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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview Information; Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities-General Supervision Enhancement Grants; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.326X.

Dates: Applications Available: June 23, 2006.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 7, 2006.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 6, 2006.

Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs), and if endorsed by the SEA to apply and carry out the project on behalf of the SEA, local educational agencies (LEAs), public charter schools that are LEAs under State law, institutions of higher education (IHEs), other public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and for-profit organizations.

Estimated Available Funds: $3,690,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $307,500 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Number of Awards: 12.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 12 months.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: This program promotes academic achievement and improves results for children with disabilities by supporting technical assistance, model demonstration projects, dissemination of useful information, and implementation activities that are supported by scientifically-based research.

Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 663 and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2006 this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is: General Supervision Enhancement Grants (GSEG).

Background

Section 616 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the Department and States to establish and implement systems for monitoring implementation of and enforcing obligations under Parts B and C of IDEA. The Department monitors States, and requires each State to monitor its LEAs, using indicators that the Secretary established for certain priority areas under section 616 of IDEA. Under Part B of the IDEA (Part B) each State must develop a State Performance Plan (SPP) that, among other things, evaluates its efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of Part B. As part of its SPP, a State must establish targets for the indicators established by the Secretary, and use those targets and indicators in annually reporting to the Secretary on its performance in the priority areas. Each State also must use its targets and the Secretary's indicators to report annually to the public on the performance of each LEA in the State.

One of the indicators established by the Secretary under section 616 of IDEA (for the priority area concerning the provision of a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment) is the participation and performance of children with disabilities on the State assessments required under title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). States are expected to report on student performance on State assessments in their SPPs and Annual Performance Reports (APRs) using the same assessment data required under title I of ESEA.

Title I of ESEA requires accountability for the academic achievement of all students. Under that law, every school is expected to be working to ensure that every one of its students and group of students meet State achievement Start Printed Page 36070standards as documented by their performance on State assessments. Under title I of ESEA, a State's academic assessment system must be valid and reliable for the purposes for which the assessment system is used and it must be consistent with relevant, nationally recognized professional and technical standards for assessment. In addition, a State's academic assessment system must be accessible for use by the widest possible range of students, including students with disabilities, students covered under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and students with limited English proficiency.

Under both title I of ESEA and IDEA, State academic assessments must provide for reasonable testing accommodations for students with disabilities where necessary. Many students with disabilities require test accommodations in order to ensure that the State's academic assessment accurately measures their knowledge and skills. Accommodations are changes in testing materials or procedures that ensure that an assessment measures a student's knowledge and skills rather than the student's disabilities or English proficiency. Accommodations generally are grouped into the categories of: (1) Presentation; (2) Response; (3) Setting; and (4) Timing and Scheduling. Section 612(a)(16)(B) of IDEA requires that all States have guidelines for the provision of appropriate accommodations.

In addition, the Department's regulations under title I of ESEA allow States to develop alternate achievement standards that are aligned with the State's academic content standards and reflect professional judgment of the highest learning standards possible for that very limited group of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The Department's regulations under title I of ESEA permit the proficient and advanced scores of students assessed based on alternate achievement standards to be included in adequate yearly progress (AYP) calculations in the same manner as scores based on grade level achievement, subject to a cap of one percent of all students in the grades assessed, at the district and State level. See http://www.ed.gov/​legislation/​FedRegister/​finrule/​2003-4/​120903a.pdf for more information. Under section 612(a)(16)(C) and (D) of IDEA, States must report on the number and performance of students taking alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards.

All alternate assessments that are used for title I ESEA purposes must be designed to generate valid data that can be used for AYP purposes under ESEA. All alternate assessments must also meet the requirements in 34 CFR 200.2 (State Responsibilities for Assessment) and 34 CFR 200.3 (Designing State Academic Assessment Systems), including the requirements relating to validity, reliability, and high technical quality; and fit coherently in the State's overall assessment system under 34 CFR 200.2. The alternate assessment must, among other things: (1) Be valid and reliable for the purposes for which the assessment system is used; (2) be consistent with relevant, nationally recognized professional and technical standards; and (3) be supported by evidence from test publishers or other relevant sources that the assessment system is of adequate technical quality for each purpose required under ESEA. States must include alternate assessment data in their SPPs and APRs relative to performance and participation of children with disabilities on State assessments under IDEA.

The Department is announcing the following priority to assist States in: (1) Developing alternate achievement standards aligned with the State's academic content standards; (2) developing high-quality alternate assessments that measure the achievement of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities based on those standards; (3) reporting on the participation and performance of students with disabilities on alternate assessments; and (4) developing appropriate assessment accommodations that do not alter the established reliability and validity of the assessment instrument.

Priority

This priority supports projects that assist States in improving their capacity to accurately report on the performance and participation of children with disabilities on the State's assessments.

In order to meet this priority an applicant must demonstrate that the project for which it seeks funding will do one or more of the following: (1) Develop alternate achievement standards aligned with the State's academic content standards; (2) develop high-quality alternate assessments that measure the achievement of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities based on those standards; (3) report on the participation and performance of students with disabilities on alternate assessments; and (4) develop appropriate assessment accommodations that do not alter the established reliability and validity of the assessment instrument.

Projects funded under this priority also must—

(a) Budget to attend a two-day Project Directors' meeting;

(b) If the project maintains a Web site, include relevant information and documents in a format that meets a government or industry-recognized standard for accessibility; and

(c) Provide a written assurance that the State's Assessment Office (e.g., the office that addresses ESEA accountability) was given the opportunity to contribute to the formulation of the application.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553), the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on a proposed priority. However, section 681(d) of IDEA makes the public comment requirements under the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.

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Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481(d).

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Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99.

Note:

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

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.

Estimated Available Funds: $3,690,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $307,500 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Number of Awards: 12.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 12 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs, and if endorsed by the SEA to apply and carry out the project on behalf of the SEA, LEAs, public charter schools that are LEAs under State law, IHEs, other public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and for-profit organizations. Start Printed Page 36071

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 competition must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26 in planning, implementing, and evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

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: 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 84.326X.

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 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 your 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, 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 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; the one-page abstract, the resumes, 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: June 23, 2006.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 7, 2006.

Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov), 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.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 6, 2006.

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

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

We have been accepting applications electronically through the Department's e-Application system since FY 2000. In order to expand on those efforts and comply with the President's Management Agenda, we are continuing to participate as a partner in the new government wide Grants.gov Apply site in FY 2006. The General Supervision Enhancement Grants-CFDA Number 84.326X is one of the programs included in this project. We request your participation in Grants.gov.

If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must use the Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

You may access the electronic grant application for the General Supervision Enhancement Grants at: http://www.grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search.

Please note the following:

  • Your participation in Grants.gov is voluntary.
  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are time and date stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted, and must be date/time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not consider your application if it is date/time stamped by the Grants.gov system later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date/time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov at http://e-Grants.ed.gov/​help/​GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf. Start Printed Page 36072
  • To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must complete all of the steps in the Grants.gov registration process (see http://www.Grants.gov/​GetStarted). These steps include (1) registering your organization, (2) registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR), and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/​assets/​GrantsgovCoBrandBrochure8X11.pdf). You also must provide on your application the same D-U-N-S Number used with this registration. Please note that the registration process may take five or more business days to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to allow you to successfully submit an application via Grants.gov.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit your application in paper format.
  • You may submit all documents electronically, including all information typically included on the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text) or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified above or submit a password protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment from Grants.gov that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. The Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you a second confirmation by e-mail that will include a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on 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 of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically, or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions as described elsewhere in this notice. If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the deadline date, please contact the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number (if available). We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of or technical problems with the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

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 mail 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 84.326X), 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 84.326X), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address you use, 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 Secretary of the U.S. Department 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:

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 deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, 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 84.326X), 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 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 grant application receipt acknowledgment 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 competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed 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 Start Printed Page 36073(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 of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has developed measures that will yield information on various aspects of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. These measures focus on: the extent to which projects provide high quality products and services, the relevance of project products and services to educational and early intervention policy and practice, and the use of products and services to improve educational and early intervention policy and practice.

We will notify grantees if they will be required to provide any information related to these measures.

Grantees also will be required to report information on their projects' performance in annual reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).

VII. Agency Contact

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Larry Wexler, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4019, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7571.

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 by contacting the following office: The Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363.

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.

Start Signature

Dated: June 14, 2006.

John H. Hager,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. E6-9967 Filed 6-22-06; 8:45 am]

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