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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

TITLE II -- NATIONAL CENTER FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION RESEARCH

SEC. 201. NATIONAL CENTER FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION RESEARCH.

(a) Amendment.--The Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (20 U.S.C. 9501 et seq.) is amended--
(1) by redesignating part E as part F; and
(2) by inserting after part D the following:
PART E--NATIONAL CENTER FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION RESEARCH
SEC. 175. NOTE: 20 USC 9567. ESTABLISHMENT.
(a) Establishment.--There is established in the Institute a National Center for Special Education Research (in this part referred to as the `Special Education Research Center').
(b) Mission.--The mission of the Special Education Research Center is--
(1) to sponsor research to expand knowledge and understanding of the needs of infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities in order to improve the developmental, educational, and transitional results of such individuals;
(2) to sponsor research to improve services provided under, and support the implementation of, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.); and
(3) to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in coordination with the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.
(c) Applicability of Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002.--Parts A and F, and the standards for peer review of applications and for the conduct and evaluation of research under sections 133(a) and 134, respectively, shall apply to the Secretary, the Director, and the Commissioner in carrying out this part.
SEC. 176. NOTE: 20 USC 9567a. COMMISSIONER FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION RESEARCH.

The Special Education Research Center shall be headed by a Commissioner for Special Education Research (in this part referred to as the `Special Education Research Commissioner') who [[Page 118 STAT. 2800]] shall have substantial knowledge of the Special Education Research Center's activities, including a high level of expertise in the fields of research, research management, and the education of children with disabilities.

SEC. 177. NOTE: 20 USC 9567b. DUTIES.
(a) General Duties.--The Special Education Research Center shall carry out research activities under this part consistent with the mission described in section 175(b), such as activities that--
(1) improve services provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in order to improve--
(A) academic achievement, functional outcomes, and educational results for children with disabilities; and
(B) developmental outcomes for infants or toddlers with disabilities;
(2) identify scientifically based educational practices that support learning and improve academic achievement, functional outcomes, and educational results for all students with disabilities;
(3) examine the special needs of preschool aged children, infants, and toddlers with disabilities, including factors that may result in developmental delays;
(4) identify scientifically based related services and interventions that promote participation and progress in the general education curriculum and general education settings;
(5) improve the alignment, compatibility, and development of valid and reliable assessments, including alternate assessments, as required by section 1111(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b));
(6) examine State content standards and alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive impairment in terms of academic achievement, individualized instructional need, appropriate education settings, and improved post-school results;
(7) examine the educational, developmental, and transitional needs of children with high incidence and low incidence disabilities;
(8) examine the extent to which overidentification and underidentification of children with disabilities occurs, and the causes thereof;
(9) improve reading and literacy skills of children with disabilities;
(10) examine and improve secondary and postsecondary education and transitional outcomes and results for children with disabilities;
(11) examine methods of early intervention for children with disabilities, including children with multiple or complex developmental delays;
(12) examine and incorporate universal design concepts in the development of standards, assessments, curricula, and instructional methods to improve educational and transitional results for children with disabilities;
(13) improve the preparation of personnel, including early intervention personnel, who provide educational and related services to children with disabilities to increase the academic achievement and functional performance of students with disabilities;
(14) examine the excess costs of educating a child with a disability and expenses associated with high cost special education and related services;
(15) help parents improve educational results for their children, particularly related to transition issues;
(16) address the unique needs of children with significant cognitive disabilities; and
(17) examine the special needs of limited English proficient children with disabilities.
(b) Standards.--The Special Education Research Commissioner shall ensure that activities assisted under this section--
(1) conform to high standards of quality, integrity, accuracy, validity, and reliability;
(2) are carried out in accordance with the standards for the conduct and evaluation of all research and development established by the National Center for Education Research; and
(3) are objective, secular, neutral, and nonideological, and are free of partisan political influence, and racial, cultural, gender, regional, or disability bias.
(c) Plan.--The Special Education Research Commissioner shall propose to the Director a research plan, developed in collaboration with the Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, that--
(1) is consistent with the priorities and mission of the Institute and the mission of the Special Education Research Center;
(2) is carried out, updated, and modified, as appropriate;
(3) is consistent with the purposes of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act;
(4) contains an appropriate balance across all age ranges and types of children with disabilities;
(5) provides for research that is objective and uses measurable indicators to assess its progress and results; and
(6) is coordinated with the comprehensive plan developed under section 681 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
(d) Grants, Contracts, and Cooperative Agreements.--
(1) In general.--In carrying out the duties under this section, the Director may award grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, eligible applicants.
(2) Eligible applicants.--Activities carried out under this subsection through contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements shall be carried out only by recipients with the ability and capacity to conduct scientifically valid research.
(3) Applications.--An eligible applicant that wishes to receive a grant, or enter into a contract or cooperative agreement, under this section shall submit an application to the Director at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Director may require.
(e) Dissemination.--The Special Education Research Center shall--
(1) synthesize and disseminate, through the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, the findings and results of special education research conducted or supported by the Special Education Research Center; and
(2) assist the Director in the preparation of a biennial report, as described in section 119.
(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this part such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2010.''.
(b) Conforming Amendments.--
(1) Amendments to the table of contents.--The table of contents in section 1 of the Act entitled An Act to provide for improvement of Federal education research, statistics, evaluation, information, and dissemination, and for other purposes'', approved November 5, 2002 (116 Stat. 1940; Public Law 107-279), is amended--
(A) by redesignating the item relating to part E as the item relating to part F; and
(B) by inserting after the item relating to section 174 the following:
Part E--National Center for Special Education Research
Sec. 175. Establishment.
Sec. 176. Commissioner for Special Education Research.
Sec. 177. Duties.''.
(2) Education sciences reform act of 2002.--The Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (20 U.S.C. 9501 et seq.) is amended--
(A) in section 111(b)(1)(A) (20 U.S.C. 9511(b)(1)(A)), by inserting and special education'' after early childhood education'';
(B) in section 111(c)(3) (20 U.S.C. 9511(c)(3))--
(i) in subparagraph (B), by striking and'' after the semicolon;
(ii) in subparagraph (C), by striking the period and inserting ; and''; and
(iii) by adding at the end the following: (D) the National Center for Special Education Research (as described in part E).'';
(C) in section 115(a) (20 U.S.C. 9515(a)), by striking including those'' and all that follows through such as'' and inserting including those associated with the goals and requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.), and the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), such as''; and
(D) in section 116(c)(4)(A)(ii) (20 U.S.C. 9516(c)(4)(A)(ii), by inserting special education experts,'' after early childhood experts,''.
(3) Elementary and secondary education act of 1965.--Section 1117(a)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6317(a)(3)) is amended by striking part E'' and inserting part D''.
SEC. 202. NATIONAL BOARD FOR EDUCATION SCIENCES.

Section 116(c)(9) of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (20 U.S.C. 9516(c)(9)) is amended by striking the third sentence and inserting the following: Meetings of the Board are subject to section 552b of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the Government in the Sunshine Act).''.

SEC. 203. REGIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEES.

Section 206(d)(3) of the Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002 (20 U.S.C. 9605(d)(3)) is amended by striking Academy'' and inserting Institute''.