[Federal Register: July 31, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 147)]
[Page 49851-49854]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

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Part VII

Department of Education


Career Resource Network State Grants; Notice

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Career Resource Network State Grants

AGENCY: Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of 

ACTION: Notice of extension of project period and waiver, and reopening 
of competition for American Samoa.


SUMMARY: We waive the requirement in 34 CFR 75.261(c)(2) as it applies 
to projects funded under the Career Resource Network State Grants 
Program (CRN) in fiscal year (FY) 2000. We waive this requirement in 
order to be able to extend the project periods for 58 current grants 
awarded under the FY 2000 CRN competition.
    We will also reopen the FY 2000 competition for the limited purpose 
of allowing American Samoa to submit an application for funding under 
the CRN.

DATES: This notice is effective July 31, 2002.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sharon A. Jones, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4515, Mary E. Switzer 
Building, Washington, DC 20202-7242. Telephone (202) 205-9870.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this extension and waiver 
in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or 
computer diskette) on request to the contact person listed under FOR 

    On May 29, 2002 we published in the Federal Register (67 FR 37408) 
a notice proposing an extension of project period and waiver, and 
reopening of competition for American Samoa, in order to give early 
notice of--
    (1) The possibility that additional years of funding may be 
available for current grantees through continuation awards; and
    (2) Our intent to reopen the competition for American Samoa.

Public Comment

    In the May 29th notice the Assistant Secretary invited comments on 
these proposals. We did not receive any comments.

Waiver of Delayed Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act requires that a substantive rule 
shall be published at least 30 days before its effective date, except 
as otherwise provided for good cause (20 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). During the 
30-day public comment period on this notice, no comments or objections 
were received on the proposed extension, waiver and limited reopening 
of the FY 2000 competition. For this reason, and in order to make 
timely continuation grants to the entities affected, the Secretary has 
determined that a delayed effective date is not required.


    On May 12, 2000 (65 FR 30798), we issued a notice inviting 
applications for new awards under the CRN for FY 2000. Among other 
things, the notice (a) explained that CRN grants are intended to 
provide support for the implementation of Statewide, systemic 
strategies for providing young people and adults with the critical 
career information resources and the skills they need to make effective 
educational and career decisions throughout their lives, (b) created a 
two-year project period, (c) established the deadline for the receipt 
of applications, and (d) clearly identified the eligible applicants, 
which include any of the 50 States, the Virgin Islands, the 
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, Guam, American 
Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands, the Republic 
of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the 
Republic of Palau.
    In the May 12th notice, we indicated that the Republic of the 
Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic 
of Palau are not eligible for funding under the CRN after FY 2001 and, 
therefore, would not be eligible to receive funding under the CRN 
beyond FY 2001. However, following publication of the notice, Congress 
enacted H.R. 2436, the Guam Omnibus Opportunities Act, in which it 
extended the eligibility of these three entities beyond 2001, and until 
such time as they have fully completed the negotiations of their 
compacts of free association. Accordingly, since these three entities 
have not yet completed the negotiations process, they would continue to 
be eligible for funding under the CRN program in FY 2002, and perhaps 
    As also indicated in the May 12th notice, we expected to receive 
applications from each of the 59 eligible applicants. With the 
exception of American Samoa, every eligible State and outlying area 
applied for and received funding under the FY 2000 competition. 
American Samoa missed the deadline, but has indicated that it is 
interested in submitting an application and receiving funding in FY 
2002. Based on the statute as written and the important services to be 
provided under the authority of section 118 of the Perkins Act, we 
believe that Congress intended for us to provide assistance under the 
CRN program to all eligible entities. We are, therefore, reopening the 
FY 2000 competition in order that American Samoa may apply for funding 
under the CRN.
    If we held a new competition for FY 2002 and every current grantee, 
as well as American Samoa, applied for and received funding, all 
eligible applicants would be receiving support under the CRN in FY 
2002. We believe, therefore, that it is in the best interest of the CRN 
for us to extend currently funded projects, allow American Samoa to 
apply for a grant, and review requests for continuation awards from the 
58 current FY 2000 grantees, rather than hold a new competition in FY 
2002. We believe that holding a new competition would create an 
unnecessary burden for current grantees since the 58 current grantees 
would have to undertake the effort and cost of submitting new 
applications for funding in FY 2002. A new competition would be likely 
only to cause existing grantees to expend valuable time and resources 
applying for program funding under the existing authority, while 
requesting continuation awards would be a more appropriate and 
effective means for current CRNs already under way to continue their 
projects under this program. In addition, pursuing a continuation grant 
process would also result in a more effective use of Federal funds.
    Moreover, the Perkins Act, which includes authorization for the 
CRN, expires at the end of FY 2003. With the uncertainties presented by 
the absence of authorizing legislation for the CRN beyond FY 2003, it 
does not appear to be appropriate to hold a competition in FY 2003 for 
projects that would operate in FY 2004. We are generally reluctant to 
announce a competition in which eligible entities would be expected to 
prepare and submit applications while they are lacking critical 
information about the future of the program, and we do not think that 
it would be in the public interest to do so in this case.
    Since we will have a limited purpose reopening of the FY 2000 
competition so as to allow American Samoa to apply for CRN funding, the 
continuation of grants in lieu of a FY 2002 competition will not 
prevent the support of this last, and as yet unfunded, eligible entity 
under the CRN.

EDGAR Requirement

    In order to provide for continuation awards, we waive the 
requirement in 34 CFR 75.261(c)(2), which establishes the conditions 
for extending a project

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period, including prohibiting the extension of a grantee's project 
period if it involves the obligation of additional Federal funds.
    This extension and waiver will allow us to make continuation grants 
at least in FY 2002 and FY 2003 and perhaps beyond FY 2003 if Congress 
continues to appropriate funds for the CRN program under the current 
statutory authority. However, in accordance with 34 CFR 75.250, we do 
not hereby intend to make continuation grants beyond FY 2005.
    A waiver will mean that: (1) Current CRN grants may be continued at 
least through FY 2004 (depending on the availability of appropriations 
for CRN in subsequent years under the current statutory authority), 
instead of ending in FY 2002, and (2) we will not announce a new 
competition or make new awards in FY 2002, as previously planned.

Continuation of the Current Grantees

    With this extension and waiver of Sec. 75.261(c)(2) of EDGAR, we 
extend the project periods of the 58 States and outlying areas that 
received grants under the FY 2000 competition for two years and for 
additional years for which Congress appropriates funds under the 
current statutory authority.
    Decisions regarding annual continuation awards will be based on the 
program narratives, budgets and budget narratives, and Grant 
Performance Reports submitted by grantees, and on the regulations at 34 
CFR 75.253. Consistent with 34 CFR 75.253, we will award continuation 
grants if we determine, among other things, and based on information 
provided by each grantee, that each grantee is making substantial 
progress performing grant activities. Under this extension and waiver, 
(1) the project period for grantees could be extended to July 19, 2004, 
and (2) additional continuation awards could be made for any additional 
fiscal year or years for which Congress appropriates funds under 
existing statutory authority.
    We do not interpret this waiver as exempting current grantees from 
the account closing provisions of Pub. L. 101-510, or as extending the 
availability of FY 2001 funds awarded to current grantees. As a result 
of Pub. L. 101-510, appropriations available for a limited period may 
be used for payments of valid obligations for only five years after the 
expiration of their period of availability for Federal obligation. 
After that time, the unexpended balance of those funds is canceled and 
returned to the Treasury Department and is unavailable for restoration 
for any purpose.

Instructions for Requesting a Continuation Award

    Under the applicable EDGAR provisions, each grantee wishing to 
receive an annual continuation grant shall submit a program narrative 
that describes the activities it intends to carry out during each of 
the two years (FYs 2002 and 2003), and during any additional years for 
which Congress appropriates funds under the current statutory 
authority, of a continuation award. The activities must be consistent 
with, or be a logical extension of, the scope, goals, and objectives of 
the grantee's approved application. (34 CFR 75.261(c)(3)). A grantee 
shall also submit a budget and budget narrative for each year it 
requests a continuation award. (34 CFR 75.118 and 75.253(c)(2)(i)). We 
suggest that states and outlying areas request their continuation 
awards at least three weeks before their current grants expire.

Amount of New Awards Under Continuation Grant

    The actual amount of each continuation award depends on factors 
such as (1) the grantee's written statement describing how the funds 
made available under the continuation award will be used, (2) a cost 
analysis of the grantee's budget by the Department, and (3) whether any 
unobligated funds remaining from previous grant awards are needed to 
complete activities that are planned for completion in the prior budget 
period. (34 CFR 75.232 and 75.253(c)(2)(ii) and (3)).
    The CRN has received an increase in its appropriation from FY 2001, 
which could result in States and outlying areas receiving a percentage 
increase in their awards. As a result of the increase in the 
appropriation, it is expected that States and outlying areas will 
receive a 4.39 percent increase in the amount of their current grants.
    Although grantees must submit program narratives and budgets 
describing the activities they plan to carry out during each period of 
continuation, which could include some increase in funding, we strongly 
encourage all grantees to consider the 4.39 percent increase when 
deciding the amount of funds to request to support their continuation 
of projects.

American Samoa

    American Samoa missed the deadline for the FY 2000 competition, but 
is interested in receiving funding in FY 2002. In order to provide an 
opportunity for American Samoa to submit an application under the CRN, 
we (1) reopen the competition and application notice published on May 
12, 2000 (65 FR 30798) for this limited purpose, and (2) establish a 
new deadline date by which American Samoa will be required to submit 
its application. To be considered for funding, American Samoa must 
submit an application that meets the requirements established by the 
statute and the May 12, 2000 notice and is determined by the Department 
to have merit based on the criteria described in the May 12th notice. 
However, American Samoa is not required to follow the May 12th notice 
with regard to the Deadline for Transmittal of Applications, Deadline 
for Intergovernmental Review, Estimated Average Size of Awards, and 
Project Period. Instead, American Samoa should note the following:
    Deadline for Transmittal of Application: August 30, 2002.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: October 29, 2002.
    Estimated Range of Award: As with other awards under the FY 2000 
competition, the size of American Samoa's award will depend on factors 
such as the scope and quality of the application and will be determined 
during pre-award clarification discussions with us. However, we 
strongly encourage American Samoa to consider the $85,732 estimated 
grant amount determined for American Samoa and published in the May 
12th notice and the 4.39 percent increase in this notice, in 
determining the amount it requests for FY 2002.
    Project Period: American Samoa's project period will be for FYs 
2003 and 2004, and possibly for additional years for which Congress 
appropriates funds under the current statutory authority. Decisions 
regarding any continuation awards for American Samoa will be made in 
the same manner as decisions will be made for other CRN grantees under 
this notice.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 

    If You Have Questions About The Percentage Increase Your State Or 
Outlying Area May Receive Or About The Information You Must Submit In 
Order , To Request A Continuation Award, Or New Award In The Case Of 
American Samoa, Contact: Burt Carlson, U.S. Department of Education, 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4331, Mary E. Switzer Building, 
Washington, DC 20202-7241. Telephone (202) 401-6225.

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Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This extension and waiver does not contain any information 
collection requirements.

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, we intend this document to provide 
early notification of the Department's specific plans and actions for 
this program.

Assessment of Educational Impact

    In the notice of proposed extension and waiver we requested 
comments on whether the proposed extension and waiver would require 
transmission of information that any other agency or authority of the 
United States gathers or makes available.
    Based on the response to the notice of proposed extension and 
waiver and our own review, we have determined that this final notice of 
extension and waiver does not require transmission of information that 
any other agency or authority of the United States gathers or makes 

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

    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 84.346 Career 
Resource Network State Grants)

    Program Authority:  20 U.S.C. 2328.

    Dated: July 24, 2002.
Hans Meeder,
Acting Assistant Secretary, Office of Vocational and Adult Education.
[FR Doc. 02-19352 Filed 7-30-02; 8:45 am]