FR Doc E6-21754
[Federal Register: December 20, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 244)]
[Page 76280-76281]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

Download: download files


Improving Literacy Through School Libraries

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education 
proposes a priority under the Improving Literacy Through School 
Libraries Program. The Assistant Secretary may use this priority for 
competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2007 and later years. We take this 
action to allow for the best use of Federal funding to improve school 
library media centers in low-income communities. We intend for this 
priority to help strengthen the connection between school libraries and 
the instructional programs in these schools and districts.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before January 19, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this proposed priority to Irene 
Harwarth, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 
3W227, Washington, DC 20202-6200. If you prefer to send your comments 
through the Internet, use the following address: 
You must include the term ``Comments on FY 2007 LSL Priority'' in the 
subject line of your electronic message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Irene Harwarth at (202) 401-3751 or 
Miriam Lund at (202) 401-2871. If you use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 


Invitation To Comment

    We invite you to submit comments regarding this proposed priority. 
We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements 
of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of reducing 
regulatory burden that might result from this proposed priority. Please 
let us know of any further opportunities we should take to reduce 
potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the 
effective and efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this proposed priority in room 3W227, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking 

    On request, we will supply an appropriate aid, such as a reader or 
print magnifier, to an individual with a disability who needs 
assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public 
rulemaking record for this proposed priority. If you want to schedule 
an appointment for this type of aid, please contact one of the persons 


    The purpose of the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries 
Program is to improve student reading skills and academic achievement 
by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school 
library materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school 
library media centers; and well-trained, professionally certified 
school library media specialists. Entities eligible for funding are 
local educational agencies (LEAs) in which 20 percent of the students 
served by the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty 
line. These entities include public school districts, and may also 
include charter schools, regional service agencies, and State-
administered schools that are considered public school districts by 
their State educational agency. Grantees use this funding to update 
their school library media center collections, improve technology and 
Internet access for their school library media centers, extend the 
hours of their school library media centers, and provide professional 
development for school library media specialists.

Background of the Priority

    This program has been in existence for four years. Over this four-
year period, we have found that the most successful projects are 
similar in the following two ways: (1) They have provided a 
comprehensive array of services (such as extended library hours and 
professional development); and (2) they have had significant support 
from principals, teachers, and parents.
    Based on what we know to be successful practice, we seek to 
establish a priority that more closely links the proposed project to 
the school and district through alignment with a school or district 
improvement plan. We also intend that this priority will encourage 
applicants to offer a comprehensive array of allowable program 
    We will announce the final priority in a notice in the Federal 
Register. We will determine the final priority after considering 
responses to this notice and other information available to the 
Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing or funding 
additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this proposed priority, we invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting 
applications we designate each priority as absolute, competitive 
preference, or invitational. The effect of each type of priority 
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority we give competitive preference to an application by either 
(1) awarding additional points, depending on how well or the extent 
to which the application meets the competitive priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the 
competitive priority over an application of comparable merit that 
does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the invitational 
priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the 
invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over 
other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).


Proposed Priority

    Under this proposed priority, we would give priority to projects 
that demonstrate in their grant applications that the proposed literacy 

[[Page 76281]]

services are comprehensive and aligned with a school or district 
improvement plan. A school improvement plan may include the required 
two-year plan (under section 1116(b)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 
2001) that addresses the academic issues that caused a school to be 
identified as in need of improvement. The plan could also include a 
voluntary plan developed by the school or district to improve academic 
achievement. The applicant must clearly describe the improvement plan 
that is in place, whether it is for the school or the entire district, 
the reasons why the plan was put in place, and how the proposed project 
and the operation of the school library media center will directly 
support the academic goals established in the improvement plan.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of proposed priority has been reviewed in accordance 
with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have 
assessed the potential costs and benefits of this regulatory action.
    The potential costs associated with the notice of proposed priority 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this notice of proposed priority, we have 
determined that the benefits of the proposed priority justify the 
    We have also determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive 
order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened 
federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State 
and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal 
financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Form (PDF) on the Internet at the following site:

    To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at:

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.364A Improving 
Literacy Through School Libraries Program)

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6383.

    Dated: December 15, 2006.
Henry L. Johnson,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
 [FR Doc. E6-21754 Filed 12-19-06; 8:45 am]