[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 20 (Wednesday, January 30, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 6306-6313]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-01998]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and 
Materials for Individuals With Disabilities Program--Stepping-Up 
Technology Implementation

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

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

    Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With 
Disabilities Program--Stepping-Up Technology Implementation.
    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2013.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.327S.
    Dates:
    Applications Available: January 30, 2013.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 18, 2013.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 15, 2013.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of the Educational Technology, 
Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities Program \1\ are 
to: (1) Improve results for students with disabilities by promoting the 
development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) support 
educational activities designed to be of educational value in the 
classroom for students with disabilities; (3) provide support for 
captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the 
classroom; and (4) provide accessible educational materials to students 
with disabilities in a timely manner.
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    \1\ This program was formerly called ``Technology and Media 
Services for Individuals With Disabilities.'' The Department has 
changed the name to Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for 
Individuals With Disabilities and updated the purposes of the 
program to more clearly convey that the program includes accessible 
educational materials. The program's activities and statutory 
authorization (20 U.S.C. 1474) remain unchanged.
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    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority 
is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 674 
and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 
(20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.)).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2013, this priority is an absolute 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that 
meet this priority.
    This priority is:

Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With 
Disabilities--Stepping-Up Technology Implementation

Background
    The purpose of this priority is to fund cooperative agreements to: 
(a) Identify resources \2\ needed to effectively implement evidence-
based \3\ technology tools \4\ that benefit students with

[[Page 6307]]

disabilities, and (b) develop and disseminate products \5\ that will 
help a broad range of schools to effectively implement these technology 
tools.
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    \2\ For the purposes of this priority, ``resources'' include, 
but are not limited to, school leadership support, professional 
development support to school staff, and a plan for integrating 
technology into the classroom curriculum.
    \3\ For the purposes of this priority, ``evidence-based'' is 
defined by the definitions published in the Notice of Proposed 
Priorities for the FY 2013 Supporting Effective Educator Development 
(SEED) Grant Program (77 FR 53819):
    Large sample means a sample of 350 or more students (or other 
single analysis units) who were randomly assigned to a treatment or 
control group, or 50 or more groups (such as classrooms or schools) 
that contain 10 or more students (or other single analysis units) 
and that were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group.
    Moderate evidence of effectiveness means one of the following 
conditions is met:
     (a) There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the 
process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets 
the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without 
reservations; found a statistically significant favorable impact on 
a relevant outcome (as defined in this notice) (with no 
statistically significant unfavorable impacts on that outcome for 
relevant populations in the study or in other studies of the 
intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works 
Clearinghouse); and includes a sample that overlaps with the 
populations or settings proposed to receive the process, product, 
strategy, or practice.
     (b) There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the 
process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets 
the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations, 
found a statistically significant favorable impact on a relevant 
outcome (as defined in this notice) (with no statistically 
significant unfavorable impacts on that outcome for relevant 
populations in the study or in other studies of the intervention 
reviewed by and reported on by the What Works Clearinghouse), 
includes a sample that overlaps with the populations or settings 
proposed to receive the process, product, strategy, or practice, and 
includes a large sample (as defined in this notice) and a multi-site 
sample (as defined in this notice) (Note: multiple studies can 
cumulatively meet the large and multi-site sample requirements as 
long as each study meets the other requirements in this paragraph).
    Multi-site sample means more than one site, where site can be 
defined as an LEA, locality, or State.
    Relevant outcome means the student outcome or outcomes (or the 
ultimate outcome if not related to students) that the proposed 
project is designed to improve, consistent with the specific goals 
of a program.
    Strong evidence of effectiveness means that one of the following 
conditions is met:
     (a) There is at least one study of the effectiveness of the 
process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed that meets 
the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without 
reservations; found a statistically significant favorable impact on 
a relevant outcome (as defined in this notice) (with no 
statistically significant unfavorable impacts on that outcome for 
relevant populations in the study or in other studies of the 
intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works 
Clearinghouse); includes a sample that overlaps with the populations 
and settings proposed to receive the process, product, strategy, or 
practice; and includes a large sample (as defined in this notice) 
and a multi-site sample (as defined in this notice) (Note: multiple 
studies can cumulatively meet the large and multi-site sample 
requirements as long as each study meets the other requirements in 
this paragraph).
     (b) There are at least two studies of the effectiveness of the 
process, product, strategy, or practice being proposed, each of 
which meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with 
reservations, found a statistically significant favorable impact on 
a relevant outcome (as defined in this notice) (with no 
statistically significant unfavorable impacts on that outcome for 
relevant populations in the studies or in other studies of the 
intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works 
Clearinghouse), includes a sample that overlaps with the populations 
and settings proposed to receive the process, product, strategy, or 
practice, and includes a large sample (as defined in this notice) 
and a multi-site sample (as defined in this notice).
    \4\ For the purposes of this priority, ``technology tools'' may 
include, but are not limited to, digital math text readers for 
students with visual impairment, reading software to improve 
literacy and communication development, and text-to-speech software 
to improve reading performance. These tools must assist or otherwise 
benefit students with disabilities.
    \5\ For the purposes of this priority, ``products'' may include, 
but are not limited to, instruction manuals, lesson plans, 
demonstration videos, ancillary instructional materials, and 
professional development modules such as collaborative groups, 
coaching, mentoring, or online supports.
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    As Congress recognized in IDEA, ``almost 30 years of research and 
experience has demonstrated that the education of children with 
disabilities can be made more effective by * * * supporting the 
development and use of technology, including assistive technology 
devices and assistive technology services, to maximize accessibility 
for children with disabilities'' (section 601(c)(5)(H) of IDEA). The 
use of technology, including assistive technology devices and assistive 
technology services, enhances instruction and access to the general 
education curriculum. Since 1998, the Office of Special Education 
Programs (OSEP) has supported technology and media service projects 
through the Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Children with 
Disabilities (Steppingstones) program. The projects funded under the 
Steppingstones program developed and evaluated numerous innovative 
technology tools designed to improve results for children with 
disabilities. Examples of such tools include: Web-based learning and 
assessment materials, instructional software, assistive technology 
devices, methods for using off-the-shelf hardware and software to 
improve learning, and methods for integrating technology into 
instruction. In addition, the Department's Institute of Education 
Sciences (IES) now supports projects to develop and evaluate innovative 
technology tools. The Stepping-up Technology Implementation program 
will build on these technology development efforts by identifying, 
developing, and disseminating products and resources that promote the 
effective implementation \6\ of evidence-based instructional and 
assistive technology tools in early childhood or kindergarten through 
grade 12 (K-12) settings.\7\
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    \6\ In this context, ``effective implementation'' means ``making 
better use of research findings in typical service settings through 
the use of processes and activities (such as accountable 
implementation teams) that are purposeful and described in 
sufficient detail such that independent observers can detect the 
presence and strength of these processes and activities'' (Fixsen, 
Naoom, Blase, Friedman, & Wallace, 2005).
    \7\ For the purposes of this priority, ``settings'' include 
general education classrooms, special education classrooms or any 
place where school-based instruction occurs.
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    The employment of products and resources designed to assist with 
the implementation of evidence-based technology tools is critical to 
ensuring that these tools will be effectively used to improve early 
childhood outcomes, academic achievement, and college and career 
readiness of children with disabilities. Data from a survey of more 
than 1,000 K-12 teachers, principals, and assistant principals 
indicated that simply providing teachers with technology does not 
ensure that it will be used. The survey also indicated that while newer 
teachers may use technology in their personal lives more often than 
veteran teachers, they do not use it more frequently in their 
classrooms than veteran teachers do. In addition, the survey indicated 
that the more often teachers use technology to improve students' daily 
classroom engagement, the more likely teachers are to recognize the 
benefits to understanding different student learning styles (Grunwald, 
2010). Additionally, Perlman and Redding (2011) found that in order to 
be used most effectively, technology must be implemented in ways that 
align with curricular and teacher goals and must offer students 
opportunities to use these tools in their learning. These findings 
demonstrate a need for products and resources that can ensure 
technology tools for students with disabilities are implemented 
effectively.
    Priority:
    The purpose of this priority is to fund cooperative agreements to: 
(a) Identify resources needed to effectively implement evidence-based 
technology tools that benefit students with disabilities; and (b) 
develop and disseminate products (e.g., instruction manuals, lesson 
plans, demonstration videos, ancillary instructional materials) that 
will help early childhood or K-12 settings to effectively implement 
these technology tools.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements. Any project funded 
under this absolute priority must also meet the programmatic and 
administrative requirements specified in the priority.
    Application Requirements: An applicant must include in its 
application--
    (a) A logic model or conceptual framework 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 formative and summative 
evaluations of the project;

    Note:  The following Web sites provide more information on logic 
models: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and 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;
    (d) A plan for recruiting and selecting the following:
    (1) Three development schools. Development schools are the sites in 
which iterative development \8\ of the implementation of technology 
tools and products will occur. The project must start implementing the 
technology tool with one development school in year one of the project 
period and two additional development schools in year two.
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    \8\ For the purposes of this priority, ``iterative development'' 
refers to a process of testing, systematically securing feedback, 
and then revising the educational intervention that leads to 
revisions in the intervention to increase the likelihood that it 
will be implemented with fidelity (Diamond & Powell, 2011).
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    (2) Four pilot schools. Pilot schools are the sites in which try-
out, formative evaluation, and refinement of technology tools and 
products will occur. The project must work with the four pilot schools 
during years three and four of the project period.
    (3) Ten dissemination schools. Dissemination schools will be 
selected if the project is extended for a fifth year. Dissemination 
schools will be used to conduct the final test of the effectiveness of 
the products and the final opportunity for the project to refine the 
products for use by teachers, but will receive less technical 
assistance (TA) from the project than the development or pilot schools. 
Also, at this stage, dissemination schools will extend the benefits of 
the technology tool to additional students. To be selected as a 
dissemination school, eligible schools and local educational agencies 
(LEAs) must commit to working with the project to implement the 
evidence-based technology tool. A school may not serve in more than one 
category (i.e., development, pilot, dissemination).

[[Page 6308]]

    (e) Information (e.g., early childhood setting; elementary, middle, 
or high school; persistently lowest-achieving school; \9\ priority 
school \10\) about the development, pilot, and dissemination schools; 
their demographics (e.g., student race or ethnicity, percentage of 
students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch); and other pertinent 
data.
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    \9\ 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 persistently 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 Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965, as amended (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, FY 2010, or FY 2011 application 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.
    \10\ 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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    (f) Documentation that the technology tool is evidence-based (as 
defined in this notice) and that it can be implemented to improve early 
childhood outcomes, academic achievement, and college and career 
readiness.
    (g) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting to be held in 
Washington, DC, after receipt of the award, and an annual planning 
meeting held in Washington, DC, with the OSEP Project Officer and other 
relevant staff during each subsequent year of the project period.

    Note: Within 30 days of receipt of the award, a post-award 
teleconference must be held between the OSEP Project Officer and the 
grantee's project director or other authorized representative.

    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period.
    (3) Two two-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, the 
project, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:
    (a) Recruit a minimum of three development schools in one LEA and 
four pilot schools across at least two LEAs in accordance with the plan 
proposed under paragraph (d) of the Application Requirements section of 
this notice.

    Note: Final site selection will be determined in consultation 
with the OSEP Project Officer following the kick-off meeting.

    (b) Identify resources and develop products to support sustained 
implemention of the selected technology tool. Development of the 
products must be an interactive process beginning in a single 
development school and continuing through iterative cycles of 
development and refinement in the other development schools, followed 
by a formative evaluation and refinement in the pilot schools. The 
products must include, at a minimum, the following components to 
support implementation of the technology tool:
    (1) An instrument or method for assessing (i) the need for the 
technology tool, and (ii) readiness to implement it. Instruments and 
methods may include resource inventory checklists, school self-study 
guides, surveys of teacher interest, detailed descriptions of the 
technology tool for review by school staff, and similar approaches used 
singly or in combination.
    (2) Methods and manuals to support the implementation of the 
technology tool.
    (3) Professional development activities necessary for teachers to 
implement the technology tool with fidelity and integrate it into the 
curriculum.
    (c) Collect and analyze data on the effect of the technology tool 
on academic achievement and college and career readiness.
    (d) Collect formative and summative evaluation data from the 
development schools and pilot schools to refine and evaluate the 
products.
    (e) If the project is extended to a fifth year, provide the 
products and the technology tool to no fewer than 10 dissemination 
schools that are not the same schools used as development and pilot 
schools.
    (f) Collect summative data about the success of the products in 
supporting implementation of the technology tool in the dissemination 
schools; and
    (g) By the end of the project period, projects must provide 
information on:
    (1) The products and resources that will enable other schools to 
implement and sustain implementation of the technology tool.
    (2) How the technology tool has improved early childhood outcomes, 
academic achievement, or college and career readiness for children with 
disabilities.
    (3) A strategy for disseminating the technology tool and 
accompanying products beyond the schools directly involved in the 
project.

Collaboration With the Model Demonstration Coordination Center (MDCC).

    Although these projects are not model demonstration projects, the 
MDCC, an OSEP-funded project, will provide coordination support among 
the projects. Each project funded under this priority must--
    (a) Coordinate with the MDCC and the other projects to determine 
times for cross-project collaboration conference calls. Individual 
project timelines may need to be adjusted once the cross-project 
collaboration calls are established;
    (b) Provide MDCC with a description of the schools as described in 
paragraph (e) of the Application Requirements section of this notice; 
and
    (c) Participate in conference call discussions, organized and 
facilitated by the MDCC, and, to the extent appropriate, establish 
consistent project design elements such as site selection, evaluation 
design issues, implementation strategies, sustainability, 
documentation, and dissemination.

    Note: The following Web site provides more information on the 
MDCC: http://mdcc.sri.com.

    Fifth Year of the Project: The Secretary may extend a project one 
year beyond 48 months to work with dissemination schools if the grantee 
is achieving the intended outcomes and making a positive contribution 
to the implementation of an evidence-based technology tool in the 
development and pilot schools. Each applicant must include in its 
application a plan for the full 60-month award. In deciding whether to 
continue funding the project for the fifth year, the Secretary will 
consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), and in addition--
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of the OSEP 
Project Officer and other experts selected by the

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Secretary. This review will be held during the last half of the third 
year of the project period;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the 
project; and
    (c) Evidence of the degree to which the project's activities have 
contributed to changed practices and improved early childhood outcomes, 
academic achievement, or college and career readiness for students with 
disabilities.

References

Diamond, K.E. & Powell, D.R. (2011). An iterative approach to the 
development of a professional development intervention for head start 
teachers. Journal of Early Intervention, 33(1), 75-93.
Fixsen, D.L., Naoom, S.F., Blase, K.A., Friedman, R.M., & Wallace, F. 
(2005). Implementation Research: A Synthesis of the Literature. Tampa, 
FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental 
Health Institute, The National Implementation Research Network.
Grunwald and Associates. (2010). Educators, Technology and 21st Century 
Skills: Dispelling Five Myths. Minneapolis, MN: Walden University, 
Richard W. Riley College of Education. Retrieved from www.WaldenU.edu/fivemyths.
Perlman, C.L. & Redding, S. (Eds). (2011). Choosing and Implementing 
Technology Wisely. Handbook on Effective Implementation of School 
Improvement Grants. Lincoln, IL: Academic Development Institute. 
Retrieved from www.centerii.org/handbook.

    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. 1474 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department debarment 
and suspension regulations in 2 CFR part 3485.

    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: The Administration has requested 
$29,588,000 for the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for 
Individuals with Disabilities Program for FY 2013, of which we intend 
to use an estimated $3,000,000 for this competition. The actual level 
of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we 
are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant 
process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2014 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $475,000 to $500,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Award: $500,000.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services 
may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal 
Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 6.

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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months with an optional additional 12 
months based on performance. Applications must include plans for both 
the 48 month award and the 12 month extension.

III. Eligibility Information

    Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies (SEAs); LEAs, 
including public charter schools that are considered LEAs under State 
law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; 
outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes or tribal 
organizations; and for-profit organizations.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This 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) The applicant and grant recipient 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 project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs), U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, 
Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 
605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or 
a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at 
its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to 
identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.327S.
    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, 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,

[[Page 6310]]

the resumes, the bibliography, 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: January 30, 2013.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 18, 2013.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to 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: May 15, 2013.
    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, Central Contractor Registry, and System for Award Management: 
To do business with the Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR)--and, after July 24, 2012, with the System 
for Award Management (SAM), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR or SAM registration with current 
information while your application is under review by the Department 
and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. 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 or SAM 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 registration annually. This may take three or more 
business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at 
SAM.gov.
    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 must be submitted electronically unless you qualify 
for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the Stepping-up Technology 
Implementation competition, CFDA number 84.327S, must be submitted 
electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at 
www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy 
of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and 
submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a 
grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for Stepping-up 
Technology Implementation at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the 
downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA 
number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search 
(e.g., search for 84.327, not 84.327S).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
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 www.G5.gov.

[[Page 6311]]

     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: the 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a 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. Additional, detailed information on how to attach 
files is in the application instructions.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) 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.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Terry Jackson, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4081, Potomac 
Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600. FAX: (202) 245-7617.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.327S), 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 qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.327S), 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.

[[Page 6312]]

    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: 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 section 682(b) of IDEA also have placed additional 
constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department 
has determined that, for some discretionary grant competitions, 
applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and 
selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make 
it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers, by ensuring that 
greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers 
for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of 
interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness 
of the review process, while permitting panel members to review 
applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also 
have submitted applications. However, if the Department decides to 
select an equal number of applications in each group for funding, this 
may result in different cut-off points for fundable applications in 
each group.
    4. 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; or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a 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 Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for 
Individuals with Disabilities Program. These measures are included in 
the application package and focus on the extent to which projects are 
of high quality, are relevant to improving outcomes of children with 
disabilities, contribute to improving outcomes for children with 
disabilities, and generate evidence of validity and availability to 
appropriate populations. Projects funded under this competition are 
required to submit data on these measures as directed by OSEP. Grantees 
also will be required to report information on their projects' 
performance in annual and final performance 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: Terry Jackson, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4081, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-6039.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

[[Page 6313]]

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: January 24, 2013.
Michael Yudin,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-01998 Filed 1-29-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P