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Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities-Model Demonstration Projects To Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners With Disabilities in Grades Three Through Five or Three Through Six

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

Overview Information: Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities in Grades Three through Five or Three through Six.

Notice inviting applications for a new award for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

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

DATES:

Applications Available: March 7, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 21, 2016.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 20, 2016.

End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve results for children with disabilities by providing technical assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by scientifically based research.

Priorities: This competition has one absolute priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), the absolute priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute or otherwise authorized in the statute (see sections 663 and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1463, 1481(d).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities in Grades Three through Five or Three through Six.

Background: IDEA has authorized model demonstrations to improve early intervention, educational, or transitional results for children [1] with disabilities since the mid-1970s. For the purposes of this priority, a model is a set of existing evidence-based interventions and implementation strategies (i.e., core components) that research suggests will improve child, teacher, or system outcomes when implemented with fidelity. Model demonstrations involve investigating the degree to which a given model can be implemented and sustained in typical settings, by staff employed in those settings, while achieving outcomes similar to those attained under research conditions.

The purpose of this priority is to fund three cooperative agreements to establish and operate model demonstration projects that will assess how models can: (a) Improve literacy outcomes for English Learners [2] with disabilities (ELSWDs) in grades three through five or three through six, within a multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) framework; [3] (b) use culturally responsive principles; [4] and (c) be implemented by educators and sustained in general and special education settings.

The most recent average scale scores [5] in reading for fourth graders on the Start Printed Page 11771National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP, 2014) by subgroup were: English Learners (ELs), 192; students with disabilities (SWDs), 188; ELSWDs, 151; and students who were not ELs or SWDs, 230. Seven percent of ELs, 10 percent of SWDs, and 2 percent of ELSWDs scored at the proficient level compared to 31 percent of students who were not ELs or SWDs (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). These figures are especially troubling because, according to assessments using criteria that correspond to the NAEP skill levels, children who are not proficient readers by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school than their peers who are proficient readers (Hernandez, 2012). The disparities in achievement as illustrated by these data underscore the challenges that schools encounter in educating ELSWDs.

Children must possess the ability to read for understanding in order to meet college- and career-ready standards (Foorman & Wanzek, 2015). However, children must first develop basic literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, to become proficient readers (National Reading Panel, 2000) and to read for understanding.

Therefore, models should be designed to build literacy skills for ELSWDs as a stepping stone to reading for understanding. Approaches to improve literacy must include a combination of effective instruction, modeling, professional development, and evidence-based teaching practices that are appropriate for ELSWDs in both classrooms and small group settings (Giroir, Grimaldo, Vaughn, & Roberts, 2015; Klingner & Soltero-Gonzalez, 2009). In addition, research suggests that proposed models should be replicable across multiple contexts (e.g., content area instruction, small group settings, multiple school sites) with a goal of scaling-up for wider use (Domitrovich et al., 2008).

Priority: The purpose of this priority is to fund three cooperative agreements to establish and operate model demonstration projects that will assess how models can: (a) Improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs in grades three through five or three through six, within an MTSS framework; (b) use culturally responsive principles; and (c) be implemented by educators and sustained in general and special education settings. Applicants must propose models that meet the following requirements:

(a) The model's core intervention components (e.g., services, assessments, processes, data collection instruments) must include:

(1) A framework that includes, at a minimum, universal screening, progress monitoring, and effective core instruction; [6]

(2) Culturally responsive principles within each component of the framework;

(3) Interventions that meet the needs of the specific population and are supported by scientifically based research;

(4) Practices that are valid and reliable and ensure appropriate identification of ELs as having disabilities;

(5) Measures of literacy outcomes,[7] using standardized measures when applicable, and teacher and systems outcomes, when appropriate;

(6) Measures of language proficiency in the child's first language and English; and

(7) Measures of the model's social validity, i.e., measures of educators', parents', and students' satisfaction with the model components, processes, and outcomes.

(b) The model's core implementation components must include:

(1) Strategies for selecting [8] and recruiting sites, including approaches to introducing the model to and promoting the model among site participants,[9] with consideration given to the following criteria:

(i) Each project must include at least three elementary schools with students in grades three through five or three through six. Each school must have at least 40 percent and no fewer than 100 students who have been identified as ELs in these grades; and

(ii) In each of the schools, at least 10 percent of the identified ELs in grades three through five or three through six must be ELSWDs with literacy goals on their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs);

(2) A lag site implementation, which involves selecting one of the three sites in year one of the project period to begin implementation of the project's model for at least three years, with the other two schools beginning implementation in year two;

(3) A professional development component that includes an evidence-based coaching strategy to enable staff to implement the interventions with fidelity; and

(4) Measures of the performance of the professional development (e.g., improvements in teacher instructional delivery and knowledge) required by paragraph (b)(3) of this section, including measures of the fidelity of implementation.

(c) The core strategies for sustaining the model must include:

(1) Documentation that permits current and future practitioners to replicate and tailor the model at any site; [10] and

(2) Strategies for the grantee to sustain the model, such as developing easily accessible training materials or coordinating with TA providers who might serve as future trainers.

To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this priority. Each project funded under this absolute priority also must meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the priority.

Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its application—

(a) A project design that is at least supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice) that supports the promise (e.g., evidence base) of the proposed model, its components, and processes to improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs;

(b) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed model demonstration project. A logic model used in connection with this priority Start Printed Page 11772communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project;

Note:

The following Web sites provide examples for constructing logic models: www.researchutilization.org/​matrix/​logicmodel_​resource3c.html and www.osepideasthatwork.org/​logicModel/​index.asp.

(c) A description of the activities and measures to be incorporated into the proposed model demonstration project to improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs, including a timeline of how and when the components are introduced within the model. A detailed and complete description must include the following:

(1) All the intervention components, including culturally responsive principles and, at a minimum, those components listed under paragraph (a) under the heading Priority, and the supporting literature.

(2) The existing and proposed child, teacher, and system outcome measures and social validity measures. The measures should be described as completely as possible, referenced as appropriate, and included, when available, in an appendix.

(3) All the implementation components, including, at a minimum, those listed under paragraph (b) under the heading Priority, and the supporting literature. The existing or proposed implementation fidelity measures, including those measuring the fidelity of the professional development strategy, should be described as completely as possible, referenced as appropriate, and included, when available, in an appendix. In addition, this description should include:

(i) Demographics, including, at a minimum, ethnicity, gender, grade level, and age for all ELSWDs at all implementation sites that have been identified and successfully recruited for the purposes of this application using the selection and recruitment strategies described in paragraph (b)(1) under the heading Priority;

(ii) Whether the implementation sites are high-poverty, high-need, rural, urban, or suburban LEAs or schools; and

Note:

Applicants are encouraged to identify, to the extent possible, the sites willing to participate in the applicant's model demonstration. Final site selection will be determined in consultation with the OSEP project officer following the kick-off meeting described in paragraph (f)(1) of these application requirements.

(iii) The lag design for implementation consistent with the requirements in paragraph (b)(2) under the heading Priority.

(4) All the strategies to promote sustaining and replicating the model, including, at a minimum, those listed in paragraph (c) under the heading Priority.

(d) A description of the evaluation activities and measures to be incorporated into the proposed model demonstration project. A detailed and complete description must include:

(1) A formative evaluation plan, consistent with the project's logic model, that includes evaluation questions, source(s) for data, a timeline for data collection, and analysis plans. The plan must show how the outcome (e.g., child measures, social validity) and implementation data (e.g., fidelity) will be used separately or in combination to improve the project during the performance period. The plan also must outline how these data will be reviewed by project staff, when they will be reviewed, and how they will be used during the course of the project to adjust the model or its implementation to increase the model's usefulness, generalizability, and potential for sustainability; and

(2) A summative evaluation plan, including a timeline, to collect and analyze data on positive changes to child, teacher, and systems outcome measures over time or relative to comparison groups that can be reasonably attributable to project activities. The plan must show how the child or system outcome and implementation data collected by the project will be used separately or in combination to demonstrate the promise of the model.

(e) A budget for attendance at the following:

(1) A one and one half-day kick-off meeting to be held in Washington, DC, after receipt of the award;

(2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, occurring twice during the project performance period; and

(3) Four travel days spread across years two through four of the project period to attend planning meetings, Department briefings, Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by OSEP, to be held in Washington, DC, with the OSEP project officer.

Other Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, each project, at a minimum, must:

(a) Communicate and collaborate on an ongoing basis with other relevant Department-funded projects, including, at minimum, OSEP-funded TA centers that might disseminate information on the model or support the scale-up efforts of an effective model;

(b) Maintain ongoing (i.e., at least monthly) telephone and email communication with the OSEP project officer and the other model demonstration projects funded under this priority; and

(c) If the project maintains a Web site, include relevant information about the model, the intervention, and the demonstration activities that meets government- or industry-recognized standards for accessibility.

Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional two points to an application that meets this priority.

The priority is:

Evidence of Promise Supporting the Proposed Model (2 Points).

Projects that are supported by evidence that meets the conditions set out in the definition of “evidence of promise” (as defined in this notice). The proposed project must include:

(a) A detailed review of the research that meets at least the evidence of promise standard and that supports the promise (e.g., evidence base) of the proposed model, its components, and processes to improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs;

(b) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed model demonstration project. A logic model communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the project; and

(c) A description of the activities and measures to be incorporated into the proposed model demonstration project to improve literacy outcomes for ELSWDs, including how and when the components are introduced within the model. A detailed and complete description must contain all of the implementation components, including, at a minimum, those listed under paragraph (a) and linked to supporting literature. The existing or proposed implementation fidelity measures, including those measuring the fidelity of the professional development strategy, should be described as completely as possible, referenced as appropriate, and included, when available, in an appendix.

Note:

An applicant addressing this competitive preference priority must identify up to two study citations that meet this standard.

Start Printed Page 11773

References

Aceves, T.C., & Orosco, M.J. (2014). Culturally responsive teaching (Document No. IC-2). Retrieved from University of Florida, Collaboration for Effective Educator, Development, Accountability, and Reform Center Web site: http://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/​tools/​innovation-configurations/​.

Domitrovich, C., Bradshaw, C., Poduska, J., Hoagwood, K., Buckley, J., Olin, S., . . . Ialongo, N. (2008). Maximizing the implementation quality of evidence-based preventive interventions in schools: A conceptual framework. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 1 (3), 6-28. Retrieved from: http://dx.doi.org/​10.1080/​1754730X.2008.9715730.

Foorman, B.R., & Wanzek, J. (2015). Classroom Reading Instruction for all Students. In S.R. Jimerson, K. Burns, & A.M. VanDerHeyden (EDs.), Handbook of Response to Intervention (pp. 235-252). New York, NY: Springer.

Gay, G. (2010). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. New York, NY: Teacher's College Press.

Giroir, S., Grimaldo, L.R., Vaughn, S., Roberts, G. (2015). Interactive read-alouds for English learners in the elementary grades. Reading Teacher, 68 (8), 639-648.

Hernandez, D. (2012). Double Jeopardy. How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation. Retrieved from Annie E. Casey Foundation Web site: http://gradelevelreading.net/​wp-content/​uploads/​2012/​01/​Double-Jeopardy-Report-030812-for-web1.pdf.

Klingner, J., & Soltero-Gonzalez, L. (2009). Culturally and linguistically responsive literacy instruction for English Language Learners with learning disabilities. Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, 12 (1), 4-20.

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction (NIH Publication No. 00-4769). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. (2014). National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), The Nation's Report Card. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://nationsreportcard.gov.

Definitions: The following definitions apply to the priority:

Evidence of promise means there is empirical evidence to support the theoretical linkage(s) between at least one critical component and at least one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice. Specifically, evidence of promise means the conditions in both paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this definition are met:

(i) There is at least one study that is a—

(A) Correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias;

(B) Quasi-experimental design study that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations; or

(C) Randomized controlled trial that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with or without reservations.

(ii) The study referenced in paragraph (i) of this definition found a statistically significant or substantively important (defined as a difference of 0.25 standard deviations or larger) favorable association between at least one critical component and one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice.

English Learner, when used with respect to an individual, means an individual—

(A) Who is aged 3 through 21;

(B) Who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;

(C)(i) Who was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;

(ii)(I) Who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and

(II) Who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency; or

(iii) Who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and

(D) Whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual—

(i) The ability to meet the State's proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA;

(ii) The ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or

(iii) The opportunity to participate fully in society.

Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally.

Quasi-experimental design study means a study using a design that attempts to approximate an experimental design by identifying a comparison group that is similar to the treatment group in important respects. These studies, depending on design and implementation, can meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations (but not What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations).

Randomized controlled trial means a study that employs random assignment of, for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to receive the intervention being evaluated (the treatment group) or not to receive the intervention (the control group). The estimated effectiveness of the intervention is the difference between the average outcomes for the treatment group and for the control group. These studies, depending on design and implementation, can meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations.

Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) (or the ultimate outcome if not related to students) the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice is designed to improve; consistent with the specific goals of a program.

Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.

What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards means the standards set forth in the What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook (Version 3.0, March 2014), which can be found at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/​ncee/​wwc/​DocumentSum.aspx?​sid=​19.

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 proposed priorities and other requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment requirements of the APA inapplicable to the absolute priority and related definitions in this notice.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of Start Printed Page 11774the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474.

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 institutions of higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.

Estimated Available Funds: $1,200,000.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $375,000 to $400,000.

Estimated Average Size of Award: $400,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject and not review any application that proposes a budget exceeding $400,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 3.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs); LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

3. Eligible Subgrantees: (a) Under 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee may award subgrants—to directly carry out project activities described in its application—to the following types of entities: SEAs; LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.

(b) The grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application.

4. Other General Requirements:

(a) Recipients of funding under this competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).

(b) Each applicant for, and recipient of, funding under this program 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: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​grantapps/​index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.326M.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible 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.

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 no more than 50 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, reference citations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.
  • Use a font that is 12 point or larger.
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

The page limit and double-spacing requirements do 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 abstract (follow the guidance provided in the application package for completing the abstract), the table of contents, the list of priority requirements, the resumes, the reference list, the letters of support, or the appendices. However, the page limit and double-spacing requirements do apply to all of Part III, the application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit in the application narrative section or if you apply standards other than those specified in this notice and the application package.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: March 7, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 21, 2016.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to Other Submission Requirements in section IV of 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 of 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.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 20, 2016.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition 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 Start Printed Page 11775is in the application package for this program.

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

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;

c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/​webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

Note:

Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov.

If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: www2.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​sam-faqs.html.

In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/​web/​grants/​register.html.

7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

Applications for grants under the Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities in Grades Three through Five or Three through Six competition, CFDA number 84.326M, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at 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 email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

You may access the electronic grant application for the Model Demonstration Projects to Improve Literacy Outcomes for English Learners with Disabilities in Grades Three through Five or Three through Six competition at 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 84.326, not 84.326M).

Please note the following:

  • 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 accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. 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 under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/​web/​grants/​applicants/​apply-for-grants.html.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Start Printed Page 11776Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the project narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF. Additional, detailed information on how to attach files is in the application instructions.
  • 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 receipt by the Department. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

  • 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 of 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 the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine 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.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and
  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Tara Courchaine, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5143, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-5108. FAX: (202) 245-7590.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 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 84.326M) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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.

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.

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We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You 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 84.326M) 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 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

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors: In the past, the Department has had difficulty finding peer reviewers for certain competitions because so many individuals who are eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The standing panel requirements under section 682(b) of IDEA also have placed additional constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department has determined that for some discretionary grant competitions, applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers by ensuring that greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness of the review process, while permitting panel members to review applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also have submitted applications. However, if the Department decides to select an equal number of applications in each group for funding, this may result in different cut-off points for fundable applications in each group.

4. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

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); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your 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 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: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) 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 multiyear 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 may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

(c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and quality of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities program. We will use these measures to evaluate 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.

Projects funded under this competition are required to submit data on these measures as directed by OSEP.

Grantees will be required to report information on their project's performance in annual and final performance reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).Start Printed Page 11778

5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tara Courchaine, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5143, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-5108. Telephone: (202) 245-6462.

If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5037, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

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: 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 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: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

Start Signature

Dated: March 1, 2016.

Michael K. Yudin,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

End Signature End Further Info End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  For the purpose of this priority, the term “children” includes infants, toddlers, children, and youth.

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2.  For purposes of this priority, the term English Learners refers to those students considered to be Limited English Proficient (LEP) students or English Learners, as those terms are defined under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA), and in the State in which the grantee implements its model demonstration projects under this priority.

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3.  Multi-tier System of Supports means a comprehensive continuum of evidence-based, systemic practices to support a rapid response to students' needs, with regular observation to facilitate data-based instructional decisionmaking.

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4.  Culturally responsive principles promote redesigning the learning environments to support the development and success of all students. Some examples of incorporating culturally responsive principles into learning environments include communicating high expectations to all students, incorporating students' cultural and home experiences into lessons by reshaping the curriculum to reflect students' experiences, and engaging students in activities where they can converse with one another on topics that tap into their background knowledge and experiences (Aceves & Orosco, 2014; Gay, 2010).

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5.  The NAEP Reading scale ranges from 0 to 500. Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2013 Reading Assessment.

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6.  School sites that are selected must have an existing MTSS framework that demonstrates strong core instruction.

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7.  Applicants must ensure the confidentiality of individual data, consistent with the requirements of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” (FERPA), and State laws or regulations concerning the confidentiality of individual records. Final FERPA regulatory changes became effective January 3, 2012, and include requirements for data sharing. Applicants are encouraged to review the final FERPA regulations published on December 2, 2011 (76 FR 75604). Questions can be sent to the Family Policy Compliance Office (www.ed.gov/​fpco) at (202) 260-3887 or FERPA@ed.gov.

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8.  For factors to consider when selecting model demonstration sites, the applicant should refer to Assessing Sites for Model Demonstration: Lessons Learned for OSEP Grantees at http://mdcc.sri.com/​documents/​reports/​MDCC_​Site_​Assessment_​Brief_​09-30-11.pdf. The document also contains a site assessment tool.

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9.  For factors to consider while preparing for model demonstration implementation, the applicant should refer to Preparing for Model Demonstration Implementation at http://mdcc.sri.com/​documents/​MDCC_​PreparationStage_​Brief_​Apr2013.pdf.

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10.  For a guide on documenting model demonstration sustainment and replication, the applicant should refer to Planning for Replication and Dissemination From the Start: Guidelines for Model Demonstration Projects at http://mdcc.sri.com/​documents/​MDCC_​ReplicationBrief_​SEP2013.pdf.

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[FR Doc. 2016-05026 Filed 3-4-16; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P