The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Multi-Year Individualized Education Program Demonstration Program, 75158-75161 [E5-7506]

Download as PDF 75158 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 242 / Monday, December 19, 2005 / Notices EXEMPTIONS CLAIMED FOR THE SYSTEM: None. [FR Doc. 05–24161 Filed 12–16–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License to Akoura Biometrics, Inc. Department of the Army, DoD. Notice of intent. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: In compliance with 37 CFR 404 et seq., the Department of the Army hereby gives notice of its intent to grant to Akoura Biometrics Incorporated, a corporation having its principle place of business at 9990 Waterford Trail Chagrin Falls, OH 44023, an exclusive or partially exclusive license relative to ARL patents U.S. Patent 6,557,103 B1 entitled, ‘‘Spread Spectrum Steganography’’; April 29, 2003, Boncelet, Jr., et al. and U.S. Patent 6,831,990 B2 entitled, ‘‘System and Method for Image Tamper Detection via Thumbnail Hiding’’; December 14, 2004; Marvel et al. DATES: Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license must file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, not later than 15 days from the date of this notice. ADDRESSES: Send written objections to Michael D. Rausa, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Technology Applications, ATTN: AMSRD–ARL–DP–T/Bldg. 454, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005– 5425. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael D. Rausa, telephone (410) 278– 5028. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: None. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 05–24188 Filed 12–16–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–08–M DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Army Notice of Intent To Grant Exclusive Patent License; Martin Marietta Composites, Inc. Department of the Army, DoD. Notice of intent. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: In compliance with 37 CFR 404 et seq., the Department of the Army hereby gives notice of its intent to grant VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:59 Dec 16, 2005 Jkt 208001 to Martin Marietta Composites, Inc., a corporation having its principle place of business at 2700 Wycliff Road, Raleigh, NC 27622–0013, exclusive license to practice in the United States, the Government-owned invention described in US Patent 6,586,054 issued July 1, 2003 entitled, ‘‘Apparatus and method for selectively distributing and controlling a means for impregnation of fibrous articles’’. DATES: Anyone wishing to object to the grant of this license file written objections along with supporting evidence, if any, not later than 15 days from the date of this notice. ADDRESSES: Send written objections to Michael D. Rausa, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Technology Applications, ATTN: AMSRD–ARL–DP–T/Bldg. 454, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 21005– 5425. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael D. Rausa, telephone (410) 278– 5028. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: None. Brenda S. Bowen, Army Federal Register Liaison Officer. [FR Doc. 05–24189 Filed 12–16–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3710–08–M DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RIN 1820–ZA41 The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Multi-Year Individualized Education Program Demonstration Program Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of proposed requirements and selection criteria. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes requirements and selection criteria for a competition in which the Department will select up to 15 States to participate in a pilot program, the Multi-Year Individualized Education Program (IEP) Demonstration Program (Multi-Year IEP Program). State proposals approved under this program would create opportunities for participating local educational agencies (LEAs) to improve long-term planning for children with disabilities through the development and use of comprehensive multi-year IEPs. Additionally, the proposed requirements and selection criteria focus on an identified national need to reduce the paperwork burden associated PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 with IEPs while preserving students’ civil rights and promoting academic achievement. The requirements and selection criteria proposed in this notice will be used for a single, one-time-only competition under this program. DATES: We must receive your comments on or before March 6, 2006. ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this notice to Troy Justesen, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Potomac Center Plaza, room 5126, Washington, DC 20202– 2641. If you prefer to send your comments through the Internet, you may address them to us at the following address: comments@ed.gov. You must include the term ‘‘MultiYear IEP Public Comment’’ in the subject line of your electronic message. Please submit your comments only one time, in order to ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Troy R. Justesen. Telephone: 202–245–7468. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Invitation To Comment We invite you to submit comments regarding the proposed requirements and selection criteria. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final requirements and selection criteria, we urge you to identify clearly the specific proposed requirement or selection criterion that each comment addresses. We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from the proposed requirements and selection criteria. Please let us know of any further opportunities we should take to reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program. During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice in room 5126, 550 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 242 / Monday, December 19, 2005 / Notices Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Statutory Background of the Multi-Year IEP Program On December 3, 2004, President Bush signed into law Public Law 108–446, 118 Stat. 2647, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, reauthorizing and amending the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Act). This new law reflects the importance of strengthening our nation’s efforts to ensure every child with a disability has available a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that is (1) of high quality and (2) designed to achieve the high standards established in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The Multi-Year IEP Program is one of two demonstration programs authorized under the new law that is designed to increase the resources and time available for classroom instruction and other activities focused on improving educational and functional results of children with disabilities. This program is also intended to enhance long-term educational planning and collaboration among IEP team members. Through the Multi-Year IEP Program, established under section 614(d)(5) of the Act, the Secretary may approve no more than 15 proposals from States, including Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and outlying areas (States) to offer parents, in participating LEAs, the option of comprehensive, multi-year IEPs to improve long-term planning, which would cover natural transition points for participating children. Under section 614(d)(5)(C) of the Act, the term ‘‘natural transition points’’ means those periods that are close in time to the transition of a child with a disability from preschool to elementary grades, from elementary grades to middle or junior high school grades, from middle or junior high school grades to secondary school grades, and from secondary school grades to postsecondary activities, but in no case a period longer than three years (for the full text of section 614(d)(5) of the Act, VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:59 Dec 16, 2005 Jkt 208001 go to: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plaws/ index.html). These multi-year IEPs are intended to focus parents and teachers on long-term planning for student achievement, reduce the paperwork teachers must complete, and increase teacher instructional time. Under the Multi-Year IEP Program, multi-year IEPs cannot exceed three years and their development is optional for parents, requiring informed parental consent. Under the Act, an IEP must contain measurable annual goals for a student’s progress, and must be reviewed at least annually by the IEP team. Many parents have indicated that they would like the opportunity to engage their LEA in longterm planning for their child, rather than focusing on only one year at a time. A multi-year IEP would include longterm goals for academic achievement and functional performance, coinciding with natural transition points, and the progression of annual goals leading to achievement of the long-term goals. Statutory Requirements for Multi-Year IEP Program The Act establishes the following requirements that States must follow in developing and implementing their Multi-Year IEP Program proposals: 1. A State applying for approval under this program must propose to conduct demonstrations using a comprehensive multi-year IEP (not to exceed three years) that coincides with natural transition points for each participating child. 2. Except as specifically provided for under this program, all of the Act’s requirements regarding provision of FAPE to children with disabilities (including requirements related to the content, development, review, and revision of the IEP under section 614(d) of the Act and procedural safeguards under section 615 of the Act) apply to participants in this Multi-Year IEP Program. 3. A State submitting a proposal under the Multi-Year IEP Program must include the following material in its proposal: (a) Assurances that if an LEA offers parents the option of a multi-year IEP, development of the multi-year IEP is voluntary. (b) Assurances that the LEA will obtain informed consent from parents before a comprehensive multi-year IEP is developed for their child. (c) A list of all required elements for a comprehensive multi-year IEP, including: (i) Measurable long-term goals not to exceed three years, coinciding with natural transition points for the child, PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 75159 that will enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum and that will meet the child’s other needs that result from the child’s disability. (ii) Measurable annual goals for determining progress toward meeting the long-term goals, coinciding with natural transition points for the child, that will enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum and that will meet the child’s other needs that result from the child’s disability. (d) A description of the process for the review and revision of a multi-year IEP, including: (i) A review by the IEP team of the child’s multi-year IEP at each of the child’s natural transition points. (ii) In years other than a child’s natural transition points, an annual review of the child’s IEP to determine the child’s current levels of progress and whether the annual goals for the child are being achieved, and a requirement to amend the IEP, as appropriate, to enable the child to continue to meet the measurable goals set forth in the IEP. (iii) If the IEP team determines, on the basis of a review, that the child is not making sufficient progress toward the goals described in the multi-year IEP, a requirement that within 30 calendar days of the IEP team’s determination, the LEA shall ensure that the IEP team carries out a more thorough review of the IEP in accordance with section 614(d)(4) of the Act. (iv) A requirement that, at the request of the parent, the IEP team will conduct an immediate review of the child’s multi-year IEP, rather than at the child’s next transition point or annual review. Background for Proposed Requirements and Selection Criteria Although the Act sets out the previously-described requirements, it does not provide for other requirements that are necessary for implementation of this program. For instance, the Act does not address the relationship among the content requirements of an IEP, the new content requirements of the multi-year IEP, and informed parental consent requirements. The Act also does not establish selection criteria for the Department to use to evaluate State proposals. Thus, in this notice, we are proposing additional Multi-Year IEP Program requirements to address these and other implementation issues and selection criteria that we will use to evaluate State proposals. Under section 614(d)(5)(B) of the Act, the Department is required to report on the effectiveness of the Multi-Year IEP Program. In this notice, we also are E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 75160 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 242 / Monday, December 19, 2005 / Notices proposing requirements with which States must comply that will allow the Department to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. To accomplish this, the Institute of Education Sciences (Institute) will conduct an evaluation using a quasi-experimental design that collects data on the following outcomes: Educational and functional results for students with disabilities, time and resource expenditures by IEP team members and teachers, quality of longterm education plans incorporated in IEPs, and degree of collaboration among IEP members. These outcomes will be compared for students whose parents consent to their child’s participation in a multi-year IEP and students who are matched on type of disability, age, prior educational outcomes, and to the extent feasible, the nature of the special education services, who do not participate in the multi-year IEP. Specifics of the design will be confirmed during discussions with the evaluator, a technical workgroup, and the participating States during the first several months of the study. Participating States will play a crucial supportive role in this evaluation. They will, at minimum, assist in developing the specifics of the evaluation plan, assure that districts participating in the multi-year IEP will participate in the evaluation, supply data relevant to the outcomes being measured from State data sources (e.g., student achievement and functional outcome data, complaint numbers), provide background information on relevant State policies and practices, provide access to current student IEPs during Year 1 of the evaluation, and complete questionnaires and participate in interviews. Data collection and analysis will be the responsibility of the Institute through its contractor. States can expect to allocate resources for this purpose at a minimum during Year 1 to assist with planning the details of the evaluation, ensuring the participation of involved districts, providing access to relevant State records, and completing questionnaires or participating in interviews. Over the course of the evaluation, participating States will receive an annual incentive payment (described in the next section) that will offset the cost of participating in the evaluation. We will announce the final requirements and selection criteria in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final requirements and selection criteria after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:59 Dec 16, 2005 Jkt 208001 Note: An application and award for the Multi-Year IEP Program does not preclude an application and award for the Paperwork Waiver Demonstration Program, which is the subject of a separate notice of proposed requirements and selection criteria. Note: This notice does not solicit applications. We will invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register at a later date. Proposed Additional Requirements for Multi-Year IEP Program The Secretary proposes the following additional requirements for the MultiYear IEP Program: 1. The Secretary will not grant a State approval to participate in this program if the Secretary determines that the State currently meets the conditions under section 616(d)(2)(A)(iii) or (iv) of the Act relative to its implementation of Part B of the Act. 2. The Secretary may terminate any Multi-Year IEP Program project if the Secretary determines that the State (a) Needs assistance under section 616(d)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act and the State’s participation in this program has contributed to or caused the need for assistance; (b) needs intervention under 616(d)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act or needs substantial intervention under section 616(d)(2)(A)(iv) of the Act; or (c) failed to appropriately implement its project. 3. States submitting a proposal under the Multi-Year IEP Program must include the following material in their proposal: (a) Assurances that before an LEA requests a parent’s informed consent to the development of a multi-year IEP, the LEA will inform the parent in writing of (i) any differences between the requirements relating to the content, development, review, and revision of IEPs under section 614(d) of the Act and the State’s requirements relating to the content, development, review, and revision of IEPs under the State’s approved Multi-Year IEP Program proposal; and (ii) the parent’s right to revoke consent and the LEA’s responsibility to conduct, within 30 calendar days after revocation by the parent, an IEP meeting to develop an IEP that meets the requirements of section 614(d)(1)(A) of the Act. (b) A description of how the State obtained input from school and district personnel and parents in developing the list of required elements for each multiyear IEP and the description of the process for the review and revision of each multi-year IEP. (c) A description of how the State obtained broad stakeholder input on its Multi-Year IEP Program proposal. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (d) Assurances that the State will cooperate fully, if selected, in a national evaluation of the Multi-Year IEP Program. Cooperation includes devoting a minimum of 4 months between the State’s award and subsequent implementation of this program to conduct joint planning with the evaluator. It also includes participation by the State educational agency (SEA) in the following evaluation activities: (i) Providing to the evaluator the list of required elements for the multi-year IEP and the description of the process for the review and revision of the multiyear IEP submitted as part of the State’s application for this program. Ensuring that the evaluator will have access to the most recent IEP created before participating in the Multi-Year IEP Program and the multi-year IEP(s) created during the project for each participating child (multi-year IEP participants and matched participants who not not have a multi-year IEP), together with a general description of the process for completing both versions of the IEP. (ii) Recruiting districts or schools to participate in the evaluation (as established in the evaluation design) and ensuring their continued cooperation with the evaluation. Providing a list of districts and schools that have been recruited and have agreed to implement the proposed Multi-Year IEP Program, allow data collection to occur, and cooperate fully with the evaluation. For each participating school or district providing basic demographic information such as student enrollment, district wealth and ethnicity breakdowns, the number of children with disabilities by category, and the number or type of personnel, as requested by the evaluator. (iii) Serving in an advisory capacity to assist the evaluator in identifying valid and reliable data sources and improving the design of data collection instruments and methods. (iv) Providing to the evaluator an inventory of existing State-level data relevant to the evaluation questions or consistent with the identified data sources. Supplying requested State-level data in accordance with the timelines specified in the evaluation design. (v) If necessary to the final design of the study, providing assistance to the evaluator on the collection of data from parents, including obtaining informed consent, for parents to participate in interviews and respond to surveys and questionnaires. (vi) Designating a coordinator for the project who will monitor the implementation of the project and work E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 242 / Monday, December 19, 2005 / Notices with the evaluator. This coordinator also will serve as the primary point of contact for the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) project officer. 4. Each State receiving approval to participate in the Multi-Year IEP Program will be awarded an annual incentive payment of $10,000 to be used exclusively to support program-related evaluation activities, including one trip to Washington, DC, annually to meet with the project officer and the evaluator. Each participating State will receive an additional incentive payment of $15,000 annually from the contractor to support evaluation activities in the State. Incentive payments may also be provided to participating districts to offset the costs of their participation in the evaluation of the Multi-Year IEP Program. Proposed Selection Criteria We propose that the following selection criteria be used to evaluate State proposals submitted under this program. These particular criteria were selected because they address the statutory requirements and proposed program requirements and permit applicants to propose a distinctive approach to addressing these requirements. Note: The maximum score for all of these criteria will be 100 points. We will inform applicants of the points or weights assigned to each criterion and sub-criterion in a notice published in the Federal Register inviting States to submit applications for this program. 1. Significance. The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (a) The extent to which the proposed project involves the development or demonstration of promising new strategies that build on, or are alternatives to, existing strategies. (b) The likelihood that the proposed project will result in improvements in the IEP process, especially long-term planning for children with disabilities. 2. Quality of the project design. The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (a) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified, measurable, and address active participation in the program evaluation. VerDate Aug<31>2005 18:59 Dec 16, 2005 Jkt 208001 (b) The extent to which the design of the proposed project will improve longterm planning and address the need to reduce the paperwork burden associated with IEPs. (c) The extent to which the proposed project encourages consumer involvement, including parental involvement. 3. Quality of the management plan. The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (a) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project. (b) The extent to which the applicant has devoted sufficient resources to the evaluation of the Multi-Year IEP Program. (c) 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, related services providers, administrators, or others, as appropriate. Executive Order 12866 This notice of proposed requirements and selection criteria has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have assessed the potential costs and benefits of this regulatory action. The potential costs associated with this regulatory action are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and efficiently. In assessing the potential costs and benefits—both quantitative and qualitative—of the actions proposed in this notice, we have determined that the benefits of the proposed requirements and selection criteria justify the costs. We have also determined that this regulatory action does not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions. Intergovernmental Review This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Electronic Access to This Document You may view this document, as well as all other Department of Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: www.ed.gov/news/ fedregister. PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 75161 To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1– 888–293–6498; or in the Washington, DC area at (202) 512–1530. Note: 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 on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/ index.html. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1414. Dated: December 14, 2005. John H. Hager, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. E5–7506 Filed 12–16–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RIN 1820–ZA42 The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Paperwork Waiver Demonstration Program Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of proposed requirements and selection criteria. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services proposes requirements and selection criteria for a competition in which the Department will select up to 15 States to participate in a pilot program, the Paperwork Waiver Demonstration Program (Paperwork Waiver Program). State proposals approved under this program would create opportunities for participating States to reduce paperwork burdens and other administrative duties in order to increase time for instruction and other activities to improve educational and functional results for children with disabilities. The proposed requirements and selection criteria focus on an identified national need to reduce the paperwork burden associated with the requirements of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended, while preserving students’ civil rights and promoting academic achievement. The requirements and selection criteria proposed in this notice will be used for a single, one-time-only competition under this program. DATES: We must receive your comments on or before March 6, 2006. E:\FR\FM\19DEN1.SGM 19DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 242 (Monday, December 19, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 75158-75161]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E5-7506]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

RIN 1820-ZA41


The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Multi-Year 
Individualized Education Program Demonstration Program

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed requirements and selection criteria.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services proposes requirements and selection criteria 
for a competition in which the Department will select up to 15 States 
to participate in a pilot program, the Multi-Year Individualized 
Education Program (IEP) Demonstration Program (Multi-Year IEP Program). 
State proposals approved under this program would create opportunities 
for participating local educational agencies (LEAs) to improve long-
term planning for children with disabilities through the development 
and use of comprehensive multi-year IEPs. Additionally, the proposed 
requirements and selection criteria focus on an identified national 
need to reduce the paperwork burden associated with IEPs while 
preserving students' civil rights and promoting academic achievement.
    The requirements and selection criteria proposed in this notice 
will be used for a single, one-time-only competition under this 
program.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before March 6, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this notice to Troy Justesen, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Potomac Center 
Plaza, room 5126, Washington, DC 20202-2641. If you prefer to send your 
comments through the Internet, you may address them to us at the 
following address: comments@ed.gov.
    You must include the term ``Multi-Year IEP Public Comment'' in the 
subject line of your electronic message. Please submit your comments 
only one time, in order to ensure that we do not receive duplicate 
copies.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Troy R. Justesen. Telephone: 202-245-
7468.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding the proposed 
requirements and selection criteria. To ensure that your comments have 
maximum effect in developing the notice of final requirements and 
selection criteria, we urge you to identify clearly the specific 
proposed requirement or selection criterion that each comment 
addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of 
reducing regulatory burden that might result from the proposed 
requirements and selection criteria. Please let us know of any further 
opportunities we should take to reduce potential costs or increase 
potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient 
administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this notice in room 5126, 550 12th Street, SW., 
Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Eastern 
time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.

[[Page 75159]]

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 
Record

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public 
rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of aid, please contact the person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Statutory Background of the Multi-Year IEP Program

    On December 3, 2004, President Bush signed into law Public Law 108-
446, 118 Stat. 2647, the Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Improvement Act of 2004, reauthorizing and amending the Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act (Act). This new law reflects the 
importance of strengthening our nation's efforts to ensure every child 
with a disability has available a free appropriate public education 
(FAPE) that is (1) of high quality and (2) designed to achieve the high 
standards established in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
    The Multi-Year IEP Program is one of two demonstration programs 
authorized under the new law that is designed to increase the resources 
and time available for classroom instruction and other activities 
focused on improving educational and functional results of children 
with disabilities. This program is also intended to enhance long-term 
educational planning and collaboration among IEP team members.
    Through the Multi-Year IEP Program, established under section 
614(d)(5) of the Act, the Secretary may approve no more than 15 
proposals from States, including Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, 
and outlying areas (States) to offer parents, in participating LEAs, 
the option of comprehensive, multi-year IEPs to improve long-term 
planning, which would cover natural transition points for participating 
children. Under section 614(d)(5)(C) of the Act, the term ``natural 
transition points'' means those periods that are close in time to the 
transition of a child with a disability from preschool to elementary 
grades, from elementary grades to middle or junior high school grades, 
from middle or junior high school grades to secondary school grades, 
and from secondary school grades to post-secondary activities, but in 
no case a period longer than three years (for the full text of section 
614(d)(5) of the Act, go to: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plaws/
index.html).
    These multi-year IEPs are intended to focus parents and teachers on 
long-term planning for student achievement, reduce the paperwork 
teachers must complete, and increase teacher instructional time. Under 
the Multi-Year IEP Program, multi-year IEPs cannot exceed three years 
and their development is optional for parents, requiring informed 
parental consent.
    Under the Act, an IEP must contain measurable annual goals for a 
student's progress, and must be reviewed at least annually by the IEP 
team. Many parents have indicated that they would like the opportunity 
to engage their LEA in long-term planning for their child, rather than 
focusing on only one year at a time. A multi-year IEP would include 
long-term goals for academic achievement and functional performance, 
coinciding with natural transition points, and the progression of 
annual goals leading to achievement of the long-term goals.

Statutory Requirements for Multi-Year IEP Program

    The Act establishes the following requirements that States must 
follow in developing and implementing their Multi-Year IEP Program 
proposals:
    1. A State applying for approval under this program must propose to 
conduct demonstrations using a comprehensive multi-year IEP (not to 
exceed three years) that coincides with natural transition points for 
each participating child.
    2. Except as specifically provided for under this program, all of 
the Act's requirements regarding provision of FAPE to children with 
disabilities (including requirements related to the content, 
development, review, and revision of the IEP under section 614(d) of 
the Act and procedural safeguards under section 615 of the Act) apply 
to participants in this Multi-Year IEP Program.
    3. A State submitting a proposal under the Multi-Year IEP Program 
must include the following material in its proposal:
    (a) Assurances that if an LEA offers parents the option of a multi-
year IEP, development of the multi-year IEP is voluntary.
    (b) Assurances that the LEA will obtain informed consent from 
parents before a comprehensive multi-year IEP is developed for their 
child.
    (c) A list of all required elements for a comprehensive multi-year 
IEP, including:
    (i) Measurable long-term goals not to exceed three years, 
coinciding with natural transition points for the child, that will 
enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general 
education curriculum and that will meet the child's other needs that 
result from the child's disability.
    (ii) Measurable annual goals for determining progress toward 
meeting the long-term goals, coinciding with natural transition points 
for the child, that will enable the child to be involved in and make 
progress in the general education curriculum and that will meet the 
child's other needs that result from the child's disability.
    (d) A description of the process for the review and revision of a 
multi-year IEP, including:
    (i) A review by the IEP team of the child's multi-year IEP at each 
of the child's natural transition points.
    (ii) In years other than a child's natural transition points, an 
annual review of the child's IEP to determine the child's current 
levels of progress and whether the annual goals for the child are being 
achieved, and a requirement to amend the IEP, as appropriate, to enable 
the child to continue to meet the measurable goals set forth in the 
IEP.
    (iii) If the IEP team determines, on the basis of a review, that 
the child is not making sufficient progress toward the goals described 
in the multi-year IEP, a requirement that within 30 calendar days of 
the IEP team's determination, the LEA shall ensure that the IEP team 
carries out a more thorough review of the IEP in accordance with 
section 614(d)(4) of the Act.
    (iv) A requirement that, at the request of the parent, the IEP team 
will conduct an immediate review of the child's multi-year IEP, rather 
than at the child's next transition point or annual review.

Background for Proposed Requirements and Selection Criteria

    Although the Act sets out the previously-described requirements, it 
does not provide for other requirements that are necessary for 
implementation of this program. For instance, the Act does not address 
the relationship among the content requirements of an IEP, the new 
content requirements of the multi-year IEP, and informed parental 
consent requirements. The Act also does not establish selection 
criteria for the Department to use to evaluate State proposals. Thus, 
in this notice, we are proposing additional Multi-Year IEP Program 
requirements to address these and other implementation issues and 
selection criteria that we will use to evaluate State proposals.
    Under section 614(d)(5)(B) of the Act, the Department is required 
to report on the effectiveness of the Multi-Year IEP Program. In this 
notice, we also are

[[Page 75160]]

proposing requirements with which States must comply that will allow 
the Department to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. To 
accomplish this, the Institute of Education Sciences (Institute) will 
conduct an evaluation using a quasi-experimental design that collects 
data on the following outcomes: Educational and functional results for 
students with disabilities, time and resource expenditures by IEP team 
members and teachers, quality of long-term education plans incorporated 
in IEPs, and degree of collaboration among IEP members. These outcomes 
will be compared for students whose parents consent to their child's 
participation in a multi-year IEP and students who are matched on type 
of disability, age, prior educational outcomes, and to the extent 
feasible, the nature of the special education services, who do not 
participate in the multi-year IEP. Specifics of the design will be 
confirmed during discussions with the evaluator, a technical workgroup, 
and the participating States during the first several months of the 
study.
    Participating States will play a crucial supportive role in this 
evaluation. They will, at minimum, assist in developing the specifics 
of the evaluation plan, assure that districts participating in the 
multi-year IEP will participate in the evaluation, supply data relevant 
to the outcomes being measured from State data sources (e.g., student 
achievement and functional outcome data, complaint numbers), provide 
background information on relevant State policies and practices, 
provide access to current student IEPs during Year 1 of the evaluation, 
and complete questionnaires and participate in interviews. Data 
collection and analysis will be the responsibility of the Institute 
through its contractor.
    States can expect to allocate resources for this purpose at a 
minimum during Year 1 to assist with planning the details of the 
evaluation, ensuring the participation of involved districts, providing 
access to relevant State records, and completing questionnaires or 
participating in interviews. Over the course of the evaluation, 
participating States will receive an annual incentive payment 
(described in the next section) that will offset the cost of 
participating in the evaluation.
    We will announce the final requirements and selection criteria in a 
notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final 
requirements and selection criteria after considering responses to this 
notice and other information available to the Department.


    Note: An application and award for the Multi-Year IEP Program 
does not preclude an application and award for the Paperwork Waiver 
Demonstration Program, which is the subject of a separate notice of 
proposed requirements and selection criteria.


    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. We will invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register at a later 
date.

Proposed Additional Requirements for Multi-Year IEP Program

    The Secretary proposes the following additional requirements for 
the Multi-Year IEP Program:
    1. The Secretary will not grant a State approval to participate in 
this program if the Secretary determines that the State currently meets 
the conditions under section 616(d)(2)(A)(iii) or (iv) of the Act 
relative to its implementation of Part B of the Act.
    2. The Secretary may terminate any Multi-Year IEP Program project 
if the Secretary determines that the State (a) Needs assistance under 
section 616(d)(2)(A)(ii) of the Act and the State's participation in 
this program has contributed to or caused the need for assistance; (b) 
needs intervention under 616(d)(2)(A)(iii) of the Act or needs 
substantial intervention under section 616(d)(2)(A)(iv) of the Act; or 
(c) failed to appropriately implement its project.
    3. States submitting a proposal under the Multi-Year IEP Program 
must include the following material in their proposal:
    (a) Assurances that before an LEA requests a parent's informed 
consent to the development of a multi-year IEP, the LEA will inform the 
parent in writing of (i) any differences between the requirements 
relating to the content, development, review, and revision of IEPs 
under section 614(d) of the Act and the State's requirements relating 
to the content, development, review, and revision of IEPs under the 
State's approved Multi-Year IEP Program proposal; and (ii) the parent's 
right to revoke consent and the LEA's responsibility to conduct, within 
30 calendar days after revocation by the parent, an IEP meeting to 
develop an IEP that meets the requirements of section 614(d)(1)(A) of 
the Act.
    (b) A description of how the State obtained input from school and 
district personnel and parents in developing the list of required 
elements for each multi-year IEP and the description of the process for 
the review and revision of each multi-year IEP.
    (c) A description of how the State obtained broad stakeholder input 
on its Multi-Year IEP Program proposal.
    (d) Assurances that the State will cooperate fully, if selected, in 
a national evaluation of the Multi-Year IEP Program. Cooperation 
includes devoting a minimum of 4 months between the State's award and 
subsequent implementation of this program to conduct joint planning 
with the evaluator. It also includes participation by the State 
educational agency (SEA) in the following evaluation activities:
    (i) Providing to the evaluator the list of required elements for 
the multi-year IEP and the description of the process for the review 
and revision of the multi-year IEP submitted as part of the State's 
application for this program. Ensuring that the evaluator will have 
access to the most recent IEP created before participating in the 
Multi-Year IEP Program and the multi-year IEP(s) created during the 
project for each participating child (multi-year IEP participants and 
matched participants who not not have a multi-year IEP), together with 
a general description of the process for completing both versions of 
the IEP.
    (ii) Recruiting districts or schools to participate in the 
evaluation (as established in the evaluation design) and ensuring their 
continued cooperation with the evaluation. Providing a list of 
districts and schools that have been recruited and have agreed to 
implement the proposed Multi-Year IEP Program, allow data collection to 
occur, and cooperate fully with the evaluation. For each participating 
school or district providing basic demographic information such as 
student enrollment, district wealth and ethnicity breakdowns, the 
number of children with disabilities by category, and the number or 
type of personnel, as requested by the evaluator.
    (iii) Serving in an advisory capacity to assist the evaluator in 
identifying valid and reliable data sources and improving the design of 
data collection instruments and methods.
    (iv) Providing to the evaluator an inventory of existing State-
level data relevant to the evaluation questions or consistent with the 
identified data sources. Supplying requested State-level data in 
accordance with the timelines specified in the evaluation design.
    (v) If necessary to the final design of the study, providing 
assistance to the evaluator on the collection of data from parents, 
including obtaining informed consent, for parents to participate in 
interviews and respond to surveys and questionnaires.
    (vi) Designating a coordinator for the project who will monitor the 
implementation of the project and work

[[Page 75161]]

with the evaluator. This coordinator also will serve as the primary 
point of contact for the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 
project officer.
    4. Each State receiving approval to participate in the Multi-Year 
IEP Program will be awarded an annual incentive payment of $10,000 to 
be used exclusively to support program-related evaluation activities, 
including one trip to Washington, DC, annually to meet with the project 
officer and the evaluator. Each participating State will receive an 
additional incentive payment of $15,000 annually from the contractor to 
support evaluation activities in the State. Incentive payments may also 
be provided to participating districts to offset the costs of their 
participation in the evaluation of the Multi-Year IEP Program.

Proposed Selection Criteria

    We propose that the following selection criteria be used to 
evaluate State proposals submitted under this program. These particular 
criteria were selected because they address the statutory requirements 
and proposed program requirements and permit applicants to propose a 
distinctive approach to addressing these requirements.

    Note: The maximum score for all of these criteria will be 100 
points. We will inform applicants of the points or weights assigned 
to each criterion and sub-criterion in a notice published in the 
Federal Register inviting States to submit applications for this 
program.

    1. Significance. The Secretary considers the significance of the 
proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (a) The extent to which the proposed project involves the 
development or demonstration of promising new strategies that build on, 
or are alternatives to, existing strategies.
    (b) The likelihood that the proposed project will result in 
improvements in the IEP process, especially long-term planning for 
children with disabilities.
    2. Quality of the project design. The Secretary considers the 
quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the 
quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers 
the following factors:
    (a) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified, measurable, and 
address active participation in the program evaluation.
    (b) The extent to which the design of the proposed project will 
improve long-term planning and address the need to reduce the paperwork 
burden associated with IEPs.
    (c) The extent to which the proposed project encourages consumer 
involvement, including parental involvement.
    3. Quality of the management plan. The Secretary considers the 
quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining 
the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (a) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous 
improvement in the operation of the proposed project.
    (b) The extent to which the applicant has devoted sufficient 
resources to the evaluation of the Multi-Year IEP Program.
    (c) 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, related services providers, administrators, 
or others, as appropriate.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of proposed requirements and selection criteria has 
been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms 
of the order, we have assessed the potential costs and benefits of this 
regulatory action.
    The potential costs associated with this regulatory action are 
those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of the actions proposed in this notice, we have 
determined that the benefits of the proposed requirements and selection 
criteria justify the costs.
    We have also determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: 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 on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
nara/index.html.


    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1414.

    Dated: December 14, 2005.
John H. Hager,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
 [FR Doc. E5-7506 Filed 12-16-05; 8:45 am]
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