FR Doc 2010-22880
[Federal Register: September 14, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 177)]
[Notices]               
[Page 55784-55785]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr14se10-57]                                       
                                    

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Final Extension of Project Period and Waiver for the State and 
Federal Policy Forum

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

ACTION: Notice of final 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 issues this notice to waive the requirements in 
the Education Department General Administrative Regulations, 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. The extension of 
project period and waiver 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: The extension of project period and waiver are effective 
September 14, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Egnor, U.S. Department of 
Education, 550 12th St., SW., Room 4054, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-2641. Telephone: (202) 245-7334.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department published a notice in the 
Federal Register (75 FR 44231) on July 28, 2010, proposing an extension 
of project period and a waiver in order to--
    (1) Enable the Secretary to provide additional funds to the 
currently funded State and Federal Policy Forum for Program Improvement 
Center for an additional 12-month period, from October 1, 2010 through 
September 30, 2011; and
    (2) Request comments on the proposed extension of project period 
and waiver.
    There are no substantive differences between the notice of proposed 
extension of project period and waiver and this notice of final 
extension of project period and waiver.

Public Comment

    We invited comments on the proposed extension of project period and 
waiver in the notice of proposed extension of project period and 
waiver. Seven parties submitted comments in agreement with the proposal 
to extend the grant period of the current grantee. We did not receive 
any comments opposing the proposed extension of project period and 
waiver. Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes, 
as well as suggested changes the law does not authorize us to make. 
Moreover, we do not address comments that do not express views on the 
substance of the notice of proposed extension of project period and 
waiver.

Waiver of Delayed Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act requires that a substantive rule 
must be published at least 30 days before its effective date, except as 
otherwise provided for good cause (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). No comments 
were received during the 15-day public comment period opposing the 
notice of proposed extension of project period and waiver, and we have 
not made any substantive changes to the extension and waiver. The 
Secretary has determined therefore that, to ensure a timely 
continuation grant to the entity affected, a delayed effective date is 
not required.

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 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 of 1965, as amended (ESEA), during the process 
of reauthorizing that law 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 waives 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 issues 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 
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

[[Page 55785]]

that are coordinated and aligned with the Department's technical 
assistance priorities.
    During the next fiscal year, Project Forum will 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 extension of project period and 
waiver do not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. The only entity affected is Project Forum.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The extension of project period and waiver do 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 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.
    Accessible Format: 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 under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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: September 7, 2010.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2010-22880 Filed 9-13-10; 8:45 am]
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