[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 147 (Wednesday, July 30, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44235-44242]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-17408]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview 
Information:

    Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and 
Results for Children With Disabilities--Center on Dispute Resolution; 
Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008.

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

DATES:
    Applications Available: July 30, 2008.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 29, 2008.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 8, 2008.

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.
    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this 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. 1400 et 
seq.).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2008 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards based on 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.

[[Page 44236]]

    This priority is:
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and 
Results for Children With Disabilities--Center on Dispute Resolution.

Background

    IDEA includes procedural safeguards that give parents an 
opportunity to file complaints about any matter relating to the 
provision of a free appropriate public education to an eligible child, 
including procedures that are designed to ensure the timely resolution 
of disputes so that a child's educational or early intervention program 
is not adversely affected. Currently, the procedural safeguards provide 
for the filing of State complaints, mediation, resolution sessions, and 
due process hearings.
    State Complaints. The State complaint procedures under IDEA provide 
an easily and widely accessible method for parents and other interested 
individuals or organizations to voice concerns regarding alleged 
violations of IDEA to the State.
    Mediation. In response to the growing number of due process hearing 
requests involving matters under IDEA, Congress amended IDEA in 1997 to 
require State educational agencies (SEAs) and Part C lead agencies to 
make mediation available, at a minimum, whenever a request for a due 
process hearing was made. The purpose of this requirement was to 
provide the parties involved in a dispute with an opportunity to 
resolve the dispute without a due process hearing. In 2004, Congress 
amended section 615(e) of IDEA to expand the use of mediation to allow 
parties to resolve disputes involving any matter under IDEA (not just 
those matters that are the subject of a due process complaint). 
Mediation provides a neutral third party to help facilitate the 
resolution of matters in dispute. Mediation is more likely than due 
process hearings to foster positive relationships between families and 
educators (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2003).
    Resolution Session. The 2004 amendments to IDEA added a new 
requirement for a resolution session prior to a due process hearing. 
Under section 615(f)(1)(B) of IDEA, the local educational agency (LEA) 
must convene a meeting with the parents and relevant member or members 
of the individualized education program (IEP) team who have specific 
knowledge of the facts identified in the complaint so that the parents 
and the LEA have an opportunity to resolve the complaint and avoid a 
due process hearing.
    Due Process Hearings. Due process hearings provide the parties with 
an opportunity to have an impartial decision-maker resolve the issues 
in dispute. While due process hearings are an important protection, 
they can be costly if parties choose to involve attorneys in the 
process, time consuming, and contentious, and can damage relationships 
between families and educators. Therefore, the Department believes 
every effort should be made by the parties to resolve disputes as early 
as possible and without a due process hearing.
    Data from State Performance Plans (SPPs) and Annual Performance 
Reports (APRs) submitted by States to the Office of Special Education 
Programs (OSEP) indicate that, although progress is being made, some 
States have not yet met their compliance targets for the timely 
resolution of State complaints and due process hearing requests. In 
addition, some States have not yet met their performance targets for 
the percentage of mediations and resolution meetings that result in 
agreement between the parties. Therefore, technical assistance and 
information on effective dispute resolution practices is needed in 
order for States to reach these targets (Consortium for Appropriate 
Dispute Resolution in Special Education, 2007). Additionally, States 
need technical assistance and information on how to effectively 
implement the requirements added by the 2004 amendments to IDEA for 
resolution sessions.
    In addition to the methods of dispute resolution specifically 
required under IDEA (i.e., State complaint procedures, mediation, 
resolution sessions, and due process hearings), there are a variety of 
more informal or ``early resolution'' practices that can be used to 
resolve disputes at the school or district level. In the preamble to 
the final regulations implementing Part B of IDEA, the Department 
encouraged States to explore the use of early resolution practices to 
facilitate the timely resolution of disputes and to preserve the 
relationships between families and educators (71 FR 46540, 46604). 
Early resolution strategies offer parties additional opportunities to 
resolve disputes collaboratively and avoid time-consuming and costly 
litigation (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2003). For example, 
training in conflict resolution, which is designed to equip individuals 
with skills to enhance their ability to communicate and negotiate their 
positions and interests, has been shown to result in early resolution 
of disputes (Henderson, 2008).
    Since 1998, OSEP has funded a TA center to support States' 
implementation of dispute resolution processes. (For further 
information on the work of the current center, go to 
www.directionservice.org/cadre.) This center's grant is about to end. 
The Department believes it is important to continue to fund a TA center 
that provides SEAs and Part C lead agencies with resources that can 
help them in effectively implementing a range of dispute resolution 
options, including strategies that other SEAs and Part C lead agencies 
are using to address the SPP and APR indicators related to dispute 
resolution. SEAs and Part C lead agencies also need information on how 
to collect and use dispute resolution data to improve services and 
results for children with disabilities and their families. In addition, 
continued funding of a TA center on dispute resolution will help ensure 
that parents and families get the information they need about various 
methods for resolving disputes.

Priority

    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to 
support the establishment and operation of a Center on Dispute 
Resolution (Center) that will (1) provide TA to SEAs and Part C lead 
agencies on dispute resolution methods that can be used to resolve 
disputes in connection with the programs they implement under Part B 
and Part C of IDEA, and (2) collaborate with the National and Regional 
Technical Assistance Centers for Parent Centers funded by OSEP (Parent 
TACs) to provide information and resources to parents and families 
regarding strategies for resolving disagreements with SEAs and Part C 
lead agencies, utilizing a range of dispute resolution options.
    The TA provided to SEAs and Part C lead agencies by the Center must 
address how to (1) implement a range of dispute resolution procedures, 
including those specifically required under IDEA (i.e., State 
complaints, mediation, resolution sessions, and due process hearings) 
and techniques that facilitate early resolution of disputes; (2) 
collect, analyze, and report dispute resolution data to improve the 
State's system of general supervision and APR reporting; and (3) use 
dispute resolution data to improve services and results for children 
with disabilities and their families. The TA provided by the Center 
also must include targeted TA for SEAs and Part C lead agencies 
identified by OSEP that have not met the dispute resolution targets for 
the SPP indicators under IDEA and have been referred to the Center for 
assistance.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must

[[Page 44237]]

meet the application requirements contained in this priority. The 
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 logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, 
activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed 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;

    Note: For more information on logic models, the following Web 
site lists multiple on-line resources: http://www.cdc.gov/eval/
resources.htm.

    (b) A plan to implement the activities described in the Project 
Activities section of this priority;
    (c) A plan, linked to the proposed project's logic model, for a 
formative evaluation of the proposed project's activities. The plan 
must describe how the formative evaluation will use clear performance 
objectives to ensure continuous improvement in the operation of the 
proposed project, including objective measures of progress in 
implementing the project and ensuring the quality of products and 
services;
    (d) A budget for a summative evaluation to be conducted by an 
independent third party;
    (e) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting to be held in 
Washington, DC within four weeks after receipt of the award, and a two 
day annual planning meeting held in Washington, DC with the OSEP 
Project Officer during each subsequent year of the project period.
    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC 
during each year of the project period.
    (3) A four-day Technical Assistance and Dissemination Conference in 
Washington, DC during each year of the project period.
    (4) A three-day OSEP Leadership Meeting during each year of the 
project period; and
    (f) A line item in the proposed budget for an annual set-aside of 
five percent of the grant amount to support emerging needs that are 
consistent with the proposed project's activities, as those needs are 
identified in consultation with OSEP.

    Note:  With approval from the OSEP Project Officer, the Center 
must reallocate any remaining funds from this annual set-aside no 
later than the end of the third quarter of each budget period.

    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, the 
Center, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:
    Knowledge Development Activities.
    (a) Develop or update, as appropriate, research syntheses on the 
elements of effective approaches to dispute resolution and techniques 
to facilitate early resolution of disputes.
    (b) Identify and document effective approaches to dispute 
resolution, including those dispute resolution methods required under 
IDEA (i.e., State complaints, mediation, resolution sessions, and due 
process hearings) as well as other methods that have been shown to 
facilitate early resolution of disputes.
    (c) In the first six months of the project period, identify a 
minimum of three States to partner with that have implemented effective 
dispute resolution systems for their Part B or Part C programs. The 
purpose of establishing a partnership with States is for the Center to 
acquire knowledge about how dispute resolution is working in the States 
and to use the information to inform the technical assistance and 
dissemination work of the Center. In partnering with States, the Center 
must work with both the Part C and Part B programs in each State. 
Factors for consideration in selecting the partner States could include 
whether (1) the State met its targets for the dispute resolution 
indicators in its SPP; (2) the State has a demonstrated history of 
using effective dispute resolution processes, including early 
resolution practices; and (3) the State offers professional development 
activities to local program staff that focus on timely and effective 
dispute resolution practices. Final State selection must be approved by 
OSEP.

    Note: Applicants must describe in their application the proposed 
methods and criteria for recruiting and selecting partner States for 
the activities described in paragraph (c) of this section.

    (d) In the first and second years of the project period, partner 
with the States identified in paragraph (c) of this section to (1) 
develop guidelines for implementing effective dispute resolution 
approaches and for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of 
these approaches and (2) identify, describe, and document the elements 
of the dispute resolution approaches that make them effective. The 
Center must build on the information learned from their work with 
partner States to develop exemplars and guidelines that all States can 
use to improve their dispute resolution processes, as appropriate.
    (e) Collaborate with the Parent TACs to identify and document 
dispute resolution information needs of parents of children with 
disabilities and their families. The Center must collect data about the 
information parents and families need to fully participate in resolving 
disputes, including data that will inform the type of TA that the 
Center will offer in paragraph (e) of the Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination Activities section of this priority.
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities.
    (a) Work directly with SEAs and Part C lead agencies using the 
exemplars and guidelines developed in the first and second years of the 
project to increase their capacity to effectively implement the range 
of dispute resolution options available, including early resolution 
practices. The Center must facilitate the development of State 
consortia, such as State-to-State information sharing systems, or 
regional TA networks to disseminate information on effective dispute 
resolution approaches in order to maximize the number of States the 
Center reaches. These activities must occur by at least the third year 
of the project period.
    (b) In each year of the project period, utilize the current 
knowledge-base on dispute resolution to provide TA to SEAs and Part C 
lead agencies who are not successfully meeting their targets for the 
dispute resolution indicators in their SPPs by working collaboratively 
with States to--
    (1) Evaluate the SEA or Part C lead agency's current dispute 
resolution system;
    (2) Identify elements of the dispute resolution system that need 
improvement; and
    (3) Develop an improvement plan and provide TA to implement the 
plan, as requested by OSEP.
    (c) Develop materials and guidance for States to assist them in 
meeting the dispute resolution indicators on SPPs and APRs.
    (d) Provide TA on collecting, analyzing, reporting, and using 
dispute resolution data to improve services and results for children 
with disabilities and their families (i.e., analyzing and modifying, as 
appropriate, existing data management systems; providing guidance on 
how to collect timely and accurate data; offering strategies for 
reporting dispute resolution data to a variety of audiences; and 
utilizing the data to identify and address areas in need of 
improvement).

[[Page 44238]]

    (e) Collaborate with the Parent TACs to provide TA and products to 
parents and families that will help them avoid and resolve disputes 
using the range of dispute resolution options available. Specific TA 
activities and products must address the needs identified in paragraph 
(e) of the Knowledge Development Activities section of this priority.
    (f) Provide a continuum of general TA and disseminate widely 
information about effective dispute resolution practices to SEA 
personnel, Part C lead agency personnel, and Parent TACs using a 
variety of dissemination methods (e.g., managing listservs and 
communities of practice);
    (g) Maintain a Web site that meets a government or industry-
recognized standard for accessibility and that links to the Web site 
operated by the Technical Assistance Coordination Center (TACC), which 
OSEP intends to fund in FY 2008; and
    (h) Prepare and disseminate reports, documents, and other materials 
on dispute resolution procedures, as requested by OSEP for specific 
audiences, including policy makers, service providers, local-level 
administrators, and parents and families. In consultation with the OSEP 
Project Officer and the advisory committee established in accordance 
with paragraph (c) in the Leadership and Coordination Activities 
section of this priority, make selected reports, documents, and other 
materials available for parents and families in both English and 
Spanish.
    Leadership and Coordination Activities.
    (a) Compile and share data related to dispute resolution from 
States' APRs and, as appropriate, SPPs, and specifically data from Part 
B indicators 16 (complaint timelines), 17 (due process hearing 
timelines), 18 (hearing requests resolved by resolution sessions), and 
19 (mediation agreements) and Part C indicators 10 (complaint 
timelines), 11 (due process hearing timelines), 12 (hearing requests 
resolved by resolution sessions), and 13 (mediation agreements) by--
    (1) Reviewing relevant sections of each State's APR and, as 
appropriate, SPP, and summarizing the data on these indicators;
    (2) Developing a summary report for each indicator that includes 
information about States' progress in meeting targets for the 
indicator, as well as any revisions made to States' dispute resolution 
systems, or improvement strategies; and
    (3) Providing a summary report for each indicator to OSEP in a 
timely manner and participating in OSEP-requested teleconferences to 
discuss the findings of the summary reports. (For further information 
on Part B performance and compliance indicators, go to http://
www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/bapr/index.html. For further 
information on Part C performance and compliance indicators, go to 
http://www.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/capr/index.html.)
    (b) Collaborate with the OSEP-funded Data Accountability Center 
throughout the project period to acquire the data referenced in 
paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) Establish and maintain an advisory committee to review the 
activities and outcomes of the Center and provide programmatic support 
and advice throughout the project period. At a minimum, the advisory 
committee must meet through electronic means on an annual basis and 
consist of a family member or an individual with a disability who has 
received IDEA services; an individual with knowledge of cultural and 
linguistic diversity; a representative from an SEA; a representative 
from a Part C lead agency, or other appropriate public agency (e.g., 
social services, public health, mental health); and persons with 
expertise in dispute resolution processes.
    (d) Participate in, organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, OSEP 
communities of practice (http://www.tacommunities.org/) that are 
aligned with the Center's objectives as a way to support discussions 
and collaboration among key stakeholders.
    (f) Prior to developing any new product, whether paper or 
electronic, submit to the OSEP Project Officer and the Proposed Product 
Advisory Board at OSEP's TACC for approval, a proposal describing the 
content and purpose of the product.
    (g) Coordinate with the National Dissemination Center for 
Individuals with Disabilities, which OSEP intends to fund in FY 2008, 
to develop an efficient and high-quality dissemination strategy that 
reaches broad audiences. The Center must report to the OSEP Project 
Officer the outcomes of these coordination efforts.
    (h) Contribute, on an ongoing basis, updated information on the 
Center's services to OSEP's Technical Assistance and Dissemination 
Matrix (http://matrix.rrfcnetwork.org/), which provides current 
information on Department-funded TA services to a range of 
stakeholders.
    (i) Maintain ongoing communication with the OSEP Project Officer 
through monthly phone conversations, quarterly progress reports, and e-
mail communication.

Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project

    In deciding whether to continue funding the Center for the fourth 
and fifth years, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 
75.253(a), and in addition--
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of experts 
selected by the Secretary. This review will be conducted during a one-
day intensive meeting in Washington, DC that will be held during the 
last half of the second year of the project period. The Center must 
budget for travel expenses associated with this one-day intensive 
review;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the 
Center; and
    (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the Center's 
activities and products and the degree to which the Center's activities 
and products have contributed to changed practice and improved 
processes for resolving disputes in special education and early 
intervention services.

References

Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education. 
(2007). APR/SPP dispute resolution data summaries part B and part C: 
2003-2006. Eugene, OR: National Center on Dispute Resolution in 
Special Education.
Henderson, K. (2008, May). Optional IDEA alternative dispute 
resolution. Project Forum at the National Association of State 
Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and Consortium for 
Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE). 
Retrieved June 5, 2008, from http://www.projectforum.org/docs/
OptionalIDEAAlternativeDisputeResolution.pdf.
U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2003, September). Special 
Education: Numbers of formal disputes are generally low and States 
are using mediation and other strategies to resolve conflicts. 
(Publication No. GAO-03-897). Retrieved June 21, 2007, from GAO 
Reports: Main Page via GPO Access: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
gaoreports/index.html.

    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 
requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment 
requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General

[[Page 44239]]

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

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


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of 
higher education (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement.
    Estimated Available Funds: $500,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $500,000.
    Maximum Awards: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services 
may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.
    Number of Awards: 1.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: 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 competition does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: General Requirements--(a) The projects funded under this 
competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in 
employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of 
IDEA).
    (b) Applicants and grant recipients funded under this competition 
must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of individuals 
with disabilities ages birth through 26 in planning, implementing, and 
evaluating the projects (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address To Request Application Package: Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone, toll 
free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll free: 1-877-
576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.ed.gov/pubs/
edpubs.html or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to 
identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA Number 84.326D.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team 
listed under Alternative Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    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 the 
application narrative to the equivalent of no more than 70 pages, using 
the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part 
IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the 
resumes, the bibliography, the references, or the letters of support. 
The page limit, however, does apply to the application narrative in 
Part III.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if 
you use other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: July 30, 2008.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 29, 2008.
    Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov), or in 
paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates 
and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in 
paper format by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section IV. 6.
    Other Submission Requirements in this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 8, 2008.
    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 is in the application package for this 
competition.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.
    6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this program may be submitted electronically or in paper format by mail 
or hand delivery.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    To comply with the President's Management Agenda, we are 
participating as a partner in the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site. 
The Center on Dispute Resolution competition, CFDA Number 84.326D, is 
included in this project. We request your participation in Grants.gov.
    If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must 
use the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. 
Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the 
application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit 
your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant 
application to us.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Center on 
Dispute Resolution competition at http://www.Grants.gov. You must 
search for the downloadable application package for this competition by 
the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your 
search (e.g., search for 84.326, not 84.326D).
    Please note the following:
     Your participation in Grants.gov is voluntary.

[[Page 44240]]

     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 4:30:00 
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 4:30:00 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 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov;
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov at http://e-Grants.ed.gov/help/
GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf.
     To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must 
complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process (see http://
www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp). These steps include (1) 
registering your organization, a multi-part process that includes 
registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (2) 
registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative 
(AOR); and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. 
Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step 
Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/section910/
Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf). You also must provide on your 
application the same D-U-N-S Number used with this registration. Please 
note that the registration process may take five or more business days 
to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to 
allow you to submit successfully an application via Grants.gov. In 
addition you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual 
basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you submit your application in paper format.
     If you submit your application electronically, you must 
submit all documents electronically, including all information you 
typically provide on the following forms: Application for Federal 
Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental 
Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs 
(ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. Please note 
that two of these forms--the SF 424 and the Department of Education 
Supplemental Information for SF 424--have replaced the ED 424 
(Application for Federal Education Assistance).
     If you submit your application electronically, you must 
attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC 
(document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If 
you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in 
this paragraph or submit a password-protected file, we will not review 
that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

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

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the 
U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), you must mail the 
original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable 
following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, 
Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.326D) 400 
Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.
or
By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, 
Application Control Center, Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.326D) 
7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.


[[Page 44241]]


    Regardless of which address you use, you must show proof of mailing 
consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated 
postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your 
local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, 
you (or a courier service) must deliver the original and two copies of 
your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, 
to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of 
Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.326D) 
550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, 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. Peer Review: 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 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 the 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.

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 Notice 
(GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section in this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a 
final performance report, including financial information, as directed 
by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an 
annual performance report that provides the most current performance 
and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary 
under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent 
performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements 
on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/
appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results 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. These 
measures focus on the extent to which projects provide high quality 
products and services, the relevance of project products and services 
to educational and early intervention policy and practice, and the use 
of products and services to improve educational and early intervention 
policy and practice.
    Grantees will be required to provide information related to these 
measures.
    Grantees also will be required to report information on their 
project's performance in annual reports to the Department (34 CFR 
75.590).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tina Diamond, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4094, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-6674.
    If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, 
at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Alternative Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an alternative format 
(e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by 
contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD, call the FRS, 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-

[[Page 44242]]

888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/
index.html.


    Dated: July 24, 2008.
Tracy R. Justesen,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
 [FR Doc. E8-17408 Filed 7-29-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P