[Federal Register: August 8, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 153)]
[Page 51747-51749]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 51747]]


Part VII

Department of Education


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of 
Special Education Programs; Final Priority Under the State Improvement 
Grant Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal 
Year 2002; Notices

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Office of Special Education Programs; Final Priority Under the 
State Improvement Grant Program

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

ACTION: Notice of final priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the State Program 
Improvement Grant Program administered by the Office of Special 
Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) under the Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended. The Assistant 
Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year 2002 
and in later years. We take this action to focus Federal financial 
assistance on identified needs to improve results for children with 
disabilities. The priority is intended to ensure wide and effective use 
of program funds.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This priority is effective September 9, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Wexler, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3630, Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-2641. Telephone: (202) 205-5390. FAX: (202) 205-
9179 or via Internet: Larry.Wexler@ed.gov
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of this document in 
an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or 
computer diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We published a notice of proposed priority 
for this program in the Federal Register on June 18, 2002 (67 FR 
    Except for minor editorial and technical revisions, there are no 
differences between the notice of proposed priority and this notice of 
final priority.

Public Comment

    In the notice of proposed priority, we invited comments on the 
proposed priority. We did not receive any substantive comments. 
However, we have made a change in the second paragraph under (d) on 
page 41587, to clarify that the awards are not new projects but are 
supplements to existing projects.

    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 priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or 
(2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an 
application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
    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 
priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications 
(34 CFR 75. 105(c)(1)).


Competitive Supplement to State Program Improvement Grants

    There are currently 36 State educational agencies that are funded 
under the State Program Improvement Grant program. These grants are 
meant to improve results for children with disabilities by addressing 
personnel training needs of States, as identified by the States, and 
have been an example of the Department's continuing effort to improve 
educational opportunities for all children. Congress established the 
State Program Improvement Grant program when it reauthorized IDEA in 
1997. The money helps State educational agencies reform their systems 
for providing educational, early intervention and transitional services 
for children with disabilities. It also supports technical assistance 
for local schools and dissemination of knowledge about best practices. 
Seventy-five percent of each grant must be used for professional 
    As part of the competition, each State, in conjunction with 
required partners, including local education agencies and other State 
agencies that provide special education services (at its option the 
State may also include other partners such as the Governor, parents of 
children with disabilities, organizations representing individuals with 
disabilities and their parents, the lead State agency for part C IDEA, 
institutions of higher education within the State, etc.), submitted 
improvement plans focused on such areas as: (1) Training and personnel; 
(2) recruitment and retention of special education, related services 
and early intervention staff; (3) performance of children with 
disabilities; and (4) improving overall program effectiveness. The 
States receiving the grants have used the funds to implement the 
improvement strategies that they proposed in their plans. The Secretary 
anticipates that there will be additional fiscal year 2001 funds 
available subsequent to making awards under this year's competition. To 
utilize additional funds that may become available, the Secretary is 
conducting a separate competition under which only grantees from the FY 
1999, 2000 and 2001 competitions would be eligible.


    The Secretary has established a priority to award competitive 
supplements to State Improvement Grants awarded in 1999, 2000, or 2001 
for the purpose of enhancing current grant activities. Applicants must 
describe additional activities that augment or complement those goals 
and activities that are already being implemented as part of their 
State Improvement Grant. Enhancement activities may be simply an 
expansion of activities already described in the narrative or they may 
be new activities that will improve the quality of the previously 
approved State improvement grant tasks. The Secretary is particularly 
interested in activities that focus on: (1) Retention and recruitment 
of highly qualified personnel; (2) the use of research-based reading 
intervention strategies; and (3) the use of research-based positive 
behavior supports.
    Projects must--
    (a) Enhance only those State Improvement Grant activities that can 
be shown, based on the project's data-based evaluation, to have 
impacted positively on the goal(s) of the project;
    (b) Incorporate the expanded or new activities into the project's 
ongoing evaluation activities;
    (c) Incorporate the expanded or new activities into the project's 
existing partnership agreements; and
    (d) Ensure that the State uses not less than 75 percent of the 
funds (existing budget plus any supplemental funds) it receives under 
the grant for any fiscal year on professional development and training 
of regular education, special education, or related services personnel.

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Only 50 percent of the funds must be used on professional development 
if the State can demonstrate to the Department that it has sufficient 
    Under this priority, the Secretary will make, based on available 
funds, up to 36 supplements.

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.

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 either of the 
following site: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.ed.gov/legislation/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://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.access.gpo. gov/nara/index.html

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: State Program 
Improvement Grants Program, 84.323A)

    Program Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1405, 1461, 1472, 1474, and 1487.

    Dated: August 5, 2002
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 02-20119 Filed 8-7-02; 8:45 am]