[Notices]               
[Page 36825-36828]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr07jy98-136]


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Part V





Department of Education





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Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National Programs--Federal 
Activities Grants Program; Office of Elementary and Secondary 
Education--Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National 
Programs; Combined Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for 
Fiscal Year 1998; Notices


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National Programs; 
Federal Activities Grants Program

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priorities and selection criteria for fiscal 
year 1998.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary announces final priorities and selection 
criteria for fiscal year (FY) 1998 under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools 
and Communities (SDFSC) National Programs Federal Activities Grants 
Program. The Secretary takes this action to focus Federal financial 
assistance on identified national needs to promote the creation of safe 
and orderly learning environments for all students and to encourage the 
development of systems to collect data related to youth drug use and 
violent behavior.

EFFECTIVE DATE: These priorities take effect August 6, 1998.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about the two 
priorities under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities 
National Programs Federal Activities Grants Program, contact the Safe 
and Drug-Free Schools Program, U.S. Department of Education, 600 
Independence Avenue, SW., Room 603 Portals, Washington, D.C. 20202-
6123. Telephone: (202) 260-3954. FAX (202) 260-3748. Internet: http://
www.Patricia__Rattler@ed.gov.
    Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service at (FIRS) at 1-800-877-
8339 between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through 
Friday.

    Note: This notice of final priority does not solicit 
applications. A notice inviting applications under these 
competitions is published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal 
Register.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice contains two final priorities 
and related selection criteria for fiscal year 1998. Under absolute 
priority one (CFDA 84.184G, State and Local Educational Agency Drug and 
Violence Prevention Data Collection), the Secretary may make awards for 
up to 24 months. Under absolute priority number two (CFDA 84.184J), 
Model Demonstration Programs, the Secretary may award cooperative 
agreements for up to 60 months. Cooperative agreements funded through 
this priority will serve as national demonstration sites to test 
strategies, assess effectiveness, and make a major contribution to the 
development and dissemination of models and components of models that 
can be used by school districts and other youth-serving agencies 
nationwide.
    On May 19, 1998, the Secretary published the proposed priorities 
for these competitions in a Notice of Request for Public Comments in 
the Federal Register (63 FR 27646). In response to comments received, 
the Secretary made no modifications, as noted in the following 
section-- Analysis of Comments and Changes--of this notice of final 
priorities.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to the Secretary's invitation to comment on the 
proposed priorities, the Department received four responses. These 
included responses from local educational agencies, a State agency, and 
an individual. Comments that did not suggest changes in the priority 
language are not addressed. An analysis of the comments, organized by 
priority, follows.

Priority 1--State and Local Educational Agency Drug and Violence 
Prevention Data Collection

    Comment: One commenter suggested strengthening the language in this 
priority concerning coordination with other existing data collection 
efforts by requiring applicants to document other existing data 
collection activities and how they will collaborate with them. The 
commenter suggested requiring letters from youth-serving agencies in 
other, non-educational domains as part of applications to help 
demonstrate collaboration.
    Discussion: The language in the proposed priority requires 
applicants to describe how efforts proposed as part of the project have 
been coordinated with and will not duplicate existing data collection 
efforts. The proposed change in the priority would require a level of 
proof that is unnecessary in order to permit evaluation of a proposal.
    Changes: None.

Priority 2--Model Demonstration Programs to Create Safe and Orderly 
Learning Environments in Schools

    Comments: Two commenters proposed modifications to this priority 
that would limit the variety of program models that could be 
implemented with a grant under this priority.
    Discussion: The existing language in the priority is specifically 
designed to include a wide range of possible program models that meet 
general criteria. The proposed limitations would significantly reduce 
the flexibility provided in the original language.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that language in the priority be 
revised to require that the entire model program proposed be based on 
research, not just specific components or strategies.
    Discussion: The language in the proposed priority is intended to 
solicit applications that combine multiple strategies and programs into 
a model program that will comprehensively address the risk factors that 
predispose youth to drug use and violent behavior. Because research-
based information about the effect of combined strategies and programs 
as a comprehensive model is limited, the proposed priority language 
allows applicants the flexibility to propose model programs that 
combine research-based programs and strategies in innovative or 
untested ways.
    Changes: None.
    Priorities: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) and the Safe and Drug-Free 
Schools and Communities Act of 1994, the Secretary gives an absolute 
preference to applications that meet one of the following priorities. 
The Secretary funds under this competition only applications that meet 
one of these absolute priorities.

Absolute Priority 1 and Selection Criteria--State and Local Educational 
Agency Drug and Violence Prevention Data Collection (CFDA 84.184G)

    Priority 1:
    Under this priority, applicants must propose projects that--
    (1) Develop, improve, expand, or enhance the collection of data 
related to youth drug use and violence; and
    (2) Develop and implement processes to ensure that high-quality 
data are used to form policy, assess needs, select interventions, and 
assess the success of drug and violence prevention activities funded 
under the SDFSCA State Grants Program. Projects may be State-wide in 
scope or limited to an individual local educational agency, or a 
consortium of local educational agencies, with a student enrollment 
that exceeds 30,000.
    Projects must address drug and violence prevention data for 
students in general, not just for a sub-set of the population (e.g., 
non-English speaking students or hearing-impaired students).
    To be considered for funding under this competition, a project must 
include--
    (1) Concrete plans, with time lines, that detail how the results of 
new or improved data collection efforts will be incorporated into State 
and local educational agency efforts to assess needs, select 
interventions, and assess success of drug and violence prevention 
efforts;

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    (2) Outcome-based performance indicators that will be used to judge 
the success of the project;
    (3) A description of how efforts proposed as part of the project 
have been coordinated with and will not duplicate data collection 
efforts being implemented by other State or local agencies; and
    (4) If the applicant is other than a State or local educational 
agency, evidence of commitment from the State educational agency (for 
State-wide projects) or from the superintendent of schools (for local 
projects).

Selection Criteria

    (a)(1) The Secretary uses the following selection criteria to 
evaluate proposals submitted under this priority.
    The maximum score for all of the criteria in this section is 100 
points.
    The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses 
with the criterion.
    (b) The criteria. --
    1. Need for project. (15 points)
    In determining need for the proposed project, the following factors 
are considered:
    (a) The magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or 
the activities to be carried out by the proposed project.
    (b) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be 
addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude 
of those gaps or weaknesses.
    2. Significance. (25 points)
    In determining the significance of the proposed project, the 
following factors are considered:
    (a) The significance of the problem or issues to be addressed by 
the proposed project.
    (b) The likelihood that the proposed project will result in system 
change or improvement.
    (c ) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build 
local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the 
needs of the target population.
    3. Quality of the project design. (25 points)
    In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, 
the following factors are considered:
    (a) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.
    (b) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build 
capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of 
Federal financial assistance.
    (c ) The extent to which the proposed project will be coordinated 
with similar or related efforts, and with other appropriate community, 
State, and Federal resources.
    4. Adequacy of resources. (15 points)
    In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, 
the following factors are considered:
    (a) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project.
    (b) The potential for the incorporation of project purposes, 
activities or benefits into the ongoing program of the agency or 
organization at the end of Federal funding.
    5. Quality of the management plan (10 points).
    In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed 
project, the following factor is considered: The adequacy of the 
management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on 
time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, 
time lines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.
    6. Quality of the project evaluation. (10 points)
    In determining the quality of the evaluation to be conducted for 
the proposed project, the following factor is considered: The extent to 
which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and 
permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended 
outcomes.

Absolute Priority 2 and Selection Criteria--Model Demonstration 
Programs to Create Safe and Orderly Learning Environments in Schools 
(CFDA 84.184J)

    Priority 2:
    Projects proposed under this priority are expected to 
comprehensively address multiple factors that predispose youth to drug 
use and violent behavior. Therefore, projects will not be funded for: 
(a) basic support of existing programs; (b) replication of a single 
program of demonstrated effectiveness, or (c) less than $500,000 or 
more than $1 million.
    Projects supported under this priority will be funded for 
implementation in one site for three years and for replication in 
additional sites for two years. Projects will be reviewed during the 
third year to examine, among other factors, the degree to which the 
evaluation findings at the original site are promising, and the quality 
of the evaluation design proposed to test the model at other sites 
during years four and five. Projects that fail to demonstrate 
effectiveness at the original site will not be funded to test the 
model's replication in other sites.
    Under this priority, applicants must propose projects that:
    (1) Develop and implement a model with specific components or 
strategies that are based on theory, research, or evaluation data;
    (2) Identify outcomes intended to result in behavioral change in 
youth served and other indicators of the effectiveness of the model 
(e.g., improved bonding to school and to the community, reductions in 
disciplinary referrals, absence of firearms and other weapons in 
schools, acquisition of pro-social skills, and reductions in alcohol, 
tobacco, and other drug use by the target population);
    (3 ) Evaluate the model by using multiple measures to determine the 
effectiveness of the model and its components or strategies; and
    (4) Produce detailed documentation of procedures and materials that 
would enable others to replicate the model as implemented at the 
original site.
    Applicants must provide the following : (a) recent and historical 
data on drug use by youth; (b) data that describe patterns of violence 
and disruptive acts in schools; (c) rates of referral to juvenile 
justice authorities for bringing weapons to school, drug use or 
possession, and violent criminal acts; (d) evidence of gang and 
violence problems in the target community, and (e) demographic 
information for the geographic area in which the school is located.

Selection Criteria

    (a)(1) The Secretary uses the following selection criteria to 
evaluate proposals submitted under this priority.
    The maximum score for all of the criteria in this section is 100 
points.
    (2) The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in 
parentheses.
    (b) The criteria. --
    1. Significance. (30 points)
    In determining the significance of the proposed project, the 
following factors are considered:
    (a) The potential contribution of the proposed project to the 
development and advancement of theory, knowledge, and practices in the 
field of study.
    (b) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to yield 
findings that may be utilized by other appropriate agencies and 
organizations.
    (c ) The potential replicability of the proposed project or 
strategies, including, as appropriate, the potential for implementation 
in a variety of settings.
    2. Quality of the project design. (25 points)

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    In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, 
the following factors are considered:
    (a) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.
    (b) The extent to which there is a conceptual framework underlying 
the proposed research or demonstration activities and the quality of 
that framework.
    (c ) The extent to which the design of the proposed project 
reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.
    (d) The quality of the proposed demonstration design and procedures 
for documenting project activities and results;
    (e) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priority or priorities established for the 
competition.
    3. Adequacy of resources. (10 points)
    In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, 
the following factors are considered:
    (a) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.
    (b) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design and potential significance of the proposed project.
    4. Quality of the management plan. (10 points)
    In determining the quality of the management plan, the following 
factors will be considered:
    (a) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, time lines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks.
    (b) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project.
    5. Quality of the project evaluation. (25 points)
    In determining the quality of the evaluation, the following factors 
will be considered:
    (a) The extent to which the methods of the evaluation are thorough, 
feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives and outcomes of the 
proposed project.
    (b) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the 
intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR Part 79. The objective of the 
Executive Order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a 
strengthened federalism by relying on processes developed by State and 
local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    In accordance with the order, this document is intended to provide 
early notification of the Departments's specific plans and actions for 
this program.

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web at either of the 
following sites:

http://ocfo.ed.gov/fedreg.htm

http://www.ed.gov/news.html

To use the pdf you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the preceding sites. If 
you have questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government 
Printing Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed above. Government 
Printing Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone may also view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511 
or, toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under Option 
G--Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers 84.184G and 84.184J, 
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act National Programs--
Federal Activities Grants Program.)


    Dated: July 2, 1998.
Gerald N. Tirozzi,
Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 98-18033 Filed 7-6-98; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P