Office of Special Education Programs-State Personnel Development Grants Program, 33578-33579 [06-5272]

Download as PDF 33578 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 111 / Friday, June 9, 2006 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Special Education Programs—State Personnel Development Grants Program Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of final priority for State Personnel Development Grants Program. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority for the Office of Special Education Programs— State Personnel Development Grants Program authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This priority may be used for competitions held in fiscal year (FY) 2006 and later years. We take this action to assist State educational agencies (SEAs) in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, educational, and transition services in order to improve results for children with disabilities. DATES: Effective Date: This priority is effective July 10, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Wexler, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4019, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–2550. Telephone: (202) 245–7571 or via Internet: larry.wexler@ed.gov. 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. The purpose of the State Personnel Development Grants (SPDG) program is to assist SEAs in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, educational, and transition services in order to improve results for children with disabilities. The SPDG program provides a vehicle for helping States to ensure that SEAs and local educational agencies (LEAs) take steps to recruit, hire, and retain highly qualified special education teachers and to ensure that the professional development of special education teachers and other personnel is aimed at providing them with the knowledge and skills to deliver jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES3 SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:13 Jun 08, 2006 Jkt 208001 scientifically-based instruction that is likely to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. We published a notice of proposed priority (NPP) for this program in the Federal Register on March 2, 2006 (71 FR 10656). The NPP included a background statement that described our rationale for proposing this priority. There are no differences between the NPP and this notice of final priority (NFP). Analysis of Comments and Changes In response to our invitation in the NPP, two parties submitted comments on the NPP. An analysis of the comments follows. Comment: One commenter asked that the focus of the SPDG be expanded to include the opportunity for a State to work with LEAs to meet the measurable and rigorous targets of its State Performance Plan (SPP). In particular, the commenter requested that SPDG grantees be permitted to use funds to assist LEAs to read and understand data so that they can make improvements in student outcome areas, such as dropout, graduation, post-high school education and suspension and expulsion. Discussion: SEAs applying for assistance under the SPDG program must ensure that their applications are for activities that are allowable under section 654 of the Act and consistent with the final priority established in this NFP. Under this priority, professional development activities, including training to assist personnel (as defined in section 651(b)) to read, understand, and use data as identified by the commenter, are an allowable use of funds if they are conducted for purposes of improving the knowledge and skills of personnel in the use of scientifically based instruction to improve results for students with disabilities, or the recruitment, retention, and training of highly qualified special education teachers. We do not believe that it is necessary to make the change that the commenter is suggesting because under the priority established in this NFP, SPDG program funds can be expended for a range of allowable activities conducted at the SEA and LEA levels relating to personnel preparation and professional development aimed at improving results for students with disabilities. Changes: None. Comment: One commenter supported the priority, but suggested that further examination of the connection between professional development and improved student outcomes is needed. This commenter also requested the opportunity to review any efforts PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 supported by State Improvement Grant (SIG), SPDG or other similar projects that have linked professional development to improved student outcomes. Discussion: As part of their evaluation, projects funded under the SPDG program are encouraged, but not required, to demonstrate a relationship between project activities and student outcomes. SIG and SPDG annual performance reports, which can be found at: http://www.signetwork.org/ reports.shtml#annual, describe efforts demonstrating a relationship between professional development activities and improved student outcomes. Changes: None. Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting applications we designate the priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational. The effect of each type of priority follows: Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)). Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by either (1) awarding additional points, depending on how well or the extent to which the application meets the competitive preference priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the competitive preference priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)). Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the invitational priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)). Priority The Assistant Secretary establishes a priority to assist SEAs in reforming and improving their personnel preparation and professional development systems for teachers, principals, administrators, related services personnel, paraprofessionals, and early intervention personnel. The intent of this priority is to improve educational results for children with disabilities through the delivery of high quality instruction and the recruitment, hiring and retention of highly qualified special education teachers. In order to meet this priority an applicant must demonstrate that the project for which it seeks funding—(1) Provides professional development activities that improve the knowledge and skills of personnel as defined in section 651(b) of IDEA in delivering scientifically-based instruction to meet E:\FR\FM\09JNN3.SGM 09JNN3 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 111 / Friday, June 9, 2006 / Notices the needs of, and improve the performance and achievement of infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children with disabilities; (2) Implements practices to sustain the knowledge and skills of personnel who have received training in scientificallybased instruction; and (3) Implements strategies that are effective in promoting the recruitment, hiring, and retention of highly qualified special education teachers in accordance with section 602(10) and section 612(a)(14) of IDEA. Projects funded under this priority must also: (a) Budget for a three-day Project Directors’ meeting in Washington, DC during each year of the project; (b) Budget $4,000 annually for support of the State Personnel Development Grants Program Web site currently administered by the University of Oregon (http:// www.signetwork.org); and (c) If a project receiving assistance under this program authority maintains a Web site, include relevant information and documents in a form that meets a government or industry-recognized standard for accessibility. Executive Order 12866 This NFP 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 the NFP 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 this NFP, we have determined that the benefits of the final priority 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. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES3 Intergovernmental Review This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:13 Jun 08, 2006 Jkt 208001 Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 300. 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: http://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. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.323A State Personnel Development Grants) Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1451–1455. Dated: June 6, 2006. John H. Hager, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. 06–5272 Filed 6–8–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Overview Information; State Personnel Development Grants Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 (To Be Awarded in FY 2006) Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.323A Dates: Applications Available: June 9, 2006. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 24, 2006. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 22, 2006. Eligible Applicants: A State educational agency (SEA) of one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or an outlying area (United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). Current State Program Improvement Grant grantees with multiyear awards who wish to apply for a grant under the State Personnel Development Grants Program may do so, subject to section 651(e) of the PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 33579 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which prohibits a State requesting a continuation award under the State Improvement Grant Program, as in effect prior to December 3, 2004, from receiving any other award under this program authority for that fiscal year. Estimated Available Funds: $10,000,000. Estimated Range of Awards: In the case of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, award amounts will be not less than $500,000, nor more than $4,000,000. In the case of an outlying area, awards will be not less than $80,000. Note: Consistent with 34 CFR 75.104(b) of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), we will reject, without consideration or evaluation, any application that proposes a project funding level for any fiscal year that exceeds the stated maximum award amount of $4,000,000 for that fiscal year. We will set the amount of each grant after considering— (1) The amount of funds available for making grants; (2) The relative population of the State or outlying area; (3) The types of activities proposed by the State or outlying area; (4) The alignment of proposed activities with section 612(a)(14) of IDEA; (5) The alignment of proposed activities with State plans and applications submitted under sections 1111 and 2112, respectively, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA); and (6) The use, as appropriate, of scientifically-based research and instruction. Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,000,000, excluding outlying areas. Estimated Number of Awards: 10. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Not less than one year and not more than five years. Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to assist SEAs in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, educational, and transition services in order to improve results for children with disabilities. Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v) this priority is from the notice of final priority for this program E:\FR\FM\09JNN3.SGM 09JNN3

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 111 (Friday, June 9, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33578-33579]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-5272]



[[Page 33577]]

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Part IV





Department of Education





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Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; Overview 
Information; State Personnel Development Grants Program; Notice 
Inviting Applications for New Awards for FY 2005 (to be Awarded in FY 
2006); Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 111 / Friday, June 9, 2006 / 
Notices

[[Page 33578]]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Office of Special Education Programs--State Personnel Development 
Grants Program

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

ACTION: Notice of final priority for State Personnel Development Grants 
Program.

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

SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services announces a priority for the Office of Special 
Education Programs--State Personnel Development Grants Program 
authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
(IDEA). This priority may be used for competitions held in fiscal year 
(FY) 2006 and later years. We take this action to assist State 
educational agencies (SEAs) in reforming and improving their systems 
for personnel preparation and professional development in early 
intervention, educational, and transition services in order to improve 
results for children with disabilities.

DATES: Effective Date: This priority is effective July 10, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Larry Wexler, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4019, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7571 or via Internet: 
larry.wexler@ed.gov.
    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: The purpose of the State Personnel 
Development Grants (SPDG) program is to assist SEAs in reforming and 
improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional 
development in early intervention, educational, and transition services 
in order to improve results for children with disabilities. The SPDG 
program provides a vehicle for helping States to ensure that SEAs and 
local educational agencies (LEAs) take steps to recruit, hire, and 
retain highly qualified special education teachers and to ensure that 
the professional development of special education teachers and other 
personnel is aimed at providing them with the knowledge and skills to 
deliver scientifically-based instruction that is likely to improve 
outcomes for children with disabilities.
    We published a notice of proposed priority (NPP) for this program 
in the Federal Register on March 2, 2006 (71 FR 10656). The NPP 
included a background statement that described our rationale for 
proposing this priority. There are no differences between the NPP and 
this notice of final priority (NFP).

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the NPP, two parties submitted 
comments on the NPP. An analysis of the comments follows.
    Comment: One commenter asked that the focus of the SPDG be expanded 
to include the opportunity for a State to work with LEAs to meet the 
measurable and rigorous targets of its State Performance Plan (SPP). In 
particular, the commenter requested that SPDG grantees be permitted to 
use funds to assist LEAs to read and understand data so that they can 
make improvements in student outcome areas, such as dropout, 
graduation, post-high school education and suspension and expulsion.
    Discussion: SEAs applying for assistance under the SPDG program 
must ensure that their applications are for activities that are 
allowable under section 654 of the Act and consistent with the final 
priority established in this NFP. Under this priority, professional 
development activities, including training to assist personnel (as 
defined in section 651(b)) to read, understand, and use data as 
identified by the commenter, are an allowable use of funds if they are 
conducted for purposes of improving the knowledge and skills of 
personnel in the use of scientifically based instruction to improve 
results for students with disabilities, or the recruitment, retention, 
and training of highly qualified special education teachers. We do not 
believe that it is necessary to make the change that the commenter is 
suggesting because under the priority established in this NFP, SPDG 
program funds can be expended for a range of allowable activities 
conducted at the SEA and LEA levels relating to personnel preparation 
and professional development aimed at improving results for students 
with disabilities.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter supported the priority, but suggested that 
further examination of the connection between professional development 
and improved student outcomes is needed. This commenter also requested 
the opportunity to review any efforts supported by State Improvement 
Grant (SIG), SPDG or other similar projects that have linked 
professional development to improved student outcomes.
    Discussion: As part of their evaluation, projects funded under the 
SPDG program are encouraged, but not required, to demonstrate a 
relationship between project activities and student outcomes. SIG and 
SPDG annual performance reports, which can be found at: http://
www.signetwork.org/reports.shtml#annual, describe efforts demonstrating 
a relationship between professional development activities and improved 
student outcomes.
    Changes: None.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through 
a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting applications we 
designate the priority as absolute, competitive preference, or 
invitational. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by either 
(1) awarding additional points, depending on how well or the extent 
to which the application meets the competitive preference priority 
(34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets 
the competitive preference priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the invitational 
priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over 
other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

Priority

    The Assistant Secretary establishes a priority to assist SEAs in 
reforming and improving their personnel preparation and professional 
development systems for teachers, principals, administrators, related 
services personnel, paraprofessionals, and early intervention 
personnel. The intent of this priority is to improve educational 
results for children with disabilities through the delivery of high 
quality instruction and the recruitment, hiring and retention of highly 
qualified special education teachers.
    In order to meet this priority an applicant must demonstrate that 
the project for which it seeks funding--(1) Provides professional 
development activities that improve the knowledge and skills of 
personnel as defined in section 651(b) of IDEA in delivering 
scientifically-based instruction to meet

[[Page 33579]]

the needs of, and improve the performance and achievement of infants, 
toddlers, preschoolers, and children with disabilities; (2) Implements 
practices to sustain the knowledge and skills of personnel who have 
received training in scientifically-based instruction; and (3) 
Implements strategies that are effective in promoting the recruitment, 
hiring, and retention of highly qualified special education teachers in 
accordance with section 602(10) and section 612(a)(14) of IDEA.
    Projects funded under this priority must also:
    (a) Budget for a three-day Project Directors' meeting in 
Washington, DC during each year of the project;
    (b) Budget $4,000 annually for support of the State Personnel 
Development Grants Program Web site currently administered by the 
University of Oregon (http://www.signetwork.org); and
    (c) If a project receiving assistance under this program authority 
maintains a Web site, include relevant information and documents in a 
form that meets a government or industry-recognized standard for 
accessibility.

Executive Order 12866

    This NFP 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 the NFP 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 this NFP, we have determined that the benefits of 
the final priority 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 subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive 
order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened 
federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State 
and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 300.

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: 
http://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.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.323A State Personnel 
Development Grants)

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1451-1455.

    Dated: June 6, 2006.
John H. Hager,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 06-5272 Filed 6-8-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P