[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 98 (Tuesday, May 21, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29733-29748]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-12083]



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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Promoting the Readiness of Minors in 
Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE)

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

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

    Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income 
(PROMISE)
    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2013.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.418P.


DATES: 
    Applications Available: May 21, 2013.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 20, 2013.
    Dates of Pre-Application Webinars: May 30, 2013 and June 4, 2013.
    Date of Pre-Application Teleconference: June 27, 2013. For further 
information about the pre-application webinars and teleconference, see 
the PROMISE Web site at www.ed.gov/promise.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 19, 2013.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: Promoting the Readiness of Minors in 
Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) is a joint initiative of the 
U.S. Department of Education (ED), the U.S. Social Security 
Administration (SSA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
(DHHS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Under PROMISE, ED will 
fund States to develop and implement model demonstration projects 
(MDPs) that promote positive outcomes for children who receive 
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and their families. Specifically, 
PROMISE is intended to improve the provision and coordination of 
services and supports for child SSI recipients and their families to 
enable them to achieve improved outcomes. These outcomes include 
graduating from high school ready for college and a career, completing 
postsecondary education and job training, and obtaining competitive 
employment in an integrated setting and, as a result, achieving long-
term reductions in the child recipients' reliance on SSI.
    Priority: We are establishing this priority for the FY 2013 grant 
competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the 
list of unfunded applicants from this competition, in accordance with 
section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 
U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
    Absolute Priority: This priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 
CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority. 
Applications submitted under this absolute priority may be from a 
single State or a multi-State consortium.\1\
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    \1\ Applicants are invited to form consortia consistent with the 
Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR 
75.127 through 75.129. A consortium is any combination of eligible 
entities. See the Eligibility Information section of this notice for 
further requirements for consortia.
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    This priority is:

 Promoting the Readiness of Minors in Supplemental Security Income 
(PROMISE)

Background
    The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for children 
provides cash payments to low-income families that have a child with a 
severe disability under SSA disability eligibility criteria. This 
means-tested cash payment is a vital source of income for families of 
children under the age of 18. To qualify for SSI, children and their 
families must meet income, asset, and disability eligibility criteria. 
To meet the SSI disability eligibility criteria, a child must have a 
medically determinable physical or mental impairment that results in 
marked and severe functional limitations, and that can be expected to 
result in death or that has lasted, or can be expected to last, for a 
continuous period of not less than 12 months (42 U.S.C. 1382(c)). In 
2011, SSA paid roughly $9.4 billion to 1.3 million children, an average 
monthly payment of $592 per child. In 2013, the maximum monthly SSI 
payment is $710 per child (www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/SSI.html ).
    Under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity 
Reconciliation Act of 1996, when they reach the age of 18, child SSI 
recipients must have their eligibility for SSI redetermined using more 
stringent adult eligibility criteria. Using the adult program rules, 
eligibility is based on the inability to perform substantial gainful 
activity (Hemmeter & Gilby, 2009).
    Approximately 60 percent of child SSI recipients receive SSI as 
adults (Hemmeter, Kauff, & Wittenburg, 2009). Of those who leave the 
program at age 18, either because they did not meet the adult SSI 
disability criteria or for other reasons, about one-fourth of the SSI 
recipients return to the program within four years (Hemmeter & Gilby, 
2009). The probability of remaining on SSI varies substantially among 
individuals and especially by the type and significance of impairment 
(Hemmeter, Kauff, & Wittenburg, 2009).
    Child SSI recipients who become adult SSI recipients continue to 
face many challenges. Rangarajan et al. (2009) report the following 
data (from 2000) for young adults, ages 19 to 23, receiving SSI 
payments:
     Low educational attainment rates: 39 percent did not have 
a high school diploma and were not currently attending school.
     Low employment rates: 22 percent were employed compared 
with 69 percent for all adults ages 20 to 24.
     Low postsecondary enrollment rates: 6 percent were 
enrolled in some form of postsecondary education after graduating from 
high school, compared with 41 percent of all youth ages 18 to 23.
     Low enrollment rates in vocational rehabilitation (VR): 
Only 13 percent had ever received services from a State VR agency.
     High arrest rates: Approximately one-fifth had been 
arrested, which is fairly consistent with other reports (e.g., Quinn, 
Rutherford, Leone, Osher, & Poirier, 2005) indicating that 30 to 50 
percent of all incarcerated youth have disabilities that could qualify 
them for support services, such as special education.
     High rates of disconnection overall: 57 percent were not 
enrolled in education programs, not receiving VR services, and not 
employed.
    Parents and other family members of child SSI recipients also face 
many challenges and are in need of support services. According to 
Davies, Rupp, and Wittenburg (2009), about one-third of the parents of 
child SSI recipients have less than a high school education, and almost 
half of child SSI recipients live in a household with at least one 
other person with a disability. There also is evidence that child SSI 
recipients and their families lack information about various work 
incentives available to them to help them pursue activities that would 
increase self-sufficiency (Fraker & Rangarajan, 2009; Loprest & 
Wittenburg, 2005).\2\
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    \2\ SSI programs include a number of employment support 
provisions commonly referred to as ``work incentives.'' Additional 
information about SSI work incentives is available at 
www.socialsecurity.gov/redbook/eng/ssi-only-employment-supports.htm#2.
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    The structure of services to help children with disabilities who 
are SSI recipients transition from school to

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postsecondary education and competitive employment may also be a 
barrier to achieving self-sufficiency and independence. Not all child 
SSI recipients receive transition support services as adults because 
many services, including VR and mental health services, are not 
entitlements (Hemmeter, Kauff, & Wittenburg, 2009). In addition, there 
are concerns about gaps (e.g., differing eligibility requirements and 
goals) in the coordination of transition support services provided by 
Federal, State, and local governments, as noted in a series of U.S. 
Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports over the past decade 
(GAO, 2003, 2008, 2012).
    To address these gaps and improve postsecondary education and 
employment outcomes for children with disabilities, there is a need to 
strengthen coordination among agencies through the development of 
interagency partnerships that integrate educational and employment 
services, supports, and resources. It is also essential to provide 
coordinated individual and family-centered interventions that use 
evidence-based transition support services (SSA, 2003). The Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that, beginning at age 
16, or younger if determined appropriate by the individualized 
education program (IEP) Team, a child with a disability, including 
child SSI recipients served under the IDEA, receive transition 
services, which are a coordinated set of activities to facilitate the 
child's movement from school to post-school activities.\3\ Transition 
services could include services available through the VR State Grants 
program, SSA's Ticket to Work Program and Work Incentives Program, 
Medicaid's care coordination services, Job Corps, and other Workforce 
Investment Act programs.
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    \3\ See 20 U.S.C. 1401(34) and 34 CFR 300.43; see also 20 U.S.C. 
1414(d)(1)(A)(i)(VIII) and 34 CFR 300.320(b).
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    Unfortunately, there is no strong evidence of the effectiveness of 
specific services for youth with disabilities who are transitioning 
from school to post-school activities. More research is needed to 
identify effective interventions, although there are some suggestive 
findings (Cobb et al., in review). For example, the National Survey of 
SSI Children and Families found that the probability of remaining on 
SSI was substantially lower for those who were employed prior to age 18 
(Hemmeter, Kauff, & Wittenburg, 2009). Other correlational studies 
suggest that better post-school outcomes for children with disabilities 
may be linked to the following: (1) Primary and secondary school 
activities such as inclusion in general education, exposure to career 
awareness and community activities, and education in skills such as 
self-awareness, self-advocacy, and independent living; (2) interagency 
collaboration; and (3) education and supports for the families, 
including ways to encourage parental participation in IEP Team 
meetings, financial and career planning courses, and transition plans 
for moving off of SSI (Test et al., 2009).
    To address these concerns about barriers, to encourage new ways of 
providing supports, and to build an evidence base on the effectiveness 
of promising interventions, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 
(P.L. 112-74) provided funds for activities aimed at improving the 
outcomes for child SSI recipients and their families. Specifically, the 
FY 2012 appropriation for Special Education included $2 million to 
support activities needed to plan and begin implementing PROMISE. In 
addition, the FY 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act allows the 
Secretary to use amounts that remain available subsequent to the 
reallotment of funds to States under the VR State Grants program 
pursuant to section 110(b) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended (Rehabilitation Act), for improving the outcomes of child SSI 
recipients and their families under PROMISE. These funds, which remain 
available for Federal obligation until September 30, 2013, will be used 
to support PROMISE grant awards and related activities.
    Children receiving payments under the SSI program need a continuum 
of coordinated services and supports to prepare for the transition to 
postsecondary education and competitive employment and to continue on a 
path to economic self-sufficiency. Through the PROMISE program, States 
will develop and implement MDPs that are designed to improve the 
educational and employment outcomes of child SSI recipients and their 
families, and SSA will evaluate these MDPs in order to help build an 
evidence base of practices that improve these outcomes.
    Based on our review of the available research, extensive public 
input, and consultation with experts, ED believes that effective 
partnerships among agencies responsible for programs that provide key 
services to child SSI recipients and their families will increase the 
likelihood of success of the PROMISE MDPs. Effective partnerships can 
improve the coordination of services, integrate multiple funding 
sources and other resources at the State and local levels, and enhance 
the ability of the State to effectively serve child SSI recipients and 
their families. We also believe that focusing on the needs of both 
children and their families will help further the long-term goal of 
independence and self-sufficiency for child SSI recipients. In 
particular, we are interested in testing whether initiating 
interventions with the child and family when the child is 14 to 16 
years of age will lead to better outcomes.
    For this reason, each PROMISE project must have several core 
features: (1) Strong and effective partnerships with agencies 
responsible for programs that play a key role in providing services to 
child SSI recipients and their families; (2) a plan to provide a set of 
coordinated services and supports, and implement effective practices, 
targeted to the needs of child SSI recipients and their families; and 
(3) the capacity to achieve results, including the capacity to 
implement the required project design and adhere to data collection 
protocols that allow for the testing and rigorous evaluation of the 
project.
    The first four months of the project period will be used for 
planning and finalizing all aspects of the MDP, such as establishing 
formal partnerships, securing memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with 
the lead coordinating entity as described in the Eligibility 
Information section of this notice, and collaborating with the national 
evaluator\4\ to plan for and initiate participant outreach and 
recruitment.
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    \4\ A national evaluator, funded under a contract with SSA, will 
conduct a rigorous evaluation using randomized controlled trials to 
determine the effectiveness of the projects at improving the 
outcomes of participating youth and reducing their dependence on 
SSI.
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    ED expects States, in developing their MDPs, to draw on their 
knowledge and experience in working with children and families with 
similar characteristics (i.e., those living in poverty and those with 
family members with disabilities), as well as on the relevant 
literature, to identify innovative methods of providing services and 
supports that show potential to improve the economic self-sufficiency 
of child SSI recipients and their families. In addition, based on the 
review of literature, input from non-Federal experts, and expertise of 
the Federal PROMISE partners, we have identified a small subset of 
services that each project will be required to provide. Furthermore, we 
have identified examples of other services and supports that we ask 
States to consider as they develop their MDPs (see Services and 
Supports under paragraph (b) of the Project Activities section of this 
notice).

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    ED and its Federal PROMISE partners intend to use the findings and 
results of these projects to inform public policy and to build an 
evidence base for improving postsecondary education and employment 
outcomes for child SSI recipients and their families.

References

Cobb, R.B., Lipscomb, S., Wolgemuth, J., Schulte, T., Veliquette, 
A., Alwell, M., Batchelder, K., Bernard, R., Hernandez, P., 
Holmquist-Johnson, H., Orsi, R., Sample McMeeking, L., Wang, J., and 
Weinberg, A. (in review). Improving Postsecondary Outcomes for 
Transition-Age Students with Disabilities: An Evidence Review. 
Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and 
Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. 
Department of Education.
Davies, P.S., Rupp, K., & Wittenburg, D. (2009). A life-cycle 
perspective on the transition to adulthood among children receiving 
Supplemental Security Income payments. Journal of Vocational 
Rehabilitation, 30, 133-151.
Fraker, T., & Rangarajan, A. (2009). The Social Security 
Administration's youth transition demonstration projects. Journal of 
Vocational Rehabilitation, 30, 223-240.
Hemmeter, J., & Gilby, E. (2009). The age-18 redetermination and 
postredetermination participation in SSI. Social Security Bulletin, 
69(4).
Hemmeter, J., Kauff, J., & Wittenburg, D. (2009). Changing 
circumstances: Experiences of child SSI recipients before and after 
their age-18 redetermination for adult benefits. Journal of 
Vocational Rehabilitation, 30, 201-221.
Loprest, P., & Wittenburg, D. (2005). Choices, Challenges, and 
Options: Child SSI Recipients Preparing for the Transition to Adult 
Life. Retrieved from The Urban Institute Web site: www.urban.org/url.cfm?ID=411168.
Quinn, M.M., Rutherford, R.B., Leone, P.E., Osher, D.M., & Poirier, 
J.M. (2005). Youth with disabilities in juvenile corrections: A 
national survey. Exceptional Children, 71, 339-345.
Rangarajan, A., Fraker, T., Honeycutt, T., Mamun, A., Martinez, J., 
O'Day, B., & Wittenburg, D. (2009). The Social Security 
Administration's Youth Transition Demonstration Projects: Evaluation 
Design Report. Available from www.mdrc.org/sites/default/files/full_576.pdf.
Social Security Administration (SSA). (2003). Youth Demonstration 
Request for Applications. Program: Cooperative Agreements for Youth 
Transition Process Demonstrations (Program Announcement No. SSA-
OPDR-03-01). Washington, DC.
Test, D.W., Mazzotti, V.L., Mustian, A.L., Fowler, C.H., Kortering, 
L.J., & Kohler, P.H. (2009). Evidence-based secondary transition 
predictors for improving post-school outcomes for students with 
disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 
160-181.
U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2003, July). Special 
education: Federal actions can assist States in improving 
postsecondary outcomes for youth (GAO-03-773). Washington, DC: 
Government Printing Office.
U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2008, May). Federal 
disability programs: More strategic coordination could help overcome 
challenges to needed transformation (GAO-08-635). Washington, DC: 
Government Printing Office.
U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2012, June). Supplemental 
Security Income: Better management oversight needed for children's 
benefits (GAO-12-497). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Priority

    The purpose of this priority is to fund three to six cooperative 
agreements for five years, to establish and operate State MDPs designed 
to improve the education and employment outcomes of child SSI 
recipients and their families, and eventually lead to increased 
economic self-sufficiency and a reduction in their dependence on SSI 
payments. At a minimum, the MDPs must--
    (a) Develop and implement interventions for child SSI recipients 
between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time the project services are 
initiated for them and their families. The MDP interventions should be 
based on the best available research evidence or data from State 
experience relating to coordinating, arranging, and providing services 
and supports for child SSI recipients and their families.
    The MDP interventions must be designed to meet PROMISE's goals (for 
both the children and their families), which include:
     Increased educational attainment for the child SSI 
recipients and their parents;
     Improved rates of employment, wages/earnings, and job 
retention for the child SSI recipients and their parents;
     Increased total household income; and
     Long-term reduction in SSI payments.
    (b) Establish partnerships (through subgrants subcontracts, 
memoranda of understanding, or other formal agreements) with State and 
local agencies and other entities to improve interagency collaboration 
in carrying out the MDP interventions and in developing innovative 
methods of providing services and supports that will lead to better 
outcomes for child SSI recipients and their families. For example, 
these methods could include better use of existing services, 
identification of gaps in services, and sharing resources, data, or 
other information so long as such sharing of data or information is 
permitted under any applicable Federal or State laws or regulations 
that protect the confidentiality or privacy of personally identifiable 
information or records;
    (c) Participate, and require any subgrantees or partners to 
participate, in collaboration with the national evaluator, in ongoing 
data collection and analysis, in a manner consistent with any 
applicable Federal or State laws or regulations that protect the 
confidentiality or privacy of personally identifiable information or 
records, both to determine the effectiveness of the MDP, including 
specific interventions, and to allow for mid-course corrections in the 
project as needed during the demonstration period, including by--
    (1) Cooperating with the national evaluator in the random 
assignment of eligible child participants and their families either to 
the group that receives the MDP interventions (treatment group) or to 
the group that does not receive the MDP interventions, but receives 
services they would ordinarily receive (control group), and in the 
collection of data for the evaluation as permitted under applicable 
Federal or State laws or regulations; and
    (2) Designing and implementing a plan for continually assessing the 
progress of the MDP interventions, for the purpose of ongoing program 
evaluation.
    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, the 
MDP, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:
(a) Partnerships
    (1) Establish a formal partnership with agencies and organizations 
in the State that play, or have the potential to play, a substantial 
role in the development and implementation of policies and practices 
affecting child SSI recipients and their families and in the provision 
of services and supports to those children and their families.
    (i) At a minimum, partners must include the State agencies or 
equivalents responsible for administering programs that provide the 
following services:
     State VR services under Title I of the Rehabilitation Act;
     Special education and related services under Part B of the 
IDEA;
     Workforce Development services under Title I of the 
Workforce Investment Act (WIA), including Youth

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Services described in the WIA (Section 129(c)(2));
     Medicaid services under Title XIX of the Social Security 
Act;
     Temporary Assistance for Needy Families under the Personal 
Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act;
     Developmental/intellectual disabilities services; and
     Mental health services.
    (ii) An applicant may propose a partnership that excludes a 
required State partner described in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section 
if the applicant provides a strong justification for doing so. A strong 
justification for excluding a required State partner would be if the 
applicant can provide the required services and supports and other 
proposed services and supports (described in Services and Supports 
under paragraph (b) of the Project Activities section of this notice) 
to the child participants and their families without the participation 
of the required partner. However, at least three of the required 
partners, including the lead coordinating entity, must participate in 
the partnership.
    (iii) In order to meet the requirements described in paragraph 
(a)(1)(i) or (a)(1)(ii) of this section, applicants may propose to 
include an established State-level interagency entity such as a State 
Transition Coordinating Council.
    (iv) Applicants may propose other partners that they believe would 
facilitate the success of the project, such as Employment Networks 
under the Ticket to Work Program, employers or employer organizations, 
community colleges, institutions of higher education, independent 
living centers, and agencies that administer or carry out adult 
education programs, career and technical education programs, and 
maternal and child welfare programs.
    (v) Applicants must establish procedures governing the exchange of 
information by the partners in accordance with any applicable Federal 
or State laws or regulations that protect the confidentiality or 
privacy of personally identifiable information or records. This 
includes establishing procedures to ensure that personally identifiable 
information from education records is exchanged among the partners in 
compliance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and 
Privacy Act (FERPA),\5\ 20 U.S.C. 1232g, and its implementing 
regulations in 34 CFR part 99, and the IDEA confidentiality of 
information provisions in 20 U.S.C. 1417(c) and 34 CFR 300.622, which 
protect the privacy of personally identifiable information in education 
records and generally require the prior consent of the parent or 
eligible student for the disclosure of such information to third 
parties, unless there is an exception that would permit the disclosure 
without consent.
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    \5\ Applicants must ensure the confidentiality of individual 
data, consistent with the requirements of FERPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232g, 
the confidentiality of information provisions in section 617(c) of 
the IDEA, and any other applicable Federal or State laws or 
regulations that protect the privacy or confidentiality of 
personally identifiable information or records. FERPA generally 
prohibits school districts and schools that receive Federal funds 
from the U.S. Department of Education from disclosing, without the 
prior written consent of a parent or an eligible student, personally 
identifiable information from education records. See 20 U.S.C. 1232g 
and 34 CFR 99.30. (An eligible student is a student who is 18 years 
of age or older or attends a postsecondary institution at any age). 
However, certain disclosures may occur, without the prior written 
consent of a parent or an eligible student, under one of FERPA's 
specific exceptions to the prior consent requirement. See 34 CFR 
99.31. In general and consistent with FERPA, IDEA's confidentiality 
of information provisions require prior written consent for 
disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in 
education records, unless a specific exception applies (20 U.S.C. 
1417(c) and 34 CFR 300.622). Questions about FERPA can be forwarded 
to the Family Policy Compliance Office (www.ed.gov/fpco) at (202) 
260-3887 or FERPA@ed.gov.
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(b) Services and Supports for Participants in the Treatment Group
    (1) Develop and implement interventions for child SSI recipients 
and their families that include a coordinated set of services and 
supports designed to improve the education and employment outcomes 
(described under Performance Measures in paragraph (c) of the 
Evaluation and Project Assessment Activities section of this notice) of 
child SSI recipients and their families. The MDP must also develop 
innovative methods of providing these services and supports, including 
coordinating and using resources available through existing programs or 
funding streams.
    In selecting the services and supports to be provided, the 
applicant must consider the best available information on promising 
strategies and practices, including, where available, evidence of the 
effectiveness of the proposed strategies and practices.
    (i) As a subset of the proposed services and supports, each MDP 
must provide or arrange for the following--
    (A) Case management: Each MDP must provide case management services 
for the duration of the project to ensure that services for the 
participating children and their families are appropriately planned and 
coordinated and to assist project participants in navigating through 
the services, supports, and benefits available from the larger service 
delivery system. Case management services must include, at a minimum:
    (1) Identifying, locating, and arranging for needed services and 
supports for the children and their families;
    (2) Coordinating services provided directly by the MDP with other 
services that are available in the larger service delivery system; and
    (3) Transition planning to assist the participating children in 
setting post-school goals and to facilitate their transition to an 
appropriate post-school setting, including postsecondary education, 
training, or competitive employment in an integrated setting. 
Transition planning must be conducted in coordination with the local 
educational agency \6\ and, as appropriate, with the consent of the 
parents or a child who has reached the age of majority under State law, 
with other agency partners, such as the VR agency, the State Medicaid 
Agency or other public insurance program, and workforce investment 
agencies;
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    \6\ Under the IDEA, beginning not later than the first IEP to be 
in effect when the child turns 16, or younger if determined 
appropriate by the IEP Team and updated annually thereafter, the IEP 
must include (1) appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based 
upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, 
education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living 
skills; and (2) the transition services (including courses of study) 
needed to assist the child in reaching those goals. 34 CFR 
300.320(b). These determinations are made through the IEP process in 
a meeting of the IEP Team. If a purpose of an IEP Team meeting is 
the consideration of the child's postsecondary goals and the 
transition services needed to assist the child in reaching those 
goals, the requirements in 34 CFR 300.321(b) apply to the 
participants at that meeting. Section 300.321(b)(3) provides that: 
To the extent appropriate, with the consent of the parents or a 
child who has reached the age of majority under State law, the 
public agency, a term that includes the local educational agency, 
must invite a representative of any participating agency that is 
likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition 
services.
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    (B) Benefits counseling and financial capability services: Each MDP 
must include ongoing training for the child participants and their 
families on SSA work incentives, eligibility requirements of various 
programs, earnings rules, asset accumulation, and financial literacy 
and planning;
    (C) Career and work-based learning experiences: At least one paid 
work experience in an integrated setting must be provided for children 
participating in the project before leaving high school. In addition, 
other skill development opportunities must be provided in an integrated 
setting, such as volunteering or participating in internships, 
community services, and on-the-job training experiences, including 
experiences designed to improve

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workplace basic skills (sometimes called ``soft skills''); and
    (D) Parent training and information: At a minimum, the project must 
provide information and training to the family of participating 
children with respect to:
    (1) The parents' role in supporting and advocating for their 
children's education and employment goals, including the importance of 
high expectations for their children's participation in education and 
competitive employment;
    (2) Resources for improving the education and employment outcomes 
of the parents and the economic self-sufficiency of the family, 
including through--
    (i) The acquisition of basic education, literacy, and job-readiness 
skills, and
    (ii) Job training and employment services.
    (ii) The MDPs also must provide, or arrange for the provision of, 
other services and supports designed, in combination with the required 
services, to improve education and employment outcomes for 
participating children and their parents. Examples of other services 
include:
    (A) Youth development activities: Examples include training in job-
seeking skills, life skills, independent living skills, self-advocacy, 
self-determination, and conflict resolution; exposure to personal 
leadership development and mentoring opportunities; and exposure to 
post-school supports through structured arrangements with postsecondary 
education programs and adult service agencies;
    (B) Career development/preparatory activities: Examples include 
career assessments to help identify career preferences, interests, and 
skills; career counseling and exploration, including structured 
exposure to postsecondary education and other life-long learning 
opportunities; exposure to career opportunities that ultimately lead to 
a living wage; and information about educational requirements, entry 
requirements, and income and benefits potential;
    (iii) Extended and experiential learning opportunities in 
integrated settings;
    (iv) Job search and job placement assistance, job development, and 
post-placement employment supports;
    (v) Activities designed to engage employers in providing work 
experiences and in employing participants of the project;
    (vi) Health and behavioral management and wellness services, 
including transition to adult services;
    (vii) Literacy training;
    (viii) Training in the use of technology and assistive technology 
services and devices, including the use of assistive technology for 
education, training, and employment purposes; and
    (ix) Independent living activities such as assistance in locating 
and obtaining housing, health care, and personal attendant services; 
transportation training and subsidies; child care services; and other 
community supports.
(c) Participant Outreach and Recruitment
    Within two years of the initiation of the project:
    (1) Plan for and conduct outreach and recruitment activities (such 
activities may include mailings, phone calls, informational meetings at 
State or local agencies or schools, home visits, and other efforts 
targeted to this population); \7\
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    \7\ To assist in these efforts, SSA will, upon completion of an 
MOU between SSA and the State, provide a list of child SSI 
recipients and the available contact information in order to assist 
each funded project in identifying potential participants.
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    (2) Obtain consent for the participation of a minimum of 2,000 
child SSI recipients;
    (3) Initiate services to participants in the treatment group who 
must be between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time that project services 
are initiated; and
    (4) As part of the plan for outreach and recruitment, prepare and 
provide potential participants with a recruitment packet that 
includes--
    (i) A description of the full scope of the project and the goals 
and objectives of the project with respect to participant outcomes and 
evaluation activities, including the use of random assignment to 
determine who will receive MDP interventions, and an explanation of 
what will be expected of the control group members (e.g., participation 
in surveys at 18 months, and potentially 60 months after random 
assignment);
    (ii) An MDP enrollment form developed by the national evaluator 
that includes sufficient demographic and other information to classify 
the participants into subgroups for further analysis; and
    (iii) A written consent form to participate in the project for the 
parent and, if applicable, the child, that will be developed jointly by 
the MDP and the national evaluator. As part of the consent, the project 
requirements must be fully explained to the parent and, if appropriate, 
to the child. If appropriate, a child who has reached the age of 
majority under State law must sign the consent form. The consent form 
must obtain from the parent or child, if appropriate, written consent 
to participate in the program and to permit the disclosure of 
personally identifiable information from relevant, privacy-protected 
records either to the national evaluator or to the project partners in 
order for them to share data needed to carry out project activities.
    All outreach and recruitment materials and forms must be developed 
and provided in accessible formats for individuals with disabilities, 
using jargon-free, easily comprehended language, and provided in the 
family's native language or through another mode of communication, 
unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.
(d) Technical Assistance and Training
    (1) Provide or arrange for the provision of technical assistance, 
professional development, and training for State and local staff who 
will carry out project and evaluation activities to ensure that the 
interventions are implemented in accordance with the MDP design and the 
needs of the national evaluation. At a minimum, the MDP must provide 
for the following:
    (i) Development of all necessary information and materials about 
the MDP interventions and project assessments, including the roles and 
responsibilities of all partners and staff at the State and local 
levels;
    (ii) Twice-a-year meetings in which local site staff are required 
to participate and for which their participation is supported with 
project funds. For single State applicants, conduct these meetings 
either at the location of the lead coordinating entity or at a central 
location in the State. For consortia, conduct these meetings at a 
mutually agreeable location. The types of professional development and 
training to carry out the MDP interventions will be determined by the 
lead coordinating entity, its partners, and ED. The professional 
development will be provided by personnel from those entities or other 
experts. One or more sessions at the semi-annual meetings will be led 
by the national evaluator in order to train appropriate State and local 
staff on the evaluation requirements, including the random assignment 
and data collection processes consistent with any applicable Federal or 
State laws or regulations that protect the privacy or confidentiality 
of any relevant data. The first semi-annual meeting must occur early in 
the first year of the project before random assignment begins; and
    (iii) Other ongoing technical assistance that the lead coordinating 
entity and its partners, including the

[[Page 29738]]

national evaluator, determine is necessary for fidelity of 
implementation of the MDP interventions and the evaluation and project 
assessment activities.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ ED and SSA plan to fund technical assistance to PROMISE 
projects on program implementation, data collection, and evaluation 
fidelity. Projects should provide or arrange for technical 
assistance beyond what will be funded by ED and SSA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Evaluation and Project Assessment Activities. Each MDP must be 
designed to show progress in the key outcome measures to be evaluated 
under the PROMISE initiative (described in the Performance Measures 
under paragraph (c) of the Evaluation and Project Assessment Activities 
section of this notice), as well as the other outcomes that a project 
proposes to measure. To meet the requirements of this priority, each 
MDP, at a minimum, must participate in the following activities.
 (a) Rigorous Program Evaluation
    (1) SSA, in collaboration with ED, will conduct a rigorous 
evaluation of the PROMISE program using a randomized controlled trial 
design for each project to obtain evidence of the effectiveness of the 
MDP interventions carried out under the PROMISE program. MDPs and their 
designated partners at the State and local levels must:
    (i) Agree to allow random assignment to determine which half of the 
at least 2,000 children and their families recruited for the project 
will receive the MDP interventions (treatment group) and which half of 
the children and families will receive the services they ordinarily 
would receive and will not receive the MDP interventions (control 
group);
    (ii) Ensure that State or local site staff, wherever MDP enrollment 
forms are being collected, assist in the random assignment process. 
Staff will be required to provide information from each child's 
enrollment form (e.g., name, Social Security number, gender, 
disability, age) to the national evaluator through a secure Web-based 
random assignment system or a secure phone system. The Web or phone 
systems will be developed by the national evaluator. After staff 
provide the data items that are necessary to conduct the random 
assignment, the results of the random assignment will be made available 
to the project staff;
    (iii) Ensure that State or local staff communicate the results of 
the random assignment (i.e., whether the participants have been 
assigned to the treatment group or the control group) to the child SSI 
recipients and their families;
    (iv) Provide the MDP interventions only to the children and their 
families assigned to the treatment group; and
    (v) Require State and local staff involved in the random assignment 
process to receive training from the national evaluator at the 
technical assistance and training meetings (described in paragraph 
(d)(1) of the Technical Assistance and Training section of this notice) 
arranged by the State.
 (b) Formative Evaluation
    (1) Each MDP must develop and implement a plan for conducting a 
formative evaluation of the project's activities and model, consistent 
with the proposed logic model and data collection plan, to assess the 
project's performance and progress in achieving its goals and inform 
decision making (as outlined in paragraph (j) in the Application 
Requirements section of this notice).
(c) Performance Measures
    (1) Each project must be designed to track its progress on the key 
outcomes to be evaluated under the PROMISE program as well as the other 
outcomes that a project proposes to measure.
    (2) In collaboration with the national evaluator, the performance 
of the PROMISE program will be assessed on the basis of established key 
outcome measures for participating child SSI recipients and their 
families, as reflected in the goals of the program provided in the 
priority:
    (i) Increased educational attainment (high school completion, 
diploma or equivalent) and enrollment and persistence in postsecondary 
education or training by child SSI recipients and their parents;
    (ii) Increased number of individuals, including both child SSI 
recipients and their parents, earning credentials after high school 
(e.g., postsecondary degree, technical certification, occupational 
licensure, or other industry-recognized credential);
    (iii) Improved employment outcomes (e.g., competitive employment 
and increased earnings, number of hours worked per week, job retention) 
for child SSI recipients and their parents;
    (iv) Reduced use of public benefits provided to the individual or 
family (e.g., cash benefits and other benefits with directly measurable 
economic value);
    (v) Increased total gross income of all the members of a household 
who are 15 years old and older (included in the total are amounts 
reported separately for wage or salary income; net self-employment 
income; interest, dividends, or net rental or royalty income or income 
from estates and trusts; Social Security or Railroad Retirement income; 
Supplemental Security Income; public assistance or welfare payments; 
retirement, survivor, or disability pensions; and all other income); 
and
    (vi) Post-program reduction in SSI payments as a result of 
participation in the MDP (i.e., amounts paid to children and their 
families who participate in the MDP interventions are expected to be 
less than amounts paid to participants randomly assigned to receive 
services they typically receive).
    (3) In addition to the key program outcome measures, each MDP must 
develop project measures that assess the project's performance in 
achieving its goals consistent with the purpose of the priority and the 
project's logic model.
    (i) The set of project measures must include interim measures that 
assess the progress toward achieving the project's outcomes, including 
the attainment of milestones and benchmarks consistent with the logic 
model. For example, the applicant may consider measures related to 
school attendance, project attrition, work experiences, enrollment in 
education or workforce development programs, or the use of partner-
provided services for which the child participants and their families 
are eligible.
    (ii) The MDP must report progress and performance on its measures 
at least quarterly to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 
and the national evaluator and use this information to inform decision 
making consistent with any applicable Federal or State laws or 
regulations that protect the privacy or confidentiality of any 
personally identifiable information or records.
(d) Data Collection
    (1) Each MDP must develop and implement a plan for collecting data 
and for cooperating with the national evaluator in its efforts to 
obtain data and other information on the MDP. The plan must be designed 
to ensure that the MDP will:
    (i) Assist in collecting baseline (pre-program) data using the MDP 
enrollment form provided by the national evaluator;
    (ii) Require project partners and staff at the State and local 
levels to cooperate with the national evaluator's efforts to obtain 
descriptive information on project implementation such as through 
surveys, focus groups, or other methods.
    (iii) Have the capacity to track and manage project information, 
such as referrals and service participation, and document the services 
and supports

[[Page 29739]]

received by the child participants and their families.
    (iv) Ensure the State administrative data collected by various 
State agency PROMISE partners are shared with the national evaluator, 
subject to obtaining required consent under FERPA and the IDEA 
confidentiality of information provisions and any other applicable 
Federal or State laws or regulations that protect the privacy or 
confidentiality of personally identifiable information or records. 
These State data may include information related to services provided, 
interim and long-term outcomes, and project progress and performance. 
Examples of State administrative data include education records 
maintained by a State educational agency through its statewide 
longitudinal data system (e.g., transcripts, State assessment data, 
attendance records, high school completion data, postsecondary 
enrollment information), employment and earnings information obtained 
through the State Unemployment Insurance system, service data collected 
by the State VR system, and health records maintained by the State 
Medicaid office;
    (v) Collect data to evaluate the performance of the MDP on the key 
outcome measures (described in the Performance Measures under paragraph 
(c)(1) of the Evaluation and Project Assessment Activities section of 
this notice), and develop and implement a process to identify and 
collect the data needed to support project measures that assess the 
MDP's progress and performance, including by making data available from 
its statewide longitudinal data system(s); and
    (vi) Use unique program identifiers that can be matched to various 
data systems.
    Other Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this 
priority, each MDP, at a minimum, must conduct the following 
activities:
    (a) Maintain ongoing telephone and email communication with the 
OSEP project officer;
    (b) Maintain detailed documentation sufficient for model 
replication purposes, should the model be successful, including the 
sources of support for services to participants (other than direct 
project funds) such as services provided through existing State and 
local programs;
    (c) Communicate and collaborate on an ongoing basis with other 
federally funded projects, including other MDPs funded under this 
priority, to share information on successful strategies and 
implementation challenges regarding the coordination of services and 
supports for child SSI recipients and their families. ED will encourage 
ED-funded projects to cooperate with, and provide technical assistance 
to, PROMISE MDPs when appropriate. The following are examples of 
federally funded technical assistance centers and projects the MDPs are 
encouraged to contact: The National Dropout Prevention Center for 
Students with Disabilities (www.ndpc-sd.org), National Secondary 
Transition Technical Assistance Center (www.nsttac.org), State 
Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-based Practices Center 
(http://sisep.fpg.unc.edu), Postsecondary Education Programs Network 
(www.pepnet.org), IDEA Partnership (www.ideapartnership.org), National 
and Regional Parent TA Centers (www.parentcenternetwork.org), Parent 
Training and Information Centers and Community Parent Resource Centers 
(www.parentcenternetwork.org), Independent Living Research and 
Utilization Project (www.ilru.org), National Collaborative on Workforce 
and Disability for Youth (www.ncwd-youth.info), Rehabilitation Research 
and Training Centers (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/rrtc/index.html), The 
National Technical Assistance Center for Children's Mental Health 
(http://gucchdtacenter.georgetown.edu), The Solutions Desk on Helping 
Youth Transition (www.syvsd.ou.edu), Healthy & Ready to Work National 
Resource Center (www.syntiro.org/hrtw), TA Partnership for Child and 
Family Mental Health (www.tapartnership.org), and the National Center 
for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention 
(www.promoteprevent.org);
    (d) Maintain contact and cooperate with the national evaluator 
throughout the project period and for one year after the close of the 
project for follow-up data collection and other needs; and
    (e) Contribute relevant MDP information to a central PROMISE Web 
site that OSEP will make available.
    Application Requirements. To be considered for funding under this 
absolute priority, an applicant must include in its application--
    (a) A description of the proposed project, including the 
applicant's plan for implementing the project. The description must 
include--
    (1) A cohesive, articulated model of partnership and coordination 
among the participating agencies and organizations;
    (2) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, 
activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project. The logic 
model must specify the contributions of each partner to the activities, 
outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project. A logic model 
communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides a 
framework for the formative evaluation of the project;

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

    (3) A timeline for implementing the model and achieving project 
milestones and outcomes consistent with the logic model and the 
requirements of this priority.
    (b) A description of the coordinated set of required and other 
services and supports that the project proposes to provide to the 
participating children and their families in order to meet the 
project's objectives. The description must describe how the services 
and supports, including the four required services and other services 
chosen by the project, will be provided, including whether the project 
will provide the services directly or will arrange for the services to 
be provided through its partners or other entities (described in 
Services and Supports under paragraph (b) of the Project Activities 
section of this notice).
    (c) A detailed description of any evidence that the services and 
supports proposed by the applicant have been implemented previously 
with the targeted populations of child SSI recipients and their 
families, or similar populations, albeit on a limited scale or in a 
limited setting, and have yielded promising results that suggest that 
more formal and systematic study is warranted. An applicant must 
provide a rationale for the coordinated set of services or supports 
that is based on research findings or reasonable hypotheses, including 
related research or theories in education and other disciplines.
    (d) A detailed description of the project's proposed partners 
(including required partners described in paragraph (a)(1) of the 
Project Activities section of this notice) that will play a key role in 
coordinating services and implementing the interventions in the 
proposed model, including a description of--
    (1) The proposed partners' roles and responsibilities under the 
project;
    (2) The proposed partners' commitment to the project, including 
letters of intent from all proposed partners to enter into an MOU with 
the lead coordinating entity as described in the Eligibility 
Information section of this notice;

[[Page 29740]]

    (3) The plan to coordinate services among partner agencies and 
other entities to ensure that project resources are used efficiently 
and effectively; and
    (4) The justification to exclude a required State partner, if 
applicable.
    (e) A description of the proposed outreach and recruitment plan, 
including--
    (1) The methods for ensuring that, within two years of the start of 
the MDP, the project will obtain consent from at least 2,000 child SSI 
recipients who will be between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time that 
project services are initiated, and their families.
    (2) An assurance that the applicant will secure a signed written 
consent to participate in the project from the parent or, if 
applicable, the child; that the consent form will be provided to the 
parent and the child in an accessible format; and that, as part of the 
consent, project requirements will be fully explained to the parent and 
child, including that participation in the program is voluntary on the 
part of the child and family (described in Participant Outreach and 
Recruitment under paragraph (c) of the Project Activities section of 
this notice). The MDP must also obtain any necessary written consent 
from the parent or, if applicable, the child for the disclosure of 
personally identifiable information from relevant records, consistent 
with FERPA, the IDEA confidentiality of information provisions, and any 
other applicable Federal or State laws or regulations that protect the 
privacy or confidentiality of personally identifiable information or 
records, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability 
Act, which contains specific privacy and security rules protecting 
health information. In addition, under the State VR Services Program, 
the requirements in 34 CFR 361.38 (protection, use, and release of 
personal information) would apply to any records of participants in 
that VR Services program.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 34 CFR 361.38(e)(1) provides: Upon receiving the informed 
written consent of the individual or, if appropriate, the 
individual's representative, the State unit may release personal 
information to another agency or organization for its program 
purposes only to the extent that the information may be released to 
the involved individual or the individual's representative and only 
to the extent that the other agency or organization demonstrates 
that the information requested is necessary for its program.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (f) A description of the applicant's commitment to work with ED, 
SSA, and the national evaluator for PROMISE to ensure that random 
assignment and data collection are completed in a manner that supports 
ED's and SSA's efforts to conduct a rigorous national evaluation of the 
PROMISE program and the specific interventions and strategies 
implemented by individual grantees. The application must include an 
assurance that--
    (1) Project staff will assist with the random assignment of 
recruited children and their families; and
    (2) Through MOUs with partners and other participating entities, 
the national evaluator, ED, and SSA will be provided access to relevant 
program and project data (e.g., administrative data and program and 
project performance data) and that, if requested, ED and SSA will be 
provided data quarterly.
    (g) An assurance that the applicant will provide or arrange for the 
provision of technical assistance and training to ensure consistency in 
the implementation and evaluation of the MDP, including the fidelity of 
implementation of the MDP interventions (described in Technical 
Assistance and Training under paragraph (d) of the Project Activities 
section of this notice).
    (h) A description of the performance measures (and performance 
targets), including interim measures, the MDP will use to assess its 
performance and progress toward achieving its goals, consistent with 
the logic model and the formative evaluation plan.
    (i) A description of the data collection plan that--
    (1) Outlines the process for assessing, collecting, and sharing 
project data and other information among the collaborating partners and 
the national evaluator (described in Data Collection in paragraph (d) 
of the Evaluation and Project Assessment Activities section of this 
notice), in a manner consistent with any Federal or State laws or 
regulations that protect the confidentiality or privacy of personally 
identifiable information or records; and
    (2) Identifies the systems or tools that will be used for storing, 
managing, analyzing, and reporting data, including a description of the 
applicant's capacity to track and manage project information (e.g., 
referrals and service participation) and document the services and 
supports received by the children and their families, and for the 
partners or other participating entities to communicate about, and 
collaborate on, the MDP's services, processes, and data collection 
plan.
    (j) A description of the applicant's plan, consistent with the 
proposed logic model and data collection plan, for conducting a 
formative evaluation of the proposed project's activities and model, 
including--
    (1) The data to be periodically collected for the formative 
evaluation, including data related to the fidelity of implementation, 
stakeholder acceptability, and descriptions of the site context;
    (2) The methods the applicant will use to collect these data;
    (3) How these data will be reviewed by the project, when they will 
be reviewed (consistent with the timeline required in paragraph (a)(3) 
of the Application Requirements section of this notice), and how they 
will be used during the course of the project to adjust the model or 
its implementation to increase the model's usefulness, 
generalizability, and potential for sustainability; and
    (4) 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.
    (k) A plan 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 to be held in Washington, DC, with the OSEP project officer 
during each subsequent year of the project period.

    Note:  Within 30 days of the 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) Three, two-day trips annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP; and
    (4) A one-day intensive review meeting in Washington, DC, that will 
be held during the last half of the third year of the project period.

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 
second half of the third year of the project period;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the negotiated cooperative agreement have

[[Page 29741]]

been or are being met by the project including successfully obtaining 
consent from at least 2,000 child SSI recipients and their families;
    (c) The number of child SSI recipients and their families still 
being served and the duration of their participation in project 
services; and
    (d) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the project's 
activities and products; the degree to which the project's activities 
and products are aligned with the project's objectives; and the 
likelihood that current performance and progress will result in the 
project achieving its proposed outcomes.

Waivers

    Applicants may apply for waivers that are currently authorized 
under existing Federal programs if the applicant believes having one or 
more waivers would enable the applicant to achieve better outcomes for 
the project participants. Applicants may request waivers under 
authorities administered by any of the Federal agencies participating 
in this interagency initiative--ED, DOL, DHHS, and SSA. Applicants 
seeking waivers must apply directly to the agency that administers the 
relevant waiver authority. However, to assist us in ensuring that the 
effect on PROMISE projects is carefully considered in processing any 
waiver request, we are asking applicants to submit to the Department of 
Education an explanation of the waivers the applicant is requesting, 
why the applicant believes the waivers are needed for the PROMISE 
project, and how project outcomes might be enhanced with the approval 
of such waivers. The applicant should not refer to the requested 
waivers in its application narrative for PROMISE. The waiver content 
will not be considered as part of the application scoring process. The 
approval of any requested waivers will be at the sole discretion of the 
relevant Federal agency. For example, waivers of SSA program rules will 
be approved or denied by SSA. For further information about waivers see 
www.ed.gov/promise. Information on waivers requested by the applicant 
should be sent by August 19, 2013 as an email attachment to Corinne 
Weidenthal at corinne.weidenthal@ed.gov.
    Within this absolute priority, we are particularly interested in 
applications that address the following invitational priority.

Invitational Priority

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets 
this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over 
other applications.
    This priority is:
    Outcome-Based Payments. The Secretary is especially interested in 
applicants that propose to incorporate into their PROMISE MDPs an 
Outcome-based Payment (OBP) model that ties payments to service 
providers to the achievement of outcomes or established milestones.
    Although the OBP model is distinct from the fee-for-service payment 
model, the OBP model has been used in the health-care arena to offer 
financial rewards to providers that achieve, improve, or exceed their 
performance on specified quality, cost, and other benchmarks. Under an 
OBP arrangement, providers are rewarded for meeting pre-established 
targets for delivery of services, thus creating an incentive to meet 
performance objectives. However, for OBP arrangements to be effective, 
all the factors that affect performance must be considered including: 
Motivation, skills, an understanding of the goals, and the ability to 
measure progress. For example, one type of OBP model is performance-
based contracting. Performance-based contracts typically:
     Emphasize results related to output, quality, and outcomes 
rather than how the work is performed;
     Specify deliverables, measurable performance standards, 
and clearly defined objectives and timeframes;
     Use quality assurance plans;
     Provide performance incentives and consequences for 
nonperformance; and
     Tie payment to deliverables, performance measures, and 
outcomes.
    In inviting OBP models, ED is interested in demonstrating how 
payment models can help achieve positive outcomes for child SSI 
recipients and their families, consistent with those identified in the 
absolute priority. ED's objectives in establishing this OBP 
invitational priority are to:
     Test a model that limits at least part of the risk of 
government funding for unachieved outcomes by clearly defining 
performance-based consequences (rewards or sanctions) for service 
providers.
     Learn whether the OBP concept is feasible in this arena 
given the complexity of needs and number of agencies involved in 
serving child SSI recipients and their families.
     Determine whether paying only for specific outcomes 
achieved at predetermined milestones within the project period creates 
an incentive structure that promotes the achievement of PROMISE's 
goals.
    Applicants that address this invitational priority must include a 
plan for implementing the OBP model during the project. The plan must 
describe a validation methodology and a payment plan that (a) is 
derived from quantifiable data and (b) measures performance against 
outcome targets for the target population relative to a well-defined 
comparison population. The applicant must describe the terms of the 
payment arrangement between the applicant and the provider, including 
the agreed performance milestones and targeted outcomes and the 
payments due upon their achievement.
    For more information, see the following Web site: http://www.mass.gov/chia/docs/pc/2009-02-13-pay-for-performance-c3.pdf.

Definitions

Background
    The following definitions are provided to ensure that applicants 
have a clear understanding of how we are using these terms in the 
priority. These definitions apply in any year in which this program is 
in effect. These definitions are based on definitions that ED uses or 
relies on in other contexts.
    Competitive employment means work:
    (a) In the competitive labor market that is performed on a full-
time or part-time basis in an integrated setting; and
    (b) For which an individual is compensated at or above the minimum 
wage, but not less than the customary wage and level of benefits paid 
by the employer for the same or similar work performed by individuals 
who are not disabled.
    Source: State Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program, 34 CFR 
361.5(b)(11).
    Education records means those records that are directly related to 
a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution or by 
a party acting for the agency or institution. Source: FERPA (20 U.S.C. 
1232g(a)(4)(A)) and the FERPA regulations at 34 CFR 99.3 (definition of 
``Education records.'')
    Experiential learning means learning through experience. The 
individual is encouraged to be directly involved in the experience and 
then reflect on the experience using analytic skills, in order to gain 
a better understanding of the new knowledge and retain the information. 
For further information: www.infed.org/biblio/b-explrn.htm.
    Extended learning opportunities (ELOs) means safe, structured 
learning environments for students outside the traditional school day. 
ELOs include after-school, before-school, evening,

[[Page 29742]]

weekend, and summer learning programs. ELOs come in many forms and can 
include tutoring, volunteering, academic support, community service, 
organized sports, homework help, and art and music programs. Source: 
www.ccsso.org/Documents/2009/The_Quality_Imperative_a_2009.pdf.
    Families includes a wide range of relationships, including spouse, 
parents, parents-in-law, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, 
grandchildren, stepparents, stepchildren, foster parents, foster 
children, guardianship relationships, same-sex and opposite-sex 
domestic partners, and spouses or domestic partners of the 
aforementioned, as applicable. Source: www.opm.gov/oca/leave/html/FamilyDefs.asp.
    Fidelity of implementation means the accurate and consistent 
delivery of the intervention in the way in which it was designed to be 
delivered. Source: www.nrcld.org/rti_manual/pages/RTIManualSection4.
    Integrated setting, as used in the context of education or 
employment, means a setting typically found in the community in which 
individuals with disabilities interact with non-disabled individuals, 
other than non-disabled individuals who are providing services to such 
individuals, to the same extent that non-disabled individuals in 
comparable positions interact with other persons. Source: State 
Vocational Rehabilitation Services Program, 34 CFR 361.5(b)(33)(ii).
    Logic model means a well-specified conceptual framework that 
identifies key components of the proposed project, practice, strategy, 
or intervention (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are hypothesized 
to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the 
relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and 
operationally. For further information: www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html; and www.tadnet.org/pages/589.
    Parent means (from 34 CFR 300.30):
    (a) Parent means--
    (1) A biological or adoptive parent of a child;
    (2) A foster parent, unless State law, regulations, or contractual 
obligations with a State or local entity prohibit a foster parent from 
acting as a parent;
    (3) A guardian generally authorized to act as the child's parent, 
or authorized to make educational decisions for the child (but not the 
State if the child is a ward of the State);
    (4) An individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive 
parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with 
whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for 
the child's welfare; or
    (5) A surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with 
section 300.519 or section 639(a)(5) of the Act.
    (b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the 
biological or adoptive parent, when attempting to act as the parent 
under this part and when more than one party is qualified under 
paragraph (a) of this section to act as a parent, must be presumed to 
be the parent for purposes of this section unless the biological or 
adoptive parent does not have legal authority to make educational 
decisions for the child.
    (2) If a judicial decree or order identifies a specific person or 
persons under paragraphs (a)(1) through (4) of this section to act as 
the ``parent'' of a child or to make educational decisions on behalf of 
a child, then such person or persons shall be determined to be the 
``parent'' for purposes of this section.
    Source: 34 CFR 300.30 of the IDEA regulations.
    Personally identifiable information includes, but is not limited 
to, the following--
    (a) The student's name;
    (b) The name of the student's parent or other family members;
    (c) The address of the student or student's family;
    (d) A personal identifier, such as the student's Social Security 
number, student number, or biometric record;
    (e) Other indirect identifiers, such as the student's date of 
birth, place of birth, and mother's maiden name;
    (f) Other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or 
linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in 
the school community, who does not have personal knowledge of the 
relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable 
certainty; or
    (g) Information requested by a person who the educational agency or 
institution reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to 
whom the education record relates.
    Source: 34 CFR 99.3 of the FERPA regulations; see also 34 CFR 
300.32 of the IDEA regulations.
    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (5 U.S.C. 553), ED generally offers interested parties the 
opportunity to comment on proposed priorities, definitions, 
requirements, and selection criteria. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 
however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements 
regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or 
substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant 
competition for this initiative, as authorized under the Fiscal Year 
2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act, and therefore qualifies for this 
exemption. Due to the extensive public input received in the 
development of this priority, and in order to ensure timely grant 
awards, the Secretary has decided to forego formal public comment on 
the priority, definitions, requirements, and selection criteria under 
section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. The Secretary has gathered input on the 
priority, definitions, requirements, and selection criteria through a 
public input notice, which is posted on the following Web site: 
www.ed.gov/promise. The priority, definitions, requirements, and 
selection criteria will apply to the FY 2013 grant competition and any 
subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded 
applicants from this competition.

    Program Authority: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Pub. 
L. 112-74).

    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.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: $100,000,000. Dependent upon the number 
of awards that are made, these funds would largely be used to support 
years one and two, and possibly year three, of PROMISE project 
activities.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $22,500,000-$50,000,000 for 5 years.
    Estimated Average Award Size: $37,500,000 for 5 years.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 3 to 6. Contingent upon the quality of 
applications, the Secretary will make an award to at least one 
consortium applicant in this competition.
    Maximum Award: $50,000,000 for 5 years. We will not consider any 
application that proposes an award size for a project period of up to 
60 months exceeding an annual average of $6,500 per child SSI recipient 
and his or her family served. Therefore, an applicant proposing to 
serve the minimum treatment group size of 1,000 child SSI recipients 
and their families for five years may request an annual average funding 
level of up to $6,500 per child and his or her family, which 
corresponds to a five-year award of up to $32,500,000.

[[Page 29743]]

    An applicant requesting the maximum award of $50,000,000 must 
propose to serve at least 1,539 child SSI recipients and their families 
in the treatment group for a five year project period. Projects may 
spend more than $6,500 per year to serve a particular child and his or 
her family during the operation of the project. Projects may also 
propose a funding level for a single 12-month budget period that 
exceeds $6,500 per child and his or her family served. However, the 
average annual funding level for all of the project's budget periods 
may not exceed $6,500 per child SSI recipient and his or her family 
served. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice 
published in the Federal Register.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months. Grants awarded under this 
competition may be for a project period of up to five years. Depending 
on the availability of funds, the Department will make continuation 
awards for years two and three of the project period in accordance with 
section 75.253 of EDGAR (34 CFR 75.253). However, to ensure that 
continuation funds will be used only for high-quality and effective 
projects, in determining whether to award continuation grants for years 
four and five the Department will consider whether: (1) Funds are 
available; (2) the grantee meets the requirements in section 75.253 of 
EDGAR; and (3) the grantee is achieving the intended outcomes of the 
grant (see specific factors to be considered in the Fourth and Fifth 
Years section of this notice).

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are the 50 States and 
the District of Columbia. A consortium of States may also apply. A 
grantee, subgrantee, or partner under this program is not eligible to 
receive funding for the SSA national evaluation contract. An applicant 
must meet the following requirements to be eligible to compete for 
funding under this program:
    (a) Single State applicant. A single State with adequate child SSI 
recipients, as described in paragraph (d) of this section, may apply. 
The State applicant must:
    (1) Designate a lead coordinating entity, which must be a State 
agency; and
    (2) Submit an application that has been signed by the State's 
Governor and the administrative head of the State's lead coordinating 
entity.
    (b) Consortium of States applicant. A consortium of States may 
apply in order to meet the minimum sample size eligibility requirement, 
as described in paragraph (d) of this section.
    (1) One of the States participating in the consortium must submit 
an application on behalf of the consortium;
    (2) Each of the consortium States must designate a lead 
coordinating entity, which must be a State agency;
    (3) The application must be signed by the Governor of each State 
and the administrative head of each State's lead coordinating entity;
    (4) The applicant on behalf of the consortium is the grantee and is 
legally responsible for the use of all grant funds and ensuring that 
the project is carried out by the consortium in accordance with Federal 
requirements;
    (5) Each member of the consortium is legally responsible to carry 
out the activities it agrees to perform (EDGAR, 34 CFR 75.129); and
    (6) Each State participating in the consortium must have 
partnerships with at least three common agencies (or equivalent for 
administering common programs). (Described in Partnerships under 
paragraph (a) of the Project Activities section of this notice.)
    (7) Each State participating in the consortium must provide the 
coordinated set of required and other services and supports as proposed 
in the application (described in paragraph (b) of the Application 
Requirements section of this notice.) This set of coordinated services 
and supports must be the same across all States in the consortium.
    (c) Lead coordinating entity. The lead coordinating entity must 
partner with other State agencies and is encouraged to partner with 
local agencies and organizations that play or have the potential to 
play a substantial role in the development and implementation of 
policies and practices affecting child SSI recipients and their 
families (see Partnerships under the Project Activities section of this 
notice and the related application requirements).
    (d) Minimum sample size. The State or consortium of States must 
have a sufficient number of children between the ages of 14 and 16 who 
receive SSI to, within two years of the start of the project, recruit 
the minimum sample size of 2,000 child SSI recipients into the MDP and 
begin providing MDP interventions to half of those recruited. This 
sample size is necessary to assess the effectiveness of each MDP. If 
the MDP chooses to exceed the minimum sample size, half of the child 
SSI recipients must still be assigned to the treatment group and half 
to the control group. Each MDP will be evaluated separately because ED 
and its Federal PROMISE partners expect grantees to vary in their 
approaches to implementing PROMISE (see the Evaluation and Project 
Assessment Activities section of this notice).
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other General Requirements:
    (a) The projects funded under this competition must make positive 
efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with 
disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).
    (b) Applicants and the grant recipients funded under this 
competition must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of 
individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26 in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the projects (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of 
IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet, from the Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs), or from the program office.
    To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: 
www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a copy from 
ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of 
Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free:
    1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), 
call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at 
its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to 
identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.418P.
    To obtain a copy from the program office, contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Notice of Intent To Apply: ED will be able to develop a more 
efficient process for reviewing grant applications if it has a better 
understanding of the number of entities that intend to apply

[[Page 29744]]

for funding under this competition. Therefore, we strongly encourage 
each potential applicant to notify ED by sending a short email message 
indicating the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding. 
If the applicant is submitting an application on behalf of a consortium 
also indicate the States that will be involved. The email need not 
include information regarding the content of the proposed application. 
This email notification should be sent to Corinne Weidenthal at 
corinne.weidenthal@ed.gov.
    Applicants that fail to provide this email notification may still 
apply for funding.
    3. 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 100 pages, using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part 
IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the 
resumes, the bibliography, 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.
    4. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: May 21, 2013.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 20, 2013.
    Dates of Pre-Application Webinars: Interested parties are invited 
to participate in pre-application webinars. The pre-application 
webinars with staff from ED and its Federal PROMISE partners will be 
held on May 30, 2013 and June 4, 2013; and a teleconference will be 
held on June 27, 2013, between 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC 
time.
    For further information about the pre-application webinars and 
teleconference, see the PROMISE Web site at www.ed.gov/promise.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 19, 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. 8. 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.
    5. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this competition. Please note 
that, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we have waived the standard 60-day 
intergovernmental review period in order to make awards by the end of 
FY 2013.
    6. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    7. 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.
    8. 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 PROMISE competition, CFDA number 
84.418P, 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

[[Page 29745]]

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 the PROMISE 
competition 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 
84.418, not 84.418P).
    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.
     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 
prevents 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: Corinne Weidenthal, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland

[[Page 29746]]

Avenue SW., Room 4115, 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 84.418P), 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 84.418P), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

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

V. Application Review Process and Evaluation Criteria

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are based on 34 CFR 75.210 and include selection criteria established 
for PROMISE. They are:
    (a) Quality of the project design (35 points).
    (1) The extent to which the MDP identifies and plans to address 
gaps and weaknesses in current State service systems for child SSI 
recipients and their families.
    (2) The extent to which the MDP's interventions are likely to meet 
the needs of child SSI recipients and their families and achieve the 
desired outcomes.
    (3) The extent to which the applicant documents that proposed 
services and supports are based on the best available evidence 
including, where available, research that has demonstrated 
statistically significant positive effects using the strongest possible 
study designs such as those that meet the standards of the What Works 
Clearinghouse.\10\
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    \10\ The What Works Clearinghouse uses objective and transparent 
standards and procedures to make its assessment of the scientific 
merit of studies of the effectiveness of education interventions, 
and then summarizes the results of its systematic reviews in a set 
of products. For further information: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (4) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the 
proposed MDP, including whether costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project.
    (5) The extent to which the MDP has clearly articulated a model of 
partnership, coordination, and service delivery that includes:
    (i) An explicit and comprehensive strategy, with actions that are 
expected to result in achieving the goals, objectives, and desired 
outcomes of the proposed project; and
    (ii) Measurable goals and benchmarks that are supported by 
quantitative projections of the accomplishments for each activity and 
that are attainable given the number of activities to be accomplished 
and the project period, as well as a timetable with target dates for 
achievement of the benchmarks and goals.
    (6) Quality of the logic model, project implementation plan, and 
timeline, including the extent to which there is a conceptual framework 
underlying the demonstration activities and the quality of that 
framework.
    (b) Quality of participant recruitment plan (25 points).
    (1) The extent to which the MDP has clearly articulated a realistic 
outreach and recruitment plan that is likely to lead to at least 2000 
child SSI recipients and their families giving consent to participate 
in the MDP.
    (c) Quality of management plan and personnel (35 points).
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan that is designed to achieve 
the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget.
    (2) The adequacy of partnerships within the State or consortium 
that are designed to achieve project objectives, including:
    (i) An overall management plan for the partnerships, including 
mechanisms for coordinating across agencies and organizations. The plan 
should also describe how the partnership will be organized to carry out 
the project, including clearly defined roles and responsibilities for 
each partner;
    (ii) The extent to which the services to be provided by the 
proposed project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners, 
including at least three of the required partners, to maximize the 
impact of the MDP;
    (iii) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project. 
Partner commitment should be demonstrated in the form of MOUs, 
substantive non-form letters of intent, or other documents that show 
strategic relationships are preferably already in place, that the 
partners have prior experience collaborating to serve low-income 
children with disabilities, that each partner understands its roles and 
responsibilities, and that the leadership of each partner supports the 
proposed activities; and
    (iv) A system for holding partners accountable for performance in 
accordance with the MOU, letters of

[[Page 29747]]

intent, or other commitments among the partners.
    (3) The capacity of the project to execute necessary data 
collection protocols and requirements in a high-quality manner, 
including:
    (i) Implementing a process to collect the data needed to track the 
required outcome measures, project-specific measures, and other 
necessary information over time and across partner agencies and 
organizations;
    (ii) Adequately documenting project activities, referrals, 
services, and supports received by each child SSI recipient and his or 
her family, and any resulting State systems change; and
    (iii) Cooperating with the national evaluator on all matters 
necessary to undertake rigorous evaluation and measurement of the 
project.
    (4) The quality of key personnel, including:
    (i) A qualified and sufficient staff to accomplish the goals of the 
project, including the techniques proposed to ensure that an adequate 
supply of qualified staff are enlisted in a timely manner;
    (ii) The extent to which there is evidence that key project staff, 
by virtue of their training or professional experience, have the 
requisite knowledge to design, implement, and manage projects of the 
size and scope of the proposed project; and
    (iii) The extent to which the identified key personnel have the 
requisite authority to commit their agency and its resources to the 
implementation of the project.
    (d) Significance (20 points).
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project will result in systems 
change and improvement.
    (2) The potential contribution of the proposed project to the 
development and advancement of knowledge and practices in the field.
    (3) The extent to which the project is designed to raise the 
expectations held by, and about, participating child SSI recipients 
regarding their education and employment outcomes.
    (4) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely 
to be attained by the proposed project.
    (e) Capacity for continuous feedback and improvement (10 points).
    (1) The adequacy of plans and procedures for ensuring continuous 
feedback and improvement in the implementation of the proposed project.
    (2) The capacity for incorporating participating child SSI 
recipient and family feedback, including:
    (i) The extent to which the proposed project seeks, encourages, and 
includes parental involvement and feedback; and
    (ii) The extent to which the proposed project seeks, encourages, 
and includes feedback from participating child SSI recipients and 
encourages their self-determination.
    2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will screen 
applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in this 
notice, and will determine which applications have met eligibility 
requirements and other requirements in this notice. Additional 
information about the review process will be published on the program's 
Web site.
    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. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the

[[Page 29748]]

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: Corinne Weidenthal, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4115, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-6529 or by email: 
corinne.weidenthal@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

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

    Dated: May 16, 2013.
Michael K. Yudin,
Delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the 
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-12083 Filed 5-20-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P