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Notice

Proposed Extensions and Waivers: National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of Special Education Programs, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice of proposed extension of project period and waiver for the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.

SUMMARY:

The Secretary proposes to waive the requirements in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), in 34 CFR 75.250 and 75.261(a) and (c), respectively, that generally prohibit project periods exceeding five years and extensions of project periods involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. This extension of project period and waiver would enable the currently funded project to receive funding from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.

DATES:

We must receive your comments on or before July 7, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

Address all comments about this proposed extension of project period and waiver to Julia Martin Eile, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4056, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600.

If you prefer to send your comments by e-mail, use the following address: julia.martin.eile@ed.gov. You must include the phrase “proposed extension of project period and waiver” in the subject line of your message.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Julia Martin Eile at the address listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Telephone: (202) 245-7431. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll-free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person listed in this section.

Invitation To Comment

We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed extension of project period and waiver.

During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this proposed extension of project period and waiver in room 4056, PCP, 550 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record

On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this proposed extension of project period and waiver. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Background

On April 28, 2006, the Department published a notice in the Federal Register (71 FR 25163) inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2006 for a National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC). The purpose of the NECTAC, which was funded under the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities (TA&D) program, authorized under section 663 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is to ensure that eligible infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities (ages birth through five years) receive, as appropriate, services under Parts B and C of the IDEA that ultimately improve their developmental and early learning outcomes. Another purpose of the NECTAC is to ensure that the families of eligible infants, toddlers, and children receiving services under Part C of the IDEA receive services necessary to enhance families' capacity to meet the developmental needs of their infant, toddler, or child.

Based on the 2006 notice inviting applications, the Department made one award for a period of 60 months to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to carry out the activities of the NECTAC.

Currently, the NECTAC focuses on providing technical assistance to strengthen State and local early childhood systems and improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and families of infants, toddlers, and children receiving services under Part C of the IDEA.

The NECTAC's current project period is scheduled to end on September 30, 2011. At the current time, we do not believe it would be in the public interest to hold a new competition under this program for a new NECTAC. An extension of the current grantee's project will align the end of the current NECTAC project period with the expiration of the project period for the Technical Assistance Center on Social-Emotional Intervention for Young Children (CFDA No. 84.326B) and allow for the Department to develop a strategic and better coordinated approach to early childhood special education technical assistance without there being a lapse in the provision of technical assistance services currently provided by the NECTAC. For these reasons, the Secretary proposes to waive the requirements in 34 CFR 75.250, which prohibit project periods exceeding five years, and the requirements in 34 CFR 75.261(a) and (c), which limit the extension of a project period if the extension involves the obligation of additional Federal funds, and issue a continuation award in the amount of $3,000,000 to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (H326H060005) for an additional twelve-month period.

Waiving these regulations and issuing this continuation award would ensure that technical assistance is available to strengthen State and local early childhood systems and improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and families of infants, toddlers, and children receiving services under Part C of the IDEA.

With this proposed extension of project period and waiver, the NECTAC would conduct the following activities during FY 2012:

(a) Develop products and services to respond to State needs prioritized on the basis of results of current needs-analyses and syntheses.

(b) Provide coordinated individualized and multi-State technical assistance services to address high-priority needs.

(c) Support State-specific technical assistance efforts specified by the Department's Office of Special Education Programs.

(d) Coordinate with other relevant national and State-level technical assistance efforts.

(e) Disseminate documents to a wide audience, including State and local directors of special education.

(f) Maintain the NECTAC's Web site.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

The Secretary certifies that this proposed extension of project period and waiver would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial Start Printed Page 32968number of small entities. The entities that would be affected are the current grantee serving as the NECTAC and any other potential applicant.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

This proposed extension of project period and waiver does not contain any information collection requirements.

Intergovernmental Review

This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.

Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: http://www.gpo.gov/​fdsys. At this site 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). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: http://www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

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Dated: June 2, 2011.

Alexa Posny,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

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[FR Doc. 2011-14022 Filed 6-6-11; 8:45 am]

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