FR Doc 2010-15083
[Federal Register: June 23, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 120)]
[Notices]               
[Page 35881-35891]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr23jn10-152]                              

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Part II





Department of Education





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Smaller Learning Communities Program; Notice


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Smaller Learning Communities Program

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.215L.

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priorities, requirements, definition and 
selection criteria.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education 
announces final priorities, requirements, definition, and selection 
criteria under the Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) program. The 
Assistant Secretary may use these priorities, requirements, definition, 
and selection criteria, in addition to other previously established 
priorities, definitions and requirements, for a competition using 
fiscal year (FY) 2009 funds and may use them in later years. We take 
this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified 
national need. We intend these final priorities, requirements, 
definition, and selection criteria to enhance the effectiveness of SLC 
projects in improving academic achievement and helping to prepare 
students for postsecondary education and careers.

DATES: Effective Date: These final priorities, requirements, 
definition, and selection criteria are effective July 23, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Angela Hernandez-Marshall, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., LBJ, Room 3E308, 
Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 205-1909 or by e-mail: 
smallerlearningcommunities@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Purpose of Program: The SLC program awards discretionary grants to 
local educational agencies (LEAs) to support the restructuring of large 
public high schools (i.e., schools with enrollments of 1,000 or more 
students) into smaller units for the purpose of improving academic 
achievement in large public high schools. These smaller units include 
freshman academies, multi-grade academies organized around career 
interests or other themes, ``houses'' in which small groups of students 
remain together throughout high school, and autonomous schools-within-
a-school. These structural changes are typically complemented by other 
personalization strategies, such as student advisories, family advocate 
systems, and mentoring programs.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7249.

    Applicable Program Regulations: (a) The Education Department 
General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 
80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final priority, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria published in the 
Federal Register on April 28, 2005 (70 FR 22233) (2005 SLC NFP). (c) 
The notice of final priority, requirements, and selection criteria 
published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2007 (72 FR 28426) (2007 
SLC NFP).
    We published a notice of proposed priorities, requirements, 
definition, and selection criteria (NPP) for this program in the 
Federal Register on March 31, 2010 (75 FR 16082). That notice contained 
background information and our reasons for proposing the particular 
priorities, requirements, definition, and selection criteria.
    This notice of final priorities, requirements, definition, and 
selection criteria contains several changes from the NPP. We fully 
explain these changes in the Analysis of Comments and Changes section 
that follows.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the NPP, 12 
parties submitted comments on the proposed definition and proposed 
priorities, requirements, and selection criteria. We group major issues 
according to subject. Generally, we do not address technical and other 
minor changes and suggested changes we are not authorized to make under 
the applicable statutory authority.
    Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and 
changes in the priorities, requirements, and selection criteria 
follows.

Priorities

Priority 1--Common Planning Time for Teachers

    Comment: Two commenters recommended that we restrict the priority 
to common planning time that occurs during the regular school day. 
These commenters contended that common planning time offered 
immediately after the school day is less likely to result in 
improvements in instruction and greater academic and personal support 
for students than common planning time that occurs during the school 
day. One of these commenters also argued that teachers do not 
participate regularly in common planning time when it is offered after 
school because they have other responsibilities, such as leading 
extracurricular activities for students and caring for their families. 
One of these commenters also stated that providing common planning time 
during the school day is less costly than providing it after the school 
day.
    Discussion: We believe that providing teachers with regular and 
ongoing opportunities for structured collaboration and planning can be 
a valuable strategy for improving instruction and supports for 
students, regardless of whether it is offered during or immediately 
following the school day. We do agree with the commenters that, as a 
practical matter, obtaining regular teacher participation in common 
planning time that is held after school may be more challenging than 
when it is held during the school day due to the real world constraints 
on teachers' out-of-school time. However, we believe that some LEAs may 
be able to overcome these challenges and implement strategies that 
ensure that teachers are able to, and will, participate regularly in 
common planning time that is held after school. For this reason, we 
have revised the priority to require an applicant that proposes to meet 
the priority by regularly scheduling common planning time immediately 
following the school day to provide a description of how it will ensure 
that the teachers who will be included are able to and will participate 
regularly in the common planning time activities.
    With respect to the one commenter's concern about the higher cost 
of holding common planning periods after school, we believe that 
applicants are in the best position to determine whether it would be 
more cost-effective to provide for common planning time during--rather 
than after the school day--and therefore decline to require that 
planning time only be offered during the school day.
    Changes: We have revised the priority to require an applicant that 
proposes to meet it by regularly scheduling common planning time 
immediately following the school day to provide a description of how it 
will ensure that the teachers who will be included are able to and will 
participate regularly in the common planning time activities scheduled 
immediately following the school day.
    Comment: Two commenters objected to including common planning time 
for teachers of the same academic subjects as part of this priority. 
Both commenters expressed concern that, by doing so, the Department 
would be allowing SLC grant funds to be used to support existing, 
regularly scheduled departmental meetings that would otherwise occur. 
They argued that the priority should focus exclusively on

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common planning time for teachers who share the same students in 
common. One of the commenters expressed the view that, unlike meetings 
among teachers who teach the same subjects, meetings among teachers who 
share the same students are unlikely to occur without SLC grant funds 
and are, therefore, more in need of financial support.
    Discussion: This priority provides that the required common 
planning time be used for specific activities (e.g., structured 
examination of student work and outcome data; collaborative 
professional development and coaching, including classroom observation; 
identifying instructional and other interventions for struggling 
students; and curriculum and assessment development) not just 
generalized meetings. These activities, whether engaged in by groups of 
teachers who teach the same subject or groups of teachers who share the 
same group of students, are designed to enable grantees to develop 
strategies to improve student outcomes. For example, among teachers who 
share a common group of students, these strategies could support 
promising practices that include, but are not limited to: The 
development and implementation of personalized learning models, early 
identification and coordinated responses to meet the needs of 
struggling students, and opportunities for teachers to improve delivery 
of rigorous core course instruction. Likewise, teachers who teach the 
same subject could, for example, collaborate for the purposes of 
developing a stronger articulation of middle-to-high-school and high-
school-to-postsecondary-student curricula and assessments. These are 
just a few of many examples of how common planning time can be used 
effectively to improve student outcomes by groups of teachers who teach 
the same subject or groups of teachers who share the same group of 
students.
    We have designed this priority to apply to both teachers who share 
the same students and teachers who teach the same academic subject 
because we want to provide grantees with flexibility to develop the 
best common planning activities for their schools.
    Finally, we disagree that, without SLC funds, schools may be 
unlikely to initiate the practice of regularly scheduled common 
planning time among teachers who share the same students. Some current 
grantees do not use grant funds for common planning time but have 
managed to implement the practice to support purposeful collaboration. 
That said, we do acknowledge that current financial constraints at high 
schools across the country have made practitioners more cautious about 
embarking on new initiatives. Therefore, high schools that are not 
already engaged in these common planning activities may be reluctant to 
begin doing so now without some additional funding. This is, in part, 
why we are establishing substantially higher budget award amounts in 
the Requirements section of the notice. The maximum, 60-month award 
amount per school is $750,000 more than the maximum award amount 
established in the 2007 SLC NFP.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that we clarify whether a 
project could meet this priority if it increased the amount of time for 
common planning time, but decreased the amount of time for individual 
planning and preparation available to teachers during the regular 
school day. The commenter expressed concern that, without this 
clarification, a project that shifted individual planning time for 
teachers from the school day to after school could still meet the 
priority if it also increased the amount of time for common planning 
and collaboration.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that the priority should be 
clarified on this point. Teachers need individual planning time during 
the school day to develop and prepare lessons, review and grade student 
work and tests, and examine assessment and other student outcome data. 
Providing teachers with time during the school day for individual 
planning and preparation is just as important as providing 
collaborative teacher time. We believe that both are essential to 
ensuring that core curricula are rigorous and use high-quality 
instruction and that learning environments are personalized based on 
student need.
    Some purposeful common planning time activities we described in the 
NPP are complementary but quite distinct from the work that a teacher 
undertakes during individual planning time. On the one hand, we believe 
that purposeful common planning time activities increase the likelihood 
that teachers will gain access to more curriculum resources, add to and 
benefit from collective efforts to more efficiently identify and track 
struggling students, create a coherent sequence of courses, and ensure 
all students are receiving the supports they need to graduate ready for 
postsecondary education and careers. On the other hand, individual 
planning allows teachers the time to determine how the collective 
knowledge and skills learned during collaborative planning can be 
applied in their individual classrooms. We further believe that 
relegating individual planning to after school would be detrimental 
because, as noted elsewhere in this notice, during that period of the 
day, educators face a number of time constraints that they do not face 
during the school day. For this reason, we believe it is appropriate to 
revise this priority to clarify that, to meet this priority, a project 
must increase the amount of time regularly provided to teachers for 
common planning and collaboration during the school day without 
decreasing the amount of time provided to teachers for individual 
planning and preparation during the school day.
    Changes: We have added the words ``during the school day'' to the 
end of the sentence describing the required common planning period and 
the need for the increase in required common planning time so as not to 
result in individual teacher planning time.

Priority 2--Persistently Low-Achieving Schools--Secondary Schools 
(Revised and Redesignated as Priority 2--Projects in Which Fifty 
Percent or More of the Included Schools Are Low-Achieving and Priority 
3--Projects in Which at Least One, but Less than Fifty Percent, of the 
Included Schools Are Low-Achieving)

    Comment: Five commenters objected to the proposed priority for 
persistently lowest-achieving schools, arguing that, while these 
schools have extreme needs, many other high-poverty schools that may 
not be designated as persistently lowest-achieving also need assistance 
to improve student achievement and should be able to receive funding 
under the SLC program. Two of these commenters also argued that 
persistently lowest-achieving schools should not be given priority 
under the SLC program because these schools will be given priority for 
assistance under the School Improvement Grant (SIG) and Race to the Top 
programs.
    Discussion: In the NPP, we had proposed to give a priority to 
projects that include one or more schools that have been identified by 
a State as being ``persistently lowest-achieving,'' in accordance with 
the definition of persistently lowest-achieving schools established for 
the SIG program. We proposed this priority because we sought to target 
SLC funds on the Nation's neediest schools and align the SLC program 
with the Administration's efforts to finally break the long cycle of 
educational failure--including the failure of previous reforms--in 
these schools. This approach is consistent with the Department's long-
established

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practice of targeting resources where there is the greatest need. That 
said, we recognize the concerns raised by commenters that limiting this 
priority to only persistently lowest-achieving schools may be too 
restrictive because, as applied to this program, it may prevent many 
schools that have critical needs from being included in an SLC project. 
For this reason, we have revised the priority to include persistently 
lowest-achieving schools as well as schools that fall within one of the 
following categories:
    (a) Title I schools that are in corrective action or restructuring 
under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965, as amended (ESEA).
    (b) Schools that are eligible for, but do not receive Title I funds 
provided that, if the schools received Title I funds, they would be in 
corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA.
    (c) Title I schools or schools that are eligible for, but do not 
receive Title I funds that had a graduation rate, as defined in the 
State's approved accountability plan for Part A of Title I of the ESEA, 
that is less than 60 percent.
    We believe that these changes to the criteria for schools to be 
served by the SLC grant respond to commenters' concerns about the 
proposed priority being too narrow, while at the same time retaining 
the focus on serving the neediest schools, which include high-need 
schools that may not qualify as persistently lowest-achieving schools. 
We note that the substantive changes made to the proposed priority 
align it more closely with the priority for persistently low-performing 
schools that we used in the Investing in Innovation FY 2010 competition 
(see Absolute Priority 4--Innovations that Turn Around Persistently 
Low-Performing Schools in the notice inviting applications (75 FR 
12072, 12073)).
    In addition, for clarity and ease of administration, we have 
determined that it would be helpful to convert this single priority 
into two separate priorities that include the substantive categories 
(a), (b), (c), and (d), but that apply to different types of 
applications. Establishing two separate priorities will be clearer to 
applicants than a single, two-part priority, reducing the likelihood 
that they will make inadvertent errors in addressing the priorities in 
their applications. For this reason, we have further revised the 
priority proposed in the NPP by redesignating it as two priorities--
Priority 2 and Priority 3. As revised, new priority 2 applies to 
applications in which 50 percent or more of the schools to be served by 
the SLC grant are schools in categories (a), (b), (c), or (d) of the 
priority. Priority 3, which has the same categories as new priority 2, 
applies to applications in which at least one, but less 50 percent, of 
the schools to be served by the SLC grant are in categories (a), (b), 
(c), or (d) of the priority.
    Finally, we have made additional changes, reflected in new 
Priorities 2 and 3, to require that an applicant provide evidence that 
any school or schools included in its application are in categories 
(a), (b), (c), or (d). Specifically, we require an applicant to include 
with its application a signed and dated certification from the 
superintendent of the LEA in which the school is located. This 
certification also must identify the specific category of the 
priorities (i.e., the categories of schools described in paragraphs 
(a), (b), (c), and (d) of the priorities) that applies to each school 
included in the application. We are establishing this certification 
requirement to expedite our review of an application to determine 
whether it meets one of the two priorities. This is particularly 
important for those applications that include a school that is in 
categories (b), (c), or (d) because unlike the lists of schools 
identified by States as being ``persistently lowest-achieving'' that 
were submitted by States with their SIG applications, the Department 
does not have ready access to the complete and current list of schools 
that are in the remaining categories.
    Changes: We have revised priority 2 to include (a) persistently 
lowest-achieving schools as well as schools that fall within one of the 
following categories: (b) Title I schools that are in corrective action 
or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA; (c) schools that are 
eligible for, but do not receive Title I funds provided that, if the 
schools received Title I funds, they would be in corrective action or 
restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA; and (d) Title I schools 
and schools that are eligible for, but do not receive Title I funds 
that have a graduation rate, as defined in the State's approved 
accountability plan for Part A of Title I of the ESEA, that is less 
than 60 percent. In addition, we have created a new priority, Priority 
3, which is substantively the same as new Priority 2, but which applies 
to a different set of applications. New Priority 2 is for applications 
in which 50 percent or more of the schools to be served by the SLC 
grant are schools are in categories (a), (b), (c), or (d). New Priority 
3 is for applications in which at least one, but less 50 percent, of 
the schools to be served by the SLC grant are schools in categories 
(a), (b), (c), or (d). We clarified that the data used by an applicant 
to identify schools that fall within one of the four categories be from 
the current, or most recently completed, school year.
    We also have added a provision to this priority to require 
applicants to include evidence to support the assertion that the 
proposed project's schools fit within one of these categories. This 
evidence must consist of a signed and dated certification from the 
superintendent of the LEA in which the school is located. This 
certification must identify the specific category of the priority 
(i.e., the categories of schools described in paragraphs (a), (b), (c), 
and (d) of this priority) that applies to each school included in the 
application.
    Comment: Two commenters recommended that the priority for 
persistently lowest-achieving schools be designated as an invitational 
priority when we invite applications for SLC funding.
    Discussion: In the NPP, we indicated that we would designate the 
proposed priorities as invitational, competitive preference, or 
absolute in the notice inviting applications for any competition for 
which we planned to use the priorities. For the competition using FY 
2009 funds, we will designate Priority 2 and 3 as competitive 
preference priorities. We do, however, retain the flexibility to 
designate these priorities as competitive preference or absolute 
priorities in future competitions.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Two commenters recommended that we restrict the priority 
to persistently lowest-achieving schools that do not receive SIG 
funding. One of these commenters noted that LEAs will be preparing 
applications for SIG and SLC grants during the same general time 
period. This commenter expressed concern that the SIG and SLC 
applications developed by some LEAs may not be consistent and 
complementary, making it extremely difficult for an LEA to implement 
both projects if its two applications are selected for funding. The 
commenter went on to argue that, even if an LEA's two applications are 
consistent and complementary, there also may be significant 
implementation problems if only one of these applications is selected 
for funding.
    Discussion: We acknowledge that there is a risk that LEAs may not 
submit complementary applications for SIG and SLC funding and that 
implementation problems also may ensue if both

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applications are selected for funding. This issue is not limited to the 
SIG and SLC programs; it occurs any time multiple Department programs 
hold competitions for funding during the same time period. However, we 
do not believe that there is any practical way that the Department can 
address or prevent problems that may result when the application 
periods for two or more Department grant programs occur simultaneously.
    Changes: None.

Requirements

Requirement 1--Budget and Performance Periods

    Comment: Two commenters expressed opposition to our proposed 
requirement that would reduce the budget period for the initial grant 
award from 36 to 24 months. The commenter argued that it was 
unreasonable to expect a project to demonstrate substantial progress in 
24 months. The commenter also expressed concern that it would be 
difficult to hire a full-time project director because individuals 
would be reluctant to assume this position if their employment was 
guaranteed for only 24 months of receiving the award.
    Discussion: As we explained in the NPP, we proposed reducing the 
duration of the initial budget period because we believe it is 
reasonable to expect an SLC grantee to demonstrate substantial progress 
within 24 months. Grantees that require more than an initial 24 months 
to show progress are likely experiencing significant management 
problems and may not merit continued funding. We note as well that most 
of the Department's discretionary grant programs have an initial budget 
period of 12 months. Generally, grantees that receive funding under 
these programs do not have difficulty demonstrating progress during the 
first 12 months of the project period. They also do not experience 
significant problems recruiting qualified individuals to serve as 
project directors.
    Changes: None.

Requirement 3--Performance Indicators

    Comment: One commenter recommended that we require grantees to use 
a cohort model for calculating the proposed graduation rate performance 
indicator.
    Discussion: Paragraph (b) of the proposed performance indicators 
requires grantees to use a cohort model to calculate graduation rate. 
In the NPP, we proposed to require that grantees use the same 
definition of graduation rate that is used in the State's approved 
accountability plan for part A of title I of the ESEA. On October 29, 
2008, the Department published in the Federal Register final 
regulations amending the Department's regulations implementing title I, 
part A of the ESEA (see 34 CFR 200.19). Section 200.19 requires States 
and LEAs to use a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate to 
calculate the graduation rate they report on the annual report cards 
required by section 1111(h) of ESEA. Under this regulatory provision, 
States and LEAs are required to use this new definition of graduation 
rate beginning with the 2010-11 school year. For this reason, we do not 
believe any change to this performance indicator is necessary.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: In the NPP, we proposed to require applicants to 
establish, for each school included in an application, annual 
performance objectives for three performance indicators:
    (1) The percentage of students who score at or above the proficient 
level on the reading/language arts and mathematics assessments used by 
the State to determine whether a school has made adequate yearly 
progress under part A of Title I of the ESEA;
    (2) The school's graduation rate, as defined in the State's 
approved accountability plan for Part A of Title I of the ESEA; and
    (3) The percentage of graduates who enroll in postsecondary 
education, advanced training, or a registered apprenticeship program in 
the semester following high school graduation.
    We further proposed to require grantees to report annually data for 
these indicators in the aggregate, as well as disaggregated by the 
following subgroups:
    (1) Major racial and ethnic groups;
    (2) Students with disabilities;
    (3) Students with limited English proficiency; and
    (4) Economically disadvantaged students.
    One commenter requested that we clarify whether applicants may set 
different annual performance objectives for students in the aggregate 
and for each of the student subgroups.
    Discussion: The Performance Indicators requirement directs 
applicants to establish a single, annual performance objective for each 
school for each of the three performance indicators. It does not 
require or permit grantees to set different performance objectives for 
different groups of students for these three required performance 
indicators. Instead, it requires grantees to report data on the extent 
to which a school met its performance objectives in the aggregate, as 
well as disaggregated by the four student subgroups.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter requested that we clarify whether we were 
proposing to require grantees to meet the annual performance objectives 
they establish in the aggregate and for each subgroup for student 
performance on reading/language arts and mathematics assessments, high 
school graduation rates, and student enrollment in postsecondary 
education in order to continue to receive funding.
    Discussion: Nothing in the Performance Indicators requirement 
requires grantees to meet or exceed any of their annual performance 
objectives in order to continue to receive an SLC grant. However, a 
grantee's success in meeting these performance objectives would be 
considered as one of a number of factors we would review in determining 
whether the grantee has made substantial progress toward accomplishing 
the goals and objectives of the project and merits continued funding. 
Other factors we would consider include, among others, a grantee's 
success in meeting the project-specific goals and objectives it 
establishes in its application, the extent to which it is implementing 
its project according to the timeline it identified in its application, 
and its fiscal management of the grant.
    Changes: None.

Proposed Requirement 5--Evidence of Eligibility

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: In the NPP, we proposed to require applicants to 
provide evidence in their applications that, during the current or the 
most recently completed school year, each school included in their 
applications is a large public high school (i.e., an entity that 
includes grades 11 and 12 and has an enrollment of 1,000 or more 
students in grades 9 and above (see Definitions in 2005 SLC NFP) and, 
thus, is eligible to receive assistance under this program. We proposed 
that this evidence would need to include a copy of either:
    (a) The form or report that the LEA submits to the SEA to report 
the school's student enrollment (or student membership, as it is 
sometimes described) on or around October 1 of each year.
    (b) A document provided by the SEA that identifies the school's 
enrollment on or around October 1 of each year.
    Upon further review, we believe it is necessary to simplify the 
evidence of eligibility requirement to ensure that all prospective 
applicants with eligible schools can provide evidence of their

[[Page 35886]]

eligibility. Because there is so much diversity in how SEAs define 
student enrollment and when and the extent to which they collect and 
report school-level enrollment data from LEAs, we are concerned that 
some LEAs may have difficulty identifying a single document that meets 
the requirements of either of the two options for providing evidence of 
eligibility. We also are concerned that documents that may meet the 
requirements we proposed in the NPP still may not include all of the 
information we need to establish that a school is eligible to receive 
assistance under this program. For example, a document issued by an SEA 
may identify a school's enrollment on or around October 1, but it may 
not also include information on whether or not the school includes 
grades 11 and 12, another element of the school eligibility 
requirement. For these reasons, we believe it is necessary and 
appropriate to limit the evidence of school eligibility that must be 
provided by each applicant to a signed and dated certification from the 
superintendent of the LEA in which the school is located that the 
school is a large public high school as that term is defined in the 
2005 SLC NFP.
    Changes: We have revised the Evidence of Eligibility requirement by 
deleting the proposed types of evidence and replacing them with a 
single requirement--for the applicant to include in its application a 
certification from the superintendent of the LEA in which the school is 
located that the school is a large public high school as that term is 
defined in the 2005 SLC NFP.

Requirement 6--Evaluation

    Comment: Three commenters expressed opposition to our proposed 
elimination of the requirement established by the 2005 SLC NFP that 
each applicant provide assurances that it will support an evaluation of 
the project that will produce an annual report for each year of the 
performance period. These commenters contended that high-quality, 
formative evaluations can provide grantees with important data they 
need for program improvement and to demonstrate substantial progress.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenters that a well-designed, 
independent, and formative evaluation of an SLC project can provide the 
project director and other LEA and school personnel with data that can 
be useful in gauging the project's progress and identifying areas for 
improvement. However, as we noted in the NPP, we carefully reviewed the 
annual evaluation reports that have been submitted by grantees since FY 
2006 and concluded that, generally, the evaluation requirement 
established in the 2005 SLC NFP has not achieved its intended purpose. 
For the most part, grantees have not chosen to commission evaluations 
that provide them with useful implementation information or have not 
used the information provided by these evaluations to improve their 
management of their projects. Instead, it appears that many grantees 
have commissioned evaluations chiefly to comply with our requirement. 
Given the often considerable cost of these evaluations and their 
apparent limited usefulness to grantees, we believe it would be prudent 
to cease to require grantees to commission them. A grantee may still 
choose to use grant funds to support a project evaluation under some 
circumstances. The evaluation costs must be related clearly to the 
goals of the project and be necessary for the proper and efficient 
performance and administration of the grant. In addition, the costs 
must be reasonable, allocable, and meet other requirements set out in 
Office of Management and Budget Circular A-87.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that we continue to require 
grantees to support independent evaluations, but that we address the 
concerns we described in the NPP about the quality and usefulness of 
these evaluations by designing and overseeing the evaluations that 
grantees support with grant funds.
    Discussion: We agree generally with the commenter that independent 
evaluations commissioned and managed by the Department are more likely 
to provide useful information about project implementation, 
particularly if the evaluations are rigorous and use, for example, an 
experimental design. For this reason, in FY 2006, the Department 
supported a two-year randomized controlled trial of two supplemental 
literacy interventions that were implemented by SLC grantees in 
freshman academies. We are currently exploring other opportunities to 
support similar evaluations of practices, programs, or strategies 
implemented by high schools included in SLC grants in future 
competitions, but are unable to do so for this competition.
    Changes: None.

Requirement 7--Grant Award Administration

    Comment: One commenter recommended that we clarify that the 
responsibilities of the project director of an SLC grant are not 
limited to administrative functions, but that they also include 
responsibility for managing and providing leadership for the 
implementation of the practices, programs, and strategies the grantee 
identified in its application. The commenter recommended that these 
responsibilities include, for example, coordinating grant activities 
with other structural and instructional reform efforts that a school or 
LEA is implementing.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that, in addition to 
performing other important management and administrative functions 
related to the implementation of the grant, the project director of an 
SLC grant also should have significant programmatic responsibilities, 
as well as the authority to carry out these responsibilities.
    Changes: We have revised this requirement to clarify that the 
project director's responsibilities include managing and providing 
leadership for the implementation of the practices, programs, and 
strategies the grantee identified in its application.

Requirement 8--Use of Funds for Equipment

    Comment: Two commenters asked us to clarify whether the maximum 
amount of funds used for equipment--defined as 1 percent of the total 
award--is the maximum amount that can be expended in a single year or 
the maximum amount that can be expended across all five years of the 
grant's project period.
    Discussion: We agree that as originally drafted, the proposed 
requirement did not clearly describe how a grantee may use funds to pay 
the costs of equipment across its 60-month project period. We 
appreciate that this may have become even less clear given the changes 
we proposed to the lengths of SLC budget periods (Proposed Requirement 
1--Budget and Performance Periods). For this reason, we have clarified 
that, in any budget period, an applicant may use up to 1 percent of the 
total amount awarded for that budget period on the costs of equipment.
    Changes: We have revised this requirement to state that a grantee 
may not use more than one percent of the grant award in any single 
budget period during the project period for the acquisition of 
equipment (as that term is defined in this notice). We have also added 
language to clarify that the first budget period of the SLC project 
period is 24 months in length and each of the three subsequent budget 
periods are 12 months in length, for a total of four budget periods.
    Comment: One commenter objected to limiting equipment costs, 
arguing that

[[Page 35887]]

placing restrictions on these costs could negatively affect a project's 
ability to attract administrative and staff support for the project. 
The commenter stated that acquiring technology equipment, which 
necessarily results in increases in costs, often serves as an incentive 
for administrative and staff support for the SLC project.
    Discussion: While equipment may be perceived as one solution to 
providing staffs tangible benefits for their support and efforts, we 
strongly believe that prioritizing funds for effective teacher 
planning, professional development, student instructional services, and 
the like, is more strongly correlated with improvements in student 
academic performance than equipment. We intend these limits on the use 
of funds to prompt SLC project leaders to approach these costs more 
thoughtfully, and in a way that will ensure that such costs are clearly 
aligned and consistent with the goals and objectives of their projects. 
Ultimately, each project must be able to provide the rationale for why 
its costs are appropriate, reasonable, and allowable under OMB's cost 
principles.
    Changes: None

Selection Criteria

    Comment: One commenter expressed concern about the selection 
subcriterion under Quality of Project Services that evaluates the 
extent to which the project fosters a personalized learning 
environment. The commenter objected to the proposed use of the term 
``multiple teachers and adults'' rather than the term ``core group of 
teachers and other adults'' that is used in the definition of ``smaller 
learning community'' established in the 2005 SLC NFP. The commenter 
contended that the revised language weakens the significance of smaller 
learning environments, such as freshman and career-based academies, as 
well as advisories to provide personalized social and academic support 
to all students.
    Discussion: We agree that use of the phrase ``multiple teachers'' 
in paragraph (b)(1) of the Quality of Project Services selection 
criterion is inconsistent with the definition of ``smaller learning 
community'' in the 2005 SLC NFP. Upon further review, we believe that 
the selection subcriterion should be revised to conform with this 
definition by deleting the phrase ``multiple teachers'' in paragraph 
(b)(1) of the Quality of Project Services selection criterion and using 
instead the phrase ``core group of teachers.''
    Changes: We have replaced the phrase ``multiple teachers'' with the 
phrase ``a core group of teachers'' in paragraph (b)(1) of the Quality 
of Project Services selection criterion.
    Comment: Two commenters expressed concern about paragraph (b)(4) of 
the Quality of Project Services selection criterion, under which the 
Secretary evaluates the extent to which a project incorporates teacher 
common planning time. The commenter objected to referring to common 
planning and collaboration immediately following the school day; the 
commenter cited multiple challenges to getting teachers to participate 
in collaborative activities after school hours. Another commenter 
strongly recommended that the Department require each applicant to 
provide an assurance that, in implementing the new common planning time 
requirement, it will not move teacher individual planning time from 
during the school day to after school.
    Discussion: For the same reasons we articulate earlier in this 
preamble in connection with comments received on priority 1, we agree 
that it is appropriate to remove the reference to ``after school'' from 
this selection criterion, which also addresses required common planning 
time. In addition, for the same reasons explained in the response to 
comments on priority 1, we believe it is appropriate to clarify that--
in increasing the amount of time regularly provided to teachers for 
common planning and collaboration during the school day--applicants 
must not decrease the amount of time provided to teachers for 
individual planning and preparation during the school day.
    Changes: We have removed the words ``immediately following'' from 
paragraph (b)(4) of the Quality of Project Services selection 
criterion. In addition, we have added the words ``during the school 
day'' at the end of the sentence on decreasing the amount of time 
provided to teachers for individual planning and preparation.
    Comment: One commenter expressed concern about paragraph (b)(6) of 
the Quality of Project Services selection criterion, under which the 
Secretary evaluates the extent to which a proposed project will 
increase student participation in Advanced Placement, International 
Baccalaureate, or dual credit courses, such as dual enrollment or early 
college programs. The commenter objected to the use of the phrase 
``dual enrollment'' in the list of examples referenced in this 
criterion. The commenter indicated that the distinction between the 
terms ``dual credit'' and ``dual enrollment'' was not clear.
    Discussion: We agree that the distinction between the terms ``dual 
credit'' and ``dual enrollment'' is unclear. Because the ``Preparing 
All Students to Succeed in Postsecondary Education and Careers'' 
priority we established in the 2007 SLC NFP uses only the term ``dual 
credit,'' we have deleted the term ``dual enrollment'' from paragraph 
(b)(6) of the Quality of Project Services.''
    Changes: In paragraph (b)(6) of the Quality of Project Services 
selection criterion, we have deleted the term ``dual enrollment 
courses'' and the parenthetical that followed and replaced the phrase 
with the term ``dual credit courses.''
    Comment: None.
    Discussion: Upon further review, we determined that paragraph 
(b)(7) of the Quality of Project Services selection criterion, under 
which the Secretary evaluates the extent to which a proposed project 
will increase the percentage of students who enter postsecondary 
education in the semester following graduation, did not explicitly 
mention career awareness, guidance, and planning. Because these 
activities should be an integral part of a high school's comprehensive 
program to increase student enrollment in postsecondary education, we 
have included explicit references to career awareness, guidance, and 
planning in paragraph (b)(7).
    Changes: We have revised paragraph (b)(7) to incorporate references 
to career awareness, guidance, and planning activities.

Final Priorities

    The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education 
establishes the following priorities for the Smaller Learning 
Communities program. These priorities are in addition to the priority 
established in the 2007 SLC NFP published in the Federal Register (see 
72 FR 28429). We may apply these priorities in any year in which this 
program is in effect.

Priority 1--Common Planning Time for Teachers

    This priority supports projects that increase the amount of time 
regularly provided to teachers who share the same students or teach the 
same academic subject for common planning and collaboration during or 
immediately following the school day without decreasing the amount of 
time provided to teachers for individual planning and preparation 
during the school day. To meet this priority, the common planning time 
must be used for one or more of the following activities:
    (1) Structured examination of student work and outcome data.

[[Page 35888]]

    (2) Collaborative professional development and coaching, including 
classroom observation.
    (3) Identifying instructional and other interventions for 
struggling students.
    (4) Curriculum and assessment development.
    An applicant that proposes to meet this priority by regularly 
scheduling common planning time immediately following the school day 
must provide a description of how it will ensure that the teachers who 
will be included are able to and will participate regularly in the 
common planning time activities.

Priority 2--Projects in Which Fifty Percent or More of the Included 
Schools Are Low-Achieving

    This priority supports projects in which 50 percent or more of the 
schools to be served by the SLC grant are in any of the following 
categories:
    (a) Persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in the final 
requirements for the School Improvement Grants program (see 74 FR 
65618, 65652)).
    (b) Title I schools that are in corrective action or restructuring 
under section 1116 of the ESEA.
    (c) Schools that are eligible for, but do not receive Title I funds 
provided that, if the schools received Title I funds, they would be in 
corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA.
    (d) Title I schools and schools that are eligible for, but do not 
receive Title I funds that have a graduation rate, as defined in the 
State's approved accountability plan for Part A of Title I of the ESEA, 
that is less than 60 percent.
    To meet this priority, the applicant must provide evidence that its 
proposed project includes a fifty percent or more of schools that are 
from one of the categories (a), (b), (c) or (d) of this priority. This 
evidence must be based upon data from the current school year or the 
most recently completed school year and must consist of a signed and 
dated certification from the superintendent of the LEA in which the 
schools are located. This certification must identify the specific 
category of the priority (i.e., the categories of schools described in 
paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) of this priority) that applies to 
each school included in the application.

Priority 3--Projects in Which at Least One, but Less Than Fifty 
Percent, of the Included Schools Are Low-Achieving

    This priority supports projects in which at least one, but less 
than 50 percent, of the schools to be served by the SLC grant are in 
any of the following categories:
    (a) Persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in the final 
requirements for the School Improvement Grants program (see 74 FR 
65618, 65652)).
    (b) Title I schools that are in corrective action or restructuring 
under section 1116 of the ESEA.
    (c) Schools that are eligible for, but do not receive Title I funds 
provided that, if the schools received Title I funds, they would be in 
corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA.
    (d) Title I schools and schools that are eligible for, but do not 
receive Title I funds that have a graduation rate, as defined in the 
State's approved accountability plan for Part A of Title I of the ESEA, 
that is less than 60 percent.
    To meet this priority, the applicant must provide evidence that its 
proposed project includes at least one, but less than 50 percent of 
schools that are included in its application that are included in its 
application are in one of the categories (a), (b), (c), or (d) of this 
priority. This evidence must be based upon data from the current school 
year or the most recently completed school year and must consist of a 
signed and dated certification from the superintendent of the LEA in 
which the school or schools are located. This certification must 
identify the specific category of the priority (i.e., the categories of 
schools described in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) of this priority) 
that applies to each school included in the application.

Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register. 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 (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the 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 priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

Final Requirements

    The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education 
establishes the following requirements for the Smaller Learning 
Communities program. We may apply these requirements in any year in 
which this program is in effect.

    Note: These requirements will be in addition to the application 
requirements required under title V, part D, subpart 4, section 
5441(b) of the ESEA, and the following requirements established in 
the 2005 SLC NFP and the 2007 SLC NFP:


------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Requirement                             Table
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Consortium Applications and Educational  2005 SLC NFP.
 Service Agencies.
Student Placement......................  2005 SLC NFP.
Including All Students.................  2005 SLC NFP.
Indirect Costs.........................  2007 SLC NFP.
Required Meetings Sponsored by the       2007 SLC NFP.
 Department.
Previous Grantees......................  2007 SLC NFP.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Requirement 1--Budget and Performance Periods: Grantees will be 
awarded grants for a period up to 60 months, with the initial award to 
provide funding for the first 24 months of the performance period. 
Funding for the remainder of the performance period will be made 
annually, contingent on the availability of funds and each grantee's 
substantial progress toward accomplishing the goals and objectives of 
the project as described in its approved application.
    In its application, the applicant must provide detailed, yearly 
budget information for the total grant period requested.
    Requirement 2--Maximum Award Amounts and Number of Schools: An 
eligible LEA may receive, on behalf of a single school, up to 
$2,500,000 of SLC grant funds, depending upon student enrollment in the 
school, for the entire 60-month project period.
    The following chart provides the ranges of awards per high school 
size:

                            SLC Award Ranges
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Student enrollment                Award ranges per school
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1,000-2,000 Students...............  $1,750,000-$2,000,000
2,001-3,000 Students...............  1,750,000-2,250,000
3,001 and Up.......................  1,750,000-2,500,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 35889]]

    An LEA may include up to five schools in a single application for a 
SLC grant. Therefore, an LEA applying on behalf of a group of eligible 
schools would be able to receive up to $12,500,000 for its SLC grant 
for the entire 60 month project period.
    Applications requesting more funds than the maximum amounts 
specified for any school or for the total grant will not be read as 
part of the regular application process. However, if, after the 
Secretary selects applications to be funded, it appears that additional 
funds remain available, the Secretary has the option of reviewing 
applications that requested funds exceeding the maximum amounts 
specified. Under this requirement, if the Secretary chooses to fund any 
of the additional applications, selected applicants will be required to 
work with the Department to revise their proposed budgets to fit within 
the appropriate funding range.
    Requirement 3--Performance Indicators: Each applicant must identify 
in its application the following specific performance indicators as 
well as the annual performance objectives to be used for each of these 
indicators. Specifically, each applicant must use the following 
performance indicators to measure the progress of each school included 
in its application:
    (a) The percentage of students who score at or above the proficient 
level on the reading/language arts and mathematics assessments used by 
the State to determine whether a school has made adequate yearly 
progress under part A of title I of the ESEA, as well as these 
percentages disaggregated by subject matter and the following 
subgroups:
    (1) Major racial and ethnic groups.
    (2) Students with disabilities.
    (3) Students with limited English proficiency.
    (4) Economically disadvantaged students.
    (b) The school's graduation rate, as defined in the State's 
approved accountability plan for part A of title I of the ESEA, as well 
as the graduation rates for the following subgroups:
    (1) Major racial and ethnic groups.
    (2) Students with disabilities.
    (3) Students with limited English proficiency.
    (4) Economically disadvantaged students.
    (c) The percentage of all graduates who enroll in postsecondary 
education in the semester following high school graduation, as well as 
the percentage disaggregated by the following subgroups:
    (1) Major racial and ethnic groups.
    (2) Students with disabilities.
    (3) Students with limited English proficiency.
    (4) Economically disadvantaged students.
    Each applicant must identify in its application its performance 
objectives for each of these indicators for each year of the project 
period and provide baseline data for the third indicator (postsecondary 
enrollment). The Department will obtain baseline data for the first and 
second performance indicators (student performance on reading/language 
arts and mathematics assessments and the graduation rate) and data on 
the extent to which each school included in a grant achieves its annual 
performance objectives for each year of the project period from the 
data that are now reported to the Department by SEAs using the EDEN 
Submission System (ESS). Grantees are not required to provide these 
data. However, each grantee must report to the Department annually on 
the extent to which each school in its grant achieves its performance 
objectives for the third indicator (postsecondary enrollment).
    Finally, grantees must use administrative records maintained by 
State, national, or regional entities that already collect data on 
student enrollment in postsecondary education as the principal source 
of data for this performance indicator. These administrative records 
include, for example, data available through State longitudinal 
databases or other sources. Grantees may supplement these records with 
data collected through surveys administered to students or parents 
after graduation.
    Requirement 4--No School Report Cards: No applicant is required to 
include in its application any report card for the schools included in 
its application.
    Requirement 5--Evidence of Eligibility: LEAs, including schools 
funded by the Bureau of Indian Education and educational service 
agencies, applying on behalf of large public high schools, are eligible 
to apply for a grant. We will not accept applications from LEAs 
applying on behalf of schools that are being constructed and do not 
have an active student enrollment at the time of application. LEAs may 
apply on behalf of no more than five schools. Along with its 
application, each applicant must provide for each school included in 
its application:
    (a) The school's name, postal mailing address, and the 12-digit 
identification number assigned to the school by the National Center for 
Education Statistics.
    (b) A signed and dated certification from the superintendent of the 
LEA in which the school is located that, based upon data from the 
current school year or the most recently completed school year, the 
school is a large public high school as that term is defined in the 
2005 SLC NFP.
    Requirement 6--No Evaluation: No applicant is required to provide 
assurances that it will support an evaluation of the project that will 
produce an annual report for each year of the performance period.
    Requirement 7--Grant Award Administration: Grantees must designate 
a single project director who will be principally responsible for 
managing and providing leadership for the implementation of the 
practices, programs, and strategies the grantee identified in its 
application and for communicating with the Department.
    Each grantee must ensure that its designated project director--for 
a grant that includes one school--be not less than 50 percent of a 
full-time equivalent (FTE) position and that the time commitment of a 
project director for a grant that includes more than one school be not 
less than one FTE.
    Requirement 8--Use of Funds for Equipment: A grantee may not use 
more than one percent of the grant award in any single budget period 
during the project period for the acquisition of equipment (as that 
term is defined in this notice). The first budget period of the SLC 
project period is 24 months in length and each of the three subsequent 
budget periods are 12 months in length, for a total of four budget 
periods.

Final Definition

    In addition to the definitions in the authorizing statute, 34 CFR 
77.1, and the 2005 SLC NFP, the following definition applies to this 
program:
    Equipment means an article of nonexpendable, tangible personal 
property that has a useful life of more than one year and that has an 
acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the 
capitalization level established by the governmental unit for financial 
statement purposes, or $500. It includes, but is not limited to, office 
equipment and furnishings, modular offices, telephone networks, 
information technology equipment and systems, air conditioning 
equipment, reproduction and printing equipment, and motor vehicles.

Final Selection Criteria

    The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education 
establishes the following selection criteria for evaluating an 
application under this program. We may apply one or more of these 
criteria in any year in

[[Page 35890]]

which this program is in effect. These selection criteria replace the 
selection criteria established for the SLC program in the 2005 SLC NFP 
(see 70 FR 22237-22239) and the 2007 SLC NFP (see 72 FR 28430, 28431).
    In the notice inviting applications or the application package or 
both we will announce the maximum possible points assigned to each 
criterion.
    (a) Quality of the Project Design. In determining the quality of 
the design of the proposed project, we will consider the extent to 
which--
    (1) Teachers, school administrators, parents, and community 
stakeholders support the proposed project and have been and will 
continue to be involved in its development and implementation;
    (2) The applicant has carried out sufficient planning and 
preparatory activities to enable it to implement the proposed project 
during the school year in which the grant award will be made;
    (3) School administrators, teachers, and other school employees 
will receive effective, ongoing technical assistance and professional 
development in implementing structural and instructional reforms and 
providing effective instruction; and
    (4) The applicant demonstrates that the proposed project is aligned 
with and advances a coordinated, district-wide strategy to improve 
student academic achievement and preparation for postsecondary 
education and careers without need for remediation.
    (b) Quality of Project Services. In determining the quality of the 
services to be provided by the proposed project, we will consider the 
extent to which the proposed project is likely to be effective in--
    (1) Creating an environment in which a core group of teachers and 
other adults within the school know the needs, interests, and 
aspirations of each student well, closely monitor each student's 
progress, and provide the academic and other support each student needs 
to succeed;
    (2) Equipping all students with the reading/English language arts, 
mathematics, and science knowledge and skills they need to succeed in 
postsecondary education and careers without need for remediation;
    (3) Helping students who enter high school with reading/English 
language arts or mathematics skills that are significantly below grade-
level to ``catch up'' and attain, maintain and exceed proficiency by 
providing supplemental instruction and supports to these students 
during the ninth grade and, to the extent necessary, in later grades;
    (4) Increasing the amount of time regularly provided to teachers 
for common planning and collaboration during the school day, without 
decreasing the amount of time provided to teachers for individual 
planning and preparation during the school day;
    (5) Ensuring, through technical assistance, professional 
development, and other means, that teachers use opportunities for 
common planning and collaboration effectively to improve instruction 
and student academic achievement;
    (6) Increasing the participation of students, particularly low-
income students, in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or 
dual credit courses that offer students the opportunity to earn 
simultaneously both high school and college credit; and
    (7) Increasing the percentage of students who enter postsecondary 
education in the semester following high school graduation by 
delivering comprehensive career guidance and academic advising to 
students and their parents that includes assistance in selecting 
courses and planning a program of study that will provide the academic 
preparation needed to succeed in postsecondary education and careers, 
early and ongoing career and college awareness and planning activities, 
and help in identifying and applying for financial aid for 
postsecondary education.
    (c) Support for Implementation. In determining the adequacy of the 
support the applicant will provide for implementation of the proposed 
project, we will consider the extent to which--
    (1) The management plan is likely to achieve the objectives of the 
proposed project on time and within budget and includes clearly defined 
responsibilities and detailed timelines and milestones for 
accomplishing project tasks; and
    (2) The project director and other key personnel are qualified and 
have sufficient authority to carry out their responsibilities, and 
their time commitments are appropriate and adequate to implement the 
SLC project effectively.
    (d) Need for the Project. In determining the need for the proposed 
project, we will consider the extent to which the applicant has 
identified specific gaps and weaknesses in the preparation of all 
students for postsecondary education and careers without need for 
remediation, the nature and magnitude of those gaps and weaknesses, and 
the extent to which the proposed project will address those gaps and 
weaknesses effectively.
    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note:  This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use one or more of these priorities, definition, 
requirements, or selection criteria, we invite applications through 
a notice in the Federal Register.

    Executive Order 12866: This notice 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 final regulatory 
action.
    The potential costs associated with this final regulatory action 
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 final regulatory action, we have determined 
that the benefits of the final priorities, requirements, definition, 
and selection criteria justify the costs.
    We have determined, also, that this final regulatory action does 
not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    Discussion of Costs and Benefits: Elsewhere in this notice we 
discuss the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and 
qualitative, of the final priorities, requirements, definition, and 
selection criteria.
    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.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can 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: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.


[[Page 35891]]


    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.


    Dated: June 17, 2010.
Thelma Mel[eacute]ndez de Santa Ana,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2010-15083 Filed 6-22-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P