[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 135 (Friday, July 13, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32644-32651]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-15055]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Personnel Development To Improve 
Services and Results for Children With Disabilities--Associate Degree 
Preservice Program Improvement Grants To Support Personnel Working With 
Young Children With Disabilities

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--Associate Degree Preservice Program Improvement Grants to 
Support Personnel Working with Young Children with Disabilities, 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.325N.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: July 13, 2018.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 13, 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: Julia Martin Eile, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5175, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-5076. Telephone: (202) 245-7431. Email: 
Julia.Martin.Eile@ed.gov.
    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 in special education, 
early intervention, related services, and regular education to work 
with children, including infants and toddlers, with disabilities; and 
(2) ensure that those personnel have the necessary skills and 
knowledge, derived from practices that have been determined through 
scientifically based research and experience, to be successful in 
serving those children.
    Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), the absolute 
and competitive preference priorities are 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: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:

Associate Degree Preservice Program Improvement Grants To Support 
Personnel Working With Young Children With Disabilities

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 priority is to fund eight Associate Degree 
Preservice Improvement Grants and improve the quality of existing 
associate degree programs so that associate degree-level personnel are 
well prepared to work with infants, toddlers, preschool, and early 
elementary school children ages birth through 8 (young children) with 
disabilities and their families in inclusive early childhood programs 
and elementary schools. Associate degree-level personnel play critical 
roles in the development and learning of all young children, including 
young children with disabilities, as child care providers, preschool 
teachers, assistant teachers, and paraprofessionals. In these roles, 
associate degree-level personnel can use evidence-based (as defined in 
this notice) practices (EBPs) to meaningfully include young children 
with disabilities in early childhood programs and classrooms, 
individualize interventions and accommodations, collect data to monitor 
progress, and collaborate with other professionals. In elementary 
schools, paraprofessionals are often

[[Page 32645]]

responsible for providing direct services to children, such as small 
group instruction, one-on-one tutoring, and assisting with classroom 
management. Studies have shown, however, that associate degree programs 
do not adequately prepare personnel to work with young children with 
disabilities (Chang, Early, & Winton, 2005; Giangreco, 2010; Maxwell, 
Lim, & Early, 2006). This priority is consistent with two of the 
priorities from the Secretary's Final Supplemental Priorities and 
Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs, which were published in 
the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096): Priority 5--Meeting 
the Unique Needs of Students and Children with Disabilities and/or 
Those with Unique Gifts and Talents; and Priority 8--Promoting 
Effective Instruction in Classrooms and Schools.
    The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) began to address 
the need for more qualified associate degree-level personnel in FYs 
2010 and 2011 by funding projects to enhance and redesign community 
college programs. A number of those grantees were four-year 
institutions that partnered with community colleges and successfully 
redesigned their associate degree programs. They did this by 
incorporating content on serving children with disabilities and their 
families into courses and practicum experiences to increase the 
competencies of associate degree-level personel to work with children 
with disabilities and their families (Catlett, Maude, & Nollsch, 2014; 
Catlett, Maude, & Skinner, 2016).
    OSEP will build on this work by funding four-year insitutions of 
higher education (IHEs) to partner with a minimum of three community 
colleges to enhance and redesign their associate degree programs to 
better prepare associate degree students to meet the needs of young 
children with disabilities and their families.
    Priority:
    The purpose of this priority is to fund eight Associate Degree 
Preservice Program Improvement Grants to Support Personnel Working with 
Young Children with Disabilities to achieve, at a minimum, the 
following expected outcomes:
    (a) Redesigned curricula and increased faculty knowledge and 
capacity to deliver new content in the curricula that better prepares 
associate degree students to work with young children with disabilities 
and their families and support their meaningful participation, 
development, and learning in early childhood programs and elementary 
schools;
    (b) Increased competencies of associate degree students to work 
with young children with disabilities and their families and support 
their meaningful participation, development, and learning in early 
childhood programs and elementary schools;
    (c) Increased numbers of associate degree-level personnel who have 
the competencies to work with young children with disabilies and their 
families and support their meaningful partication, development, and 
learning in early childhood programs and elementary schools; and
    (d) Refinement and verification of a model to effectively enhance 
and redesign associate degree programs to prepare associate degree-
level personnel to work with young children with disabilities and their 
families through partnerships with four-year IHEs.
    In addition to these programmatic requirements, to be considered 
for funding under this priority, applicants must meet the application 
and administrative requirements in this priority, which are:
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Address the need in the field for associate degree-level 
personnel with the competencies to serve young children with 
disabilities and their families and support their meaningful 
participation, development, and learning in early childhood programs 
and elementary schools. To meet this requirement, the applicant must--
    (i) Present applicable national and State data demonstrating the 
need to improve the competencies of associate degree-level personnel to 
serve young children with disabilities and their families and support 
their meaningful participation, development, and learning in early 
childhood programs and elementary schools;
    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of the competencies that associate 
degree-level personnel need to effectively serve young children with 
disabilities and their families and support their meaningful 
participation, development, and learning in early childhood programs 
and elementary schools; and
    (iii) Demonstrate knowledge of current educational issues and 
policy initiatives relating to the preparation of a competent early 
childhood workforce, especially associate degree-level personnel;
    (2) Address the need for faculty to have the competencies to 
deliver content that will prepare associate degree students to serve 
young children with disabilities and their families and support their 
meaningful participation, development, and learning in early childhood 
programs and elementary schools. To meet this requirement, the 
applicant must--
    (i) Present applicable national or State data demonstrating the 
need to improve preservice preparation at the associate degree-level to 
prepare students to serve young children with disabilities and their 
families; and
    (ii) Present information about the current capacity of faculty 
preparing associate degree students to align the curriculm to State and 
national professional organization personnel standards, integrate 
content on serving young children with disabilities and their families, 
and design the curriculum utilizing adult learning principles.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of project services,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Ensure equal access and treatment for members of groups that 
have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability;
    (2) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must provide--
    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes; and
    (ii) In Appendix A, the logic model (as defined in this notice) by 
which the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes that 
depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and intended 
outcomes of the proposed project;
    (3) Use a conceptual framework (and provide a copy in Appendix A) 
to develop project plans and activities, describing any underlying 
concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as 
the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables, and any 
empirical support for this framework;

    Note: The following websites provide more information on logic 
models and conceptual frameworks: www.osepideasthatwork.org/logicModel and www.osepideasthatwork.org/resources-grantees/program-areas/ta-ta/tad-project-logic-model-and-conceptual-framework.

    (4) Be based on current research and make use of EBPs. To meet this 
requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) The current research on adult learning principles that will 
inform the proposed project; and
    (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate current research and 
EBPs

[[Page 32646]]

in the development and delivery of curriculum enhancement and redesign;
    (5) Develop or refine a process to effectively enhance and redesign 
associate degree programs to achieve the intended outcomes of the 
proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must 
describe--
    (i) How it proposes to develop partnerships with a minimum of three 
community colleges in the State to enhance and revise the associate 
degree curricula within these community colleges to prepare early 
intervention, early childhood special education, and early childhood 
education personnel to serve children ages birth through age 8 with 
disabilities. (In States where the age range for certification of early 
childhood personnel is other than birth through age 8 (e.g., birth 
through age 3, birth through age 5, ages 3 through 5), we defer to the 
age range in such State's certification); and
    (ii) Its proposed approach to partner with community colleges to 
enhance or redesign the associate degree programs' curricula by 
incorporating EBPs into courses and by providing at least one practicum 
experience in a setting that serves young children with disabilities 
and their families. The applicant must describe how the improved 
associate degree program will be--
    (A) Aligned to State standards for associate degree-level 
personnel, or in States that do not have State standards, meet 
appropriate national professional organization standards for associate 
degree-level professions; and
    (B) Designed to ensure that associate degree students receive 
training and develop competencies in the following areas:
    (1) Collaborating and working effectively with other practicioners;
    (2) Implementing instructional and intervention practices, such as 
the Division for Early Childhood Recommended Practices, the Council for 
Exceptional Children High-Leverage Practices in Special Education, or 
similar best practice recommendations;
    (3) Supporting young children with disabilities' literacy and 
science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) development by 
implementing EBPs and supporting families to understand their young 
children's literacy and STEM development;
    (4) Supporting young children with disabilities' social, emotional, 
and behavioral development and implementing positive behavioral 
interventions and supports;
    (5) Using technology to enhance children's development and access 
to natural learning opportunities or participation in early childhood 
programs;
    (6) Observing and collecting data for progress monitoring;
    (7) Engaging and commuicating effectively with families;
    (8) Assisting in the implementation of transition plans and 
services across settings from early intervention to preschool and 
preschool to elementary school; and
    (9) Working with children and families from diverse cultural and 
linguistic backgrounds, including dual language learners with 
disabilities;
    (iii) Its proposed approach to ensure that faculty in the community 
colleges have the necessary support, knowledge, skills, and 
competiences to enhance or redesign their associate degree program and 
implement the new content to prepare associate degree students to work 
with young children with disabilities and their families; and
    (iv) Its proposed approach to using resources developed by other 
projects funded by the Department of Education and the Department of 
Health and Human Services when partnering with community colleges to 
redesign or enhance their associate degree programs.
    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the project evaluation,'' how--
    (1) The applicant will use comprehensive and appropriate 
methodologies to evaluate how well the goals or objectives of the 
proposed project have been met, including the project processes and 
outcomes;
    (2) The applicant will collect, analyze, and use data related to 
specific and measureable goals, objectives, and outcomes of the 
project. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) How student competencies and other project processes and 
outcomes will be measured for formative purposes, including proposed 
instruments, data collection methods, and possible analysis;
    (ii) How data on faculty competencies will be collected and 
analyzed; and
    (iii) How data on the quality of the process used to enhance and 
redesign the associate degree program will be collected and analyzed;
    (3) The methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data for objective performance measurement that are related 
to the outcomes of the proposed project;
    (4) The methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and 
allow for periodic assessment of progress towards meeting the project 
outcomes. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe 
how--
    (i) Results of the evaluation will be used as a basis for improving 
the proposed project to prepare associate degree-level personnel to 
provide evidence-based services to young children with disablities and 
their families;
    (ii) Results of the evaluation will be used to refine the process 
for enhancing and redesigning associate degree programs; and
    (iii) The grantee will report the evaluation results to OSEP in its 
annual and final performance reports.
    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Adequacy of resources and quality of project personnel,'' how--
    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment 
from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been 
underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or 
disability, as appropriate;
    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and 
subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to carry out the 
proposed activities and achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to 
carry out the proposed activities; and
    (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the 
anticipated results and benefits.
    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the management plan,'' how--
    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's 
intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To 
address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, 
consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and
    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks;
    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors 
will be allocated and how these allocations are appropriate and 
adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's 
products and services are of high quality, relevant, and useful to 
recipients; and
    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of 
perspectives, including those of families, educators, faculty, 
doctoral-level students, technical assistance and professional 
development providers, researchers, and

[[Page 32647]]

policy makers, among others, in its development and operation.
    (f) Address the following application requirements. The applicant 
must--
    (1) Include, in Appendix A, personnel-loading charts and timelines, 
as applicable, to illustrate the management plan described in the 
narrative;
    (2) If the project maintains a website, include relevant 
information about the revised program and documents in a form that 
meets government or industry recognized standards of accessibility;
    (3) Include, in the budget, attendance at a two and one-half day 
project directors' conference in Washington, DC, during each year of 
the project period; and
    (4) Provide an assurance that the project will submit the revised 
curriculum and syllabi for courses that are included in the improved 
associate degree programs to the OSEP project officer with the 
submission of the annual performance report during each year of the 
grant and make any necessary revisions required by OSEP.
    Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we 
give competitive preference to applications that meet the following 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 
five points to an application that meets this priority.
    This priority is:
    Applicants that partner with one or multiple local or State 
entities, such as schools (including early childhood programs), local 
educational agencies (LEAs) or State educational agencies (SEAs), State 
lead agencies, businesses, or not-for-profit organizations, to help 
meet the goals of the project.

    Note: The Department is particularly interested in partnerships 
that are designed to identify and address local needs for personnel 
in special education, early intervention, related services, and 
regular education to work with children, including infants and 
toddlers, with disabilities; and partnerships designed to guarantee 
post-graduation employment opportunities for personnel who 
successfully complete a relevant training program with an associate 
degree from any partner community college.

References
Catlett, C., Maude, S.P., & Nollsch, M. (2014). Young Exceptional 
Children Monography, No. 16.
Catlett, C., Maude, S.P., & Skinner, M. (2016, October). The 
blueprint process for enhancing early childhood preservice programs 
and courses. Unpublished manuscript.
Chang, F., Early, D., & Winton, P. (2005). Early childhood teacher 
preparation in special education at 2- and 4-year institutions of 
higher education. Journal of Early Intervention, 27, 110-124.
Giangreco, M.F. (2010). One-to-one paraprofessionals for students 
with disabilities in inclusive classrooms: Is conventional wisdom 
wrong? Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, 48(1), 1-13.
Maxwell, K.L., Lim, C-I., & Early, D.M. (2006). Early childhood 
teacher preparation programs in the United States: National report. 
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development 
Institute.
Definitions
    The following definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1:
    Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in 
the project's logic model is informed by research or evaluation 
findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve 
relevant outcomes.
    Evidence-based means the proposed project component is supported by 
one or more of strong evidence, moderate evidence, promising evidence, 
or evidence that demonstrates a rationale.
    Experimental study means a study that is designed to compare 
outcomes between two groups of individuals (such as students) that are 
otherwise equivalent except for their assignment to either a treatment 
group receiving a project component or a control group that does not. 
Randomized controlled trials, regression discontinuity design studies, 
and single-case design studies are the specific types of experimental 
studies that, depending on their design and implementation (e.g., 
sample attrition in randomized controlled trials and regression 
discontinuity design studies), can meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) 
standards without reservations as described in the WWC Handbook:
    (i) A randomized controlled trial employs random assignment of, for 
example, students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to receive the 
project component being evaluated (the treatment group) or not to 
receive the project component (the control group).
    (ii) A regression discontinuity design study assigns the project 
component being evaluated using a measured variable (e.g., assigning 
students reading below a cutoff score to tutoring or developmental 
education classes) and controls for that variable in the analysis of 
outcomes.
    (iii) A single-case design study uses observations of a single case 
(e.g., a student eligible for a behavioral intervention) over time in 
the absence and presence of a controlled treatment manipulation to 
determine whether the outcome is systematically related to the 
treatment.
    Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a 
framework that identifies key project components of the proposed 
project (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are hypothesized to be 
critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the 
theoretical and operational relationships among the key project 
components and relevant outcomes.
    Moderate evidence means that there is evidence of effectiveness of 
a key project component in improving a relevant outcome for a sample 
that overlaps with the populations or settings proposed to receive that 
component, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:
    (i) A practice guide prepared by the WWC using version 2.1 or 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook reporting a ``strong evidence base'' or ``moderate 
evidence base'' for the corresponding practice guide recommendation;
    (ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC using version 2.1 
or 3.0 of the WWC Handbook reporting a ``positive effect'' or 
``potentially positive effect'' on a relevant outcome based on a 
``medium to large'' extent of evidence, with no reporting of a 
``negative effect'' or ``potentially negative effect'' on a relevant 
outcome; or
    (iii) A single experimental study or quasi-experimental design 
study reviewed and reported by the WWC using version 2.1 or 3.0 of the 
WWC Handbook, or otherwise assessed by the Department using version 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook, as appropriate, and that--
    (A) Meets WWC standards with or without reservations;
    (B) Includes at least one statistically significant and positive 
(i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome;
    (C) Includes no overriding statistically significant and negative 
effects on relevant outcomes reported in the study or in a 
corresponding WWC intervention report prepared under version 2.1 or 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook; and
    (D) Is based on a sample from more than one site (e.g., State, 
county, city, school district, or postsecondary campus) and includes at 
least 350 students or other individuals across sites. Multiple studies 
of the same project component that each meet requirements in paragraphs 
(iii)(A), (B), and (C) of this definition may together satisfy this 
requirement.
    Project component means an activity, strategy, intervention, 
process, product, practice, or policy included in a project. Evidence 
may pertain to an individual project component or to a combination of 
project components (e.g., training

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teachers on instructional practices for English learners and follow-on 
coaching for these teachers).
    Promising evidence means that there is evidence of the 
effectiveness of a key project component in improving a relevant 
outcome, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:
    (i) A practice guide prepared by WWC reporting a ``strong evidence 
base'' or ``moderate evidence base'' for the corresponding practice 
guide recommendation;
    (ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC reporting a 
``positive effect'' or ``potentially positive effect'' on a relevant 
outcome with no reporting of a ``negative effect'' or ``potentially 
negative effect'' on a relevant outcome; or
    (iii) A single study assessed by the Department, as appropriate, 
that--
    (A) Is an experimental study, a quasi-experimental design study, or 
a well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with 
statistical controls for selection bias (e.g., a study using regression 
methods to account for differences between a treatment group and a 
comparison group); and
    (B) Includes at least one statistically significant and positive 
(i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome.
    Quasi-experimental design study means a study using a design that 
attempts to approximate an experimental study by identifying a 
comparison group that is similar to the treatment group in important 
respects. This type of study, depending on design and implementation 
(e.g., establishment of baseline equivalence of the groups being 
compared), can meet WWC standards with reservations, but cannot meet 
WWC standards without reservations, as described in the WWC Handbook.
    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcome(s) 
the key project component is designed to improve, consistent with the 
specific goals of the program.
    Strong evidence means that there is evidence of the effectiveness 
of a key project component in improving a relevant outcome for a sample 
that overlaps with the populations and settings proposed to receive 
that component, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:
    (i) A practice guide prepared by the WWC using version 2.1 or 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook reporting a ``strong evidence base'' for the 
corresponding practice guide recommendation;
    (ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC using version 2.1 
or 3.0 of the WWC Handbook reporting a ``positive effect'' on a 
relevant outcome based on a ``medium to large'' extent of evidence, 
with no reporting of a ``negative effect'' or ``potentially negative 
effect'' on a relevant outcome; or
    (iii) A single experimental study reviewed and reported by the WWC 
using version 2.1 or 3.0 of the WWC Handbook, or otherwise assessed by 
the Department using version 3.0 of the WWC Handbook, as appropriate, 
and that--
    (A) Meets WWC standards without reservations;
    (B) Includes at least one statistically significant and positive 
(i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome;
    (C) Includes no overriding statistically significant and negative 
effects on relevant outcomes reported in the study or in a 
corresponding WWC intervention report prepared under version 2.1 or 3.0 
of the WWC Handbook; and
    (D) Is based on a sample from more than one site (e.g., State, 
county, city, school district, or postsecondary campus) and includes at 
least 350 students or other individuals across sites. Multiple studies 
of the same project component that each meet requirements in paragraphs 
(iii)(A), (B), and (C) of this definition may together satisfy this 
requirement.
    What Works Clearinghouse Handbook (WWC Handbook) means the 
standards and procedures set forth in the WWC Procedures and Standards 
Handbook, Version 3.0 or Version 2.1 (incorporated by reference, see 34 
CFR 77.2). Study findings eligible for review under WWC standards can 
meet WWC standards without reservations, meet WWC standards with 
reservations, or not meet WWC standards. WWC practice guides and 
intervention reports include findings from systematic reviews of 
evidence as described in the Handbook documentation.
    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities and 
requirements. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment 
requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priorities in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1462 and 1481.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations 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 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian Tribes.


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

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $1,200,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2019 from the list of 
unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $145,000-$150,000.
    Maximum Awards: We will not make an award exceeding $150,000 for a 
single budget period of 12 months.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 8.

    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; nonprofit and for-profit 
organizations engaged in the preparation of early childhood personnel.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Subgrantees: Under 34 CFR 75.708(b) and (c) a grantee may award 
subgrants--to directly carry out project activities described in its 
application--to the following types of entities: SEAs; LEAs, including 
charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law; IHEs; other 
public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; freely associated 
States and outlying areas; Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations; and 
for-profit 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 under this 
competition must

[[Page 32649]]

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. However, 
under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to 
make awards by the end of FY 2018.
    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 70 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 either 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 (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 specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructure, or opporutnities have been identified and will be 
addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude 
of those gaps or weaknesses; and
    (ii) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely 
to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in 
teaching and student achievement.
    (b) Quality of project services (35 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 goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable;
    (ii) The extent to which the services to be provided by the 
proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and 
effective practice;
    (iii) 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;
    (iv) The extent to which the services to be provided by the 
proposed project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for 
maximizing the effectiveness of project services; and
    (v) The extent to which the proposed activities constitute a 
coherent, sustained program of training in the field.
    (c) Quality of the project evaluation (20 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted by 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 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
    (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward 
achieving intended outcomes.
    (d) Adequacy of resources and quality of project personnel (15 
points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources and quality 
of project personnel for the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary 
considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for 
employment from persons 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 one or more of the 
following factors:
    (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel;
    (ii) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, 
supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the 
lead applicant organization; and
    (iii) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to 
the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed 
project.
    (e) Quality of the management plan (20 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for 
the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) 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;
    (ii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and

[[Page 32650]]

principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate 
and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project;
    (iii) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products 
and services from the proposed project; and
    (iv) How the applicant will ensure that a diversity of perspectives 
are brought to bear in the operation of the proposed project, including 
those of parents, teachers, the business community, a variety of 
disciplinary and professional fields, recipients or beneficiaries of 
services, or others, as appropriate.
    2. Review and Selection Process: (a) 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.
    (b) 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.
    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.

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 the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993, the Department has established a set of 
performance measures, including long-term measures, that are designed 
to yield information on various aspects of the

[[Page 32651]]

effectiveness and 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 in their 
curricula; (2) the percentage of scholars completing Personnel 
Preparation funded training programs who are knowledgeable and skilled 
in evidence-based practices for children with disabilities; (3) the 
percentage of scholars who exit training programs prior to completion 
due to poor academic performance; (4) the percentage of degree/
certification recipients who are working in the area(s) for which they 
are trained 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: July 10, 2018.
Johnny W. Collett,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2018-15055 Filed 7-12-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P