[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 196 (Friday, October 9, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 61194-61202]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-25876]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


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

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--Preparation of Special 
Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership 
Personnel.
    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2016.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.325D.

DATES: Applications Available: October 9, 2015.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 8, 2015.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: February 8, 2016.

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 personnel preparation in special 
education, early intervention, related services, and regular education 
to work with children, including infants and toddlers, with 
disabilities; and (2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary 
skills and knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined 
through scientifically based research and experience, to be successful 
in serving those children.
    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 2016 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications 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:
    Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related 
Services Leadership Personnel.
    Background: The purpose of the Preparation of Special Education, 
Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel priority 
is to

[[Page 61195]]

support pre-existing programs that prepare special education, early 
intervention, and related services personnel at the doctoral level who 
are well-qualified for, and can act effectively in, leadership 
positions in universities, State educational agencies (SEAs), lead 
agencies (LAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), early intervention 
services programs (EIS programs), or schools.
    There is a well-documented need for leadership personnel who are 
prepared at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels to fill faculty and 
leadership positions in special education, early intervention, and 
related services (Montrosse & Young, 2012; Robb, Smith, & Montrosse, 
2012; Smith, Montrosse, Robb, Tyler, & Young, 2011; Smith, Robb, West, 
& Tyler, 2010; Woods & Snyder, 2009). In the report Assessing Trends in 
Leadership: Special Education's Capacity to Produce a Highly Qualified 
Workforce, Smith et al. (2011) stated:

    Although the field has faced a consistent shortage of faculty, 
the predicted supply/demand imbalance is of historic proportions. To 
meet projected demand, the nation's doctoral programs will need to 
produce over six times the current number of SE [special education] 
doctoral graduates. . . . Unless abated, this shortage will impair 
the field's capacity to generate new knowledge and produce a 
sufficient number of SE teacher educators who can in turn produce 
enough well-prepared teachers to meet the needs of students with 
disabilities and their families. (p. 38)

    Moreover, Smith et al. (2011) report that some special education 
doctoral programs anticipate one-half to two-thirds of their faculty 
will retire in the next six years. These leaders teach evidence-based 
practices to future special education, early intervention, and related 
services professionals who will work in a variety of educational 
settings and provide services directly to children and youth with 
disabilities. These leaders also conduct research to increase the 
knowledge of effective interventions and services for these children 
(Robb et al., 2012; Smith et al., 2010; West & Hardman, 2012).
    State and local agencies also need leadership personnel who are 
prepared at the doctoral level to fill special education and early 
intervention administrator positions. These administrators supervise 
and evaluate the implementation of evidence-based instructional 
programs to make sure that State or local agencies are meeting the 
needs of children with disabilities. Administrators also ensure that 
schools and programs meet Federal, State, and local requirements for 
special education, early intervention, and related services (Lashley & 
Boscardin, 2003).
    Federal support can increase the supply of personnel who have the 
necessary knowledge and skills to assume leadership positions in 
special education, early intervention, and related services in 
universities, SEAs, LAs, LEAs, EIS programs, or schools. Critical 
competencies for special education, early intervention, and related 
services personnel vary depending on the type of personnel and the 
requirements of the preparation program but can include, for example, 
skills needed for postsecondary instruction, administration, policy 
development, professional practice, leadership, or research. However, 
all leadership personnel need to have current knowledge of effective 
interventions and services that improve outcomes for children with 
disabilities, including high-need children with disabilities.\1\
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    \1\ For a definition of ``high-need children with 
disabilities,'' please see footnote 2.
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    Priority: The purpose of the Preparation of Special Education, 
Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel priority 
is to support pre-existing doctoral degree programs and postdoctoral 
learning experiences that prepare special education, early 
intervention, and related services personnel who are well-qualified 
for, and can act effectively in, leadership positions in universities, 
SEAs, LAs, LEAs, EIS programs, or schools. This priority supports two 
types of programs:
    Type A programs are designed to prepare special education, early 
intervention, or related services personnel to serve as higher 
education faculty. Type A programs culminate in a doctoral degree or 
provide postdoctoral learning opportunities.

    Note:  Preparation programs that lead to clinical doctoral 
degrees in related services (e.g., a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) 
degree or Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree) are not included 
in this priority. These types of preparation programs are eligible 
to apply for funding under the Personnel Preparation in Special 
Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services priority (CFDA 
84.325K) that the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 
intends to fund in FY 2016.

    Type B programs are designed to prepare special education or early 
intervention administrators to work in SEAs, LAs, LEAs, EIS programs or 
providers, or schools. Type B programs prepare personnel for positions 
such as SEA special education administrators, LEA or regional special 
education directors, school-based special education directors, 
including those in youth correctional facilities, preschool 
coordinators, and early intervention coordinators. Type B programs 
culminate in a doctoral degree or provide postdoctoral learning 
opportunities.

    Note: The preparation of school principals is not included in 
this priority.


    Note: Applicants must identify the specific program type, A or 
B, for which they are applying for funding as part of the 
competition title on the application cover sheet (SF form 424, item 
15). Applicants may not submit the same proposal for more than one 
program type.

    To be considered for funding under the Preparation of Special 
Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership 
Personnel absolute priority, all program applicants must meet the 
application requirements contained in the priority. All projects funded 
under this absolute priority also must meet the programmatic and 
administrative requirements specified in the priority.
    The requirements of this priority are as follows:
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how--
    (1) The project addresses national, State, regional, or district 
needs for leadership personnel to administer programs or provide, or 
prepare others to provide, interventions and services that improve 
outcomes of children with disabilities, ages birth through 21, 
including high-need children with disabilities.\2\ To address this 
requirement, the applicant must--
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    \2\ For purposes of this priority, ``high-need children with 
disabilities'' refers to children (ages birth through 21, depending 
on the State) who are eligible for services under IDEA, and who may 
be further disadvantaged and at risk of educational failure because 
they: (1) Are living in poverty, (2) are far below grade level, (3) 
are at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on 
time, (4) are homeless, (5) are in foster care, (6) have been 
incarcerated, (7) are English learners, (8) are pregnant or 
parenting teenagers, (9) are new immigrants, (10) are migrant, or 
(11) are not on track to being college- or career-ready by 
graduation.
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    (i) Present appropriate and applicable national, State, regional, 
or district data demonstrating the need for the leadership personnel 
the applicant proposes to prepare; and
    (ii) Present data on the effectiveness of the doctoral program to 
date in areas such as: The effectiveness of program graduates as 
educators of teachers, service providers, or administrators, including 
any results from evaluating the impact of those teachers, service 
providers, or administrators on the outcomes of children with 
disabilities; the average amount of time it takes for

[[Page 61196]]

program graduates to complete the program; the percentage of program 
graduates finding employment directly related to their preparation; and 
the professional accomplishments of program graduates (e.g., public 
service, honors, or publications) that demonstrate their leadership in 
special education, early intervention, or related services.

    Note: Data on the effectiveness of a doctoral program should be 
no older than five years prior to the start date of the project 
proposed in the application. When reporting percentages, the 
denominator (i.e., the total number of students or program 
graduates) must be provided.

    (2) Scholar competencies to be acquired in the program relate to 
knowledge and skills needed by the leadership personnel the applicant 
proposes to prepare, including knowledge of technologies designed to 
provide instruction. To address this requirement, the applicant must--
    (i) Identify the competencies needed by leadership personnel in 
postsecondary instruction, administration, policy development, 
professional practice, leadership, or research in order to administer 
programs or provide, or prepare others to provide, interventions and 
services that improve outcomes of children with disabilities, ages 
birth through 21, including high-need children with disabilities;
    (ii) Demonstrate that the interventions and services of the 
project's specialized preparation area are supported by evidence of 
promise \3\ that they will result in improved outcomes for children 
with disabilities; and
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    \3\ Under 34 CFR 77.1, ``evidence of promise'' means there is 
empirical evidence to support the theoretical linkage(s) between at 
least one critical component and at least one relevant outcome 
presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, 
strategy, or practice. Specifically, ``evidence of promise'' means 
the conditions in both paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this definition 
are met:
    (i) There is at least one study that is a--
    (A) Correlational study with statistical controls for selection 
bias;
    (B) Quasi-experimental design study that meets the What Works 
Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations; or
    (C) Randomized controlled trial that meets the What Works 
Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with or without reservations.
    (ii) The study referenced in paragraph (i) of this definition 
found a statistically significant or substantively important 
(defined as a difference of 0.25 standard deviations or larger) 
favorable association between at least one critical component and 
one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed 
process, product, strategy, or practice.
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    (ii) Provide the conceptual framework of the leadership preparation 
program, including any empirical support, that will promote the 
acquisition of the identified competencies needed by leadership 
personnel, including knowledge of technologies designed to provide 
instruction, and, where applicable, how these competencies relate to 
the project's specialized preparation area.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Project Services,'' how--
    (1) The project will recruit and support high-quality scholars. The 
narrative must--
    (i) Describe the selection criteria the applicant will use to 
identify high-quality applicants for admission in the program;
    (ii) Describe the recruitment strategies the applicant will use to 
attract high-quality applicants and any specific recruitment strategies 
targeting high-quality applicants from traditionally underrepresented 
groups, including individuals with disabilities; and
    (iii) Describe the approach the applicant will use to help all 
scholars, including individuals with disabilities, complete the 
program; and
    (2) The project is designed to promote the acquisition of the 
competencies needed by leadership personnel to administer programs or 
provide, or prepare others to provide, interventions and services that 
improve outcomes, including college- and career-readiness of children 
with disabilities. To address this requirement, the applicant must--
    (i) Describe how the components of the project, such as coursework, 
internship or practicum experiences, research requirements, and other 
opportunities provided to scholars to analyze data, critique research 
and methodologies, and practice newly acquired knowledge and skills, 
will enable the scholars to acquire the competencies needed by 
leadership personnel for postsecondary instruction, administration, 
policy development, professional practice, leadership, or research in 
special education, early intervention, or related services;
    (ii) Describe how the components of the project are integrated in 
order to support the acquisition and enhancement of the identified 
competencies needed by leadership personnel in special education, early 
intervention, or related services, including knowledge of technologies 
designed to provide instruction;
    (iii) Describe how the components of the project prepare scholars 
to administer programs or provide, or prepare others to provide, 
interventions and services that improve outcomes, including college- 
and career-readiness, of children with disabilities in a variety of 
settings, including in high-need LEAs; \4\ high-poverty schools; \5\ 
low-performing schools, including persistently lowest-achieving 
schools; \6\ priority schools (in the case of States that have received 
the Department of Education's (Department's) approval of a request for 
ESEA flexibility); \7\ and early childhood programs located

[[Page 61197]]

within the geographical boundaries of a high-need LEA;
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    \4\ For purposes of this priority, the term ``high-need LEA'' 
means an LEA (a) that serves not fewer than 10,000 children from 
families with incomes below the poverty line; or (b) for which not 
less than 20 percent of the children served by the LEA are from 
families with incomes below the poverty line.
    \5\ For purposes of this priority, the term ``high-poverty 
school'' means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are 
eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the Richard B. 
Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 percent of 
students are from low-income families as determined using one of the 
criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). For middle and 
high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of 
comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty 
school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most 
currently available data (www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2010-4/121510b.html).
    \6\ For purposes of this priority, the term ``persistently 
lowest-achieving schools'' means, as determined by the State--
    (a)(1) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring that--
    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I 
schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the 
lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective 
action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools 
is greater; or
    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined 
in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of 
years; and
    (2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not 
receive, Title I funds that--
    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary 
schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State 
that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever 
number of schools is greater; or
    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined 
in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of 
years.
    (b) To identify the persistently lowest-achieving schools, a 
State must take into account both--
    (i) The academic achievement of the ``all students'' group in a 
school in terms of proficiency on the State's assessments under 
section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading/language arts and 
mathematics combined; and
    (ii) The school's lack of progress on those assessments over a 
number of years in the ``all students'' group.
    For the purposes of this priority, the Department considers 
schools that are identified as Tier I or Tier II schools under the 
School Improvement Grants Program (see 75 FR 66363) as part of a 
State's approved application to be persistently lowest-achieving 
schools. A list of these Tier I and Tier II schools can be found on 
the Department's Web site at www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html.
    \7\ For purposes of this priority, the term ``priority school'' 
means a school that has been identified by the State as a priority 
school pursuant to the State's approved request for ESEA 
flexibility.
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    (iv) Demonstrate, through a letter of support from the partnering 
agency, school, or program that there is an agreement with one or more 
high-need LEAs; publicly funded preschool programs, including Head 
Start programs, located within the geographic boundaries of a high-need 
LEA; or programs serving children eligible for services under Part C or 
Part B, section 619 of IDEA located within the geographic boundaries of 
a high-need LEA, that it will provide scholars with a high-quality 
internship or practicum experience in a school in a high-need LEA, 
publicly funded preschool, or early intervention program;
    (v) Describe how the project will use resources, as appropriate, 
available through technical assistance centers, which may include 
centers funded by the Department; and
    (vi) Describe the approach that faculty members will use to mentor 
scholars with the goal of helping them acquire competencies needed by 
leadership personnel and promote career goals in special education, 
early intervention, or related services.
    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Project Evaluation,'' how--
    (1) The applicant will evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed 
leadership project. The applicant must describe the outcomes to be 
measured for both the project and the scholars, particularly the 
acquisition of scholar competencies and their impact on the services 
provided by future teachers, service providers, or administrators; the 
evaluation methodologies to be employed, including proposed 
instruments, data collection methods, and possible analyses; and the 
proposed standards or targets for determining effectiveness;
    (2) The applicant will collect, analyze, and use data on current 
scholars and scholars who graduate from the program to improve the 
proposed program on an ongoing basis; and
    (3) The grantee will report the evaluation results to OSEP in its 
annual and final performance reports.
    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative under ``Required Project 
Assurances,'' or appendices as directed, that the following program 
requirements are met. The applicant must--
    (1) Include in the application appendix--
    (i) Course syllabi for all coursework in the major and any required 
coursework for a minor;
    (ii) Course syllabi for all research methods, evaluation methods, 
or data analysis courses required by the degree program and elective 
research methods, evaluation methods, or data analysis courses that 
have been completed by more than one student enrolled in the program in 
the last five years; and
    (iii) For new coursework, proposed syllabi;

    Note:  Applicants for Type B programs should provide a syllabus 
or syllabi for current or proposed courses that provide instruction 
on, or permit practice with, research and the methodological, 
statistical, and practical considerations in the use of data on 
early learning outcomes, student achievement, or growth in student 
achievement to evaluate the effectiveness of early intervention 
providers, related services providers, teachers, or principals.

    (2) Ensure that the proposed number of scholars to be recruited 
into the program can graduate from the program by the end of the 
grant's project period. The described scholar recruitment strategies, 
including recruitment of individuals with disabilities, the program 
components and their sequence, and proposed budget must be consistent 
with this project requirement;
    (3) Ensure scholars will not be selected based on race or national 
origin/ethnicity. Per the Supreme Court's decision in Adarand 
Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, 515 U.S. 200 (1995), the Department does 
not allow the selection of individuals on the basis of race or national 
origin/ethnicity. For this reason, grantees must ensure that any 
discussion of the recruitment of scholars based on race or national 
origin/ethnicity distinguishes between increasing the pool of 
applicants and actually selecting scholars;
    (4) Ensure that the project will meet the requirements in 34 CFR 
304.23, particularly those related to informing all scholarship 
recipients of their service obligation commitment. Failure by a grantee 
to properly meet these requirements is a violation of the grant award 
that may result in sanctions, including the grantee being liable for 
returning any misused funds to the Department. Specifically, the 
grantee must prepare, and ensure that each scholarship recipient signs, 
the following two documents:
    (i) A Pre-Scholarship Agreement prior to the scholar receiving a 
scholarship for an eligible program (Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) Control Number 1820-0686); and
    (ii) An Exit Certification immediately upon the scholar leaving, 
completing, or otherwise exiting that program (OMB Control Number 1820-
0686);
    (5) Ensure that prior approval from the OSEP project officer will 
be obtained before admitting additional scholars beyond the number of 
scholars proposed in the application and before transferring a scholar 
to another preparation program funded by OSEP;
    (6) Ensure that the project will meet the statutory requirements in 
section 662(e) through 662(h) of IDEA;
    (7) Ensure that at least 65 percent of the total requested budget 
over the five years will be used for scholar support;
    (8) Ensure that the institution of higher education (IHE) will not 
require scholars enrolled in the program to work (e.g., as graduate 
assistants) as a condition of receiving support (e.g., tuition, 
stipends) from the proposed project, unless the work is specifically 
related to the acquisition of scholars' competencies and the 
requirements for completion of their personnel preparation program. 
This prohibition on work as a condition of receiving support does not 
apply to the service obligation requirements in section 662(h) of IDEA;
    (9) Ensure that the budget includes attendance of the project 
director at a three-day project directors' meeting in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project. The budget may also provide for the 
attendance of scholars at the same three-day project directors' 
meetings in Washington, DC;
    (10) Ensure that if the project maintains a Web site, relevant 
information and documents are in a format that meets government or 
industry-recognized standards for accessibility; and
    (11) Ensure that annual data will be submitted on each scholar who 
receives grant support (OMB Control Number 1820-0686). The primary 
purposes of the data collection are to track the service obligation 
fulfillment of scholars who receive funds from OSEP grants and to 
collect data for program performance measure reporting under the 
Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). Applicants are 
encouraged to visit the Personnel Development Program Data Collection 
System (DCS) Web site at https://pdp.ed.gov/osep for further 
information about this data collection requirement. Typically, data 
collection begins in January of each year, and grantees are notified by 
email about the data collection period for their grant, although 
grantees may submit data as needed, year round. This data collection 
must be submitted electronically by the grantee and does not supplant 
the annual grant performance report required of each grantee for 
continuation funding (see 34 CFR 75.590). Data collection includes the 
submission of a signed, completed Pre-Scholarship Agreement and Exit

[[Page 61198]]

Certification for each scholar funded under an OSEP grant (see 
paragraph (4) of this section, subparagraphs (i) and (ii)).

References

Lashley, C., & Boscardin, M. L. (2003). Special education 
administration at the crossroads: Availability, licensure, and 
preparation of special education administrators. Gainesville, FL: 
Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education, University of 
Florida. Retrieved from www.coe.ufl.edu/copsse/docs/IB-8/1/IB-8.pdf.
Montrosse, B.E., & Young, C.J. (2012). Market demand for special 
education faculty. Teacher Education and Special Education, 35, 140-
153.
Robb, S.M., Smith, D.D., & Montrosse, B.E. (2012). A context of the 
demand for special education faculty: A study of special education 
teacher preparation programs. Teacher Education and Special 
Education, 35, 128-139.
Smith, D.D., Montrosse, B.E., Robb, S.M., Tyler, N.C., & Young, C. 
(2011). Assessing trends in leadership: Special education's capacity 
to produce a highly qualified workforce. Claremont, CA: IRIS@CGU, 
Claremont Graduate University.
Smith, D.D., Robb, S.M., West, J., & Tyler, N.C. (2010). The 
changing education landscape: How special education leadership 
preparation can make a difference for teachers and their students 
with disabilities. Teacher Education and Special Education, 33(1), 
25-43.
West, J.E., & Hardman, H.L. (2012). Averting current and future 
special education faculty shortages: Policy implications and 
recommendations. Teacher Education and Special Education, 35, 154-
160.
Woods, J., & Snyder, P. (2009). Interdisciplinary doctoral 
leadership training in early intervention. Infants & Young Children, 
22(1), 32-34.

    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. Section 
681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment requirements of the 
APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 
84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on 
Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 
180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 304.

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

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$83,700,000 for the Personnel Development to Improve Services and 
Results for Children with Disabilities program for FY 2016, of which we 
intend to use an estimated $3,500,000 for this competition. The actual 
level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. 
However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete 
the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 from the list of 
unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $225,000-$250,000 per year.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $237,500 per year.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $250,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 14.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs, private nonprofit organizations.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Eligible Subgrantees: (a) Under 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee may 
award subgrants--to directly carry out project activities described in 
its application--to the following types of entities: IHEs and private 
nonprofit organizations suitable to carry out the activities proposed 
in the application.
    (b) The grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified 
in an approved application.
    4. Other General Requirements:
    (a) Recipients of funding 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 for, and recipient of, funding under this 
program must involve individuals with disabilities, or parents of 
individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26, in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of 
IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following 
address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a 
copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call: 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 84.325D.
    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 
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, reference citations, and captions, as well as 
all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.
     Use a font that is 12 point or larger.
     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.

[[Page 61199]]

    The page limit and double-spacing requirements do 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 abstract (follow the guidance provided in the 
application package for completing the abstract), the table of 
contents, the list of priority requirements, the resumes, the reference 
list, the letters of support, or the appendices. However, the page 
limit and double-spacing requirements do apply to all of Part III, the 
application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, figures, 
graphs, and screen shots.
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit in the 
application narrative section or if you apply standards other than 
those specified in the application package.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: October 9, 2015.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: December 8, 2015.
    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 Other Submission Requirements section IV 
of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: February 8, 2016.
    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 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 System for Award 
Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the 
Government's primary registrant database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active 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 at the 
following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be 
created within one to two business days.
    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 two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business 
days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the 
completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. 
Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial 
assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow 
sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We 
strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note: Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 
hours before you can access the information in, and submit an 
application through, Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, 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.
    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further 
assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in 
SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov 
Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
    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/web/grants/register.html.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify 
for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the Preparation of Special Education, 
Early Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel 
competition, CFDA number 84.325D, must be submitted electronically 
using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. 
Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the 
application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit 
your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant 
application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Preparation 
of Special Education, Early Intervention, and Related Services 
Leadership Personnel 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 84.325, not 84.325D).
    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

[[Page 61200]]

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. In addition, for specific guidance and 
procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please 
refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.
     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 read-only, non-modifiable 
Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a 
password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note 
that this could result in your application not being considered for 
funding because the material in question--for example, the project 
narrative--is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For 
that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload 
all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material 
from other formats to PDF. 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. Grants.gov 
will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all 
the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors 
(such as submission of your application by someone other than a 
registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an 
attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will 
be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you 
must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.
    Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the 
Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you 
an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.
    These emails do not mean that your application is without any 
disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully 
validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application 
requirements as specified in this notice and in the application 
instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure 
to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to 
submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant 
eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your 
submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.
     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 the 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will 
contact you after we determine 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

[[Page 61201]]

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: Celia Rosenquist, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4070, Potomac 
Center Plaza, 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 84.325D), 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.

    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.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the application 
deadline date.
    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 84.325D), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, 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 
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. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in 
appropriate circumstances, high-risk 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 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; 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.

[[Page 61202]]

    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 multiyear 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.
    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee 
with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In 
this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.
    4. Performance Measures: Under GPRA, the Department has established 
a set of performance measures, including long-term measures, that are 
designed to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness 
and quality of the Personnel Development to Improve Services and 
Results for Children with Disabilities program. These measures include: 
(1) The percentage of Special Education Personnel Development projects 
that incorporate evidence-based practices into their curricula; (2) the 
percentage of scholars completing Special Education Personnel 
Development funded programs who are knowledgeable and skilled in 
evidence-based practices for infants, toddlers, children, and youth 
with disabilities; (3) the percentage of Special Education Personnel 
Development funded scholars who exit preparation programs prior to 
completion due to poor academic performance; (4) the percentage of 
Special Education Personnel Development funded degree/certification 
recipients who are working in the area(s) for which they were prepared 
upon program completion; (5) the percentage of Special Education 
Personnel Development funded degree/certification recipients who are 
working in the area(s) for which they were prepared upon program 
completion and who are fully qualified under IDEA; (6) the percentage 
of Special Education Personnel Development funded degree/certification 
recipients who maintain employment in the area(s) for which they were 
prepared for three or more years and who are fully qualified under 
IDEA; and (7) the Federal cost per fully qualified degree/certification 
recipient.
    In addition, the Department will gather information on the 
following outcome measures: (1) The number and percentage of degree/
certification recipients who are employed in high-need schools; (2) the 
number and percentage of degree/certification recipients who are 
employed in a school for at least two years; and (3) the number and 
percentage of degree/certification recipients who are rated as 
effective by their employers.
    Grantees may be asked to participate in assessing and providing 
information on these aspects of program quality.
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 
75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee 
has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives in 
its approved application and budget; whether the grantee has expended 
funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement 
requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved 
application.
    In making a continuation award, 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:  Celia Rosenquist, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4070, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-7373.
    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 5037, Potomac Center Plaza, 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 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: October 6, 2015.
Michael K. Yudin,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-25876 Filed 10-8-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P