FR Doc E5-438
[Federal Register: February 4, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 23)]
[Page 5977-5978]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []
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Comprehensive School Reform Quality Initiatives

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of final priorities.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary announces priorities under the 
Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) Quality Initiatives program. The 
Assistant Secretary may use one or more of these priorities for 
competitions for fiscal year (FY) 2004 and subsequent years' funds. 
These priorities focus on schools that are in need of improvement, 
corrective action, or restructuring and on student groups that have 
been traditionally underserved, such as students with disabilities, 
limited English proficient students, and students in rural areas.

EFFECTIVE DATE: These priorities are effective March 7, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila Sjolseth, U.S. Department of 
Education, OESE/AITQ, 400 Maryland Ave, SW., FB-6, room 3W237,

    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 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the CSR Quality Initiatives 
program, authorized under section 1608 of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), is to provide discretionary 
grants to support activities that will enhance the State-administered 
CSR program and to enable schools that have been identified as in need 
of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under Part A of 
Title I of the ESEA to meet their State's definition of adequate yearly 
progress (AYP). Under this program, the Assistant Secretary awards 
funds to support two specific categories of activities. Grantees under 
Category 1 will assist States, local educational agencies (LEAs), and 
schools in making informed decisions regarding approving or selecting 
providers of comprehensive school reform or in developing comprehensive 
school reforms. Category 2 projects will foster the development of 
comprehensive school reform models and support development of capacity 
for comprehensive school reform providers to expand their work in more 
schools and ensure quality.
    We published a notice of proposed priorities for this program in 
the Federal Register on December 1, 2004. (69 FR 69898). In the notice 
we proposed four priorities--two priorities specific to Category 1 
applications, one priority specific to Category 2 applications, and one 
priority for both Category 1 and Category 2 applications. Except for a 
change in the priority for Category 2 applications to clarify the 
intent of the priority, and other technical changes, there are no 
differences between the notice of proposed priorities and this notice 
of final priorities.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priorities, 
one party submitted comments on the proposed priorities. This commenter 
suggested that there be no matching requirement for Category 1 
applicants. However, section 1608(1) of the ESEA requires a match for 
Category 1 applications, and we believe that a 10 percent match, which 
may include in-kind contributions, is reasonable. Accordingly, we have 
not made a change to this matching requirement.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use one or more of these priorities, we invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting 
applications we designate each priority as absolute, competitive 
preference, or invitational. The effect of each type of priority 

    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 application meets the competitive priority (34 CFR 
75.105(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 an application that meets the

[[Page 5978]]

invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other 
applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).


Priority for Category 1 Applicants

    The grantee will provide assistance to States, LEAs, and schools in 
approving or selecting a comprehensive school reform provider or in 
developing comprehensive school reforms, for schools that are 
identified as being in need of improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended. The applicant will provide a plan 
for providing States, LEAs and schools with information tools and 
technical assistance in such areas as using data to identify the 
instructional needs of students and to clarify the technical assistance 
and professional development needs of teachers and administrators.

Priority for Category 1 Applicants

    The applicant must demonstrate, in its grant application, that its 
CSR Quality Initiatives award will be matched with funds from one or 
more private organizations. For each year that a grantee receives a CSR 
Quality Initiatives award, the match, including any in-kind 
contributions, must total at least 10 percent of the award.

Priority for Category 2 Applicants

    The applicant will implement activities to develop and field-test 
specific strategies to: (1) Meet the needs of students who have been 
traditionally underserved by comprehensive reform providers, such as 
students with disabilities and students with limited English 
proficiency and to integrate those strategies into scientifically 
research-based comprehensive school reforms, or (2) increase the 
capacity of comprehensive reform providers to serve students in rural 
areas. These strategies could be additions or enhancements to existing 
CSR models or services already being provided.

Priority for Category 1 and 2 Applicants

    The grantee will assist LEAs in more than one State.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of final priorities 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 priorities 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently to provide the most benefits for the greatest number of 
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this notice of final priorities, we have determined 
that the benefits of the proposed priorities 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 

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 document provides early notification of our 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 the following site:

    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.
    You may also view this document in text at the following site:

    Note:  The official version of this document is the document 
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:

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6518.

    Dated: February 1, 2005.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.322B Comprehensive 
School Reform--Quality Initiatives)
Raymond Simon,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
 [FR Doc. E5-438 Filed 2-3-05; 8:45 am]