FR Doc E6-15578
[Federal Register: September 20, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 182)]
[Notices]               
[Page 54982-54983]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Notice of Extension of Project Period and Waiver for the Center 
on Learning Disabilities

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

SUMMARY: The Secretary waives the requirements in the Education 
Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), in 34 CFR 75.250 
and 75.261(a), 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 will enable the currently funded Center on Learning 
Disabilities to receive funding from October 1, 2006 through September 
30, 2007.

DATES: This extension of project period and waiver are effective 
September 20, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Renee Bradley, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4105, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-2641. Telephone: (202) 245-7277.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    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 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On July 6, 2001, the Department published a notice in the Federal 
Register (66 FR 35746) inviting applications for a new award for fiscal 
year (FY) 2001 for a Center on Learning Disabilities (Center). Based on 
that notice, the Department made one award for a period of 60 months to 
Vanderbilt University to establish and operate the Center to conduct 
follow-up research, provide training, disseminate

[[Page 54983]]

synthesized research validated information, and to provide national 
technical assistance on issues in the area of identification and 
assessment of children with learning disabilities. This Center was 
designed from its inception to conduct both research and technical 
assistance activities with a shift over the project period from 
primarily research to a larger proportion of dissemination and 
technical assistance activities.

Extension and Waiver

    The Center's current project period is scheduled to end on 
September 30, 2006. However, with the recent release of the Federal 
regulations implementing Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities 
Education Act, as reauthorized by the Individuals with Disabilities 
Education Improvement Act of 2004, there is an urgent need to continue 
certain of the Center's data analysis, dissemination, and technical 
assistance activities for an additional year. The new procedures in the 
regulations regarding the identification of children with learning 
disabilities are one of the major implementation challenges that States 
and local school districts will face in implementing the new 
regulations. In order to ensure that continued assistance is available 
to assist States and local school districts, the Secretary is waiving 
the requirements in 34 CFR 75.250 and 75.261(a) and intends to issue a 
continuation award to the existing grantee for an additional twelve-
month period.
    The Center will continue its dissemination and technical assistance 
activities, including further development and implementation of a 
technical assistance and dissemination approach that links research to 
practice and promotes the use of current knowledge and ongoing research 
findings. Under this approach, the Center works with other Department 
of Education technical assistance providers to communicate research 
findings and distribute products; and prepares the research findings 
and products in formats that are useful for specific audiences, 
including general education researchers, and local, State, and national 
policymakers, as well as education practitioners. In addition to this 
broad dissemination of information, the Center will continue its work 
with the previously identified implementation sites, local schools and 
districts that the Center has been working with over the past three 
years, assisting them in their efforts to implement response to 
intervention and to evaluate and document progress of those efforts. 
Based on the knowledge gained, the Center will continue to develop 
materials to assist in effective large-scale implementation of response 
to intervention and the identification of children with learning 
disabilities. The Center also will be continuing work to develop 
additional technical assistance products on specific learning 
disabilities and complete an Implementation Resource Kit on Learning 
Disabilities.
    Finally, the Center will complete final analysis of data from the 
longitudinal identification studies in math and reading that the Center 
conducted to investigate the impact of various identification models on 
the number of students identified with a specific learning disability. 
Data from these studies also will be analyzed to inform the Center's 
development of products to assist with the implementation of response 
to intervention and the identification of students with learning 
disabilities.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking and Delayed Effective Date

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) (APA) the 
Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on an extension of project period and waiver under 34 CFR 
75.250 and 75.261(a). The APA provides that an agency is not required 
to conduct notice and comment rulemaking when the agency for good cause 
finds that notice and public procedure thereon are impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. We have determined 
that conducting rulemaking on the proposed extension and waiver would 
be impracticable because the Department cannot both conduct rulemaking 
and issue a continuation award to the Center by September 30, 2006. 
Further, it is essential that the Department make the continuation 
award to ensure that the critical work being conducted by the Center 
continues, including providing significant technical assistance to 
States and local school districts as they begin implementation of the 
provisions of IDEA and the Part B regulations regarding response to 
intervention and the identification of children with specific learning 
disabilities. Rulemaking was not conducted on this matter at an earlier 
time because the critical need for assistance on this issue was not 
realized until the issuance of the Part B regulations on August 3, 2006 
and the subsequent OSEP Leadership meeting with all of the State 
Directors of Special Education on August 21-23, 2006.
    The APA also provides that a substantive rule may not take effect 
within 30 days from publication unless the agency for good cause finds 
that a delayed effective date would not be in the public interest. For 
the reasons described in the preceding paragraph, we also are waiving 
the APA's requirement that this extension and waiver be published at 
least 30 days before the effective date.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that the extension of the project period 
and waiver will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. The only entity that will be affected is the 
Center on Learning Disabilities.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

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

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is not subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may 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. 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://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.



    Dated: September 14, 2006.
Andrew J. Pepin,
Executive Administrator, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
 [FR Doc. E6-15578 Filed 9-19-06; 8:45 am]

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