FR Doc 04-12074
[Federal Register: May 28, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 104)]
[Notices]               
[Page 30755-30760]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr28my04-140]                         


[[Page 30755]]
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Part III





Department of Education





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Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools; Overview Information; Safe 
Schools/Healthy Students; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards 
for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004; Notices


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

RIN 1865-ZA02

 
Safe Schools/Healthy Students

AGENCY: Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priority, selection criteria, requirements, and 
definitions.

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SUMMARY: We announce a priority, selection criteria, requirements, and 
definitions under the Safe Schools/Healthy Students program. We may use 
this priority, selection criteria, requirements, and definitions for 
competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2004 and later years. We take this 
action to focus Federal financial assistance on safe, disciplined, and 
drug-free learning environments and healthy childhood development. We 
intend the priority to support the implementation and enhancement of 
integrated, comprehensive, community-wide plans designed to create safe 
and drug-free schools and promote healthy childhood development.

DATES: Effective Date: This priority, selection criteria, requirements, 
and definitions are effective June 28, 2004.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen Dorsey, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E347, Washington, DC 20202-
6450. Telephone (202) 708-4674 or via Internet: Karen.Dorsey@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 under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Safe Schools/Healthy Students program 
(SS/HS) provides Federal financial assistance to school districts and 
communities to promote ongoing partnerships as a way to enhance and 
expand their existing activities relating to youth violence prevention 
and healthy child development. The establishment in this notice of a 
priority, selection criteria, requirements, and definitions is designed 
to provide prospective applicants with increased knowledge of and 
insight into the critical features of SS/HS and the qualities of 
successful SS/HS grantees and to define key terms specific to SS/HS.
    The critical feature of SS/HS is the linking and integration of 
existing and new services and activities into a comprehensive approach 
to violence prevention and healthy child development. Key to this 
critical feature is recognizing that a comprehensive approach reflects 
an overall vision for the community, not the isolated objectives of a 
single activity, such as the reliance on security devices alone. Thus, 
the primary objective of an applicant's SS/HS proposal should be to 
present a thoughtful, well-coordinated plan that will unify and enhance 
existing programs and services to develop a systematic approach for 
implementing and sustaining those activities, curricula, programs, and 
services that prove to be effective.
    Additionally, the SS/HS initiative draws on the best practices of 
education, justice, social service, and mental health systems to 
promote enhanced resources for prevention programs and prosocial 
services for youth. SS/HS grants provide a unique opportunity for local 
educational agencies (LEAs), in partnership with justice, social 
services, and mental health systems in their communities, to develop a 
continuum of activities and services that responds to gaps and 
weaknesses identified by needs assessments conducted in those 
communities. These distinctive features of SS/HS make appropriate the 
adoption of program-specific selection criteria, which are also 
included in this notice.
    Finally, to respond to previous applicants' misunderstanding 
regarding eligibility, the maximum level of funding that can be 
requested, and requirements for key partners, we announce requirements 
that all applications must meet in order to be forwarded to peer 
review. To further support a prospective applicant's understanding of 
the requirements, this notice also defines seven important terms 
associated with SS/HS that are not defined in the program statute.
    We published a notice of proposed priority, selection criteria, 
requirements, and definitions for this program in the Federal Register 
on Thursday, March 18, 2004 (69 FR 12841).
    There are no differences between the notice of proposed priority, 
selection criteria, requirements, and definitions and this notice of 
final priority, selection criteria, requirements, and definitions.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priority, 
selection criteria, requirements, and definitions, three parties 
submitted comments on the proposed application and eligibility 
requirements. An analysis of the comments follows. None of the comments 
resulted in changes in the proposed application or eligibility 
requirements.
    Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes and 
suggested changes we are not authorized to make under the applicable 
statutory authority.
    Comment: One commenter recommended including local substance abuse 
prevention agencies either as a required SS/HS partner or by replacing 
the term ``local public mental health authority'' with the term ``local 
behavioral health authority(ies).'' In addition, the commenter 
recommended that definitions for the SS/HS initiative be changed 
accordingly.
    Discussion: In some States and localities, local substance abuse 
prevention agencies are separate from mental health agencies. In other 
States and localities, the mental health and substance abuse 
authorities at the State and local level are combined. Because of the 
variation in these structures, we would have no way of knowing which 
applicants are in localities in which separate local agencies for 
public mental health and substance prevention exist and which would 
require an additional SS/HS partner if we adopted the change requested 
by the commenter. As a result, if we accepted the proposed change we 
would be unable to make an accurate determination regarding an 
applicant's eligibility.
    In developing their SS/HS grant proposals, applicants are strongly 
encouraged to partner with a range of community organizations and 
entities that would enhance and support their comprehensive plan for 
violence prevention and healthy child promotion. Those LEAs situated in 
localities with a separate local substance abuse prevention agency 
could include this type of agency as a SS/HS partner.
    Change: None.
    Comment: Another commenter recommended that each LEA represented in 
a rural consortium be eligible for the maximum $1 million yearly award 
available to individual rural LEA applicants.
    Discussion: LEAs are eligible to apply for SS/HS grants either 
individually or as a member of a consortium. A rural LEA and its 
partners should consider the project scope they have developed and the 
budget that the project scope will require in deciding whether to apply 
individually or as a member of a consortium. Nothing prevents 
individual LEAs from working cooperatively once they receive SS/HS 
awards.
    Change: None.

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    Comment: A third commenter recommended that, because the proposed 
requirements limit eligibility to LEAs that have not received previous 
SS/HS grants or services, States with a single LEA be allowed to submit 
applications from individual schools.
    Discussion: This commenter's concern could be addressed either by 
allowing applications from individual schools or by removing the 
restriction on an LEA receiving more than one SS/HS award. However, 
conference report language that supported the initial creation of the 
SS/HS initiative required that grants under the initiative be made to 
LEAs and, based on our experience in administering the initiative over 
the past several years, we believe that it is appropriate to continue 
to require that responsibility for administration of complex projects 
rest with an LEA, not an individual school.
    While we understand that the variation in State governance 
structures for education may result in limiting the number of entities 
in a State that are eligible to apply for funding under this program, 
we believe that permitting individual schools or other educational 
entities that are not LEAs to apply for an SS/HS grant would be 
inconsistent with the initiative's intent to support comprehensive, 
community-wide change.
    We have excluded recipients of SS/HS grants from receiving another 
grant under the program in order to provide as many LEAs as possible 
the opportunity to implement and enhance comprehensive community-wide 
strategies for creating safe and drug-free schools. The SS/HS 
initiative is designed to provide LEAs with a unique opportunity to 
design and implement partnerships with law enforcement, juvenile 
justice, and mental health partners that are designed to reshape the 
manner in which substance abuse and violence prevention services, as 
well as mental health services, are delivered to students.
    Change: None.


    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, selection criteria, 
requirements, and definitions, we invite applications through a 
notice in the Federal Register. When inviting applications we 
designate the priority as absolute, competitive preference or 
invitational. The effect of each type of priority follows:


    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority we give competitive preference to an application by either (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on how well or the extent to 
which the applications meets the competitive priority (34 CFR 
75.104(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the 
competitive priority over an application of comparable merit that does 
not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the invitational 
priority. However, we do not give a competitive or absolute preference 
over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    Priority: This priority supports the projects of LEAs proposing to 
implement an integrated, comprehensive community-wide plan designed to 
create safe and drug-free schools and promote prosocial skills and 
healthy childhood development in youth. Plans must focus activities, 
curricula, programs, and services in a manner that responds to all of 
the following six elements--
     Element One--Safe school environment--Note: No more than 
10 percent of the total budget for each year may be used to support 
costs associated with (1) security equipment and personnel, and (2) 
minor remodeling of school facilities to improve school safety;
     Element Two--Alcohol and other drugs and violence 
prevention and early intervention programs;
     Element Three--School and community mental health 
preventive and treatment intervention services;
     Element Four--Early childhood psychosocial and emotional 
development programs;
     Element Five--Supporting and connecting schools and 
communities; and
     Element Six--Safe school policies.
    Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are:
1. Community Assessment
    (a) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructure, opportunities, and/or resources have been identified 
and will be addressed by the proposed project and the nature and 
magnitude of those gaps and weaknesses are based on quantitative and 
qualitative data for the district, students, families and the 
community. An example of the kinds of problems that might be identified 
and addressed would be a high number of truant students, in relation to 
comparable jurisdictions, and a lack of truancy officers and programs.
    (b) The extent to which existing services, infrastructure, 
opportunities and resources are described and integrated with the 
proposed project. An example citing existing services would be the 
number of after school programs available to students that would be 
improved by adding supplemental services and staff through the proposed 
project.
    (c) The extent to which the applicant will serve the entire school 
district or the extent to which sufficient rationale is provided for 
selecting particular schools and/or areas and why a district-wide 
approach is not feasible or appropriate.
    (d) The extent to which the target population is clearly identified 
and defined in terms of the number of students/families/staff to be 
served.
2. Goals, Objectives and Performance Indicators
    (a) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and performance 
indicators for the project are related to data provided in the 
``Community Assessment'' section.
    (b) The extent to which the applicant includes at least one 
measurable and attainable performance indicator for each of the six 
elements in the priority and at least one performance indicator for the 
SS/HS partnership, for a total of at least seven performance 
indicators.
    (c) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and performance 
indicators are reflected in proposed programs, curricula, and other 
activities.
    (d) The extent to which the applicant includes baseline data and a 
source of data for the periodic measuring of progress of project-
specific performance indicators and for required Government Performance 
and Results Act (GPRA) performance indicators.
3. Project Design
    (a) The extent to which the project design builds upon community 
assessment data, and/or identified gaps or weaknesses in existing 
services, infrastructure, opportunities, and resources.
    (b) The extent to which the applicant can demonstrate that 
programs, training, curriculum, and other activities selected for the 
project reflect current research and use evidence-based and effective 
practices and that they are responsive to the targeted population to be 
served, including meeting cultural and linguistic needs.
    (c) The extent to which the proposed short- and long-term 
strategies will promote healthy child development and school 
environments that are safe, disciplined, and drug-free.

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    (d) The extent to which the proposed short- and long-term 
strategies allow for systematic development of infrastructure that 
builds organizational, community, and individual capacity to sustain 
outcomes beyond the life of the grant.
    (e) The extent to which the project design addresses the six 
elements of the priority, integrating existing and new services into a 
comprehensive approach to violence prevention and healthy childhood 
development.
4. Partnership and Community Readiness
    (a) The extent to which the applicant has demonstrated the 
existence of an active school-community partnership prior to planning 
and submitting its SS/HS application. An example of how to demonstrate 
the existing partnership would be to include a description of the 
history of the partnership, including the circumstances around its 
creation and accomplishments to date.
    (b) The extent to which the applicant will engage multiple and 
diverse sectors of the community in its strategic planning process. 
Examples of possible community participants include but are not limited 
to nonprofit community groups, faith-based organizations, private 
schools, teachers, youth, parents, and supervisory and line staff of 
social service agencies.
    (c) The extent to which the applicant's memorandum of agreement for 
SS/HS Partners includes: A mission statement for the SS/HS partnership; 
a delineation of the roles and responsibilities of each partner; a 
process for communicating and sharing resources; and other pertinent 
information to evaluate the partnership's likelihood of successfully 
implementing the project.
    (d) The extent to which the applicant's memorandum of agreement for 
mental health services demonstrates the willingness of the public 
mental health authority to provide administrative oversight of mental 
health services. This agreement describes a process for securing mental 
health providers and procedures to be used for referral, treatment, and 
follow-up for children and adolescents with serious mental health 
problems. This agreement provides evidence that there will be 
integration, coordination, and resource sharing with mental health and 
social service providers by schools and other community-based programs.
5. Evaluation
    (a) The extent to which the applicant describes an appropriate 
evaluation design--using both quantitative and qualitative methods, 
including: (1) What types of data will be collected; (2) when various 
types of data will be collected; (3) what evaluation methods will be 
used and why; (4) what instruments will be developed and when; (5) how 
the data will be analyzed; (6) when reports of results and outcomes 
will be available; (7) how data and other information will be used for 
strategic planning, measuring progress, making programmatic 
adjustments, and keeping the proposed strategy focused on its overall 
objective of promoting healthy childhood development and preventing 
violence and alcohol and other drug abuse; and (8) how the applicant 
will use the information collected through the evaluation to support 
SS/HS GPRA indicators.
    (b) The extent to which the individual or organization that has 
been selected or will be sought to serve as the local evaluator has 
adequate qualifications and experience to conduct the local evaluation.
    (c) The extent to which the applicant allocates an appropriate and 
reasonable level of resources to local project evaluation.

    Note: Consistent with funding restrictions established for the 
program, a minimum of 7 percent of the total budget must be 
designated for local evaluation activities.


6. Program Management
    (a) The extent to which the roles and responsibilities of key 
staff, including the full-time project director, and partners are 
defined.
    (b) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time, including clearly defined timelines 
with reasonable dates for implementing and accomplishing project tasks.
    (c) The adequacy of procedures for communicating and sharing 
information among all partners, to ensure feedback and continuous 
improvement in the operation of the project.
7. Budget
    (a) The extent to which the proposed budget and narrative 
correspond to the project design and provide adequate documentation and 
justification for how funds will be used and how costs were calculated.
    (b) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates current fiscal 
control and accounting procedures to ensure prudent use, proper and 
timely disbursement, and accurate accounting of funds received under 
the grant.

Additional Selection Factors

    The following two factors may be considered in selecting an 
application for an award: (1) Geographic distribution and diversity of 
activities addressed by the projects; and (2) equitable distribution of 
funds among urban, suburban and rural LEAs.
    Application and Eligibility Requirements. Before we will submit an 
SS/HS application for peer review, the applicant must meet the 
following requirements:
    (1) The LEA/applicant must not have received funds or services 
under the SS/HS initiative under any previous fiscal years.
    (2) The applicant's request for funding must not exceed the maximum 
amount established for its defined urbanicity. The maximum request for 
SS/HS funds is $1 million for rural and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) 
schools for a 12-month period; $2 million for suburban schools for a 
12-month period; and $3 million for urban schools for a 12-month 
period. To determine urbanicity and the maximum amount they are 
eligible to apply for, all applicants except BIA schools must use the 
district locale code on the National Public School and School District 
Locator website and the definitions established in this notice for 
rural, suburban and urban to determine urbanicity. A BIA school's 
request must not exceed $1 million.
    (3) The applicant must include in its application two memoranda of 
agreement demonstrating the commitment of the required SS/HS partners. 
Two agreements must be signed by the required partners (as described in 
paragraphs (a) and (b)) and dated no earlier than six months prior to 
the SS/HS application deadline. Applicants must also include 
information in the application that supports the selection of the 
identified local law enforcement and juvenile justice partner and 
describe how those partners' activities will support and be integrated 
in the SS/HS strategy. Applicants must contact their State Department 
of Mental Health to identify the relevant local public mental health 
authority. Mental health entities that have no legal authority in the 
administrative oversight of the delivery of mental health services are 
not acceptable as the sole mental health partner. Each SS/HS 
application must include the local public mental health authority (as 
defined elsewhere in this notice) as a partner. (The local public 
mental health authority is not required to provide mental health 
services to the target population but must provide administrative 
control or oversight of the delivery of mental health services.)
    (a) The first of these two agreements is the Memorandum of 
Agreement for the SS/HS Partners. This agreement

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must contain the signatures of the school superintendent and authorized 
representatives for the local public mental health authority and local 
law enforcement and juvenile justice agencies. This agreement must 
include the following information: A mission statement for the SS/HS 
partnership; the goals and objectives of the partnership; desired 
outcomes for the partnership; a description of how information will be 
shared among partners; and a description of the roles and 
responsibilities of each partner. Applicants submitting as a consortium 
of LEAs must demonstrate partnership with the relevant local law 
enforcement agency (or agencies), public mental health authority (or 
authorities) and juvenile justice agency (or agencies) for each of the 
participating LEAs in the consortium. Applicants must indicate those 
instances where a local law enforcement agency, public mental health 
authority, or juvenile justice agency has authority or jurisdiction for 
one or more of the participating LEAs in the consortium.
    (b) The second of these two agreements is the Memorandum of 
Agreement for Mental Health Services. This agreement must contain the 
signatures of the school superintendent and the authorized 
representative of the local public mental health authority. The local 
public mental health authority must agree to provide administrative 
control and/or oversight of the delivery of mental health services. 
This agreement also must state procedures to be used for referral, 
treatment, and follow-up for children and adolescents with serious 
mental health problems. Applicants submitting as a consortium of LEAs 
must demonstrate partnership with the relevant public mental health 
authority (or authorities) for each of the participating LEAs in the 
consortium. Applicants must indicate those instances where a local 
public mental health authority has authority/jurisdiction for one or 
more of the participating LEAs in the consortium.
    Funding Restrictions: No less than 7 percent of a grantee's budget 
for each year may be used to support costs associated with local 
evaluation activities. No more than 10% of the total budget for each 
year may be used to support costs associated with (1) security 
equipment and personnel, and (2) minor remodeling of school facilities 
to improve school safety.
    Definitions: 1. Authorized representative--The term authorized 
representative means the official within an organization with the legal 
authority to give assurances, make commitments, enter into contracts, 
and execute such documents on behalf of the organization as may be 
required by the Department of Education (the Department), including 
certification that commitments made in grant proposals will be honored 
and that the applicant agrees to comply with the Department's 
regulations, guidelines, and policies.
    2. Local law enforcement agency--The term local law enforcement 
agency means the agency (or agencies) that has law enforcement 
authority for the LEA. Examples of local law enforcement agencies 
include: Municipal, county, and State police; tribal police and 
councils; and sheriffs' departments.
    3. Local public mental health authority--The term local public 
mental health authority means the entity legally constituted (directly 
or through contract with the State mental health authority) to provide 
administrative control or oversight of mental health services delivery 
within the community.
    4. Local juvenile justice agency--The term local juvenile justice 
agency means an agency or entity at the local level that is officially 
recognized by State or local government to address juvenile justice 
system issues in the communities to be served by the grant. Examples of 
juvenile justice agencies include: Juvenile justice task forces; 
juvenile justice centers; juvenile or family courts; juvenile probation 
agencies; and juvenile corrections agencies.
    5. Urban districts--The term urban districts means those LEAs with 
a designated locale code of Large Central City (1) or Mid-Size Central 
City (2) using the National Center for Education Statistics' National 
Public School and School District Locator (available online at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/ districtsearch/).

    6. Suburban districts--The term suburban districts means those LEAs 
with a designated locale code of Urban Fringe of Large City (3) or 
Urban Fringe of Mid-Size City (4) using the National Center for 
Education Statistics' National Public School and School District 
Locator (available online at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/ districtsearch/).

    7. Rural districts--The term rural districts means those LEAs with 
a designated locale code of Large Town (5), Small Town (6) or Rural, 
outside MSA (7), or Rural, inside MSA (8) using the National Center for 
Education Statistics' National Public School and School District 
Locator (available online at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/ districtsearch/).


Executive Order 12866

    This notice of final priority, selection criteria, requirements, 
and definitions has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 
12866. Under the terms of the order, we have assessed the potential 
costs and benefits of this regulatory action.
    The potential costs associated with the notice of final priority, 
selection criteria, requirements, and definitions are those resulting 
from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary 
for administering this program effectively and efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this notice of final priority, selection criteria, 
requirements, and definitions, we have determined that the benefits of 
the final priority, selection criteria, requirements, and definitions 
justify the costs.
    We have also determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.
    We summarized the costs and benefits in the notice of proposed 
priority, selection criteria, requirements, and definitions.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive 
order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened 
federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State 
and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    This provides early notification of our specific plans and actions 
for this program.
    Applicable Program Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 98, 99, and 299.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as other documents of this 
Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable 
Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.

    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using 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 the document 
published in the Federal

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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.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.



(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.184L Safe Schools/
Healthy Students.)


    Program Authority: Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities 
Act (20 U.S.C. 7131); Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 290aa); 
and Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (42 U.S.C. 
5614(b)(4)(e) and 5781 et seq.).

    Dated: May 24, 2004.
Deborah A. Price,
Deputy Under Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
[FR Doc. 04-12074 Filed 5-27-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-U