academic achievement and functional standards.
    (2) Programs that establish, expand, or improve alternative routes 
for State certification of special education teachers for highly 
qualified individuals with a baccalaureate or master's degree, 
including mid-career professionals from other occupations, 
paraprofessionals, and recent college or university graduates with 
records of academic distinction who demonstrate the potential to become 
highly effective special education teachers.
    (3) Teacher advancement initiatives for special education teachers 
that promote professional growth and emphasize multiple career paths 
(such as paths to becoming a career teacher, mentor teacher, or 
exemplary teacher) and pay differentiation.
    (4) Developing and implementing mechanisms to assist LEAs and 
schools in effectively recruiting and retaining highly qualified 
special education teachers.
    (5) Reforming tenure systems, implementing teacher testing for 
subject matter knowledge, and implementing teacher testing for State 
certification or licensure, consistent with Title II of the HEA (20 
U.S.C. 1021 et seq.).
    (6) Funding projects to promote reciprocity of teacher 
certification or licensing between or among States for special 
education teachers, except that no reciprocity agreement developed 
under this absolute priority may lead to the weakening of any State 
teacher certification or licensing requirement.
    (7) Assisting LEAs to serve children with disabilities through the 
development and use of proven, innovative strategies to deliver 
intensive professional development programs that are both cost 
effective and easily accessible, such as strategies that involve 
delivery through the use of technology, peer networks, and distance 
learning.
    (8) Developing, or assisting LEAs in developing, merit-based 
performance systems and strategies that provide differential and bonus 
pay for special education teachers.
    (9) Supporting activities that ensure that teachers are able to use 
challenging State academic content standards and student academic 
achievement and functional standards, and the results of State 
assessments for all children with disabilities to improve instructional 
practices and improve the academic achievement of children with 
disabilities.
    (10) When applicable, coordinating with, and expanding centers 
established under section 2113(c)(18) of the ESEA to benefit special 
education teachers.
    (c) Contracts and Subgrants--An SEA that receives a grant under 
this program--
    (1) Must award contracts or subgrants to LEAs, institutions of 
higher education, parent training and information centers, or community 
parent resource centers, as appropriate, to carry out the State 
personnel development plan; and
    (2) May award contracts and subgrants to other public and private 
entities, including the lead agency under Part C of IDEA, to carry out 
the State plan.
    (d) Use of Funds for Professional Development--An SEA that receives 
a grant under this program must use--
    (1) Not less than 90 percent of the funds the SEA receives under 
the grant for any fiscal year for the Professional Development 
Activities described in paragraph (a); and
    (2) Not more than 10 percent of the funds the SEA receives under 
the grant for any fiscal year for the Other Activities described in 
paragraph (b).
    (e) Grants to Outlying Areas--Public Law 95-134, permitting the 
consolidation of grants to the outlying areas, does not apply to funds 
received under this program authority.
    Competitive Preference Priorities: Within this absolute priority, 
we give competitive preference to applications that meet one of the 
following priorities. For FY 2010 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, 
these priorities are competitive preference priorities.
    These priorities are based on allowable activities specified in 
section 654 of IDEA (20 U.S.C. 1454), the provisions in IDEA that 
authorize the SPDG Program.
    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award an additional five points to 
an application that meets one of the following competitive preference 
priorities. We will award points on an ``all or nothing'' basis (i.e., 
five points or zero points) to an applicant that addresses one of the 
competitive preference priorities in its application based on whether 
the applicant meets the priority. These points are in addition to any 
points the application earns under the selection criteria. To be 
considered for a competitive preference, an applicant must identify in 
its

[[Page 29330]]

application the one competitive preference priority it is seeking to 
meet.
    Competitive Preference Priority 1--Partnerships with LEAs and IHEs 
to Improve Special Education Teacher Effectiveness.
    We give competitive preference to applicants that demonstrate (1) 
how they will provide evidence-based professional development 
activities to improve the effectiveness of special education teachers 
of children with disabilities from low-income or minority backgrounds 
or children with disabilities who are English learners; (2) how they 
will track the effectiveness of the professional development 
activities; and (3) how these professional development activities will 
incorporate partnerships between one or more LEAs serving high 
concentrations of these children and one or more institutions of higher 
education (IHE).
    Competitive Preference Priority 2--Professional Development 
Activities for High School Personnel.
    We give competitive preference to applicants that demonstrate how 
they will provide professional development activities to enhance the 
capacity of personnel, as defined in section 651(b) of IDEA (20 U.S.C. 
1451(b)), in high schools with high concentrations of low-income 
students and students from minority backgrounds to deliver high-quality 
instruction and improve outcomes for high school youth with 
disabilities. Examples include professional development activities 
related to mentoring, post-school transition, and literacy.
    Competitive Preference Priority 3--Professional Development for 
Personnel Who Work with Children Who Need High Levels of Support.
    We give competitive preference to applicants that demonstrate how 
they will provide professional development to enhance the capacity of 
early intervention personnel, special education and regular education 
teachers, related services personnel, and school principals to use 
collaborative and consultative models to serve infants, toddlers, and 
children with disabilities who need high levels of support to 
participate successfully in natural environments or in the least 
restrictive environment.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1451-1455.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final priority for 
this program published in the Federal Register on June 9, 2006 (71 FR 
33578).

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


II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $10,000,000. Contingent upon the 
availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make 
additional awards in FY 2011 from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$4,000,000 (for the 50 States, 
the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). In the 
case of an outlying area awards will be not less than $80,000.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $4,000,000 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.

    Note: We will set the amount of each award after considering--
    (1) The amount of funds available for making the grants;
    (2) The relative population of the State or outlying area;
    (3) The types of activities proposed by the State or outlying 
area;
    (4) The alignment of proposed activities with section 612(a)(14) 
of IDEA;
    (5) The alignment of proposed activities with State plans and 
applications submitted under sections 1111 and 2112, respectively, 
of the ESEA; and
    (6) The use, as appropriate, of scientifically based research 
and instruction.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,000,000, excluding outlying 
areas.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

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

    Project Period: Not less than one year and not more than five 
years.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: An SEA of one of the 50 States, the 
District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or an outlying 
area (United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the 
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: General Requirements--The projects funded under this 
program must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment 
qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs), U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, 
Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. Fax: (703) 
605-6794. 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.EDPubs.gov 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 84.323A.
    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 program.
    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 Part III to 
the equivalent of no more than 100 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, abstracts, 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: May 25, 2010.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 9, 2010.

[[Page 29331]]

    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: September 7, 2010.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program 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. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the 
Department of Education, (1) you must have a Data Universal Numbering 
System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN); (2) 
you must register both of those numbers with the Central Contractor 
Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant database; and (3) 
you must provide those same numbers on your application.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    7. 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

[[Page 29332]]

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 84.323A), 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 
84.323A), 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 program 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 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: The goal of the SPDG Program is to reform 
and improve State systems for personnel preparation and professional 
development in early intervention, educational, and transition services 
in order to improve results for children with disabilities. Under the 
Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the Department has 
developed performance measures to assess the success of the program in 
meeting these goals. These measures are: (1) The percent of personnel 
receiving professional development through the SPDG Program based on 
scientific- or evidence-based instructional practices; (2) the 
percentage of SPDG projects that have implemented personnel 
development/training activities that are aligned with improvement 
strategies identified in their State Performance Plan; (3) the 
percentage of professional development/training activities provided 
through the SPDG Program based on scientific- or evidence-based 
instructional/behavioral practices; (4) the percentage of professional

[[Page 29333]]

development/training activities based on scientific- or evidence-based 
instructional/behavioral practices, provided through the SPDG Program, 
that are sustained through ongoing and comprehensive practices (e.g., 
mentoring, coaching, structured guidance, modeling, continuous inquiry, 
etc.); (5) in States with SPDG projects that have special education 
teacher retention as a goal, the Statewide percentage of highly 
qualified special education teachers in State-identified professional 
disciplines (e.g., teachers of children with emotional disturbance, 
deafness, etc.), consistent with sections 602(a)(10) and 612(a)(14) of 
IDEA, who remain teaching after the first three years of employment; 
and (6) the percentage of SPDG projects that successfully replicate the 
use of scientific, or evidence-based instructional/behavioral practices 
in schools; and (7) the percentage of SPDG projects whose cost per 
personnel receiving professional development on scientific or evidence-
based practices is within a specified range.
    Each grantee must annually report its performance on these measures 
in the project's annual performance report to the Department in 
accordance with section 653(d) of IDEA and 34 CFR 75.590.

VII. Agency Contact

    For Further Information Contact: Jennifer Coffey, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4096, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-6673.
    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.


    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.


    Dated: May 18, 2010.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2010-12610 Filed 5-24-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P