[Federal Register: March 26, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 59)]
[Page 13375-13377]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Part XIV

Department of Education


Education of Individuals With Disabilities: Personnel Training; Notice

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Training Personnel for the Education of Individuals With 
Disabilities--Grants for Personnel Training

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority.


SUMMARY: The Secretary proposes a priority for the Training Personnel 
for the Education of Individuals with Disabilities--Grants for 
Personnel Training program administered by the Office of Special 
Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) under the Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act. The Secretary may use this priority in 
Fiscal Year 1996 and subsequent years. The Secretary takes this action 
to focus Federal assistance on identified needs to improve outcomes for 
children with disabilities. This proposed priority is intended to 
ensure wide and effective use of program funds.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 25, 1996.

ADDRESSES: All comments concerning the proposed priority should be 
addressed to: Linda Glidewell, U.S. Department of Education, 600 
Independence Avenue SW., Room 3524, Switzer Building, Washington, D.C. 

Education, 600 Independence Avenue SW., Room 3522, Switzer Building, 
Washington, D.C. 20202-2641.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act (IDEA) directs the Secretary to develop and implement a plan for 
providing outreach services to minority entities and underrepresented 
populations to assist them in participating more fully in the 
discretionary programs under the Act (section 610(j)(2)(C)).
    This proposed priority supports the National Education Goals by 
improving understanding of how to enable children and youth with 
disabilities to reach higher levels of academic achievement.
    The Secretary will announce the final priority in a notice in the 
Federal Register. The final priority will be determined by responses to 
this notice, available funds, and other considerations of the 
Department. Funding of particular projects depends on the availability 
of funds, the content of the final priority, and the quality of the 
applications received. Further, the priority could be affected by 
enactment of legislation reauthorizing this program. The publication of 
this proposed priority does not preclude the Secretary from proposing 
additional priorities, nor does it limit the Secretary to funding only 
this priority, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice of proposed priority does not solicit 
applications. A notice inviting applications under this competition 
will be published in the Federal Register concurrent with or 
following publication of the notice of final priority.


    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), the Secretary proposes to give an 
absolute preference to applications that meet the following priority. 
The Secretary proposes to fund under this competition only applications 
that meet this absolute priority.

Proposed Absolute Priority--Outreach Services to Minority Entities to 
Expand Research Capacity

    The Congress has found that the Federal Government must be 
responsive to the growing needs of an increasingly diverse society and 
that a more equitable distribution of resources is essential for the 
Federal Government to meet its responsibility to provide an equal 
educational opportunity for all individuals. The Congress has concluded 
that the opportunity for full participation in awards for grants, 
cooperative agreements and contracts by Historically Black Colleges and 
Universities (HBCUs), other institutions of higher education whose 
minority enrollment is at least 25% (OMIs) and other eligible 
institutions as defined under section 312 of the Higher Education Act 
of 1965 (OEIs) is essential if we are to obtain greater success in the 
education of children from diverse backgrounds in special education.
    This priority focuses on assisting HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs to prepare 
scholars for careers in research on special education and related 
services. This preparation shall consist of engaging both faculty and 
students at HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs in special education research 
activities. The activities focus on an area of critical emerging need 
which has material application in today's changing environment and will 
likely be the subject of future research efforts--the special education 
of children in urban and high poverty schools with predominantly 
minority enrollments. By building a cadre of experienced researchers on 
this important topic, the chances for full participation in awards for 
grants, cooperative agreements and contracts by HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs 
will be increased.
    The association between socioeconomic status and enrollment in 
special education has been well documented. Available data from the 
National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) show that 68% of students 
in special education live in a household where the income is less than 
$25,000 per year versus 39% of the general population of youth.
    The problem of this association is heightened in urban school 
districts and, to a lesser extent, rural districts. NLTS data reveal 
that only 34% of students in special education live in suburban school 
districts compared to 48% of all youth. Data from the Office for Civil 
Rights indicate that 30% of all inner-city students live in poverty 
compared to 18% of students in non-inner city areas. Moreover, findings 
from the National Longitudinal Transition Study indicate that 47% of 
urban youth with disabilities live in households with an annual income 
of less than $12,000 (in 1986 dollars) compared to 34% of rural and 19% 
of suburban youth with disabilities (Valdes et al., 1990).
    Urban school districts face a variety of challenges in meeting the 
educational needs of their students. Their schools often have high per 
student costs and limited financial resources. Their students are 
disproportionately poor and the population of individuals with limited 
English proficiency is among the fastest growing populations with 
special needs in some of these districts. This disproportionate 
representation of poor children in special education is also likely to 
be uniquely influenced by culturally diverse and urban settings, posing 
both opportunities and problems in the provision of special education 


    The Assistant Secretary establishes an absolute priority for a 
project to design and conduct a program of research by individuals who 
show promise of contributing to the program improvement activities 
authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
(IDEA). Each research activity of the program must implement the 
Congress' direction in section 610(j)(2) to support outreach activities 
to HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs to increase their participation in competition 
for research, demonstration and outreach grants, cooperative agreements 
and contracts funded under the IDEA. Activities shall include:
    (1) Conducting research activities at HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs as 

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below that link scholars at HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs with researchers at 
institutions with an established research capacity in a mentoring 
relationship to develop both individual and institutional research 
capacity at those HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs with a demonstrated need for 
capacity development; and
    (2) Providing linkages between HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs with a 
demonstrated need for capacity development and institutions with an 
established research capacity to provide opportunities for researchers 
at those HBCUs, OMIs and OEIs to develop first hand experience in the 
grants and contracts application process.
    All research activities must be conducted for the purpose of 
capacity building. The research program must include one or more 
projects that are focused on issues related to improving the delivery 
of special education services and educational results for children with 
disabilities in urban and high poverty schools with predominantly 
minority enrollments. The program must examine the association between 
minority status and identification for, evaluation for and placement in 
special education. Other possible research topics may include:
    (1) Effective intervention strategies that make a difference in the 
provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE);
    (2) Practices to promote the successful inclusion of children with 
disabilities in a least restrictive environment (LRE);
    (3) Strategies for establishing high expectations for children with 
disabilities and increasing their participation in the general 
curriculum provided to all children;
    (4) Increasing effective parental participation in the educational 
process, especially for poor parents, minority parents, and parents 
with limited English proficiency;
    (5) Effective disciplinary approaches, including behavioral 
management strategies, for ensuring a safe and disciplined learning 
    (6) The effect of school-wide projects conducted under Title 1 of 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act on the delivery of special 
education; or
    (7) Effective practices for promoting the coordination of special 
education services with health and social services for children with 
disabilities and their families.
    The program shall ensure that findings are communicated in 
appropriate formats for researchers. The program shall also ensure that 
if findings are of importance to other audiences, such as teachers, 
administrators and parents, they are made available to Department of 
Education's technical assistance, training and dissemination projects 
for distribution to those audiences.
    Projects must demonstrate experience and familiarity in research on 
children with disabilities in urban and high poverty schools with 
predominantly minority enrollments. The project must also demonstrate 
experience in capacity development in special education research, as 
well as a thorough understanding of the strengths and needs of HBCUs, 
OMIs and OEIs.
    The project must budget for two trips annually to Washington, DC 
for: (1) A two-day Research Project Directors' meeting; and (2) an 
additional meeting to meet and collaborate with the project officer of 
the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and with other relevant 
OSEP funded projects. The project must also coordinate activities with 
the ongoing Policy Research Institute funded by OSEP.

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.

Invitation to Comment

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments and 
recommendations regarding this proposed priority.
    All comments submitted in response to this notice will be available 
for public inspection, during and after the comment period, in Room 
3521, 300 C Street SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. 
and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1431.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.029, Training 
Personnel for the Education of Individuals with Disabilities 

    Dated: March 20, 1996.
Howard R. Moses,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
[FR Doc. 96-7211 Filed 3-25-96; 8:45 am]