Safe and Drug-Free Schools Programs, Final Priority and Other Application Requirements, 35652-35655 [05-12225]

Download as PDF 35652 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 118 / Tuesday, June 21, 2005 / Notices 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785–1506. Regardless of which address you use, you must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following: (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark, (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service, (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier, or (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing: (1) A private metered postmark, or (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service. If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application. Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office. c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery. If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, you (or a courier service) must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.184E), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202–4260. The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department: (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 4 of the ED 424 the CFDA number—and suffix letter, if any—of the competition under which you are submitting your application. (2) The Application Control Center will mail a grant application receipt acknowledgment to you. If you do not receive the grant application receipt acknowledgment within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245–6288. VerDate jul<14>2003 22:07 Jun 20, 2005 Jkt 205001 V. Application Review Information Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are in the application package. VI. Award Administration Information 1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may also notify you informally. If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you. 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant. 3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. You must also submit a progress report nine months after the award date. This report should provide the most current performance and financial expenditure information, including baseline data. 4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of the Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant Program: • Demonstration of increased number of hazards addressed by the improved school emergency response plan as compared to the baseline plan; • Demonstration of improved response time and quality of response to practice drills and simulated crises; and • A plan for and commitment to the sustainability and continuous improvement of the school emergency response plan by the district and community partners beyond the period of Federal financial assistance. These three measures constitute the Department’s indicators of success for this program. Consequently, applicants for a grant under this program are advised to give careful consideration to these three measures in conceptualizing the approach and evaluation of their proposed project. If funded, applicants will be asked to collect and report data in their performance and final reports about progress toward these measures. PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 VII. Agency Contact Sara Strizzi, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW., Room 3E320, Washington, DC 20202–6450. Telephone: (202) 708–4850 or by email: sara.strizzi@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed in this section. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VIII. Other Information 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. 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: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/ index.html. Dated: June 16, 2005. Deborah A. Price, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and DrugFree Schools. [FR Doc. 05–12224 Filed 6–20–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Safe and Drug-Free Schools Programs, Final Priority and Other Application Requirements Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of final priority and other application requirements. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools announces a priority and other application requirements under the Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grants program. We may use this priority and these application requirements for competitions in fiscal E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 118 / Tuesday, June 21, 2005 / Notices year (FY) 2005 and later years. We take this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified national need. We intend the priority to support grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to improve and strengthen emergency response and crisis management plans. EFFECTIVE DATE: The priority and other application requirements are effective July 21, 2005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara Strizzi, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3E320, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 708–4850 or via Internet: sara.strizzi@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. 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 INFORMATION CONTACT. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The events of September 11, 2001, made schools and communities aware that, in addition to planning for traditional crises and emergencies, schools must now plan to respond to possible terrorist attacks on campus or in the community. The purpose of this program is to support LEA projects to improve and strengthen emergency response and crisis management plans, at the district and school-building level, addressing the four phases of crisis planning: Prevention/Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Plans must include: (1) training for school personnel and students in emergency response procedures; (2) coordination with local law enforcement, public safety, public health, and mental health agencies; and (3) a method for communicating school emergency response policies and reunification procedures to parents and guardians. We published a notice of proposed priority and other application requirements for this program in the Federal Register on April 14, 2005 (70 FR 19736). Analysis of Comments and Changes In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priority and other application requirements, three parties submitted comments on the proposed priority and application requirements. An analysis of the comments and of any changes in the priority and other application requirements since publication of the notice of proposed VerDate jul<14>2003 22:07 Jun 20, 2005 Jkt 205001 priority and other application requirements follows. Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes and suggested changes the law does not authorize us to make under the applicable statutory authority. Comment: One commenter requested clarification regarding the implementation date of September 30, 2005 for requirements under the National Incident Management System (NIMS). The commenter noted that the proposed July 29, 2005 application due date does not allow adequate time to complete implementation of the NIMS requirements by September 30, 2005. Discussion: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established minimum NIMS compliance activities and deadlines for the State, territorial, and local levels for FY 2005, which ends on September 30, 2005. The activities and deadlines listed in the notice of proposed priority and other application requirements reflected these requirements. However, as FY 2005 is a start-up year for NIMS implementation, full compliance with the NIMS is not a requirement to receive FY 2005 grant funds. LEAs that have not completed all FY 2005 NIMS requirements by September 30, 2005 should leverage preparedness assistance to complete NIMS implementation by September 30, 2006. Change: We have revised the priority to clarify NIMS implementation deadlines. The priority now allows for LEAs that have not completed all FY 2005 NIMS requirements by September 30, 2005 to complete implementation of the requirements during FY 2006. Comment: One commenter suggested substituting ‘‘local public health agencies’’ for ‘‘local health agencies’’ in the priority and application requirements. Discussion: We agree that the priority and other application requirements would be clearer with the change recommended by the commenter. The term ‘‘public health’’ is used consistently at the Federal, State, and local levels to describe an agency or entity that performs essential functions including public health programs, activities, or services. Public health agencies are directly responsible for critical aspects related to emergency planning and response. According to DHS, public health agencies are the primary entities responsible for conducting one or more of the following functions or activities: monitoring health status to identify community health problems; diagnosing and investigating health problems and health hazards in the community; PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 35653 informing, educating and empowering people about health issues; mobilizing community partnerships to identify and solve health problems; developing policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts; enforcing laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety; evaluating the effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services; and researching for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems. The term ‘‘public health agencies’’ more accurately reflects the role of the health care system in emergency planning and response. Change: We have substituted ‘‘local public health agencies’’ for ‘‘local health agencies’’ in the priority and application requirements. Comment: One commenter suggested that the priority allow for funding State educational agencies (SEAs) in order to encourage standardization and involvement at the State level as well as the local level. Discussion: Generally, we believe that LEAs are better positioned to support the development of emergency response and crisis management plans that are specific to individual school sites—the primary focus of this grant program. LEAs must identify local first responders and mental health professionals to help schools respond to crises and to support students and their families and staff in the recovery process. LEAs also work with schools directly in developing plans that address unique local threats and conditions. While some issues associated with response and recovery lend themselves to a degree of standardization (for example selection of communication equipment and communication protocols), even standardized processes or plans must be modified to address unique local needs and issues. We believe that SEAs have a very significant and valuable role to play in the development of Statewide or regional protocols, practices, and templates related to crisis prevention, response and recovery, but that those plans must be adapted and practiced at the LEA and school building level if they are to provide school personnel and other first responders with the skills and confidence they need to effectively manage a crisis situation. We encourage SEAs to work in collaboration with individual districts and to provide guidance as needed. Change: None. Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use this priority and other application E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1 35654 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 118 / Tuesday, June 21, 2005 / Notices requirements, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register. When inviting applications we designate the priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational. The effect of each type of priority follows: 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)). Priority Improvement and Strengthening of School Emergency Response and Crisis Management Plans The priority supports local educational agency (LEA) projects to improve and strengthen emergency response and crisis management plans, at the district and school-building level addressing the four phases of crisis planning: Prevention/Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Plans must include: (1) Training for school personnel and students in emergency response procedures; (2) coordination with local law enforcement, public safety, public health, and mental health agencies; and (3) a method for communicating school emergency response policies and reunification procedures to parents and guardians. Other Application Requirements 1. Partner Agreements. To be considered for a grant award, an applicant must include in its application an agreement that details the participation of each of the following five community-based partners: Law enforcement, public safety, public health, mental health, and the head of the applicant’s local government (for example the mayor, city manager, or county executive). The agreement must include a description of each partner’s roles and responsibilities in improving and strengthening emergency response plans at the district and school-building level, a description of each partner’s commitment to the continuation and continuous improvement of emergency response VerDate jul<14>2003 22:07 Jun 20, 2005 Jkt 205001 plans at the district and school-building level, and an authorized signature representing the LEA and each partner acknowledging the agreement. If one or more of the five partners listed is not present in the applicant’s community, or cannot feasibly participate, the agreement must explain the absence of each missing partner. To be considered eligible for funding, however, an application must include a signed agreement between the LEA, a law enforcement partner, and at least one of the other required partners (public safety, public health, mental health, or head of local government). Applications that fail to include the required agreement, including information on partners’ roles and responsibilities and on their commitment to continuation and continuous improvement (with signatures and explanations for missing signatures as specified above), will not be read. Although this program requires partnerships with other parties, administrative direction and fiscal control for the project must remain with the LEA. 2. Coordination with State or Local Homeland Security Plan. All emergency response and crisis management plans must be coordinated with the Homeland Security Plan of the State or locality in which the LEA is located. All States submitted such a plan to the Department of Homeland Security on January 30, 2004. To ensure that emergency services are coordinated, and to avoid duplication of effort within States and localities, applicants must include in their applications an assurance that the LEA will coordinate with, and follow, the requirements of their State or local Homeland Security Plan for emergency services and initiatives. 3. Support of the National Incident Management System. Applicants also must agree to support the implementation of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). In accordance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD–5, the NIMS provides a consistent approach for Federal, State, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. LEAs, working in collaboration with State and local resources, are encouraged to achieve full NIMS implementation by September 30, 2005. To the extent that full compliance is not possible by September 30, 2005, LEAs, working in coordination with State and PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 local resources, should leverage federal preparedness assistance to complete NIMS implementation by September 30, 2006. To be considered eligible for funding, an application must include an assurance that the LEA has completed, or will complete by September 30, 2006, the following steps to support NIMS implementation: • Administer the NIMS Awareness Course: ‘‘National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction’’ (IS 700) to key district and school staff. This independent study course, developed by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), explains the purpose, principles, key components, and benefits of the NIMS. The course is available online and will take between forty-five minutes to three hours to complete. The course is available on the EMI Web site at: http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/ is700.asp • Formally recognize the NIMS and adopt NIMS principles and policies. Districts and/or their local government should establish an executive order, resolution, or ordinance to formally adopt the NIMS. • Establish a NIMS baseline to determine which NIMS requirements have been met by the LEA. Districts should coordinate with their community partners to assess the district’s overall compliance with the NIMS, and determine gaps in compliance that need to be closed in order to reach full implementation of the NIMS. • Establish a timeframe and strategy for full NIMS implementation. • Establish the use of the Incident Command System (ICS). The ICS has been established by the NIMS as the standardized incident organizational structure for the management of all incidents. Districts should coordinate with community partners listed above in institutionalizing the use of the ICS in a manner that is consistent with the concepts and principles in the NIMS. Note: Since LEAs are integral to local governments, an LEA’s NIMS compliance must be achieved in close coordination with the local government and with recognition of the first responder capabilities held by the LEA and the local government. As LEAs are not traditional response organizations, first responder services will typically be provided to LEAs by local fire and rescue departments, emergency medical service providers, and law enforcement agencies. This traditional relationship must be acknowledged in achieving NIMS compliance in an integrated NIMS compliance plan for the local government and the LEA. LEA participation in the NIMS preparedness program of the local government is essential to ensure that first responder services are delivered to E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 118 / Tuesday, June 21, 2005 / Notices schools in a timely and effective manner. Additional information about NIMS implementation is available at http:// www.fema.gov/nims. 4. Individuals with Disabilities. The applicant’s plan must demonstrate that the applicant has taken into consideration the communication, transportation, and medical needs of individuals with disabilities within the school district. Executive Order 12866 This notice of final priority and other application requirements 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 final priority are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and efficiently. In assessing the potential costs and benefits—both quantitative and qualitative—of this notice of final priority and other application requirements, we have determined that the benefits of the final priority and other application requirements justify the costs. 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. We summarized the costs and benefits in the notice of proposed priority and other application requirements. 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 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. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government VerDate jul<14>2003 22:07 Jun 20, 2005 Jkt 205001 Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1– 888–293–6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512–1530. You may also view this document in text or PDF at the following sites: http://www.ed.gov/emergencyplan, http://www.ed.gov/programs/ dvpemergencyresponse/index.html. 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: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/ index.html. (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.184.E-Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grant program.) Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7131. Dated: June 16, 2005. Deborah A. Price, Asistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and DrugFree Schools. [FR Doc. 05–12225 Filed 6–20–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice of Final Extension of Project Period and Waiver for the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Centers National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of final extension of project period and waiver for the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Centers (SCIMS). AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Secretary waives the requirements in Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), in 34 CFR 75.250 and 75.261(c)(2), respectively, that generally prohibit project periods exceeding five years and project period extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. This extension of project period and waiver enables the current SCIMS (a total of 16), which provide assistance to establish innovative projects for the delivery, demonstration, and evaluation of comprehensive medical, vocational, and other rehabilitation services to meet the wide range of needs of individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), to receive an additional 12-month Federal funding period ranging from September 1, 2005, until December 1, 2006, a period exceeding the original project period of five years. DATES: Effective Date: This priority is effective June 21, 2005. PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 35655 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donna Nangle, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6030, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 245–7462 or by e-mail: donna.nangle@ed.gov If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. 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 INFORMATION CONTACT. On April 25, 2005, we published a notice in the Federal Register (70 FR 21188) proposing an extension of project period and waiver in order to— (1) Enable the Secretary to provide additional funds to the currently funded centers for an additional 12-month period ranging from September 1, 2005, until December 1, 2006; and (2) Request comments on the proposed extension and waiver. There are no substantive differences between the notice of proposed extension of project period and waiver and this notice of final extension of project period and waiver. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comment In the notice of proposed extension of project period and waiver, we invited comments. One party submitted a comment agreeing with the proposal to extend the grant period of the current grantees. We did not receive any comments opposing the proposed extension of project period and waiver. Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes, as well as suggested changes the law does not authorize us to make. 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 (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). During the 30-day public comment period on the notice of proposed extension of project period and waiver, one party submitted a comment in support of the proposed extension and waiver. There were no objections received on the proposed extension and waiver, and therefore, no substantive changes have been made. In addition, given the fact that the additional period of funding is only for a 12-month period, and in order to make E:\FR\FM\21JNN1.SGM 21JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 118 (Tuesday, June 21, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35652-35655]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-12225]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Safe and Drug-Free Schools Programs, Final Priority and Other 
Application Requirements

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

ACTION: Notice of final priority and other application requirements.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools 
announces a priority and other application requirements under the 
Emergency Response and Crisis Management Grants program. We may use 
this priority and these application requirements for competitions in 
fiscal

[[Page 35653]]

year (FY) 2005 and later years. We take this action to focus Federal 
financial assistance on an identified national need. We intend the 
priority to support grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to 
improve and strengthen emergency response and crisis management plans.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The priority and other application requirements are 
effective July 21, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara Strizzi, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3E320, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: (202) 708-4850 or via Internet: sara.strizzi@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    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 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The events of September 11, 2001, made 
schools and communities aware that, in addition to planning for 
traditional crises and emergencies, schools must now plan to respond to 
possible terrorist attacks on campus or in the community. The purpose 
of this program is to support LEA projects to improve and strengthen 
emergency response and crisis management plans, at the district and 
school-building level, addressing the four phases of crisis planning: 
Prevention/Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. Plans must 
include: (1) training for school personnel and students in emergency 
response procedures; (2) coordination with local law enforcement, 
public safety, public health, and mental health agencies; and (3) a 
method for communicating school emergency response policies and 
reunification procedures to parents and guardians.
    We published a notice of proposed priority and other application 
requirements for this program in the Federal Register on April 14, 2005 
(70 FR 19736).

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed priority 
and other application requirements, three parties submitted comments on 
the proposed priority and application requirements. An analysis of the 
comments and of any changes in the priority and other application 
requirements since publication of the notice of proposed priority and 
other application requirements follows.
    Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes and 
suggested changes the law does not authorize us to make under the 
applicable statutory authority.
    Comment: One commenter requested clarification regarding the 
implementation date of September 30, 2005 for requirements under the 
National Incident Management System (NIMS). The commenter noted that 
the proposed July 29, 2005 application due date does not allow adequate 
time to complete implementation of the NIMS requirements by September 
30, 2005.
    Discussion: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has 
established minimum NIMS compliance activities and deadlines for the 
State, territorial, and local levels for FY 2005, which ends on 
September 30, 2005. The activities and deadlines listed in the notice 
of proposed priority and other application requirements reflected these 
requirements. However, as FY 2005 is a start-up year for NIMS 
implementation, full compliance with the NIMS is not a requirement to 
receive FY 2005 grant funds. LEAs that have not completed all FY 2005 
NIMS requirements by September 30, 2005 should leverage preparedness 
assistance to complete NIMS implementation by September 30, 2006.
    Change: We have revised the priority to clarify NIMS implementation 
deadlines. The priority now allows for LEAs that have not completed all 
FY 2005 NIMS requirements by September 30, 2005 to complete 
implementation of the requirements during FY 2006.
    Comment: One commenter suggested substituting ``local public health 
agencies'' for ``local health agencies'' in the priority and 
application requirements.
    Discussion: We agree that the priority and other application 
requirements would be clearer with the change recommended by the 
commenter. The term ``public health'' is used consistently at the 
Federal, State, and local levels to describe an agency or entity that 
performs essential functions including public health programs, 
activities, or services. Public health agencies are directly 
responsible for critical aspects related to emergency planning and 
response. According to DHS, public health agencies are the primary 
entities responsible for conducting one or more of the following 
functions or activities: monitoring health status to identify community 
health problems; diagnosing and investigating health problems and 
health hazards in the community; informing, educating and empowering 
people about health issues; mobilizing community partnerships to 
identify and solve health problems; developing policies and plans that 
support individual and community health efforts; enforcing laws and 
regulations that protect health and ensure safety; evaluating the 
effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-
based health services; and researching for new insights and innovative 
solutions to health problems. The term ``public health agencies'' more 
accurately reflects the role of the health care system in emergency 
planning and response.
    Change: We have substituted ``local public health agencies'' for 
``local health agencies'' in the priority and application requirements.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the priority allow for 
funding State educational agencies (SEAs) in order to encourage 
standardization and involvement at the State level as well as the local 
level.
    Discussion: Generally, we believe that LEAs are better positioned 
to support the development of emergency response and crisis management 
plans that are specific to individual school sites--the primary focus 
of this grant program. LEAs must identify local first responders and 
mental health professionals to help schools respond to crises and to 
support students and their families and staff in the recovery process. 
LEAs also work with schools directly in developing plans that address 
unique local threats and conditions. While some issues associated with 
response and recovery lend themselves to a degree of standardization 
(for example selection of communication equipment and communication 
protocols), even standardized processes or plans must be modified to 
address unique local needs and issues. We believe that SEAs have a very 
significant and valuable role to play in the development of Statewide 
or regional protocols, practices, and templates related to crisis 
prevention, response and recovery, but that those plans must be adapted 
and practiced at the LEA and school building level if they are to 
provide school personnel and other first responders with the skills and 
confidence they need to effectively manage a crisis situation. We 
encourage SEAs to work in collaboration with individual districts and 
to provide guidance as needed.
    Change: None.


    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use this priority and other application

[[Page 35654]]

requirements, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal 
Register. When inviting applications we designate the priority as 
absolute, competitive preference, or invitational. The effect of 
each type of priority follows:
    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)).

Priority

Improvement and Strengthening of School Emergency Response and Crisis 
Management Plans

    The priority supports local educational agency (LEA) projects to 
improve and strengthen emergency response and crisis management plans, 
at the district and school-building level addressing the four phases of 
crisis planning: Prevention/Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and 
Recovery. Plans must include: (1) Training for school personnel and 
students in emergency response procedures; (2) coordination with local 
law enforcement, public safety, public health, and mental health 
agencies; and (3) a method for communicating school emergency response 
policies and reunification procedures to parents and guardians.

Other Application Requirements

    1. Partner Agreements. To be considered for a grant award, an 
applicant must include in its application an agreement that details the 
participation of each of the following five community-based partners: 
Law enforcement, public safety, public health, mental health, and the 
head of the applicant's local government (for example the mayor, city 
manager, or county executive). The agreement must include a description 
of each partner's roles and responsibilities in improving and 
strengthening emergency response plans at the district and school-
building level, a description of each partner's commitment to the 
continuation and continuous improvement of emergency response plans at 
the district and school-building level, and an authorized signature 
representing the LEA and each partner acknowledging the agreement. If 
one or more of the five partners listed is not present in the 
applicant's community, or cannot feasibly participate, the agreement 
must explain the absence of each missing partner. To be considered 
eligible for funding, however, an application must include a signed 
agreement between the LEA, a law enforcement partner, and at least one 
of the other required partners (public safety, public health, mental 
health, or head of local government).
    Applications that fail to include the required agreement, including 
information on partners' roles and responsibilities and on their 
commitment to continuation and continuous improvement (with signatures 
and explanations for missing signatures as specified above), will not 
be read.
    Although this program requires partnerships with other parties, 
administrative direction and fiscal control for the project must remain 
with the LEA.
    2. Coordination with State or Local Homeland Security Plan. All 
emergency response and crisis management plans must be coordinated with 
the Homeland Security Plan of the State or locality in which the LEA is 
located. All States submitted such a plan to the Department of Homeland 
Security on January 30, 2004. To ensure that emergency services are 
coordinated, and to avoid duplication of effort within States and 
localities, applicants must include in their applications an assurance 
that the LEA will coordinate with, and follow, the requirements of 
their State or local Homeland Security Plan for emergency services and 
initiatives.
    3. Support of the National Incident Management System. Applicants 
also must agree to support the implementation of the National Incident 
Management System (NIMS). In accordance with Homeland Security 
Presidential Directive/HSPD-5, the NIMS provides a consistent approach 
for Federal, State, and local governments to work effectively and 
efficiently together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover 
from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity.
    LEAs, working in collaboration with State and local resources, are 
encouraged to achieve full NIMS implementation by September 30, 2005. 
To the extent that full compliance is not possible by September 30, 
2005, LEAs, working in coordination with State and local resources, 
should leverage federal preparedness assistance to complete NIMS 
implementation by September 30, 2006. To be considered eligible for 
funding, an application must include an assurance that the LEA has 
completed, or will complete by September 30, 2006, the following steps 
to support NIMS implementation:
     Administer the NIMS Awareness Course: ``National Incident 
Management System (NIMS), An Introduction'' (IS 700) to key district 
and school staff. This independent study course, developed by the 
Emergency Management Institute (EMI), explains the purpose, principles, 
key components, and benefits of the NIMS. The course is available 
online and will take between forty-five minutes to three hours to 
complete. The course is available on the EMI Web site at: http://
training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/is700.asp
     Formally recognize the NIMS and adopt NIMS principles and 
policies. Districts and/or their local government should establish an 
executive order, resolution, or ordinance to formally adopt the NIMS.
     Establish a NIMS baseline to determine which NIMS 
requirements have been met by the LEA. Districts should coordinate with 
their community partners to assess the district's overall compliance 
with the NIMS, and determine gaps in compliance that need to be closed 
in order to reach full implementation of the NIMS.
     Establish a timeframe and strategy for full NIMS 
implementation.
     Establish the use of the Incident Command System (ICS). 
The ICS has been established by the NIMS as the standardized incident 
organizational structure for the management of all incidents. Districts 
should coordinate with community partners listed above in 
institutionalizing the use of the ICS in a manner that is consistent 
with the concepts and principles in the NIMS.


    Note: Since LEAs are integral to local governments, an LEA's 
NIMS compliance must be achieved in close coordination with the 
local government and with recognition of the first responder 
capabilities held by the LEA and the local government. As LEAs are 
not traditional response organizations, first responder services 
will typically be provided to LEAs by local fire and rescue 
departments, emergency medical service providers, and law 
enforcement agencies. This traditional relationship must be 
acknowledged in achieving NIMS compliance in an integrated NIMS 
compliance plan for the local government and the LEA. LEA 
participation in the NIMS preparedness program of the local 
government is essential to ensure that first responder services are 
delivered to

[[Page 35655]]

schools in a timely and effective manner. Additional information 
about NIMS implementation is available at http://www.fema.gov/nims.


    4. Individuals with Disabilities. The applicant's plan must 
demonstrate that the applicant has taken into consideration the 
communication, transportation, and medical needs of individuals with 
disabilities within the school district.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of final priority and other application requirements 
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 final priority 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this notice of final priority and other application 
requirements, we have determined that the benefits of the final 
priority and other application requirements justify the costs.
    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.
    We summarized the costs and benefits in the notice of proposed 
priority and other application requirements.

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 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. 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.
    You may also view this document in text or PDF at the following 
sites:  http://www.ed.gov/emergencyplan, http://www.ed.gov/programs/
dvpemergencyresponse/index.html.


    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: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/
nara/index.html.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 84.184.E-Emergency 
Response and Crisis Management Grant program.)

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7131.

    Dated: June 16, 2005.
Deborah A. Price,
Asistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
[FR Doc. 05-12225 Filed 6-20-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P