[Federal Register: May 29, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 103)]
[Page 37408-37411]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Career Resource Network State Grants

AGENCY: Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of proposed extension of project period and waiver, and 
reopening of competition for American Samoa.


SUMMARY: We propose to waive the requirement in 34 CFR 75.261(c)(2) as 
it applies to projects funded under the Career Resource Network State 
GrantsProgram (CRN) in fiscal year (FY) 2000. We propose this waiver in 
order to be able to extend the project periods for 58 current grants 
awarded under the FY 2000 CRN competition.
    We also are proposing to reopen the FY 2000 competition for the 
limited purpose of allowing American Samoa to submit an application for 
funding under the CRN.
    We are requesting public comments on the proposed extension, 
waiver, and the limited reopening of the FY 2000 competition.

[[Page 37409]]

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before June 28, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed extension and 
waiver to Sharon A. Jones, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW., room 4515, Mary E. Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202-
7242. If you prefer to send your comments through the Internet, use the 
following address: sharon.jones@ed.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon A. Jones. Telephone (202) 205-
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this proposed extension 
and waiver in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person 


Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed extension 
and waiver. We are particularly interested in receiving comments on the 
potential impact the extension and waiver may have on the CRN.
    Additionally, we invite you to assist us in complying with the 
specific requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall 
requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from this 
proposed extension and waiver. Please let us know of any further 
opportunities we should take to reduce potential costs or increase 
potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient 
administration of the CRN.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this proposed extension and waiver in room 4515, Mary E. 
Switzer Building, 330 C Street SW., Washington, DC, between the hours 
of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week 
except Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the 

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public 
rulemaking record for this proposed extension and waiver. If you want 
to schedule an appointment for this type of aid, please contact the 


    On May 12, 2000 (65 FR 30798), we issued a notice inviting 
applications for new awards under the CRN for FY 2000. Among other 
things, the notice (a) explained that CRN grants are intended to 
provide support for the implementation of Statewide, systemic 
strategies for providing young people and adults with the critical 
career information resources and the skills they need to make effective 
educational and career decisions throughout their lives, (b) created a 
two-year project period, (c) established the deadline for the receipt 
of applications, and (d) clearly identified the eligible applicants, 
which include any of the 50 States, the Virgin Islands, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia,Guam, American 
Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands, the Republic 
of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the 
Republic of Palau.
    In the May 12th notice we indicated that the Republic of the 
MarshallIslands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic 
of Palau are not eligible for funding under the CRN after FY 2001 and, 
therefore, would not be eligible to receive funding under the CRN 
beyond FY 2001. However, following publication of the notice, Congress 
enacted H.R. 2436, the GuamOmnibus Opportunities Act, in which it 
extended the eligibility of these three entities beyond 2001, and until 
such time as they have fully completed the negotiations of their 
compacts of free association. Accordingly, since these three entities 
have not yet completed the negotiations process, they would continue to 
be eligible for funding under the CRN program in FY 2002, and perhaps 
    As indicated in the May 12th notice, we expected to receive 
applications from each of the 59 eligible applicants. With the 
exception of American Samoa, every eligible State and outlying area 
applied for and received funding under the FY 2000 competition. 
American Samoa missed the deadline, but has indicated that it is 
interested in submitting an application and receiving funding in FY 
2002. Based on the statute as written and the important services to be 
provided under the authority of section 118 of the Perkins Act, we 
believe that Congress intended for us to provide assistance under the 
CRN program to all eligible entities. We are, therefore, reopening the 
FY 2000 competition in order that American Samoa may apply for funding 
under the CRN.
    If we held a new competition for FY 2002 and every current grantee, 
as well as American Samoa, applied for and received funding, all 
eligible applicants would be receiving support under the CRN in FY 
2002. We believe, therefore, that in FY 2002 it is now preferable and 
in the best interest of the CRN for us to extend currently funded 
projects, allowAmerican Samoa to apply for a grant, and review requests 
for continuation awards from the 58 current FY 2000 grantees, rather 
than hold a new competition in FY 2002. We believe that holding a new 
competition would create an unnecessary burden for current grantees 
since the 58 current grantees would have to undertake the effort and 
cost of submitting new applications for funding in FY 2002. A new 
competition is likely merely to cause existing grantees to expend 
valuable time and resources applying for program funding under the 
existing authority, while requesting continuation awards would be a 
more appropriate and effective means for current CRNs already under way 
to continue their projects under this program. In addition, pursuing a 
continuation grant process would also result in a more efficient use of 
Federal funds.
    Moreover, the Perkins Act, which includes authorization for the 
CRN, expires at the end of FY 2003. With the uncertainties presented by 
the absence of authorizing legislation for the CRN beyond 2003, it does 
not appear to be advisable to hold a competition in FY 2003 for 
projects that would operate in FY 2004. We are generally reluctant to 
announce a competition whereby eligible entities would be expected to 
proceed through the application preparation and submission process 
while lacking critical information about the future of the program, and 
do not think that it would be in the public interest to do so in this 
    Since we propose a limited purpose reopening of the FY 2000 
competition so as to allow American Samoa to apply for CRN funding, the 
proposal of continuation grants in lieu of a FY 2002 competition will 
not prevent the support of this last, and as yet unfunded, eligible 
entity under the CRN.

EDGAR Requirement

    In order to provide for continuation awards, we must waive the 
requirement in 34 CFR 75.261(c)(2), which establishes the conditions 
for extending a project period, including prohibiting the extension of 
a program's project period if it involves the obligation of additional 
Federal funds.

[[Page 37410]]

    This proposed extension and waiver would allow us to make 
continuation grants at least in FY 2002 and FY 2003 and perhaps beyond 
FY 2003 if Congress continues to appropriate funds for the CRN program 
under the current statutory authority. However, in accordance with 34 
CFR 75.250, we do not hereby propose to make continuation grants beyond 
FY 2005.
    A waiver as proposed would mean that: (1) Current CRN grants may be 
continued at least through FY 2004 (depending on the availability of 
appropriations for CRN in subsequent years under the current statutory 
authority), instead of ending in FY 2002, and (2) we would not announce 
a new competition or make new awards in FY 2002, as previously planned.

Continuation of the Current Grantees

    With this proposed extension and waiver of [sect] 75.261(c)(2) of 
EDGAR, we propose to extend the project periods of the 58 States and 
outlying areas that received grants under the FY 2000 competition for 
two years and for additional years for which Congress appropriates 
funds under the current statutory authority.
    Decisions regarding annual continuation awards will be based on the 
program narratives, budgets and budget narratives, and Grant 
Performance Reports submitted by grantees, and on the regulations at 34 
CFR 75.253. Consistent with 34 CFR 75.253, we would award continuation 
grants if we determined, among other things, and based on information 
provided by each grantee, that each grantee was making substantial 
progress performing grant activities. Under this proposed extension and 
waiver, (1) the project period for grantees could be extended to July 
19, 2004, and (2) additional continuation awards could be made for 
additional year or years for which Congress appropriates funds under 
existing statutory authority.
    We do not interpret the waiver as exempting current grantees from 
the account closing provisions of Pub. L. 101-510, or as extending the 
availability of FY 2001 funds awarded to the grantees. As a result of 
Pub. L. 101-510, appropriations available for a limited period may be 
used for payments of valid obligations for only five years after the 
expiration of their period of availability for Federal obligation. 
After that time, the unexpended balance of those funds is canceled and 
returned to the Treasury Department and is unavailable for restoration 
for any purpose.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that the proposed extension and waiver and 
the activities required to support additional years of funding would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
    Because this proposed extension and waiver would affect only States 
and State agencies, the notice would not have an impact on small 
entities. States and State agencies are not defined as ``small 
entities'' in the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Instructions for Requesting a Continuation Award

    Each grantee wishing to receive an annual continuation grant shall 
submit a program narrative that describes the activities it intends to 
carry out during each of the two years (FYs 2002 and 2003), and during 
any additional years for which Congress appropriates funds under the 
current statutory authority, of a continuation award. The activities 
must be consistent with, or be a logical extension of, the scope, 
goals, and objectives of the grantee's approved application. A grantee 
shall also submit a budget and budget narrative for each year it 
requests a continuation award. (34 CFR 75.253(c)(2)). States and 
outlying areas should request continuation awards at least three weeks 
before their current grants expire.

Amount of New Awards Under Continuation Grant

    The actual amount of each continuation award depends on factors 
such as (1) the grantee's written statement describing how the funds 
made available under the continuation award will be used, (2) a cost 
analysis of the grantee's budget by the Department, and (3) whether any 
unobligated funds remaining from previous grant awards are needed to 
complete activities that are planned for completion in the prior budget 
period. (34CFR 75.232 and 75.253(c)(2)(ii) and (3)).
    The CRN has received an increase in its appropriation from FY 2001, 
which could result in States and outlying areas receiving a percentage 
increase in their awards. As a result of the increase in the 
appropriation, it is expected that States and outlying areas will 
receive a 4.39 percent increase in the amount of their current grants.
    Although grantees must submit program narratives and budgets 
describing the activities they plan to carry out during each period of 
continuation, which could include some increase in funding, we strongly 
encourage all grantees to consider the 4.39 percent increase when 
deciding the amount of funds to request to support their continuation 
of projects.

American Samoa

    American Samoa missed the deadline for the FY 2000 competition, but 
is interested in receiving funding in FY 2002. In order to provide an 
opportunity for American Samoa to submit an application under the CRN, 
we propose to (1) reopen the competition and application notice 
published on May 12, 2000 (65 FR 30798) for this limited purpose, and 
(2) establish a new deadline date by which American Samoa would be 
required to submit its application. To be considered for funding, 
American Samoa must submit an application that meets the requirements 
established by the statute and the May 12, 2000 notice and is 
determined by the Department to have merit based on the criteria 
described in the May 12th notice. However, American Samoa is not 
required to follow the May 12th notice with regard to the DEADLINE FOR 
Samoa should note the following:
    Deadline for Transmittal of Application: July 31, 2002.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 30, 2002.
    Estimated Range of Award: As with other awards under the FY 2000 
competition, the size of American Samoa's award will depend on factors 
such as the scope and quality of the application and will be determined 
during pre-award clarification discussions with us. However, we 
strongly encourage American Samoa to consider the $85,732 estimated 
grant amount determined for American Samoa and published in the May 
12th notice and the 4.39 percent increase in this notice, in 
determining the amount it requests for FY 2002.
    Project Period: American Samoa's project period would be for FYs 
2003 and 2004, and possibly for additional years for which Congress 
appropriates funds under the current statutory authority. Decisions 
regarding any continuation awards for American Samoa would be made in 
the same manner as decisions would be made for other CRN grantees under 
this notice.

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

    If You Have Questions About The Percentage Increase Your State Or

[[Page 37411]]

Outlying Area May Receive Or About The Information You Must Submit In 
Order To Request A Continuation Award, Or New Award In The Case Of 
American Samoa, Contact: Burt Carlson, U.S. Department of Education, 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4331, Mary E. Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-7241. Telephone (202) 401-6225.

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(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.346 Career 
ResourceNetwork State Grants)

    Dated: May 22, 2002.
Carol D'Amico,
Assistant Secretary, Office of Vocational and Adult Education.
[FR Doc. 02-13311 Filed 5-28-02; 8:45 am]