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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

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

DATES:

Applications Available: February 11, 2008.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 5, 2008.

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

Estimated Available Funds: $11,000,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $350,000-$1,000,000.

Maximum Award: For applicants that are current grantees under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities program (i.e., applicants that received funding in FY 2007), the maximum award amount for the first project year is the greater of (a) $365,000 or (b) an amount equal to 102.8 percent of the applicant's approved budget for the applicant's FY 2007 grant (an increase of 2.8 percent). For applicants that are not current grantees under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities program, the maximum award amount for the first project year is $360,000.

In addition, the Secretary may limit any proposed increases in funding for project years two through five to the annual estimated percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPIU). The estimated percentage increase in the CPIU over the prior year for project year two (FY 2009) is approximately 3 percent and for project years three through five (FY 2010-FY 2012) is approximately 2.3 percent.

Estimated Number of Awards: 21-22.

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 (VR) 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 choice, 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 2008, 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: $11,000,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $350,000-$1,000,000.

Maximum Award: For applicants that are current grantees under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities program (i.e., applicants that received funding in FY 2007), the maximum award amount for the first project year is the greater of (a) $365,000 or (b) an amount equal to 102.8 percent of the applicant's approved budget for the applicant's FY 2007 grant (an increase of 2.8 percent). For applicants that are not current grantees under the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities program, the maximum award amount for the first project year is $360,000.

In addition, the Secretary may limit any proposed increases in funding for project years two through five to the annual estimated percentage change in the CPIU. The estimated percentage increase in the CPIU over the prior year for project year two (FY 2009) is approximately 3 percent and for project years three through five (FY 2010-FY 2012) is approximately 2.3 percent.

Estimated Number of Awards: 21-22.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

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: 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), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

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

If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.250D.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, Start Printed Page 6492large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under Alternative Format in section VIII 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.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: February 11, 2008.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 5, 2008.

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 in paper format 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.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

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 in 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.

To comply with the President's Management Agenda, we are participating as a partner in the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site. The Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities, CFDA Number 84.250D, is included in this project. We request your participation in Grants.gov.

If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must use the Governmentwide 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 Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians With Disabilities at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.250, not 84.250D).

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 date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and 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 and 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 and 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 submission 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 .
  • To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process (see http://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​get_​registered.jsp). These steps include (1) registering your organization, a multi-part process that includes registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (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/​section910/​Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.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 submit successfully an application via Grants.gov. In addition you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.
  • 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.
  • If you submit your application electronically, you must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. Please note that two of these forms—the SF 424 and the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424—have replaced the ED 424 (Application for Federal Education Assistance).
  • If you 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 in this paragraph 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 from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not Start Printed Page 6493receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application 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 Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

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 described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII in this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. 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:

The extensions to which we refer 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 application 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 84.250D), 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 84.250D), 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.

(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.

(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 84.250D), 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 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification 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 of EDGAR and are in the application package. The selection criteria may total 100 points, plus the 10 competitive preference priority points (see section I. Competitive Preference Priority).

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 notify you informally, also.

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 in this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section in 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 directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary also may require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Start Printed Page 6494Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established three performance measures for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Projects for American Indians with Disabilities program. The measures are (1) the percentage of individuals who leave the program with an employment outcome, (2) the percentage of projects that demonstrate an average annual cost per employment outcome of no more than $35,000, and (3) the percentage of projects that demonstrate an average annual cost per participant of no more than $10,000. Each grantee must annually report its performance on these measures through the Annual Progress Reporting Form for the American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) Program.

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 measure (annual cost per employment outcome and per participant). The Department is currently working toward implementing these common measures. Each grantee will be required to collect and report data for the common measures when implemented.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: August Martin, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 5088, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20204-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7410.

If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Alternative Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and 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, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Electronic Access to This Document: You can 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 30, 2008.

Tracy R. Justesen,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. E8-1982 Filed 2-1-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P