FR Doc E8-22565[Federal Register: September 25, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 187)]
[Notices]               
[Page 55503-55504]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr25se08-33]    
               


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
 Notice of Waivers for the Rehabilitation Training--
Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program (RCEP)

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

ACTION: Notice of waivers for the Rehabilitation Training--
Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program (RCEP).

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SUMMARY: The Secretary waives the requirements in 34 CFR 75.250 and 
75.261(a) and (c)(2) of the Education Department General Administrative 
Regulations (EDGAR), respectively, that generally prohibit project 
periods exceeding five years and project period extensions involving 
the obligation of additional Federal funds. These waivers will enable 
the current RCEP grantees in Region II and in Region III to provide 
continuing education to employees of vocational rehabilitation (VR) 
agencies and their partners and to continue to receive some additional 
Federal funding from October 1 through December 15, 2008.

DATES: Effective Date: These waivers are effective September 25, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine Marschall. Telephone: (202) 
245-7429 or via Internet: Christine.Marschall@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can 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:

Supplementary Information

    The RCEPs provide continuing education to employees of State VR 
agencies and their partners, as well as other rehabilitation services 
agencies. The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) in the 
Department's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is 
in the process of redesigning the RCEPs to create and support 10 
regional Technical Assistance and Continuing Education (TACE) centers. 
To carry out this plan, the Department published a notice of final 
priority and a notice inviting applications in the Federal Register on 
June 5, 2008 (73 FR 32006.) Applications were due on July 31, 2008. The 
Department intends to make awards for the TACE centers so that grant 
activities can begin by October 1, 2008. However, the Department did 
not receive an eligible application for Region II and a fundable 
application for Region III and plans to re-announce the priority and 
notice inviting applications for these two regions as soon as possible.
    The waivers announced in this notice are intended to ensure that 
services provided by the current RCEP grantees in Region II and in 
Region III are provided to the extent possible through December 15, 
2008, the anticipated date that the Region II and Region III TACE 
centers will commence their project activities. The project period for 
the current RCEP grantee in Region II, The State University of New York 
at Buffalo, and in Region III, The George Washington University, ends 
on September 30, 2008. Because it would be contrary to the public 
interest to have a lapse in continuing education activities in Region 
II and in Region III before grants for RSA's new TACE centers for these 
two regions are awarded and implemented, the Secretary will provide 
some additional funding to the Region II and Region III RCEP grantees 
referenced in this paragraph to allow them to continue operating until 
December 15, 2008. In order to do so, the Secretary waives the 
requirements in 34 CFR 75.250 and 75.261(a) and (c)(2), which generally 
prohibit project periods exceeding five years and extensions of project 
periods that involve the obligation of additional Federal funds.

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) and (c)(2). 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 comment are impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. We have determined 
that conducting rulemaking on the waivers of the requirements in 34 CFR 
75.250 and 75.261(a) and (c)(2) for the current RCEP grantees in Region 
II and Region III would be impracticable and therefore contrary to the 
public interest because there is not adequate time to conduct notice 
and comment rulemaking before September 30, 2008, when the funding for 
the current continuing education activities in Region II and in Region 
III will end. For this reason and to prevent a lapse in these 
continuing education activities, the Department waives the APA's 
proposed rulemaking requirements for the waivers of the requirements in 
34 CFR 75.250 and 75.261(a) and (c)(2) that will enable the Department 
to provide some additional funding to the current Region II and

[[Page 55504]]

Region III RCEP grantees to allow them to continue operating until 
December 15, 2008.
    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.

Final Waivers--Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program

    The Secretary waives the requirements in 34 CFR 75.250 and 
75.261(a) and (c)(2), which prohibit project periods exceeding five 
years and extensions of project periods that involve the obligation of 
additional Federal funds, for the current RCEP grantees in Region II 
and in Region III in the fifth year of their grants.
    Under these waivers, the RCEP grantees in Region II and in Region 
III, which have grants ending on September 30, 2008, are eligible for 
additional funding, as available, to allow them to continue activities 
through December 15, 2008.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that the announced waivers would not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This notice of waivers would not contain any information collection 
requirements.
    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.

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: 
http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister/index.html.
    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.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.264A, 
Rehabilitation Continuing Education Program)

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

    Dated: September 22, 2008.
Tracy R. Justesen,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. E8-22565 Filed 9-24-08; 8:45 am]

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