FR Doc 05-11653
[Federal Register: June 13, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 112)]
[Page 34107-34109]
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Grants to States To Improve Management of Drug and Violence 
Prevention Programs

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

ACTION: Notice of final priorities and requirements.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools 
announces priorities and requirements under the Safe and Drug-Free 
Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) National Programs for Grants to 
States to Improve Management of Drug and Violence Prevention Programs. 
We may use one or more of these priorities and requirements for 
competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2005 and later years. We take this 
action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified national 
need. We intend the priorities and requirements to facilitate the 
development, enhancement, or expansion of the capacity of States and 
other entities that receive SDFSCA State Grants program funds to 
collect, analyze, and use data to improve the management of drug and 
violence prevention programs.

DATES: Effective Date: These priorities and requirements are effective 
July 13, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maria Worthen, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E234, Washington, DC 20202-
6450. Telephone: (202) 205-5632 or via Internet:
    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 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: States and their local communities are 
implementing a variety of programs, activities, and strategies designed 
to prevent youth drug use and violence in schools. Just as 
policymakers, education professionals, and parents seek reliable 
information about student academic progress, stakeholders also need 
sufficient information and data to assess the nature of youth drug and 
violence prevention problems in their communities, select research-
based approaches to preventing these problems, and determine whether 
these prevention efforts are successful.
    The U.S. Department of Education currently requires States to 
collect and report data on youth drug and violence prevention problems 
and prevention efforts through a uniform management information and 
reporting system (UMIRS) that States must establish under section 
4112(c)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (ESEA) (20 U.S.C. 
7112(c)(3)). States also need to use objective data about school safety 
to meet the Unsafe School Choice Option (USCO) requirements in section 
9532 of the ESEA.
    States and local communities face several challenges in 
implementing these requirements and, in turn, operating and managing 
effective drug and violence prevention programs. These challenges may 
     Lack of standardized collection instruments and 
definitions both within and across States;
     Lack of expertise related to collecting data about youth 
drug use and violence;
     Lack of time and other resources to support high-quality 
data collection and analysis in these areas;
     Unfavorable community and media reaction to high rates of 
youth drug use and violence that discourages full and accurate 
reporting; and
     Negative consequences for administrators whose schools 
have high rates of drug use or violent incidents.
    The Department proposed the priorities and requirements announced 
in this notice to provide support to States to explore strategies that 
help them address each of these challenges so that they can enhance 
their capacity to collect and use data to assess and improve 
implementation of their drug and violence prevention programs.
    We published a notice of proposed priorities and requirements for 
this program in the Federal Register on March 9, 2005 (70 FR 11623).
    Except for minor technical revisions, and a change to the 
requirements described in the Analysis of Comments and Changes section, 
there are no differences between the notice of proposed priorities and 
requirements and this notice of final priorities and requirements.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priorities 
and requirements, three parties submitted comments on the proposed 
priorities and requirements. An analysis of the comments and of any 
changes in the priorities and requirements since publication of the 
notice of proposed priorities and requirements follows.
    Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes or 
any suggested changes that the Secretary is not authorized to make 
under the applicable statutory authority.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that Federal agencies, including 
the U.S. Department of Education and the Substance Abuse and Mental 
Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services, that share common program goals should 
develop a common set of outcome measures for drug and violence 
prevention programs

[[Page 34108]]

that could be used by all Federal agencies that implement these 
    Discussion: While we find merit in the commenter's suggestion and 
are working with other Federal agencies, including SAMHSA, on the issue 
of common outcome measures, we believe that the recommendation is 
beyond the scope of this program. The Grants to States to Improve 
Management of Drug and Violence Prevention Programs initiative is 
specifically designed to help States meet the UMIRS requirements. These 
provisions require each State to develop an information management and 
reporting system for its schools and communities and to define alcohol 
and drug-related offenses in a manner consistent with each State's 
criminal code. While common outcome measures are a desirable goal, we 
do not believe that we can mandate specific outcome measures that would 
apply to all States or to all Federal agencies implementing drug and 
violence prevention programs through these priorities and requirements.
    Change: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that the requirement concerning 
a Memorandum of Understanding between the authorized representatives 
for the State educational agency (SEA) and the State agency receiving 
the Governor's portion of SDFSCA State Grants program funds be 
streamlined. The commenter suggested that a letter from the SEA and 
State Agency indicating their agreement to conduct the activities 
proposed in the application, including the roles and responsibilities 
of each agency would assume, would be sufficient.
    The commenter also expressed a concern that sufficient resources 
available under this grant program might not be provided to permit a 
State to meet all of the requirements of the absolute priority and 
recommended that States be allowed to focus on a subset of these 
requirements if available resources are not sufficient to fully address 
all of the grant goals.
    Discussion: The requirement for a Memorandum of Understanding is 
not intended to impose a significant additional burden on applicants. 
Instead, the requirement is designed to ensure that necessary 
participants for the project participate in project development, agree 
upon their roles and responsibilities, and have the support of senior 
leadership for the project. We agree, however, that the approach 
suggested by the commenter may make development of an application 
simpler for some applicants.
    In response to the commenter's second concern, language in the 
priority provides applicants with some flexibility in developing their 
projects. Specifically, the priority provides for the support of 
projects to ``develop, enhance, or expand capacity''. Thus an applicant 
could focus on one, or more of these areas. Applicants should plan 
projects that reflect their existing efforts in the area and, while 
projects must address the six required sub-elements, the balance 
between the level of effort focused on required activities may be very 
different among successful applicants, depending on the previous 
investments made by an applicant.
    Changes: In response to this comment, we have modified the 
requirement concerning a Memorandum of Understanding for this 
competition to permit applicants to submit a memorandum of 
understanding, letters, or other documentation that contains the 
required information. No change concerning the scope of the priority 
was made in response to this comment.
    Comment: One commenter proposed that, in addition to requirements 
contained in the notice of proposed priority and requirements, 
applicants also be required to (1) list methods by which the applicant 
can address the issue of irregular reporting of UMIRS data collection; 
(2) document methods for assisting local educational agencies in 
standardizing the reporting of intervention data; (3) describe methods 
of reporting interventions for persistent student attendance and 
behavior problems, and methods used to address challenges for 
standardizing these data; (4) describe a plan for persuading local 
educational agencies about the value of high-quality truancy and 
intervention data for analysis; and (5) describe methods for motivating 
local educational agencies to make appropriate referrals for students 
at risk due to severe attendance or behavior problems. These proposed 
modifications would be consistent with the commenter's State laws and 
procedures concerning truancy and interventions designed to address 
truancy, and could potentially support that State's approach to this 
issue by providing needed funding.
    Discussion: While the commenter's underlying concerns parallel many 
of the more general requirements that were included in the notice of 
proposed priority and requirements for the program (such as using data 
collected under the UMIRS system to assess need, selecting appropriate 
interventions, monitoring progress toward performance measures, and 
disseminating information about youth drug use and violence to the 
public), we do not have any basis to request that all applicants meet 
all of these requirements. Applicants, however, are free to include 
this information to support their applications.
    The additional requirements recommended may support the existing 
statutory and regulatory framework in the commenter's State, but there 
is tremendous variation across the States in terms of how school 
attendance information is collected and used. In developing priorities 
and requirements for a grant competition that is designed to benefit 
all States, we believe that the more general approach that we have 
taken establishes appropriate core requirements that are still flexible 
enough to address needs in any of the States.
    The commenter's concerns also focused heavily on a single aspect of 
the UMIRS requirements--truancy rates, and related interventions. While 
school attendance information is an important component of any 
statewide data collected to support the management of youth drug and 
violence prevention programs, focusing too heavily on this one aspect 
of the significantly more comprehensive system that is required would 
detract from the program's core goals.
    Change: None.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use one or more of these priorities or 
requirements, 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 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 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 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over 
other applications (34 CFR 75.105)(c)(1)).

[[Page 34109]]

Priorities and Requirements

Absolute Priority--Developing, Enhancing, or Expanding the Capacity of 
States and Other Entities That Receive SDFSCA State Grants Funds To 
Collect, Analyze, and Use Data To Improve the Management of Drug and 
Violence Prevention Programs

    This priority supports projects to develop, enhance, or expand the 
capacity of States and other entities that receive SDFSCA State Grants 
program funds to collect, analyze, and use data to improve the 
management of drug and violence prevention programs. At a minimum, 
applicants must propose projects to develop, enhance, or expand the 
capacity of the State educational agency (SEA), the State agency 
administering the Governor's funding under the SDFSCA State Grants 
program, and local educational agencies and community-based 
organizations that receive SDFSCA State Grants program funding.
    Specifically, projects must be designed to:
    (a) Include activities designed to expand the capacity of local 
recipients of SDFSCA funds to use data to assess needs, establish 
performance measures, select appropriate interventions, monitor 
progress toward established performance measures, and disseminate 
information about youth drug use and violence to the public;
    (b) Collect data that, at a minimum, meet the requirements of the 
Uniform Management Information and Reporting System (UMIRS) described 
in section 4112(c)(3) of the ESEA;
    (c) Operate with the aid of a technology-based system for analyzing 
and interpreting school crime and violence data;
    (d) Be consistent with the State's Performance-Based Data 
Management Initiative (PBDMI) strategy and produce data that can be 
transmitted to the U.S. Department of Education via the Department's 
Education Data Exchange Network (EDEN) project, which facilitates the 
transfer of information from State administrative records to the 
Department to satisfy reporting requirements for certain programs 
administered by the Department, including the SDFSCA State Grants 
    (e) Be an enhancement to, or capable of merging data with, the 
State's student information system if such exists or if the State does 
not yet have a statewide, longitudinal student data system, the project 
should include the capacity to merge with such a system in the future; 
    (f) Include validation and verification activities at the State and 
sub-State recipient levels designed to ensure the accuracy of data 
collected and reported.

Competitive Preference Priority--Use of Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) 

    The collection of incident data for projects under the absolute 
priority will be done in a manner consistent with the definitions and 
protocols developed under the Federal Bureau of Investigation's UCR 


    Eligibility of Applicants: Eligible applicants for this program are 
limited to State educational agencies (SEAs) or other State agencies 
administering the SDFSCA State Grants program.
    Memorandum of Understanding or Other Documentation of 
Participation: Applicants must include documentation in the form of a 
memorandum of understanding or a letter in their application that 
outlines project roles and responsibilities of the participants and 
that contains:
    1. The signatures of:
    a. The authorized representative(s) for the SEA, and
    b. The authorized representative(s) for the State agency (or 
agencies) receiving the Governor's portion of SDFSCA State Grants 
program funding for the State.
    2. Evidence that the proposal has been reviewed by, and has the 
approval of, the State's chief information officer (CIO) and/or chief 
technology officer (CTO). The CIO and/or CTO may sign the required 
memorandum of understanding, or may provide a letter including the 
required assurance.
    Technology-Based System: Each application is required to include a 
proposal for a technology-based system for collecting, analyzing, and 
interpreting school crime and violence data. Grant funds may be used in 
a variety of ways to support this system, including updating an 
existing infrastructure, conducting basic planning, and capacity 

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of final priorities and requirements 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 
    The potential costs associated with the notice of final priorities 
and requirements 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 priorities and requirements, 
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.

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 documents of this Department 
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 or PDF at the following 

    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:

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.184R Grants to 
States to Improve Management of Drug and Violence Prevention 

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7131.

    Dated: June 8, 2005.
Deborah A. Price,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
[FR Doc. 05-11653 Filed 6-10-05; 8:45 am]