Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program-Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program-Rehabilitation Specialty Areas, 32144-32152 [2019-14371]

Download as PDF 32144 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices your search to documents published by the Department. Johnny W. Collett, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. 2019–14272 Filed 7–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program— Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program—Rehabilitation Specialty Areas Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: 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 Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019 for four separate competitions under the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers 84.129B, 84.129H, 84.129P, and 84.129Q. The Long-Term Training Program will provide training in Rehabilitation Counseling (84.129B), Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill (84.129H), Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments (84.129P), and Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (84.129Q). Projects funded under any of these Rehabilitation Long-Term Training competitions must meet rigorous standards in order to provide rehabilitation professionals the knowledge, skills, and qualifications necessary to meet the current challenges facing State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and related agencies and to assist youth and adults with disabilities in achieving competitive integrated employment outcomes and independent living. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820–0018. DATES: Applications Available: July 5, 2019. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 5, 2019. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than July 10, 2019, OSERS will post pre-recorded informational webinars designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. The webinars will be available at www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/rsa/ new-rsa-grants.html. Pre-Application Q&A Blog: No later than July 15, 2019, OSERS will open a blog where interested applicants may post questions about the application requirements for this competition and where OSERS will post answers to the questions received. OSERS will not respond to questions unrelated to the application requirements for this competition. The blog will be available at www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/rsa/ new-rsa-grants.html and will remain open until July 24, 2019. After the blog closes, applicants should direct questions to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 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 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-201902-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cassandra P. Shoffler, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5122, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–2800. Telephone: (202) 245–7827. Email: cassandra.shoffler@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 Note: This notice invites applications for four separate competitions. For funding information regarding each of the four competitions, refer to the chart under Award Information in section II of this notice. Purpose of Program: The Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program is designed to support projects that provide academic training in areas of personnel shortages identified by the Secretary to increase the number of personnel trained in providing VR services to individuals with disabilities. In FY 2019, the Department plans to make awards in four areas: Rehabilitation Counseling (84.129B), Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Mentally Ill (84.129H), Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments (84.129P), and Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (84.129Q). Projects must be operated in a manner consistent with nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws. Priorities: This notice includes two absolute priorities. Applicants for funding under CFDA number 84.129B (Rehabilitation Counseling) must meet Absolute Priority 1, and applicants for 84.129H (Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill), 84.129P (Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments), and 84.129Q (Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing) must meet Absolute Priority 2. Absolute Priority 1 is from the notice of final priority for this program published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2013 (78 FR 66271) (www.govinfo.gov/ content/pkg/FR-2013-11-05/pdf/201326500.pdf), and Absolute Priority 2 is from the notice of final priority published in the Federal Register on July 23, 2014 (79 FR 42680) (www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-201407-23/pdf/2014-17370.pdf). Absolute Priorities: For FY 2019, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet these priorities. These priorities are: Absolute Priority 1: Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. Under this priority, the Department funds programs leading to a master’s degree in VR counseling. The goal of this priority is to increase the skills of VR counseling scholars so that upon successful completion they are prepared to effectively meet the needs and demands of consumers with disabilities and employers. Under this priority, applicants must: (a) Provide data on the current and projected employment needs and personnel shortages in State VR agencies and other related agencies as defined in 34 CFR 386.4 in their local area, region, and State, and describe how the proposed program will address those employment needs and personnel shortages. (b) Describe how the VR counseling program will provide rehabilitation counselors the skills and knowledge that will help ensure that the individuals with disabilities that they serve can meet current demands and E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices emerging trends in the labor market, including how: (1) The curriculum provides a breadth of knowledge, experience, and rigor that will adequately prepare scholars to meet the employment needs and goals of VR consumers and aligns with evidencebased practices and with competencybased skills (e.g., advanced counseling skills, critical thinking skills, and skills in building collaborative relationships) in the field of VR counseling; (2) The curriculum prepares scholars to meet all applicable certification standards; (3) The curriculum addresses new or emerging consumer employment needs or trends at the national, State, and regional levels; (4) The curriculum teaches scholars to address the needs of individuals with a range of disabilities and individuals with disabilities who are from diverse cultural backgrounds; (5) The curriculum will train scholars to recognize the assistive technology needs of consumers throughout the rehabilitation process so that they will be better able to coordinate the provision of appropriate assistive technology services and devices in order to assist the consumer to obtain and retain employment; (6) The curriculum will teach scholars to work effectively with employers in today’s economy, including by teaching strategies for developing relationships with employers in their State and local areas, identifying employer needs and skill demands, making initial employer contacts, presenting job-ready clients to potential employers, and conducting follow-up with employers; and (7) The latest technology is incorporated into the methods of instruction (e.g., the use of distance education to reach scholars who live far from the university and the use of technology to acquire labor market information). (c) Describe their methods to: (1) Recruit highly capable prospective scholars who have the potential to successfully complete the academic program, all required practicum and internship experiences, and the required service obligation; (2) Educate potential scholars about the terms and conditions of the service obligation under 34 CFR 386.4, 386.34, and 386.40 through 386.43 so that they will be fully informed before accepting a scholarship; (3) Maintain a system that ensures that scholars sign a payback agreement and an exit form when they exit the program, regardless of whether they drop out, are removed, or successfully complete the program; VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 (4) Provide academic support and counseling to scholars throughout the course of the academic program to ensure successful completion; (5) Ensure that all scholars complete an internship in a State VR agency as a requirement for program completion. In such cases where an applicant can provide sufficient justification that it is not feasible for all students receiving scholarships to meet this requirement, the applicant may require scholars to complete an internship in a State VR agency or a related agency, as defined in 34 CFR 386.4. Circumstances that would constitute sufficient justification may include, but are not limited to, a lack of capacity at the State VR agency to provide adequate supervision of scholars during their internship experience or the physical distance between scholars and the nearest office of the State VR agency (e.g., for scholars enrolled in distance-learning programs or at rural institutions). Applicants should include written justification in the application or provide it to Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) for review and approval by the appropriate RSA Project Officer no later than 30 days prior to a scholar beginning an internship in a related agency; (6) Provide career counseling, including informing scholars of professional contacts and networks, job leads, and other necessary resources and information to support scholars in successfully obtaining and retaining qualifying employment; (7) Maintain regular contact with scholars upon successful program completion (e.g., matching scholars with mentors in the field), to ensure that they have support during their search for qualifying employment as well as support during the initial months of their employment; (8) Maintain regular communication with scholars after program exit to ensure that scholar contact information is up-to-date and that documentation of employment is accurate and meets the regulatory requirements for qualifying employment; and (9) Maintain accurate information on, while safeguarding the privacy of, current and former scholars from the time they are enrolled in the program until they successfully meet their service obligation. (d) Describe a plan for developing and maintaining partnerships with State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers that includes: (1) Coordination between the grantee and the State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32145 providers that will promote qualifying employment opportunities for scholars and formalized on-boarding and induction experiences for new hires; (2) Formal opportunities for scholars to obtain work experiences through internships, practicum agreements, job shadowing, and mentoring opportunities; and (3) A scholar internship assessment tool that is developed to ensure a consistent approach to the evaluation of scholars in a particular program. The tool should reflect the specific responsibilities of the scholar during the internship. The grantee and worksite supervisor are encouraged to work together as they see fit to develop the assessment tool. Supervisors at the internship site will complete the assessment detailing the scholar’s strengths and areas for improvement that must be addressed and provide the results of the assessment to the grantee. The grantee should ensure that (A) scholars are provided with a copy of the assessment and all relevant rubrics prior to beginning their internship, (B) supervisors have sufficient technical support to accurately complete the assessment, and (C) scholars receive a copy of the results of the assessment within 90 days of the end of their internship. (e) Describe how scholars will be evaluated throughout the entire program to ensure that they are proficient in meeting the needs and demands of today’s consumers and employers, including the steps that will be taken to provide assistance to a scholar who is not meeting academic standards or who is performing poorly in a practicum or internship setting. (f) Describe how the program will be evaluated. Such a description must include: (1) How the program will determine its effect over a period of time on filling vacancies in the State VR agency with qualified counselors capable of providing quality services to consumers; (2) How input from State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers will be included in the evaluation; (3) How feedback from consumers of VR services and employers (including the assessments described in paragraph (d)(3)) will be included in the evaluation; (4) How data from other sources, such as those from the Department, on the State VR program will be included in the evaluation; and (5) How the data and results from the evaluation will be used to make necessary adjustments and improvements to the program. E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 32146 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices Absolute Priority 2: Rehabilitation Specialty Areas. Under this priority, the Department funds programs leading to a master’s degree or certificate in one of three specialty areas: (1) Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill; (2) Specialized Personnel for Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments; and (3) Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The goal of this priority is to increase the skills of scholars in these rehabilitation specialty areas so that, upon successful completion of their master’s degree or certificate programs, they are prepared to effectively meet the needs and demands of consumers with disabilities. Under this priority, applicants must: (a) Provide data on the current and projected employment needs and personnel shortages in the specialty area in State VR agencies and other related agencies as defined in 34 CFR 386.4 in their local area, region, and State, and describe how the proposed program will address those employment needs and personnel shortages. (b) Describe how the proposed program will provide rehabilitation professionals with the skills and knowledge that will help ensure that the individuals with disabilities whom they serve can meet current demands and emerging trends in the labor market, including how: (1) The curriculum provides a breadth of knowledge, experience, and rigor that will adequately prepare scholars to meet the employment needs and goals of VR consumers and aligns with evidencebased and competency-based practices in the rehabilitation specialty area; (2) The curriculum prepares scholars to meet all applicable certification standards; (3) The curriculum addresses new or emerging consumer needs or trends at the national, State, and regional levels in the rehabilitation specialty area; (4) The curriculum teaches scholars to address the needs of individuals with disabilities who are from diverse cultural backgrounds; (5) The curriculum trains scholars to assess the assistive technology needs of consumers, identify the most appropriate assistive technology services and devices for assisting consumers to obtain and retain employment, and train consumers to use such technology; (6) The curriculum teaches scholars to work with employers effectively in today’s economy, including by teaching strategies for developing relationships with employers in their State and local areas, identifying employer needs and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 skill demands, making initial employer contacts, presenting job-ready clients to potential employers, and conducting follow-up with employers; and (7) The latest technology is incorporated into the methods of instruction (e.g., the use of distance education to reach scholars who live far from the university and the use of technology to acquire labor market information). (c) Describe their methods to: (1) Recruit highly capable prospective scholars who have the potential to successfully complete the academic program, all required practicum and internship experiences, and the required service obligation; (2) Educate potential scholars about the terms and conditions of the service obligation under 34 CFR 386.4, 386.34, and 386.40 through 386.43 so that they will be fully informed before accepting a scholarship; (3) Maintain a system that ensures that scholars sign a payback agreement and an exit form when they exit the program, regardless of whether they drop out, are removed, or successfully complete the program; (4) Provide academic support and counseling to scholars throughout the course of the academic program to ensure successful completion; (5) Ensure that all scholars complete an internship in a State VR agency or a related agency as a requirement for completion of a program leading to a master’s degree. The internship must be in a State VR agency unless the VR agency does not directly perform work related to the scholar’s course of study or an applicant can provide sufficient justification that it is not feasible for all students receiving scholarships to complete an internship in a State VR agency. In such cases, the applicant may require scholars to complete an internship in a related agency, as defined in 34 CFR 386.4. Circumstances that would constitute sufficient justification may include, but are not limited to, a lack of capacity at the State VR agency to provide adequate supervision of scholars during their internship experience and the physical distance between scholars and the nearest office of the State VR agency (e.g., for scholars enrolled in distancelearning programs or at rural institutions). Applicants should include a written justification in the application or provide it to RSA for review and approval by the appropriate RSA Project Officer no later than 30 days prior to a scholar beginning an internship in a related agency. For applicants proposing a certificate program, the requirement for an internship in a State VR agency PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 or a related agency is waived unless the certificate program has an internship requirement; (6) Provide career counseling, including informing scholars of professional contacts and networks, job leads, and other necessary resources and information to support scholars in successfully obtaining and retaining qualifying employment; (7) Maintain regular contact with scholars upon successful program completion to ensure that they have support during their search for qualifying employment as well as support during the initial months of their employment (e.g., by matching scholars with mentors in the field); (8) Maintain regular communication with scholars after program exit to ensure that their contact information is current and that documentation of employment is accurate and meets the regulatory requirements for qualifying employment; and (9) Maintain accurate information on, while safeguarding the privacy of, current and former scholars from the time they are enrolled in the program until they successfully meet their service obligation. (d) Describe a plan for developing and maintaining partnerships with State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers that includes: (1) Coordination between the grantee and the State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers that will promote qualifying employment opportunities for scholars and formalized on-boarding and induction experiences for new hires; (2) Formal opportunities for scholars to obtain work experiences through internships, practicum agreements, job shadowing, and mentoring opportunities; and (3) When applicable, a scholar internship assessment tool that is developed to ensure a consistent approach to the evaluation of scholars in a particular program. The tool should reflect the specific responsibilities of the scholar during the internship. The grantee and worksite supervisor are encouraged to work together as they see fit to develop the assessment tool. Supervisors at the internship site will complete the assessment detailing the scholar’s strengths and areas for improvement that must be addressed and provide the results of the assessment to the grantee. The grantee should ensure that (i) scholars are provided with a copy of the assessment and all relevant rubrics prior to beginning their internship, (ii) supervisors have sufficient technical E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices support to accurately complete the assessment, and (iii) scholars receive a copy of the results of the assessment within 90 days of the end of their internship. (e) Describe how scholars will be evaluated throughout the entire program to ensure that they are proficient in meeting the needs and demands of today’s consumers and employers, including the steps that will be taken to provide assistance to a scholar who is not meeting academic standards or who is performing poorly in a practicum or internship setting. (f) Describe how the program will be evaluated. Such a description must include: (1) How the program will determine its effect over a period of time on filling vacancies in the State VR agency with qualified rehabilitation professionals capable of providing quality services to consumers; (2) How input from State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service providers will be included in the evaluation; (3) How feedback from consumers of VR services and employers (including the assessments described in paragraph (d)(3)) will be included in the evaluation; (4) How data from other sources, such as those from the Department on the State VR program, will be included in the evaluation; and (5) How the data and results from the evaluation will be used to make necessary adjustments and improvements to the program. Within these two absolute priorities, we are particularly interested in applications that address the following invitational priority. Invitational Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications. This priority is: Invitational Priority—SelfEmployment, Business Ownership, and Telecommuting: Applications that demonstrate through curriculum and instructional materials that the training to VR counselors includes information related providing VR services to individuals with disabilities pursuing selfemployment, business ownership, and telecommuting. Program Requirements: The program requirements for this competition are from 34 CFR part 386, and are as follows: Grantees are required to maintain a system that safeguards the privacy of current and former scholars from the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 time they are enrolled in the program until they successfully meet their service obligation through qualified employment or monetary repayment. This system must ensure that the payback agreement is signed by each scholar prior to the disbursement of initial funds and for each subsequent year that funds are disbursed and contain the terms and conditions outlined in the regulations at 34 CFR part 386. Each grantee must— (a) Provide an original signed/ executed payback agreement to RSA (34 CFR 386.34(c) and (d)), regardless of whether the scholars drop out, are removed, or successfully complete the program; (b) Establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for measuring whether a scholar is maintaining satisfactory progress in the scholar’s program of study (34 CFR 386.34(e)); (c) Ensure exit certification forms are signed by each scholar and clearly delineate pertinent grant information and the scholar’s responsibilities to meet the service obligation (34 CFR 386.34(f)); (d) Collect documentation that the employment, not including work completed as part of an internship, practicum, or other work-related requirement necessary to complete the educational program (34 CFR 386.34(g)(2)), meets the requirements of 34 CFR 386.40(a)(7); and (e) Maintain payback records for not less than one year beyond the period when all scholars have completed their service obligation or entered into repayment. (34 CFR 386.34(g) and 34 CFR 386.34(j)). Specifically, each grantee is required to maintain the following scholar information: (a) Current contact information for all students receiving scholarships, including home address, email, and a phone number (home or cell). (b) A point of contact for each scholar in the event that the grantee is unable to contact the student. This contact must be at least 21 years of age and may be a parent, relative, spouse, partner, sibling, or guardian. (c) Cumulative financial support granted to scholars. (d) Scholar debt in years. (e) Program completion date and reason for exit for each scholar. (f) Annual documentation from the scholar’s employer(s) until the scholar completes the service obligation. This documentation must include the following elements in order to verify qualified employment: Start date of employment to the present date, PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32147 confirmation of full-time or part-time employment (if the scholar is working part-time the number of hours per week must be included in the documentation), type of employment, and a description of the roles and responsibilities performed on the job. This information is required for each employer if the scholar has worked in more than one setting in order to meet the service obligation. (g) If the scholar is employed in a related agency, documentation to validate that there is a relationship between the related agency and the State VR agency. This may be a formal or informal contract, cooperative agreement, memorandum of understanding, or related document. (h) Annual documentation from the scholar’s institution of higher education to verify dates of deferral, if applicable. An educational deferral may be granted to the scholar who is pursuing higher education specifically in the field of rehabilitation but not to a scholar pursuing education in any other field of study (§ 386.41(b)(1)). The documentation may be prepared by the scholar’s advisor or department chair and must include: Confirmation of enrollment date, estimated graduation date, confirmation that the scholar is enrolled in a full-time course of study, and confirmation of the scholar’s intent to fulfill the service obligation upon completion of the program. Grantees are required to report annually to RSA on the data elements described above using the RSA Grantee Reporting Form, OMB number 1820– 0617, an electronic reporting system supported by the RSA Payback Information Management System (PIMS). In addition, grantees must use all forms required by RSA to prepare and process repayment, as well as requests for deferral and exceptions. The RSA Grantee Reporting Form collects specific data, including the number of scholars entering the rehabilitation workforce, the rehabilitation field each scholar enters, and the type of employment setting each scholar chooses (e.g., State VR agency, nonprofit service provider, or professional practice group). This form allows RSA to measure results against the goal of increasing the number of qualified VR personnel working in State VR and related agencies. Grantees are required to inform the scholars that upon graduation they will need to verify the accuracy of data in the system, submit employment data, request exceptions and deferrals, and upload documentation in PIMS; and grantees and scholars are required to inform the employers that they will be E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 32148 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices required to verify scholar employment information within the PIMS. In addition, all Rehabilitation LongTerm Training grantees must submit the following quantitative and qualitative data in a semiannual and annual performance report: (a) Program activities that occurred during each fiscal year from October 1 to March 31 and projected program activities to occur from April 1 to September 30 should be included in the semiannual performance report. Program activities that occur during each fiscal year from October 1 to September 30 must be included in the annual performance report. For subsequent reporting years, grantees confirm projections made from the prior year. (b) Summary of academic support and counseling provided to scholars to ensure successful completion. (c) Summary of career counseling provided to scholars upon program completion to ensure that they have support during their search for qualifying employment, as well as during their initial months of their employment. This may include but is not limited to informing scholars of professional contacts, networks, and job leads, matching scholars with mentors in the field, and connecting scholars to other necessary resources and information. (d) Summary of partnership and coordination activities with State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation providers. This may include, but is not limited to, obtaining input and feedback regarding curricula from State VR agencies and communitybased rehabilitation providers; organizing internships, practicum agreements, job shadowing, and mentoring opportunities; and assessing scholars at the work site. (e) Assistance provided to scholars who may not be meeting academic standards or who are performing poorly in a practicum or internship setting. (f) Results of the program evaluation, as well as information describing how these results will be used to make necessary adjustments and improvements to the program. (g) Results from scholar internship, practicum, job shadowing, or mentoring assessments, as well as information describing how those results will be used to ensure that future scholars receive all necessary preparation and training prior to program completion. (h) Results from scholar evaluations and information describing how these results will be used to ensure that future scholars will be proficient in meeting VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 the needs and demands of today’s consumers and employers. (i) Number of scholars who began an internship during the reporting period. (j) Number of scholars who completed an internship during the reporting period. (k) Number of scholars who dropped out or were dismissed from the program during the reporting period. (l) Number of scholars receiving RSA scholarships during the reporting period. (m) Number of scholars who graduated from the program during the reporting period. (n) Number of scholars who obtained qualifying employment during the reporting period. (o) Number of vacancies filled in the State VR agency with qualified counselors from the program during the reporting period. (p) A budget and narrative detailing expenditures covering the period of October 1 through March 31 and projected expenditures from April 1 through September 30. The budget narrative must also verify progress towards meeting the 10 percent match requirement. For subsequent reporting years, grantees will confirm projections made from the prior year. (q) Other information, as requested by RSA, in order to verify substantial progress and effectively report program impact to Congress and key stakeholders. Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project: In deciding whether to continue funding any Rehabilitation Long-Term Training grant for the fourth and fifth years, the Department will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), including: (a) The recommendation of the RSA project officer who will monitor the reported annual performance of the grantee’s training program and measure it against the projections stated in the grantee’s application. This review will consider the number of students actually enrolled in the grantee’s training program, the number of students who successfully enter qualifying employment with the State VR agencies, and the number who obtain qualifying employment at other related agencies; (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of the grant award have been or are being met by the grantee, including the submission of annual performance reports and annual RSA Scholar Payback Program reports, and adherence to fiduciary responsibilities related to the budget submitted in the application per 2 CFR part 200, ‘‘Uniform Administrative PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards,’’ and the Education Department General Administrative Regulations; and (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the grantee’s training program and activities and the degree to which the training program and activities and their outcomes have contributed to significantly improving the quality of VR professionals ready for employment with State VR agencies and related agencies, as measured by the percentage of students entering qualified employment under 34 CFR 386.34. Note: While applicants may not hire staff or select trainees based on race or national origin or ethnicity, they may conduct outreach activities to increase the pool of eligible minority candidates. We may disqualify and not consider for funding any applicant that indicates that it will hire or train a certain number or percentage of minority candidates. Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772. 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 parts 385 and 386. (e) The notices of final priority, published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2013 (78 FR 66271) and on July 23, 2014 (79 FR 42680). 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 institutions of higher education only. II. Award Information Type of Award: Discretionary grants. Estimated Available Funds: $9,291,703. Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from the list of unfunded applications from this competition. Estimated Average Size of Awards: See chart. Maximum Award: See chart. E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. 32149 Project Period: See chart. REHABILITATION TRAINING: REHABILITATION LONG-TERM TRAINING PROGRAM—VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION COUNSELING AND REHABILITATION TRAINING: REHABILITATION LONG-TERM TRAINING PROGRAM—REHABILITATION SPECIALTY AREAS [Application notice for fiscal year 2019] Maximum award (budget period of 12 months) 1 Estimated number of awards CFDA No. and name Project period 84.129B Long-Term Training—Rehabilitation Counseling. 30 $200,000 Up to 60 months. 84.129H Long-Term Training—Mental Illness 12 150,000 84.129P Long-Term Training—Blindness ...... 9 150,000 84.129Q Long-Term Training—Deafness ...... 2 150,000 Up to 60 months. Up to 60 months. Up to 60 months. For further information contact Cassandra Shoffler, 202–245–7827, Cassandra.Shoffler@ed.gov, PCP, Room 5122. Darryl Glover, 202–245–7339, Darryl.Glover@ed.gov, PCP, Room 5070C. Karen Holliday, 202–245–7318, Karen.Holliday@ed.gov, PCP, Room 5090. Cassandra Shoffler, 202–245–7827, Cassandra.Shoffler@ed.gov, PCP, Room 5122. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 1 We will not make an award exceeding $200,000 for a single budget period of 12 months for 84.129B or $150,000 for a single budget period of 12 months for 84.129H, 84.129P, and 84.129Q. III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: States and public or private nonprofit agencies and organizations, including Indian Tribes and institutions of higher education. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing of at least 10 percent of the total cost of the project is required of grantees under the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program. The Secretary may waive part of the non-Federal share of the cost of the project after negotiations if the applicant demonstrates that it does not have sufficient resources to contribute the entire match (34 CFR 386.30). The Secretary does not, as a general matter, anticipate waiving this requirement in the future. Furthermore, given the importance of matching funds to the long-term success of the project, eligible entities must identify appropriate matching funds in the proposed budget. Finally, the selection criteria include factors such as ‘‘the adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization’’ and ‘‘the relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project,’’ which may include a consideration of demonstrated matching support. Note: Under 34 CFR 75.562(c), an indirect cost reimbursement on a training grant is limited to the recipient’s actual indirect costs, as determined by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or eight percent of a modified total direct cost base, whichever amount is less. Indirect costs VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 in excess of the limit may not be charged directly, used to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements, or charged to another Federal award. IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at https://www.govinfo.gov/ content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/201902206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application. 2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training competition, your application may include business information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ‘‘business information’’ and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended). Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information. Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under ‘‘Other Attachments Form,’’ please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c). 3. 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 an award by the end of FY 2019. 4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. 5. 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 45 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, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 32150 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices 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 one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative. 6. Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to review grant applications more efficiently if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify us of their intent to submit an application. To do so, please email the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT with the subject line ‘‘Intent to Apply,’’ and include the applicant’s name and a contact person’s name and email address. Applicants that do not submit a notice of intent to apply may still apply for funding; applicants that do submit a notice of intent to apply are not bound to apply or bound by the information provided. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES V. Application Review Information 1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and 386.20, and are as follows: (a) Relevance to State-Federal vocational rehabilitation service program. (10 points) (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that shows that the proposed project appropriately relates to the mission of the StateFederal vocational rehabilitation service program. (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows that the project can be expected either— (i) To increase the supply of trained personnel available to State and other public or nonprofit agencies involved in the rehabilitation of individuals with disabilities through degree or certificate granting programs; or (ii) To improve the skills and quality of professional personnel in the rehabilitation field in which the training is to be provided through the granting of a degree or certificate. (b) Nature and scope of curriculum. (20 points) (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that demonstrates the adequacy of the proposed curriculum. (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows— (i) The scope and nature of the coursework reflect content that can be VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 expected to enable the achievement of the established project objectives; (ii) The curriculum and teaching methods provide for an integration of theory and practice relevant to the educational objectives of the program; (iii) For programs whose curricula require them, there is evidence of educationally focused practical and other field experiences in settings that ensure student involvement in the provision of vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, customized employment, pre-employment transition services, transition services, or independent living rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, especially individuals with significant disabilities; (iv) The coursework includes student exposure to vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, customized employment, employer engagement, and independent living rehabilitation processes, concepts, programs, and services; and (v) If applicable, there is evidence of current professional accreditation by the designated accrediting agency in the professional field in which grant support is being requested. (c) Quality of project services (25 points). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. (2) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. (3) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among the recipients of those services. (ii) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are likely to alleviate the personnel shortages that have been identified or are the focus of the proposed project. (iii) 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. (d) Quality of project personnel (10 points). PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out 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 the following factors: (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator. (ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel. (iii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of project consultants or subcontractors. (e) Adequacy of resources (20 points). (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. (2) In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors: (i) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization. (ii) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project. (iii) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project. (iv) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits. (v) The potential for continued support of the project after Federal funding ends, including, as appropriate, the demonstrated commitment of appropriate entities to such support. (f) Quality of the management plan (15 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 one or more of 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. E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices (ii) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products and services from the proposed project. (iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project. In addition to the selection criteria listed above, the Secretary, in making awards under this program and in accordance with 34 CFR 385.33, considers such factors as the two listed below from 34 CFR 385.33, which will not be scored by the peer review panel— (a) The geographical distribution of projects in each Rehabilitation Training Program category throughout the country; and (b) The past performance of the applicant in carrying out similar training activities under previously awarded grants, as indicated by such factors as compliance with grant conditions, soundness of programmatic and financial management practices and attainment of established project objectives. These criteria will be used after nonFederal reviewers score the applications. The criterion related to geographical distribution of projects will be applied to fund out of rank order if the top ranked applications do not represent a geographical distribution throughout the country. The criterion related to past performance will be applied to all applications that are recommended for funding. 2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant’s use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality. In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). When reviewing prior performance under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3) and conducting risk assessments pursuant to 2 CFR 200.205, the Secretary will consider factors such as whether VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 applicants that have submitted applications under multiple competitions described in this notice have demonstrated sufficient institutional capacity through the commitment of adequate resources, as described in the selection criteria, and suitable past performance to fully implement multiple awards. In reviewing capacity, the Secretary will consider factors such as whether potential grantees have demonstrated sufficient staffing, an adequate pool of potential scholars, and existing relationships with VR and related agencies to place scholars from multiple grants in appropriate internships. Based on these reviews, the Secretary will take appropriate action under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), 2 CFR 200.205, and 2 CFR 3474.10, before making awards to a grantee under multiple competitions described in this notice. 3. 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. 4. 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 $250,000), 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, PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 32151 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 E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1 jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 32152 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 129 / Friday, July 5, 2019 / Notices report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit semiannual and annual performance reports that provide 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: The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the effectiveness of programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results against those goals. GPRA Measure 1: The percentage of master’s level counseling graduates fulfilling their payback requirements through qualifying employment. GPRA Measure 2: The percentage of master’s level counseling graduates fulfilling their payback requirements through qualifying employment in State VR agencies. GPRA Measure 3: The Federal cost per master’s level RSA-supported rehabilitation counseling graduate. In addition, the following RSA Program Measures apply to the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program: Program Measure 1: Number of scholars enrolled during the reporting period. Program Measure 2: Number of scholars who dropped out or were dismissed from the program during the reporting period. Program Measure 3: Number of scholars who graduated with a master’s degree from the program during the reporting period. Program Measure 4: Number of scholars who obtained employment in a State VR agency during the reporting period. Program Measure 5: Number of scholars who maintained or advanced in their employment in a State VR agency during the reporting period. Annual project progress toward meeting project goals must be posted on the project website or university website. 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:54 Jul 03, 2019 Jkt 247001 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) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 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 at www.govinfo.gov. 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. Johnny W. Collett, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. 2019–14371 Filed 7–3–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Technical Assistance and Dissemination To Improve Services and Results for Children With Disabilities—Model Demonstration Projects for Early Identification of Students With Dyslexia in Elementary School Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 ACTION: Notice. 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. As such, the Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2019 for Model Demonstration Projects for Early Identification of Students with Dyslexia in Elementary School, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.326M. These projects will provide support to professionals to collaborate with parents in establishing and meeting high expectations for each student with, or at risk for, dyslexia. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820–0028. DATES: Applications Available: July 5, 2019. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 5, 2019. Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than July 10, 2019, OSERS will post pre-recorded informational webinars designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. The webinars may be found at www2.ed.gov/ fund/grant/apply/osep/new-osepgrants.html. Pre-Application Q&A Blog: No later than July 10, 2019, OSERS will open a blog where interested applicants may post questions about the application requirements for this competition and where OSERS will post answers to the questions received. OSERS will not respond to questions unrelated to the application requirements for this competition. The blog may be found at www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/osep/ new-osep-grants.html and will remain open until July 24, 2019. After the blog closes, applicants should direct questions to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 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 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-201902-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristen Rhoads, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5175, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–5076. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\05JYN1.SGM 05JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 129 (Friday, July 5, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 32144-32152]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-14371]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Rehabilitation Training: 
Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program--Vocational Rehabilitation 
Counseling and Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term 
Training Program--Rehabilitation Specialty Areas

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: 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 Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019 for four separate 
competitions under the Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program, 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers 84.129B, 84.129H, 
84.129P, and 84.129Q. The Long-Term Training Program will provide 
training in Rehabilitation Counseling (84.129B), Rehabilitation of 
Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill (84.129H), Rehabilitation of 
Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments (84.129P), and 
Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing 
(84.129Q). Projects funded under any of these Rehabilitation Long-Term 
Training competitions must meet rigorous standards in order to provide 
rehabilitation professionals the knowledge, skills, and qualifications 
necessary to meet the current challenges facing State vocational 
rehabilitation (VR) agencies and related agencies and to assist youth 
and adults with disabilities in achieving competitive integrated 
employment outcomes and independent living. This notice relates to the 
approved information collection under OMB control number 1820-0018.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: July 5, 2019.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 5, 2019.
    Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than July 10, 2019, 
OSERS will post pre-recorded informational webinars designed to provide 
technical assistance to interested applicants. The webinars will be 
available at www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/rsa/new-rsa-grants.html.
    Pre-Application Q&A Blog: No later than July 15, 2019, OSERS will 
open a blog where interested applicants may post questions about the 
application requirements for this competition and where OSERS will post 
answers to the questions received. OSERS will not respond to questions 
unrelated to the application requirements for this competition. The 
blog will be available at www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/rsa/new-rsa-grants.html and will remain open until July 24, 2019. After the blog 
closes, applicants should direct questions to the person listed under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

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 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cassandra P. Shoffler, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 5122, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-7827. Email: 
[email protected].
    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

    Note: This notice invites applications for four separate 
competitions. For funding information regarding each of the four 
competitions, refer to the chart under Award Information in section 
II of this notice.

    Purpose of Program: The Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program 
is designed to support projects that provide academic training in areas 
of personnel shortages identified by the Secretary to increase the 
number of personnel trained in providing VR services to individuals 
with disabilities.
    In FY 2019, the Department plans to make awards in four areas: 
Rehabilitation Counseling (84.129B), Rehabilitation of Individuals Who 
Are Mentally Ill (84.129H), Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind 
or Have Vision Impairments (84.129P), and Rehabilitation of Individuals 
Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (84.129Q). Projects must be operated in 
a manner consistent with nondiscrimination requirements contained in 
the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws.
    Priorities: This notice includes two absolute priorities. 
Applicants for funding under CFDA number 84.129B (Rehabilitation 
Counseling) must meet Absolute Priority 1, and applicants for 84.129H 
(Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill), 84.129P 
(Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision 
Impairments), and 84.129Q (Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf 
or Hard of Hearing) must meet Absolute Priority 2. Absolute Priority 1 
is from the notice of final priority for this program published in the 
Federal Register on November 5, 2013 (78 FR 66271) (www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2013-11-05/pdf/2013-26500.pdf), and Absolute Priority 2 
is from the notice of final priority published in the Federal Register 
on July 23, 2014 (79 FR 42680) (www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2014-07-23/pdf/2014-17370.pdf).
    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2019, and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet these priorities.
    These priorities are:
    Absolute Priority 1: Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling.
    Under this priority, the Department funds programs leading to a 
master's degree in VR counseling. The goal of this priority is to 
increase the skills of VR counseling scholars so that upon successful 
completion they are prepared to effectively meet the needs and demands 
of consumers with disabilities and employers.
    Under this priority, applicants must:
    (a) Provide data on the current and projected employment needs and 
personnel shortages in State VR agencies and other related agencies as 
defined in 34 CFR 386.4 in their local area, region, and State, and 
describe how the proposed program will address those employment needs 
and personnel shortages.
    (b) Describe how the VR counseling program will provide 
rehabilitation counselors the skills and knowledge that will help 
ensure that the individuals with disabilities that they serve can meet 
current demands and

[[Page 32145]]

emerging trends in the labor market, including how:
    (1) The curriculum provides a breadth of knowledge, experience, and 
rigor that will adequately prepare scholars to meet the employment 
needs and goals of VR consumers and aligns with evidence-based 
practices and with competency-based skills (e.g., advanced counseling 
skills, critical thinking skills, and skills in building collaborative 
relationships) in the field of VR counseling;
    (2) The curriculum prepares scholars to meet all applicable 
certification standards;
    (3) The curriculum addresses new or emerging consumer employment 
needs or trends at the national, State, and regional levels;
    (4) The curriculum teaches scholars to address the needs of 
individuals with a range of disabilities and individuals with 
disabilities who are from diverse cultural backgrounds;
    (5) The curriculum will train scholars to recognize the assistive 
technology needs of consumers throughout the rehabilitation process so 
that they will be better able to coordinate the provision of 
appropriate assistive technology services and devices in order to 
assist the consumer to obtain and retain employment;
    (6) The curriculum will teach scholars to work effectively with 
employers in today's economy, including by teaching strategies for 
developing relationships with employers in their State and local areas, 
identifying employer needs and skill demands, making initial employer 
contacts, presenting job-ready clients to potential employers, and 
conducting follow-up with employers; and
    (7) The latest technology is incorporated into the methods of 
instruction (e.g., the use of distance education to reach scholars who 
live far from the university and the use of technology to acquire labor 
market information).
    (c) Describe their methods to:
    (1) Recruit highly capable prospective scholars who have the 
potential to successfully complete the academic program, all required 
practicum and internship experiences, and the required service 
obligation;
    (2) Educate potential scholars about the terms and conditions of 
the service obligation under 34 CFR 386.4, 386.34, and 386.40 through 
386.43 so that they will be fully informed before accepting a 
scholarship;
    (3) Maintain a system that ensures that scholars sign a payback 
agreement and an exit form when they exit the program, regardless of 
whether they drop out, are removed, or successfully complete the 
program;
    (4) Provide academic support and counseling to scholars throughout 
the course of the academic program to ensure successful completion;
    (5) Ensure that all scholars complete an internship in a State VR 
agency as a requirement for program completion. In such cases where an 
applicant can provide sufficient justification that it is not feasible 
for all students receiving scholarships to meet this requirement, the 
applicant may require scholars to complete an internship in a State VR 
agency or a related agency, as defined in 34 CFR 386.4. Circumstances 
that would constitute sufficient justification may include, but are not 
limited to, a lack of capacity at the State VR agency to provide 
adequate supervision of scholars during their internship experience or 
the physical distance between scholars and the nearest office of the 
State VR agency (e.g., for scholars enrolled in distance-learning 
programs or at rural institutions). Applicants should include written 
justification in the application or provide it to Rehabilitation 
Services Administration (RSA) for review and approval by the 
appropriate RSA Project Officer no later than 30 days prior to a 
scholar beginning an internship in a related agency;
    (6) Provide career counseling, including informing scholars of 
professional contacts and networks, job leads, and other necessary 
resources and information to support scholars in successfully obtaining 
and retaining qualifying employment;
    (7) Maintain regular contact with scholars upon successful program 
completion (e.g., matching scholars with mentors in the field), to 
ensure that they have support during their search for qualifying 
employment as well as support during the initial months of their 
employment;
    (8) Maintain regular communication with scholars after program exit 
to ensure that scholar contact information is up-to-date and that 
documentation of employment is accurate and meets the regulatory 
requirements for qualifying employment; and
    (9) Maintain accurate information on, while safeguarding the 
privacy of, current and former scholars from the time they are enrolled 
in the program until they successfully meet their service obligation.
    (d) Describe a plan for developing and maintaining partnerships 
with State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service 
providers that includes:
    (1) Coordination between the grantee and the State VR agencies and 
community-based rehabilitation service providers that will promote 
qualifying employment opportunities for scholars and formalized on-
boarding and induction experiences for new hires;
    (2) Formal opportunities for scholars to obtain work experiences 
through internships, practicum agreements, job shadowing, and mentoring 
opportunities; and
    (3) A scholar internship assessment tool that is developed to 
ensure a consistent approach to the evaluation of scholars in a 
particular program. The tool should reflect the specific 
responsibilities of the scholar during the internship. The grantee and 
worksite supervisor are encouraged to work together as they see fit to 
develop the assessment tool. Supervisors at the internship site will 
complete the assessment detailing the scholar's strengths and areas for 
improvement that must be addressed and provide the results of the 
assessment to the grantee. The grantee should ensure that (A) scholars 
are provided with a copy of the assessment and all relevant rubrics 
prior to beginning their internship, (B) supervisors have sufficient 
technical support to accurately complete the assessment, and (C) 
scholars receive a copy of the results of the assessment within 90 days 
of the end of their internship.
    (e) Describe how scholars will be evaluated throughout the entire 
program to ensure that they are proficient in meeting the needs and 
demands of today's consumers and employers, including the steps that 
will be taken to provide assistance to a scholar who is not meeting 
academic standards or who is performing poorly in a practicum or 
internship setting.
    (f) Describe how the program will be evaluated. Such a description 
must include:
    (1) How the program will determine its effect over a period of time 
on filling vacancies in the State VR agency with qualified counselors 
capable of providing quality services to consumers;
    (2) How input from State VR agencies and community-based 
rehabilitation service providers will be included in the evaluation;
    (3) How feedback from consumers of VR services and employers 
(including the assessments described in paragraph (d)(3)) will be 
included in the evaluation;
    (4) How data from other sources, such as those from the Department, 
on the State VR program will be included in the evaluation; and
    (5) How the data and results from the evaluation will be used to 
make necessary adjustments and improvements to the program.

[[Page 32146]]

    Absolute Priority 2: Rehabilitation Specialty Areas.
    Under this priority, the Department funds programs leading to a 
master's degree or certificate in one of three specialty areas: (1) 
Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Mentally Ill; (2) Specialized 
Personnel for Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have 
Vision Impairments; and (3) Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Deaf 
or Hard of Hearing. The goal of this priority is to increase the skills 
of scholars in these rehabilitation specialty areas so that, upon 
successful completion of their master's degree or certificate programs, 
they are prepared to effectively meet the needs and demands of 
consumers with disabilities.
    Under this priority, applicants must:
    (a) Provide data on the current and projected employment needs and 
personnel shortages in the specialty area in State VR agencies and 
other related agencies as defined in 34 CFR 386.4 in their local area, 
region, and State, and describe how the proposed program will address 
those employment needs and personnel shortages.
    (b) Describe how the proposed program will provide rehabilitation 
professionals with the skills and knowledge that will help ensure that 
the individuals with disabilities whom they serve can meet current 
demands and emerging trends in the labor market, including how:
    (1) The curriculum provides a breadth of knowledge, experience, and 
rigor that will adequately prepare scholars to meet the employment 
needs and goals of VR consumers and aligns with evidence-based and 
competency-based practices in the rehabilitation specialty area;
    (2) The curriculum prepares scholars to meet all applicable 
certification standards;
    (3) The curriculum addresses new or emerging consumer needs or 
trends at the national, State, and regional levels in the 
rehabilitation specialty area;
    (4) The curriculum teaches scholars to address the needs of 
individuals with disabilities who are from diverse cultural 
backgrounds;
    (5) The curriculum trains scholars to assess the assistive 
technology needs of consumers, identify the most appropriate assistive 
technology services and devices for assisting consumers to obtain and 
retain employment, and train consumers to use such technology;
    (6) The curriculum teaches scholars to work with employers 
effectively in today's economy, including by teaching strategies for 
developing relationships with employers in their State and local areas, 
identifying employer needs and skill demands, making initial employer 
contacts, presenting job-ready clients to potential employers, and 
conducting follow-up with employers; and
    (7) The latest technology is incorporated into the methods of 
instruction (e.g., the use of distance education to reach scholars who 
live far from the university and the use of technology to acquire labor 
market information).
    (c) Describe their methods to:
    (1) Recruit highly capable prospective scholars who have the 
potential to successfully complete the academic program, all required 
practicum and internship experiences, and the required service 
obligation;
    (2) Educate potential scholars about the terms and conditions of 
the service obligation under 34 CFR 386.4, 386.34, and 386.40 through 
386.43 so that they will be fully informed before accepting a 
scholarship;
    (3) Maintain a system that ensures that scholars sign a payback 
agreement and an exit form when they exit the program, regardless of 
whether they drop out, are removed, or successfully complete the 
program;
    (4) Provide academic support and counseling to scholars throughout 
the course of the academic program to ensure successful completion;
    (5) Ensure that all scholars complete an internship in a State VR 
agency or a related agency as a requirement for completion of a program 
leading to a master's degree. The internship must be in a State VR 
agency unless the VR agency does not directly perform work related to 
the scholar's course of study or an applicant can provide sufficient 
justification that it is not feasible for all students receiving 
scholarships to complete an internship in a State VR agency. In such 
cases, the applicant may require scholars to complete an internship in 
a related agency, as defined in 34 CFR 386.4. Circumstances that would 
constitute sufficient justification may include, but are not limited 
to, a lack of capacity at the State VR agency to provide adequate 
supervision of scholars during their internship experience and the 
physical distance between scholars and the nearest office of the State 
VR agency (e.g., for scholars enrolled in distance-learning programs or 
at rural institutions). Applicants should include a written 
justification in the application or provide it to RSA for review and 
approval by the appropriate RSA Project Officer no later than 30 days 
prior to a scholar beginning an internship in a related agency. For 
applicants proposing a certificate program, the requirement for an 
internship in a State VR agency or a related agency is waived unless 
the certificate program has an internship requirement;
    (6) Provide career counseling, including informing scholars of 
professional contacts and networks, job leads, and other necessary 
resources and information to support scholars in successfully obtaining 
and retaining qualifying employment;
    (7) Maintain regular contact with scholars upon successful program 
completion to ensure that they have support during their search for 
qualifying employment as well as support during the initial months of 
their employment (e.g., by matching scholars with mentors in the 
field);
    (8) Maintain regular communication with scholars after program exit 
to ensure that their contact information is current and that 
documentation of employment is accurate and meets the regulatory 
requirements for qualifying employment; and
    (9) Maintain accurate information on, while safeguarding the 
privacy of, current and former scholars from the time they are enrolled 
in the program until they successfully meet their service obligation.
    (d) Describe a plan for developing and maintaining partnerships 
with State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation service 
providers that includes:
    (1) Coordination between the grantee and the State VR agencies and 
community-based rehabilitation service providers that will promote 
qualifying employment opportunities for scholars and formalized on-
boarding and induction experiences for new hires;
    (2) Formal opportunities for scholars to obtain work experiences 
through internships, practicum agreements, job shadowing, and mentoring 
opportunities; and
    (3) When applicable, a scholar internship assessment tool that is 
developed to ensure a consistent approach to the evaluation of scholars 
in a particular program. The tool should reflect the specific 
responsibilities of the scholar during the internship. The grantee and 
worksite supervisor are encouraged to work together as they see fit to 
develop the assessment tool. Supervisors at the internship site will 
complete the assessment detailing the scholar's strengths and areas for 
improvement that must be addressed and provide the results of the 
assessment to the grantee. The grantee should ensure that (i) scholars 
are provided with a copy of the assessment and all relevant rubrics 
prior to beginning their internship, (ii) supervisors have sufficient 
technical

[[Page 32147]]

support to accurately complete the assessment, and (iii) scholars 
receive a copy of the results of the assessment within 90 days of the 
end of their internship.
    (e) Describe how scholars will be evaluated throughout the entire 
program to ensure that they are proficient in meeting the needs and 
demands of today's consumers and employers, including the steps that 
will be taken to provide assistance to a scholar who is not meeting 
academic standards or who is performing poorly in a practicum or 
internship setting.
    (f) Describe how the program will be evaluated. Such a description 
must include:
    (1) How the program will determine its effect over a period of time 
on filling vacancies in the State VR agency with qualified 
rehabilitation professionals capable of providing quality services to 
consumers;
    (2) How input from State VR agencies and community-based 
rehabilitation service providers will be included in the evaluation;
    (3) How feedback from consumers of VR services and employers 
(including the assessments described in paragraph (d)(3)) will be 
included in the evaluation;
    (4) How data from other sources, such as those from the Department 
on the State VR program, will be included in the evaluation; and
    (5) How the data and results from the evaluation will be used to 
make necessary adjustments and improvements to the program.
    Within these two absolute priorities, we are particularly 
interested in applications that address the following invitational 
priority.
    Invitational Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an 
application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or 
absolute preference over other applications.
    This priority is:
    Invitational Priority--Self-Employment, Business Ownership, and 
Telecommuting:
    Applications that demonstrate through curriculum and instructional 
materials that the training to VR counselors includes information 
related providing VR services to individuals with disabilities pursuing 
self-employment, business ownership, and telecommuting.
    Program Requirements: The program requirements for this competition 
are from 34 CFR part 386, and are as follows:
    Grantees are required to maintain a system that safeguards the 
privacy of current and former scholars from the time they are enrolled 
in the program until they successfully meet their service obligation 
through qualified employment or monetary repayment. This system must 
ensure that the payback agreement is signed by each scholar prior to 
the disbursement of initial funds and for each subsequent year that 
funds are disbursed and contain the terms and conditions outlined in 
the regulations at 34 CFR part 386.
    Each grantee must--
    (a) Provide an original signed/executed payback agreement to RSA 
(34 CFR 386.34(c) and (d)), regardless of whether the scholars drop 
out, are removed, or successfully complete the program;
    (b) Establish, publish, and apply reasonable standards for 
measuring whether a scholar is maintaining satisfactory progress in the 
scholar's program of study (34 CFR 386.34(e));
    (c) Ensure exit certification forms are signed by each scholar and 
clearly delineate pertinent grant information and the scholar's 
responsibilities to meet the service obligation (34 CFR 386.34(f));
    (d) Collect documentation that the employment, not including work 
completed as part of an internship, practicum, or other work-related 
requirement necessary to complete the educational program (34 CFR 
386.34(g)(2)), meets the requirements of 34 CFR 386.40(a)(7); and
    (e) Maintain payback records for not less than one year beyond the 
period when all scholars have completed their service obligation or 
entered into repayment. (34 CFR 386.34(g) and 34 CFR 386.34(j)).
    Specifically, each grantee is required to maintain the following 
scholar information:
    (a) Current contact information for all students receiving 
scholarships, including home address, email, and a phone number (home 
or cell).
    (b) A point of contact for each scholar in the event that the 
grantee is unable to contact the student. This contact must be at least 
21 years of age and may be a parent, relative, spouse, partner, 
sibling, or guardian.
    (c) Cumulative financial support granted to scholars.
    (d) Scholar debt in years.
    (e) Program completion date and reason for exit for each scholar.
    (f) Annual documentation from the scholar's employer(s) until the 
scholar completes the service obligation. This documentation must 
include the following elements in order to verify qualified employment: 
Start date of employment to the present date, confirmation of full-time 
or part-time employment (if the scholar is working part-time the number 
of hours per week must be included in the documentation), type of 
employment, and a description of the roles and responsibilities 
performed on the job. This information is required for each employer if 
the scholar has worked in more than one setting in order to meet the 
service obligation.
    (g) If the scholar is employed in a related agency, documentation 
to validate that there is a relationship between the related agency and 
the State VR agency. This may be a formal or informal contract, 
cooperative agreement, memorandum of understanding, or related 
document.
    (h) Annual documentation from the scholar's institution of higher 
education to verify dates of deferral, if applicable. An educational 
deferral may be granted to the scholar who is pursuing higher education 
specifically in the field of rehabilitation but not to a scholar 
pursuing education in any other field of study (Sec.  386.41(b)(1)). 
The documentation may be prepared by the scholar's advisor or 
department chair and must include: Confirmation of enrollment date, 
estimated graduation date, confirmation that the scholar is enrolled in 
a full-time course of study, and confirmation of the scholar's intent 
to fulfill the service obligation upon completion of the program.
    Grantees are required to report annually to RSA on the data 
elements described above using the RSA Grantee Reporting Form, OMB 
number 1820-0617, an electronic reporting system supported by the RSA 
Payback Information Management System (PIMS). In addition, grantees 
must use all forms required by RSA to prepare and process repayment, as 
well as requests for deferral and exceptions. The RSA Grantee Reporting 
Form collects specific data, including the number of scholars entering 
the rehabilitation workforce, the rehabilitation field each scholar 
enters, and the type of employment setting each scholar chooses (e.g., 
State VR agency, nonprofit service provider, or professional practice 
group). This form allows RSA to measure results against the goal of 
increasing the number of qualified VR personnel working in State VR and 
related agencies.
    Grantees are required to inform the scholars that upon graduation 
they will need to verify the accuracy of data in the system, submit 
employment data, request exceptions and deferrals, and upload 
documentation in PIMS; and grantees and scholars are required to inform 
the employers that they will be

[[Page 32148]]

required to verify scholar employment information within the PIMS.
    In addition, all Rehabilitation Long-Term Training grantees must 
submit the following quantitative and qualitative data in a semiannual 
and annual performance report:
    (a) Program activities that occurred during each fiscal year from 
October 1 to March 31 and projected program activities to occur from 
April 1 to September 30 should be included in the semiannual 
performance report. Program activities that occur during each fiscal 
year from October 1 to September 30 must be included in the annual 
performance report. For subsequent reporting years, grantees confirm 
projections made from the prior year.
    (b) Summary of academic support and counseling provided to scholars 
to ensure successful completion.
    (c) Summary of career counseling provided to scholars upon program 
completion to ensure that they have support during their search for 
qualifying employment, as well as during their initial months of their 
employment. This may include but is not limited to informing scholars 
of professional contacts, networks, and job leads, matching scholars 
with mentors in the field, and connecting scholars to other necessary 
resources and information.
    (d) Summary of partnership and coordination activities with State 
VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation providers. This may 
include, but is not limited to, obtaining input and feedback regarding 
curricula from State VR agencies and community-based rehabilitation 
providers; organizing internships, practicum agreements, job shadowing, 
and mentoring opportunities; and assessing scholars at the work site.
    (e) Assistance provided to scholars who may not be meeting academic 
standards or who are performing poorly in a practicum or internship 
setting.
    (f) Results of the program evaluation, as well as information 
describing how these results will be used to make necessary adjustments 
and improvements to the program.
    (g) Results from scholar internship, practicum, job shadowing, or 
mentoring assessments, as well as information describing how those 
results will be used to ensure that future scholars receive all 
necessary preparation and training prior to program completion.
    (h) Results from scholar evaluations and information describing how 
these results will be used to ensure that future scholars will be 
proficient in meeting the needs and demands of today's consumers and 
employers.
    (i) Number of scholars who began an internship during the reporting 
period.
    (j) Number of scholars who completed an internship during the 
reporting period.
    (k) Number of scholars who dropped out or were dismissed from the 
program during the reporting period.
    (l) Number of scholars receiving RSA scholarships during the 
reporting period.
    (m) Number of scholars who graduated from the program during the 
reporting period.
    (n) Number of scholars who obtained qualifying employment during 
the reporting period.
    (o) Number of vacancies filled in the State VR agency with 
qualified counselors from the program during the reporting period.
    (p) A budget and narrative detailing expenditures covering the 
period of October 1 through March 31 and projected expenditures from 
April 1 through September 30. The budget narrative must also verify 
progress towards meeting the 10 percent match requirement. For 
subsequent reporting years, grantees will confirm projections made from 
the prior year.
    (q) Other information, as requested by RSA, in order to verify 
substantial progress and effectively report program impact to Congress 
and key stakeholders.
    Fourth and Fifth Years of the Project: In deciding whether to 
continue funding any Rehabilitation Long-Term Training grant for the 
fourth and fifth years, the Department will consider the requirements 
of 34 CFR 75.253(a), including:
    (a) The recommendation of the RSA project officer who will monitor 
the reported annual performance of the grantee's training program and 
measure it against the projections stated in the grantee's application. 
This review will consider the number of students actually enrolled in 
the grantee's training program, the number of students who successfully 
enter qualifying employment with the State VR agencies, and the number 
who obtain qualifying employment at other related agencies;
    (b) The timeliness and effectiveness with which all requirements of 
the grant award have been or are being met by the grantee, including 
the submission of annual performance reports and annual RSA Scholar 
Payback Program reports, and adherence to fiduciary responsibilities 
related to the budget submitted in the application per 2 CFR part 200, 
``Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards,'' and the Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations; and
    (c) The quality, relevance, and usefulness of the grantee's 
training program and activities and the degree to which the training 
program and activities and their outcomes have contributed to 
significantly improving the quality of VR professionals ready for 
employment with State VR agencies and related agencies, as measured by 
the percentage of students entering qualified employment under 34 CFR 
386.34.
    Note: While applicants may not hire staff or select trainees based 
on race or national origin or ethnicity, they may conduct outreach 
activities to increase the pool of eligible minority candidates. We may 
disqualify and not consider for funding any applicant that indicates 
that it will hire or train a certain number or percentage of minority 
candidates.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772.
    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 parts 385 and 
386. (e) The notices of final priority, published in the Federal 
Register on November 5, 2013 (78 FR 66271) and on July 23, 2014 (79 FR 
42680).
    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 institutions of 
higher education only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $9,291,703.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from 
the list of unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: See chart.
    Maximum Award: See chart.

[[Page 32149]]

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
    Project Period: See chart.

  Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program--Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and
       Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program--Rehabilitation Specialty Areas
                                    [Application notice for fiscal year 2019]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                   Maximum award
                                     Estimated    (budget period                         For further information
        CFDA No. and name            number of     of 12 months)     Project  period             contact
                                      awards            \1\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
84.129B Long-Term Training--                  30        $200,000  Up to 60 months.....  Cassandra Shoffler, 202-
 Rehabilitation Counseling.                                                              245-7827,
                                                                                         [email protected]
                                                                                         ov, PCP, Room 5122.
84.129H Long-Term Training--                  12         150,000  Up to 60 months.....  Darryl Glover, 202-245-
 Mental Illness.                                                                         7339,
                                                                                         [email protected],
                                                                                         PCP, Room 5070C.
84.129P Long-Term Training--                   9         150,000  Up to 60 months.....  Karen Holliday, 202-245-
 Blindness.                                                                              7318,
                                                                                         [email protected],
                                                                                         PCP, Room 5090.
84.129Q Long-Term Training--                   2         150,000  Up to 60 months.....  Cassandra Shoffler, 202-
 Deafness.                                                                               245-7827,
                                                                                         [email protected]
                                                                                         ov, PCP, Room 5122.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ We will not make an award exceeding $200,000 for a single budget period of 12 months for 84.129B or $150,000
  for a single budget period of 12 months for 84.129H, 84.129P, and 84.129Q.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: States and public or private nonprofit 
agencies and organizations, including Indian Tribes and institutions of 
higher education.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Cost sharing of at least 10 percent of 
the total cost of the project is required of grantees under the 
Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program. The Secretary may waive part 
of the non-Federal share of the cost of the project after negotiations 
if the applicant demonstrates that it does not have sufficient 
resources to contribute the entire match (34 CFR 386.30). The Secretary 
does not, as a general matter, anticipate waiving this requirement in 
the future. Furthermore, given the importance of matching funds to the 
long-term success of the project, eligible entities must identify 
appropriate matching funds in the proposed budget. Finally, the 
selection criteria include factors such as ``the adequacy of support, 
including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from 
the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization'' and 
``the relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the 
proposed project to the implementation and success of the project,'' 
which may include a consideration of demonstrated matching support.
    Note: Under 34 CFR 75.562(c), an indirect cost reimbursement on a 
training grant is limited to the recipient's actual indirect costs, as 
determined by its negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, or eight 
percent of a modified total direct cost base, whichever amount is less. 
Indirect costs in excess of the limit may not be charged directly, used 
to satisfy matching or cost-sharing requirements, or charged to another 
Federal award.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to 
follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of 
Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal 
Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which 
contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.
    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for the Rehabilitation 
Training: Rehabilitation Long-Term Training competition, your 
application may include business information that you consider 
proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ``business information'' and 
describe the process we use in determining whether any of that 
information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under 
Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as 
amended).
    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the 
public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business 
information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your 
application, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' please list the page 
number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional 
information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. 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 an award by the end of FY 2019.
    4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    5. 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 45 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, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.

[[Page 32150]]

    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 one-
page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the 
application narrative.
    6. Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to review 
grant applications more efficiently if we know the approximate number 
of applicants that intend to apply. Therefore, we strongly encourage 
each potential applicant to notify us of their intent to submit an 
application. To do so, please email the program contact person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT with the subject line ``Intent to 
Apply,'' and include the applicant's name and a contact person's name 
and email address. Applicants that do not submit a notice of intent to 
apply may still apply for funding; applicants that do submit a notice 
of intent to apply are not bound to apply or bound by the information 
provided.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210 and 386.20, and are as follows:
    (a) Relevance to State-Federal vocational rehabilitation service 
program. (10 points)
    (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that 
shows that the proposed project appropriately relates to the mission of 
the State-Federal vocational rehabilitation service program.
    (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows that the project 
can be expected either--
    (i) To increase the supply of trained personnel available to State 
and other public or nonprofit agencies involved in the rehabilitation 
of individuals with disabilities through degree or certificate granting 
programs; or
    (ii) To improve the skills and quality of professional personnel in 
the rehabilitation field in which the training is to be provided 
through the granting of a degree or certificate.
    (b) Nature and scope of curriculum. (20 points)
    (1) The Secretary reviews each application for information that 
demonstrates the adequacy of the proposed curriculum.
    (2) The Secretary looks for information that shows--
    (i) The scope and nature of the coursework reflect content that can 
be expected to enable the achievement of the established project 
objectives;
    (ii) The curriculum and teaching methods provide for an integration 
of theory and practice relevant to the educational objectives of the 
program;
    (iii) For programs whose curricula require them, there is evidence 
of educationally focused practical and other field experiences in 
settings that ensure student involvement in the provision of vocational 
rehabilitation, supported employment, customized employment, pre-
employment transition services, transition services, or independent 
living rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities, 
especially individuals with significant disabilities;
    (iv) The coursework includes student exposure to vocational 
rehabilitation, supported employment, customized employment, employer 
engagement, and independent living rehabilitation processes, concepts, 
programs, and services; and
    (v) If applicable, there is evidence of current professional 
accreditation by the designated accrediting agency in the professional 
field in which grant support is being requested.
    (c) Quality of project services (25 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be 
provided by the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the services to be provided by 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and 
sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for 
eligible project participants who are members of groups that have 
traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability.
    (3) In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the training or professional development 
services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient 
quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice 
among the recipients of those services.
    (ii) The extent to which the training or professional development 
services to be provided by the proposed project are likely to alleviate 
the personnel shortages that have been identified or are the focus of 
the proposed project.
    (iii) 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.
    (d) Quality of project personnel (10 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will 
carry out 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 the following factors:
    (i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director or principal investigator.
    (ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and 
experience, of key project personnel.
    (iii) The qualifications, including relevant training and 
experience, of project consultants or subcontractors.
    (e) Adequacy of resources (20 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the 
proposed project.
    (2) In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following factors:
    (i) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, 
supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the 
lead applicant organization.
    (ii) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.
    (iii) The extent to which the budget is adequate to support the 
proposed project.
    (iv) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to 
the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and 
benefits.
    (v) The potential for continued support of the project after 
Federal funding ends, including, as appropriate, the demonstrated 
commitment of appropriate entities to such support.
    (f) Quality of the management plan (15 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 one or more of 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.

[[Page 32151]]

    (ii) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products 
and services from the proposed project.
    (iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project.
    In addition to the selection criteria listed above, the Secretary, 
in making awards under this program and in accordance with 34 CFR 
385.33, considers such factors as the two listed below from 34 CFR 
385.33, which will not be scored by the peer review panel--
    (a) The geographical distribution of projects in each 
Rehabilitation Training Program category throughout the country; and
    (b) The past performance of the applicant in carrying out similar 
training activities under previously awarded grants, as indicated by 
such factors as compliance with grant conditions, soundness of 
programmatic and financial management practices and attainment of 
established project objectives.
    These criteria will be used after non-Federal reviewers score the 
applications. The criterion related to geographical distribution of 
projects will be applied to fund out of rank order if the top ranked 
applications do not represent a geographical distribution throughout 
the country. The criterion related to past performance will be applied 
to all applications that are recommended for funding.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    When reviewing prior performance under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3) and 
conducting risk assessments pursuant to 2 CFR 200.205, the Secretary 
will consider factors such as whether applicants that have submitted 
applications under multiple competitions described in this notice have 
demonstrated sufficient institutional capacity through the commitment 
of adequate resources, as described in the selection criteria, and 
suitable past performance to fully implement multiple awards. In 
reviewing capacity, the Secretary will consider factors such as whether 
potential grantees have demonstrated sufficient staffing, an adequate 
pool of potential scholars, and existing relationships with VR and 
related agencies to place scholars from multiple grants in appropriate 
internships. Based on these reviews, the Secretary will take 
appropriate action under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), 2 CFR 200.205, and 2 CFR 
3474.10, before making awards to a grantee under multiple competitions 
described in this notice.
    3. 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.
    4. 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 
$250,000), 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

[[Page 32152]]

report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. 
If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit semiannual and annual 
performance reports that provide 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: The Government Performance and Results Act 
of 1993 (GPRA) directs Federal departments and agencies to improve the 
effectiveness of programs by engaging in strategic planning, setting 
outcome-related goals for programs, and measuring program results 
against those goals.
    GPRA Measure 1: The percentage of master's level counseling 
graduates fulfilling their payback requirements through qualifying 
employment.
    GPRA Measure 2: The percentage of master's level counseling 
graduates fulfilling their payback requirements through qualifying 
employment in State VR agencies.
    GPRA Measure 3: The Federal cost per master's level RSA-supported 
rehabilitation counseling graduate.
    In addition, the following RSA Program Measures apply to the 
Rehabilitation Long-Term Training Program:
    Program Measure 1: Number of scholars enrolled during the reporting 
period.
    Program Measure 2: Number of scholars who dropped out or were 
dismissed from the program during the reporting period.
    Program Measure 3: Number of scholars who graduated with a master's 
degree from the program during the reporting period.
    Program Measure 4: Number of scholars who obtained employment in a 
State VR agency during the reporting period.
    Program Measure 5: Number of scholars who maintained or advanced in 
their employment in a State VR agency during the reporting period.
    Annual project progress toward meeting project goals must be posted 
on the project website or university website.
    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) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.
    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 at www.govinfo.gov. 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.

Johnny W. Collett,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2019-14371 Filed 7-3-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P