Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities Program-Stepping-Up Technology Implementation, 83531-83538 [2020-28345]

Download as PDF jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices available to the public for any reason, ED will temporarily accept comments at ICDocketMgr@ed.gov. Please include the docket ID number and the title of the information collection request when requesting documents or submitting comments. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the PRA Coordinator of the Strategic Collections and Clearance Governance and Strategy Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, LBJ, Room 6W208B, Washington, DC 20202–8240. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Aba Kumi, 202–401–1767. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. OMB Control Number: 1860–0506. Type of Review: An extension to a currently approved information collection. Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 420. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 16,695. Abstract: Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has sought out and celebrated great American schools; schools that are demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels. The purpose of the Program is to honor public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among different groups of students. The Program is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. Dated: December 17, 2020. Stephanie Valentine, PRA Coordinator, Strategic Collections and Clearance, Governance and Strategy Division, Office of Chief Data Officer, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. [FR Doc. 2020–28251 Filed 12–21–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals With Disabilities Program—Stepping-Up Technology Implementation Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities—Steppingup Technology Implementation, Assistance Listing Number 84.327S. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1820–0028. DATES: Applications Available: December 22, 2020. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 22, 2021. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 21, 2021. Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than December 28, 2020, 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-osep-grants.html. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83531 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: Terry Jackson, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, room 5128, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–5076. Telephone: (202) 245–6039. Email: Terry.Jackson@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: ADDRESSES: Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The purposes of the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program are to improve results for children with disabilities by: (1) Promoting the development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) supporting educational activities designed to be of educational value in the classroom; (3) providing support for captioning and video description that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) providing accessible educational materials to children with disabilities in a timely manner.1 Priority: This competition includes one absolute priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority is from allowable activities specified in sections 674(c)(1)(D) and 681(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); 20 U.S.C. 1474(c)(1)(D) and 1481(d). Absolute Priority: For FY 2021 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority. 1 Applicants should note that other laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.; 28 CFR part 35) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794; 34 CFR part 104), may require that State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) provide captioning, video description, and other accessible educational materials to students with disabilities when these materials are necessary to provide equally integrated and equally effective access to the benefits of the educational program or activity, or as part of a ‘‘free appropriate public education’’ as defined in 34 CFR 104.33. E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 83532 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices This priority is: Providing Technology-Based Professional Development to Trainers of Special Education Teachers to Support Children with Disabilities. Background Technology has enhanced professional development learning opportunities for teachers by expanding access to information and resources that support their content expertise and pedagogy and promote their professional growth. As an alternative to face-to-face professional development that can be expensive or impracticable (e.g., during an emergency), professional development facilitated by technology has the potential to more efficiently shape and impact teaching practices. Some examples of the technologies that can be used to support teacher learning include, but are not limited to, virtual coaching, in which a coach interacts electronically with teachers to improve teaching skills; learning management systems (LMS) that allow sharing of documents and data in one central location; and gamification, which involves bringing elements associated with video games into the learning environment to increase engagement and making tasks challenging. McAleavy et al. (2018) noted that using technology to support teachers’ professional learning can promote collaboration through professional learning communities and communities of practice. In addition, technology that can be used to build the skills of teachers and related services personnel in rural or remote areas may be more cost-effective than face-to-face trainings and will offer flexibility that allows teachers to train at a time and place that suits them. However, regardless of the delivery, effective professional development must go beyond learning new materials and skills; it must also support teachers and related services personnel in improving classroom instruction and student learning (Gess-Newsome et al., 2003). Darling-Hammond et al. (2017) indicated that effective professional development should have the following features: (1) Be content focused, (2) incorporate active learning utilizing adult learning principles, (3) support collaboration, (4) use models and modeling of effective practices, (5) provide coaching and expert support, (6) offer opportunities for feedback and reflection, and (7) be of sustained duration. The Department therefore intends to fund three cooperative agreements to (a) identify strategies needed to implement and integrate an existing technologybased tool or approach, based on at least VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 promising evidence,2 into the provision of teacher in-service training; and (b) provide ongoing technology-based professional development and coaching for in-service trainers in the use of technology to, and understanding of how the technology may support teachers to, improve classroom and remote learning environment instruction and learning outcomes for children with disabilities in prekindergarten through grade 12 (PK–12) settings. Priority To be considered for funding under this priority, applicants, at a minimum, must— (a) Build partnerships with LEAs, at least one of which is in a rural site 3 and that includes public and nonpublic schools, to support teacher in-service trainers in the understanding, use, and delivery of a technology-based tool or approach that will support teacher inservice training for instruction of children with disabilities in PK–12 instructional settings, including classrooms and remote learning environments; (b) Increase the capacity of teacher inservice trainers to effectively use and deliver a technology-based tool or approach 4 that supports teacher classroom and remote learning 2 Promising evidence means that there is evidence of the effectiveness of a key project component in improving a relevant outcome, based on a relevant finding from one of the following: (a) A practice guide prepared by the WWC reporting a ‘‘strong evidence base’’ or ‘‘moderate evidence base’’ for the corresponding practice recommendation; (b) an intervention report prepared by the WWC reporting a ‘‘positive effect’’ or ‘‘potentially positive effect’’ on a relevant outcome with no reporting of a ‘‘negative effect’’ or ‘‘potentially negative effect’’ on a relevant outcome; or (c) a single study assessed by the Department, as appropriate, that is an experimental study, a quasi-experimental design study, or a well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias (e.g., a study using regression methods to account for differences between a treatment group and a comparison group); and includes at least one statistically significant and positive (i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome. See 34 CFR 77.1. 3 Rural site is based on the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) revised definitions of school locale types that can be found at https:// nces.ed.gov/surveys/ruraled/definitions.asp. Rural can be considered as ‘‘fringe, less than or equal to 5 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is less than or equal to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster;’’ ‘‘distant, more than 5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is more than 2.5 miles but less than or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster;’’ or ‘‘remote, more than 25 miles from an urbanized area and is also more than 10 miles from an urban cluster.’’ 4 ‘‘Technology-based tool or approach’’ refers to the technology the applicant is proposing that has at least ‘‘promising evidence’’ with the population intended. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 environment instruction and professional growth; (c) Develop an implementation package of products and resources that will help teacher in-service trainers to use a technology-based tool or approach; and (d) Evaluate whether the in-service training conducted using the technology-based tool or approach meets the project goals and target outcomes. In addition to these programmatic requirements, to be considered for funding under this priority, applicants must meet the following application and administrative requirements in this priority: (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Significance,’’ how the proposed project will— (1) Address the need for a technologybased tool or approach and identify specific gaps and weaknesses, infrastructure, or opportunities to support teacher in-service training. To meet this requirement the applicant must— (i) Identify a fully developed technology-based tool or approach that is based on at least promising evidence; (ii) Identify how the technology-based tool or approach will improve teacher in-service training and the capacity of teachers to deliver instruction or services for PK–12 children with disabilities; (iii) Present applicable national, State, regional, or local data demonstrating the need for the identified technology-based tool or approach in teacher in-service training to support children with disabilities; (iv) Identify current policies, procedures, and practices used by teacher in-service trainers that incorporate technology-based tools or approaches to meet their training needs; (v) Identify systemic barriers, gaps, or challenges, including challenges using the identified technology-based tools or approaches in providing teacher inservice training; and (vi) Describe the potential impact of the identified technology-based tool or approach on teacher in-service trainers, teachers, families and children with disabilities. (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of project services,’’ how the proposed project will— (1) Ensure equal access and treatment for members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. To meet this E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES requirement, the applicant must describe how it will— (i) Identify the needs of the intended recipients for ongoing coaching and supports; (ii) Identify potential strategies to provide recipients of the in-service training with the flexibility to personalize their own learning and coaching supports; and (iii) Ensure that products and resources meet the needs of the intended recipients of the grant; (2) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet this requirement, the applicant must provide— (i) Measurable intended project outcomes; and (ii) In Appendix A, the logic model 5 or conceptual framework by which the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and intended outcomes of the proposed project; (3) Use a logic model or conceptual framework (and provide a copy in Appendix A) to develop project plans and activities describing any underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these variables, and any empirical support for this framework; Note: The following websites provide more information on logic models and conceptual frameworks: www.osepideasthatwork.org/logicModel and www.osepideasthatwork.org/ resources-grantees/program-areas/ta-ta/ tad-project-logic-model-and-conceptualframework. (4) Be based on current research. To meet this requirement, the applicant must— (i) Describe how the proposed project will align to current research, policies, and practices related to the benefits, services, or opportunities that are available using the technology-based tool or approach; (ii) Describe how the proposed project will incorporate current research and practices to guide the development and delivery of its products and resources, including accessibility and usability; and (iii) Document that the technology tool used by the project is fully developed, has been tested and shown 5 Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active ‘‘ingredients’’ that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes. See 34 CFR 77.1. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 to have promising evidence, and addresses, at a minimum, the following principles of universal design for learning (UDL): (A) Multiple means of presentation so that information can be delivered in more than one way (e.g., specialized software and websites, screen readers that include features such as text-tospeech, changeable color contrast, alterable text size, or selection of different reading levels). (B) Multiple means of expression that allow knowledge to be exhibited through options such as writing, online concept mapping, or speech-to-text programs, where appropriate. (C) Multiple means of engagement to stimulate interest in and motivation for learning (e.g., options among several different learning activities or content for a particular competency or skill and providing opportunities for increased collaboration consistent with UDL principles). (5) Develop new products and resources that are of high quality and sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must— (i) Provide a plan for recruiting and selecting a wide range of settings where children with disabilities are served, which must include the following: (A) Three development sites. Development sites are the sites in which iterative development of the products and resources intended to support the implementation of technology tools will occur. The project must start implementing the technology tool with one development site in year one of the project period and two additional development sites in year two. (B) Four pilot sites. Pilot sites are the sites in which try-out, formative evaluation, and refinement of the products and resources will occur. The project must work with the four pilot sites during years three and four of the project period. (C) Ten dissemination sites. Dissemination/scale-up sites will be selected if the project is extended for a fifth year. Dissemination/scale-up sites will be used to (1) refine the products for use by educators, and (2) evaluate the performance of the technology tool. Dissemination/scale-up sites will receive less technical assistance (TA) from the project than development and pilot sites. Also, dissemination/scale-up sites will extend the benefits of the technology tool to additional students. To be selected as a dissemination/scaleup site, eligible sites must commit to working with the project to implement the technology tool. PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83533 (D) A site may not serve in more than one category (i.e., development, pilot, dissemination/scale-up). (E) A minimum of three of the seven development and pilot sites must be in settings other than traditional public elementary and secondary schools and include at least one rural site. A minimum of four of the 10 dissemination/scale-up sites must be in settings other than traditional public elementary and secondary schools and include at least one rural site. These non-traditional and rural sites must otherwise meet the requirements of each category listed above. (ii) Provide information on the development and pilot sites, including student demographics and other pertinent data (e.g., whether the settings are schools identified for comprehensive or targeted support and improvement in accordance with section 1111(c)(4)(C)(iii), (c)(4)(D), or (d)(2)(C)–(D) of the ESEA); (iii) Provide its plan for dissemination, which must address how the project will systematically distribute information, products, and services to varied intended audiences, using a variety of dissemination strategies, to promote awareness and use of the project’s products and resources that goes beyond conference presentations and research articles; (iv) Provide its plan for how the project will sustain project activities after funding ends; and (v) Provide assurances that the final products disseminated to help sites effectively implement technology tools will be both open educational resources (OER) and licensed through an open access licensing authority. (c) In the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the project evaluation,’’ include an evaluation plan for the project as described in the following paragraphs. The evaluation plan must describe measures of progress in implementation, including the criteria for determining the extent to which the project’s products and resources have met the goals for reaching the project’s target population; measures of intended outcomes or results of the project’s activities in order to evaluate those activities; and how well the goals or objectives of the proposed project, as described in its logic model, have been met. The applicant must provide an assurance that, in designing the evaluation plan, it will— (1) Provide a logic model or conceptual framework that depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, project evaluation, methods, performance E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 83534 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices measures, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project; (2) Provide a plan to implement the activities described in this priority; (3) Provide a plan, linked to the proposed project’s logic model or conceptual framework, for a formative evaluation of the proposed project’s activities. The plan must describe how the formative evaluation will use clear performance objectives to ensure continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project, including objective measures of progress in implementing the project and ensuring the quality of products and resources; (4) Describe a plan or method for assessing— (i) The development and pilot sites’ current teacher in-service training uses and needs, any current in-service technology investments, and the knowledge and availability of dedicated on-site in-service training personnel; (ii) The readiness of development and pilot sites to pilot or try-out the technology-based teacher in-service training, including at a minimum, their current infrastructure, available resources, and ability to build capacity; (iii) Whether the technology-based tool or approach has achieved its intended outcomes for teacher inservice trainers and PK–12 teachers; and (iv) Ongoing training needs of inservice trainers to implement with fidelity; (5) Collect formative and summative data from the in-service training to refine and evaluate the products; (6) If the project is extended to a fifth year— (i) Provide the implementation package of products and resources developed for the technology-based tool or approach to no fewer than 10 additional school sites, one of which must be rural, in year five; and (ii) Collect summative data about the success of the project’s products and resources in supporting implementation of the technology-based tool or approach in teacher in-service training sites; and (7) By the end of the project period, provide— (i) Information on the products and resources, as supported by the project evaluation, including accessibility features, that will enable other sites to implement and sustain implementation of the technology-based tool or approach; (ii) Information in the Technology Implementation Report, including data on how in-service trainers used the technology-based tool or approach, and how the technology-based tool or VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 approach was implemented with fidelity; (iii) Data on how the technologybased tool or approach changed inservice trainers’ practices; and (iv) A plan for disseminating or scaling up the technology-based tool or approach and accompanying products beyond the sites directly involved in the project. (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Adequacy of resources and quality of project personnel,’’ how— (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, as appropriate; (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to carry out the proposed activities and achieve the project’s intended outcomes; (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to carry out the proposed activities; and (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the anticipated results and benefits. (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under ‘‘Quality of the management plan,’’ how— (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project’s intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To address this requirement, the applicant must describe— (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks; (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors will be allocated and how these allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project’s intended outcomes; (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and resources provided are of high quality, relevant, and useful to recipients; and (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of perspectives, including those of families, educators, researchers, and policy makers, among others, in its development and operation. (f) Address the following application requirements. The applicant must include— (1) In Appendix A, personnel-loading charts and timelines, as applicable, to illustrate the management plan described in the narrative; and PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (2) In the budget, attendance at the following: (i) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting in Washington, DC, or virtually after receipt of the award, and an annual planning meeting in Washington, DC, or virtually, with the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) project officer and other relevant staff during each subsequent year of the project period. Note: Within 30 days of receipt of the award, a post-award teleconference must be held between the OSEP project officer and the grantee’s project director or other authorized representative. (ii) A two and one-half-day project directors’ conference in Washington, DC, or a virtual conference during each year of the project period. (iii) Two annual two-day trips to attend Department briefings, Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by OSEP. (iv) A one-day intensive OSEP review meeting during the last half of the second year of the project period. Cohort Collaboration and Support OSEP project officer(s) will provide coordination support among the projects. Each project funded under this priority must— (a) Participate in monthly conferencecall discussions to share and collaborate on implementation and project issues; and (b) Provide information annually using a template that captures descriptive data on project site selection and the processes for installation and use of the technology-based tool or approach (i.e., the implementation process). Note: The following website provides more information about implementation research: https://nirn.fpg.unc.edu/nationalimplementation-research-network. Fifth Year of Project The Secretary may extend a project one year beyond the initial 48 months to work with dissemination/scale-up sites if the grantee is achieving the intended outcomes of the project (as demonstrated by data gathered as part of the project evaluation) and making a positive contribution to the implementation of a technology-based tool or approach based on at least promising evidence with fidelity in the development and pilot sites. Each applicant must include in its application a plan for the full 60-month period. In deciding whether to continue funding the project for the fifth year, the Secretary will consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), and will consider— E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of the OSEP project officer and other experts selected by the Secretary. This review will be held during the last half of the second year of the project period; (b) The success and timeliness with which the requirements of the negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the project; and (c) The degree to which the project’s activities have changed practices and improved outcomes for PK–12 children with disabilities. References Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., & Gardner, M. (2017). Effective Teacher Professional Development. Learning Policy Institute. https:// learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/ teacher-prof-dev. Gess-Newsome, J., Blocher, J. M., Clark, J., Menasco, J., & Willis, E. M. (2003). Technology infused professional development: A framework for development and analysis. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 3(3). https:// citejournal.org/volume-3/issue-3-03/ general/technology-infused-professionaldevelopment-a-framework-fordevelopment-and-analysis. McAleavy, T., Hall-Chen, A., Horrocks, S., & Riggall, A. (2018). Technology-supported professional development for teachers: Lessons from developing countries. Education Development Trust. https:// eric.ed.gov/?id=ED593386. Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. Section 681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment requirements of the APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1474 and 1481. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Note: Projects must be awarded and operated in a manner consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws. 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. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 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 (IHEs) only. II. Award Information Type of Award: Cooperative agreements. Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $29,547,000 for the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities program for FY 2021, of which we intend to use an estimated $1,500,000 for this competition. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program. Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2022 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition. Estimated Range of Awards: $450,000 to $500,000 per year. Estimated Average Size of Awards: $475,000 per year. Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $2,500,000 for the 60-month project period. Estimated Number of Awards: 3. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 60 months. III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs; LEAs, including public charter schools that operate as LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public agencies; private nonprofit organizations; freely associated States and outlying areas; Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations; and for-profit organizations. Note: If you are a nonprofit organization, under 34 CFR 75.51, you may demonstrate your nonprofit status by providing: (1) Proof that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) a statement from a State taxing body or the State attorney general certifying that the organization is a nonprofit organization operating within the State and that no part of its net earnings may lawfully benefit any private shareholder or individual; (3) a certified copy of the applicant’s certificate of incorporation or similar document if it clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the applicant; or (4) any item described above if that item applies to a State or national parent organization, PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83535 together with a statement by the State or parent organization that the applicant is a local nonprofit affiliate. 2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching. b. Indirect Cost Rate Information: This program uses an unrestricted indirect cost rate. For more information regarding indirect costs, or to obtain a negotiated indirect cost rate, please see www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocfo/ intro.html. c. Administrative Cost Limitation: This program does not include any program-specific limitation on administrative expenses. All administrative expenses must be reasonable and necessary and conform to Cost Principles described in 2 CFR part 200 subpart E of the Uniform Guidance. 3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. Under 34 CFR 75.708(e), a grantee may contract for supplies, equipment, and other services in accordance with 2 CFR part 200. 4. Other General Requirements: (a) Recipients of funding under this competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of IDEA). (b) Each applicant for, and recipient of, funding must, with respect to the aspects of their proposed project relating to the absolute priority, involve individuals with disabilities, or parents of individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26, in planning, implementing, and evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of IDEA). IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Application Submission Instructions: 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 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. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition. E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 83536 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. 4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative 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 50 pages and (2) use the following standards: • A ‘‘page’’ is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides. • Double-space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, reference citations, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots. • Use a font that is 12 point or larger. • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. The recommended page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; or the abstract (follow the guidance provided in the application package for completing the abstract), the table of contents, the list of priority requirements, the resumes, the reference list, the letters of support, or the appendices. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative, including all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots. V. Application Review Information 1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows: (a) Significance (15 points). (1) The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. (2) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The significance of the problem or issue to be addressed by the proposed project; (ii) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses; (iii) The potential contribution of the proposed project to increased knowledge or understanding of educational problems, issues, or effective strategies; and (iv) The potential replicability of the proposed project or strategies, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 including, as appropriate, the potential for implementation in a variety of settings. (b) Quality of project services (30 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 services to be provided by the proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice; (ii) 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; (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; (iv) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services; and (v) The likely impact of the services to be provided by the proposed project on the intended recipients of those services. (c) Quality of the project evaluation (20 points). (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. (2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors: (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project; (ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible; (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies; (iv) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes; and (v) The extent to which the evaluation plan clearly articulates the key project components, mediators, and outcomes, as well as a measurable threshold for acceptable implementation. (d) Adequacy of resources and quality of project personnel (20 points). (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project and 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; (iv) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the lead applicant organization; (v) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project; and (vi) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project. (e) Quality of the management plan (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 the following factors: (i) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks; (ii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project; E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices (iii) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products and services from the proposed project; (iv) How the applicant will ensure that a diversity of perspectives are brought to bear in the operation of the proposed project, including those of parents, teachers, the business community, a variety of disciplinary and professional fields, recipients or beneficiaries of services, or others, as appropriate; and (v) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project. 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). 3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors: In the past, the Department has had difficulty finding peer reviewers for certain competitions because so many individuals who are eligible to serve as peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The standing panel requirements under section 682(b) of IDEA also have placed additional constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department has determined that for some discretionary grant competitions, applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers by ensuring that greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness of the review process, while permitting panel members to review applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also have submitted applications. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 4. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition, the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible. 5. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $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 PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 83537 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 that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20. 4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b). (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/ fund/grant/apply/appforms/ appforms.html. (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period. 5. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of performance E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 83538 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 246 / Tuesday, December 22, 2020 / Notices measures, including long-term measures, that are designed to yield information on various aspects such as evaluating whether project goals and target outcomes are met and quality of the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials (ETechM2) for Individuals with Disabilities Program. These measures are: • Program Performance Measure 1: The percentage of ETechM2 Program products and services judged to be of high quality by an independent review panel of experts qualified to review the substantial content of the products and services. • Program Performance Measure 2: The percentage of ETechM2 Program products and services judged to be of high relevance to improving outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities. • Program Performance Measure 3: The percentage of ETechM2 Program products and services judged to be useful in improving results for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities. • Program Performance Measure 4.1: The Federal cost per unit of accessible educational materials funded by the ETechM2 Program. • Program Performance Measure 4.2: The Federal cost per unit of accessible educational materials from the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Center funded by the ETechM2 Program. • Program Performance Measure 4.3: The Federal cost per unit of video description funded by the ETechM2 Program. These measures apply to projects funded under this competition, and grantees are required to submit data on these measures as directed by OSEP. Grantees will be required to report information on their project’s performance in annual performance reports and additional performance data to the Department (34 CFR 75.590 and 75.591). 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:30 Dec 21, 2020 Jkt 253001 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: On request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format. The Department will provide the requestor with an accessible format that may include Rich Text Format (RTF) or text format (txt), a thumb drive, an MP3 file, braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc, or other accessible format. 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. Mark Schultz, Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration. Delegated the authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. [FR Doc. 2020–28345 Filed 12–18–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No. ED–2020–SCC–0196] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS) 2019–2021: Common Core of Data (CCD) National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is seeking public comment on proposed changes to a currently existing information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before January 21, 2021. ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for proposed information collection requests should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/ do/PRAMain. Find this particular information request by selecting ‘‘Department of Education’’ under ‘‘Currently Under Review,’’ then check ‘‘Only Show ICR for Public Comment’’ checkbox. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Carrie Clarady, 202–245–6347. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) changes that are described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS) 2019–2021: Common Core of Data (CCD). OMB Control Number: 1850–0067. Type of Review: A change to a currently existing information collection. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\22DEN1.SGM 22DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 246 (Tuesday, December 22, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 83531-83538]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-28345]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Educational Technology, Media, and 
Materials for Individuals With Disabilities Program--Stepping-Up 
Technology Implementation

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for 
Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for Individuals with 
Disabilities--Stepping-up Technology Implementation, Assistance Listing 
Number 84.327S. This notice relates to the approved information 
collection under OMB control number 1820-0028.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: December 22, 2020.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 22, 2021.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 21, 2021.
    Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than December 28, 
2020, 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-osep-grants.html.

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: Terry Jackson, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, room 5128, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-5076. Telephone: (202) 245-6039. 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

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of the Educational Technology, 
Media, and Materials for Individuals with Disabilities Program are to 
improve results for children with disabilities by: (1) Promoting the 
development, demonstration, and use of technology; (2) supporting 
educational activities designed to be of educational value in the 
classroom; (3) providing support for captioning and video description 
that is appropriate for use in the classroom; and (4) providing 
accessible educational materials to children with disabilities in a 
timely manner.\1\
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    \1\ Applicants should note that other laws, including the 
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.; 28 
CFR part 35) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended (29 U.S.C. 794; 34 CFR part 104), may require that State 
educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) 
provide captioning, video description, and other accessible 
educational materials to students with disabilities when these 
materials are necessary to provide equally integrated and equally 
effective access to the benefits of the educational program or 
activity, or as part of a ``free appropriate public education'' as 
defined in 34 CFR 104.33.
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    Priority: This competition includes one absolute priority. In 
accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(v), this priority is from allowable 
activities specified in sections 674(c)(1)(D) and 681(d) of the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); 20 U.S.C. 
1474(c)(1)(D) and 1481(d).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2021 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet this priority.

[[Page 83532]]

    This priority is:
    Providing Technology-Based Professional Development to Trainers of 
Special Education Teachers to Support Children with Disabilities.
    Background
    Technology has enhanced professional development learning 
opportunities for teachers by expanding access to information and 
resources that support their content expertise and pedagogy and promote 
their professional growth. As an alternative to face-to-face 
professional development that can be expensive or impracticable (e.g., 
during an emergency), professional development facilitated by 
technology has the potential to more efficiently shape and impact 
teaching practices. Some examples of the technologies that can be used 
to support teacher learning include, but are not limited to, virtual 
coaching, in which a coach interacts electronically with teachers to 
improve teaching skills; learning management systems (LMS) that allow 
sharing of documents and data in one central location; and 
gamification, which involves bringing elements associated with video 
games into the learning environment to increase engagement and making 
tasks challenging.
    McAleavy et al. (2018) noted that using technology to support 
teachers' professional learning can promote collaboration through 
professional learning communities and communities of practice. In 
addition, technology that can be used to build the skills of teachers 
and related services personnel in rural or remote areas may be more 
cost-effective than face-to-face trainings and will offer flexibility 
that allows teachers to train at a time and place that suits them.
    However, regardless of the delivery, effective professional 
development must go beyond learning new materials and skills; it must 
also support teachers and related services personnel in improving 
classroom instruction and student learning (Gess-Newsome et al., 2003). 
Darling-Hammond et al. (2017) indicated that effective professional 
development should have the following features: (1) Be content focused, 
(2) incorporate active learning utilizing adult learning principles, 
(3) support collaboration, (4) use models and modeling of effective 
practices, (5) provide coaching and expert support, (6) offer 
opportunities for feedback and reflection, and (7) be of sustained 
duration.
    The Department therefore intends to fund three cooperative 
agreements to (a) identify strategies needed to implement and integrate 
an existing technology-based tool or approach, based on at least 
promising evidence,\2\ into the provision of teacher in-service 
training; and (b) provide ongoing technology-based professional 
development and coaching for in-service trainers in the use of 
technology to, and understanding of how the technology may support 
teachers to, improve classroom and remote learning environment 
instruction and learning outcomes for children with disabilities in 
pre-kindergarten through grade 12 (PK-12) settings.
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    \2\ Promising evidence means that there is evidence of the 
effectiveness of a key project component in improving a relevant 
outcome, based on a relevant finding from one of the following: (a) 
A practice guide prepared by the WWC reporting a ``strong evidence 
base'' or ``moderate evidence base'' for the corresponding practice 
recommendation; (b) an intervention report prepared by the WWC 
reporting a ``positive effect'' or ``potentially positive effect'' 
on a relevant outcome with no reporting of a ``negative effect'' or 
``potentially negative effect'' on a relevant outcome; or (c) a 
single study assessed by the Department, as appropriate, that is an 
experimental study, a quasi-experimental design study, or a well-
designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical 
controls for selection bias (e.g., a study using regression methods 
to account for differences between a treatment group and a 
comparison group); and includes at least one statistically 
significant and positive (i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant 
outcome. See 34 CFR 77.1.
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Priority

    To be considered for funding under this priority, applicants, at a 
minimum, must--
    (a) Build partnerships with LEAs, at least one of which is in a 
rural site \3\ and that includes public and nonpublic schools, to 
support teacher in-service trainers in the understanding, use, and 
delivery of a technology-based tool or approach that will support 
teacher in-service training for instruction of children with 
disabilities in PK-12 instructional settings, including classrooms and 
remote learning environments;
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    \3\ Rural site is based on the National Center for Education 
Statistics (NCES) revised definitions of school locale types that 
can be found at https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ruraled/definitions.asp. 
Rural can be considered as ``fringe, less than or equal to 5 miles 
from an urbanized area, as well as rural territory that is less than 
or equal to 2.5 miles from an urban cluster;'' ``distant, more than 
5 miles but less than or equal to 25 miles from an urbanized area, 
as well as rural territory that is more than 2.5 miles but less than 
or equal to 10 miles from an urban cluster;'' or ``remote, more than 
25 miles from an urbanized area and is also more than 10 miles from 
an urban cluster.''
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    (b) Increase the capacity of teacher in-service trainers to 
effectively use and deliver a technology-based tool or approach \4\ 
that supports teacher classroom and remote learning environment 
instruction and professional growth;
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    \4\ ``Technology-based tool or approach'' refers to the 
technology the applicant is proposing that has at least ``promising 
evidence'' with the population intended.
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    (c) Develop an implementation package of products and resources 
that will help teacher in-service trainers to use a technology-based 
tool or approach; and
    (d) Evaluate whether the in-service training conducted using the 
technology-based tool or approach meets the project goals and target 
outcomes.
    In addition to these programmatic requirements, to be considered 
for funding under this priority, applicants must meet the following 
application and administrative requirements in this priority:
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Address the need for a technology-based tool or approach and 
identify specific gaps and weaknesses, infrastructure, or opportunities 
to support teacher in-service training. To meet this requirement the 
applicant must--
    (i) Identify a fully developed technology-based tool or approach 
that is based on at least promising evidence;
    (ii) Identify how the technology-based tool or approach will 
improve teacher in-service training and the capacity of teachers to 
deliver instruction or services for PK-12 children with disabilities;
    (iii) Present applicable national, State, regional, or local data 
demonstrating the need for the identified technology-based tool or 
approach in teacher in-service training to support children with 
disabilities;
    (iv) Identify current policies, procedures, and practices used by 
teacher in-service trainers that incorporate technology-based tools or 
approaches to meet their training needs;
    (v) Identify systemic barriers, gaps, or challenges, including 
challenges using the identified technology-based tools or approaches in 
providing teacher in-service training; and
    (vi) Describe the potential impact of the identified technology-
based tool or approach on teacher in-service trainers, teachers, 
families and children with disabilities.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of project services,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Ensure equal access and treatment for members of groups that 
have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability. To meet this

[[Page 83533]]

requirement, the applicant must describe how it will--
    (i) Identify the needs of the intended recipients for ongoing 
coaching and supports;
    (ii) Identify potential strategies to provide recipients of the in-
service training with the flexibility to personalize their own learning 
and coaching supports; and
    (iii) Ensure that products and resources meet the needs of the 
intended recipients of the grant;
    (2) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must provide--
    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes; and
    (ii) In Appendix A, the logic model \5\ or conceptual framework by 
which the proposed project will achieve its intended outcomes that 
depicts, at a minimum, the goals, activities, outputs, and intended 
outcomes of the proposed project;
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    \5\ Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a 
framework that identifies key project components of the proposed 
project (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are hypothesized to 
be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the 
theoretical and operational relationships among the key project 
components and relevant outcomes. See 34 CFR 77.1.
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    (3) Use a logic model or conceptual framework (and provide a copy 
in Appendix A) to develop project plans and activities describing any 
underlying concepts, assumptions, expectations, beliefs, or theories, 
as well as the presumed relationships or linkages among these 
variables, and any empirical support for this framework;
    Note: The following websites provide more information on logic 
models and conceptual frameworks: www.osepideasthatwork.org/logicModel 
and www.osepideasthatwork.org/resources-grantees/program-areas/ta-ta/tad-project-logic-model-and-conceptual-framework.
    (4) Be based on current research. To meet this requirement, the 
applicant must--
    (i) Describe how the proposed project will align to current 
research, policies, and practices related to the benefits, services, or 
opportunities that are available using the technology-based tool or 
approach;
    (ii) Describe how the proposed project will incorporate current 
research and practices to guide the development and delivery of its 
products and resources, including accessibility and usability; and
    (iii) Document that the technology tool used by the project is 
fully developed, has been tested and shown to have promising evidence, 
and addresses, at a minimum, the following principles of universal 
design for learning (UDL):
    (A) Multiple means of presentation so that information can be 
delivered in more than one way (e.g., specialized software and 
websites, screen readers that include features such as text-to-speech, 
changeable color contrast, alterable text size, or selection of 
different reading levels).
    (B) Multiple means of expression that allow knowledge to be 
exhibited through options such as writing, online concept mapping, or 
speech-to-text programs, where appropriate.
    (C) Multiple means of engagement to stimulate interest in and 
motivation for learning (e.g., options among several different learning 
activities or content for a particular competency or skill and 
providing opportunities for increased collaboration consistent with UDL 
principles).
    (5) Develop new products and resources that are of high quality and 
sufficient intensity and duration to achieve the intended outcomes of 
the proposed project. To address this requirement, the applicant must--
    (i) Provide a plan for recruiting and selecting a wide range of 
settings where children with disabilities are served, which must 
include the following:
    (A) Three development sites. Development sites are the sites in 
which iterative development of the products and resources intended to 
support the implementation of technology tools will occur. The project 
must start implementing the technology tool with one development site 
in year one of the project period and two additional development sites 
in year two.
    (B) Four pilot sites. Pilot sites are the sites in which try-out, 
formative evaluation, and refinement of the products and resources will 
occur. The project must work with the four pilot sites during years 
three and four of the project period.
    (C) Ten dissemination sites. Dissemination/scale-up sites will be 
selected if the project is extended for a fifth year. Dissemination/
scale-up sites will be used to (1) refine the products for use by 
educators, and (2) evaluate the performance of the technology tool. 
Dissemination/scale-up sites will receive less technical assistance 
(TA) from the project than development and pilot sites. Also, 
dissemination/scale-up sites will extend the benefits of the technology 
tool to additional students. To be selected as a dissemination/scale-up 
site, eligible sites must commit to working with the project to 
implement the technology tool.
    (D) A site may not serve in more than one category (i.e., 
development, pilot, dissemination/scale-up).
    (E) A minimum of three of the seven development and pilot sites 
must be in settings other than traditional public elementary and 
secondary schools and include at least one rural site. A minimum of 
four of the 10 dissemination/scale-up sites must be in settings other 
than traditional public elementary and secondary schools and include at 
least one rural site. These non-traditional and rural sites must 
otherwise meet the requirements of each category listed above.
    (ii) Provide information on the development and pilot sites, 
including student demographics and other pertinent data (e.g., whether 
the settings are schools identified for comprehensive or targeted 
support and improvement in accordance with section 1111(c)(4)(C)(iii), 
(c)(4)(D), or (d)(2)(C)-(D) of the ESEA);
    (iii) Provide its plan for dissemination, which must address how 
the project will systematically distribute information, products, and 
services to varied intended audiences, using a variety of dissemination 
strategies, to promote awareness and use of the project's products and 
resources that goes beyond conference presentations and research 
articles;
    (iv) Provide its plan for how the project will sustain project 
activities after funding ends; and
    (v) Provide assurances that the final products disseminated to help 
sites effectively implement technology tools will be both open 
educational resources (OER) and licensed through an open access 
licensing authority.
    (c) In the narrative section of the application under ``Quality of 
the project evaluation,'' include an evaluation plan for the project as 
described in the following paragraphs. The evaluation plan must 
describe measures of progress in implementation, including the criteria 
for determining the extent to which the project's products and 
resources have met the goals for reaching the project's target 
population; measures of intended outcomes or results of the project's 
activities in order to evaluate those activities; and how well the 
goals or objectives of the proposed project, as described in its logic 
model, have been met. The applicant must provide an assurance that, in 
designing the evaluation plan, it will--
    (1) Provide a logic model or conceptual framework that depicts, at 
a minimum, the goals, activities, project evaluation, methods, 
performance

[[Page 83534]]

measures, outputs, and outcomes of the proposed project;
    (2) Provide a plan to implement the activities described in this 
priority;
    (3) Provide a plan, linked to the proposed project's logic model or 
conceptual framework, for a formative evaluation of the proposed 
project's activities. The plan must describe how the formative 
evaluation will use clear performance objectives to ensure continuous 
improvement in the operation of the proposed project, including 
objective measures of progress in implementing the project and ensuring 
the quality of products and resources;
    (4) Describe a plan or method for assessing--
    (i) The development and pilot sites' current teacher in-service 
training uses and needs, any current in-service technology investments, 
and the knowledge and availability of dedicated on-site in-service 
training personnel;
    (ii) The readiness of development and pilot sites to pilot or try-
out the technology-based teacher in-service training, including at a 
minimum, their current infrastructure, available resources, and ability 
to build capacity;
    (iii) Whether the technology-based tool or approach has achieved 
its intended outcomes for teacher in-service trainers and PK-12 
teachers; and
    (iv) Ongoing training needs of in-service trainers to implement 
with fidelity;
    (5) Collect formative and summative data from the in-service 
training to refine and evaluate the products;
    (6) If the project is extended to a fifth year--
    (i) Provide the implementation package of products and resources 
developed for the technology-based tool or approach to no fewer than 10 
additional school sites, one of which must be rural, in year five; and
    (ii) Collect summative data about the success of the project's 
products and resources in supporting implementation of the technology-
based tool or approach in teacher in-service training sites; and
    (7) By the end of the project period, provide--
    (i) Information on the products and resources, as supported by the 
project evaluation, including accessibility features, that will enable 
other sites to implement and sustain implementation of the technology-
based tool or approach;
    (ii) Information in the Technology Implementation Report, including 
data on how in-service trainers used the technology-based tool or 
approach, and how the technology-based tool or approach was implemented 
with fidelity;
    (iii) Data on how the technology-based tool or approach changed in-
service trainers' practices; and
    (iv) A plan for disseminating or scaling up the technology-based 
tool or approach and accompanying products beyond the sites directly 
involved in the project.
    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Adequacy of resources and quality of project personnel,'' how--
    (1) The proposed project will encourage applications for employment 
from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been 
underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or 
disability, as appropriate;
    (2) The proposed key project personnel, consultants, and 
subcontractors have the qualifications and experience to carry out the 
proposed activities and achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The applicant and any key partners have adequate resources to 
carry out the proposed activities; and
    (4) The proposed costs are reasonable in relation to the 
anticipated results and benefits.
    (e) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the management plan,'' how--
    (1) The proposed management plan will ensure that the project's 
intended outcomes will be achieved on time and within budget. To 
address this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) Clearly defined responsibilities for key project personnel, 
consultants, and subcontractors, as applicable; and
    (ii) Timelines and milestones for accomplishing the project tasks;
    (2) Key project personnel and any consultants and subcontractors 
will be allocated and how these allocations are appropriate and 
adequate to achieve the project's intended outcomes;
    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and 
resources provided are of high quality, relevant, and useful to 
recipients; and
    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of 
perspectives, including those of families, educators, researchers, and 
policy makers, among others, in its development and operation.
    (f) Address the following application requirements. The applicant 
must include--
    (1) In Appendix A, personnel-loading charts and timelines, as 
applicable, to illustrate the management plan described in the 
narrative; and
    (2) In the budget, attendance at the following:
    (i) A one and one-half day kick-off meeting in Washington, DC, or 
virtually after receipt of the award, and an annual planning meeting in 
Washington, DC, or virtually, with the Office of Special Education 
Programs (OSEP) project officer and other relevant staff during each 
subsequent year of the project period.

    Note:  Within 30 days of receipt of the award, a post-award 
teleconference must be held between the OSEP project officer and the 
grantee's project director or other authorized representative.

    (ii) A two and one-half-day project directors' conference in 
Washington, DC, or a virtual conference during each year of the project 
period.
    (iii) Two annual two-day trips to attend Department briefings, 
Department-sponsored conferences, and other meetings, as requested by 
OSEP.
    (iv) A one-day intensive OSEP review meeting during the last half 
of the second year of the project period.

Cohort Collaboration and Support

    OSEP project officer(s) will provide coordination support among the 
projects. Each project funded under this priority must--
    (a) Participate in monthly conference-call discussions to share and 
collaborate on implementation and project issues; and
    (b) Provide information annually using a template that captures 
descriptive data on project site selection and the processes for 
installation and use of the technology-based tool or approach (i.e., 
the implementation process).

    Note:  The following website provides more information about 
implementation research: https://nirn.fpg.unc.edu/national-implementation-research-network.

Fifth Year of Project

    The Secretary may extend a project one year beyond the initial 48 
months to work with dissemination/scale-up sites if the grantee is 
achieving the intended outcomes of the project (as demonstrated by data 
gathered as part of the project evaluation) and making a positive 
contribution to the implementation of a technology-based tool or 
approach based on at least promising evidence with fidelity in the 
development and pilot sites. Each applicant must include in its 
application a plan for the full 60-month period. In deciding whether to 
continue funding the project for the fifth year, the Secretary will 
consider the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253(a), and will consider--

[[Page 83535]]

    (a) The recommendation of a review team consisting of the OSEP 
project officer and other experts selected by the Secretary. This 
review will be held during the last half of the second year of the 
project period;
    (b) The success and timeliness with which the requirements of the 
negotiated cooperative agreement have been or are being met by the 
project; and
    (c) The degree to which the project's activities have changed 
practices and improved outcomes for PK-12 children with disabilities.

References

Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., & Gardner, M. (2017). Effective 
Teacher Professional Development. Learning Policy Institute. https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/teacher-prof-dev.
Gess-Newsome, J., Blocher, J. M., Clark, J., Menasco, J., & Willis, 
E. M. (2003). Technology infused professional development: A 
framework for development and analysis. Contemporary Issues in 
Technology and Teacher Education, 3(3). https://citejournal.org/volume-3/issue-3-03/general/technology-infused-professional-development-a-framework-for-development-and-analysis.
McAleavy, T., Hall-Chen, A., Horrocks, S., & Riggall, A. (2018). 
Technology-supported professional development for teachers: Lessons 
from developing countries. Education Development Trust. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED593386.

    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested 
parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. Section 
681(d) of IDEA, however, makes the public comment requirements of the 
APA inapplicable to the priority in this notice.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1474 and 1481.

    Note:  Projects must be awarded and operated in a manner 
consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the 
U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws.

    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.

    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 (IHEs) only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Cooperative agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$29,547,000 for the Educational Technology, Media, and Materials for 
Individuals with Disabilities program for FY 2021, of which we intend 
to use an estimated $1,500,000 for this competition. The actual level 
of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we 
are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant 
process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2022 from the list of 
unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $450,000 to $500,000 per year.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $475,000 per year.
    Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $2,500,000 for 
the 60-month project period.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 3.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs; LEAs, including public charter 
schools that operate as LEAs under State law; IHEs; other public 
agencies; private nonprofit organizations; freely associated States and 
outlying areas; Indian Tribes or Tribal organizations; and for-profit 
organizations.

    Note: If you are a nonprofit organization, under 34 CFR 75.51, 
you may demonstrate your nonprofit status by providing: (1) Proof 
that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant 
as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under 
section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) a statement from 
a State taxing body or the State attorney general certifying that 
the organization is a nonprofit organization operating within the 
State and that no part of its net earnings may lawfully benefit any 
private shareholder or individual; (3) a certified copy of the 
applicant's certificate of incorporation or similar document if it 
clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the applicant; or (4) 
any item described above if that item applies to a State or national 
parent organization, together with a statement by the State or 
parent organization that the applicant is a local nonprofit 
affiliate.

    2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    b. Indirect Cost Rate Information: This program uses an 
unrestricted indirect cost rate. For more information regarding 
indirect costs, or to obtain a negotiated indirect cost rate, please 
see www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocfo/intro.html.
    c. Administrative Cost Limitation: This program does not include 
any program-specific limitation on administrative expenses. All 
administrative expenses must be reasonable and necessary and conform to 
Cost Principles described in 2 CFR part 200 subpart E of the Uniform 
Guidance.
    3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award 
subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities 
described in its application. Under 34 CFR 75.708(e), a grantee may 
contract for supplies, equipment, and other services in accordance with 
2 CFR part 200.
    4. Other General Requirements: (a) Recipients of funding under this 
competition must make positive efforts to employ and advance in 
employment qualified individuals with disabilities (see section 606 of 
IDEA).
    (b) Each applicant for, and recipient of, funding must, with 
respect to the aspects of their proposed project relating to the 
absolute priority, involve individuals with disabilities, or parents of 
individuals with disabilities ages birth through 26, in planning, 
implementing, and evaluating the project (see section 682(a)(1)(A) of 
IDEA).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: 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 
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. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under 
Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this 
competition.

[[Page 83536]]

    3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative 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 50 pages and (2) use the 
following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double-space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, reference citations, and captions, as well as 
all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen shots.
     Use a font that is 12 point or larger.
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the 
budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the 
assurances and certifications; or the abstract (follow the guidance 
provided in the application package for completing the abstract), the 
table of contents, the list of priority requirements, the resumes, the 
reference list, the letters of support, or the appendices. However, the 
recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative, 
including all text in charts, tables, figures, graphs, and screen 
shots.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210 and are as follows:
    (a) Significance (15 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed 
project.
    (2) In determining the significance of the proposed project, the 
Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The significance of the problem or issue to be addressed by the 
proposed project;
    (ii) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be 
addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude 
of those gaps or weaknesses;
    (iii) The potential contribution of the proposed project to 
increased knowledge or understanding of educational problems, issues, 
or effective strategies; and
    (iv) The potential replicability of the proposed project or 
strategies, including, as appropriate, the potential for implementation 
in a variety of settings.
    (b) Quality of project services (30 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 services to be provided by the proposed 
project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective 
practice;
    (ii) 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;
    (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;
    (iv) The extent to which the services to be provided by the 
proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended 
recipients or beneficiaries of those services; and
    (v) The likely impact of the services to be provided by the 
proposed project on the intended recipients of those services.
    (c) Quality of the project evaluation (20 points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary 
considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, 
feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the 
proposed project;
    (ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the 
intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible;
    (iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for 
examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies;
    (iv) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward 
achieving intended outcomes; and
    (v) The extent to which the evaluation plan clearly articulates the 
key project components, mediators, and outcomes, as well as a 
measurable threshold for acceptable implementation.
    (d) Adequacy of resources and quality of project personnel (20 
points).
    (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the 
proposed project and 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;
    (iv) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, 
supplies, and other resources, from the applicant organization or the 
lead applicant organization;
    (v) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project; 
and
    (vi) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to 
the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed 
project.
    (e) Quality of the management plan (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 the following factors:
    (i) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks;
    (ii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project;

[[Page 83537]]

    (iii) The adequacy of mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products 
and services from the proposed project;
    (iv) How the applicant will ensure that a diversity of perspectives 
are brought to bear in the operation of the proposed project, including 
those of parents, teachers, the business community, a variety of 
disciplinary and professional fields, recipients or beneficiaries of 
services, or others, as appropriate; and
    (v) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous 
improvement in the operation of the proposed project.
    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).
    3. Additional Review and Selection Process Factors: In the past, 
the Department has had difficulty finding peer reviewers for certain 
competitions because so many individuals who are eligible to serve as 
peer reviewers have conflicts of interest. The standing panel 
requirements under section 682(b) of IDEA also have placed additional 
constraints on the availability of reviewers. Therefore, the Department 
has determined that for some discretionary grant competitions, 
applications may be separated into two or more groups and ranked and 
selected for funding within specific groups. This procedure will make 
it easier for the Department to find peer reviewers by ensuring that 
greater numbers of individuals who are eligible to serve as reviewers 
for any particular group of applicants will not have conflicts of 
interest. It also will increase the quality, independence, and fairness 
of the review process, while permitting panel members to review 
applications under discretionary grant competitions for which they also 
have submitted applications.
    4. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition, the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in 
appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the 
applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of 
unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system 
that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not 
fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not 
responsible.
    5. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$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 that is awarded competitive grant funds must 
have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This 
dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20.
    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee 
with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In 
this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.
    5. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Department has established a set of 
performance

[[Page 83538]]

measures, including long-term measures, that are designed to yield 
information on various aspects such as evaluating whether project goals 
and target outcomes are met and quality of the Educational Technology, 
Media, and Materials (ETechM2) for Individuals with Disabilities 
Program. These measures are:
     Program Performance Measure 1: The percentage of ETechM2 
Program products and services judged to be of high quality by an 
independent review panel of experts qualified to review the substantial 
content of the products and services.
     Program Performance Measure 2: The percentage of ETechM2 
Program products and services judged to be of high relevance to 
improving outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with 
disabilities.
     Program Performance Measure 3: The percentage of ETechM2 
Program products and services judged to be useful in improving results 
for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.
     Program Performance Measure 4.1: The Federal cost per unit 
of accessible educational materials funded by the ETechM2 Program.
     Program Performance Measure 4.2: The Federal cost per unit 
of accessible educational materials from the National Instructional 
Materials Accessibility Center funded by the ETechM2 Program.
     Program Performance Measure 4.3: The Federal cost per unit 
of video description funded by the ETechM2 Program.
    These measures apply to projects funded under this competition, and 
grantees are required to submit data on these measures as directed by 
OSEP.
    Grantees will be required to report information on their project's 
performance in annual performance reports and additional performance 
data to the Department (34 CFR 75.590 and 75.591).
    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: On request to the program contact person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, individuals with disabilities 
can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an 
accessible format. The Department will provide the requestor with an 
accessible format that may include Rich Text Format (RTF) or text 
format (txt), a thumb drive, an MP3 file, braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc, or other accessible format.
    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.

Mark Schultz,
Commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration. Delegated the 
authority to perform the functions and duties of the Assistant 
Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services.
[FR Doc. 2020-28345 Filed 12-18-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P