[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 92 (Friday, May 11, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27747-27756]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-11415]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve 
Services and Results for Children With Disabilities--Personnel 
Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related 
Services

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

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information: Personnel Development To Improve Services and 
Results for Children With Disabilities--Personnel Preparation in 
Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services; Notice 
Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2012.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.325K.


DATES: Applications Available: May 11, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 25, 2012.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 24, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) help 
address State-identified needs for highly qualified personnel--in 
special education, early intervention, related services, and regular 
education--to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with 
disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary 
skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined 
through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful 
in serving those children.
    Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this 
priority is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see 
sections 662 and 681 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
(IDEA)).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, 
this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we 
consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:
    Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and 
Related Services.
    Background:
    The purpose of the Personnel Preparation in Special Education, 
Early Intervention, and Related Services priority is to improve the 
quality and increase the number of personnel who are fully credentialed 
to serve children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities--
especially in areas of chronic personnel shortage--by supporting 
projects that prepare special education, early intervention, and 
related services personnel at the baccalaureate, master's, and 
specialist levels.
    State demand for fully credentialed special education, early 
intervention, and related services personnel to serve infants, 
toddlers, and children with disabilities exceeds the available supply 
(Bruder, 2004a; Bruder, 2004b; McLeskey & Billingsley, 2008; and 
McLeskey, Tyler & Flippin, 2004). These shortages of fully credentialed 
personnel can negatively affect the quality of services provided to 
infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities and their families 
(McLeskey et al., 2004).
    Personnel preparation programs that prepare personnel to enter the 
fields of special education, early intervention, and related services 
as fully credentialed personnel with the necessary competencies to use 
evidence-based practices are critical to overcome the personnel 
shortages in these fields. Federal support of these personnel 
preparation programs is needed to increase the supply of personnel with 
the necessary competencies to effectively serve infants, toddlers, and 
children with disabilities and their families.
    Priority:
    Except as provided for Focus Area D projects, to be eligible under 
this priority, an applicant must propose a project associated with a 
pre-existing personnel preparation program that will prepare and 
support scholars \1\ to complete, within the project period of the 
grant, a degree, State certification, professional license, or State 
endorsement in special education, early intervention, or a related 
services field. Projects also can be associated with personnel 
preparation programs that (a) prepare individuals to be assistants in 
related services professions (e.g., physical therapist assistants, 
occupational therapist assistants), or educational interpreters; or (b) 
provide an alternate route to certification or that support dual 
certification (special education and regular education) for teachers. 
For purposes of this priority, the term ``personnel preparation 
program'' refers to the program with which the applicant's proposed 
project is associated.
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    \1\ For the purposes of this priority, the term ``scholar'' 
means an individual who is pursuing a degree, license, endorsement, 
or certification related to special education, related services, or 
early intervention services and who receives scholarship assistance 
under section 662 of IDEA (see 34 CFR 304.3(g)).
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    To be considered for funding under the Personnel Preparation in 
Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services absolute 
priority, applicants must meet the application requirements contained 
in the priority. All projects funded under this absolute priority also 
must meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in 
the priority. These requirements are as follows:
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Address national, State, or regional shortages of personnel who 
are fully credentialed to serve children with disabilities, ages birth 
through 21, including high-need children with disabilities,\2\ by 
preparing special

[[Page 27748]]

education, early intervention, or related services personnel at the 
baccalaureate, master's, and specialist levels. To address this 
requirement, the applicant must present--
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    \2\ For the purpose of this priority, ``high-need children with 
disabilities'' refers to children (ages birth through 21, depending 
on the State) who are eligible for services under IDEA, and who may 
be further disadvantaged and at risk of educational failure because 
they: (1) Are living in poverty, (2) are far below grade level, (3) 
are at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on 
time, (4) are homeless, (5) are in foster care, (6) have been 
incarcerated, (7) are English learners, (8) are pregnant or 
parenting teenagers, (9) are new immigrants, (10) are migrant, or 
(11) are not on track to being college- or career-ready by 
graduation.
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    (i) Data that demonstrate a national, State, or regional need for 
the personnel the applicant proposes to prepare; and
    (ii) Data that demonstrate the effectiveness of the applicant's 
personnel preparation program in preparing personnel in special 
education, early intervention, or related services.\3\ These data could 
include the average amount of time it takes program participants to 
complete the program; the percentage of program graduates finding 
employment related to their preparation within one year of graduation; 
or the percentage of program graduates who maintain employment for 
three or more years in the area for which they were prepared and who 
are fully qualified under IDEA. When providing the percentages in 
response to this paragraph, the applicant must also provide the 
denominator or total number of program participants or program 
graduates for each percentage.
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    \3\ Data provided in response to this requirement must be no 
older than five years from the start date of the project proposed in 
the application.
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    (2) Increase the number of personnel who demonstrate the 
competencies needed to provide high-quality instruction, evidence-based 
interventions, and services for children with disabilities, ages birth 
through 21, including high-need children with disabilities, that result 
in improvements in learning and developmental outcomes (e.g., academic, 
social, emotional, behavioral) and growth toward learning and 
developmental outcomes. To address this requirement, the applicant 
must--
    (i) Identify the competencies \4\ that special education, early 
intervention, or related services personnel need in order to provide 
high-quality instruction, interventions, and services that will lead to 
improved outcomes of children with disabilities, ages birth through 21, 
including high-need children with disabilities; and
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    \4\ For the purpose of this priority, the term ``competencies'' 
means what a person knows and can do: The knowledge, skills and 
dispositions necessary to effectively function in a role (National 
Professional Development Center on Inclusion, 2011).
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    (ii) Provide the conceptual framework of the personnel preparation 
program, including any empirical support, that will promote the 
acquisition of the identified competencies (see paragraph (a)(2)(i) of 
this priority) needed by special education, early intervention, or 
related services personnel, and how these competencies relate to the 
proposed project.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of Project Services,'' how the proposed project--
    (1) Will use strategies to recruit and retain high-quality scholars 
and ensure equal access and treatment for eligible project participants 
who are members of groups who have traditionally been underrepresented 
based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. To 
meet this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) The selection criteria that it will use to identify high-
quality applicants for enrollment in the proposed project;
    (ii) The recruitment strategies that it will use to attract high-
quality applicants, including any specific recruitment strategies 
targeting high-quality applicants from traditionally underrepresented 
groups, for enrollment in the proposed project; and
    (iii) The approach, including mentoring and monitoring, that will 
be used to support scholars to complete the personnel preparation 
program.
    (2) Reflects current research and evidence-based practices and is 
designed to prepare scholars in the identified competencies. To address 
this requirement, the applicant must describe how the proposed project 
will--
    (i) Incorporate current research and evidence-based practices that 
improve outcomes for children with disabilities (including relevant 
research citations) into the project's required coursework and clinical 
experiences; and
    (ii) Use current research and evidence-based professional 
development practices for adult learners to instruct scholars.
    (3) Is of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to prepare 
scholars in the identified competencies. To address this requirement, 
the applicant must describe how--
    (i) The components of the proposed project (e.g., coursework, 
clinical experiences, or internships) will support scholars' 
acquisition and enhancement of the identified competencies;
    (ii) The components of the proposed project (e.g., coursework, 
clinical experiences, internships) will be integrated to allow scholars 
to use their content knowledge in clinical practice, and how scholars 
will be provided with ongoing guidance and feedback;
    (iii) The proposed project will provide ongoing induction 
opportunities and support to program graduates.
    (4) Will collaborate with appropriate partners, including--
    (i) High-need LEAs; \5\ high-poverty schools; \6\ low-performing 
schools including persistently lowest-achieving schools; \7\ priority 
schools (in the case of States that have received the Department's 
approval of a request for

[[Page 27749]]

Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) 
flexibility),\8\ and publicly-funded preschool programs, including Head 
Start programs and programs serving children eligible for services 
under IDEA Part C and Part B Section 619, that are located within the 
geographic boundaries of a high-need LEA. The purpose of these 
partnerships is to provide clinical practice for scholars aimed at 
developing the identified competencies; and
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    \5\ For the purposes of this priority, the term ``high-need 
LEA'' means an LEA (a) that serves not fewer than 10,000 children 
from families with incomes below the poverty line; or (b) for which 
not less than 20 percent of the children served by the LEA are from 
families with incomes below the poverty line.
    \6\ For the purposes of this priority, the term ``high-poverty 
school'' means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are 
eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the Richard B. 
Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 percent of 
students are from low-income families as determined using one of the 
criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). For middle and 
high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of 
comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty 
school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most 
currently available data (www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2010-4/121510b.html).
    \7\ For the purposes of this priority, the term ``persistently 
lowest-achieving schools'' means, as determined by the State--
    (a)(1) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring that--
    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I 
schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the 
lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective 
action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools 
is greater; or
    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined 
in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of 
years; and
    (2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not 
receive, Title I funds that--
    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary 
schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State 
that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever 
number of schools is greater; or
    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined 
in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of 
years.
    (b) To identify the lowest-achieving schools, a State must take 
into account both--
    (i) The academic achievement of the ``all students'' group in a 
school in terms of proficiency on the State's assessments under 
section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading/language arts and 
mathematics combined; and
    (ii) The school's lack of progress on those assessments over a 
number of years in the ``all students'' group.
    For the purposes of this priority, the Department considers 
schools that are identified as Tier I or Tier II schools under the 
School Improvement Grants Program (see 75 FR 66363) as part of a 
State's approved FY 2009 or FY 2010 applications to be persistently 
lowest-achieving schools. A list of these Tier I and Tier II schools 
can be found on the Department's Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html.
    \8\ For the purposes of this priority, the term ``priority 
school'' means a school that has been identified by the State as a 
priority school pursuant to the State's approved request for ESEA 
flexibility.
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    (ii) Other programs on campus or at partnering universities for the 
purpose of sharing resources, supporting program development and 
delivery, and addressing personnel shortages.
    (5) Will use technology, as appropriate, to promote scholar 
learning, enhance the efficiency of the project, collaborate with 
partners, and facilitate ongoing mentoring and support for scholars.
    (c) Include, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of Project Evaluation,'' how--
    (1) The proposed project will use comprehensive and appropriate 
methodologies to evaluate the effectiveness of the project, including 
the effectiveness of project processes and outcomes;
    (2) The proposed project will collect and analyze data related to 
specific and measurable goals, objectives, and outcomes of the project. 
To address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) How scholar competencies and other project processes and 
outcomes will be measured for formative evaluation purposes, including 
proposed instruments, data collection methods, and possible analyses; 
and
    (ii) How data on the quality of services provided by proposed 
project graduates, including data on the learning and developmental 
outcomes (e.g., academic, social, emotional, behavioral) and growth 
toward learning and developmental outcomes of the children with 
disabilities they serve, will be collected and analyzed;

    Note:  Following the completion of the project period, grantees 
are encouraged--but not required--to engage in ongoing data 
collection activities.

    (3) The methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data for objective performance measures that are related to 
the outcomes of the proposed project; and
    (4) The methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and 
allow for periodic assessment of progress towards meeting the project 
outcomes. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe how-
-
    (i) Findings from the evaluation will be used as a basis for 
improving the proposed project to prepare special education, early 
intervention, or related services personnel to provide high-quality 
interventions and services to improve outcomes of children with 
disabilities; and
    (ii) The proposed project will report evaluation results to the 
Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the annual and final 
performance reports.
    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative under ``Project Assurances,'' or 
appendices, as applicable, that the following program requirements are 
met. The applicant must--
    (1) Include, in the application appendix, syllabi for all required 
coursework of the proposed project, including syllabi for new or 
proposed courses.
    (2) Ensure that all scholars who enroll in the proposed project can 
graduate by the end of the grant's project period.
    (3) Ensure that the project will meet the statutory requirements in 
section 662(e) through 662(h) of IDEA.
    (4) Ensure that at least 65 percent of the total requested budget 
over the five years will be used for scholar support.
    (5) Ensure that the institution of higher education (IHE) will not 
require scholars to work (e.g., as graduate assistants) as a condition 
of receiving support (e.g., tuition, stipends, books) from the proposed 
project unless the work is specifically required to advance scholars' 
competencies or complete other requirements in their personnel 
preparation program. Please note that this prohibition on work as a 
condition of receiving support does not apply to the service obligation 
requirements in section 662(h) of IDEA.
    (6) Ensure that the budget includes attendance of the project 
director at a three-day Project Directors' meeting in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project.
    (7) Ensure that if the proposed project maintains a Web site, 
relevant information and documents are in a format that meets 
government or industry-recognized standards for accessibility.
    (8) Ensure that the Project Director will submit annual data on 
each scholar who receives grant support. Applicants are encouraged to 
visit the Personnel Development Program Scholar Data Report Web site 
at: http://oseppdp.ed.gov for further information about this data 
collection requirement. Typically, data collection begins in January of 
each year, and grantees are notified by email about the data collection 
period for their grant. This data collection must be submitted 
electronically by the grantee and does not supplant the annual grant 
performance report required of each grantee for continuation funding 
(see 34 CFR 75.590).
    Focus Areas:
    Within this absolute priority, the Secretary intends to support 
projects under the following four focus areas: (A) Preparing Personnel 
to Serve Infants, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children with 
Disabilities; (B) Preparing Personnel to Serve School-Age Children with 
Low-Incidence Disabilities; (C) Preparing Personnel to Provide Related 
Services to Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, with 
Disabilities; and (D) Preparing Personnel in Minority Institutions of 
Higher Education to Serve Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, 
with Disabilities. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged to apply 
under Focus Area A, B, C, or, D. Interdisciplinary projects are 
projects that deliver core content through coursework and clinical 
experiences shared across disciplines.

    Note:  Applicants must identify the specific focus area (i.e., 
A, B, C, or D) under which they are applying as part of the 
competition title on the application cover sheet (SF form 424, line 
4). Applicants may not submit the same proposal under more than one 
focus area.

    Focus Area A: Preparing Personnel To Serve Infants, Toddlers, and 
Preschool-Age Children With Disabilities. OSEP intends to fund nine 
awards under this focus area. For the purpose of Focus Area A, early 
intervention personnel are those who are prepared to provide services 
to infants and toddlers with disabilities ages birth to three, and 
early childhood personnel are those who are prepared to provide 
services to children with disabilities ages three through five (in 
States where the age range is other than ages three through five, we 
will defer to the State's certification for early childhood). In States 
where certification in early intervention is combined with 
certification in early childhood, applicants may propose a combined 
early intervention and early childhood personnel preparation project 
under this focus area. We encourage interdisciplinary projects under 
this focus area. For purposes of this focus area, interdisciplinary 
projects are projects that deliver core content through coursework and 
clinical experiences shared across disciplines

[[Page 27750]]

for early intervention providers or early childhood special educators, 
and related services personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and 
preschool-age children with disabilities. Projects preparing only 
related services personnel to serve infants, toddlers, and preschool-
age children with disabilities are not eligible under this focus area 
(see Focus Area C).
    Focus Area B: Preparing Personnel To Serve School-Age Children With 
Low-Incidence Disabilities. OSEP intends to fund 11 awards under this 
focus area. For the purpose of Focus Area B, personnel who serve 
children with low-incidence disabilities are special education 
personnel prepared to serve school-age children with low-incidence 
disabilities including visual impairments, hearing impairments, 
simultaneous visual and hearing impairments, significant intellectual 
disabilities, orthopedic impairments, autism, and traumatic brain 
injury. Programs preparing special education personnel to provide 
services to children with visual impairments or blindness that can be 
appropriately provided in braille must prepare those individuals to 
provide those services in braille. Projects preparing educational 
interpreters are eligible under this focus area. We encourage 
interdisciplinary projects under this focus area. For purposes of this 
focus area, interdisciplinary projects are projects that deliver core 
content through coursework and clinical experiences shared across 
disciplines for low-incidence and related services personnel to serve 
school-aged children with low incidence disabilities. Projects 
preparing early intervention or preschool personnel are not eligible 
under this focus area (see Focus Area A).
    Focus Area C: Preparing Personnel To Provide Related Services to 
Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, With Disabilities. OSEP 
intends to fund nine awards under this focus area. Programs preparing 
related services personnel to serve children, including infants and 
toddlers, with disabilities are eligible within Focus Area C. For the 
purpose of this focus area, related services include, but are not 
limited to, psychological services, physical therapy (including therapy 
provided by personnel prepared at the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) 
level), adapted physical education, occupational therapy, therapeutic 
recreation, social work services, counseling services, audiology 
services (including services provided by personnel prepared at the 
Doctor of Audiology (AudD) level), and speech and language services. 
Preparation programs in States where personnel prepared to serve 
children with speech and language impairments are considered to be 
special educators are eligible under this focus area. We encourage 
interdisciplinary projects under this focus area. For purposes of this 
focus area, interdisciplinary projects are projects that deliver core 
content through coursework and clinical experiences shared across 
disciplines for related services personnel who serve children, 
including infants and toddlers, with disabilities. Projects preparing 
educational interpreters are not eligible under this focus area (see 
Focus Area B).
    Focus Area D: Preparing Personnel in Minority Institutions of 
Higher Education To Serve Children, Including Infants and Toddlers, 
With Disabilities. OSEP intends to fund 10 awards under this focus 
area. Programs in minority IHEs are eligible under Focus Area D if they 
prepare one of the following: (a) Personnel to serve infants, toddlers, 
and preschool-age children with disabilities; (b) personnel to serve 
school-age children with low-incidence disabilities; or (c) personnel 
to provide related services to children, including infants and 
toddlers, with disabilities. Minority IHEs include IHEs with a minority 
enrollment of 25 percent or more, which may include Historically Black 
Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, and Predominantly Hispanic 
Serving Colleges and Universities. We encourage interdisciplinary 
projects under this focus area. For purposes of this focus area, 
interdisciplinary projects are projects that deliver core content 
through coursework and clinical experiences shared across disciplines 
for: (a) Early intervention providers or early childhood special 
educators and related services personnel who serve infants, toddlers, 
and preschool-age children with disabilities; (b) low-incidence and 
related services personnel who serve school-age children with low-
incidence disabilities; or (c) related services personnel who serve 
children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities. Programs 
in minority IHEs preparing personnel in Focus Area A, B, or C are 
eligible within Focus Area D. Programs preparing high-incidence special 
education personnel are not eligible under this priority (for the 
purpose of this priority, ``high-incidence disabilities'' refers to 
learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, or intellectual 
disabilities).

    Note:  A project funded under Focus Area D may budget for less 
than 65 percent, the required percentage, for scholar support if the 
applicant can provide sufficient justification for any designation 
less than this required percentage. Sufficient justification for 
proposing less than 65 percent of the budget for scholar support 
would include support for activities such as program development, 
program expansion, or the addition of a new area of emphasis. Some 
examples of projects that may be eligible to designate less than 65 
percent of their budget for scholar support include the following:
    (1) A project that is proposing to develop and deliver a newly 
established personnel preparation program or add a new area of 
emphasis may request up to a year of funding for program development 
(e.g., hiring of a new faculty member or consultant to assist in 
course development, providing professional development and training 
for faculty). In the initial project year, scholar support would not 
be required. The project must demonstrate that the newly established 
program or area of emphasis is approved and ready for implementation 
in order to receive continuation funds in year two.
    (2) A project that is proposing to expand or enhance an existing 
program may request funding for capacity building (e.g., hiring of a 
clinical practice supervisor, providing professional development and 
training for faculty), or purchasing needed resources (e.g., 
additional teaching supplies or specialized equipment to enhance 
instruction).


    Note:  Applicants proposing projects to develop, expand, or add 
a new area of emphasis to special education or related services 
programs must provide, in their applications, information on how 
these new areas will be sustained once Federal funding ends.

    Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we 
give competitive preference to applications that meet the following 
priority. For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we make awards 
from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this 
priority is a competitive preference priority.
    Competitive Preference Priority 1: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we 
award 5 points to an application that meets this priority.
    This priority is:
    In Focus Area D, applicants that document that they are IHEs with 
minority enrollment of 50 percent or more.

References

Bruder, M.B. (December, 2004a). The National Landscape of Early 
Intervention in Personnel Preparation Standards under Part C of the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). A.J. Pappanikou 
Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Farmington, CT. 
Available at: http://www.uconnucedd.org/projects/per_prep/resources.html.
Bruder, M.B. (December, 2004b). The National Landscape of Early 
Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education: 619 Data Report. 
A.J. Pappanikou Center

[[Page 27751]]

for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Farmington, CT. 
Available at: http://www.uconnucedd.org/projects/per_prep/resources.html.
McLeskey, J. & Billingsley, B. (2008). How does the quality and 
stability of the teaching force influence the research-to-practice 
gap? Remedial and Special Education, 29(5), 293-305.
McLeskey, J., Tyler, N., & Flippin, S.S. (2004). The supply and 
demand for special education teachers: A review of research 
regarding the chronic shortage of special education teachers. 
Journal of Special Education, 38(1), 5-21.
National Professional Development Center on Inclusion. (August, 
2011). Competencies for early childhood educators in the context of 
inclusion: Issues and guidance for states. Chapel Hill, NC: The 
University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute, 
Authors.

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. 1462 and 1481.
Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 81, 
82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 
CFR part 304.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $9,750,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2013 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: See chart.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: See chart.
    Maximum Award: See chart.
    Estimated Number of Awards: See chart.
    Project Period: See chart.

[[Page 27752]]



                                                 Personnel Development To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities (84.325K) Application Notice for Fiscal Year 2012
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                                               Maximum
                                                                                                                                                 Estimated      award      Estimated
        CFDA number and name           Applications  available     Deadline for  transmittal   Deadline for  intergovern-   Estimated range of    average      (budget     number of         Project period            Contact person
                                                                        of  applications             mental  review               awards          size of     period of      awards
                                                                                                                                                   awards     12 months)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
84.325K Personnel Preparation in     May 11, 2012...............  June 25, 2012..............  August 24, 2012...........
 Special Education, Early
 Intervention, and Related Services.
Focus Area A: Preparing Personnel    ...........................  ...........................  ..........................    $225,000-$250,000     $237,500   * $250,000            9  Up to 60 mos.               Maryann McDermott 202-
 to Serve Infants, Toddlers, and                                                                                                                                                                                    245-7439
 Pre-school Age Children with                                                                                                                                                                                       maryann.mcdermott@ed
 Disabilities.                                                                                                                                                                                                      .gov PCP, Room 4062.
Focus Area B: Preparing Personnel    ...........................  ...........................  ..........................      225,000-250,000      237,500    * 250,000           11  Up to 60 mos.               Maryann McDermott,
 to Serve School-Age Children with                                                                                                                                                                                  202-245-7439,
 Low-Incidence Disabilities.                                                                                                                                                                                        maryann.mcdermott@ed.gov, PCP, Room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4062.
Focus Area C: Preparing Personnel    ...........................  ...........................  ..........................      225,000-250,000      237,500    * 250,000            9  Up to 60 mos.               Sarah Allen, 202-245-
 to Provide Related Services to                                                                                                                                                                                     7875,
 Children, Including Infants and                                                                                                                                                                                    sarah.allen@ed.gov,
 Toddlers, with Disabilities.                                                                                                                                                                                       PCP, Room 4105.
Focus Area D: Preparing Personnel    ...........................  ...........................  ..........................      225,000-250,000      237,500    * 250,000           10  Up to 60 mos.               Dawn Ellis, 202-245-
 in Minority Institutions of Higher                                                                                                                                                                                 6417,
 Education to Serve Children,                                                                                                                                                                                       dawn.ellis@ed.gov,
 Including Infants and Toddlers,                                                                                                                                                                                    PCP, Room 4092.
 with Disabilities.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding the maximum award 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.



[[Page 27753]]

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

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Institutions of higher education (IHEs).
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: General Requirements--(a) The projects funded under this 
program must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment 
qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).
    (b) Each applicant and grant recipient funded under this program 
must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of individuals 
with disabilities ages birth through 26 in planning, implementing, and 
evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs).
    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: 
www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html.
    To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call 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) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at 
its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.325K.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Page 
Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where 
you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use 
to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III to the equivalent 
of no more than 50 pages using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions.
     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, you must include all of the application narrative in 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: May 11, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 25, 2012.
    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. 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.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 24, 2012.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program 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 program.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and 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: 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

[[Page 27754]]

site. The Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early 
Intervention, and Related Services, CFDA number 84.325K, 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 www.Grants.gov. Through 
this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application 
package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your 
application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant 
application to us.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Personnel 
Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related 
Services, CFDA number 84.325K at 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 84.325, not 84.325K).
    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 
upload 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) read-only, non-
modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. 
If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable 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 email. 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 84.325K), 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

[[Page 27755]]

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 84.325K) 
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 program are 
from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.
    2. Review and Selection Process: (a) 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.
    (b) 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 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 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 Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results 
for Children with Disabilities Program. These measures include: (1) The 
percentage of Special Education Personnel Development-projects that 
incorporate evidence-based practices into their curriculum; (2) the 
percentage of scholars completing Special Education Personnel 
Development-funded programs who are knowledgeable and skilled in 
evidence-based practices for infants, toddlers, children and youth with 
disabilities; (3) the percentage of Special Education Personnel 
Development-funded scholars who exit preparation programs prior to 
completion due to poor academic performance; (4) the percentage of 
Special Education Personnel Development-funded degree/certification 
recipients who are working in the area(s) for which they were prepared 
upon program completion; (5) the percentage of Special Education 
Personnel Development-funded degree/certification recipients who are 
working

[[Page 27756]]

in the area(s) for which they were prepared upon program completion and 
who are fully qualified under IDEA; (6) the percentage of Special 
Education Personnel Development degree/certification recipients who 
maintain employment in the area(s) for which they were prepared for 
three or more years and who are fully qualified under IDEA; and (7) the 
Federal cost per fully qualified degree/certification recipient.
    Grantees may be asked to participate in assessing and providing 
information on these aspects of program quality.
    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: See chart in the Award Information 
section in this notice for the name, room number, telephone number, and 
email address of the contact person for each Focus Area of this 
competition. You can write to the Focus Area contact person at the 
following address: U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue 
SW., Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting 
the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 
400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. 
Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or 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: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: May 8, 2012.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2012-11415 Filed 5-10-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P