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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians With Disabilities; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2005

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.250F.

DATES:

Applications Available: January 19, 2005.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 19, 2005.

Eligible Applicants: The governing bodies of Indian tribes (and consortia of those governing bodies) located on Federal and State reservations.

Estimated Available Funds: $11,169,000.

Estimated Median Amount of Awards: The estimated median amount of an award is $400,000, which means that one-half of the awards will be over $400,000 and one-half of the awards will be under $400,000, with the majority of awards in the range of approximately $350,000-$425,000.

Maximum Award: There is no maximum award amount. However, when preparing your submission, applicants should be aware that we anticipate a less than four percent increase in the award amounts for this program compared to FY 2004.

Estimated Number of Awards: 23.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to provide vocational rehabilitation services to American Indians with disabilities who reside on or near Federal or State reservations, consistent with their individual strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, and informed choices, so that they may prepare for and engage in gainful employment, including self-employment, telecommuting, or business ownership.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority is from section 121(b)(4) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 741).

Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2005 this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 10 points to an application, depending on how well the application meets this priority.

This priority is:

Continuation of Previously Funded Tribal Programs

In making new awards under this program, we give priority consideration to applications for the continuation of tribal programs that have been funded under this program.

Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 741.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, and 97. (b) The regulations in 34 CFR parts 369 and 371.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $11,169,000.

Estimated Median Amount of Awards: The estimated median amount of an award is $400,000, which means that one-half of the awards will be over $400,000 and one-half of the awards will be under $400,000, with the majority of awards in the range of approximately $350,000-$425,000.

Maximum Award: There is no maximum award amount. However, when preparing your submission, applicants should be aware that we anticipate a less than four percent increase in the award amounts for this program compared to FY 2004.

Estimated Number of Awards: 23.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months. Start Printed Page 3003

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: The governing bodies of Indian tribes (and consortia of those governing bodies) located on Federal and State reservations.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: See 34 CFR 371.40.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: You may obtain an application package via Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain an application package via Internet, use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​grantapps/​index.html. To obtain an application package from ED Pubs, write or call the following: 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: http://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 84.250F.

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 Contracts Service Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5075, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363.

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 your application. It is suggested that you limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 35 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, references, 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 suggested 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 resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: January 19, 2005.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 19, 2005.

Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants system, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

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

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

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

6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by mail or hand delivery.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

If you submit your application to us electronically, you must use e-Application available through the Department's e-Grants system, accessible through the e-Grants portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov

While completing your electronic application, you will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following:

  • Your participation in e-Application is voluntary.
  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The e-Application system will not accept an application for this competition after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
  • The regular hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6 a.m. Monday until 7 p.m. Wednesday; and 6 a.m. Thursday until midnight Saturday, Washington, DC time. Please note that the system is unavailable on Sundays, and between 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, DC time, for maintenance. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit an application in paper format.
  • You must 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 electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement that will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the ED 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.

2. The applicant'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) 245-6272.

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

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically 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 by hand delivery. We will grant this extension if— Start Printed Page 3004

1. You are a registered user of e-Application and you have initiated an electronic 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 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 persons listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contacts) or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If the system is down and therefore the application deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users who have initiated an e-Application.

Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of the Department's e-Application system. If the e-Application system is available, and, for any reason, you are unable to submit your application electronically or you do not receive an automatic acknowledgement of your submission, you may submit your application in paper format by mail or hand delivery in accordance with the instructions in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications By Mail.

If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), you must send the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.250F), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

or

By mail through a commercial carrier:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center—Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.250F), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

1. A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark;

2. A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service;

3. A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier; or

4. Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the U.S. Secretary of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

1. A private metered postmark, or

2. A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

Applicants should note that the U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications By Hand Delivery.

If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, you (or a courier service) must hand deliver the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.250F), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department:

1. You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 4 of the ED 424 the CFDA number—and suffix letter, if any—of the competition under which you are submitting your application.

2. The Application Control Center will mail a Grant Application Receipt Acknowledgment to you. If you do not receive the notification of application receipt within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR. The selection criteria to be used for this competition will be provided 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 section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section 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), the Department has established the following long-term goal for this program: By the end of FY 2008, at least 65 percent of all American Indians with disabilities who exit the program after receiving services under an individualized plan for employment will achieve an employment outcome. Each grantee must annually report its performance on this measure through the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program Annual Performance Reporting System.

In addition, this program is part of the Administration's job training and employment common measures initiative. The common measures for job training and employment programs targeting adults are: Entered employment (percentage employed in the first quarter after program exit); retention in employment (percentage of those employed in the first quarter after exit that were still employed in the second and third quarter after program exit); earnings increase (percentage change in earnings pre-registration to post program and first quarter after exit to third quarter after exit); and efficiency (annual cost per participant). The Department is currently working toward implementation of these Start Printed Page 3005common measures. Each grantee will be required to collect and report data for the common measures when implemented.

VII. Agency Contacts

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joyce Libby or Alfreda Reeves, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5038, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20204-2800. Telephone: for Joyce Libby (202) 245-7432; for Alfreda Reeves (202) 245-7485.

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 program contact persons 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: 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.

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Dated: January 12, 2005.

John H. Hager,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. 05-1038 Filed 1-18-05; 8:45 am]

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