[Federal Register: April 28, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 83)]
[Notices]
[Page 25147-25152]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr28ap00-151]

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Part V

Department of Education

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Indian Education Professional Development Grant Program; Indian
Education Discretionary Grant Programs--Professional Development;
Notices

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Indian Education Professional Development Grant Program

AGENCY: Office of Indian Education, Department of Education.

ACTION: Final priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2000 and subsequent
fiscal years.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary announces final funding priorities under the
Indian Education Professional Development Grant program. The Secretary
may use these priorities for competitions in FY 2000 and in subsequent
fiscal years. The Secretary takes this action to support training
opportunities to increase the number of Indian teachers, education
administrators, and personnel in other fields.

EFFECTIVE DATE: These priorities take effect May 30, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cathie Martin, Office of Indian
Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room
3W111, Washington, DC 20202-6335. Telephone: (202) 260-1683. Internet
address: Cathie_Martin@ed.gov.
    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 document in an
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding
paragraph.

    Note:
     This notice of final priority does not solicit applications. A
notice inviting applications under this competition is published in
this edition of the Federal Register. The notice inviting
applications identifies the final priority that will be implemented
for the FY 2000 competition for new grants under the Professional
Development program.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

General

    The Secretary has authority to establish priorities, including
absolute preferences, under section 75.105(c)(3) of the Education
Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). This notice
contains final absolute priorities for the Professional Development
program authorized by section 9122 of subpart 2 of part A, title IX of
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965; 20 U.S.C.
7832.
    The Professional Development program is a competitive grant program
that supports activities to increase the number of qualified Indian
individuals in professions that serve Indian people. Individuals who
receive training under the Professional Development program are
required to perform work that is related to the training received and
that benefits Indian people, or repay all or a prorated part of the
assistance received. The requirements for the payback provision
(required by section 9122(h) of ESEA; 20 U.S.C. 7832(h)) are governed
by 34 CFR 263. For the purposes of this program, the term `Indian''
includes both American Indians and Alaska Natives as defined in 34 CFR
263.3 and 20 U.S.C. 9161(4) of ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7881(4)).
    One component of the Professional Development program supports
training for qualified Indian individuals to (1) Become teachers,
administrators, teacher aides, social workers, and ancillary
educational personnel; and (2) improve the skills of Indian individuals
serving in these capacities. The second component of the program
supports training of qualified Indian individuals in fields other than
education that result in a degree at the graduate level. The final
priorities support these training efforts by focusing all or a portion
of available funds for new awards on projects that train Indians to
become teachers and administrators, to improve the skills of
individuals serving in those capacities, and to train personnel in
fields other than education.
    The Secretary also announces procedures for implementation of the
statutory requirement to give a preference for awards under the
Professional Development program to: (1) Programs that provide training
to Indian individuals (section 9122(e)(2); 20 U.S.C. 7832(e)(2)) and
(2) eligible Indian tribes, Indian organizations, and Indian
institutions of higher education (section 9153 of ESEA; 20 U.S.C.
7873).
    The Secretary announces these final priorities based on responses
to the notice soliciting comments on the proposed priorities and other
considerations published in the Federal Register on March 7, 2000. On
an annual basis the Secretary may select, from the final priorities,
the absolute priorities that will apply for that fiscal year and the
amount of available program funds. Funding of a particular project
depends on the availability of funds, the requirements of the final
priorities selected, and the quality of the applications received.
    The publication of these final priorities does not preclude the
Secretary from proposing additional priorities, nor does it limit the
Secretary to funding one or more these priorities, subject to meeting
applicable rulemaking requirements.

Eligible Applicants

    (1) Institutions of higher education, including Indian institutions
of higher education;
    (2) State or local educational agencies in consortium with
institutions of higher education; and
    (3) Indian tribes or Indian organizations in consortium with
institutions of higher education.
    Applications submitted by a consortium under categories (2) and (3)
must meet the requirements of 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 of EDGAR in
order to be an eligible applicant.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to the Secretary's invitation to comment on the
proposed priorities, the Department received a total of 12 responses
from two State universities, three Indian institutions of higher
education, four Indian organizations, one educational (non-Indian)
organization, and two Indian tribes. Most of the comments received
could be grouped in these general areas: changing the term ``Indian
institution of higher education'' to ``tribal college or university'';
designating tribal colleges as the lead agency or primary applicant for
consortium applications; making only tribal colleges eligible for the
competitive preference points; and reducing or eliminating the minimum
number of participants for the program. Technical and other minor
changes, and suggested changes the Secretary is not authorized to make
under the applicable statutory authority, are not addressed. A summary
of the comments, and the considerations given to those comments, are as
follows:
    Comment--The term ``Indian institution of higher education'' as an
eligible applicant should be changed to ``tribally controlled college
or university'' to be consistent with the Higher Education Act and the
Executive Order on Tribal Colleges and Universities. A related comment
suggested that tribal colleges and universities be the only eligible
applicants for this program.
    Discussion--The term ``Indian institution of higher education'' is
the language contained within the program's statute. The suggestion
that eligible applicants for the program be limited to only tribal
colleges and universities is too restrictive and may not meet the needs
of all eligible applicants. The purpose of the program is to support
training for qualified Indian individuals to become teachers,
administrators, teacher aides, social workers, and ancillary
educational personnel and to improve the skills of

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Indian individuals serving in these capacities. As the funding for this
program in fiscal year 2000 is intended to train an initial cohort of
500 new teachers during the award periods of these grants, all eligible
applicants should be afforded the opportunity to compete for the
funding. The training provided should be locally determined to meet the
needs of communities and schools so that those trained may provide
services that benefit Indian people.
    Change--No change in the Final Priorities is made to the listing of
eligible entities, which includes an ``Indian institution of higher
education.''
    Comment--Two types of comments were received concerning consortium
applications. First, commenters suggested that all consortium
applications be required to have a partnership with a tribal college or
university.
    Discussion--The suggestion that all consortium applications include
a tribal college or university, or that the Department only give
competitive preference points to consortium applications with a tribal
college as the lead agency, would impose severe limitations on other
eligible applicants and would not meet the legislative intent that all
Indian entities be given preference in the award process. Although
tribal colleges and universities are important in promoting access to
higher education in Indian communities and on reservations, all
eligible applicants should be afforded the opportunity to apply for the
program funds based on local needs. For these reasons, eligible
applicants that must apply through a consortium application should be
allowed to determine locally the institution(s) of higher education
they will have as partners in their project.
    Change--No change is made in the Final Priorities to require all
consortium applications include a tribal college or university.
    Comment--With regard to the second type of comments concerning
consortium applications, commenters suggested that only consortium
applications in which a tribal college or university is the lead agency
be eligible to receive competitive preference points.
    Discussion--Although the development of a consortium should be a
local decision, this program does promote the inclusion of tribal
colleges and universities in the Professional Development program as
consortium partners as well as innovative approaches to linking tribal
colleges with early childhood, elementary, and secondary education
programs. These efforts also support the objectives of the Executive
order on Tribal Colleges and Universities (Executive Order 13021 of
October 19, 1996).
    Change--Therefore, to be responsive to the comments requesting
preference for tribal colleges and universities, and to further the
efforts of the Executive order, a third competitive preference is added
that will award five additional points to consortium applications that
include, and designate as the fiscal agent, a tribal college or
university. To avoid awarding (because of the addition of Priority 3) a
disproportionate number of total competitive priority points in
relationship to the total number of points available under the program,
we have reduced the number of competitive priority points for Priority
2 from 10 to 5.
    Comment--There were two types of comments concerning the project
participants and their training: (1) The minimum number of participants
(which had been identified as 25) should be lowered or eliminated; and
(2) to achieve the number of participants required, that projects be
allowed to include current teachers who are seeking certification in
the subject area(s) they are teaching or in new subject areas (as in
the case of retraining teachers to meet teacher shortages in specific
instructional areas).
    Discussion--(1) As it was the consensus of all parties commenting
on this issue that a minimum of 25 participants would be difficult to
achieve, the Final Priorities have been changed to eliminate a minimum
number of participants to be served. However, it should be noted that,
according to the program's selection criteria for evaluating
applications, the Secretary will consider factors such as
reasonableness of costs in relation to: the number of persons to be
served and the anticipated results and benefits; and the objectives,
design, and potential significance of the proposed project. (2) The
comments were also consistent on the types of participants to be
trained and the need for current teachers to be certified in the areas
they are teaching, as well as the need to re-train current teachers in
other areas of specialized instructional needs where shortages exist.
    Change--The Final Priorities have been revised to allow applicants
to provide pre-service training to teachers that will enable them to
meet state certification requirements, that require at least a
bachelor's degree, in current or new teaching assignments when a
teacher shortage exists in specialized areas, within a two-year
training period.
    Comment--Some comments expressed concern that a two-year program to
complete a bachelor's degree was not an adequate amount of time and
suggested the language be changed to allow a grant program of four or
five years.
    Discussion--A four-or five-year grant program that allows students
to obtain a bachelor's degree (from initial entry to completion) does
not guarantee student completion of a degree. The following factors
were taken into consideration when the two-year time period for
completion of bachelor's degree was proposed:
    (1) Students are more prone to leave postsecondary institutions
before completing their first two years of college. Thus, students
recruited as participants in the program in their junior or senior year
of college are more likely to obtain a degree and complete the program.
    (2) The first two years of college generally involve general
education requirements, and majors are not usually declared until the
end of the second year of study or at the beginning of the third year.
If students declare a major that is not related to the field of
education, they would then become ineligible for the professional
development program. The program legislation specifically requires that
training to enter any field other than education must be a program that
results in a graduate degree.
    Change--No change in the Final Priorities has been made to extend
the completion time of a bachelor's from two years to a longer period
of time.
    Comment--One comment raised the issue that graduates of the program
are to be provided with one year of induction services while they are
working in schools with predominately Indian student populations. It
was suggested that the language was too restrictive and that most
Indian students do not attend tribal schools, which would make the
employment requirement hard to accomplish.
    Discussion--Participants of the program are required to complete a
payback for the training they receive, either in service that benefits
Indian people and is related to the training received or through a cash
payback. The induction services are intended to provide a support
system for individuals entering new professional fields and to aid
graduates in that transition process. It is anticipated that
individuals completing a service payback will be employed in a school
that has a large Indian student

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population. It was not the intent in using the word ``predominately''
that the student population of a school in which a new teacher is
working be interpreted to mean only Indian students.
    Change--To clarify the language, the term ``predominately'' has
been changed to ``significant'' in the Final Priorities.
    Comment--One comment suggested that the induction services for the
component of in-service training be eliminated.
    Discussion--The suggestion has been adopted.
    Change--The Final Priorities have been changed; programs providing
in-service training are not required to provide induction services.

Absolute Priority

    Under section 34 CFR 75.105 of EDGAR, the Secretary gives an
absolute preference to applications that meet one of the priorities
selected for a fiscal year. The Secretary reserves all or a portion of
the funds available for new awards under the Professional Development
program to fund only those applications that meet one of these absolute
priorities:

(1) Pre-Service Training for Teachers

    Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete a
pre-service education program that:
    (a) Enables individuals to meet the requirements for full state
certification or licensure as a teacher through:
    (i) Training that leads to a bachelor's degree in education within
a two-year period; or
    (ii) Training in a current or new specialized teaching assignment,
that requires at least a bachelor's degree, in which a teacher shortage
exists.
    (iii) Provides graduates of the pre-service program with one year
of induction services while they are working in schools with
significant Indian student populations.

(2) In-Service Training for Teachers

    Provide professional development activities, over a two-year
period, to train existing teachers of Indian students provided that
such activities allow participants to meet the requirements for
continued state certification or licensure in areas such as:
    (a) Standards and assessments;
    (b) Integrating reliable, research-based teaching methods and
technology into the curriculum;
    (c) Subject content area specialization such as reading, math,
science or technology; or
    (d) Specializations in teaching culturally and linguistically
unique Indian student populations.

(3) Pre-Service and In-Service Training for Teachers

    Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete:
    (a) A pre-service education program that:
    (1) Enables individuals to meet the requirements for full state
certification or licensure as a teacher through:
    (i) Training that leads to a bachelor's degree in education within
a two-year period; or
    (ii) Training in a current or new specialized teaching assignment,
that requires at least a bachelor's degree, in which a teacher shortage
exists.
    (2) Provide graduates of the pre-service program with one year of
induction services while they are working in schools with significant
Indian student populations.
    (b) Professional development activities, over a two-year period, to
train existing teachers of Indian students, provided that such
activities allow participants to meet the requirements for continued
state certification or licensure, in areas such as:
    (1) Standards and assessments;
    (2) Integrating reliable, research-based teaching methods and
technology into the curriculum;
    (3) Subject content area specializations such as reading, math,
science or technology; or
    (4) Specializations in teaching culturally and linguistically
unique Indian student populations.

(4) Pre-Service Administrator Training

    (a) Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete
a master degree, within a two-year period, in education administration
that allows participants to meet the requirements for state
certification or licensure as an education administrator, and
    (b) Provide graduates of the program with one year of induction
services while they are working in schools with significant Indian
student populations.

(5) In-Service Administrator Training

    Provide professional development activities to existing
administrators that enhance their skills and knowledge in more than one
of the following areas:
    (a) Standards and assessments;
    (b) Integrating reliable, research-based teaching methods and
technology into the curriculum;
    (c) Mentoring, coaching, and evaluating the performance of
teachers;
    (d) Site-based management; or
    (e) Reform efforts to improve teacher quality.

(6) Pre-Service and In-Service Training for Administrators:

    Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete:
    (a) A pre-service program that:
    (1) Results in a master degree in education administration, within
a two-year period, that allows participants to meet state certification
or licensure as an education administrator; and
    (i) Provides graduates of the program one year of induction
services while they are working in schools with significant Indian
student populations.
    (b) Professional development activities that enhance their skills
and knowledge, as existing school administrators, in more than one of
the following areas:
    (i) Standards and assessments;
    (ii) Integrating reliable, research-based teaching methods and
technology into the curriculum;
    (iii) Mentoring, coaching and evaluating the performance of
teachers;
    (iv) Site-based management; or
    (v) Reform efforts to improve teacher quality.

(7) Training in Fields Other Than Education

    (a) Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete
a master or doctoral degree in a field other than education, or a
related field, within a two-year period, and
    (b) Provide graduates of the program with one-year of induction
services while they are employed in positions relating to the training
received and that benefits Indians.
    Applications meeting one of the absolute priorities may offer
professional development activities that include, but are not limited
to, continuing programs, symposia, workshops, conferences, and direct
financial support.

Induction Services

    Induction services must be provided after the participant has
completed his/her pre-service training program. The induction services
shall include the following activities, at a minimum:
    (1) Mentoring, coaching, and consultation services for the
participant;
    (2) Participant access to research materials and information on
teaching and learning or, for non-education fields of study, subject
matter related to the participant's field of study;
    (3) Periodic assessment of, and feedback sessions on, participant
performance in coordination with the participant's supervisor; and

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    (4) Periodic meetings or seminars for participants to enhance
collaboration, feedback, and peer networking and support.
    Projects with a pre-service component will be awarded for a three-
year project period. The pre-service training is to be offered only
during the first two years of the award, with the final 12 months of
the project period consisting only of induction services for
participants. The notice inviting applications published in the Federal
Register for this competition will identify any annual funding
limitations for the program.
    Applications submitted by a consortium must identify the party or
entity within the consortium that will be responsible for delivery and
oversight of the induction services.
    We may select more than one absolute priority for this program in
any given fiscal year.

Competitive Preference

    The Secretary also announces procedures for implementing the
statutory requirement to give a preference to eligible Indian tribes,
Indian organizations and Indian institutions of higher education for
grants awarded under the Professional Development program (section 9153
of ESEA; 20 U.S.C. 7873 and 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3).
    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) of EDGAR and sections 9122 and 9153 of
ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7832 and 7873) and section 410 of the General Education
Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1221e-3), the Secretary gives preference to
applications that meet the following competitive priorities. The total
number of points the Secretary proposes to award to an application that
meets a competitive priority is indicated in parenthesis next to the
title of the priority. These points are in addition to any points the
application earns under the selection criteria for the program.

Competitive Priority 1--Preference for Training Indian Individuals
(5 Points)

Background

    Grants under this program may be used to provide support and
training for Indian individuals to increase the number of qualified
Indian individuals in professions that serve Indian people. Activities
may include, but are not limited to, continuing programs, symposia,
workshops, conferences, and direct financial support.
    Grants for training educational personnel may be for pre-service or
in-service training. For individuals who are being trained to enter any
field other than education, the training received must be in a program
resulting in a graduate degree. In awarding grants under this program,
the Secretary is required to give preference to applications describing
programs that train Indian individuals.

Priority

    The Secretary shall award a total of 5 points to applications
submitted under the Professional Development program that include only
Indian individuals as training participants.

    Authority: Section 9122(e)(2); 20 U.S.C. 7832(e)(2).

Competitive Priority 2--Preference for Indian Applicants (5 Points)

Background

    An eligible entity for this program includes an institution of
higher education, including an Indian institution of higher education;
a State or local educational agency, in consortium with an institution
of higher education; or an Indian tribe or organization, in consortium
with an institution of higher education. In making grants under this
program, preference is given to applications submitted by Indian
tribes, Indian organizations, and Indian institutions of higher
education, including a consortium of any of these entities with other
eligible entities.

Priority

    The Secretary shall award a total of 5 points to applications
submitted by Indian tribes, Indian organizations, and Indian
institutions of higher education that are eligible to participate in
the Professional Development program. A consortium application of
eligible entities that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.127-.129 of
EDGAR and includes an Indian tribe, Indian organization or Indian
institution of higher education shall be considered eligible to receive
the 5 priority points.

    Authority: Section 9153; 20 U.S.C. 7873.

Competitive Priority 3--Preference for Consortia Applications in
Which a Tribal College or University is the Fiscal Agent (5 Points)

Background

    Applications for this program may be submitted by a consortium of
eligible applicants that include a State or local educational agency,
or an Indian tribe or organization, in consortium with an institution
of higher education, including an Indian institution of higher
education. As Indian institutions of higher education are generally
defined as ``tribal colleges or universities,'' this program does
promote the inclusion of tribal colleges and universities in the
Professional Development program as consortium partners and exploring
innovative approaches to better link tribal colleges with early
childhood, elementary, and secondary education programs. These efforts
also support the objectives of the Executive order on Tribal Colleges
and Universities (Executive Order 13021 of October 19, 1996). In order
to promote the inclusion of tribal colleges and universities in the
Professional Development program, a competitive preference will be
given to consortium applications that include a tribal college or
university and designate that tribal college or university as the
fiscal agent for the application.

Priority

    The Secretary shall award a total of 5 points to applications
submitted by a consortium of eligible applicants that include a tribal
college or university and which designate that tribal college or
university as the fiscal agent for the application. The consortium
application of eligible entities must meet the requirements of 34 CFR
75.127-.129 of EDGAR to be considered eligible to receive the 5
priority points. These competitive preference points are in addition to
the 5 competitive preference points that may be given under the
Competitive Priority 2--Preference for Indian Applicants.
    Tribal colleges and universities are those institutions cited in
section 532 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994
(7 U.S.C. 301 note), any other institution that qualifies for funding
under the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of
1978 (25 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and Navajo Community College, authorized
in the Navajo Community College Assistance Act of 1978, Public Law 95-
471, title II (25 U.S.C. 640a note).

    Authority: Section 9153; 20 U.S.C. 7873; and 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3.

Intergovernmental Review

    These programs are subject to the requirements of Executive Order
12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR Part 79. However, Part 79 does not
apply to assistance to federally recognized Indian tribes. 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

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Department's specific plans and actions for this program.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet 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,
which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you have
questions about using the PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office
(GPO), toll free at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at
(202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is published in the
Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of
the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is
available on GPO Access at: http://www/access/gpo.gov/nara/
index.html.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 84.299 Indian
Education--Special Programs)

    Program Authority: Section 9122; 20 U.S.C. 7832.

    Dated: April 24, 2000.
Michael Cohen,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 00-10644 Filed 4-27-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-U