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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities-Community Parent Resource Centers; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.328C.

DATES:

Applications Available: March 11, 2004.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 16, 2004.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 15, 2004.

Eligible Applicants: Local parent organizations. The full definitions of Local Parent Organization and Parent Organization are provided in Section III, 1. Eligible Applicants.

Estimated Available Funds: $1,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $100,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $100,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose Of Program: The purpose of this program is to ensure that parents of children with disabilities receive training and information to help improve results for their children.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 661(e)(2) and 683 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2004 this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

Background: The purpose of this priority is to support community training and information centers in targeted communities that will help ensure that underserved parents of children with disabilities, including low-income parents, parents of children who are English language learners, and parents with disabilities in a community, have the training and information they need to enable them to participate effectively in helping their children with disabilities to —

(a) Meet established developmental goals and challenging standards that have been established for all children; and

(b) Prepare to lead productive adult lives, as independently as possible.

Priority: Each community parent training and information center supported under this priority must—

(a) Provide training and information that meets the training and information needs of parents of children with disabilities within the targeted community proposed to be served by the project, particularly underserved parents and parents of children who may be inappropriately identified;

(b) Assist parents to understand the availability of, and how to effectively use, procedural safeguards under section 615 of IDEA, including encouraging the use, and explaining the benefits, of alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as the mediation process described in IDEA;

(c) Serve the parents of infants, toddlers, and children with the full range of disabilities by assisting parents to—

(1) Better understand the nature of their children's disabilities and their educational and developmental needs;

(2) Communicate effectively with personnel responsible for providing special education, early intervention, and related services;

(3) Participate in decisionmaking processes regarding participation in State and local assessments and the development of individualized education programs and individualized family service plans;

(4) Obtain appropriate information about the range of options, programs, services, and resources available to assist children with disabilities and their families;

(5) Familiarize themselves with the provision of special education and related services in the areas they serve to help ensure that children with disabilities are receiving appropriate services;

(6) Understand the provisions of IDEA and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) for the education of, and the provision of early intervention services designed to improve results to, children with disabilities; and

(7) Participate in school reform activities;

(d) Contract with the State educational agencies (SEAs), if the State elects to contract with the community parent resource centers, for the purpose of meeting with parents who choose not to use the mediation process to encourage the use, and explain the benefits, of mediation, consistent with section 615(e)(2)(B) and (D) of IDEA;

(e) In order to serve parents and families of children with the full range of disabilities, network with appropriate clearinghouses, including organizations conducting national dissemination activities under section 685(d) of IDEA, and with other national, State, and local organizations and agencies, such as protection and advocacy agencies;

(f) Establish cooperative partnerships with the parent training and information centers funded under section 682 of IDEA;

(g) Meet the unique needs of families who experience significant isolation from available sources of information and support;

(h) Annually report to the Department on—

(1) The number of parents to whom it provided information and training in the most recently concluded fiscal year, including demographic information about those parents served, and additional information regarding the unique needs and levels of service provided;

(2) The effectiveness of strategies used to reach and serve parents, including underserved parents of children with disabilities, by providing evidence of how those parents were served effectively; and

(i) In collaboration with the Office of Special Education Programs and the National Parent Technical Assistance Center, participate in the annual program evaluation for the community parent resource centers, which will include a review of the degree to which the center is meeting the objectives of the program.

(j) Prior to developing any new product, whether paper or electronic, submit for approval a proposal describing the content and purpose of Start Printed Page 11401the product to the document review board of the Office of Special Education Programs' (OSEP) Dissemination Center.

Competitive Preference Priorities: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priorities.

These priorities are from the program statute (see section 683 of IDEA).

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award additional points to an application depending on whether the application meets one or more of these priorities:

These priorities are:

(a) We will award 20 points to an application submitted by a local parent organization that has a board of directors, the majority of whom are parents of children with disabilities, from the community to be served (section 683(c)(1) of IDEA).

(b) We will award 5 points to an application that proposes to provide services to one or more Empowerment Zones or Enterprise Communities that are designated within the areas served by projects. To meet this priority an applicant must indicate that it will—

(1)(i) Design a program that includes special activities focused on the unique needs of one or more Empowerment Zones or Enterprise Communities; or

(ii) Devote a substantial portion of program resources to providing services within, or meeting the needs of residents of these zones and communities.

(2) As appropriate, contribute to the strategic plan of the Empowerment Zones or Enterprise Communities and become an integral component of the Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community activities.

A list of areas that have been selected as Empowerment Zones or Enterprise Communities can be found at http://hud.esri.com/​egis/​cpd/​rcezec/​ezec_​open.htm.

Therefore, for purposes of these competitive preferences, applicants can be awarded up to a total of 25 points in addition to those awarded under the published selection criteria for this priority. That is, an applicant meeting all of these competitive preferences could earn a maximum total of 125 points.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. However, section 661(e)(2) of IDEA makes the public comment requirements inapplicable to the priorities in this notice.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1483.

Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 97, 98, and 99.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $1,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $100,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject an application that proposes a budget exceeding $100,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Local parent organizations. Section 683(c) defines a “local parent organization” as a parent organization that must meet either one of the following criteria:

(a) Has a Board of Directors, the majority of whom are from the community to be served; or

(b) Has—

(1) as part of its mission, serving the interests of individuals with disabilities from that community; and

(2) a special governing committee to administer the project. A majority of the governing committee members must be individuals from the community to be served.

Section 682(g) of IDEA defines a “parent organization” as a private nonprofit organization (other than an institution of higher education) that:

(a) Has a board of directors—

(1) The parent and professional members of which are broadly representative of the population to be served;

(2) The majority of whom are parents of children with disabilities; and

(3) That includes individuals with disabilities and individuals working in the fields of special education, related services, and early intervention; or

(b) Has a membership that represents the interests of individuals with disabilities and has established a special governing committee meeting the requirements for a board of directors in paragraph (a) and has a memorandum of understanding between this special governing committee and the board of directors of the organization that clearly outlines the relationship between the board and the committee and the decisionmaking responsibilities and authority of each.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not involve cost sharing or matching.

3. Other: General Requirements—(a) The projects funded under this competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).

(b) Applicants and grant recipients funded under this notice must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities in planning, implementing, and evaluating the projects (see section 661(f)(1)(A) of IDEA).

(c) The projects funded under this priority must budget for a two-day Project Directors' meeting in Washington, DC during each year of the project.

(d) If a project maintains a Web site, it must include relevant information and documents in an accessible form.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone (toll free): 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call (toll free): 1-877-576-7734.

You may also contact ED Pubs at its Web site: www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or you may contact ED Pubs at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA Number 84.328C.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the Grants and Contract Services Team listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate Start Printed Page 11402your application. You must limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 30 pages, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″ on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the résumés, the bibliography, the references, or the letters of support. However, you must include all of the application narrative in Part III.

We will reject your application if—

  • You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
  • You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: March 11, 2004.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 16, 2004.

The dates and times for the transmittal of applications by mail or by hand (including a courier service or commercial carrier) are in the application package for this competition. The application package also specifies the hours of operation of the e-Application Web site.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 15, 2004.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Other Submission Requirements: Instructions and requirements for the transmittal of applications by mail or by hand (including a courier service or commercial carrier) are in the application package for this competition.

Application Procedures:

Note:

Some of the procedures in these instructions for transmitting applications differ from those in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 75.102). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed regulations. However, these amendments make procedural changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), the Secretary has determined that proposed rulemaking is not required.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications: We are continuing to expand our pilot project for electronic submission of applications to include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary grant competitions. Special Education—Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities Program—Community Parent Resource Centers—CFDA Number 84.328C—is one of the competitions included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under the Special Education—Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities Program—Community Parent Resource Centers competition, you may submit your application to us in either electronic or paper format.

The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application). If you use e-Application you will be entering data online while completing your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us. If you participate in this voluntary pilot project by submitting an application electronically, the data you enter online will be saved into a database. We request your participation in e-Application. We shall continue to evaluate its success and solicit suggestions for its improvement.

If you participate in e-Application, please note the following:

  • Your participation is voluntary.
  • When you enter the e-Application system, you will find information about its hours of operation. We strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to initiate an e-Application package.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Your e-Application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days of submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.

2. The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

3. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard copy signature page of the ED 424.

4. Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 260-1349.

  • We may request that you give us original signatures on other forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you elect to participate in the e-Application pilot for the Special Education—Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities Program—Community Parent Resource Centers competition and you are prevented from submitting your application on the application deadline date because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day in order to transmit your application electronically, by mail or hand delivery. We will grant this extension if—

1. You are a registered user of e-Application, and have initiated an e-Application for this competition; and

2. (a) The e-Application system is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date; or

(b) The e-Application system is unavailable for any period of time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time) on the application deadline date.

We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgement of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-GRANTS help desk at 1-888-336-8930.

You may access the electronic grant application for the Special Education—Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities Program—Start Printed Page 11403Community Parent Resource Centers competition at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are listed in 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR. The specific selection criteria to be used for this competition are in the application package.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may also notify you informally.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations heading, in section I of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations heading, in section I of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as specified by the Secretary in 34 CFR 75.118.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), measures have been developed for evaluating the overall effectiveness of this program. Requirements concerning the performance measures are in the application package for this competition.

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

The Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3317, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: 1-202-205-8207.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) 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 Grants and Contracts Services Team listed in this section.

VIII. Other Information

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: 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: www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

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Dated: March 4, 2004.

Troy R. Justesen,

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. 04-5390 Filed 3-9-04; 8:45 am]

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