Federal Register, Volume 76 Issue 50 (Tuesday, March 15, 2011)
[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 50 (Tuesday, March 15, 2011)]
[Pages 14001-14003]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5998]                        

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Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools Discretionary Grant Programs

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.184A, 
84.184J, 84.184L, 84.215H, 84.215M, 84.215E.

Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools--Discretionary Grant Programs
AGENCY: Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priority.


SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools 
proposes a competitive preference priority for the following 
discretionary grant programs administered by the Office of Safe and 
Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS Discretionary Grant Programs):

Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse (CFDA No. 84.184A).
Grants for the Integration of Schools and Mental Health Systems (CFDA 
No. 84.215M).
Safe Schools/Healthy Students (CFDA Nos. 84.184J, 84.184L).
Foundations for Learning (CFDA No. 84.215H).
Elementary and Secondary School Counseling (CFDA No. 84.215E).

    The Department may use the proposed competitive preference priority 
for competitions under the OSDFS Discretionary Grant Programs in fiscal 
year (FY) 2011 and subsequent years. The Department takes this action 
to align the OSDFS Discretionary Grant Programs with identified needs 
of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) youths who are members of 
federally recognized tribes. The Department intends this competitive 
preference priority to enhance the ability of applicants serving tribal 
communities to address the substance abuse and mental health crises 
that affect AI/AN students.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before April 14, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about the proposed priority to Donald 
Yu, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6E308, 
Washington, DC 20202-6450. If you prefer to send your comments by e-
mail, use the following address: Donald.Yu@ed.gov.
    You must include the phrase ``Office of Safe and Drug-Free 
Schools--Comments on Proposed Priority'' in the subject line of your 
electronic message.

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
the 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 
OSDFS Discretionary Grant Programs.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this proposed priority, in room 6E308, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW., Washington DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except 
Federal holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record:
    On request, we will supply an appropriate accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance 
to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking 
record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this 
type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person 
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3; 20 U.S.C. 7139; 20 U.S.C. 
7269; 20 U.S.C. 7131; 20 U.S.C. 7269a; 20 U.S.C. 7245.

[[Page 14002]]

    Proposed Priority: This notice contains one proposed priority.
    Background: On November 5, 2009, President Obama signed a 
memorandum requiring Federal agencies to conduct consultations with 
tribal officials when developing policies that have tribal 
implications. In response to the President's memorandum, the Department 
conducted six consultations with tribal officials during FY 2010. 
During these consultations, the Department received numerous comments 
regarding the social and mental well-being of AI/AN youth. 
Specifically, the Department heard that emotional, behavioral, and 
psychological problems were significantly and adversely affecting the 
ability of AI/AN youth to succeed in school.
    Reports indicate that tribal communities experience high rates of 
crime, substance abuse, mental health distress, and suicide. Although 
data on crime are limited, the incarceration rate for AI/ANs in 2008 
was approximately 21 percent higher than the national incarceration 
rate for persons other than American Indians or Alaska Natives.\1\ 
Federal statistics indicated AI/ANs were, in 1999-2002 (the most recent 
year for which these data are available), the victims of violent crime 
at more than twice the national rate, with incidence of homicide and 
domestic violence much higher than the national average.\2\

    \1\ U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 
Bureau of Justice Statistics. Jails in Indian Country, 2008, 
available online at: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/jic08.pdf, 2009.
    \2\ U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. 
Bureau of Justice Statistics American Indians and Crime Report, 
available online at: http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=386, 2004.

    In addition, compared with other racial groups in the United 
States, AI/ANs suffer disproportionately from substance use 
disorders.\3\ The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 
administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found that 
AI/AN adolescents ages 12 to 17 reported using illicit drugs at nearly 
twice the rate of other youth in that age group nationally.\4\ The 
NSDUH also reported an increase from 2008 to 2009 in the rate of drug 
use among AI/AN youth aged 12 and older--from 9.8 percent to 18.3 

    \3\ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 
Office of Applied Studies, The NSDUH Report, ``Substance Use and 
Substance Use Disorders among American Indians and Alaska Natives,'' 
available online at: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k7/AmIndians/AmIndians.pdf, 2007.
    \4\ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance 
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. National Survey on 
Drug Use and Health (NSDUH): Use of Tobacco, Illegal Substances, by 
Age Groups 12-17 and 18-25 Years, Native American Compared to Other 
Race/Ethnicity, available online at: 
http://oas.samhsa.gov/NSDUH/2k9NSDUH/2k9Results.htm, 2009.
    \5\ Id.

    Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also 
underscore the mental health crisis affecting AI/AN youth. From 1997-
1998 through 2005-2006, the percentage of AI/AN youth experiencing 
serious psychological distress was the highest among all racial or 
ethnic groups, and in 2008 the suicide rate for such youth ages 15 to 
19 was more than twice the rate of other youth in the same age 
range.\6\ \7\ Importantly, most mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) 
disorders have their roots in early childhood. Among adults reporting a 
MEB disorder during their lifetime, more than half traced the onset to 
childhood or adolescence.\8\

    \6\ Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Health United States, 
2008. Table 61, available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus08.pdf, 2009.
    \7\ CDC. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-
based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS). 
http://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html, 2006.
    \8\ Kessler, RC, Berglund, P, Demler, O, et al. Lifetime 
prevalence and age-of-onset disturbances of DSM-IV disorders in the 
national comorbidity survey replication. Archives of General 
Psychiatry. 2005; 62(6) 593-602.

    These challenges--crime, early drug and alcohol abuse, anxiety, 
aggressive or antisocial behavior, and the suicide crisis in tribal 
communities--have serious and lasting consequences for AI/AN children 
and adolescents, and interfere with their ability to succeed in and 
graduate from school.\9\ \10\ \11\

    \9\ U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education 
Sciences, Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and 
Alaska Natives, 2008.
    \10\ U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education 
Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Indian 
Education Study 2009, Part I: Performance of American Indian and 
Alaska Native Students at Grades 4 and 8 on NAEP 2009 Reading and 
Mathematics Assessments, available online at 
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/studies/2010462.pdf, 2009.
    \11\ Faircloth, Susan C., & Tippeconnic, III, John W. (2010). 
The Dropout/Graduation Rate Crisis Among American Indian and Alaska 
Native Students: Failure to Respond Places the Future of Native 
Peoples at Risk. Los Angeles, CA: The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto 
Derechos Civiles at UCLA; http://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu.

    The OSDFS Discretionary Grant Programs listed in this notice are 
currently the Department's principal levers for addressing the problems 
identified above. Through the Department's alignment of the OSDFS 
Discretionary Grant Programs with these identified needs, applicants 
serving tribal communities would likely have greater access to the 
resources needed to address the substance abuse and mental health 
issues their students face.
    To increase tribal communities' access to the OSDFS Discretionary 
Grant Programs, the Department proposes a competitive preference 
priority for five discretionary grant programs administered by the 
Department's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools: (1) Grants to Reduce 
Alcohol Abuse (CFDA No. 84.184A), which helps local educational 
agencies (LEAs) develop and implement innovative and effective alcohol 
abuse prevention programs for secondary school students; (2) Grants for 
the Integration of Schools and Mental Health Systems (CFDA No. 
84.215M), which helps grantees increase student access to quality 
mental health care by developing policies, protocols, and 
infrastructure linking schools and mental health systems; (3) Safe 
Schools/Healthy Students CFDA Nos. 84.184J and 84.184L), which supports 
the development of community-wide approaches to promoting healthy 
childhood development, preventing violence and the illegal use of 
drugs, and promoting safety and discipline; (4) Foundations for 
Learning (CFDA No. 84.215H), which seeks to help eligible children 
prepare for school by delivering and coordinating services that foster 
emotional, behavioral, and social development, as well as supporting 
community partnerships for that purpose; and (5) Elementary and 
Secondary School Counseling (CFDA No. 84.215E), which supports efforts 
by LEAs to establish or expand elementary school and secondary school 
counseling programs.
    Each of these programs can address the root causes of many problems 
AI/AN youth face and help enable the systems that serve them to be more 
integrated, comprehensive, and responsive.
    Proposed Competitive Preference Priority: Projects that are 
proposed by any eligible entity serving students residing on ``Indian 
lands'' as that term is defined by section 8013 of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 7713(7)). The 
eligible entity must be the only applicant or the lead applicant in a 
consortium of eligible entities.

    Note:  The Department will announce the final priority in a 
notice in the Federal Register. The Department 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 using

[[Page 14003]]

additional priorities subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 

    Note:  This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority, we will announce the priority 
in the Federal Register notice governing the applicable grant 

    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 this notice of proposed 
priority are those we have determined as necessary for administering 
the OSDFS Discretionary Grant Programs effectively and efficiently. The 
benefit of this proposed priority is to increase federally recognized 
tribal communities' access to a set of programs that address the unique 
social, emotional, and academic needs of AI/AN youth.
    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.
    Executive Order 13175: Executive Order 13175 (``Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments'') provides that each 
Federal agency must have an accountable process to ensure regular and 
meaningful consultation and collaboration with Indian tribal 
governments or their representative organizations in the development of 
regulatory policies that have tribal implications. As part of this 
process, before publishing this notice of proposed priority, we have 
conducted official tribal consultations with tribal leaders who 
represent federally recognized tribes across the country. We are 
specifically inviting input from Indian tribal officials concerning 
this proposed priority as part of the process of consultation required 
by the Executive order.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person 
    Electronic Access to This Document: You may view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
    To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site.

    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: 

    Dated: March 9, 2011.
Kevin Jennings,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
[FR Doc. 2011-5998 Filed 3-14-11; 8:45 am]