[Federal Register: August 20, 1996 (Volume 61, Number 162)]
[Page 43121-43125]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Part II

Department of Education


Title I Migrant Education Coordination Program; Notice

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Title I Migrant Education Coordination Program

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority for fiscal year 1996.


SUMMARY: Under the authority of section 1308(a) of Part C of Title I of 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended, the 
Secretary proposes an absolute priority for Fiscal Year 1996. Under the 
proposed priority, the Secretary would support projects that use 
electronic technologies to strengthen the academic achievement of 
migrant students who move between school districts.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 4, 1996.

ADDRESSES: All comments concerning this proposed priority should be 
addressed to Kristin Gilbert, Office of Migrant Education, U.S. 
Department of Education, room 4100 Portals Building, 600 Independence
Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-6140. Comments may also be sent by e-
mail to kristin--gilbert@ed.gov or by FAX at (202) 260-1357.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristin Gilbert, Office of Migrant 
Education, U.S. Department of Education, 4100 Portals Building, 600 
Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-6140. Telephone: 
(202)260-1357. Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-
800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice contains a proposed absolute 
priority for applications that propose to use innovative technologies 
to improve teaching and learning for migrant students who move from one 
school district to another. Electronic technologies include, but are 
not limited to, digital audio, video and imaging, hypertext and 
hypermedia, video-conferencing, speech processing, the Internet, and 
World Wide Web sites. These technologies must be used in such a way as 
to enable teachers to draw on newly accessible resources to engage 
migrant students in enriched active learning environments, while at the 
same time promoting continuity in the education programs of migrant 
students as they move within and between States.
    The MEP is authorized in Title I, Part C, of the ESEA. Under this 
program, the Secretary makes grants to SEAs to help ensure that migrant 
children have the opportunity to meet the same challenging State 
content and student performance standards that all children are 
expected to meet. Migrant children may be served from birth through age 
21, or through high school graduation, whichever comes first. A range 
of services are provided through the MEP, including those that address 
educational disruption, cultural and language barriers, social 
isolation, various health-related problems, and other factors that 
inhibit the ability of children to do well in school and prepare them 
to make successful transitions to postsecondary education or 
    Section 1308 of the ESEA authorizes the Secretary to reserve a 
portion of each year's MEP appropriation and, in consultation with the 
States, make grants for programs to improve the coordination of 
services to migrant students when they move within and between States.
    While under 1308(a) of ESEA any public or private nonprofit entity 
is eligible to apply, the Secretary will specifically invite the 
following entities to submit applications: State educational agencies 
(SEAs) that administer Migrant Education Programs (MEP); local 
educational agencies (LEAs) that have a high percentage or high number 
of migrant students; and non-profit community-based organizations that 
work with migrant families. In order to help ensure coordination 
between school districts, applicants would need to apply as part of a 
consortium made up of at least two entities described in the preceding 
sentence. The consortium must also include entities such as businesses, 
academic content experts or software designers to help ensure broad 
community and technical support.
    The Secretary expects that approximately $3 million will be 
available under the MEP for this competition. Grants will range from 
$200,000 to $600,000 per year and may be funded for up to 5 years.
    In February 1995, the Office of Migrant Education (OME) sponsored a 
forum for all State Directors of Migrant Education to showcase and 
discuss how electronic technologies are being used in the migrant 
program. At the February meeting and in subsequent communications, 
State Directors expressed support for using funds reserved by the 
Secretary for interstate coordination activities to fund the 
development and innovative use of technology within the migrant 
community, particularly for those students and their families who 
experience educational disruption as a result of repeated moves.
    Many State Directors and other educators of migrant youth are 
actively incorporating electronic technologies into the designs of 
programs that provide services to migrant youth. For example,
    * The Summer Migrant Access Resources through Technology
project (Project SMART), initiated by the Texas Education Agency in 
1992, uses television to offer instructional continuity when migrant 
students move within Texas and to other States. Approximately 20 States 
participate in this program.
    * The Migrant Instructional Network for Telecommunications
Project, initiated in 1994 by the Kern County, California 
Superintendent of Schools, develops and produces live interactive 
instructional broadcasts for migrant students, teachers, and parents. 
Students interact via satellite with instructors in a distant studio, 
and programs are broadcasted using a bilingual format.
    These examples illustrate a few innovative ways that technologies 
are being employed in migrant communities to improve teaching and 
learning. They can inform subsequent efforts to successfully utilize 
technologies in programs that build educational continuity for highly 
mobile students.
    The Secretary believes that technology, if applied thoughtfully, 
can be the catalyst that reinforces and extends migrant students' 
learning opportunities, motivation, and achievement. Technology can 
remove the barriers of time and place for migrant students moving 
across the country, and provide affordable access to high-quality 
learning. Technology may stimulate creative ways to construct rich, 
cohesive education programs that counter the adverse impact of frequent 
moves on the education of migrant students. Technology may help to 
forge stronger ties between home and school, particularly when ``home'' 
is not found in a single geographic locale, but in many.
    This proposed priority is intended to stimulate creative thinking 
about how to integrate technology more effectively to provide high-
quality education that meets the special needs of the migrant 
community. The competition is intended to encourage change by helping 
communities of educators, parents, industry partners and others to work 
together to utilize technologies to improve the learning opportunities 
and the curriculum available to migrant students. It is intended to 
stimulate new

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partnerships between educators and software developers, 
telecommunications firms and hardware manufacturers, entertainment 
producers, and others who are in the process of creating exciting new 
possibilities for extending learning communities beyond the traditional 
classroom boundaries.

Goals 2000: Education America Act

    The Goals 2000: Education America Act (Goals 2000) focuses the 
Nation's education reform efforts on the eight National Education Goals 
and provides a framework for meeting them. Goals 2000 promotes new 
partnerships to strengthen schools and expand the Department's 
capacities for helping communities to exchange ideas and obtain 
information needed to achieve these Goals.
    This proposed priority and these proposed selection criteria would 
address the National Education Goals that all students will leave 
grades 4, 8, and 12 having demonstrated competency over challenging 
subject matter, and that by the year 2000 the high school graduation 
rate will increase to at least 90 percent. The proposed priority and 
selection criteria would further the objectives of these Goals by 
focusing available funds on projects that will provide students, while 
they migrate between school districts, a richer learning environment 
and continuity of education through the use of innovative technologies.
    The Secretary will announce the final priority in a notice in the 
Federal Register. The final priority will be determined by responses to 
this notice and available funds. Funding of particular projects depends 
on the availability of funds, the nature of the final priority and the 
quality of the applications received. The publication of this proposed 
priority and proposed selection criteria does not preclude the 
Secretary from proposing additional priorities and selection criteria, 
nor does it limit the Secretary to funding only this priority, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. A notice 
inviting applications under this competition will be published in 
the Federal Register concurrent with or following publication of the 

    Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), the Secretary proposes to give 
an absolute preference to applications that meet the following 
priority. The Secretary proposes to fund under this competition only 
applications that meet this priority:

Technology Applications for Teaching and Learning in the Migrant 

    Under this priority, an eligible entity would compete for a grant, 
on behalf of a consortium, to cover the costs of developing, adapting 
or expanding existing and new applications of technology to improve the 
coordination of teaching and learning for migrant students who move 
within and between States. Consortium efforts should be carefully 
designed to encourage--wherever possible--the ongoing involvement of 
educators and parents, business and civic leaders, community 
organizations and others committed to providing enhanced educational 
opportunity for highly mobile migrant students.
    Partners in a consortium would be expected to make monetary or in-
kind contributions for equipment, technical support, and/or any other 
costs that may be associated with the project. Funds awarded through 
these grants would augment those investments by supporting, for 
example, the development of new curriculum content, professional 
development, or the evaluation of educational effectiveness.
    In addition to the contributions of its consortium partners, 
applicants are encouraged to consider a range of other sources of 
technical or financial support. Possibilities include programs 
administered by the Department, such as: the Goals 2000: Educate 
America Act; Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act; the Eisenhower Professional Development program; Bilingual 
Education programs; School-to-Work Opportunities; the Star Schools 
program; the Challenge Grants for Technology in Education; the Office 
of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services technology programs; 
the recently created Regional Technology Consortia; the regional 
Educational Laboratories; and the Migrant Education Program itself.
    Additional sources of support might also include Foundation grants, 
philanthropic contributions, and services provided through grants or 
contracts from other government agencies. For example, the U.S. 
Department of Commerce has provided grants to help develop the 
telecommunications and information infrastructure. The National Science 
Foundation (NSF) conducts several programs to support the use of 
technology in mathematics and science education. The National 
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) supports programs to 
improve the use of space science data in the classroom. The U.S. 
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is providing funding 
to support ``Communities of Learners'' in public housing. The 
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is interested in 
carefully conceived demonstrations of new technologies in Head Start 
and pre-school settings. Some of these programs may be able to 
contribute to or enhance interstate or intrastate coordination projects 
that apply technology to teaching and learning for migrant students.

Application Contents

    Objectives: Applicants would be required to show how they would use 
innovative technologies to achieve the following objectives: (a) to 
promote greater continuity of instruction when migrant students move 
within or between States; and (b) to help migrant students achieve to 
high academic standards.
    Required Elements: At a minimum, each project would have to provide 
the following--
    1. Adequate access to technology for all participating migrant 
students and staff (including their families, when appropriate);
    2. Sufficient time and opportunity for teachers (and other 
educational support staff) to learn to use technology and to 
incorporate it into their own curricular goals;
    3. Easily accessible technical support, such as on-site assistance; 
    4. An evaluation of the project that includes a strategy for 
disseminating a successful project to other migrant programs.

Selection Criteria

    The Secretary would use two criteria to select applications for 
funding: significance and feasibility; i.e., is it important, and can 
it be done?
    Significance would be determined by the extent to which the 
project: 1. Offers a creative vision for using technology to help 
migrant students who move within or between States learn challenging 
academic content and to improve the coordination of their teaching and 
learning when they move.
    2. Is likely to achieve far-reaching impact through results, 
products, or benefits that can be readily achieved, exported or adapted 
to other migrant communities or to settings of other mobile 
    3. Will enhance interstate or intrastate coordination of teaching 
and learning (that takes into consideration the cultural and language 
characteristics of the migrant population) by integrating

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acquired technologies into the curriculum.
    4. Will ensure ongoing, intensive professional development for 
teachers (and other personnel) working with the migrant population to 
further the learning of migrant students through the use of technology 
in the classroom, library, home, or other learning environment.
    5. Is designed to serve highly mobile migrant populations that are 
likely to benefit the most from educational technology applications.
    6. Is designed to create new learning communities, and expanded 
markets for high-quality educational technology applications and 
services for migrant and other similar populations.
    Feasibility would be determined by the extent to which--
    1. The project will ensure successful, effective, and efficient 
uses of technologies for interstate and intrastate coordination of 
teaching and learning for migrant students and staff that will be 
sustainable beyond the period of the grant;
    2. The members of the consortium or other appropriate entities will 
contribute substantial financial or other resources or both to achieve 
the goals of the project; and
    3. The applicant is capable of carrying out the project, as 
evidenced by the extent to which the project is likely to meet the 
needs that have been identified; the quality of the project design, 
including objectives, approaches, evaluation plan, and dissemination 
plan; the adequacy of resources, including money, personnel, 
facilities, equipment, and supplies; the qualifications of key 
personnel who would conduct the project; and the applicant's prior 
experience relevant to the objectives of the project.

Selection Procedures

    The Secretary would consider only applications that establish the 
likelihood that the proposed projects will meet the objectives and 
include the required elements that are described within the section, 
``application contents.'' The Secretary proposes to evaluate 
applications using unweighted selection criteria. In determining 
whether applicants have met these criteria, the Secretary believes that 
the use of unweighted criteria is most appropriate because they will 
allow the reviewers maximum flexibility to apply their professional 
judgments in identifying the particular strengths and weaknesses in 
individual applications. Therefore, the Secretary proposes not to apply 
the selection procedures in EDGAR, 34 CFR 75.217, which require a rank 
order to be established based on weighted selection criteria.
    In accordance with 34 CFR 75.109(b), an applicant is permitted to 
make changes to an application on or before the deadline date for 
submission of applications. Also, in accordance with 34 CFR 75.231 the 
Secretary may request an applicant to submit additional information 
after the application has been selected for funding. Given the 
technical nature of the proposals, the Secretary expects that it might 
be necessary to obtain clarifications and additional information from 
applicants during the selection process. Therefore, for the purpose of 
this grant competition, the Secretary proposes also to permit an 
applicant to submit additional information in response to a request 
from the Secretary, during the application selection process, before 
applicants have been selected for funding.
    The Secretary proposes to use the following selection procedures 
for the fiscal year 1996 competition:
    In applying the selection criteria, the first peer review panel or 
panels of experts would analyze each application in terms of the two 
selection criteria: significance and feasibility. A reviewer would 
assign to each application two separate qualitative ratings based on 
the extent to which the application has met each of the two criteria, 
taking into consideration whether the application has met the required 
elements. The two ratings (which are of equal importance) taken 
together would yield a composite rating, representing each reviewer's 
total rating of each application. These reviewer ratings for each 
application would then be combined across the reviewers in a panel to 
yield an overall rating for each application. Each panel would also 
identify inconsistencies, points in need of clarification, and other 
concerns, if any, pertaining to each application.
    The Secretary would then assign each application to one of three or 
four groups based on the panel's composite rating of each applicant. 
Starting with the highest quality group and moving down to the lowest, 
the Secretary would then identify the groups of applications of 
sufficiently high quality to be considered for funding. For 
applications in the group of sufficiently high quality applications, 
the Secretary might request an applicant to submit additional 
information or materials to address the concerns and questions, if any, 
identified by the peer review panels. These requests would be strictly 
limited to clarifications of a conceptual or technical nature, and 
would not be meant to fill major gaps in information that reviewers 
identify in applications.
    Depending upon the number of proposals received, a second panel 
might be convened to reevaluate each application identified by the 
first panel as being of sufficiently high quality, taking into account 
any additional information or materials, to determine the extent to 
which each application addresses the selection criteria. The Secretary 
would then reassign each reevaluated application to one of the several 
quality groups.
    In the final stage of the selection process, the Secretary would 
select for funding those applications of highest quality, based on the 
results of the second review panel and only if the Secretary is 
satisfied that it is of high quality with regard to both significance 
and feasibility. If in this final stage, the Secretary determines that 
the highest quality group or groups include more applications than can 
be funded, panelists may be asked to differentiate further between the 
applications on the basis of quality. Awards may be continued in 
subsequent years, subject to the availability of appropriations and 
subject to the quality of the emerging designs.
    The Secretary might modify the two-tiered procedures, depending 
upon the number of applications received.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to the 
requirements of Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR 
Part 79. The objective of the Executive order is to foster an 
intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism by relying 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    In accordance with the order, this document is intended to provide 
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for 
this program.
    Invitation to Comment: Interested persons are invited to submit 
comments and recommendations regarding this proposed priority.
    All comments submitted in response to this notice will be available 
for public inspection, during and after the comment period, in Room 
4100 Portals, 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, D.C., between the 
hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday of each week 
except Federal holidays.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This proposed priority and these proposed selection criteria 
contain information collection requirements. As required by the 
Paperwork Reduction

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Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d), the Department of Education has 
submitted a copy of this notice to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) for its review.
    Collection of Information: Title I Migrant Education Coordination 
    SEAs that administer the MEP, LEAs that have a high percentage or 
high number of migrant students, and non-profit community-based 
organizations that work with migrant families are eligible to apply for 
grants under this priority as part of a consortium that also includes 
entities such as businesses, academic content experts, or software 
designers. The information to be collected includes a description of 
each proposed project, including specific information on the access to 
technology for participating migrant students and their families; the 
professional development that teachers and other educational support 
staff will receive in the use of technologies; accessible technical 
support and on-site assistance; and project evaluation including a 
dissemination strategy. The Department will use the information to 
select, on the basis on project significance and feasibility, the 
highest-quality applications.
    All information is to be collected and reported once, as part of 
the application for assistance. Annual reporting and recordkeeping 
burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 80 
hours for each response for 45 respondents, including the time for 
reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information. Thus, the total annual reporting and 
recordkeeping burden for this collection is estimated to be 3600 hours.
    Organizations and individuals desiring to submit comments on the 
information collection requirements should direct them to the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Room 10235, New Executive 
Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20503; Attention: Desk Officer for 
the U.S. Department of Education. Interested persons are also invited 
to comment on the implications for public reporting in connection with 
the use of the selection criteria proposed under this notice.
    The Department considers comments by the public on these 
collections of information in--
    * Evaluating whether the proposed collections of information
are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the 
Department, including whether the information will have practical 
    * Evaluating the accuracy of the Department's estimate of
the burden of the proposed collections of information, including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
    * Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the
information to be collected; and
    * Minimizing the burden of the collection of information on
those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate 
automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting 
electronic submission of responses.
    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collections of 
information contained in these proposed regulations between 30 and 60 
days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. 
Therefore, a comment to OMB is best assured of having its full effect 
if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication. This does not affect 
the deadline for the public to comment to the Department on the 
proposed regulations.
    Applicable Program Regulations 34 CFR 200.49.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6391(a).

    Dated: August 13, 1996.
Gerald N. Tirozzi
Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 96-21154 Filed 8-19-96; 8:45 am]