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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities-Doctoral Training Consortia Associated With High-Intensity Needs

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AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The mission of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) is to improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the Nation. As such, the Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2019 for Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities—Doctoral Training Consortia Associated with High-Intensity Needs, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.325H. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820-0028.

DATES:

Applications Available: June 12, 2019.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 29, 2019.

Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than June 17, 2019, OSERS will post pre-recorded informational webinars designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. The webinars may be found at www2.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​osep/​new-osep-grants.html.

Pre-Application Q & A Blog: No later than June 17, 2019, OSERS will open a blog where interested applicants may post questions about the application requirements for this competition and where OSERS will post answers to the questions received. OSERS will not respond to questions unrelated to the application requirements for this competition. The blog may be found at www2.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​osep/​new-osep-grants.html and will remain open until July 1, 2019. After the blog closes, applicants should direct questions to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 25, 2019.

ADDRESSES:

For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2019-02-13/​pdf/​2019-02206.pdf.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Celia Rosenquist, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5158, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-5076. Telephone: (202) 245-7373. Email: Celia.Rosenquist@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) help address State-identified needs for personnel preparation in special education, early intervention, related services, and regular education to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in serving those children.

Priorities: This competition includes one absolute priority and three competitive preference priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), the absolute priority and competitive preference priorities are from allowable activities specified in sections 662 and 681 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2019 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 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:

Doctoral Training Consortia Associated with High-Intensity Needs.

Background: The purpose of this competition is to support three doctoral training consortia that will prepare leaders with highly specialized skills, knowledge, and expertise to address the needs of children, including infants, toddlers, and youth (referred to as “children” hereafter), with disabilities with high-intensity needs. Each training consortium will prepare special education, early intervention, or related services personnel who are well-qualified for, and can act effectively in, leadership positions as researchers and preparers of special education, early intervention, or related services personnel in institutions of higher education (IHEs), or as leaders in traditional and non-traditional public school systems such as State educational agencies (SEAs), charter management organizations (CMOs), charter school authorizers, lead agencies (LAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), private school networks, parochial schools, early intervention services (EIS) programs, or schools. This priority is consistent with three Start Printed Page 27315priorities included in the Secretary's Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs (Supplemental Priorities) (83 FR 9096). Specifically, the priority is consistent with Supplemental Priority 2—Promoting Innovation and Efficiency, Streamlining Education with an Increased Focus on Improving Student Outcomes, and Providing Increased Value to Students and Taxpayers; Supplemental Priority 5—Meeting the Unique Needs of Students and Children With Disabilities and/or Those with Unique Gifts and Talents; and Supplemental Priority 8—Promoting Effective Instruction in Classrooms and Schools.

Leadership personnel play an essential role in promoting high expectations for each child with a disability and provide, or prepare others to provide, effective interventions and services that improve outcomes for children, including infants, toddlers, and youth with disabilities. Children with disabilities with high-intensity needs refers to children with a complex array of disabilities (e.g., multiple disabilities, significant cognitive disabilities, significant physical disabilities, significant sensory disabilities, significant autism, significant emotional disabilities, or significant learning disabilities, including dyslexia) or the needs of children with these disabilities requiring intensive, individualized interventions (i.e., interventions that are specifically designed to address persistent learning or behavior difficulties, implemented with greater frequency and for a duration that is more extended than is commonly available in a typical classroom or early intervention setting, or which require personnel to have knowledge and skills in identifying and implementing multiple evidence-based [1] interventions).

Gaps in the knowledge base of effective interventions and a shortage of educators with specialized preparation can negatively affect the quality of services provided to children with high-intensity needs (e.g., Bruce & Borders, 2015; Farmer et al., 2016; Guralnick, 2017; Lemons, Vaughn, Wexler, Kearns, & Sinclair, 2018; Roberts & Kaiser, 2015; Browder, Wood, Thompson, & Ribuffo, 2014; Zwaigenbaum et al., 2015). Leadership personnel who have the knowledge, skills, and expertise are needed to effectively address the complexity of issues that children with disabilities with high-intensity needs may have; prepare educators with the specialized knowledge and skills to deliver effective intensive individualized intervention; and inform how intervention and services can best be coordinated to address these needs in different educational settings.

There is a well-documented need for leadership personnel to fill faculty and leadership positions in special education, early intervention, and related services (Castillo, Curtis, & Tan, 2014; Montrosse & Young, 2012; Robb, Smith, & Montrosse, 2012; Smith, Montrosse, Robb, Tyler, & Young, 2011; Smith, Robb, West, & Tyler, 2010; Woods & Snyder, 2009). However, few university programs include specialized training to address the needs of children with disabilities with high-intensity needs, and those programs usually have a small number of faculty members, and sometimes just one.

The lack of faculty in high-need areas limits the number of future leaders and other educators (e.g., teachers) that can be prepared, restricts the curriculum and diversity of opportunities in preparation programs, and impacts the capacity of the field to advance the knowledge base of effective intervention and services needed to serve children with disabilities with high-intensity needs.

A doctoral training consortium approach can address the need for preparing future leadership personnel in high-need areas. OSEP has funded doctoral training consortia in sensory disabilities (blind and visually impaired, deaf-blind, and deaf and hard of hearing) since 2004 and a consortium that focuses on disabilities associated with academic and behavior-intensive service needs since 2014.

An initial evaluation of the 2004, 2009, and 2014 sensory consortia indicates the success of the approach in preparing future leaders. For example, a majority of the scholars completed their programs in a timely manner, are working in the field as faculty or in other leadership positions, and made contributions to the field through presentations and publications on improving outcomes and services for children with sensory disabilities. Scholars, after completing their doctoral degrees, have also received research and personnel preparation grants to improve interventions and services as well as grants to prepare personnel to address the needs of children with sensory disabilities (Kruemmeling, Hayes, & Smith, 2017). Although the consortium that focuses on disabilities associated with intensive service needs has not yet ended, preliminary data suggest scholars are making timely progress; contributing to the field through presentations, publications, course materials, and other scholarly activities on improving outcomes for children with disabilities who have intensive service needs; and engaging in collaborative projects across institutions. Additional information about the consortia and the scholars is located at the following websites: www.nlcsdproject.org/​ and http://nclii.org/​.

Each training consortium will prepare doctoral-level leaders with the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to deliver effective intensive individualized intervention for children with disabilities with high-intensity needs; prepare educators with the specialized knowledge and skills to deliver effective, intensive individualized intervention; and inform how intervention and services can best be coordinated to address these needs in different educational settings. The consortia will prepare leaders who can act effectively in leadership positions in universities, traditional and non-traditional public school systems such as SEAs, CMOs, charter school authorizers, LAs, LEAs, private school networks, parochial schools, EIS programs, or schools.

Priority

The purpose of the Doctoral Training Consortia Associated with High-Intensity Needs priority is to increase the number of highly skilled doctoral leaders by funding three cooperative agreements to support three doctoral training consortia to prepare leaders in special education, early intervention, and related services to address the needs of children with disabilities with high-intensity needs.

This priority will provide support to help address identified needs for leadership personnel with the knowledge and skills to establish and meet high expectations for each child with a disability. To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, program applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this priority. All projects funded under this absolute priority also must meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the priority.

Note: Doctoral training consortia that lead to clinical doctoral degrees in related services (e.g., a Doctor of Audiology degree or Doctor of Physical Therapy degree) are not included in this priority. These types of training Start Printed Page 27316programs are eligible to apply for funding under the Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services priority (CFDA 84.325K) that OSEP intends to fund in FY 2019.

Note: Applicants must demonstrate matching support for the proposed project at 10 percent of the total amount of the grant as specified in paragraph (d)(15) of the requirements of this priority for an application to be reviewed and be considered eligible to receive an award.

To meet the requirements of this priority, an applicant must—

(a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Significance,” how—

(1) The project addresses the need for leadership personnel to promote high expectations and provide, or prepare others to provide, or supervise the provision of, effective interventions and services that improve outcomes for children with disabilities with high-intensity needs. To address this requirement, the applicant must present—

(i) Appropriate and applicable national data demonstrating the need for the leadership personnel the applicant proposes to prepare or, in cases where national data are not available, State, regional, district, or local data demonstrating the need; and

(ii) Data demonstrating the potential success of the project in producing leaders in special education, early intervention, or related services, such as the professional accomplishments of each individual consortium university's program graduates (e.g., public service, awards, or publications) who demonstrate their leadership in special education, early intervention, or related services; the success of program graduates as preparers of teachers, service providers, or administrators, including any results from evaluating the impact of those teachers, service providers, or administrators on the outcomes of children with disabilities; the average amount of time it takes for program graduates to complete the program; the number of program graduates; and the percentage of program graduates finding employment directly related to their preparation; and

Note: Data on each individual consortium university's program should be no older than five years prior to the start date of the project proposed in the application. When reporting percentages, the denominator (i.e., the total number of scholars or program graduates) must be provided.

(2) The competencies each scholar acquires by participating in the consortium and by completing the university's program of study relate to the knowledge and skills needed by the leadership personnel the applicant proposes to prepare. A proposed consortium must ensure that all scholars enrolled participate in and complete, in addition to the scholar's university program of study, a unique consortium curriculum designed to supplement and enhance each university's program of study by providing academic and professional opportunities and instruction. To address this requirement, the applicant must—

(i) Identify the competencies needed by leadership personnel in postsecondary instruction, administration, policy development, professional practice, leadership, or research in order to provide, prepare others to provide, or supervise the provision of, effective interventions and services that improve outcomes for children with disabilities with high-intensity needs; and

(ii) Provide the conceptual framework that will promote the acquisition of the identified competencies needed by leadership personnel, including knowledge of technologies designed to provide instruction, and how these competencies relate to the consortium's specialized preparation area. For more information on conceptual frameworks, please see www.osepideasthatwork.org/​resources-grantees/​program-areas/​ta-ta/​tad-project-logic-model-and-conceptual-framework.

(b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of project services,” how—

(1) The project will recruit and support a minimum of 28 high-quality scholars.[2] Consortium scholars must be first-time enrollees in a doctoral training program in special education, early intervention, or related service areas (with the exception of clinical doctorates). The narrative must describe—

(i) The selection criteria the applicant will use to identify high-quality applicants for admission in the consortium;

(ii) The recruitment strategies the applicant will use to attract high-quality applicants and any specific recruitment strategies targeting high-quality applicants from groups that are underrepresented in the teaching profession, including individuals with disabilities; and

(iii) The approach the applicant will use to help all scholars, including individuals with disabilities, complete the program; and

(2) The project is designed to promote the acquisition of the competencies needed by leadership personnel to promote high expectations and provide, prepare others to provide, or supervise the provision of, effective interventions and services that improve outcomes for children with disabilities with high-intensity needs. To address this requirement, the applicant must—

(i) Describe how the components of the project, such as the consortium curriculum, work-based experiences aligned with project components (e.g., internships, current employment), research requirements, and other opportunities provided to scholars to analyze data, critique research and methodologies, and practice newly acquired knowledge and skills, will enable the scholars to acquire the competencies needed by leadership personnel for postsecondary instruction, administration, policy development, professional practice, leadership, or research in special education, early intervention, or related services;

(ii) Describe how the components of the consortium curriculum are integrated within and across the individual university program curricula in order to support the acquisition and enhancement of the identified competencies needed by leadership personnel in special education, early intervention, or related services, including knowledge of technologies designed to provide instruction;

(iii) Describe how the components of the project prepare scholars to promote high expectations and to provide, prepare others to provide, or supervise the provision of, effective interventions and services that improve outcomes for children with disabilities with high-intensity needs in a variety of educational or early childhood and early intervention settings;

(iv) Describe how the project will provide scholars with high-quality work-based experiences (e.g., internships, current employment) in a public, non-traditional public, parochial, or private partnering agency, school, or program that includes a high-Start Printed Page 27317need LEA,[3] a high-poverty school,[4] a school implementing a comprehensive support and improvement plan,[5] a school implementing a targeted support and improvement plan [6] for children with disabilities, an early childhood and early intervention program located within the geographical boundaries of a high-need LEA, or an early childhood and early intervention program located within the geographical boundaries of an LEA serving the highest percentage of schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement or implementing targeted support and improvement plans in the State;

(v) Describe how the project will partner with diverse stakeholders to inform project components;

(vi) Describe how the project will use resources, as appropriate, available through technical assistance centers, which may include centers funded by the Department;

(vii) Describe the approach that faculty members will use to mentor scholars with the goal of helping them acquire competencies needed by leadership personnel and advancing their careers in special education, early intervention, or related services; and

(viii) Describe how the project is designed to ensure that scholars have opportunities to work with faculty and scholars from other universities within the consortium on research and analytical projects in order to support the acquisition of the competencies identified in paragraph (a)(2)(i).

(c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under “Quality of the project evaluation,” how the applicant will—

(1) Evaluate how well the goals or objectives of the proposed project have been met. The applicant must describe the outcomes to be measured for both the project and the scholars, particularly the acquisition of scholars' competencies and their impact on the services provided by future teachers, service providers, or administrators, and must describe the evaluation methodologies to be employed, including proposed instruments, data collection methods, and possible analyses;

(2) Collect, analyze, and use data on current scholars and scholars who graduate from the program to improve the proposed program on an ongoing basis;

(3) Develop a plan, to be refined and finalized in collaboration with the other consortia, to evaluate the consortium model;

(4) Develop a plan to disseminate project outcomes, including the consortium structure and program components critical to attaining positive scholar competencies;

(5) Dedicate sufficient resources toward revising, refining, and conducting evaluation activities; and

(6) Report the evaluation results to OSEP in the applicant's annual and final performance reports.

(d) Demonstrate, in the narrative under “Required Project Assurances” or appendices, that the following program requirements are met. The applicant must—

(1) Ensure that the consortium is comprised of at least six IHEs with existing doctoral programs that will prepare scholars for leadership positions to address the needs of children with disabilities with high-intensity needs;

(2) Include at least one doctoral preparation program that has not received funding under CFDA number 84.325D or CFDA number 84.325H at any point in the preceding five fiscal years (i.e., FY 2014-FY 2018);

(3) Establish policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines for the work of the consortium, in consultation with and approved by the OSEP project officer prior to implementation, in the following areas:

(i) Recruitment and selection of scholars who will be supported by the consortium;

(ii) Distribution of tuition and stipends among participating scholars;

(iii) Fiscal management;

(iv) Measurement and reporting of scholar progress;

(v) Contingency planning in case of scholar or consortium faculty losses;

(vi) Governance of the consortium; and

(vii) Sustainability plan;

(4) Ensure that all scholars recruited into the consortium can graduate from the program by the end of the project period. The described scholar recruitment strategies, including recruitment of individuals with disabilities, the program components and their sequence, and proposed budget must be consistent with this requirement;

(5) Ensure scholars will not be selected based on race or national origin/ethnicity. Per the Supreme Court's decision in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 (1995), the Department does not allow the selection of individuals on the basis of race or national origin/ethnicity. For this reason, grantees must ensure that any discussion of the recruitment of scholars based on race or national origin/ethnicity distinguishes between increasing the pool of applicants and actually selecting scholars;

(6) Ensure that the project will meet the requirements in 34 CFR 304.23, particularly those related to (a) informing all scholarship recipients of their service obligation commitment; and (b) disbursing scholarships. Failure by a grantee to properly meet these requirements is a violation of the grant award that may result in sanctions, including the grantee being liable for returning any misused funds to the Department;

(7) Ensure that prior approval from the OSEP project officer will be obtained before admitting additional scholars beyond the number of scholars proposed in the application;

(8) Ensure that scholars are full-time, reside in close proximity to the university, and remain active in their degree programs until completion of their degrees or until grant funding ends;

(9) Ensure that at least 65 percent of the total budget over the project period will be used for scholar support;

(10) Ensure that the IHE will not require scholars enrolled in the program to work (e.g., as graduate assistants) as a condition of receiving support (e.g., tuition, stipends) from the proposed project, unless the work is specifically related to the acquisition of scholars' competencies or the requirements for completion of their personnel preparation program. This prohibition on work as a condition of receiving Start Printed Page 27318support does not apply to the service obligation requirements in section 662(h) of IDEA;

(11) Ensure that annual data will be submitted on each scholar who receives grant support (OMB Control Number 1820-0686). The primary purposes of the data collection are to track the service obligation fulfillment of scholars who receive funds from OSEP grants and to collect data for program performance measure reporting under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). Applicants are encouraged to visit the Personnel Development Program Data Collection System (DCS) website at https://pdp.ed.gov/​osep for further information about this data collection requirement. Typically, data collection begins in January of each year, and grantees are notified by email about the data collection period for their grant, although grantees may submit data as needed, year-round. This data collection must be submitted electronically by the grantee and does not supplant the annual grant performance report required of each grantee for continuation funding (see 34 CFR 75.590). Data collection includes the submission of a signed, completed Pre-Scholarship Agreement and Exit Certification for each scholar funded under an OSEP grant (see paragraph (6) of this section);

(12) Ensure that scholar accomplishments (e.g., publications, awards) will be reported in annual and final performance reports;

(13) Ensure that the project will meet the statutory requirements in section 662(e) through (h) of IDEA;

(14) Ensure that the project will be operated in a manner consistent with nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws;

(15) Demonstrate, in the budget information (ED Form 524, Section B) and budget narrative, matching support for the proposed project at least 10 percent of the total amount of the grant. Applicants must propose the amount of cash or in-kind resources;

Note: Under 34 CFR 75.562, educational training grants under this program have an 8 percent limit on indirect costs. The difference between a grantee's negotiated indirect cost rate and the 8 percent limit cannot be used to meet this requirement.

Matching support can be either cash or in-kind donations. Under 2 CFR 200.306, a cash expenditure or outlay of cash with respect to the matching budget by the grantee is considered a cash contribution. However, certain cash contributions that the organization normally considers an indirect cost should not be counted as a direct cost for the purposes of meeting matching support. Specifically, in accordance with 2 CFR 200.306(c), unrecovered indirect costs cannot be used to meet the non-Federal matching support. Under 2 CFR 200.434, third-party in-kind contributions are services or property (e.g., land, buildings, equipment, materials, supplies) that are contributed by a non-Federal third party at no charge to the grantee;

(16) Ensure that the project director, key personnel, and scholars will actively participate in the cross-project collaboration, advanced trainings, and cross-site learning opportunities (e.g., webinars, briefings) supported by OSEP. This network is intended to promote opportunities for participants to share resources and generate new knowledge by addressing topics of common interest to participants across projects including Department priorities and needs in the field;

(17) Ensure the project will establish and maintain a website containing relevant information and documents relating to the participating universities and faculty, components of the consortium curriculum, and scholar accomplishments. The project's website must be of high quality, with an easy-to-navigate design, that meets government or industry-recognized standards for accessibility;

(18) Ensure that annual progress toward meeting project goals is posted on the project website or university website;

(19) Ensure that the budget includes attendance by the project director at a three-day project directors' meeting in Washington, DC, during each year of the project. The budget should also provide for the attendance of scholars at the three-day project directors' meeting in Washington, DC, at least once during the project period;

(20) Ensure that the budget includes two in-person meetings for project scholars and faculty each year of the project. Meetings may be scheduled to coincide with a professional conference or meeting but must include designated time for a meeting of project scholars and faculty; and

(21) Ensure that each university program in the consortium dedicates sufficient resources (e.g., personnel, budget) to provide financial oversight and monitoring of project funds as established by the policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines of the consortium (see paragraph (3) of this section).

Note: For additional information regarding group applications, refer to 34 CFR 75.127, 75.128, and 75.129.

Competitive Preference Priorities: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priorities.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional three points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1; up to an additional five points to an application, depending on how well the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 2; and an additional two points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 3. Applicants should indicate in the abstract if one, two, or all three competitive preference priorities are addressed.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1 (0 or 3 points).

Background:

Under this competitive preference priority, we will award three competitive preference points to a project that proposes a doctoral training consortium that prepares leadership personnel who will address the needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing with high-intensity needs. Shortages in leadership personnel that have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to address the needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing have been documented (e.g., Benedict, Johnson, & Antia, 2011). The lack of leadership personnel (e.g., faculty) has been stated to be a contributing factor to the decline in the number of preparation programs that prepare personnel to address the needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing (Benedict et al., 2011; Johnson, 2013), and some States do not have programs (C. Howley, Howley, & Telfer, 2017). Another concern is that the shortage of leadership personnel will limit the field in advancing the knowledge base of effective interventions and services for this population (Benedict et al., 2011).

Priority:

A doctoral training consortium that prepares leadership personnel who will address the needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing with high-intensity needs.

To meet the competitive preference priority, a project must—

(a) Establish a consortium comprised of IHEs with existing doctoral programs that prepare scholars to work as doctoral-level leaders in addressing the needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing with high-intensity needs; andStart Printed Page 27319

(b) Address in the project narrative how the opportunities provided to scholars through the consortium activities will promote the competencies needed to further advance the field on effective interventions and services to address the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, including those with high-intensity needs.

Note: We will award competitive preference points under Competitive Preference Priority 1 to not more than one application. The application that addresses this competitive preference priority and receives the highest score based on the selection criteria will be awarded an additional three points.

Competitive Preference Priority 2 (Up to 5 points).

An application that demonstrates matching support for the proposed project at—

(a) 20 percent of the requested Federal award (1 point);

(b) 40 percent of the total amount of the requested Federal award (2 points);

(c) 60 percent of the total amount of the requested Federal award (3 points);

(d) 80 percent of the total amount of the requested Federal award (4 points); or

(e) 100 percent of the total amount of the requested Federal award (5 points).

Competitive Preference Priority 3 (0 or 2 points).

Applicants that propose projects that include at least two doctoral preparation programs that have not received funding under CFDA number 84.325D or CFDA number 84.325H at any point in the preceding five fiscal years (i.e., FY 2014-FY 2018).

References

Benedict, K.M., Johnson, H., & Antia, S.D. (2011). Faculty needs, doctoral preparation, and the future of teacher preparation programs in the education of deaf and hard of hearing students. American Annals of the Deaf, 156, 35-46.

Browder, D.M., Wood, L., Thompson, J., & Ribuffo, C. (2014). Evidence-based practices for students with severe disabilities (Document No. IC-3). Retrieved from University of Florida, Collaboration for Effective Educator, Development, Accountability, and Reform Center website: http://ceedar.education.ufl.edu/​tool/​innovation-configurations/​.

Bruce, S.M., & Borders, C. (2015). Communication and language in learners who are deaf and hard of hearing with disabilities: Theories, research, and practice. American Annals of the Deaf, 160, 368-384.

Castillo, J.M., Curtis, M.J., & Tan, S.Y. (2014). Personnel needs in school psychology: A 10-year follow-up study on predicted personnel shortages. Psychology in the Schools, 51, 832-849.

Farmer, T.W., Sutherland, K.S., Talbott, E., Brooks, D.S., Norwalk, K., & Huneke, M. (2016). Special educators as intervention specialists: Dynamic systems and the complexity of intensifying intervention for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 24, 173-186.

Guralnick, M.J. (2017). Early intervention for children with intellectual disabilities: An update. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 30, 211-229.

Howley, C., Howley, A., & Telfer, D. (2017). National provisions for certification and professional preparation in low-incidence sensory disabilities: A 50-State study. American Annals of the Deaf, 162, 277-294.

Johnson, H.A. (2013). Initial and ongoing teacher preparation and support: Current problems and possible solutions. American Annals of the Deaf, 157, 439-449.

Kruemmling, B., Hayes, H., & Smith, D.W. (2017). Enriching doctoral-level preparation programs through a nationwide consortium model: The national leadership consortium in sensory disabilities. Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 111, 557-567.

Lemons, C.J., Vaughn, S., Wexler, J., Kearns, D.M., & Sinclair, A.C. (2018). Envisioning an improved continuum of special education services for students with learning disabilities: Considering intervention intensity. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 33, 131-143.

Montrosse, B.E., & Young, C.J. (2012). Market demand for special education faculty. Teacher Education and Special Education, 35, 140-153.

Robb, S.M., Smith, D.D., & Montrosse, B.E. (2012). A context of the demand for special education faculty: A study of special education teacher preparation programs. Teacher Education and Special Education, 35, 128-139.

Roberts, M.Y., & Kaiser, A.P. (2015). Early intervention for toddlers with language delays: A randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics, 135, 686-693.

Smith, D.D., Montrosse, B.E., Robb, S.M., Tyler, N.C., & Young, C. (2011). Assessing trends in leadership: Special education's capacity to produce a highly qualified workforce. Claremont, CA: IRIS@CGU, Claremont Graduate University.

Smith, D.D., Robb, S.M., West, J., & Tyler, N.C. (2010). The changing education landscape: How special education leadership preparation can make a difference for teachers and their students with disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education, 33, 25-43.

Woods, J., & Snyder, P. (2009). Interdisciplinary doctoral leadership training in early intervention. Infants & Young Children, 22(1), 32-34.

Zwaigenbaum, L., Bauman, M.L., Choueiri, R., Kasari, C., Carter, A., Granpeesheh, D., . . . Natowicz, M.R. (2015). Pediatrics, 136, S60-S81.

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. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priorities in this notice.

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Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481.

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Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations 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 the 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. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 304.

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.

Estimated Available Funds: $3,900,000.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2020 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $1,100,000-$1,300,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,200,000 per year.

Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $1,300,000 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 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs and private nonprofit organizations.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing or matching is required for this competition.

3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. Under 34 CFR 75.708(e), a grantee may contract for supplies, equipment, and other services in accordance with 2 CFR part 200.Start Printed Page 27320

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) Applicants for, and recipients of, funding must, with respect to the aspects of their proposed project relating to the absolute priority, 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. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2019-02-13/​pdf/​2019-02206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.

2. 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 is in the application package for this competition.

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

4. Recommended 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. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 50 pages and (2) use 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.

The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the 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 recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows:

(a) Significance (10 points).

(1) The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project.

(2) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the proposed project will prepare personnel for fields in which shortages have been demonstrated;

(ii) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project; and

(iii) The extent to which there is a conceptual framework underlying the proposed research or demonstration activities and the quality of that framework.

(b) Quality of project services (45 points).

(1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

(3) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among the recipients of those services;

(ii) The extent to which the proposed activities constitute a coherent, sustained program of training in the field; and

(iii) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.

(c) Quality of the project evaluation (25 points).

(1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project;

(ii) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable;

(iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible; and

(iv) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide timely guidance for quality assurance.

(d) Quality of the management plan and adequacy of resources (20 points).

(1) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and the adequacy of resources for the proposed project.

(2) In determining the quality of the management plan and the adequacy of resources, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel;

(ii) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks;

(iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project;

(iv) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization; and

(v) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project.

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 Start Printed Page 27321consider 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 (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.

4. Risk Assessment and Specific 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 specific 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.

5. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20.

4. 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.

5. Performance Measures: Under GPRA, the Department has established a set of performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed to yield information on the quality of the Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. These measures include: (1) The percentage of preparation programs that incorporate scientifically or evidence-based practices into their curricula; (2) the percentage of scholars completing preparation programs who are knowledgeable and skilled in evidence-based practices for children with disabilities; (3) the percentage of scholars who exit preparation programs prior to completion due to poor academic performance; (4) the percentage of scholars completing preparation programs who are working in the area(s) in which they were prepared upon program completion; and (5) the Federal cost per scholar who completed the preparation program.

In addition, the Department will gather information on the following outcome measures: (1) The percentage of scholars who completed the preparation program and are employed in high-need districts; (2) the percentage of scholars who completed the preparation program and are employed in the field of special education for at least two years; and (3) the percentage of scholars who completed the Start Printed Page 27322preparation program and who are rated effective by their employers.

Grantees may be asked to participate in assessing and providing information on these aspects of program quality.

6. 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. 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 Management Support Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5074A, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-2500. 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. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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 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 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

Johnny W. Collett,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  For the purposes of this priority, “evidence-based” means, at a minimum, evidence that demonstrates a rationale (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1), where a key project component included in the project's logic model is informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve relevant outcomes.

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2.  For the purposes of this priority, “scholar” is limited to an individual who (a) is pursuing a doctoral degree related to special education, early intervention, or related services; (b) receives scholarship assistance as authorized under section 662 of IDEA (34 CFR 304.3(g)); and (c) will be able to be employed in a position that serves children with disabilities for either 51 percent of their time or case load. See https://pdp.ed.gov/​OSEP/​Home/​Regulation for more information.

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3.  For the purposes of this priority, “high-need LEA” means an LEA (a) that serves not fewer than 10,000 children from families with incomes below the poverty line; or (b) for which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line.

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4.  For the purposes of this priority, “high-poverty school” means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are from low-income families as determined using one of the measures of poverty specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). For middle and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty school is determined on the basis of the most currently available data.

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5.  For the purposes of this priority, “school implementing a comprehensive support and improvement plan” is a school identified for comprehensive support and improvement by the State under section 1111(c)(4)(D) of the ESEA that includes (a) not less than the lowest-performing 5 percent of all schools receiving funds under title I, part A of the ESEA; (b) all public high schools in the State failing to graduate one third or more of their students; and (c) public schools in the State described under section 1111(d)(3)(A)(i)(II) of the ESEA.

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6.  For the purposes of this priority, “school implementing a targeted support and improvement plan” means a school identified for targeted support and improvement by a State that has developed and is implementing a school-level targeted support and improvement plan to improve student outcomes based on the indicators in the statewide accountability system as defined in section 1111(d)(2) of the ESEA.

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[FR Doc. 2019-12317 Filed 6-11-19; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P