[Federal Register: May 26, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 100)]
[Page 28755-28757]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Part III

Department of Education

Regional Resource and Federal Center Program; Notice

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Regional Resource and Federal Center Programs

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of waiver and additional activities.


SUMMARY: The Secretary waives the requirements in EDGAR at 34 CFR 
75.261 as applied to the currently-funded Regional Resource Centers to 
require the Centers to carry out certain additional activities. Section 
75.261 sets forth the conditions for extending a project period, 
including the general prohibition against extending projects that 
involve the obligation of additional Federal funds. The Secretary will 
issue continuation awards to the Regional Resource Center Programs in 
order to ensure the most efficient use of Federal funds.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This waiver takes effect on June 25, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Debra Sturdivant, Telephone: (202) 
205-8038, or Marie Roane, Telephone: (202) 205-8451. Individuals who 
use a telecommunications device for the deaf may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8:00 A.M. 
and 8:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 10, 1992 (57 FR 58474), the 
Department issued a Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards under 
the Regional Resource Center Program for Fiscal Year 1992. In this 
notice the Department announced that it would make six awards of up to 
60 months under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) and the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which directed the Secretary to 
support the establishment of Regional Centers that provide 
consultation, technical assistance and training to State educational 
agencies and, through those State educational agencies, to local 
educational agencies and to other appropriate public agencies providing 
special education and related services and early intervention services.
    The grant period for the six centers ends May 31, 1998. In order to 
carry out activities relating to implementation of the IDEA Amendments 
of 1997 as stated by the Senate Appropriations Committee in its report 
accompanying the Department's fiscal year 1998 appropriations act, it 
is necessary to issue continuation awards to the existing grantees. 
Specifically, the Senate report states that the Secretary should 
provide training and disseminate information to State and local 
administrators, teachers, related services personnel, parents of 
children with disabilities, and other appropriate parties on the 
implementation of the 1997 amendments.
    The Department is utilizing a number of strategies to carry out 
this directive. Because the Regional Resource Centers (RRCs) have a 
primary role in assisting States in implementing the IDEA Amendments of 
1997, these organizations are well-positioned to play a key part in 
this training and information effort. In particular, the Secretary 
plans for the RRCs to conduct a series of regional institutes for 
educational excellence. The purposes of the regional institutes are:
    (1) To ensure that State education agency personnel, local school 
personnel and parents receive high-quality, accurate training on the 
IDEA Amendments of 1997 in order to improve results for students with 
disabilities through improved teaching and learning;
    (2) To build field support as part of the implementation of the 
IDEA Amendments of 1997 that is community-based and grounded in the 
context of improving schooling and results for children; and
    (3) To ensure the involvement of State education agencies, local 
school personnel, parents, Office of Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)--supported technical assistance and 
dissemination services, State technical assistance providers, and 
topical research centers in the development of strategies and models to 
implement the IDEA Amendments of 1997.
    Because the regional institutes would be held during the summer of 
1998, the project period for the current Regional Resource Centers must 
be extended to enable the RRCs to both plan and conduct the institutes. 
The Secretary believes that it is essential that the RRCs conduct the 
institutes given the RRCs technical assistance expertise and experience 
in carrying out similar activities.
    Based on the foregoing, the Secretary believes that it makes the 
most programmatic sense and is the most efficient use of Federal funds 
to issue continuation awards. However, to do so, the Department must 
waive the requirements in EDGAR at 34 CFR 75.261 as well as provide for 
the new activities stated in this notice. That provision includes a 
prohibition against project period extensions that involve the 
obligation of additional Federal funds.


    There is an immediate need to provide training and information to 
the populations that will be targeted by the regional institutes. 
Waiting until after a new RRC competition to hold the institutes would 
severely hinder the Department's efforts to address the critical needs 
that are now present in the regions. The current RRCs have already 
conducted extensive training and information activities related to 
State implementation of the Amendments and are best suited to conduct 
the regional institutes.
    Therefore, the Department will issue continuation awards to the 
current grantees for four (4) months.

Public Comment

    On March 26, 1998, the Secretary published a notice of proposed 
waiver for the current RRCs in the Federal Register (63 FR 14790). In 
the notice of proposed waiver the Secretary invited public comments. 
The Secretary did not receive any comments.


    The Secretary waives the application of 34 CFR 75.261 to the RRCs 
authorized under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act. Thus, the Department will issue four (4) month continuation awards 
to the current grantees consistent with the standards for continuation 
in 34 CFR 75.253.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. The objective of the 
Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a 
strengthened federalism by relying on processes developed by State and 
local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    In accordance with the order, this document is intended to provide 
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for 
this program.

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web at either of the 
following sites:

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    To use the pdf you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the preceding sites. If 
you have questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government 
Printing Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone may also view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511 
or, toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under Option 
G--Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

    Dated: May 19, 1998.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.028, Technical 
Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for 
Children with Disabilities)
[FR Doc. 98-13808 Filed 5-22-98; 8:45 am]