[Federal Register: November 7, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 216)]
[Page 56421-56423]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Part V

Department of Education


Rehabilitation Short-Term Training; Notices

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Rehabilitation Short-Term Training

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

ACTION: Notice of final priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education 
and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the 
Rehabilitation Short-Term Training program. The Assistant Secretary may 
use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2002 and in 
later years. We take this action to focus on training in areas of 
national need. We intend the priority to improve the leadership among 
top-level managers and administrators of the State Vocational 
Rehabilitation Services Program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This priority is effective December 7, 2001.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine Marschall, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3325, Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-2649. Telephone: (202) 205-2779 or via Internet: 
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the TDD number at (202) 205-8133.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The State Vocational Rehabilitation Services 
Program continues to undergo significant change. Vocational 
rehabilitation (VR) programs are serving increased numbers of 
individuals with significant disabilities, are seeking to reach 
unserved and underserved populations, and increasingly are recognizing 
that their success in promoting the employment of their consumers 
depends in part on the strength of their linkages with employers and 
with generic employment and training programs. In their efforts to 
improve the employment outcomes of the individuals they serve, State VR 
agencies must remain alert to this ever-changing environment.
    The changed environment of State VR agencies demands a different 
set of skills from leaders and managers than has traditionally been 
required. Managers and leaders in the VR system need to develop new 
skills to respond effectively to the changing demands. We have 
determined that it is in the best interest of the State VR Services 
Program to develop a leadership training program that focuses on 
leadership skills as applied to the unique issues facing the VR 
agencies in a peer setting. Progressive levels of training are needed 
to meet the varying needs of administrators and directors. One 
institute would ensure consistency in training and provide for better 
quality control. State agencies would be required to provide some 
degree of support to the program.
    We published a notice of proposed priority for this program in the 
Federal Register on August 6, 2001 (66 FR 41126). The notice of 
proposed priority included a discussion of the significant issues and 
analysis used in the determination of this priority.
    There are no differences between the notice of proposed priority 
and this notice of final priority.

Analysis Of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priority, 
three parties submitted comments on the proposed priority. An analysis 
of the comments and of any changes in the priority since publication of 
the notice of proposed priority follows.
    Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes--and 
suggested changes the law does not authorize us to make under the 
applicable statutory authority.
    Comments: One commenter recommended that we require the project to 
be based on academic credit and lead to a formal certificate or degree.
    Discussion: While in Rehabilitation Long-Term Training grants there 
is a statutory requirement that training be based on academic credit 
and lead to a formal certificate or degree, there is no authority to 
include this requirement in the Rehabilitation Short-Term Training 
priority. However, programs that provide academic credit and lead to a 
formal certificate or degree are not prohibited under the priority.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: One commenter recommended a requirement that the training 
be linked directly to the Comprehensive System of Personnel Development 
    Discussion: We agree that there is a logical link between the 
proposed priority and the requirements of the Comprehensive System of 
Personnel Development. However, we do not agree that addressing such a 
link should be a requirement that an applicant must address.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: One commenter recommended that State agencies sending 
participants to the leadership program not be required to contribute to 
the cost of the program.
    Discussion: The notice of proposed priority indicated the benefits 
associated with requiring financial support to be provided by the State 
agency of participants. We do not agree that elimination of the 
financial contributions of State agencies would contribute to the 
overall goals of the program.
    Changes: None.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through 
a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting applications we 
designate the priority as absolute, competitive preference, or 
invitational. The effect of each type of priority follows:

    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority we give competitive preference to an application by either (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on how well or the extent to 
which the application meets the competitive priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the 
competitive priority over an application of comparable merit that does 
not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the invitational 
priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other 
applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).


National Rehabilitation Leadership Institute

    We will fund one project to establish a National Rehabilitation 
Leadership Institute that will focus on developing the leadership 
skills of top-level managers and administrators in State VR agencies. 
The project must have plans for addressing the leadership needs in all 
VR agencies funded under the Act and programs funded under section 121 
of the Act.
    The project must employ a curriculum that focuses on the 
development of leadership skills and on the application of those skills 
to current challenges and issues in the VR program. The project must be 
capable of structuring leadership curricula around

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current VR issues of national significance, such as using VR evaluation 
standards and performance indicators to assess and improve agency 
performance, coordinating effectively with generic employment and 
training programs, and increasing client choice. The advisory committee 
(described later in this notice) and the Assistant Secretary will 
determine actual issues.
    The project must employ a curriculum that includes several levels 
of training to meet the needs of audiences ranging from new State 
administrators and directors to seasoned administrators and directors. 
The project's curriculum must include sequential courses that allow for 
repeated practice of newly learned skills over time, with performance 
feedback. The project must provide training in a peer setting.
    The project must coordinate its training activities with activities 
conducted under the State Vocational Rehabilitation Unit In-Service 
Training program, the Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program, and 
the National Technical Assistance Centers funded by the Rehabilitation 
Services Administration (RSA). These programs are also charged with 
improving the leadership skills of State agency personnel. Therefore, 
collaboration and coordination are necessary.
    The project must establish an advisory committee that includes RSA 
central and regional office representatives, representatives of State 
VR agency administrators and trainers, rehabilitation counselors, VR 
clients, Regional Continuing Education Centers, other educators and 
trainers of VR personnel, tribes and tribal agencies, and others as 
determined to be appropriate by the grantee and RSA. This committee 
must provide substantial input on and direction to the training 
curriculum, including the specific VR issues to be incorporated.
    The project must include an evaluation component based upon clear, 
specific performance and outcome measures. The results must be reported 
in its annual progress report.
    The project must be designed to ensure that State agencies will 
contribute to the costs of the participant's training.

National Education Goals

    The eight National Education Goals focus the Nation's education 
reform efforts and provide a framework for improving teaching and 
    This priority is intended to address the National Education Goal 
that every adult American will be literate and will possess the 
knowledge and skills necessary to compete in a global economy and 
exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to 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.
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR parts 385 and 390.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
    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://

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.246D 
Rehabilitation Short-Term Training).

    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772.

    Dated: November 2, 2001.
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 01-27938 Filed 10-6-01; 8:45 am]