[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 97 (Monday, May 20, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 29239-29245]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11971]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter III

[CFDA Number: 84.373Y]


Final Priority; Technical Assistance To Improve State Data 
Capacity--National Technical Assistance Center To Improve State 
Capacity To Accurately Collect and Report IDEA Data

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

ACTION: Final priority.

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[[Page 29240]]

SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Technical 
Assistance to Improve State Data Capacity program. The Assistant 
Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 
2013 and later years. We take this action to focus attention on an 
identified national need to provide technical assistance (TA) to States 
to improve their capacity to meet the data collection and reporting 
requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 
We intend this priority to establish a TA center to improve State 
capacity to accurately collect and report IDEA data (Data Center).

DATES: Effective Date: This priority is effective June 19, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richelle Davis, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4052, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-7401 or by 
email: richelle.davis@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance on 
State Data Collection program is to improve the capacity of States to 
meet their IDEA data collection and reporting requirements under 
sections 616 and 618 of the IDEA. Funding for the program is authorized 
under section 611(c)(1) of the IDEA, which gives the Secretary the 
authority to reserve funds appropriated under section 611 of the IDEA 
to provide TA authorized under section 616(i) of the IDEA. Section 
616(i) requires the Secretary to review the data collection and 
analysis capacity of States to ensure that data and information 
determined necessary for implementation of sections 616 and 618 of the 
IDEA are collected, analyzed, and accurately reported. It also requires 
the Secretary to provide TA, where needed, to improve the capacity of 
States to meet the data collection requirements under the IDEA.

    Program Authority:  20 U.S.C. 1411(c), 1416(i), and 1418(c).

    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR 300.702.
    We published a notice of proposed priority for this competition in 
the Federal Register on August 6, 2012 (77 FR 46658). That notice 
contained background information and our reasons for proposing this 
particular priority. Except for minor editorial and technical revisions 
(noted below), there are no differences between the proposed priority 
and this final priority. We made these minor technical revisions:
    (a) Clarified information in requirement (e)(3) about attendance at 
Department sponsored data conferences;
    (b) Deleted the TA and dissemination activities (c), (j), and part 
of (m)(2) that were included in the proposed priority as these are 
Department data review responsibilities (see section 616(i)(1) of the 
IDEA);
    (c) Clarified the required Data Center Web site content and 
distinguished it from Department data postings in current TA and 
dissemination activity (f);
    (d) Clarified that records of TA activities conducted by the Data 
Center must be available to the project officer in current TA and 
dissemination activity (c);
    (e) Clarified that the purpose of leadership and coordination 
activity (a) is to consult with TA recipients and other stakeholders 
about their TA needs as they relate to the outcomes and activities of 
the Data Center; and
    (f) Added more examples of allowable TA activities, including 
training for new State IDEA Data Managers, developing white papers and 
technical briefs, and consulting with IDEA Data Managers and others to 
identify ways to enhance State data system usability.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the notice of 
proposed priority, eight parties submitted comments on the proposed 
priority.
    We group major issues according to subject. Generally, we do not 
address technical and other minor changes. In addition, we do not 
address comments that raised concerns not directly related to the 
proposed priority.
    Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and 
of any changes in the priority since publication of the notice of 
proposed priority follows.

General Comments

    Comment: Two commenters agreed that TA is needed to improve State 
data reporting capacity, and one commenter supported providing TA 
focused on the use of built-in EDFacts data validation tools to support 
data quality. One commenter agreed that TA about data management issues 
relating to protecting privacy, confidentiality, and security of data 
would be beneficial. None of these comments requested changes.
    Discussion: The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 
appreciates the feedback received from commenters about the need for 
the Data Center to provide TA to improve the capacity of States to meet 
the IDEA data reporting requirements.
    Changes: None.

Focus TA on Assessment and Discipline Data

    Comment: Three commenters agreed with the importance of focusing on 
assessment and discipline data, and two commenters agreed with the need 
for TA for addressing issues of data governance and coordination across 
offices about decisions and actions associated with data collection and 
reporting. One commenter stated that assessment and discipline data are 
not problematic in all States and that data errors are a result of the 
complexity of the Department's data collection and reporting 
requirements. The commenters did not request changes to the priority.
    Discussion: OSEP appreciates the comments affirming that the Data 
Center's scope of work will address areas in which States have the 
greatest need for TA. OSEP agrees that assessment and discipline data 
are not problematic in all States and that it is possible that some of 
the evident errors in State data arise in the course of complying with 
IDEA reporting requirements. However, it is the responsibility of each 
State to submit valid and reliable data to meet IDEA reporting 
requirements. Changing reporting requirements would require a separate 
public rulemaking process.
    Changes: None.

TA Products and Services To Build Staff Capacity

    Comment: Six commenters agreed with the need for TA to build staff 
capacity to collect, report, and analyze IDEA data. Two commenters 
specifically requested that new IDEA Data Manager training be included 
in the priority. One commenter requested that white papers or technical 
briefs about proposed or current IDEA data collections be included in 
the priority. Another commenter suggested placing more emphasis on the 
provision of TA to build local staff capacity, one commenter suggested 
placing less emphasis on building local staff capacity, and one 
commenter raised concerns about placing any emphasis on building local 
staff capacity due to the wide variations in State systems and inherent 
difficulties in tailoring TA to account for these variations. One 
commenter suggested that the Data Center assist the Department in 
changing the data collections rather

[[Page 29241]]

than provide TA that builds local staff capacity.
    Discussion: OSEP agrees that there is a need to build staff 
capacity to collect, report, and analyze IDEA data. We believe this can 
be accomplished using a wide range of products (e.g., white papers, 
technical briefs) and services (e.g., training new State IDEA Data 
Managers) and by providing TA to staff at all levels of the data 
collection and reporting system, including local program staff. We 
believe that providing TA to local staff will improve the quality of 
State IDEA data, as the majority of data reported under sections 616 
and 618 of the IDEA are collected by local programs, local educational 
agencies (LEAs), and early intervention service (EIS) providers). 
Because of variations in State data systems, however, we agree that TA 
provided to local program staff should also include State staff and be 
tailored to the State context. In addition, under section 616 of the 
IDEA, States must report to the public on the performance of local 
programs by posting on the State agency's Web site the performance of 
each local program as measured against the State's targets for each 
indicator in the State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance 
Report (APR) under section 616(b)(2)(C)(ii)(I) of the IDEA, furthering 
the need for high-quality local data.
    OSEP also understands the desire to change data collection 
requirements to reduce reporting burden, but the purpose of the Data 
Center is to provide TA to States to meet IDEA data collection and 
reporting requirements. The data requirements promote accountability 
and provide transparency to the public about the use of IDEA funds. 
Further, changing data requirements would require a separate public 
rulemaking process, and it is beyond the Data Center's scope of work to 
provide TA to the Department.
    Changes: We have revised the priority to clarify that: training for 
new State IDEA Data Managers, and development of white papers and 
technical briefs, would be appropriate TA activities for the Data 
Center; the scope of work for the Data Center includes support to 
States to build capacity to collect, report, and analyze IDEA data and 
does not include support to the Department (which is evident through 
the deletion of TA and dissemination activities (c), (j), and part of 
(m)(2) from the proposed priority); and TA provided under the current 
TA and dissemination activity (c) to local program representatives must 
also include State staff and be tailored to the State context.

TA as Consultation About Data Systems

    Comment: One commenter noted challenges to using the State data 
system to run data queries but did not recommend any changes to the 
priority.
    Discussion: Data queries are the methods, or codes, to retrieve 
data from a database. OSEP agrees with the commenter that if it is 
difficult for State staff to retrieve data from a system, they are less 
likely to use the data. OSEP believes that it is important to encourage 
use of data by State staff, because State staff who are using data are 
more likely to identify and correct errors, thereby improving the 
quality of the data. The purpose of this priority is to improve State 
capacity to meet IDEA data collection requirements, including 
requirements as to quality, validity, and completeness, and, therefore, 
TA to improve data system usability fits within the priority.
    Changes: We have revised the priority to clarify that the Data 
Center may provide TA to States to identify system usability 
improvements that increase data use and data quality, provided that 
such TA activities are linked to improving State capacity to meet IDEA 
data collection requirements.

TA Through Conference Attendance

    Comment: Two commenters suggested that the Data Center provide 
funding for State IDEA Data Managers to attend national meetings.
    Discussion: The purpose of the Data Center is to provide TA to 
improve the capacity of States to meet the IDEA data collection and 
reporting requirements. It is beyond the scope of the priority to 
provide travel support for State IDEA Data Managers to attend 
conferences.
    Changes: None.

Data About Students in One Disability Category

    Comment: One commenter expressed concern about the reliability and 
validity of data collected on children with visual impairments and the 
effect that inaccurate data may have on providing these students with a 
free appropriate public education. No changes to the priority were 
proposed.
    Discussion: We understand the importance of reporting accurate data 
for all students with disabilities, including students with visual 
impairments. The purpose of the Data Center is to provide TA to build 
State capacity to meet IDEA data collection and reporting requirements, 
which includes ensuring the accuracy of data reported about children 
and students with disabilities in all age ranges and all disability 
groups.
    Changes: None.

Automated Data Validation

    Comment: One commenter discussed the need for automated data 
validation checks in the Department's data collection system (EDFacts).
    Discussion: OSEP agrees that automated data validation tools 
improve the quality of IDEA data. The proposed priority therefore 
included a requirement for the Data Center to collect recommendations 
for validation checks that could be added to EDFacts.
    Changes: None.

Needs Assessments

    Comment: One commenter recommended that the Data Center survey 
States to determine the need for new TA tools. The commenter 
recommended that States be involved in developing the TA tools.
    Discussion: OSEP agrees with the commenter.
    Changes: We have revised the priority to require the Data Center to 
consult with TA recipients or other informed stakeholders to identify 
TA needs, including TA products and services.

Data Reporting Requirements, Review, and Posting

    Comment: Several commenters suggested ways the Data Center could 
improve the review and follow-up procedures associated with State-
reported IDEA data, including: develop new IDEA data reporting 
guidance, publish IDEA data on the Data Center's Web site, assist the 
Department in aligning data reporting requirements across various 
programs that collect data about students with disabilities, review 
State-reported IDEA data, and maintain ongoing communication with 
States on behalf of the Department as follow-up in the data review 
process.
    Discussion: The purpose of the priority is to provide TA to States 
to improve their capacity to meet IDEA data collection and reporting 
requirements and not to improve the Department's functions. The 
recommendations are not within the scope of the priority.
    Changes: We have, however, revised the priority to clarify that the 
scope of work of the new Data Center is to provide TA to States to 
build their capacity to collect, analyze, and report IDEA data and does 
not include assisting the Department in reviewing State-reported data, 
communicating with States on behalf of the Department, or publishing 
IDEA data on behalf of the Department. As noted above, the changes are 
evident in the deletion of TA and dissemination activities (c), (j),

[[Page 29242]]

and part of (m)(2) that were in the proposed priority.

Data Analyses

    Comment: One commenter suggested that the Data Center be required 
to collaborate with EDFacts Partner Support Center to provide feedback 
to the States about errors or anomalies identified in their IDEA 
section 618 data.
    Discussion: OSEP agrees with the commenter that feedback to States 
about errors or anomalies in their IDEA section 618 data should be 
efficient and coordinated. OSEP is working with the EDFacts office to 
ensure State EDFacts Coordinators and State IDEA Data Managers receive 
joint communication from the Department, as appropriate. The Data 
Center will not review IDEA section 618 or APR data on behalf of the 
Department or provide feedback to the States about the quality of the 
data on behalf of the Department.
    Changes: We have revised the priority by deleting TA and 
dissemination activity (j) from the proposed priority (which would have 
established a toll-free number and means of electronic communication 
between the Data Center and States about IDEA data submissions and IDEA 
data errors or anomalies).

Final Priority

National Technical Assistance Center To Improve State Capacity To 
Accurately Collect and Report IDEA Data

    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to 
support the establishment and operation of a National Technical 
Assistance Center To Improve State Capacity To Accurately Collect and 
Report IDEA Data (Data Center). The Data Center will provide TA to 
improve the capacity of States to meet IDEA data collection and 
reporting requirements by:
    (a) Improving data infrastructure by coordinating and promoting 
communication and effective data governance strategies among relevant 
State offices including State educational agencies (SEAs) and State 
lead agencies, local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, early 
intervention service (EIS) providers, and TA providers to improve the 
quality of the IDEA data;
    (b) Using results from the Department's auto-generated error 
reports to communicate with State IDEA Data Managers and other relevant 
stakeholders in the State (e.g., EDFacts Coordinator) about data that 
appear to be inaccurate and provide support to the State (as needed) to 
enhance current State validation procedures to prevent future errors in 
State-reported IDEA data;
    (c) Using the results of the Department's review of State-reported 
data to help States ensure that data are collected and reported from 
all programs providing special education and related services within 
the State;
    (d) Addressing personnel training needs by developing effective 
informational tools (e.g., training modules) and resources (e.g., 
cross-walk documents about IDEA and non-IDEA data elements) about data 
collection and reporting requirements that States can use to train 
personnel in schools, programs, agencies, and districts;
    (e) Supporting States in submitting data into EDFacts by 
coordinating with EDFacts TA providers (i.e., Partner Support Center; 
see www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/edfacts/support.html) about IDEA-
specific data reporting requirements and providing EDFacts reports and 
TA to States to help them improve the accuracy of their IDEA data 
submissions;
    (f) Improving IDEA data validation by using results from data 
reviews conducted by the Department to work with States to generate 
tools (e.g., templates of data dashboards) that can be used by States 
to accurately communicate data to local data-consumer groups (e.g., 
school boards, the general public) and lead to improvements in the 
validity and reliability of data required by IDEA; and
    (g) Using results from the Department's review of State-reported 
APR data to provide intensive and individualized TA to improve the 
accuracy of qualitative information provided in the APR about the 
State's efforts to improve its implementation of the requirements and 
purposes of IDEA, and to more accurately target its future improvement 
activities.
    The TA provided by the Data Center must be directed at all relevant 
parties within a State that can affect the quality of IDEA data and 
must not be limited to State special education or early intervention 
offices. The Data Center's TA must primarily target data issues 
identified through the Department's review of IDEA data. TA needs can 
also be identified by a State's review of IDEA data or other relevant 
means, but TA must be based on an identified need related to improving 
IDEA data accuracy or timeliness. Effectiveness of the Data Center's TA 
will be demonstrated through changes in a State's capacity to collect 
and report valid and reliable IDEA data and resolve identified data 
issues.
    Funding for the Data Center is authorized under section 611(c)(1) 
of the IDEA, which gives the Secretary the authority to reserve funds 
appropriated under section 611 of the IDEA to provide TA authorized 
under section 616(i) of the IDEA. Section 616(i) requires the Secretary 
to review the data collection and analysis capacity of States to ensure 
that data and information determined necessary for implementation of 
sections 616 and 618 of the IDEA are collected, analyzed, and 
accurately reported. It also requires the Secretary to provide TA, 
where needed, to improve the capacity of States to meet the data 
collection requirements under the IDEA.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this 
priority. Any project funded under this priority also must meet the 
programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the priority.
    Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its 
application--
    (a) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, 
activities, outputs, and outcomes of the project. A logic model 
communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides a 
framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the 
project;

    Note: The following Web site provides more information on logic 
models and lists multiple online resources: www.cdc.gov/eval/resources/index.htm;

    (b) A plan to implement the activities described in the Project 
Activities section of this priority;
    (c) A plan, linked to the project's logic model, for a formative 
evaluation of the 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 project, including 
objective measures of progress in implementing the project and ensuring 
the quality of products and services;
    (d) A budget for a summative evaluation to be conducted by an 
independent third party;
    (e) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting to be held in 
Washington, DC, 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;


[[Page 29243]]


    (2) A three-day project directors' conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period;
    (3) A three-day data conference up to twice each year in 
Washington, DC, and planned by the National Center for Education 
Statistics (NCES) for data professionals from all levels of government 
to discuss technical and policy issues related to the collection, 
maintenance, and use of education data, new evidence-based practices 
related to data, and Department initiatives about data collection and 
reporting, during each year of the project period;
    (4) A one-day intensive review meeting that will be held in 
Washington, DC, during the last half of the second year of the project 
period; and
    (5) Up to 36 days per year on-site at the Department to participate 
in meetings about IDEA data; meet with EDFacts staff, as appropriate; 
conduct conference sessions with program staff from States, LEAs, 
schools, EIS providers, and other local programs that contribute to the 
State data system to meet IDEA data collection requirements (e.g., NCES 
conferences); coordinate TA activities with other Department TA 
initiatives including, but not limited to, the Privacy TA Center (see 
www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/ptac/index.html), Statewide Longitudinal 
Database Systems TA (see http://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/), 
Implementation and Support Unit TA (see www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/implementation-support-unit/index.html), and EDFacts Partner Support 
Center (see www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/edfacts/support.html); and 
attend other meetings as requested by OSEP; and
    (f) A line item in the budget for an annual set-aside of four 
percent of the grant amount to support emerging needs that are 
consistent with the project's activities, as those needs are identified 
in consultation with OSEP.

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

    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, the 
Data Center, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:

Technology and Tools

    (a) Assist relevant parties in the State in the development of data 
validation procedures and tools; and
    (b) Assist States in creating or enhancing TA tools that build 
local staff capacity to accurately collect and report data under IDEA 
Parts B and C that is required to be reported to the Department and the 
public under sections 616 and 618 of the IDEA (e.g., reviewing current 
State training efforts and consulting with the SEA or State lead agency 
about materials and methods to improve efficiency or effectiveness of 
State training strategies); tools must be designed to improve the 
capacity of States to meet IDEA data requirements.

TA and Dissemination Activities

    (a) Provide TA to State data submitters and local data collectors 
on various data quality issues; topics must include summaries of data 
quality issues evident from data reviews that will be primarily 
conducted by the Department; as appropriate, technology should be used 
to convey information efficiently and effectively (e.g., webinars);
    (b) Develop an agenda for information sessions, which can be 
conducted at conferences or through webinars, specific to required IDEA 
data and submit the agenda for approval by OSEP. The purpose of the 
sessions is to ensure that State IDEA Data Managers have current 
knowledge and tools to collect, analyze, and accurately report IDEA 
data to the Department and gain new knowledge and tools that can be 
used to build data capacity at the local level;
    (c) Provide a range of general and targeted TA products and 
services \1\ on evidence-based practices that result in valid and 
reliable data and build the capacity of data collectors to collect 
valid and reliable data (e.g., State IDEA Data Manager training 
webinars for newly hired staff, white papers, technical briefs, review 
of data systems for usability improvements); all TA must improve the 
capacity of States to meet IDEA data requirements; all TA inquiries and 
responses must be recorded and be accessible to the OSEP project 
officer;
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    \1\ For information about universal/general, targeted/
specialized, and intensive/sustained TA, see https://tacc-epic.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/site/162/ConceptFrmwrkLModel%2BDefsAug2012.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIMS3GHWZEDKKDRDQ&Expires=1367515628&Signature=80%2FKA2BtZN3JjV1KS2ZIj1xUHhA%3D.
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    (d) Conduct approximately eight intensive on-site TA visits each 
year focused on improving the capacity of States to meet IDEA data 
requirements. Visits should be distributed among Part C and Part B 
programs based on need and consultation with OSEP. On-site TA visits 
should be coordinated with other Department on-site visits (e.g., 
EDFacts, OSEP monitoring), to the extent that coordination will lead to 
improvements in the collection, analysis, and accurate reporting of 
IDEA Part B data at the school, LEA, and State levels and of IDEA Part 
C data by EIS providers and at the EIS program and State levels. All 
intensive TA visits should include State IDEA Data Managers, EDFacts 
Coordinators (as appropriate), and other relevant State parties. TA 
activities should emphasize building staff or data system capacity at 
State and local levels. Intensive TA may include a broad range of 
activities to meet the needs of each State. For example, an intensive 
TA activity may include the review of the data systems used by the 
State to identify system usability improvements to increase data use 
and data quality. The TA visits may include local data collectors or 
reporters, such as representatives from local EIS providers, and must 
focus on: (1) Resolving an identified data validity issue or system 
capacity issue; (2) achieving measurable outcomes; and (3) ``mapping'' 
the relationship of the data validity issue or system capacity issue 
with other IDEA data elements that are likely to be affected by the 
data validity issue or system capacity issue;
    (e) Plan and conduct data analytic workshops for local data 
collectors and reporters, which can be conducted at conferences or 
through webinars, to improve the capacity of States to meet IDEA data 
collection requirements. The workshops must target interdisciplinary 
teams of professionals from a small group of LEAs or EIS providers from 
each participating State to analyze the validity of data about a 
targeted issue relevant to infants, toddlers, children, or students 
with disabilities (e.g., ensuring consistency in data reporting on 
outcomes in all local programs in the State) and lead to plans that can 
be used by the EIS providers or LEAs to improve their IDEA data 
collection and reporting, as well as inform State-level data quality 
initiatives;
    (f) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility and is targeted to local and 
State data collectors. TA material developed by the Data Center, 
including the results of analyses conducted to improve State capacity 
to collect and report IDEA data, may be posted on the Data Center site. 
Note that the Department will post IDEA section 618 data collection 
instructions (e.g., EDFacts file specifications) on www.ed.gov/edfacts 
and will publish IDEA section 618 data on a *.gov Web site (e.g., 
www.data.gov/education);
    (g) Support States in verifying the accuracy and completeness of 
IDEA data prior to submission to the Department

[[Page 29244]]

through activities such as data analyses, including ensuring that data 
are consistent with data about students with disabilities reported in 
other data collections (e.g., ensure that counts of students with 
disabilities reported to meet IDEA reporting requirements align 
appropriately with counts reported for other Federal programs); 
analytic activities must be linked to improving State capacity to meet 
the IDEA data collection requirements;
    (h) Solicit and compile State recommendations for automated data 
validation procedures that can be built into EDFacts to support States 
in submitting accurate data. Examples include business rules that would 
prevent States from submitting invalid data (e.g., greater than 100 
percent of assessment participants scoring proficient) and alerts that 
would ask the States to verify the accuracy of improbable data prior to 
completion of the submission (e.g., no data where non-zero counts are 
expected);
    (i) Prepare and disseminate topical reports, documents, and other 
materials that support States in meeting IDEA data collection and 
reporting requirements;
    (j) Develop guidance documents and tools for States to use to 
communicate with local data collectors and reporters about new or 
changing data requirements; the Data Center should communicate with 
States using current technology; and
    (k) Support States in meeting APR submission requirements, 
including by--
    (1) As needed, evaluating sampling plans developed by States to 
report APR data based on a sample of districts, schools, or EIS 
providers;
    (2) Evaluating the quality, accuracy, and validity of SPP and APR 
quantitative data; and
    (3) Using results from the Department's review of APR data to 
support States in their analyses of available data so that States can 
provide accurate qualitative information to the Department about their 
efforts to meet the requirements and purposes of the IDEA, and to more 
accurately target future improvement activities in their SPPs and APRs.

Leadership and Coordination Activities

    (a) Consult with representatives from State and local educational 
agencies and State Part C lead agencies and EIS providers; school or 
district administrators; IDEA data collectors; data system staff 
responsible for IDEA data quality; data system management or data 
governance staff; and other consumers of State-reported IDEA data and 
informed stakeholders, as appropriate, on TA needs of stakeholders as 
they relate to the activities and outcomes of the Data Center, and 
provide a list of these representatives to OSEP within eight weeks of 
receiving its grant award notice. For this purpose, the Data Center may 
convene meetings, whether in person, by phone, or other means, or may 
consult with people individually about the activities and outcomes of 
the Data Center;
    (b) Communicate and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with other 
Department-funded projects to: (1) Develop products to improve data 
collection capacity (e.g., What Works Clearinghouse); (2) support State 
monitoring of IDEA implementation through data use; and (3) develop and 
disseminate resources about data privacy issues (e.g., Privacy TA 
Center; see www.ed.gov/ptac); and
    (c) Maintain ongoing communication with the OSEP project officer.

Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project

    In deciding whether to continue funding the project for the fourth 
and fifth years, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 
75.253(a), and in addition--
    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of experts 
selected by the Secretary. This review will be conducted during a one-
day intensive meeting in Washington, DC, that will be held during the 
last half of the second year of the project period;
    (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) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the project's 
activities and products and the degree to which the project's 
activities and products have contributed to changed practice and 
improved State capacity to collect and report high-quality data 
required under sections 616 and 618 of the IDEA.

Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements. OSEP is under no 
obligation to make an award for this priority. The decision to make an 
award will be based on the quality of applications received and 
available funding.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through 
a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and, therefore, subject to 
the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866 defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely 
to result in a rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or 
tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive order.
    This final regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action 
subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.
    We have also reviewed this final regulatory action under Executive 
Order 13563, which supplements and

[[Page 29245]]

explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions 
governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To 
the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an 
agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practicable--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated 
behavioral changes.''
    We are issuing this final priority only on a reasoned determination 
that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among alternative 
regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net 
benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes 
that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in 
Executive Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and 
qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those 
resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as 
necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities. A 
Data Center funded under the priority established by this regulatory 
action will assist States in complying with Federal laws and 
regulations. Without this regulatory action, the burden of improving 
State capacity to collect, report, and analyze IDEA data would fall 
solely on the responsible State and local entities.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document 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 15, 2013.
Michael Yudin,
Delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-11971 Filed 5-17-13; 8:45 am]
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