FR Doc 03-1373
[Federal Register: January 21, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 13)]
[Page 2753-2754]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

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State Flexibility Program

AGENDA: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 

ACTION: Notice amending eligibility requirements and extending 
application deadline.


SUMMARY: Under the State Flexibility (``State-Flex'') Program, the 
Secretary will competitively grant State-Flex authority to up to seven 
State educational agencies (SEAs), permitting them to (1) consolidate 
certain Federal education funds that are provided for State-level 
activities and State administration and use those funds for any 
educational purpose authorized under the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act (ESEA) in order to meet the State's definition of 
adequate yearly progress (AYP) and advance the education priorities of 
the State and its local educational agencies (LEAs); and (2) specify 
how LEAs in the State will use funds allocated under section 5112(a) 
(State Grants for Innovative Programs) of the ESEA. In addition, an SEA 
with State-Flex authority must enter into performance agreements with 
at least four, but no more than ten, LEAs (at least half of which must 
be high-poverty LEAs), giving those LEAs the flexibility to consolidate 
certain Federal education funds and to use those funds for any 
educational purpose permitted under the ESEA in order to meet the 
State's definition of AYP and specific, measurable goals for improving 
student achievement and narrowing achievement gaps.
    In this notice, we are (1) amending the State-Flex eligibility 
requirements consistent with the recently announced requirements for 
submission of accountability plans under Title I of the ESEA and (2) 
extending the deadline for eligible SEAs to apply to participate in the 
State-Flex program.
    Application Deadline: February 28, 2003.
    Eligible Applicants: To be eligible to participate in this State-
Flex competition, an SEA must have submitted, by January 31, 2003, its 
accountability workbook under Title I of the ESEA.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 11, 2002, we published in the 
Federal Register a notice inviting applications for State flexibility 
authority (67 FR 63,394-63,395) and a notice of final application 
requirements, selection criteria, and competition schedule (67 FR 
63,390-63,394). At that time, we established a State-Flex application 
deadline of January 17, 2003 and indicated that to be eligible to 
apply, an SEA had to either have its AYP definition approved by the 
Department or submit an assurance that it would provide the Department 
with a State AYP definition that meets the requirements of section 
1111(b)(2) of the ESEA by the AYP deadline established by the 
    Subsequent to announcing the initial State-Flex competition, the 
Department published final accountability regulations under Title I and 
sent to all States an accountability workbook to assist them in 
submitting their accountability plans for peer review and approval. 
Because the primary purpose of the State-Flex program is to assist 
States and affected LEAs in meeting the State's definition of AYP under 
Title I, in this notice, the Department is amending the State-Flex 
eligibility requirements to reflect the recently announced steps that 
States must take to comply with Title I accountability requirements.
    Under Title I, States must submit their completed accountability 
workbook to the Department by January 31, 2003. The workbook will 
document how respective elements that are required for approval are met 
by existing State policy, or will be met through a proposed State 
policy. For each proposed policy that a State lists in its workbook, 
the State must include a dateline demonstrating the steps that it will 
take to adopt the policy prior to the May 1, 2003 deadline for final 
submission of State accountability plans.
    Thus, to be eligible to participate in the State-Flex program, a 
State must have submitted the completed workbook by the deadline 
established by the Department under Title I.
    The Secretary intends to select up to four SEAs for participation 
in State-Flex in this initial competition. In conducting the 
competition, the Department will review the quality of State-Flex 
plans, including the quality of the local performance agreements that 
are submitted as part of those plans, on the basis of the selection 
criteria announced in the October 11, 2002 Federal Register notice (67 
FR 63,390-63,394). If an SEA selected for State-Flex authority has not 
yet received final

[[Page 2754]]

approval of its accountability system as required under Title I, that 
SEA will receive conditional State-Flex authority. An SEA with 
conditional State-Flex authority will not be able to exercise its 
State-Flex authority or implement any portion of its State-Flex plan 
(including the local performance agreements) unless the Department 
fully approves the SEA's accountability system by the deadline 
established under Title I.
    The Department will select the additional State-Flex SEAs in a 
subsequent competition.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Milagros Lanauze. Telephone: (202) 
401-0039 or via Internet:
    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 notice in an alternative 
format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on 
request to the contact person listed above.

APPLICATIONS: You may obtain a copy of the application on the 
Department's Web site at:
    You may also obtain a copy of the application from the contact 
person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as 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 version of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO access at:

    Program Authority: Sections 6141 through 6144 of the ESEA, as 
amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-110).

    Dated: January 16, 2003.
Eugene W. Hickok,
Under Secretary.
[FR Doc. 03-1373 Filed 1-16-03; 2:22 pm]