FR Doc E6-3006
[Federal Register: March 2, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 41)]
[Page 10656-10658]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
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Office of Special Education Programs; State Personnel Development 
Grants Program

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority for State Personnel Development 
Grants Program.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes a funding priority for the Office of 
Special Education Programs--State Personnel

[[Page 10657]]

Development Grants Program authorized under the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This priority may be used for 
competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2006 and later years. We take this 
action to focus attention on an identified national need to assist 
State educational agencies (SEAs) improving their systems for personnel 
preparation and professional development in early intervention, 
educational, and transition services in order to improve results for 
children with disabilities; to promote the professional development of 
personnel as defined in section 651(b) of the IDEA to ensure that they 
have the knowledge and skills to deliver scientifically based 
instruction; and to recruit, and retain highly qualified special 
education teachers in accordance with section 602(10) and section 
612(a)(14) of the IDEA.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before April 3, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Larry 
Wexler, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 
4019, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20204-2700. If you prefer to 
send your comments through the Internet, use the following address:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Wexler. Telephone: (202) 245-
    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 


Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of 
reducing regulatory burden that might result from this proposed 
priority. Please let us know of any further opportunities we should 
take to reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while 
preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this proposed priority in room 4019, 550 12th Street, 
SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 
a.m. and 4 p.m., eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week 
except Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public 
rulemaking record for this proposed priority. If you want to schedule 
an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed 
    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal 
Register. We will determine the final priority after considering 
responses to this notice and other information available to the 
Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing or funding 
additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this proposed 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 
    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 competitive priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the 
competitive priority over an application of comparable merit that 
does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    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 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over 
other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

Proposed Priority

State Personnel Development Grants (SPDG)

Background of Proposed Priority
    Research shows that teacher quality is strongly correlated with 
student academic achievement and that effective teachers are key to 
improving student outcomes. High quality, comprehensive professional 
development programs are essential to ensuring that personnel 
responsible for providing early intervention, education, and transition 
services to children with disabilities possess the knowledge and skills 
necessary to address their particular needs. The Department also 
believes that Federal support provided under the IDEA should be 
targeted to those educational programs, activities, and strategies that 
have been demonstrated through rigorous scientific research to be 
effective and have a proven track record of success. Many schools have 
experimented with lessons and materials that have proven to be 
ineffective at the expense of their students.
    The State Personnel Development Grants program provides a vehicle 
for helping States ensure that SEAs and LEAs take steps to recruit, 
hire, and retain highly qualified special education teachers and that 
the professional development of special education teachers and other 
personnel is aimed at providing them with the knowledge and skills to 
deliver scientifically based instruction that is likely to improve 
outcomes for children with disabilities.

Proposed Priority

    The Assistant Secretary proposes a priority to assist SEAs in 
reforming and improving their personnel preparation and professional 
development systems for teachers, principals, administrators, related 
services personnel, paraprofessionals, and early intervention 
personnel. The intent of the priority is to improve educational results 
for children with disabilities through the delivery of high quality 
instruction and the recruitment, hiring, and retention of highly 
qualified special education teachers.
    In order to meet this priority an applicant must demonstrate that 
the project for which it seeks funding: (1) Provides professional 
development activities that improve the knowledge and skills of 
personnel as defined in section 651(b) of the IDEA in delivering 
scientifically based instruction to meet the needs of, and improve the 
performance and achievement of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and 
children with disabilities; (2) implements practices to sustain the 
knowledge and skills of personnel who have received training in 
scientifically based instruction; and (3) implements strategies that 
are effective in promoting the recruitment, hiring, and retention of 
highly qualified special education teachers in accordance with section 
602(10) and section 612(a)(14) of the IDEA.
    Projects funded under this priority also must:
    (a) Budget for a three-day Project Directors' meeting in 
Washington, DC during each year of the project;

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    (b) Budget $4,000 annually for support of the State Personnel 
Development Program Web site currently administered by the University 
of Oregon (; and

    (c) If a project receiving assistance under this program authority 
maintains a Web site, include relevant information and documents in a 
form that meets a government or industry-recognized standard for 

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of proposed priority has been reviewed in accordance 
with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have 
assessed the potential costs and benefits of this regulatory action.
    The potential costs associated with this notice are those resulting 
from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary 
for administering this program effectively and efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of the actions proposed in this notice, we have 
determined that the benefits of the proposed priority justify the 
    We have also determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.

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:

    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:

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1451-1455.

    Dated: February 27, 2006.
John H. Hager,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. E6-3006 Filed 3-1-06; 8:45 am]