[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 114 (Wednesday, June 13, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27570-27577]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-12717]


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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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SUMMARY: The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting 
applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for Personnel 
Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with 
Disabilities--Preparation of Special Education, Early Intervention, and 
Related Services Leadership Personnel, Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) number 84.325D.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: June 13, 2018.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 30, 2018.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 26, 2018.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at 
www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Celia Rosenquist, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5146, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-5076. Telephone: (202) 245-7373.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

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

[[Page 27571]]

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.
    Priorities: This competition includes two absolute priorities and 
one competitive preference priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 
75.105(b)(2)(v), Absolute Priority 1 is from allowable activities 
specified in the statute (see sections 662 and 681 of the Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); 20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481). 
Absolute Priority 2 and the competitive preference priority are from 
the Secretary's Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for 
Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on 
March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096) (Supplemental Priorities).
    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet these priorities.
    These priorities are:

Absolute Priority 1--Preparation of Special Education, Early 
Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel

Background
    The mission of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services (OSERS) is to improve early childhood, educational, and 
employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with 
disabilities, their families, their communities, and the Nation.
    The purpose of this Preparation of Special Education, Early 
Intervention, and Related Services Leadership Personnel competition is 
to support existing doctoral degree programs that prepare special 
education, early intervention, and related services personnel who are 
well-qualified for, and can act effectively in, leadership positions as 
researchers and preparers of special education, early intervention, and 
related services personnel in institutions of higher education (IHEs), 
or as leaders in national organizations, State educational agencies 
(SEAs), lead agencies (LAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), early 
intervention services programs (EIS programs), or schools. Absolute 
Priority 1 is consistent with the Supplemental Priorities, 
specifically, Supplemental Priority 5--Meeting the Unique Needs of 
Students and Children With Disabilities and/or Those with Unique Gifts 
and Talents; and Supplemental Priority 8--Promoting Effective 
Instruction in Classrooms and Schools.
    There is a well-documented need for leadership personnel to fill 
faculty and leadership positions in special education, early 
intervention, and related services (Castillo, Curtis, & Tan, 2014; 
deBettencourt, Hoover, Rude, & Taylor, 2016; Montrosse & Young, 2012; 
Robb, Smith, & Montrosse, 2012; Smith, Montrosse, Robb, Tyler, & Young, 
2011; Smith, Robb, West, & Tyler, 2010; Woods & Snyder, 2009). These 
leaders conduct research to increase the knowledge of effective 
interventions and services for children, including infants and 
toddlers, and youth with disabilities. These leaders also teach 
practices supported by evidence to future special education, early 
intervention, related services, and regular education professionals who 
will work in a variety of educational settings and provide services 
directly to these children (Robb et al., 2012; Smith et al., 2010; West 
& Hardman, 2012). Shortages in these leadership positions limit the 
field's capacity to generate new knowledge of effective interventions 
and to prepare future professionals to improve outcomes for children 
with disabilities (Smith et al., 2011). In addition, leadership 
shortages limit the field's capacity to ensure that children, including 
infants and toddlers, and youth with disabilities have the opportunity 
to meet challenging objectives and receive an educational program that 
is both meaningful and appropriately ambitious, which is essential for 
preparing them for future success.
    Shortages of leadership personnel at State and local agencies to 
fill special education and early intervention administrator positions 
have also been noted (Billingsley, Crockett, & Kamman, 2014). These 
administrators supervise and evaluate the implementation of 
instructional programs supported by evidence 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 as 
researchers and preparers of special education, early intervention, 
related services, and regular education personnel in IHEs, or as 
leaders in national organizations, SEAs, LAs, LEAs, EIS programs, or 
schools. Critical competencies for special education, early 
intervention, and related services personnel vary depending on the type 
of leadership 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. This knowledge should be applicable to children 
served in a variety of educational settings (e.g., public schools, 
including charter schools, or private schools) or early childhood and 
early intervention settings (e.g., home, community-based, Early Head 
Start and Head Start, child care, or public and private preschools), 
and the interventions and services must include those that promote 
literacy development, literacy skills, or other skills critical for 
college and today's careers.
Priority
    The purpose of this priority is to support existing doctoral degree 
programs that prepare special education, early intervention, and 
related services personnel at the doctoral degree level who are well 
qualified for, and can act effectively in, leadership positions as 
researchers and preparers of special education, early intervention, 
related services, and regular education personnel in IHEs, or as 
leaders in national organizations, SEAs, LAs, LEAs, or EIS programs. 
This priority supports two types of programs:
    Type A programs are designed to prepare special education, early 
intervention, and related services personnel as researchers and 
preparers of personnel in IHEs. Type A programs culminate in a doctoral 
degree.

    Note: Preparation programs that lead to clinical doctoral 
degrees in related services (e.g., a Doctor of Audiology degree or 
Doctor of Physical Therapy 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

[[Page 27572]]

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) intends to fund in FY 
2018.

    Type B programs are designed to prepare special education or early 
intervention administrators to work as leaders in national 
organizations, SEAs, LAs, LEAs, or EIS programs. Type B programs 
prepare personnel for positions such as SEA special education 
administrators, LEA or regional special education directors, school-
based special education directors, preschool coordinators, and early 
intervention coordinators. Type B programs culminate in a doctoral 
degree.

    Note: OSEP intends to fund in FY 2018 at least seven high-
quality applications proposing Type B programs and may fund 
applications out of rank order. These applications must be of high 
quality and should score higher than 84 on a 100-point scale, 
exclusive of competitive preference points, in the technical review.


    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 abstract. 
Applicants may not submit the same proposal for more than one 
program type.

    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 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 the need for leadership personnel to 
provide, prepare others to provide, or supervise the provision of 
effective interventions and services that improve outcomes for children 
with disabilities, including high-need children with disabilities.\1\ 
These interventions should be applicable to children served in a 
variety of educational settings (e.g., public schools, including 
charter schools, or private schools) or early childhood and early 
intervention settings (e.g., home, community-based, Early Head Start 
and Head Start, child care, or public and private preschools), and the 
interventions and services must include those that promote literacy 
development, literacy skills, or other skills critical for college and 
today's careers. To address this requirement, the applicant must 
present--
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    \1\ For purposes of this priority, ``high-need children with 
disabilities'' refers to children or students (ages birth through 
21, depending on the State) who are eligible for services under 
IDEA, and who may be at risk of educational failure or otherwise in 
need of special assistance or support because they: (1) Are living 
in poverty, (2) are English learners, (3) are academically far below 
grade level, (4) have left school before receiving a regular high 
school diploma, (5) are at risk of not graduating with a regular 
high school diploma on time, (6) are homeless, (7) are in foster 
care, or (8) have been incarcerated.
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    (i) Appropriate and applicable data (e.g., national, State) 
demonstrating the need for the leadership personnel the applicant 
proposes to prepare; and
    (ii) Data demonstrating the success of the doctoral program to date 
in producing leaders in special education, early intervention, or 
related services such as: The professional accomplishments of program 
graduates (e.g., public service, honors, or peer-reviewed publications 
(for Type A programs)) that demonstrate their leadership in special 
education, early intervention, or related services; the success 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 
program graduates to complete the program; The number of program 
graduates; and the percentage of program graduates finding employment 
directly related to their preparation.

    Note: Data on the success 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 scholars 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 provide, 
prepare others to provide, or supervise the provision of effective 
interventions and services that improve outcomes for children with 
disabilities, including high-need children with disabilities; and
    (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 applicant will recruit and support high-quality scholars. 
The narrative must describe--
    (i) The selection criteria the applicant will use to identify high-
quality applicants for admission in the program;
    (ii) The recruitment strategies the applicant will use to attract 
high-quality applicants and any specific recruitment strategies 
targeting high-quality applicants from groups that are underrepresented 
in the teaching profession, including individuals with disabilities; 
and
    (iii) 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 provide, prepare others 
to provide, or supervise the provision of effective interventions and 
services that improve outcomes for children with disabilities, 
including high-need children with disabilities. These interventions 
should be applicable to children served in a variety of educational 
settings (e.g., public schools, including charter schools, or private 
schools) or early childhood and early intervention settings (e.g., 
home, community-based, Early Head Start and Head Start, child care, or 
public and private preschools), and the interventions and services must 
include those that promote literacy development, literacy skills, or 
other skills critical for college and today's careers. To address this 
requirement, the applicant must--
    (i) Describe how the components of the project, such as coursework, 
internship 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

[[Page 27573]]

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 provide, prepare others to provide, or supervise the provision of 
effective interventions and services that improve outcomes for children 
with disabilities, including high-need children with disabilities, in a 
variety of educational or early childhood and early intervention 
settings;
    (iv) Demonstrate, through a letter of support from a partnering 
agency, school, or program, that it will provide scholars with a high-
quality internship experience in a high-need LEA; \2\ a high-poverty 
school; \3\ a school identified for comprehensive support and 
improvement; \4\ a school implementing a targeted support and 
improvement plan \5\ for children with disabilities; an early childhood 
and early intervention program located within the geographical 
boundaries of a high-need LEA; or an early childhood and early 
intervention program located within the geographical boundaries of an 
LEA serving the highest percentage of schools identified for 
comprehensive support and improvement or implementing targeted support 
and improvement plans in the State;
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    \2\ For the 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.
    \3\ For the purposes of this priority, ``high-poverty school'' 
means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are from 
low-income families as determined using one of the measures of 
poverty 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 is determined on the basis of the most currently available 
data.
    \4\ For the purposes of this priority, the term ``school 
identified for comprehensive support and improvement'' means a 
statewide identified category of school that includes (a) not less 
than the lowest-performing five percent of all schools receiving 
funds under this part in the State; (b) all public high schools in 
the State failing to graduate one-third or more of their students; 
(c) public schools in the State described under section 
1111(d)(3)(A)(i)(II) of the ESEA; and (d) at the discretion of the 
State, additional statewide categories of schools as defined in 
section 1111(c)(4)(D)(i) of the ESEA.
    \5\ For the purposes of this priority, the term ``schools 
implementing targeted support and improvement plans'' means a school 
that has developed and is implementing a school-level targeted 
support and improvement plan to improve student outcomes based on 
the indicators in the statewide accountability system as defined in 
section 1111(d)(2) of the ESEA.
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    (v) Describe how the project will use resources, as appropriate, 
available through technical assistance centers, which may include 
centers funded by the Department;
    (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 advancing their careers in special education, 
early intervention, or related services; and
    (vii) Describe how the components of the project, mentoring, and 
other project opportunities will promote the acquisition of scholars' 
critical leadership skills, including communication, networking, and 
collaboration.
    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Project Evaluation,'' how the applicant will--
    (1) Evaluate how well the goals or objectives of the proposed 
leadership project have been met. The applicant must describe the 
outcomes to be measured for both the project and the scholars, 
particularly the acquisition of scholars' competencies and their impact 
on the services provided by future teachers, service providers, or 
administrators; and the evaluation methodologies to be employed, 
including proposed instruments, data collection methods, and possible 
analyses;
    (2) 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) Report the evaluation results to OSEP in the applicant's 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 appendix B to the application--
    (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 scholar enrolled in the program in 
the last five years; and
    (iii) For new coursework, proposed syllabi;
    (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 all requirements for grantees 
in disbursing scholarships as outlined in 34 CFR 304.23. Failure by a 
grantee to properly meet these requirements would be a violation of the 
grant award that could result in sanctions, including the grantee being 
liable for returning any misused funds to the Department. Specifically, 
before disbursement of scholarship assistance to an individual, a 
grantee must--
    (i) Ensure that the scholar--
    (A) Is a citizen or national of the United States;
    (B) Is a permanent resident of--
    (1) Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; or
    (2) The Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of 
Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau during the period in which these 
entities are eligible to receive an award under the Personnel 
Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with 
Disabilities program; or
    (C) Provides evidence from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
that the individual is--
    (1) A lawful permanent resident of the United States; or
    (2) In the United States for other than a temporary purpose with 
the intention of becoming a citizen or permanent resident;
    (ii) Limit the cost of attendance portion of the scholarship 
assistance (as discussed in 34 CFR 304.21(a)) to the amount by which 
the individual's cost of attendance at the institution exceeds the 
amount of grant assistance the scholar is to receive for the same 
academic year under title IV of the HEA; and

[[Page 27574]]

    (iii) Obtain a Certification of Eligibility for Federal Assistance 
from each scholar, as prescribed in 34 CFR 75.60, 75.61, and 75.62.
    (5) 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);
    (6) 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;
    (7) Ensure that the project will meet the statutory requirements in 
section 662(e) through (h) of IDEA;
    (8) Ensure that at least 65 percent of the total requested budget 
over the five years will be used for scholar support;
    (9) Ensure that the 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;
    (10) 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;
    (11) Ensure that the project director, key personnel, and scholars 
will actively participate in the cross-project collaboration, advanced 
trainings, and cross-site learning opportunities (e.g., webinars, 
briefings) supported by OSEP. This network is intended to promote 
opportunities for participants to share resources and generate new 
knowledge by addressing topics of common interest to participants 
across projects including Department priorities and needs in the field;
    (12) Ensure that if the project maintains a website, that it will 
be of high quality, with an easy-to-navigate design, that meets 
government or industry-recognized standards for accessibility;
    (13) Ensure that scholar accomplishments (e.g., publications, 
awards) will be reported in annual and final performance reports; and
    (14) 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) website 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 
Certification for each scholar funded under an OSEP grant (see 
paragraph (4) of this section, subparagraphs (i) and (ii)).

Absolute Priority 2--Promoting Innovation and Efficiency, Streamlining 
Education With an Increased Focus on Improving Student Outcomes, and 
Providing Increased Value to Students and Taxpayers

Background
    The Department seeks to encourage grantees to leverage sources of 
support that may exist for their activities, beyond what is provided by 
the Department. Therefore, we have included an absolute priority for 
matching support through non-Federal contributions, either in cash or 
in-kind donations. Although the cash or in-kind resources to be 
contributed must be at least 10 percent of the total grant award, we 
encourage a higher percentage through the competitive preference 
priority included within this absolute priority.
    Applicants must address this absolute priority, and the competitive 
preference priority, if applicable, in the budget information (ED Form 
524, Section B) and budget narrative. The applicant must propose the 
amount of cash or in-kind resources to be contributed for each year of 
the grant.
Priority
    Projects that are designed to demonstrate matching support \6\ for 
the proposed project at 10 percent of the total amount of the grant.
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    \6\ For the purposes of this priority, matching support can be 
either cash or in-kind donations. According to 2 CFR 200.306, a cash 
expenditure or outlay of cash with respect to the matching budget by 
the grantee is considered a cash contribution. Certain cash 
contributions that the organization normally considers an indirect 
cost should not be counted as a direct cost for the purposes of 
meeting matching support. According to 2 CFR 200.434, third-party 
in-kind contributions are services or property (e.g., land, 
buildings, equipment, materials, supplies), that are contributed by 
a non-Federal third-party at no charge to the grantee.
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    Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we 
give competitive preference to applications that address the following 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award an additional one point 
to an application that meets paragraph (i) of the competitive 
preference priority and an additional two points to an application that 
meets paragraph (ii) of the competitive preference priority.
    This priority is:
    Projects that are designed to demonstrate matching support for the 
proposed projects:
    (i) 50 percent of the total amount of the grant (1 point); or
    (ii) 100 percent of the total amount of the grant (2 points).

References

Billingsley, B. S., Crockett, J., & Kamman, M. L. (2014).
Recruiting and retaining teachers and administrators in special 
education. In P. T. Sindelar, E. D. McCray, M. T. Brownell, & B. 
Lignugaris/Kraft (Eds.), Handbook of research on special education 
teacher preparation (pp. 94-112). New York, NY: Routledge.
Castillo, J. M., Curtis, M. J., & Tan, S. Y. (2014). Personnel needs 
in school psychology: A 10-year follow-up study on predicted 
personnel shortages. Psychology in the Schools, 51, 832-849.
deBettencourt, L. U., Hoover, J. J., Rude, H. A., & Taylor, S. S. 
(2016). Preparing special education higher education faculty: The 
influence of contemporary education issues and policy

[[Page 27575]]

recommendations. Teacher Education and Special Education, 39, 121-
133.
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: 
[email protected], 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, 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 and 
requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment 
requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget 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: $4,250,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2019 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 not make an award exceeding $250,000 for a 
single budget period of 12 months.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 17.

    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: Cost sharing or matching is required 
for this competition. See Absolute Priority 2.
    3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee under this 
competition 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. The grantee may award 
subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application.
    4. Other General Requirements: (a) Recipients of funding under this 
competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in 
employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of 
IDEA).
    (b) Applicants for, and recipients of, funding must, with respect 
to the aspects of their proposed project relating to the absolute 
priority, 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. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to 
submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for 
Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, 
published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and 
available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.
    2. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under 
Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this 
competition.
    3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    4. Recommended 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. We recommend 
that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 50 pages 
and (2) use 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.
    The recommended 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 
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 recommended page limit does apply to 
all of the application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, 
figures, graphs, and screen shots.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows:
    (a) Significance of the Project (10 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed 
project.
    (2) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the proposed project will prepare personnel 
for fields

[[Page 27576]]

in which shortages have been demonstrated;
    (ii) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely 
to be attained by the proposed project; and
    (iii) The extent to which there is a conceptual framework 
underlying the proposed research or demonstration activities and the 
quality of that framework.
    (b) Quality of Project Services (45 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be 
provided by the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and 
sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for 
eligible project participants who are members of groups that have 
traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability.
    (3) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the training or professional development 
services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient 
quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice 
among the recipients of those services;
    (ii) The extent to which the proposed activities constitute a 
coherent, sustained program of training in the field; and
    (iii) The extent to which the services to be provided by the 
proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and 
effective practice.
    (c) Quality of Project Evaluation (25 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, 
feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the 
proposed project;
    (ii) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable;
    (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the 
intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible; and
    (iv) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
timely guidance for quality assurance.
    (d) Quality of Management Plan and Resources (20 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
the adequacy of resources for the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the management plan and the 
adequacy of resources, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel;
    (ii) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks;
    (iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project;
    (iv) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, 
supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the 
lead applicant organization; and
    (v) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the 
proposed project.
    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.
    4. Risk Assessment and Specific 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 specific 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.
    5. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2) we must make a judgment about your 
integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal 
awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before we make 
an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that 
is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as 
the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.
    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal 
funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

[[Page 27577]]

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant 
funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. 
This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20.
    4. 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.
    5. Performance Measures: Under GPRA, the Department has established 
a set of performance measures, including long-term measures, that are 
designed to yield information on the quality of the Personnel 
Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with 
Disabilities program. These measures include: (1) The percentage of 
preparation programs that incorporate scientifically or evidence-based 
practices into their curricula; (2) the percentage of scholars 
completing preparation programs who are knowledgeable and skilled in 
evidence-based practices for children with disabilities; (3) the 
percentage of scholars who exit preparation programs prior to 
completion due to poor academic performance; (4) the percentage of 
scholars completing preparation programs who are working in the area(s) 
in which they were prepared upon program completion; and (5) the 
Federal cost per scholar who completed the preparation program.
    In addition, the Department will gather information on the 
following outcome measures: (1) The percentage of scholars who 
completed the preparation program and are employed in high-need 
districts; (2) the percentage of scholars who completed the preparation 
program and are employed in the field of special education for at least 
two years; and (3) the percentage of scholars who completed the 
preparation program and who are rated effective by their employers.
    Grantees may be asked to participate in assessing and providing 
information on these aspects of program quality.
    6. 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 of 
the project; 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. 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 Management Support Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 
Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5113, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 
20202-2500. 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. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations 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 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 8, 2018.
Johnny W. Collett,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2018-12717 Filed 6-12-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P