[Federal Register: July 9, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 130)]
[Page 32896-32898]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Notice of Proposed Information Collection Requests

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Information Collection Requests.


SUMMARY: The Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance
Division, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of
Management, invites comments on the proposed information collection
requests as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES: An emergency review has been requested in accordance with the
Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 3507 (j)), since public harm is reasonably
likely to result if normal clearance procedures are followed. Approval
by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been requested by July
13, 2009. A regular clearance process is also beginning. Interested
persons are invited to submit comments on or before September 8, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Written comments regarding the emergency review should be
addressed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,
Attention: Education Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, 725
17th Street, NW., Room 10222, New Executive Office Building,
Washington, DC 20503 or faxed to (202) 395-6974 or electronically
mailed to OIRA-Submission@omb.eop.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 3506 of the Paperwork Reduction Act
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35) requires that the Director of OMB
provide interested Federal agencies and the

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public an early opportunity to comment on information collection
requests. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) may amend or waive
the requirement for public consultation to the extent that public
participation in the approval process would defeat the purpose of the
information collection, violate State or Federal law, or substantially
interfere with any agency's ability to perform its statutory
obligations. The Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance
Division, Regulatory Information Management Services, Office of
Management, publishes this notice containing proposed information
collection requests at the beginning of the Departmental review of the
information collection. Each proposed information collection, grouped
by office, contains the following: (1) Type of review requested, e.g.,
new, revision, extension, existing or reinstatement; (2) Title; (3)
Summary of the collection; (4) Description of the need for, and
proposed use of, the information; (5) Respondents and frequency of
collection; and (6) Reporting and/or recordkeeping burden. ED invites
public comment.
    The Department of Education is especially interested in public
comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection
necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this
information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the
estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the
quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
(5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on
respondents, including through the use of information technology.

    Dated: July 6, 2009.
James Hyler,
Acting Director, Director, IC Clearance Official, Regulatory
Information Management Services, Office of Management.

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

    Type of Review: New.
    Title: Requests for Title I, part A Waivers.
    Abstract: The U.S. Department of Education (ED) plans to issue
guidance inviting requests for waivers related to the use of fiscal
year (FY) 2009 Title I, part A funds available through the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and requests for waivers
related to certain Title I, part A statutory and regulatory provisions.
The guidance will provide information for State educational agencies
(SEAs) on how they may apply to ED for waivers and information for
local educational agencies (LEAs) on how they may implement the waivers
obtained by their SEA.
    Additional Information: ED is requesting that the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) approve these information requests on an
emergency basis, by July 13, 2009. Approval of these information
requests will enable ED to consider requests to waive certain statutory
requirements that relate to the use of Title I, part A ARRA funds. The
information collections relate to the information that must be
submitted to ED as part of a waiver request, as required by section
9401 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
    In addition, the Secretary has reviewed the Title I, part A
regulations that were issued in October 2008 (73 FR 64436 (Oct. 29,
2008)) and sent a letter to all Chief State School Officers discussing
those regulations. In that letter, the Secretary indicates that he will
consider requests for waivers of certain Title I, part A regulatory
provisions, in accordance with his authority under section 9401 of the
ESEA. First, as noted in the letter, the Secretary intends to propose
for public comment in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) a repeal
of the provision that prohibits a State from approving as a provider of
supplemental educational services (SES) a school identified for
improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or a district
identified for improvement or corrective action (34 CFR
200.47(b)(1)(iv)(A), (B)). While the rulemaking process is on-going,
the Secretary will consider a request to waive this requirement for
school year (SY) 2009-10. Such a waiver would allow a State to approve
as an SES provider a district or school in improvement. Second, the
Secretary also will consider a request for a one-year waiver of the
requirement to provide notice of public school choice at least 14 days
before the start of the school year if districts cannot comply with
that requirement because of their State's current assessment timeline
or contract with its assessment vendor. Third, although not discussed
in the Secretary's letter to Chief State School Officers, the Secretary
will consider requests for waivers that would allow an LEA to provide
SES to eligible students attending schools in the first year of
improvement and to count the funds providing SES to those students
toward the LEA's obligation to spend an amount at least equal to 20
percent of its Title I, part A allocation on SES and public school
choice-related transportation (20 percent obligation). Such a waiver
would waive the provisions in section 1116(b)(10) of the ESEA and 34
CFR 200.48 that limit the funds spent on SES that an LEA may count
toward its 20 percent obligation to funds spent providing SES to
eligible students attending schools in the second year of improvement,
in corrective action, or in restructuring.
    Additionally, the Secretary will also consider requests to waive
the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements in sections 1120A(a) and
9521 of the ESEA.
    With respect to requests for waivers related to the Title I, part A
ARRA funds, LEAs are already working with their SEAs to plan Title I,
part A activities for next year. Planning for a Title I, part A program
typically occurs in the spring and summer prior to the next school
year. Consequently, in order to plan effectively and on schedule, SEAs
and LEAs cannot wait until right before the school year starts to know
how to obtain these waivers. OMB approval on an emergency basis would
enable ED to provide SEAs and LEAs with timely information about
waivers of certain Title I, part A requirements--information that will
be necessary as SEAs and LEAs make crucial decisions about how they
will most effectively use Title I, part A funds, including those
available under the ARRA, during summer 2009 and in SY 2009-10. If
emergency clearance is not granted, ED will not be able to provide the
waiver request information to SEAs and LEAs in time for them to plan
successfully. And without proper planning, Title I, part A services to
academically at-risk students, including those supported by the ARRA,
would suffer.
    Similarly, now that States have received the Secretary's letter
regarding the Title I regulations, as soon as possible they need to
understand the process for how to request a waiver and what information
will be required to accompany that request. The Secretary's letter
indicates that ED will provide additional information about the process
for submitting a waiver request and this waiver guidance keeps that
commitment. The waiver process must begin at this time in order for
States and LEAs to plan for their implementation of the public school
choice notice requirement for SY 2009-10. In addition, if a school or
LEA in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring is going to be
able to be approved as an SES provider for SY 2009-10, a waiver must be
granted before a State completes its process for approving SES
providers, or with sufficient time for the State to reopen

[[Page 32898]]

that process, if it chooses to do so. Likewise, the process for
requesting waivers related to the provision of SES to eligible students
attending Title I schools in the first year of improvement must begin
at this time in order for LEAs to have sufficient time to appropriately
plan their implementation of SES. In all three cases, without emergency
approval, States and LEAs will not be able to take advantage of the
flexibility the Secretary is offering regarding these provisions for
the upcoming school year because ED would not be able to provide
information regarding how to apply for a waiver until it is too late.
    Concerning MOE, in accordance with ED's MOE regulations for ESEA
programs (including Title I, part A) covered by the MOE requirements,
States will soon begin identifying those LEAs that failed to maintain
effort in SY 2008-09. Section 9521(c) of the ESEA gives the Secretary
the authority to waive the MOE requirements if an LEA experiences an
exceptional or uncontrollable circumstance or experiences a precipitous
decline in its financial resources. Due to the state of the economy
during SY 2008-09, ED expects many more LEAs will have experienced a
precipitous decline in their financial resources or an exceptional or
uncontrollable circumstance than in prior years, causing them to miss
maintaining effort and in turn to seek an MOE waiver from ED. Given
these circumstances, the planned waiver guidance specifies the process
States may use to obtain MOE waivers from ED for their LEAs. In order
for this process to begin in a timely fashion, ED needs emergency
approval of the information collection activities in the guidance
associated with MOE waivers.
    Frequency: One time.
    Affected Public: State, Local, or Tribal Government.
    Reporting and Recordkeeping Hour Burden:

Responses: 947.
Burden Hours: 29,640.

    Requests for copies of the proposed information collection request
may be accessed from http://edicsweb.ed.gov, by selecting the ``Browse
Pending Collections'' link and by clicking on link number 4002. When
you access the information collection, click on ``Download
Attachments'' to view. Written requests for information should be
addressed to U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW.,
LBJ, Washington, DC 20202-4537. Requests may also be electronically
mailed to the Internet address ICDocketMgr@ed.gov or faxed to 202-401-
0920. Please specify the complete title of the information collection
when making your request.
    Comments regarding burden and/or the collection activity
requirements should be electronically mailed to ICDocketMgr@ed.gov.
Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

[FR Doc. E9-16298 Filed 7-8-09; 8:45 am]