FR Doc 05-6264
[Federal Register: March 30, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 60)]
[Notices]               
[Page 16242-16244]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr30mr05-66]                         
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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Professional Development for Arts Educators Program

AGENCY: Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

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

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement 
announces a priority, requirements, and definitions under the 
Professional Development for Arts Educators program. We may use this 
priority and these requirements and definitions for competitions in 
fiscal year (FY) 2005 and later years. We take this action to focus 
Federal financial assistance on an identified national need for 
professional development for arts educators and other instructional 
staff that focuses on the development, enhancement, and expansion of 
standards-based arts instruction or that integrates arts instruction 
with other subject area content, and to improve student achievement of 
low-income students in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12). We intend 
the priority, requirements, and definitions to enable the Department to 
award grants that improve the performance of needy children and that 
increase the amount of information on effective professional 
development for arts educators that is available nationally.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This priority and these requirements and definitions 
are effective April 29, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carol Sue Fromboluti, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W223, Washington, DC 
20202-5950. Telephone: (202) 205-9654 or via Internet: 
Carol.Fromboluti@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) 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: Through this program, the Department intends 
to fund model professional development programs for arts educators and 
other instructional staff of K-12 students in high-poverty schools. The 
purpose of this program is to strengthen standards-based arts education 
programs and to help ensure that all students meet challenging State 
academic content standards and challenging State student academic 
achievement standards in the arts.
    We published a notice of proposed priority, requirements, and 
definitions for this program in the Federal Register on January 13, 
2005 (70 FR 2399). The notice of proposed priority, requirements, and 
definitions included a discussion of the significant issues and 
analysis used in the determination of the priority, definitions, and 
application requirements (see pages 2400 through 2401 of that notice).
    This notice of final priority, requirements, and definitions 
contains several changes from the notice of proposed priority, 
requirements, and definitions. We have added a definition for the term 
``arts,'' and we have clarified that instructional staff may be 
included in professional development activities funded through program 
grants.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priority, 
requirements, and definitions, eight parties submitted comments. An 
analysis of the comments and the changes in the priority, requirements, 
and definitions since publication of the notice of proposed priority, 
requirements, and definitions follows.
    We discuss substantive issues under the title of the priority, 
requirement, or definition to which they pertain. Generally, we do not 
address technical and other minor changes--and suggested changes that 
we are not authorized to make under the applicable statutory authority.

Proposed Application Requirement

    Comment: We received two comments on the proposed application 
requirement, which would require applicants to propose to carry out 
professional development programs for art educators and other 
instructional staff of K-12 low-income children and youth by 
implementing projects in schools in which 50 percent or more of the 
children enrolled are from low-income families (based on the poverty 
criteria in Title I, Section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 
2001 (ESEA)). One commenter supported this requirement, and the other 
suggested that we include both ``at-risk'' and ``special-needs'' 
children in the 50 percent low-income requirement.
    Discussion: The priority is intended to ensure that the program 
benefits low-income students and helps schools that educate large 
concentrations of those students. Research has shown that such schools 
have the greatest difficulty in educating all students to high 
standards. We do not believe that the suggestions for changing the 
priority would serve this purpose. While we understand the sentiment 
underlying this request, we believe that keeping the requirement as 
written will target services toward the maximum number of low-income 
students and schools.
    Change: None.

[[Page 16243]]

Proposed Eligibility Requirement

    Comment: We received two comments on the proposed eligibility 
requirement under which eligibility would be limited to a local 
educational agency (LEA), which may be a charter school that is 
considered an LEA under State law and regulations, that is acting on 
behalf of an individual school or schools that meet the poverty 
criterion with respect to children from low-income families and that 
must work in partnership with one or more of the following--
    (1) A State or local non-profit or governmental arts organization;
    (2) A State educational agency (SEA) or regional educational 
service agency;
    (3) An institution of higher education; or
    (4) A public or private agency, institution, or organization, 
including a museum, an arts education association, a library, a 
theater, or a community- or faith-based organization.
    These commenters argued that many State and local non-profit or 
governmental arts organizations have demonstrated their ability to take 
the lead in developing sustainable and institutionalized professional 
development programs within public schools and should be eligible to 
apply for a grant. They contend that some large school districts are 
out of touch with the site-based planning efforts of individual schools 
that have long-standing partnerships with local non-profit or 
governmental arts organizations. Accordingly, the commenters believe 
these local organizations may be in a better position to assume the 
responsibilities of a grantee.
    Discussion: Under the proposed eligibility requirement, an LEA must 
be the applicant. Since the goal of this program is to develop model 
programs of professional development for arts educators and other 
instructional staff, we believe that the programs that are most 
effective will be those that are part of a school system-supported 
effort. For this reason, we believe that the LEA should be the only 
eligible applicant, working in partnership with other qualifying 
organizations.
    Change: None.

Proposed Definitions

    Comment: We received several comments on the proposed definition of 
arts educator. One commenter recommended that we include arts 
specialists, classroom teachers, and professional artists who work in 
schools, community centers, and other learning institutions in the 
definition.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter's suggestion. Although we 
believe that the original definition includes all teachers who work in 
arts instruction, including classroom teachers and arts specialists who 
integrate the arts with core academic areas, we think it is appropriate 
to clarify that those types of arts instructors may receive 
professional development training.
    Change: In response to this comment, and because the program 
statute allows for the professional development of arts educators and 
``other instructional staff'' section 5551(d)(5) of the ESEA, we have 
added the words ``other instructional staff'' to the text of the 
priority and requirements. This clarifies that the program permits the 
inclusion of classroom teachers, teaching artists, and 
paraprofessionals in all professional development opportunities.
    Comment: Commenters recommended including the literary arts, the 
media arts, and folk arts as areas in which educators could work and be 
eligible to take part in professional development opportunities.
    Discussion: Activities in the folk arts and media arts would 
address the National Art Standards since they fall under the umbrella 
of music, dance, theatre, and the visual arts for which there are 
established national standards. On the other hand, we believe that the 
literary arts are generally considered in the domain of the humanities, 
and they are not included in the National Arts Standards.
    Change: In response to this comment and based on our own internal 
review, we are further clarifying the terminology used in the notice by 
adding a definition of the term ``arts'' to include music, dance, 
theater, media arts, and visual arts, including folk arts. We are also 
amending the definition of ``arts educator'' to make it consistent with 
this language.
    Comment: We received a comment on the definition of the word 
``integrating'' that suggested we use the wording ``the use of high-
quality arts instruction within other academic content areas to make 
the structural connections between the arts and other subjects or as a 
means of teaching about and through the arts.''
    Discussion: We believe the original language provides for greater 
simplicity, scope, and flexibility.
    Change: None.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, these requirements or these 
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 application meets the competitive preference priority 
(34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets 
the competitive preference 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 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over 
other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

    Priority: This priority supports professional development programs 
for K-12 arts educators and other instructional staff that use 
innovative instructional methods and current knowledge from education 
research and focus on--
    (1) The development, enhancement, or expansion of standards-based 
arts education programs; or
    (2) The integration of standards-based arts instruction with other 
core academic area content.
    In order to meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that 
the project for which it seeks funding is linked to State and national 
standards intended to enable all students to meet challenging 
expectations, and to improving student and school performance.

Requirements

Application Requirement

    To be eligible for Professional Development for Arts Educators 
Program funds, applicants must propose to carry out professional 
development programs for arts educators and other instructional staff 
of K-12 low-income children and youth by implementing projects in 
schools in which 50 percent or more of the children enrolled are from 
low-income families (based on the poverty criteria in Title I, Section 
1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA)).

Eligibility Requirement

    To be eligible to receive funding under the Professional 
Development for Arts Educators program, an applicant must be--
    A local educational agency (LEA), which may be a charter school 
that is

[[Page 16244]]

considered an LEA under State law and regulations, that is acting on 
behalf of an individual school or schools that meets the poverty 
criterion with respect to children from low-income families that is 
specified in the application requirement elsewhere in this notice, and 
that must work in partnership with one or more of the following--
    (1) A State or local non-profit or governmental arts organization;
    (2) A State educational agency (SEA) or regional educational 
service agency;
    (3) An institution of higher education; or
    (4) A public or private agency, institution, or organization, 
including a museum, an arts education association, a library, a 
theater, or a community-or faith-based organization.
    Definitions: As used in this notice--
    Arts includes music, dance, theater, media arts, and visual arts, 
including folk arts.
    Arts educator means a teacher who works in music, dance, theater, 
media arts, or visual arts, including folk arts.
    Integrate means to strengthen (i) the use of high-quality arts 
instruction within other academic content areas, and (ii) the place of 
the arts as a core academic subject in the school curriculum.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of final priority, 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, 
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, requirements, and 
definitions, we have determined that the benefits of the priority, 
requirements, and definitions justify the costs.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.
    We fully discussed the costs and benefits of this regulatory action 
in the notice of proposed priority, 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 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 
action 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: 
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 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 84.351C Professional 
Development for Arts Educators)

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7271.

    Dated: March 24, 2005.
Michael J. Petrilli,
Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 05-6264 Filed 3-29-05; 8:45 am]

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