[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 157 (Monday, August 15, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 50462-50470]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-20698]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With 
Disabilities--Model Demonstration Projects for English Learners With or 
at Risk of Having a Disability

AGENCY: Office of Special Education Programs, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information: Technical Assistance and Dissemination To 
Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities--Model 
Demonstration Projects for English Learners With or At Risk of Having a 
Disability; Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year 
(FY) 2011.

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

DATES: Applications Available: August 15, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 14, 2011.

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. 1463 and 
1481(d)).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2011 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.
    This priority is:

Model Demonstration Projects for English Learners With or At Risk of 
Having a Disability (84.326M).

    Background:
    By the year 2030, English Learners \1\ will comprise an estimated 
40 percent of the K-12 student population in the United States 
(National Symposium on Learning Disabilities in English Language 
Learners, 2003). While total enrollment of students in schools has 
increased by 20 percent over 15 years, there has been a 160-percent 
growth of English Learners enrolled in schools

[[Page 50463]]

during the same time period (National Clearinghouse for English 
Language Acquisition [NCELA], 2008). Some States experienced up to a 
700-percent growth in the number of English Learners in their schools 
between 1994-1995 and 2004-2005 (Pay[aacute]n & Nettles, n.d.). Given 
this growth in the number of English Learners enrolled in schools, we 
expect the number of English Learners with disabilities to increase.
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    \1\ States use the definition of Limited English Proficient 
(LEP) from Section 9101(25) of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act, as amended (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 7801(25), as a basis for 
their definition of LEP students or English Learners. This 
definition is as follows:
    The term ``limited English proficient,'' when used with respect 
to an individual, means an individual--(A) Who is aged 3 through 21; 
(B) who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school 
or secondary school; (C)(i) Who was not born in the United States or 
whose native language is a language other than English; (ii)(I) Who 
is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the 
outlying areas; and (II) who comes from an environment where a 
language other than English has had a significant impact on the 
individual's level of English language proficiency; or (iii) who is 
migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, 
and who comes from an environment where a language other than 
English is dominant; and (D) whose difficulties in speaking, 
reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be 
sufficient to deny the individual--(i) The ability to meet the 
State's proficient level of achievement on State assessments 
described in section 1111(b)(3); (ii) the ability to successfully 
achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; 
or (iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.
    For purposes of this priority, the term English Learners refers 
to those students considered to be Limited English Proficient (LEP) 
students or English Learners, as those terms are defined under ESEA 
and in the State in which the grantee implements its model 
demonstration projects under this priority.
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    Identifying English Learners with disabilities poses unique 
challenges for educators. This is because of the difficulty in 
determining whether a student's lack of academic development in reading 
is due to a disability or due to English not being the student's first 
language. As a group, English Learners receive lower grades and have 
higher dropout rates compared to their non-English Learner peers 
(Ballantyne, Sanderman, & Levy, 2008; McCardle, MeleMcCarthy, Cutting, 
Leos, & D'Emilio, 2005; Nation's Report Card, 2007). Many English 
Learners also exhibit low vocabulary levels in English and, therefore, 
do not always benefit from reading comprehension and writing supports 
that have proven effective in improving reading achievement \2\ with 
their English-speaking counterparts (Francis, Rivera, Lesaux, Kieffer, 
& Rivera, 2006). While an English Learner's low vocabulary levels may 
be due to the fact that English is not the student's first language, 
educators need to evaluate whether low vocabulary levels, low reading 
achievement scores, or other performance measures are indicators that a 
child has, or is at risk of having, a disability. However, due to the 
difficulty in determining if an English Learner's lack of academic 
progress in reading is due to a disability or due to English not being 
the student's first language, practitioners may wait up to five years 
to allow an English Learner to develop language skills before assessing 
whether the student has a learning disability (Limbos & Geva, 2001). 
For English Learners with, or at risk of having, a learning disability, 
waiting to intervene can negatively affect their academic progress--
that is, delaying the identification of a student as a student with a 
disability delays the delivery of special education and related 
services that can help the student make academic progress.
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    \2\ For the purpose of this priority, when we refer to a 
student's ``academic progress,'' ``reading achievement,'' or 
``language development,'' or to test score outcomes, we are 
referring to the student's academic progress, reading achievement, 
or language development, or test score outcomes in content or a 
focus of study that is delivered in the English language.
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    Therefore, local educational agencies (LEAs) face two immediate 
challenges: improving the reading achievement of English Learners and 
then appropriately identifying those English Learners with, or at risk 
of having, a disability. There is emerging evidence supporting the use 
of multi-tiered instructional frameworks that include an emphasis on 
progress monitoring and culturally responsive principles to assist LEAs 
in addressing both challenges (Zehr, 2010).
    A multi-tiered instructional framework integrates assessment and 
intervention to maximize student achievement. With a multi-tiered 
instructional framework, schools screen students to identify those at 
risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide 
evidence-based interventions, and adjust the intensity and nature of 
those interventions depending on a student's responsiveness to 
instruction (Office of Special Education Programs, 2011). Multi-tiered 
instructional frameworks include a varying number of tiers (or levels) 
of intensity of instruction. Commonly used frameworks typically 
describe three tiers. The primary level includes high-quality core 
instruction. The secondary level includes evidence-based 
intervention(s) of moderate intensity. The tertiary level includes 
individualized intervention(s) of increased intensity for students who 
show minimal response to instruction at the secondary level. At all 
levels, attention should be on fidelity of implementation, with 
consideration for cultural and linguistic responsiveness and 
recognition of student strengths (National Center on Response to 
Intervention, 2011).
    Progress monitoring. Progress monitoring is an important component 
of a multi-tiered instructional framework that includes formative 
assessments administered at regular intervals to inform instructional 
decisionmaking and to determine if the interventions are meeting the 
needs of students. Progress monitoring has demonstrated promise as a 
means for early identification of students with disabilities, 
particularly students with learning disabilities (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2006; 
Kamps & Greenwood, 2005; Shapiro, Zigmond, Wallace, & Marston, 2011; 
Vaughn, 2003). In addition, researchers highly recommend progress 
monitoring as a means for working with English Learners and for 
assisting struggling readers (Gersten, Compton, Connor, Dimino, 
Santoro, Linan-Thompson, Tilly, 2008; Gersten, Baker, Shanahan, Linan-
Thompson, Collins, P., Scarcella, 2007).
    Culturally-responsive principles. Culturally responsive principles 
promote ``redesigning the learning environments'' and can support the 
development and success of all students, including English Learners. 
Some examples of incorporating culturally responsive principles into 
learning environments include communicating high expectations to all 
students, incorporating students' cultural and home experiences into 
lessons by reshaping the curriculum to reflect students' experiences, 
and engaging students in activities where they can converse with one 
another on topics that tap into their background knowledge and 
experiences (Gay, 2000; King, Artiles, & Kozleski, 2010). Culturally 
responsive principles can be applied to progress monitoring.
    In 2006, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) funded 
model demonstration projects that identified, developed, and refined 
exemplars of progress monitoring. Under those previously funded model 
demonstration projects, OSEP required a multi-tiered instructional 
framework that included universal screening, progress monitoring, and 
instructional interventions at varying levels of intensity. In those 
model demonstration projects, progress monitoring within a multi-tiered 
framework showed evidence of effectiveness in increasing reading 
achievement of students with and without disabilities in classrooms 
where the models were implemented (Shapiro, Zigmond, Wallace, & 
Marston, 2011). Through this priority, we seek to support projects that 
will systematically implement and evaluate multi-tiered instructional 
frameworks, which include progress monitoring, incorporate culturally 
responsive principles into the learning environment, and provide 
reading instruction and reading interventions at varying levels of 
intensity to improve outcomes for English Learners with, or at risk of 
having, a disability.
    Priority:
    The purpose of this priority is to support the establishment and 
operation of three model demonstration projects that will adapt, 
refine, and evaluate multi-tiered instructional frameworks as well as 
their components--progress monitoring, culturally responsive 
principles, reading instruction, and reading interventions--to 
determine if and to what extent the multi-tiered instructional 
frameworks: (1) Help to improve reading achievement and language 
development for English Learners with, or at risk of having, a

[[Page 50464]]

disability and (2) are useful in assisting educators to determine if 
English Learners who are experiencing reading difficulties have a 
disability.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this 
priority. Each model demonstration project (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 to be conducted by the grantee;

    Note: The following Web sites provide more information on logic 
models: http://www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and http://www.tadnet.org/model_and_performance.

    (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. This formative evaluation must be distinct from any 
independent evaluation the Department may conduct of the Project;
    (d) A description of the proposed model demonstration that must 
include a multi-tiered instructional framework that uses progress 
monitoring and incorporates culturally responsive principles into the 
learning environment to address the needs of English Learners with, or 
at risk of having, a disability. In addition, a description of all 
other components within the multi-tiered instructional framework, 
including reading instruction and reading interventions provided at 
varying intensity levels;
    (e) A description of the research evidence that supports the 
effectiveness of the proposed multi-tiered instructional framework as a 
whole, as well as each of its components;
    (f) A description of the methods to be used for recruiting and 
selecting at least five elementary schools with kindergarten through 
third grade (K-3) students, of which at least 40 percent and no fewer 
than 100 K-3 students have been identified as English Learners. To the 
extent the applicant identifies in its application schools willing to 
participate in the applicant's model demonstration, include a 
description of the demographics of the student population typically 
served by these schools, including information about the cultural and 
linguistic diversity of the students enrolled in the schools;
    Note: As specified in paragraph (b) of the Project Activities 
section of this priority, participating schools will be randomly 
assigned either to a pilot group or a non-pilot group. The pilot groups 
will be comprised of three schools that will participate in the 
applicant's model demonstration and the non-pilot groups will be 
comprised of at least two schools that do not participate in the 
applicant's model demonstration (see paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of 
the Project Activities). Final site selection will be determined in 
consultation with the OSEP Project Officer following the kick-off 
meeting. Random assignment to the pilot or non-pilot groups will be 
conducted by an independent entity, such as the OSEP-funded Model 
Demonstration Coordination Center (MDCC). Pilot schools will 
participate in a continuous evaluation of the applicant's model 
demonstration. Evaluation data from schools in the non-pilot group will 
be limited to available district data; and
    (g) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A 1\1/2\-day kick-off meeting to be held in Washington, DC 
within 4 weeks after receipt of the award and a 1-day annual planning 
meeting held in Washington, DC with the OSEP Project Officer during 
each subsequent year of the project period. At the kick-off meeting, 
OSEP personnel and the grantees, in consultation with MDCC, will assign 
responsibilities for the literature review, outline a project data 
coordination plan, identify cross-project data collection instruments, 
and determine common evaluation questions. As part of the cross-project 
coordination, projects funded under this priority must collect data 
across common measures that may or may not be the same as those 
proposed by the applicant. In addition to the measures listed here, 
other common measures may include observations or data that provide 
information that can be used to describe the context of schools, 
classrooms, or students participating in the project, as well as 
schools, classrooms, or students who are not part of the project. These 
data will support the formative and summative evaluations of the 
Projects and will provide information on the contexts in which models 
are implemented and to determine the usefulness and generalizability of 
the models.
    (2) A 3-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC during 
each year of the project period.
    (3) Two 2-day trips annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP.
    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, each 
Project, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:
    (a) During year one of the Project, collaborate with other Projects 
funded under this priority and prepare a literature review (a plan for 
this review will be discussed during the kick-off meeting described 
above) that synthesizes the research on policies and practices related 
to progress monitoring, culturally responsive principles, reading 
instruction, and reading interventions at varying intensity levels for 
English Learners with or at risk of having a disability. In conducting 
this literature review, the Projects must use standards that are 
consistent with those used by the What Works Clearinghouse and the 
definitions of strong and moderate evidence contained in the Notice of 
Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant 
Programs published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 
78486). If the Projects determine that they cannot conduct the review 
using these standards, they must develop and use other rigorous 
standards. The literature review prepared under this paragraph must 
present the research in a format accessible to the Projects' relevant 
audiences, including State educational agencies (SEAs), LEAs, and 
schools. The literature review must be subject to external peer review 
and must include a summary of research on the effectiveness of multi-
tiered instructional frameworks that use progress monitoring and 
incorporate culturally responsive principles into the learning 
environment and include reading instruction and reading interventions 
at varying intensity levels to--
    (a)(1) Improve reading achievement and language development of 
English Learners with or at risk of having a disability; and
    (2) Assist educators in determining if English Learners 
experiencing reading difficulties have or are at risk of having a 
disability.

[[Page 50465]]

    (b) Implement, after consultation with the OSEP Project Officer and 
the MDCC, a random assignment design with longitudinal data collection 
in at least five elementary schools with grades K-3 (schools A, B, C, 
D, E, etc.), using the following approach:
    (1) Three of the schools will be randomly assigned to a pilot group 
that participates in the Project's model demonstration (pilot group). 
School A in the pilot group will begin in year one of the project 
period and will implement the Project's model demonstration for at 
least three years. Schools B and C of the pilot group will begin 
implementing the Project's model demonstration in year two and will 
implement the model demonstration for two years.
    (2) The remaining schools (schools D, E, etc.) will be assigned to 
a non-pilot group that will continue ``business as usual'' (non-pilot 
group) during the years the schools in the pilot group implement the 
Project's model demonstration.
    (3) Cooperate with any Department-sponsored independent evaluation 
of the model demonstration by providing the Department or its 
contractor with district administrative records on the participating 
schools and their students.
    (c) In grades K-3 in the three elementary schools in the pilot 
group, implement model demonstrations that--
    (1) Use multi-tiered instructional frameworks that--
    (i) Use progress monitoring and incorporate culturally responsive 
principles in the learning environment; and
    (ii) Include reading instruction and reading interventions at 
varying intensity levels;
    (2) Assess the usefulness of progress monitoring, culturally 
responsive principles, reading interventions, and reading instruction 
at varying intensity levels in improving reading achievement and 
language development of all students who participate in the Project's 
model demonstration;
    (3) Assess the usefulness of progress monitoring and culturally 
responsive principles in assisting educators in determining if English 
Learners experiencing reading difficulties have or are at risk of 
having a disability; and
    (4) Describe the unique characteristics of the school and the 
cultural and linguistic diversity of the students that may affect 
reading achievement and language development of the students who 
participate in the Project's model demonstration.
    (d) In accordance with the data coordination plan for the funded 
projects, which will be developed at the kick-off meeting described in 
paragraph (g)(1) of the Application Requirements, collect formative 
data on the following factors:
    (1) Reading achievement and language development, including 
trajectories of reading achievement and language development, of all 
students who participate in the Project's model demonstration as well 
as the individual and contextual factors that affect reading 
achievement and language development.
    (2) The usefulness of progress monitoring and culturally responsive 
principles to assist educators in determining if English Learners 
experiencing reading difficulties have or are at risk of having a 
disability.
    (3) Quality of instruction, the language of instruction, the types 
of academic and language support available in grades K-3 at the schools 
in the pilot groups.
    (4) Student engagement, instructional decisionmaking (including the 
use of data in making instructional decisions), and classroom social 
climate.
    (5) Estimates of the cost of implementing the model, including 
costs of the various components of the model;
    (e) Develop a framework for educators that would provide 
developmental benchmarks in reading and language development and 
contribute to appropriate identification of English Learners with or at 
risk of having a disability;
    (f) Provide initial and ongoing professional development to general 
educators, special educators, related services providers, and 
administrators who are implementing the model demonstration at the 
schools in the pilot groups. Establish a process for providing feedback 
to these personnel on their implementation of the components (e.g., 
progress monitoring, culturally responsive principles, reading 
instruction and reading interventions that are provided at varying 
intensity levels) of the instructional framework used in the model 
demonstration; and
    (g) Implement a formative evaluation plan that includes a detailed 
description of the Project's model demonstration and its components, a 
description of the school and district characteristics required to 
successfully implement and continue use of the model demonstration 
after the end of the Project period, and the processes for collecting 
and analyzing--in accordance with its data coordination plan--common 
cross-project data related to the extent to which the Project's model 
demonstration--
    (1) Contributes to improved English Learners' reading achievement 
and language development;
    (2) Assists educators to determine if English Learners who are 
experiencing reading difficulties have a disability;
    (3) Is implemented with fidelity with acceptable variations based 
on school contexts and the cultural and linguistic diversity of 
students that may affect their reading achievement and language 
development;
    (4) Provides effective professional development to personnel 
implementing the model demonstration.
    (h) Participate in discussions, facilitated by the MDCC, with the 
three projects about developing a data coordination plan, cross site 
data collection instruments, common evaluation questions, how to 
synthesize and analyze the data collection, monitor fidelity of 
implementation, ensure reliability of data, and foster dissemination of 
information.
    (i) Identify methods for ongoing communication and collaboration 
among families, students, school staff, and project staff to support 
the implementation and evaluation of the model demonstration;
    (j) Communicate and collaborate on an ongoing basis with 
Department-funded projects, including the National Center on Response 
to Intervention (http://rti4success.org) and the Center on Instruction 
(http://www.centeroninstruction.org) to share information on successful 
strategies and implementation challenges regarding progress monitoring, 
reading instruction, reading interventions, culturally responsive 
principles for English Learners with or at risk of having a disability;
    (k) Prior to developing any new product, submit a proposal for the 
product to the TACC database for approval from the OSEP Project 
Officer. The development of new products should be consistent with the 
product definition and guidelines posted on the TACC Web site (http://www.tadnet.org);
    (l) Maintain ongoing telephone and e-mail communication with the 
OSEP Project Officer and other Projects funded under this priority; and

    Note:  The MDCC will provide support for monthly teleconferences 
with all projects to discuss cross-project activities.

    (m) If the Project maintains a Web site, include relevant 
information about the model demonstration and documents in a form that 
meets government or industry recognized standards for accessibility.

[[Page 50466]]

References

Ballantyne, K.G., Sanderman, A.R., Levy, J. (2008). Educating 
English language learners: Building teacher capacity. Washington, 
DC: National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. 
Available from http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/practice/mainstream_teachers.htm.
Francis, D., Rivera, M., Lesaux, N., Kieffer, M., & Rivera, H. 
(2006). Practical guidelines for the education of English language 
learners: Research-Based recommendations for instruction and 
academic interventions. Retrieved from http://www.centeroninstruction.org/practical-guidelines-for-the-education-of-english-language-learners-research-based-recommendations-for-serving-adolescent-newcomers.
Fuchs, D. & Fuchs, L.S. (2006). New directions in research 
introduction to response to intervention: What, why, and how valid 
is it? Reading Research Quarterly, 41(1).
Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, 
and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
Gersten, R., Compton, D., Connor, C.M., Dimino, J., Santoro, L., 
Linan-Thompson, S., and Tilly, W.D. (2008). Assisting students 
struggling with reading: Response to intervention and multi-tier 
intervention for reading in the primary grades. A practice guide. 
(NCEE 2009-4045). Washington, DC: National Center for Education 
Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, 
U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/practiceguides/rti_reading_pg_021809.pdf.
Gersten, R., Baker, S.K., Shanahan, T., Linan-Thompson, S., Collins, 
P., & Scarcella, R. (2007). Effective literacy and English language 
instruction for English learners in the elementary grades: A 
practice guide (NCEE 2007-4011). Washington, DC: National Center for 
Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education 
Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/practiceguides/20074011.pdf.
Kamps, D., & Greenwood, C.R. (2005). Formulating secondary-level 
reading interventions. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(6), 500-
509.
King, A., Artiles, A.J., & Kozleski, E. (2010). Professional 
learning for culturally responsive teaching. Retrieved from http://www.equityallianceatasu.org/sites/default/files/Website_files/exemplarFINAL.pdf.
Limbos, M.M. & Geva, E. (2001). Accuracy of teacher assessments of 
second-language students at risk for reading disability. Journal of 
Learning Disabilities 34(2), 136-151.
McCardle, P., Mele-McCarthy, J., Cutting, L., Leos, K., & D'Emilio, 
T. (2005). Learning disabilities in English language learners: 
Identifying the issues. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 
20(1), 1-5.
The Nation's Report Card, Reading Report. Retrieved from http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_2007/r0015.asp.
National Center on Response to Intervention. Retrieved from http://rti4success.org/categorycontents/ multi-level--prevention--system.
National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. Elementary 
and secondary enrollment of ELL students in U.S., 1989-90 to 2005-
2006. Retrieved from http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/files/rcd/BE021773/How_Has_The_Limited_English.pdf.
Office of Special Education Programs. Memo: A Response to 
Intervention (RTI) Process Cannot Be Used to Delay-Deny an 
Evaluation for Eligibility Under the Individuals with Disabilities 
Act (IDEA) to the State Directors of Education. 21 Jan. 2011.
Pay[aacute]n, R.M., & Nettles, M.T. (n.d.). Current state of 
English-language learners in the U.S. K-12 student population. 
Retrieved on December 21, 2010, from http://www.ets.org/Media/Conferences_and_Events/pdf/ELLsympsium/ELL_factsheet.pdf.
Shapiro, E.S., Zigmond, N., Wallace, T., & Marston D. (Eds.), 
(2011). Models for implementing response to intervention: Tools, 
outcomes, and implications. New York: Guilford Press.
Vaughn, S. (2003). How many tiers are needed for response to 
intervention to achieve acceptable prevention outcomes? Presented at 
National Research Center on Learning Disabilities RTI Symposium, 
Kansas City, MO. Retrieved May 14, 2010, from The National Research 
Center on Learning Disabilities Web site: http://www.nrcld.org/symposium2003/vaughn/vaughn.pdf.
Zehr, M. (2010). RTI said to pay off in gains for English Learners. 
Retrieved on March 11, 2011 from http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/01/22/19rtiells_ep.h29.html?tkn=W[YCLqVUfF0pqicVwkwTVkZdlSyTBmx7rRRb.

    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 
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 agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,200,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2012 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Average Size of Award: $400,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $375,000-$400,000.
    Maximum Awards: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $400,000 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.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 3.

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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

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

[[Page 50467]]

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: http://www.EDPubs.gov 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 84.326M.
    To obtain a copy from the program office, contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Page 
Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where 
you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use 
to evaluate your application. You must limit 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).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The page limit 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. 
However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative 
section (Part III).
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit or if 
you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: August 15, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 14, 2011.
    Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site, 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. 7. Other 
Submission Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    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 of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) Be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: http://www.Grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by 
mail or hand delivery.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    We are participating as a partner in the Governmentwide Grants.gov 
Apply site. Model Demonstration Projects on the Use of Progress 
Monitoring for English Learners (including those with disabilities) to 
Improve Reading Achievement and Language Development and to Support 
Disability Identification competition, CFDA number 84.326M, 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 Model 
Demonstration Projects on the Use of Progress Monitoring for English 
Learners (including those with disabilities) to Improve Reading 
Achievement and Language Development and to Support Disability 
Identification competition at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search 
for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA 
number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search 
(e.g., search for 84.326, not 84.326M).

[[Page 50468]]

    Please note the following:
     Your participation in Grants.gov is voluntary.
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
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 under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
     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: the 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.
     If you submit your application electronically, you must 
upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your 
application as files in a .PDF (Portable Document) format only. If you 
upload a file type other than a .PDF 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 of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that 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 following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.326M), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    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 
84.326M), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between

[[Page 50469]]

8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, 
Sundays, and Federal holidays. Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper 
Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the 
Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by the 
Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix 
letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your 
application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification 
of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this 
notification within 15 business days from the application deadline 
date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application 
Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors:
    In the past, the Department has had difficulty finding peer 
reviewers for certain competitions because so many individuals who are 
eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The 
Standing Panel requirements under 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.
    4. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special 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 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a 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 report information on their project's 
performance in annual reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

    For Further Information Contact: Dr. Grace Zamora Dur[aacute]n, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4088, 
Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 
245-7328.
    If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, 
at 1-800-877-8339.

[[Page 50470]]

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or 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: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, 
as well as all other documents of this Department published in the 
Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: http://www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: August 9, 2011 .
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2011-20698 Filed 8-12-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P