FR Doc 2010-18525
[Federal Register: July 28, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 144)]
[Notices]               
[Page 44231-44233]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr28jy10-50]        
                  
         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Notice of Proposed Extension of Project Period and Waiver for the 
State and Federal Policy Forum for Program Improvement Center (CFDA No. 
84.326F)

AGENCY: Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Special 
Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed extension of project period and waiver for 
the State and Federal Policy Forum for Program Improvement Center (CFDA 
No. 84.326F).

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SUMMARY: The Secretary proposes to waive the requirements in the 
Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), in 34 
CFR 75.250 and 75.261(a) and (c), respectively, that generally prohibit 
project periods exceeding five years and extensions of project periods 
involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. This extension of 
project period and waiver would enable the currently funded State and 
Federal Policy Forum for Program Improvement Center to receive funding 
from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before August 12, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed extension of 
project period and waiver to Patricia Gonzalez, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4057, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-7355.
    If you prefer to send your comments by e-mail, use the following 
address: patricia.gonzalez@ed.gov. You must include the phrase 
``proposed extension of project period and waiver'' in the subject line 
of your message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Patricia Gonzalez at the address 
listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

[[Page 44232]]

Telephone: (202) 245-7355. If you use a telecommunications device for 
the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll-free, at 1-
800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an 
accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in this section:

Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed extension 
of project period and waiver.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this proposed extension of project period and waiver in 
room 4082, Potomac Center Plaza, 550 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC, 
between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, Monday 
through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 
Record

    On request, we will supply an appropriate accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance 
to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking 
record for this proposed extension of project period and waiver. If you 
want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or 
auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

Background

    On March 3, 2005, the Department published a notice in the Federal 
Register (70 FR 10374), inviting applications for new awards for fiscal 
year (FY) 2005 under the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to 
Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities (TA&D) 
program, authorized under section 663 of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to support a State and Federal 
Policy Forum for Program Improvement Center (Project Forum). Based on 
that notice, the Department made one award for a period of 60 months to 
the National Association of State Directors of Special Education to 
carry out Project Forum. The purpose of Project Forum is to provide 
States, local educational agencies (LEAs) and Federal decision makers 
responsible for the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities 
Education Act (IDEA) with access to valid statistics, research 
findings, policy analyses, and current information on trends in the 
provision of special education and related services and early 
intervention services. Specifically, Project Forum assists States and 
LEAs with the process of planning systemic changes that will promote 
improved early intervention, education, and transitional results for 
children with disabilities. Project Forum also provides the Office of 
Special Education Programs (OSEP) with a mechanism and resources for 
analyzing policies and emerging issues that are of significant national 
concern.
    Project Forum's current project period is scheduled to end on 
September 30, 2010. We do not believe it would be in the public 
interest to hold new competitions under the TA&D program until the 
Department has considered changes being made to the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act (ESEA) during the process of reauthorizing that 
Act and the Department has developed a coordinated strategy for the 
provision of technical assistance that is designed to help States, 
LEAs, and schools effectively implement key provisions of the ESEA and 
IDEA and improve educational results for all students. We also have 
concluded that it would be contrary to the public interest to have a 
lapse in the provision of technical assistance provided under the TA&D 
program pending the reauthorization of ESEA. For these reasons, the 
Secretary proposes to waive the requirements in 34 CFR 75.250, which 
prohibit project periods exceeding five years, and the requirements in 
34 CFR 75.261(a) and (c), which limit the extension of a project period 
if the extension involves the obligation of additional Federal funds, 
and issue a continuation award in the amount of $450,000 to the 
National Association of State Directors of Special Education 
(H326F050001) for an additional twelve-month period.
    Waiving these regulations and issuing this continuation award would 
ensure that continued technical assistance is available to assist 
Federal decision makers, States, and LEAs with systemic changes that 
will promote improved early intervention, education, and transitional 
results for children with disabilities, as the Department works on 
reauthorization of the ESEA and designs IDEA technical assistance 
competitions that are coordinated and aligned with the Department's 
technical assistance priorities.
    During the next fiscal year, Project Forum would conduct the 
following activities:
    (a) Identify, through contact with experts, research reviews, 
regular communication with State and local policy officials, and other 
types of needs assessments, the information that programs need to 
improve, both at the national, State, and local levels;
    (b) Collect, organize, synthesize, interpret, and integrate 
information needed for program improvement using a variety of methods 
and formats such as surveys, interviews, brief case examinations, and 
meetings among special education administrators, outside experts, 
representatives of students with disabilities and their families, and 
others;
    (c) Analyze emerging policy or program issues regarding the 
administration of special education, early intervention, and related 
services at the Federal, State, and local levels, and review, plan, and 
provide leadership in recommending multi-level actions that respond to 
emerging issues;
    (d) Communicate, collaborate, and form partnerships as appropriate 
and as directed by OSEP, with technical assistance providers at the 
national and regional levels, including those that are part of the 
OSEP-supported special education technical assistance and dissemination 
network;
    (e) Communicate regularly with OSEP to provide and receive 
information that may assist OSEP in improving its efficiency and 
effectiveness in administering IDEA;
    (f) As a result of the activities associated with paragraphs (a) 
through (e), at a minimum--
    (1) Complete three in-depth policy analyses;
    (2) Prepare ten policy syntheses; and
    (3) Convene one policy forum and write a proceedings document;
    (g) Disseminate documents noted under paragraph (f) to a wide 
audience, including State and local directors of special education; and
    (h) Maintain the project Web site.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that the proposed extension of project 
period and waiver would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The only entity that would be 
affected is Project Forum.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This proposed extension of project period and waiver does not 
contain any information collection requirements.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of 
the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a 
strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies

[[Page 44233]]

on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document 
provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this 
program.
    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: July 22, 2010.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2010-18525 Filed 7-27-10; 8:45 am]
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