[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 52 (Wednesday, March 18, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14097-14103]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-06273]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With 
Disabilities--Model Demonstration Projects To Improve Adolescent 
Literacy for Students with Disabilities in Middle and High Schools, 
Grades 6-12

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

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information: Technical Assistance and Dissemination to 
Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities--Model 
Demonstration Projects to Improve Adolescent Literacy for Students with 
Disabilities in Middle and High Schools, Grades 6-12.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2015.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.326M.


DATES: Applications Available: March 18, 2015.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 4, 2015.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 1, 2015.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Technical Assistance and 
Dissemination to Improve Services and Results for Children with 
Disabilities program is to promote academic achievement and to improve 
results for children with disabilities by providing technical 
assistance (TA), supporting model demonstration projects, disseminating 
useful information, and implementing activities that are supported by 
scientifically based research.
    Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority 
is from allowable activities specified in the statute or otherwise 
authorized in the statute (see sections 663 and 681(d) of the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. 1463, 
1481(d).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, 
this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we 
consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:
    Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and 
Results for Children with Disabilities--Model Demonstration Projects to 
Improve Adolescent Literacy for Students with Disabilities in Middle 
and High Schools, Grades 6-12.
    Background: The purpose of this priority is to fund three 
cooperative agreements to establish and operate model demonstration 
projects that are designed to improve adolescent literacy for students 
with disabilities in middle and high school grades 6 through 12, who 
score below grade level in reading, or who have identified reading 
goals and objectives on their individualized education program. Results 
from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) demonstrate 
that there is a persistent gap in reading achievement between students 
with disabilities and those without disabilities. In 2013, the average 
scaled scores of eighth graders with disabilities, excluding those with 
a 504 plan, were 42 points lower than their non-disabled peers. Sixty-
five percent of eighth graders with disabilities scored below basic 
level on the reading assessment compared with 19 percent of eighth 
graders without disabilities (U.S. Department of Education, 2014).
    Adolescents must possess the ability to read for understanding 
across a wide variety of content in order to meet college- and career-
ready standards. Elements of literacy at the middle and secondary level 
include the ability to recognize and decode words and how students 
engage in reading as well as writing and oral communication skills.
    To improve adolescent literacy, as defined for the purpose of this 
priority, models should be designed to implement evidence-based 
adolescent literacy interventions that are based on strong theory or 
evidence of promise for improving reading, and locating, understanding, 
interpreting, evaluating, and using written information across multiple 
content areas. Intensive reading intervention to improve adolescent 
literacy should also include a mix of effective instruction, modeling, 
professional development, and evidence-based teaching practices that 
are appropriate for classroom and small group settings. Evidence also 
suggests the implementation of reading interventions requires well 
trained professionals who are prepared to incorporate these 
interventions within instruction across subjects in middle and high 
school grades (Faggella-Luby, Ware, & Capozzoli, 2009). Therefore, 
adolescent literacy models should also include professional development 
as a component of the model. In addition, such models need to be 
replicable across content areas in classrooms and small group settings 
in multiple school sites, with a goal of scaling-up the intervention 
for wider use.
    Priority: The purpose of this priority is to fund three cooperative 
agreements to establish and operate model demonstration projects that 
are designed to improve the literacy of adolescents with disabilities 
in middle and high school grades. For purposes of this priority, the 
target population includes: Students with disabilities in grades 6 
through 12 who score below grade level in reading, or who have 
identified reading goals and objectives on their individualized 
education program. For purposes of this priority, the term ``adolescent 
literacy'' refers to the skills needed by individuals with disabilities 
in middle or high school grades to locate, read, understand, interpret, 
evaluate, and use written information across multiple content areas.
    (a) Model demonstration projects funded under this priority must 
direct their efforts at improving adolescent literacy interventions in 
content areas using effective whole-class and small group instructional 
approaches for students with disabilities;
    (b) Models must also include--
    (1) A professional development component to teach educators how to 
implement the interventions with fidelity across a variety of content 
areas.

[[Page 14098]]

    (2) Strategies for replicating interventions used by educators so 
they are effective when brought to scale across multiple classrooms 
within the participating local educational agency (LEA).
    (c) Each model must include a plan to implement at least one 
evidence-based adolescent literacy intervention that applies strong 
theory or evidence of promise. In addition, these models must be 
implemented at multiple school sites and include professional 
development for all content area teachers at all middle and high school 
grades targeted to receive the intervention.
    To be considered for funding under this absolute priority, 
applicants must meet the application requirements contained in this 
priority. Each project funded under this absolute priority also must 
meet the programmatic and administrative requirements specified in the 
priority.
    Application Requirements. An applicant must include in its 
application--
    (a) A detailed review of the research evidence that supports the 
effectiveness of the proposed model, its components, and processes to 
improve outcomes for adolescents with disabilities in middle and high 
school grades;
    (b) A logic model that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, 
activities, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed model demonstration 
project. The logic model must describe how LEAs and participating 
schools involved in the project would contribute to the activities, 
outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project. A logic model 
communicates how a project will achieve its outcomes and provides a 
framework for both the formative and summative evaluations of the 
project;

    Note: While section 77.1(c) of EDGAR contains a definition for 
``logic model,'' OSEP, based upon its experience in this area, has 
been using the above definition as standard language for the OSEP 
TA&D priorities. OSEP's definition establishes a difference between 
logic models and conceptual frameworks whereas 34 CFR 77.1(c) 
considers the model to be one and the same. The following Web sites 
provide more information on logic models: 
www.researchutilization.org/matrix/logicmodel_resource3c.html and 
www.tadnet.org/pages/589.

    (c) A description of the activities of the proposed model 
demonstration project to improve literacy for adolescents with 
disabilities in subject areas taught in middle and high schools. The 
description must include:
    (1) Intervention components, including:
    (i) Evidence-based literacy instruction and interventions that are 
provided to the adolescents with disabilities, and are replicable 
across a variety of content areas by each participating school within a 
participating LEA;
    (ii) An explanation of the culturally responsive principles \1\ to 
be incorporated within the interventions;
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    \1\ Culturally responsive principles promote redesigning the 
learning environments to support the development and success of all 
students. Some examples of incorporating culturally responsive 
principles into learning environments include communicating high 
expectations to all students, incorporating students' cultural and 
home experiences into lessons by reshaping the curriculum to reflect 
students' experiences, and engaging students in activities where 
they can converse with one another on topics that tap into their 
background knowledge and experiences (Gay, 2000; King, Artiles, & 
Kozleski, 2009).
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    (iii) An explanation of the professional development materials and 
activities that would be provided to school and LEA personnel to ensure 
that they implement the evidence-based intervention with fidelity; and
    (iv) A data plan that outlines the process for collecting, 
assessing, and analyzing \2\ data for participating adolescents with 
disabilities. The data plan should include a description of how these 
data will be used to improve the instructional interventions.
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    \2\ Applicants must ensure the confidentiality of individual 
data, consistent with the requirements of section 444 of the General 
Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), commonly known as the 
``Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act'' (FERPA), and State 
laws or regulations concerning the confidentiality of individual 
records. Final FERPA regulatory changes became effective January 3, 
2012, and include requirements for data sharing. Applicants are 
encouraged to review the final FERPA regulations published on 
December 2, 2011 (76 FR 75604). Questions can be sent to the Family 
Policy Compliance Office (www.ed.gov/fpco) at (202) 260-3887 or 
[email protected].
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    (2) Components that will be implemented in each participating 
school and LEA and that--
    (i) Identify the methods and criteria that will be used to select 
\3\ and recruit \4\ at least three middle or high schools and describe 
the schools and LEAs that will participate in the project, including 
their populations and whether the LEAs or the schools that are 
participating are high-poverty, high-need,\5\ rural,\6\ urban, or 
suburban; and
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    \3\ For factors to consider when selecting model demonstration 
sites, the applicant should refer to Assessing Sites for Model 
Demonstration: Lessons Learned for OSEP Grantees at http://mdcc.sri.com/documents/reports/MDCC_Site_Assessment_Brief_09-30-11.pdf. The document also contains a site assessment tool.
    \4\ The applicant must describe who is going to be contacted 
within the district(s) and how ``buy-in'' from these and other 
leaders will be solicited.
    \5\ Section 2102(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) defines a ``high-need LEA'' as an 
LEA--(A)(i) That serves not fewer than 10,000 children from families 
with incomes below the poverty line (as that term is defined in 
section 9101(33) of the ESEA); or (ii) for which not less than 20 
percent of the children served by the LEA are from families with 
incomes below the poverty line; and (B)(i) for which there is a high 
percentage of teachers not teaching in the academic subjects or 
grade levels that the teachers were trained to teach; or (ii) for 
which there is a high percentage of teachers with emergency, 
provisional, or temporary certification or licensing.
    \6\ For purposes of this priority, ``rural LEA'' means an LEA 
that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) 
program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized 
under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. Applicants may determine whether 
a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to the 
information on the following Department Web sites. For SRSA: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/index.html. For RLIS: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reaprlisp/eligibility.html.

    Note: Applicants are encouraged to identify, to the extent 
possible, LEAs and schools willing to participate in the applicant's 
model demonstration. Final site selection will be determined in 
consultation with the OSEP project officer following the kick-off 
meeting described in paragraph (d)(1) of these application 
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requirements.

    (ii) Provide initial and ongoing professional development, 
including coaching, for educators involved in implementing the models; 
and
    (3) Evaluation components, including:--
    (i) How the applicant will measure the extent to which project 
activities maintain fidelity to the proposed model;
    (ii) How the applicant will measure the social validity of the 
model--in other words, measuring the satisfaction of stakeholders' 
(i.e., educators', parents', and students') with the model components, 
processes, and outcomes;
    (iii) A formative evaluation plan, consistent with the project's 
logic model and the data-collection plan that will include, as 
appropriate, periodic collection of student performance and achievement 
data, as well as the data collection systems that will be used to 
measure the fidelity of the implementation activities to the proposed 
model, stakeholder satisfaction, and descriptions of the settings where 
the intervention will take place. The plan must outline how these data 
will be reviewed by project staff, when they will be reviewed, and how 
they will be used during the course of the project to adjust the model 
or its implementation to increase the model's usefulness, 
generalizability, and potential for sustainability; and
    (iv) The timeline and plan to collect summative evaluation data on 
the

[[Page 14099]]

reading achievement of adolescents with disabilities and their 
nondisabled peers; and
    (d) A budget for attendance at the following:
    (1) A one and one half-day kick-off meeting to be held in 
Washington, DC, after receipt of the award.
    (2) The three-day Project Directors' Conference in Washington, DC, 
during each year of the project period; and
    (3) Six travel days spread across years 2-4 of the project period 
to attend planning meetings, Department briefings, Department-sponsored 
conferences, and other meetings, as requested by OSEP, to be held in 
Washington, DC, with the OSEP project officer.
    Other Project Activities. To meet the requirements of this 
priority, each project, at a minimum, must:
    (a) Document the process for model replication purposes, should the 
model be successful;
    (b) Communicate and collaborate on an ongoing basis with other 
Department-funded literacy projects to share information on successful 
strategies and implementation challenges regarding adolescent literacy 
instruction and achievement;
    (c) Maintain ongoing telephone and email communication with the 
OSEP project officer and the other model demonstration projects funded 
under this priority; and
    (d) If the project maintains a Web site, include relevant 
information about the model, the intervention, and the demonstration 
activities that meets government- or industry-recognized standards for 
accessibility.

    References:

Faggella-Luby, M. N., Ware, S. M., & Capozzoli, A. (2009). 
Adolescent literacy--Reviewing adolescent literacy reports: Key 
components and critical questions. Journal of Literacy Research, 41, 
453-475.
Gay, G. (2000). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, 
and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.
King, K. A., Artiles, A. J., & Kozleski, E. B. (2009). Professional 
learning for culturally responsive teaching. Retrieved from 
www.equityallianceatasu.org/sites/default/files/Web site_files/
exemplarFINAL.pdf.
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. 
(2014). National Center for Education Statistics, National 
Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), The Nation's Report Card. 
Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://nationsreportcard.gov.

    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. However, section 681(d) of the IDEA makes the public 
comment requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this 
notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1463 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations:
    The following regulations apply: (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 Education Department debarment 
and suspension regulations as adopted in 2 CFR part 3485 and the 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards as adopted as regulations of the 
Department in 2 CFR part 3474.\7\
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    \7\ If a for-profit (commercial) organization is awarded a 
grant, it will be required to comply with the Uniform Guidance in 2 
CFR part 200, as adopted as regulations of the Department at 2 CFR 
part 3474.

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


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply only to 
institutions of higher education (IHEs).

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,200,000.
    Contingent on the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $375,000 to $400,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Award: $400,000.
    Maximum Award: We will reject and not review any application that 
proposes a budget exceeding $400,000 for a single budget period of 12 
months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice 
published in the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 3.

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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

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

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications 
Center (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: [email protected].
    If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to 
identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.326M.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III to 
the equivalent of no more than 50 pages, using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5 x 11, on one side 
only, with 1 margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all

[[Page 14100]]

text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.
    The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, 
the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part 
IV, the assurances and certifications; or the abstract, the resumes, 
the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the page limit 
does apply to all of the application narrative section (Part III).
    We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit in the 
application narrative section; or if you apply standards other than 
those specified in the application package.
    Submission of Proprietary Information:
    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications 
for the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve Services and 
Results for Children with Disabilities--Model Demonstration Projects to 
Improve Adolescent Literacy for Students with Disabilities in Middle 
and High Schools, Grades 6-12, your application may include business 
information that you consider proprietary. The Department's regulations 
define ``business information'' in 34 CFR 5.11.
    Under the Department's transparency policies, we make successful 
applicants' abstracts available to the public.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate 
Appendix section of your application, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' 
please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this 
information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: March 18, 2015.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 4, 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 section IV. 7. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 1, 2015.
    4. 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.
    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 Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number and TIN 
with the System for Award Management (SAM), the Government's primary 
registrant database;
    c. Provide your UEI 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.
    Currently, SAM relies on the identifier provided by Dun and 
Bradstreet (DUNS number) for the UEI. You can create a DUNS number 
within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The SAM registration process may take seven or more business days, 
but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness 
and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. 
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, you will need to 
allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in 
Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through 
Grants.gov. If you are currently registered with the 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 to complete. Information about SAM is 
available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining 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 Model Demonstration Projects on 
the Improvement of Adolescent Literacy for Students with Disabilities 
in Middle and High Schools in Grades 6-12 competition, CFDA number 
84.326M, must be submitted electronically using the Government-wide 
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

[[Page 14101]]

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 Model 
Demonstration Projects to Improve Adolescent Literacy for Students with 
Disabilities in Middle and High Schools, Grades 6-12 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 84.326, not 
84.326M).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: the 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not 
review that material. Additional, detailed information on how to attach 
files is in the application instructions.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by email. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

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

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system;

and

     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent 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: Greg Knollman, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland

[[Page 14102]]

Avenue SW., Room 4096, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 
20202-2600. FAX: (202) 245-7617.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.326M), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

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

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.326M), 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 
provided in the application package.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors:
    In the past, the Department has had difficulty finding peer 
reviewers for certain competitions because so many individuals who are 
eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The 
standing panel requirements under section 682(b) of IDEA also have 
placed additional constraints on the availability of reviewers. 
Therefore, the Department has determined that, for some discretionary 
grant competitions, applications may be separated into two or more 
groups and ranked and selected for funding within specific groups. This 
procedure will make it easier for the Department to find peer 
reviewers, by ensuring that greater numbers of individuals who are 
eligible to serve as reviewers for any particular group of applicants 
will not have conflicts of interest. It also will increase the quality, 
independence, and fairness of the review process, while permitting 
panel members to review applications under discretionary grant 
competitions for which they also have submitted applications. However, 
if the Department decides to select an equal number of applications in 
each group for funding, this may result in different cut-off points for 
fundable applications in each group.
    4. Special Conditions: Under 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; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise 
not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure

[[Page 14103]]

information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The 
Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 
CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to 
www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of 
performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed 
to yield information on various aspects of the effectiveness and 
quality of the Technical Assistance and Dissemination to Improve 
Services and Results for Children with Disabilities program. These 
measures focus on the extent to which projects provide high-quality 
products and services, the relevance of project products and services 
to educational and early intervention policy and practice, and the use 
of products and services to improve educational and early intervention 
policy and practice.
    Grantees will be required to report information on their project's 
performance in annual reports to the Department (34 CFR 75.590).
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greg Knollman, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4096, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202-2600. Telephone: (202) 245-6425.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), 
toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

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

    Dated: March 12, 2015.
Sue Swenson,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-06273 Filed 3-17-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P