80 FR 48028 - Final Priority-Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 154 (August 11, 2015)

Page Range48028-48033
FR Document2015-19617

The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Experimental and Innovative Training program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We take this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified national need. We intend the priority to support a Technical Assistance Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance (PEQA).

Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 154 (Tuesday, August 11, 2015)
[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 154 (Tuesday, August 11, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 48028-48033]
From the Federal Register Online  [www.thefederalregister.org]
[FR Doc No: 2015-19617]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter III

[Docket ID ED-2015-OSERS-0048; CFDA Number: 84.263B.]


Final Priority--Technical Assistance Center for Vocational 
Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and Quality Assurance

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

ACTION: Final priority.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and 
Rehabilitative Services announces a priority under the Experimental and 
Innovative Training program. The Assistant Secretary may use this 
priority for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We 
take this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified 
national need. We intend the priority to support a Technical Assistance 
Center for Vocational Rehabilitation Agency Program Evaluation and 
Quality Assurance (PEQA).

DATES: This priority is effective September 10, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Don Bunuan, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5046, Potomac Center Plaza 
(PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-6616 or by 
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:
    Purpose of Program: This program is designed to (a) develop new 
types of training programs for rehabilitation personnel and to 
demonstrate the effectiveness of these new types of training programs 
for rehabilitation personnel in providing rehabilitation services to 
individuals with disabilities; and (b) develop new and improved methods 
of training rehabilitation personnel, so that there may be a more 
effective delivery of rehabilitation services by State and other 
rehabilitation agencies.
    Program Authority: 29 U.S.C. 772(a)(1).
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR part 385 and 387.
    We published a notice of proposed priority for this competition in 
the Federal Register on May 28, 2015 (80 FR 30399). That notice 
contained background information and our reasons for proposing the 
particular priority. There are differences between the proposed 
priority and the final priority, and we explain those differences in 
the Analysis of Comments and Changes section of this notice.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the notice of 
proposed priority, four parties submitted comments.
    Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes. In 
addition, we do not address comments that raise concerns not directly 
related to the proposed priority.
    Analysis of the Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments 
and of any changes in the priority since publication of the notice of 
proposed priority follows.
    Comment: One commenter observed that the priority should provide 
for continuing personnel development for those who have completed the 
Basic Certification Program and approach the intermediate level of 
competency. The commenter recommended allowing those who have completed 
the Basic Certification Training to qualify as intermediate-level 
program evaluators in order to access the Special Topical Trainings. In 
addition, two commenters

[[Page 48029]]

recommended adding a technical assistance (TA) component that addresses 
quality improvement in the work of all vocational rehabilitation (VR) 
personnel, not just the VR agency's program evaluators. The commenters 
noted that quality improvement is an issue relevant to work at all 
levels of a VR agency; therefore, other VR staff need to understand the 
principles of program evaluation, quality assurance, and continuous 
improvement.
    Discussion: We agree that a wide array of State VR agency personnel 
could benefit from a greater understanding of program evaluation and 
quality assurance principles. However, the focus of this priority is to 
advance the knowledge and skills of VR program evaluation personnel 
through specialized professional education and training. The priority 
is not intended as a vehicle for providing technical assistance to a 
broader range of VR personnel on general program evaluation and quality 
assurance principles.
    Thus, the Basic Certification Program described in this priority is 
designed as an intensive, structured training program to increase the 
numbers and qualifications of VR program evaluators. The Special 
Topical Trainings are targeted to more advanced program evaluators, and 
we want to ensure that those individuals have first priority in 
attending those sessions. However, if additional space in a Special 
Topical Training is available, we believe it would be an appropriate 
and efficient use of resources to open enrollment to individuals who 
have completed the Basic Certification Program, and then, if seats 
still remain, to other State VR agency personnel whose current work 
responsibilities are closely aligned with the specific topic area of 
the training.
    Changes: We have inserted a new paragraph (b) in the Special 
Topical Training section of the priority that would allow the PEQA, 
after ensuring that intermediate-level program evaluators have been 
given priority to register for a specific training session, to open 
registration to individuals who have completed the Basic Certification 
Program, and then to other VR personnel whose current work 
responsibilities are closely aligned with the specific topic area of 
the training, if additional space in such training is available.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that the center support, 
strengthen, and augment existing communities of practice that focus on 
program evaluation, rather than establish new communities of practice 
to perform these functions.
    Discussion: We agree that creating new communities of practice is 
not always necessary. Coordinating with, and enhancing the efforts of, 
existing communities of practice focused on program evaluation could 
also be beneficial in sharing information, exchanging ideas, and 
accomplishing the activities in paragraph (a) of the Coordination 
Activities section of the priority.
    Changes: The communities of practice requirement in paragraph (a) 
of Coordination Activities under the Project Activities section has 
been revised to also permit the PEQA to support, strengthen, and 
augment existing communities of practice, and to establish new 
communities of practice, as needed, to act as vehicles for 
communication, exchange of information among program evaluation 
professionals, and a forum for sharing the results of capstone projects 
that are in progress or have been completed.
    Comment: Two commenters mentioned a preference for substituting the 
term ``continuous improvement'' for ``quality assurance'' throughout 
the priority. Commenters cited the extensive use of ``continuous 
improvement'' in the proposed regulations implementing the Workforce 
Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) that were published in the 
Federal Register on April 16, 2015 (80 FR 21059).
    Discussion: We recognize the significance of the term ``continuous 
improvement'' and its use throughout WIOA. However, we believe that 
``quality assurance'' and ``program evaluation,'' as described in this 
priority, represent key elements of the overall process of ``continuous 
improvement.''
    Changes: We have revised the initial paragraph of the priority to 
emphasize that continuous improvement is the overall goal of program 
evaluation and quality assurance. However, we have retained the 
priority's focus on skill development in the area of program evaluation 
and quality assurance. We have also added footnotes referencing the 
terms ``program evaluation'' and ``quality assurance'' as these terms 
are used in the field in order to clarify the use of those terms.
    Comment: One commenter expressed concern about the process by which 
information and resources are disseminated from the TA Center in a 
timely manner for use by State VR agencies.
    Discussion: Consistent with the provisions in the ``Coordination 
Activities'' section of the priority, we agree that timely 
dissemination of information and resources for use by State VR agencies 
is important, and mechanisms to ensure the timely dissemination of such 
materials will be included in the cooperative agreement.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter requested that the new center provide TA to 
tribal VR programs funded through the Rehabilitation Services 
Administration (RSA), observing that this would be particularly 
beneficial since tribal VR programs have many of the same requirements 
to demonstrate continuous improvement as State VR agencies.
    Discussion: This priority is intended to assist State VR agencies 
to build their capacity to meet the performance accountability demands 
of core programs under WIOA's workforce system. Specifically, this 
priority is designed to assist State VR agencies to implement high-
quality program evaluation and quality assurance programs through the 
education and training of VR evaluation personnel. Other programs of 
the Department address these and other needs of tribal VR agencies. 
Amendments made by WIOA to section 121 of the Rehabilitation Act 
require RSA to reserve funds from the set-aside for the American Indian 
Vocational Rehabilitation Services (AIVRS) program under section 110(c) 
to provide training and TA to assist governing bodies of Indian tribes 
in developing, conducting, administering, and evaluating their AIVRS 
projects.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Two commenters requested that grant funds under this 
priority be used to provide logistical and technical support for an 
existing annual conference focused on program evaluation. Both 
commenters indicated that an opportunity for in-person interaction and 
networking would benefit the field as well as support the efforts of 
objectives of the priority.
    Discussion: Nothing in the priority precludes an applicant from 
proposing to provide logistical and technical support for an existing 
annual conference focused on program evaluation and quality assurance, 
as long as such a proposal is consistent with paragraph (a) of the 
Coordination Activities section of the proposed Center.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Two commenters recommended that funding be provided for 
travel for the cohorts of participants in the Basic Certification 
Program.
    Discussion: Nothing in the priority would preclude an applicant 
from proposing to use grant funds to support participant travel for the 
in-person

[[Page 48030]]

component of the Basic Certification Program, consistent with 34 CFR 
387.41.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter asked whether the trainings detailed under 
paragraphs (a) and (b) of the Special Topical Training section describe 
the same or different trainings.
    Discussion: Paragraphs (a) and (b) refer to the same trainings. 
Paragraph (a) of the Special Topical Training section requires the 
Center to develop topical trainings, and paragraph (b) requires that 
those same trainings be conducted no fewer than four times a year.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter asked whether the Basic Certification 
Program is an academic or a professional certificate program.
    Discussion: The project is required to develop a basic 
certification program. Nothing in the priority precludes an applicant 
from proposing a program that also provides academic credit to 
participants. However, we note that the priority requires that the 
Basic Certification Program be offered at no cost to participants. As 
such, we believe it is unlikely that a project will offer academic 
credit to all participants, though applicants, with support from an 
institution of higher education, are welcome to propose such 
arrangements.
    Changes: None.

Final Priority

    The purpose of this priority is to fund a cooperative agreement for 
a training and technical assistance center that will assist State 
vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies to improve performance 
management by building their capacity to carry out high-quality program 
evaluations \1\ and quality assurance \2\ practices that promote 
continuous program improvement.
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    \1\ ``Program evaluation'' is ``the appropriate, timely, and 
systematic collection, analysis, and reporting of data to facilitate 
stakeholder judgement concerning program worth in regards to its 
design, demands, size and type of effect, match between effect and 
need, cost effectiveness, strength of casual connections and 
utility.'' Leahy, M.J., Thielsen, V.A., Millington, M.J., Austin, 
B., & Fleming, A. (2009). Quality assurance and program evaluation: 
Terms, models, and applications. Journal of Rehabilitation 
Administration, 33(2), 69-82.
    \2\ ``Quality assurance'' is ``a systematic process designed to 
identify, analyze, and eliminate variations in processes or 
outcomes.'' Leahy, M.J., Thielsen, V.A., Millington, M.J., Austin, 
B., & Fleming, A. (2009). Quality assurance and program evaluation: 
Terms, models, and applications. Journal of Rehabilitation 
Administration, 33(2), 69-82.
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    The Technical Assistance Center for Program Evaluation and Quality 
Assurance (PEQA) will assist State VR agencies in building capacity 
through professional education and training of VR evaluators. To this 
end, PEQA will:
    (a) Provide educational opportunities for State VR staff from 
recognized experts in program evaluation and quality assurance;
    (b) Develop interagency collaboration networks and work teams 
committed to the improvement of quality assurance systems and tools; 
and
    (c) Deliver technical, professional, and continuing educational 
support to State VR program evaluators.

Project Activities

    To meet the requirements of this priority, the PEQA must, at a 
minimum, conduct the following activities:

Basic Certification Program

    (a) Develop a one-year certificate program in VR program evaluation 
that will result in increasing the numbers and qualifications of 
program evaluators in State VR agencies. At a minimum, this certificate 
program must:
    (1) Be designed to develop key competencies necessary for 
successful implementation of program evaluation and quality assurance 
activities, including, but not limited to:
    (i) Knowledge of the State-Federal VR program;
    (ii) Data collection methodologies;
    (iii) Data analysis and interpretation;
    (iv) Making evaluative judgments and recommendations;
    (v) Effective communication of results (including presentations, 
drafting reports, and building partnerships); and
    (vi) Ethical practice.
    (2) Be responsive to the prior knowledge and skills of 
participants;
    (3) Incorporate adult learning principles and opportunities for 
practice into training;
    (4) Be delivered through multiple modalities and in an accessible 
format;
    (5) Assess, at regular intervals, the progress of training 
participants toward attainment of the key competencies; and
    (6) Require the completion of a capstone project in order to 
successfully complete the program. The capstone project must:
    (i) Be completed within one year of the completion of formal 
coursework for the certificate program;
    (ii) Be conducted on a topic responsive to the needs of the State 
VR agency and agreed to by the PEQA, the participant, and the State VR 
agency; and
    (iii) Be completed as part of the normal work duties of the 
participant in the State VR agency.
    (7) Be provided at no cost to participants, excluding travel and 
per diem costs, which may be provided by the sponsoring agency.
    (b) Provide training through the certificate program to a cohort of 
eight to ten working professionals in each year of the project.
    (c) Select participants for the certificate program based, in part, 
on the considered recommendation of their employing State VR agencies.

Special Topical Training

    (a) Develop a series of special training opportunities for 
intermediate-level program evaluators. These training opportunities 
must, at a minimum:
    (1) Be designed to develop higher-level knowledge, skills, and 
abilities of program participants;
    (2) Be focused on a range of topics determined by the PEQA with 
input from State VR agencies and other relevant groups or 
organizations;
    (3) Provide opportunities for hands-on application of the 
competencies discussed in the trainings;
    (4) Be of sufficient duration and intensity to ensure that 
participants obtain the competencies discussed in the trainings; and
    (5) Assess the progress of program participants in attaining the 
competencies discussed in the trainings.
    (b) If, after ensuring that intermediate-level program evaluators 
have priority in registering for Special Topical Training provided 
under paragraph (a), the PEQA determines that additional space is 
available, the Center may open registration to individuals who have 
completed the Basic Certification Program described in this priority. 
In addition, if additional space in such training opportunities is 
still available after intermediate-level program evaluators and 
individuals who have completed the Basic Certification Program have 
been allowed to register, the Center may open registration to State VR 
agency personnel whose current work responsibilities are closely 
aligned with the specific topic area of the particular training 
opportunity.
    Note: For purposes of this priority, an ``intermediate-level 
program evaluator'' is a program evaluator working for a State VR 
agency with the knowledge, skills, and abilities typically expected of 
a professional who has been in such a position for at least five years.
    (c) Conduct no fewer than four special training opportunities each 
year of the project.

Coordination Activities

    (a) Support, strengthen, and augment existing communities of 
practice, and establish new communities of practice, as needed, to act 
as vehicles for communication, exchange of information among program 
evaluation

[[Page 48031]]

professionals, and a forum for sharing the results of capstone projects 
that are in progress or have been completed. These communities of 
practice must be focused on challenges facing program evaluation 
professionals and the development of key competencies to address such 
challenges;
    (b) Maintain a Web site that, at a minimum:
    (1) Provides a central location for later reference and use of 
capstone projects, resources from special training opportunities, and 
other relevant materials; and
    (2) Ensures peer-to-peer access between State VR project evaluation 
professionals;
    (c) Communicate and coordinate, on an ongoing basis, with other 
relevant Department-funded projects and those supported by the 
Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Health and Human Services; and
    (d) Maintain ongoing communication with the RSA project officer and 
other RSA staff as required.

Application Requirements.

    To be funded under this priority, applicants must meet the 
application and administrative requirements in this priority. RSA 
encourages innovative approaches to meet these requirements, which are:
    (a) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Significance of the Project,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Address State VR agencies' capacity to conduct high quality 
program evaluation and data analysis activities. To address this 
requirement, the applicant must:
    (i) Demonstrate knowledge of emerging and best practices in program 
evaluation and quality assurance;
    (ii) Demonstrate knowledge of current State VR and other efforts 
designed to improve evaluation and performance management practices.
    (2) Increase the number of program evaluators working in State VR 
agencies who have obtained a certificate in their field of work and the 
number and quality of program evaluation activities performed by State 
VR agencies.
    (b) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of Project Services,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Achieve its goals, objectives, and intended outcomes. To meet 
this requirement, the applicant must provide--
    (i) Measurable intended project outcomes;
    (ii) A plan for how the proposed project will achieve its intended 
outcomes; and
    (iii) A plan for communicating and coordinating with relevant 
training programs and communities of practice, State VR agencies, and 
other RSA partners.
    (2) Use a conceptual framework 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.
    (3) Be based on current research and make use of evidence-based 
practices. To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe:
    (i) How the current research about adult learning principles and 
implementation science will inform the proposed training; and
    (ii) How the proposed project will incorporate current research and 
evidence-based practices in the development and delivery of its 
products and services.
    (4) Develop products and provide services 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 describe--
    (i) Its proposed curriculum for a certificate program for VR 
evaluation professionals;
    (ii) Its proposed plan for recruiting and selecting trainees for 
the certification program;
    (iii) Its proposed plan for collecting information on the impact of 
capstone projects;
    (iv) Its proposed plan for identifying, selecting and addressing 
the special topical program evaluation and quality assurance related 
training needs of State VR agency staff;
    (v) Its proposed plan for annual follow-up with participants in 
special training opportunities;
    (5) Develop products and implement services to maximize the 
project's efficiency. To address this requirement, the applicant must 
describe--
    (i) How the proposed project will use technology to achieve the 
intended project outcomes; and
    (ii) With whom the proposed project will collaborate and the 
intended outcomes of this collaboration.
    (c) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Quality of the Evaluation Plan,'' how the proposed project will--
    (1) Measure and track the effectiveness of the training provided. 
To meet this requirement, the applicant must describe its proposed 
approach to--
    (i) Collecting data on the effectiveness of training activities;
    (ii) Analyzing and reporting data on the effectiveness of training, 
including any proposed standards or targets for determining 
effectiveness;
    (2) Collect and analyze data on specific and measurable goals, 
objectives, and intended outcomes of the project, including measuring 
and tracking the effectiveness of the training provided. To address 
this requirement, the applicant must describe--
    (i) Its proposed evaluation methodologies, including instruments, 
data collection methods, and analyses;
    (ii) Its proposed standards or targets for determining 
effectiveness;
    (iii) How it will use the evaluation results to examine the 
effectiveness of its implementation and its progress toward achieving 
the intended outcomes; and
    (iv) How the methods of evaluation will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data that demonstrate whether the project and individual 
training activities achieved their intended outcomes.
    (d) Demonstrate, in the narrative section of the application under 
``Adequacy of Project Resources,'' 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 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 to the project and how these

[[Page 48032]]

allocations are appropriate and adequate to achieve the project's 
intended outcomes, including an assurance that such personnel will have 
adequate availability to ensure timely communications with stakeholders 
and RSA;
    (3) The proposed management plan will ensure that the products and 
services provided are of high quality; and
    (4) The proposed project will benefit from a diversity of 
perspectives, including those of State and local personnel, technical 
assistance providers, researchers, and policy makers, among others, in 
its development and operation.

Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.
    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, we invite applications through a 
notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and, therefore, subject to 
the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866 defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely 
to result in a rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or 
Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the 
Executive order.
    This final regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action 
subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.
    We have also reviewed this final regulatory action under Executive 
Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, 
structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in 
Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 
13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practicable--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated 
behavioral changes.''
    We are issuing this final priority only on a reasoned determination 
that its benefits justify its costs. In choosing among alternative 
regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that maximize net 
benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes 
that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in 
Executive Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and 
qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those 
resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as 
necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities. 
The benefits of the Rehabilitation Training program have been well 
established over the years through the successful completion of similar 
projects funded for the purpose of improving the skills of State VR 
agency staff. The priority would specifically improve the skills of 
State VR agency evaluators. A project of this type will be particularly 
beneficial to State VR agencies in this era of increased emphasis on 
accountability and program results.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is

[[Page 48033]]

the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to 
the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: 
www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as 
all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: August 5, 2015.
Michael K. Yudin,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 2015-19617 Filed 8-10-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P


80_FR_48182
Current View
CategoryRegulatory Information
CollectionFederal Register
sudoc ClassAE 2.7:
GS 4.107:
AE 2.106:
PublisherOffice of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration
SectionRules and Regulations
ActionFinal priority.
DatesThis priority is effective September 10, 2015.
ContactDon Bunuan, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 5046, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2800. Telephone: (202) 245-6616 or by email: [email protected]
FR Citation80 FR 48028 

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