(a) Program authorized
(1) In general
The Secretary may award grants to, and enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with, parent organizations to support parent training and information centers to carry out activities under this section.
(2) Definition of parent organization
In this section, the term "parent organization" means a private nonprofit organization (other than an institution of higher education) that—
(A) has a board of directors—
(i) the majority of whom are parents of children with disabilities ages birth through 26;
(ii) that includes—
(I) individuals working in the fields of special education, related services, and early intervention; and
(II) individuals with disabilities; and
(iii) the parent and professional members of which are broadly representative of the population to be served, including low-income parents and parents of limited English proficient children; and
(B) has as its mission serving families of children with disabilities who—
(i) are ages birth through 26; and
(ii) have the full range of disabilities described in section 1401(3) of this title.
(b) Required activities
Each parent training and information center that receives assistance under this section shall—
(1) provide training and information that meets the needs of parents of children with disabilities living in the area served by the center, particularly underserved parents and parents of children who may be inappropriately identified, to enable their children with disabilities to—
(A) meet developmental and functional goals, and challenging academic achievement goals that have been established for all children; and
(B) be prepared to lead productive independent adult lives, to the maximum extent possible;
(2) serve the parents of infants, toddlers, and children with the full range of disabilities described in section 1401(3) of this title;
(3) ensure that the training and information provided meets the needs of low-income parents and parents of limited English proficient children;
(4) assist parents to—
(A) better understand the nature of their children's disabilities and their educational, developmental, and transitional needs;
(B) communicate effectively and work collaboratively with personnel responsible for providing special education, early intervention services, transition services, and related services;
(C) participate in decisionmaking processes and the development of individualized education programs under subchapter II and individualized family service plans under subchapter III;
(D) obtain appropriate information about the range, type, and quality of—
(i) options, programs, services, technologies, practices and interventions based on scientifically based research, to the extent practicable; and
(ii) resources available to assist children with disabilities and their families in school and at home;
(E) understand the provisions of this chapter for the education of, and the provision of early intervention services to, children with disabilities;
(F) participate in activities at the school level that benefit their children; and
(G) participate in school reform activities;
(5) in States where the State elects to contract with the parent training and information center, contract with State educational agencies to provide, consistent with subparagraphs (B) and (D) of section 1415(e)(2) of this title, individuals who meet with parents to explain the mediation process to the parents;
(6) assist parents in resolving disputes in the most expeditious and effective way possible, including encouraging the use, and explaining the benefits, of alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as the mediation process described in section 1415(e) of this title;
(7) assist parents and students with disabilities to understand their rights and responsibilities under this chapter, including those under section 1415(m) of this title upon the student's reaching the age of majority (as appropriate under State law);
(8) assist parents to understand the availability of, and how to effectively use, procedural safeguards under this chapter, including the resolution session described in section 1415(e) of this title;
(9) assist parents in understanding, preparing for, and participating in, the process described in section 1415(f)(1)(B) of this title;
(10) establish cooperative partnerships with community parent resource centers funded under section 1472 of this title;
(11) network with appropriate clearinghouses, including organizations conducting national dissemination activities under section 1463 of this title and the Institute of Education Sciences, and with other national, State, and local organizations and agencies, such as protection and advocacy agencies, that serve parents and families of children with the full range of disabilities described in section 1401(3) of this title; and
(12) annually report to the Secretary on—
(A) the number and demographics of parents to whom the center provided information and training in the most recently concluded fiscal year;
(B) the effectiveness of strategies used to reach and serve parents, including underserved parents of children with disabilities; and
(C) the number of parents served who have resolved disputes through alternative methods of dispute resolution.
(c) Optional activities
A parent training and information center that receives assistance under this section may provide information to teachers and other professionals to assist the teachers and professionals in improving results for children with disabilities.
(d) Application requirements
Each application for assistance under this section shall identify with specificity the special efforts that the parent organization will undertake—
(1) to ensure that the needs for training and information of underserved parents of children with disabilities in the area to be served are effectively met; and
(2) to work with community based organizations, including community based organizations that work with low-income parents and parents of limited English proficient children.
(e) Distribution of funds
(1) In general
The Secretary shall—
(A) make not less than 1 award to a parent organization in each State for a parent training and information center that is designated as the statewide parent training and information center; or
(B) in the case of a large State, make awards to multiple parent training and information centers, but only if the centers demonstrate that coordinated services and supports will occur among the multiple centers.
(2) Selection requirement
The Secretary shall select among applications submitted by parent organizations in a State in a manner that ensures the most effective assistance to parents, including parents in urban and rural areas, in the State.
(f) Quarterly review
The board of directors of each parent organization that receives an award under this section shall meet not less than once in each calendar quarter to review the activities for which the award was made.
(2) Continuation award
When a parent organization requests a continuation award under this section, the board of directors shall submit to the Secretary a written review of the parent training and information program conducted by the parent organization during the preceding fiscal year.
A prior section 1471, Pub. L. 91–230, title VI, §671, as added Pub. L. 105–17, title I, §101, June 4, 1997, 111 Stat. 135, related to congressional findings and purposes for subpart 1 of part B of former subchapter IV of this chapter, prior to the general amendment of subchapters I to IV of this chapter by Pub. L. 108–446.
Another prior section 1471, Pub. L. 91–230, title VI, §671, as added Pub. L. 99–457, title I, §101(a), Oct. 8, 1986, 100 Stat. 1145; amended Pub. L. 100–630, title I, §108(a), Nov. 7, 1988, 102 Stat. 3301; Pub. L. 101–476, title IX, §901(b)(158)–(161), Oct. 30, 1990, 104 Stat. 1149; Pub. L. 102–119, §§11, 25(a)(16), (b), Oct. 7, 1991, 105 Stat. 595, 606, 607, related to congressional findings and policy with regard to early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 105–17, title II, §203(b), June 4, 1997, 111 Stat. 157, effective July 1, 1998.