(a) In General.--
(1) Submission.--A State educational agency that desires to receive a grant under this subpart shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and including such information as the Secretary may require.
(2) State plan.--The application shall include a plan that identifies and addresses the State and local needs for the personnel preparation and professional development of personnel, as well as individuals who provide direct supplementary aids and services to children with disabilities, and that--
(A) is designed to enable the State to meet the requirements of 20 USC 1412(a)(14) and 20 USC 1435 (a) (8) and (9); (B) is based on an assessment of State and local needs that identifies critical aspects and areas in need of improvement related to the preparation, ongoing training, and professional development of personnel who serve infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children with disabilities within the State, including--
(i) current and anticipated personnel vacancies and shortages; and (ii) the number of preservice and inservice programs; and (C) is integrated and aligned, to the maximum extent possible, with State plans and activities under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Higher Education Act of 1965.
(3) Requirement.--The State application shall contain an assurance that the State educational agency will carry out each of the strategies described in subsection (b)(4).
(b) Elements of State Personnel Development Plan.--Each State personnel development plan under subsection (a)(2) shall--
(1) describe a partnership agreement that is in effect for the period of the grant, which agreement shall specify--
(A) the nature and extent of the partnership described in 20 USC 1452(b) and the respective roles of each member of the partnership, including the partner described in 20 USC 1452(b)(3) if applicable; and (B) how the State educational agency will work with other persons and organizations involved in, and concerned with, the education of children with disabilities, including the respective roles of each of the persons and organizations; (2) describe how the strategies and activities described in paragraph (4) will be coordinated with activities supported with other public resources (including part B and part C funds retained for use at the State level for personnel and professional development purposes) and private resources; (3) describe how the State educational agency will align its personnel development plan under this subpart with the plan and application submitted under sections 1111 and 2112, respectively, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; (4) describe those strategies the State educational agency will use to address the professional development and personnel needs identified under subsection (a)(2) and how such strategies will be implemented, including--
(A) a description of the programs and activities to be supported under this subpart that will provide personnel with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of, and improve the performance and achievement of, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and children with disabilities; and (B) how such strategies will be integrated, to the maximum extent possible, with other activities supported by grants funded under 20 USC 1462; (5) provide an assurance that the State educational agency will provide technical assistance to local educational agencies to improve the quality of professional development available to meet the needs of personnel who serve children with disabilities; (6) provide an assurance that the State educational agency will provide technical assistance to entities that provide services to infants and toddlers with disabilities to improve the quality of professional development available to meet the needs of personnel serving such children; (7) describe how the State educational agency will recruit and retain highly qualified teachers and other qualified personnel in geographic areas of greatest need; (8) describe the steps the State educational agency will take to ensure that poor and minority children are not taught at higher rates by teachers who are not highly qualified; and (9) describe how the State educational agency will assess, on a regular basis, the extent to which the strategies implemented under this subpart have been effective in meeting the performance goals described in 20 USC 1412(a)(15).
(c) Peer Review.--
(1) In general.--The Secretary shall use a panel of experts who are competent, by virtue of their training, expertise, or experience, to evaluate applications for grants under 20 USC 1451(c)(1).
(2) Composition of panel.--A majority of a panel described in paragraph (1) shall be composed of individuals who are not employees of the Federal Government.
(3) Payment of fees and expenses of certain members.--The Secretary may use available funds appropriated to carry out this subpart to pay the expenses and fees of panel members who are not employees of the Federal Government.
(d) Reporting Procedures.--Each State educational agency that receives a grant under this subpart shall submit annual performance reports to the Secretary. The reports shall--
(1) describe the progress of the State educational agency in implementing its plan; (2) analyze the effectiveness of the State educational agency's activities under this subpart and of the State educational agency's strategies for meeting its goals under 20 USC 1412(a)(15); and (3) identify changes in the strategies used by the State educational agency and described in subsection (b)(4), if any, to improve the State educational agency's performance.
(Amended by P.L. 108-446, Sec. 653.)