[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 117 (Monday, June 18, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36264-36271]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-14812]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve 
Services and Results for Children With Disabilities--Early Childhood 
Personnel Center

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

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information:
    Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children 
with Disabilities--Early Childhood Personnel Center.
    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2012.

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

DATES: 
    Applications Available: June 18, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 18, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of this program are to (1) help 
address State-identified needs for highly qualified personnel in 
special education, related services, early intervention, and regular 
education to work with infants, toddlers, and children with 
disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary 
skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined 
through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful 
in serving those children.
    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), this priority 
is from allowable activities specified in the statute (see sections 662 
and 681 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, 
this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we 
consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:
    Early Childhood Personnel Center.
    Background:
    The majority of professionals who make up the current early 
childhood workforce are not adequately prepared to provide effective 
services and evidence-based interventions that lead to improved 
developmental and learning outcomes for infants, toddlers, and 
preschool children with disabilities and their families (National 
Governor's Association, 2010). In a survey of IDEA Part C and Part B, 
Section 619 coordinators, more than half of the States reporting 
indicated that personnel currently employed in early intervention and 
preschool programs were not properly trained to work with infants, 
toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families 
(Bruder, 2010). The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for 
Exceptional Children (DEC) and the National Association for the 
Education of Young Children (NAEYC) each has a set of early childhood 
personnel standards \1\ for personnel working with infants, toddlers, 
and preschool children and their families. The majority of States' 
personnel standards, however, do not align to these national standards 
(Stayton et al., 2009).
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    \1\ For the purpose of this priority, ``personnel standards'' 
refers to a set of expectations or benchmarks conveyed as broad 
domains with associated core knowledge and skills organized into 
levels of expertise. Broad domains include promoting child 
development and learning, and core knowledge and skills involve 
knowing evidence-based practices validated for specific 
characteristics of learners and settings (National Professional 
Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI), 2011).
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    To address the needs of States in this critical area, the 
Department plans to support, through this priority, the establishment 
and operation of an Early Childhood Personnel Center to improve 
professional development for personnel working with infants, toddlers, 
and preschool children with disabilities and their families, including 
those working in IDEA Part C and Part B preschool programs. This Center 
would support States in developing and implementing an integrated early 
childhood professional development system so that all personnel 
providing services to infants, toddlers, and preschool children with 
disabilities and their families can effectively serve those 
populations.
    ``Integrated early childhood professional development system'' 
refers to a comprehensive system of preparation and ongoing development 
and support for early childhood personnel. Components of a statewide 
integrated early childhood professional development system include 
licensing and certification requirements, personnel standards and 
competencies,\2\ preservice preparation, inservice training, and career 
pathways. Integrated systems cross all early childhood sectors (e.g., 
IDEA Part C, IDEA Part B preschool, Head Start, child care, State-
funded Pre-K) (LeMoine, 2008; National Professional Development Center 
on Inclusion (NPDCI), 2010).
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    \2\ For the purpose of this priority, ``competencies'' refers to 
the knowledge, skills, and dispositions providers must master to be 
effective (NPDCI, 2011).
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    The Department's Race to the Top--Early Learning Challenge (RTT-
ELC) program recognizes the importance of having an integrated early 
childhood professional development system to support the development 
and learning of all young children. Thus, RTT-ELC encourages States to 
work closely with institutions of higher education (IHEs) to develop a 
common, statewide workforce knowledge and competency framework \3\ for 
all early childhood

[[Page 36265]]

educators.\4\ RTT-ELC also encourages States to improve the quality of 
these personnel by supporting professional development, career 
advancement opportunities, differentiated compensation, and incentives 
to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities.
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    \3\ For the purpose of this priority, ``workforce knowledge and 
competency framework'' means a set of expectations that describes 
what early childhood educators (including those working with 
children with disabilities and English learners) should know and be 
able to do. The Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework, at a 
minimum, (a) is evidence based; (b) incorporates knowledge and 
application of the State's early learning and development standards, 
the comprehensive assessment systems, child development, health, and 
culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies for working 
with families; (c) includes knowledge of early mathematics and 
literacy development and effective instructional practices to 
support mathematics and literacy development in young children; (d) 
incorporates effective use of data to guide instruction and program 
improvement; (e) includes effective behavior management strategies 
that promote positive social emotional development and reduce 
challenging behaviors; and (f) incorporates feedback from experts at 
the State's postsecondary institutions and other early learning and 
development experts and early childhood educators.
    \4\ As defined in RTT-ELC, ``early childhood educator'' means 
any professional working in an early learning and development 
program, including but not limited to, center-based and family child 
care providers; infant and toddler specialists; early intervention 
specialists and early childhood special educators; home visitors; 
related services providers; administrators such as directors, 
supervisors, and other early learning and development leaders; Head 
Start teachers; Early Head Start teachers; preschool and other 
teachers; teacher assistants; family service staff; and health 
coordinators.
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    Notwithstanding the work currently being done under the RTT-ELC 
program, and while early childhood programs within States are moving 
toward more integrated early childhood professional development 
systems, States need assistance to develop, implement, and improve 
personnel systems that are focused on providing services to infants, 
toddlers and preschool children with disabilities and their families. 
Across States, there are wide variations in the quality of 
implementation of the components of these systems, the alignment of 
these components to create a comprehensive professional development 
system, and the integration of IDEA Part C and IDEA Part B preschool 
professional development systems with other early childhood 
professional development systems (NPDCI, 2011). Thus, States, including 
those funded under RTT-ELC, specifically need assistance in: aligning 
their personnel standards to national professional organization 
standards for providing services to infants, toddlers, and preschool 
children with disabilities and their families; ensuring that those 
standards are aligned or integrated with State standards for early 
childhood personnel of all children, linking those standards to 
applicable State competencies and certification or licensure 
requirements to ensure that all early childhood personnel are qualified 
to work with infants, toddlers, and preschool children, including those 
with disabilities and their families; developing collaborative 
relationships with IHEs to support alignment between preservice and 
inservice training and the increased use of evidence-based professional 
development practices to improve services for infants, toddlers, and 
preschool children with disabilities; and ensuring that States include 
personnel serving infants, toddlers, and preschool children with 
disabilities and their families in their career pathway initiatives 
(e.g., workforce registries, career ladders, and incentive programs). 
The proposed Early Childhood Personnel Center would provide technical 
assistance (TA) to address State needs in these areas.
    Priority:
    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement to 
support the establishment and operation of an Early Childhood Personnel 
Center (Center) to: (1) Serve as a national resource on personnel 
standards, competencies, and recommended practices for professional 
development for personnel providing services to infants, toddlers, and 
preschool children with disabilities and their families; (2) assist 
States in aligning their personnel standards to national professional 
organization standards for all personnel providing services to infants, 
toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families, 
aligning or integrating those standards with standards for early 
childhood personnel of all children, and linking those standards to 
State competencies and certification or licensure requirements; (3) 
assist State agencies and IHEs in developing partnerships with each 
other to support alignment between preservice and inservice training 
for all personnel providing services to infants, toddlers and preschool 
children with disabilities and their families; and (4) in alignment 
with the vision outlined in RTT-ELC, assist States in developing 
integrated early childhood professional development systems to ensure 
that IDEA Part C and Part B preschool programs and personnel in each 
State are included within the State's professional development 
initiatives and that all early childhood personnel have the 
competencies to effectively serve infants, toddlers, and preschool 
children with disabilities and their families.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this 
priority. Any project funded under this absolute priority also must 
meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the 
priority.
    Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its 
application--
    (a) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, 
activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project. A logic 
model communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides 
a framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the 
project;

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

    (b) A plan to implement the activities described in the Project 
Activities section of this priority;
    (c) A plan, linked to the proposed project's logic model, for a 
formative evaluation of the proposed project's activities that is 
linked to the proposed project's logic model. The plan must describe 
how the formative evaluation will use clear performance objectives to 
ensure continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project, 
including objective measures of progress in implementing the project 
and ensuring the quality of products and services. This plan must 
include how the Center will collect data on all components of the 
Center's activities;
    (d) A budget for a summative evaluation to be conducted by an 
independent third party, who must be approved by OSEP;
    (e) A budget that dedicates $50,000 in year one of the project to 
cover the costs of carrying out the task described in paragraph (b) of 
the Knowledge Development Activities section of this priority.
    (f) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A two-day kick-off meeting to be held in Washington, DC, after 
receipt of the award, and an annual planning meeting held in 
Washington, DC, with the OSEP Project Officer during each subsequent 
year of the project period.

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

    (2) A three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period;
    (3) A three-day Leveraging Resources conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period;
    (4) Two two-day trips annually to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP; and
    (g) A line item in the proposed budget for an annual set-aside of 
five percent of the grant amount to support emerging

[[Page 36266]]

needs that are consistent with the proposed project's activities, as 
those needs are identified in consultation with OSEP.

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

    Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this priority, the 
Center, at a minimum, must conduct the following activities:
    Knowledge Development Activities.
    (a) In the first six months of the project period, identify and 
document the current status of each State in regards to:
    (1) The State's IDEA Part C and Part B preschool personnel 
standards and competencies, as well as certification or licensure 
requirements;
    (2) How IDEA Part C and Part B preschool programs in the State and 
personnel working in the programs are integrated into the State's early 
childhood professional development systems and initiatives; and
    (3) The State's efforts to develop personnel standards and 
competencies for serving infants, toddlers, and preschool children with 
disabilities for personnel working in early childhood programs other 
than IDEA Part C and Part B preschool programs (e.g., Early Head Start, 
Head Start, Child Care).
    (b) In the first year of the project period, collaborate with the 
DEC and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, if funded by 
OSEP, to update the set of empirically supported recommendations for 
professional development practices for personnel providing services to 
infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their 
families in both preservice and inservice contexts. These 
recommendations must be made available at no cost to consumers as part 
of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities described 
below.
    (c) In the first year of the project period, bring together 
national professional organizations to facilitate the development of a 
set of recommended unified personnel standards that could be used 
across States and IHEs preparing personnel to serve infants, toddlers, 
and preschool children with disabilities and their families.
    (d) In the first year of the project period, conduct a review of 
the literature on components of successful:
    (1) Models of State agency and IHE partnerships that have led to 
the alignment of State personnel standards and competencies and the 
curricula at IHEs; and the alignment of preservice and inservice 
training.
    (2) Models of coordination at a systems level to promote a more 
integrated early childhood professional development system for 
personnel working with infants, toddlers, and preschool children with 
disabilities and their families.
    The standards for the literature review must be consistent with 
those used by the What Works Clearinghouse and the definitions of 
``strong evidence'' and ``moderate evidence'' contained in the notice 
of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary 
grants programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 
(75 FR 78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637).
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination Activities.
    (a) Provide a continuum of TA and dissemination activities to 
improve and integrate early childhood professional development systems 
with one another so that early childhood personnel have the 
competencies to support the learning and development of infants, 
toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families 
and ensure that TA activities are coordinated with, and not duplicative 
of, State activities carried out under the RTT-ELC. This TA must 
include--
    (1) General TA to States, early childhood programs, early childhood 
personnel, IHEs, faculty, professional development providers, and other 
relevant stakeholders. At a minimum, the Center must conduct the 
following activities:
    (i) Develop and disseminate reports, products, and other materials 
at no cost to consumers that include:
    (A) Information on personnel standards and competencies, as well as 
certification or licensure requirements, and early childhood 
professional development systems in each State, including a description 
of each State's efforts to ensure and enhance the quality of early 
childhood personnel working with infants, toddlers, and preschool 
children with disabilities and their families.
    (B) Current recommendations for effective professional development 
practices in preservice and inservice contexts to support personnel in 
developing the competencies to provide effective services and evidence-
based interventions for infants, toddlers, and preschool children with 
disabilities and their families.
    (C) Strategies for developing State agency and IHE partnerships to 
develop an integrated and comprehensive early childhood professional 
development system that addresses the needs of personnel working with 
infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their 
families.
    (ii) Maintain a Web site that meets government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility and that links to the Web site 
operated by the Technical Assistance Coordination Center (TACC);
    (2) Targeted TA to States and IHEs to ensure that early childhood 
personnel have the competencies to serve infants, toddlers, and 
preschool children with disabilities and their families. At minimum, 
the Center must conduct the following activities:
    (i) Provide a forum for States to collaborate through learning 
communities, communities of practice, national calls, webinars, or 
other mechanisms to learn about personnel standards and competencies 
for personnel working with infants, toddlers, and preschool children 
with disabilities and their families and how to use current recommended 
practices in professional development activities.
    (ii) Provide a forum for IHEs to collaborate through learning 
communities, communities of practice, national calls, webinars, or 
other mechanisms to learn how to align their programs to State 
personnel standards and competencies for personnel working with 
infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their 
families and how to use current recommended practices in professional 
development activities.
    (iii) Plan and implement activities, which could include webinars, 
meetings, video conferences, and Web sites to support States and IHEs 
forming and sustaining partnerships to support alignment between 
preservice and inservice training for personnel working with infants, 
toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families.
    (iv) Assist States, including States awarded grants through RTT-
ELC, in their efforts to include IDEA Part C and Part B preschool 
programs and providers in their integrated early childhood professional 
development systems and initiatives; and
    (3) Intensive TA to a minimum of eight States to enhance their IDEA 
Part C and Part B preschool professional development systems and to 
support the development of integrated comprehensive early childhood 
professional development systems to ensure that all personnel have the 
competencies to effectively serve infants, toddlers, and preschool 
children with disabilities and their

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families. At a minimum, the Center must conduct the following 
activities:
    (i) Assist the States receiving intensive TA under paragraph (a)(3) 
of this section to align their personnel standards for personnel 
working with infants, toddlers, and preschool children with 
disabilities and their families with a set of recommended unified 
national professional organization personnel standards, align or 
integrate those standards with standards for early childhood personnel 
of all children, and link their State standards to competencies and 
certification or licensure requirements in their IDEA Part C and Part B 
programs.
    (ii) Assist the States receiving intensive TA under this section 
and IHEs in those States in developing partnerships to ensure that 
preservice preparation programs in early intervention and early 
childhood special education are aligned to State personnel standards 
and competencies, that inservice training builds on preservice 
preparation in early intervention and special education, and that 
recommended practices for professional development are included in both 
preservice and inservice programs.
    (iii) Assist the States receiving intensive TA under this section 
in developing an integrated professional development system applicable 
to personnel in all programs serving infants, toddlers, and preschool 
children with disabilities and their families to ensure that--
    (A) Workforce knowledge and competency frameworks and personnel 
standards within the State include competencies needed to work with 
infants, toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their 
families;
    (B) Professional development opportunities in a State are available 
and provided across all early childhood programs that serve children 
with disabilities and include professional development on serving 
infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families in natural 
environments, and preschool children with disabilities in inclusive 
settings; and
    (C) IDEA Part C and Part B preschool programs and providers are 
considered and included when developing and implementing personnel 
initiatives in the State.
    (b) Develop a plan for identifying and selecting the States with 
which the Center will work under paragraph (a)(3) of this section. 
Factors for selecting States for consideration could include the 
State's early childhood priorities and initiatives; receipt of an RTT-
ELC grant; the commitment of the State's multiple early childhood 
programs to participate in the TA to support the professional 
development of all personnel who serve infants, toddlers, and preschool 
children with disabilities and their families; the commitment of the 
State's IHEs, including community colleges to participate in the TA; 
the commitment of the early intervention and community-based early 
childhood programs in high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) \5\ 
in the State to participate in the TA; and the demographic and 
geographic characteristics of each State, including the percentage of 
high-need children with disabilities \6\ and their families. The Center 
must obtain approval from OSEP on the final selection of States.
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    \5\ For the purpose of this priority, the term ``high-need local 
educational agency'' (LEA) means an LEA (a) that serves not fewer 
than 10,000 children from families with incomes below the poverty 
line; or (b) for which not less than 20 percent of the children 
served by the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty 
line.
    \6\ For the purpose of this priority, ``high-need children with 
disabilities'' refers to children (ages birth through 5) who are 
eligible for services under IDEA, and who may be further 
disadvantaged and at risk of educational failure because they: (1) 
Are living in poverty, (2) are homeless, (3) are in foster care, (4) 
are English learners, (5) are new immigrants, or (6) are migrant.
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    (c) In consultation with the OSEP Project Officer, make selected 
reports, documents, and other materials available in both English and 
Spanish.
    Leadership and Coordination Activities.
    (a) Consult with a group of persons, including representatives from 
State and local educational agencies, including representatives from 
IDEA Part C and Part B preschool programs; State level representatives 
from other early child systems (e.g., State Child Care Administrators 
and Head Start Collaboration Directors); early childhood personnel; 
parents of infants, toddlers, or preschool children with disabilities; 
faculty in personnel preparation; and researchers, as appropriate, on 
the activities and outcomes of the Center and solicit programmatic 
support and advice from various participants in the group, as 
appropriate. The Center may convene meetings, whether in person, by 
phone, or other means, for this purpose, or may consult with group 
participants individually. The Center must identify the members of the 
group to OSEP within eight weeks after receipt of the award.
    (b) Communicate and collaborate, on an ongoing basis, with OSEP-
funded projects, including the TACC and other early childhood-focused 
centers, as appropriate, as well as other U.S. Department of Education 
and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-funded early 
childhood-focused centers, as appropriate. This collaboration could 
include the joint development of products, the coordination of TA 
services, and the planning and carrying out of TA meetings and events.
    (c) Participate in national initiatives related to early childhood 
professional development systems.
    (d) Prior to developing any new product, submit a proposal for the 
product to the TACC database for approval from the OSEP Project 
Officer. The development of new products should be consistent with the 
product definition and guidelines posted on the TACC Web site 
(www.tadnet.org).
    (e) Contribute, on an ongoing basis, updated information on the 
Center's approved and finalized products and services to a database at 
TACC.
    (f) Maintain ongoing communication with the OSEP Project Officer 
through monthly phone conversations and email communication.
    Fourth and Fifth Years of Project:
    In deciding whether to continue funding the Center 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, during the last half of the 
project's second year. The Center must budget for travel expenses 
associated with this one-day intensive review;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the 
Center; and
    (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the Center's 
activities and the degree to which the Center's activities have 
contributed to changed practices and improved early childhood 
professional development systems to improve outcomes for infants, 
toddlers, and preschool children with disabilities and their families.
    References:

Bruder, M.B. (2010). Early childhood intervention: A promise to 
children and families for their future. Exceptional Children, 76(3), 
339-355.
LeMoine, S. (2008). Workforce Designs: A policy blueprint for state 
early childhood professional development systems. Washington, DC: 
National Association for the Education of Young Children.
National Governor's Association (NGA),

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Center for Best Practices. (2010). Issue Brief: Building an Early 
Childhood Professional Development System. Available from: 
www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/1002EARLYCHILDPROFDEV.PDF.
National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI). 
(2010). Building integrated professional development systems in 
early childhood: Recommendations for states. Chapel Hill, NC: The 
University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.
National Professional Development Center on Inclusion (NPDCI). 
(2011). Competencies for early childhood educators in the context of 
inclusion: Issues and guidance for states. Chapel Hill, NC: The 
University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Institute.
Stayton, V.D., Dietrich, S.L., Smith, B.J., Bruder, M.B., Mogro-
Wilson, C., & Swigart, A. (2009). State certification requirements 
for early childhood special educators. Infants and Young Children, 
22(1), 4-12.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and 
requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment 
requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priorities in this notice.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department debarment 
and suspension regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The regulations for 
this program in 34 CFR part 304.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to IHEs only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,200,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2013 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $1,200,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. 
The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in 
the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

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

    Project Period: Up to 36 months with an optional additional 24 
months based on performance. Applications must include plans for both 
the 36 month award and the 24 month extension.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: State educational agencies and State lead 
agencies; LEAs, including public charter schools that are considered 
LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit 
organizations; outlying areas; freely associated States; Indian tribes 
or tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: General Requirements--(a) The projects funded under this 
program must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment 
qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA).
    (b) Each applicant and grant recipient funded under this program 
must involve individuals with disabilities or parents of individuals 
with disabilities ages birth through 26 in planning, implementing, and 
evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet, 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 from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.325B.
    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. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III to 
the equivalent of no more than 50 pages, using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part 
IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the 
resumes, the bibliography, the references, or the letters of support. 
However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative 
in Part III.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit; or if 
you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: June 18, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 18, 2012.
    Applications for grants under this competition may be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov), or in 
paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates 
and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in 
paper format by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section IV. 7. 
Other Submission Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.

[[Page 36269]]

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this program.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition may be submitted electronically or in paper format by 
mail or hand delivery.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    We are participating as a partner in the Governmentwide Grants.gov 
Apply site. The Early Childhood Personnel Center, CFDA number 84.325B, 
is included in this project. We request your participation in 
Grants.gov.
    If you choose to submit your application electronically, you must 
use the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through 
this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application 
package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your 
application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant 
application to us.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Early 
Childhood Personnel Center at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the 
downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. 
Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., 
search for 84.325, not 84.325B).
    Please note the following:
     Your participation in Grants.gov is voluntary.
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you submit your application in paper format.
     If you submit your application electronically, you must 
submit all documents electronically, including all information you 
typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal 
Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental 
Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs 
(ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
     If you submit your application electronically, you must 
upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your 
application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) 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-

[[Page 36270]]

specified identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

    Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the 
U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), you must mail the 
original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.325B), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated 
postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your 
local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, 
you (or a courier service) must deliver the original and two copies of 
your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, 
to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of 
Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 
84.325B), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.
    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail 
or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by the 
Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix 
letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your 
application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification 
of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this 
notification within 15 business days from the application deadline 
date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application 
Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 75.210 and are listed in the application package.
    2. Review and Selection Process: 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

[[Page 36271]]

unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system 
that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as 
applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is 
otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of 
performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed 
to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and 
quality of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve 
Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. For 
purposes of this priority, the Center will use these measures which 
focus on the extent to which projects provide high-quality products and 
services, the relevance of project products and services to educational 
and early intervention policy and practice, and the use of products and 
services to improve educational and early intervention policy and 
practice.
    Grantees will be required to report information on their project's 
performance in annual reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dawn Ellis, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4092, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-6417.
    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: June 12, 2012.
Alexa Posny,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2012-14812 Filed 6-15-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P