Grants for School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs, 39254-39259 [05-13495]

Download as PDF 39254 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 129 / Thursday, July 7, 2005 / Notices for a grant under this program are advised to give careful consideration to this measure in conceptualizing the approach and evaluation for their proposed project. If funded, applicants will be asked to collect and report data in their annual performance and final reports about progress toward this measure. VII. Agency Contacts FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robyn Disselkoen or Sigrid Melus, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E259, Washington, DC 20202–6450. Telephone: (202) 260– 3954. E-mail address: OSDFSdrugtesting@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call (toll free) 1–877–576–7734. 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 in this section. 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. You may also view this document in text or PDF at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/programs/ drugtesting/applicant.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. Dated: July 5, 2005. Deborah A. Price, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and DrugFree Schools. [FR Doc. 05–13494 Filed 7–6–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P VerDate jul<14>2003 19:31 Jul 06, 2005 Jkt 205001 DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Grants for School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Department of Education. ACTION: Notice of final eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools announces eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria for the School-Based Student Drug-Testing program. We may use these requirements, priorities, and selection criteria for competitions in fiscal year 2005 and later years. We take this action to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified national need. We intend for these requirements, priorities, and selection criteria to increase the use of drug testing as a means to deter student drug use. EFFECTIVE DATE: These requirements, priorities, and selection criteria are effective August 8, 2005. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robyn L. Disselkoen or Sigrid Melus, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202–6450. Telephone: (202) 260– 3954. E-mail: OSDFSdrugtesting@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. Drug abuse interferes with a student’s ability to learn and disrupts the orderly environment necessary for academic achievement. Although drug use among America’s youth has declined in recent years, far too many young people continue to use illegal drugs. The Department of Education, through these requirements, priorities, and selection criteria, is encouraging schools and communities to consider the use of mandatory random and voluntary student drug-testing programs as a tool to support other drug-prevention efforts. We published a notice of proposed eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria for this program in the Federal Register on April 21, 2005 (70 FR 20739). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Analysis of Comments and Changes In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria, nine parties submitted comments. Three other comments did not address the proposed eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria and are not discussed here. An analysis of the comments and of any changes in the eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria since publication of the notice of proposed eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria follows. We group major issues according to subject. 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. Eligibility Requirements Comment: One commenter suggested that State educational agencies be able to apply for grant funds. Discussion: Eligible applicants for this competition include public and private entities. To the extent that a State educational agency meets the definition of a public entity and all other requirements of the competition, it may apply. Change: None. Priority 1—Mandatory Random and Voluntary Student Drug-Testing Programs Comments: Two commenters expressed confusion over the wording in option 3 of Priority 1. In the second paragraph, under option 3, we stated that schools that proposed a voluntary drug-testing program could not prohibit students who did not consent to be drug tested from participating in school or extracurricular activities. Both commenters requested that we insert the word ‘‘only’’ in the sentence as follows: ‘‘applicants who propose only voluntary drug testing * * *’’ to clarify that the last paragraph of Priority 1 applies only to option 3, regarding voluntary drug testing, and not to options 1 or 2, mandatory random testing. Discussion: We agree that the wording in the second paragraph under option 3 could confuse some readers. We intend that the wording apply only to students in a voluntary testing program even when applicants propose projects that combine voluntary and mandatory random components. Change: We have merged the first and second paragraphs under option 3 to indicate clearly that the requirement applies only to a voluntary drug-testing program. E:\FR\FM\07JYN1.SGM 07JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 129 / Thursday, July 7, 2005 / Notices Comment: One commenter stated that it is unreasonable to limit a drug-testing program to only one grade in a school with many grades. Discussion: Priority 1 specifies that a drug-testing program may be implemented in one or more grades 6 through 12. Applicants are free to implement a drug-testing program in as many grades from 6 through 12 as they choose. Change: None. Priority 2—National Evaluation of Mandatory Random Student DrugTesting Programs Comments: Two commenters questioned why Priority 2 does not permit applicants to have a program that includes both mandatory random and voluntary drug testing. Discussion: We are establishing the restrictions in Priority 2 as part of the national evaluation requirements. The goal of the national evaluation is to study the effects of mandatory random drug testing on a sample of students. Students who volunteer to be drug tested may not be using drugs to the same degree as those for whom drug testing is mandatory. Therefore, allowing schools in the evaluation to have both a voluntary and a mandatory random program would likely make it more difficult to identify the impact of mandatory random programs. Change: None. Comment: One commenter suggested that the clear delineation of the effect of mandatory random drug testing may be less than expected in the proposed research design because of the requirement that all applicants show desire and commitment for a program that will reduce drug use, regardless of whether a program is implemented. The commenter believes that schools that are committed to implementing drug testing will always have a better result, regardless of the intervention, than a school that knows it is always going to be a control. Discussion: There may be a larger difference in the incidence of substance use for schools that desire, and have implemented, a mandatory random drug-testing program compared to schools that are not interested in and not implementing such a program. However, that difference will reflect both the true impact of implementing the program and the selection bias of schools that choose to adopt those programs; randomly assigning schools that are similarly motivated better isolates the effect of the program. Change: None. Comment: One commenter wanted us to include the explicit statement that VerDate jul<14>2003 19:31 Jul 06, 2005 Jkt 205001 grantees that participate in the national evaluation must also agree to cooperate fully in the contractor’s separate Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements in order to comply with Department of Education regulations and human research protection procedures. Discussion: Grantees whose sites are selected for the national evaluation are not required to have IRB approval for their activities in support of the national evaluation. The national evaluator only—not the grantees—will conduct the research activities, including survey administration and obtaining parental permission. The grantees will facilitate communication between the national evaluator and the parents and/or students by, for example, providing brochures and contact information for the contractor, but they will not be involved in conducting the research or speaking on behalf of the national evaluator. Change: None. Comment: One commenter argued that for the funded projects to constitute a valid research sample, there needs to be harmonization of policies and procedures, such as the number of tests and frequency of testing for each student. Discussion: We do not think that policies and procedures need to be harmonized in order to produce a valid research sample. Implementation of modestly different mandatory random drug-testing programs by different school districts will not affect the validity of the study, provided that the evaluation is understood as estimating the impact of the average program as implemented by the average school district in the study. (Even if the program model adopted were identical across districts, the districts would almost certainly differ in some aspects of their implementation of the program, making complete harmonization of policies and procedures impossible.) Nonetheless, we are concerned that, for the treatment schools and control schools to be comparable for the sake of the evaluation, the matched schools within each district will need to be committed, prior to random assignment, to implementing the same policies and procedures with regard to drug testing. Change: We have added a requirement to Priority 2 that applicants develop and implement mandatory random student drug-testing policies and procedures that are carried out consistently in all schools selected to implement drug testing. Comment: One commenter stated that two matched schools will be insufficient for a valid research sample due to PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 39255 requirements for statistical power analysis and problems with ‘‘nesting’’ and differences from site to site. The commenter suggested that 75 to 100 schools should be involved with this research design, following one cohort of 9th- and 10th-graders over two years. Discussion: We do not agree with the basic premise that 75 to 100 schools are needed in the research design because we have designed the study to detect a 10.2 percent reduction in the 30-day prevalence of illicit drug use. In order to detect this effect, we need 30 schools. Our assumptions for the study design are: (1) A two-tailed test at 80 percent power and a 5 percent statistical significance; (2) an R2 value of 0.50 because of the use of prior student drug use as a covariate; (3) a non-random sample of 30 schools with random assignment of 15 schools to receive the intervention and 15 schools to serve as controls; (4) a sample size of 200 students per school with an 80 percent response rate, and (5) an intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.05. We estimate that this design would generate minimum detectable effects (MDE) of approximately 0.17 standard deviation for continuous outcomes, and 7.8 percent for binary outcomes where the control group mean is 30 percent. Because the sample of schools is purposive, and statistically generalizing beyond this sample is not valid, we have calculated the power with a fixedeffects, rather than random effects, framework. Under our assumptions, the sample of 30 schools would be sufficient to detect the reduction of 10.2 percent in the 30-day prevalence of use of any illicit drug. If the true impact were smaller than the MDE, that would not challenge the validity of the study, only its precision in detecting smaller impacts from drug-testing programs. Change: None. Comment: A commenter stated that the statistical design of the evaluation raises serious issues of confidentiality following from identification of specific individuals for the evaluation component each year. The evaluation, according to the commenter, will require the development of separate lists of students eligible for the mandatory random drug-testing program and students who are not eligible, as well as lists of students in the corresponding groups at the control school. Subsequently, in the commenter’s example, for each of two implementation years, 100 students in the random testing pool and 100 students not in the pool, and 200 students at the control schools, will be selected from the lists to respond to the evaluation questionnaire. E:\FR\FM\07JYN1.SGM 07JYN1 39256 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 129 / Thursday, July 7, 2005 / Notices Discussion: The national evaluator responsible for data collection will respect the confidentiality of all student records and take necessary measures to ensure the security of the data. Surveying students during school hours would not pose a problem because students’ responses to the survey would remain confidential. The fact that students are voluntarily participating in the study would not necessarily be private, but this issue is present in all of our studies involving sampling of students for data collection in school settings. Students subject to drug testing in Priority 2 will be athletes and students in competitive extracurricular activities. The study will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). Change: We have added a requirement to the application requirements that all applicants must provide a written assurance that all proposed activities will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of FERPA and PPRA. Comment: One commenter stated that schools need to assist in obtaining parental consent as part of their participation in the national evaluation. Discussion: In the notice of proposed eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria, we proposed a general requirement that schools cooperate with the evaluation, which we believe would include cooperating with the national evaluator to obtain parental consent. We agree, however, that the requirement should specifically include support by schools of the evaluator’s efforts to obtain all required parental consent. Change: We are adding a requirement in Priority 2 that applicants that agree to participate in the national evaluation provide an assurance that they will cooperate with the national evaluator in obtaining parental consent for student participation in surveys the national evaluator will administer in all of the selected schools (control and experimental). Comment: One commenter suggested that schools need to require mandatory random testing for the entire academic year for all eligible students, not just during one sports season, for example. Testing only during the season of sports participation reduces the positive effects of random student drug testing on illegal drug use significantly. Discussion: We agree that testing of athletes and students in extracurricular activities during the entire academic year is important to maintaining the deterrent effects of drug testing. VerDate jul<14>2003 19:31 Jul 06, 2005 Jkt 205001 Change: We have added language that requires grantees under Priority 2 to institute a policy of mandatory random drug testing for the entire academic year in the schools selected to implement drug testing, and to ensure, to the extent feasible, that all students who participate in the drug-testing program remain in the random drug-testing pool for the entire academic year. Application Requirements Comment: One commenter noted that the current language concerning confidentiality of drug test results indicating that a student is taking legal medications would prohibit a medical review officer from communicating necessary information to authorized school officials regarding a positive drug test. Discussion: As part of the general application requirements, applicants must provide a written assurance that all positive drug tests will be reviewed by a certified medical review officer. Applicants must also provide a plan to ensure the confidentiality of drugtesting results, including a provision that prohibits the party conducting the drug tests from disclosing to school officials any information about a student’s use of legal medications. The medical review officer would confirm with parents whether a student’s positive drug test resulted from a legal medication. If so, the medical review officer would report the test result as a negative for illegal drugs. Change: None. Comment: One commenter recommended that we not exclude from this competition recipients or beneficiaries of a prior grant in 2003 under the Department’s Demonstration Grants for Student Drug-Testing competition. Discussion: Congress appropriated funds in FY 2005 to expand student drug-testing programs. It is our intent to extend Federal funding for student drug-testing programs to as many new school districts as possible. Allowing current grantees to compete for these funds would decrease the total number of school districts that could receive Federal support to implement a student drug-testing grant. Change: None. Comment: One commenter recommended that we include text stating that the implementation of a mandatory random drug-testing or voluntary drug-testing program be governed by already approved policies. Discussion: The requirements in this notice of final eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria will govern student drug-testing PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 programs funded through this program. These requirements represent the necessary components of a student drug-testing program with a drug testing policy, and LEAs should incorporate these components into their own drugtesting policy. We encourage LEAs to develop student drug-testing policies before beginning drug testing but do not require that an LEA have a policy as a prerequisite for receiving a grant award. LEAs need time to develop a student drug-testing policy that has been reviewed and accepted by their school administrators and school boards before it can be implemented. Change: None. Comments: Two commenters expressed concern about the ten percent cap on the cost of site-based evaluations. Discussion: We believe that the ten percent cap on site-based evaluations will provide grantees with sufficient funds to carry out their local evaluation. We estimate the average size of an award as $200,000, up to $20,000 of which could be used to carry out a local evaluation that reports on the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) performance measures and specific program goals and objectives. Change: None. Selection Criteria: General Comment: One commenter recommended that the performance target of the reduction of drug use by five percent should only be tied to program implementation in years two and three. Discussion: We understand that progress in the first year may be minimal while the grantee collects baseline data. We think it important, however, for grantees to report annually on progress in meeting the performance targets, as well as their project goals and objectives. This information is necessary to help us assess if grantees are making progress and to determine technical assistance needs. Change: None. Comment: One commenter recommended that we award student drug-testing grants on a first-come, firstserve basis for applicants that use a standard pre-approved, drug-testing program. Discussion: We cannot provide a standard drug-testing program for all applicants to use because each applicant must design a program that best suits the needs and requirements of its individual community. Variations in State laws and local policies must be factored into each individual program. Moreover, each applicant must provide an assurance that legal counsel has E:\FR\FM\07JYN1.SGM 07JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 129 / Thursday, July 7, 2005 / Notices reviewed the proposed program and advised the applicant that the program activities do not appear to violate established constitutional principles or State and Federal requirements related to implementing a student drug-testing program. Change: None. Comment: One commenter recommended that LEAs funded through this program be required to have a strong evaluation design for their local efforts. The commenter contended that grantees should commit to cooperating with a national evaluation of the student drug-testing program, which addresses such issues as: (1) The reduction of the prevalence of drug use among students, (2) the effectiveness of a random program compared to a voluntary program, (3) how other coexisting strategies affect the reduction of drug use, and (4) if there are any unintended consequences linked to drug testing. Discussion: Under Priority 2 we will carry out a national evaluation of student-drug testing programs designed to measure the effectiveness of this strategy across all implementation sites. We think that evaluating mandatory drug testing programs will yield better information about drug testing as an effective deterrent than in comparing mandatory random to voluntary drugtesting programs. Priority 1 requires all grantees to conduct site-based evaluations on program effectiveness using objective performance measures related to the outcomes of the project and the Government Performance and Results Act performance measure on the incidence of drug use in the past month and past year. Issues such as a comparison of mandatory random to voluntary drug testing may be part of local evaluations. Change: None. Selection Criteria: Project Personnel Comment: Two commenters asked whether a grantee under this program may hire specific project personnel such as a social worker and a prevention coordinator. Discussion: Grant funds may be used to pay for staff who implement and carry out the drug-testing program. When a student tests positive for drug use, staff may be paid for reasonable time spent counseling the student, conducting a drug abuse assessment, and referring a student to drug treatment services. No funds may be used to pay for drug abuse treatment services. Within these parameters, we believe that decisions on specific staff to hire and to pay under the grant should be left to individual grantees. VerDate jul<14>2003 19:31 Jul 06, 2005 Jkt 205001 Change: None. Scope of Program Comment: Several commenters suggested that we broaden the scope of the overall grant competition. One commenter asked us to ensure that appropriate health and mental heath programs are in place before student drug testing takes place; one commenter asked us to allow funds to be used for general drug prevention activities or training in addition to drug testing; and another asked us to expand the program so that students in co-curricular activities could be drug tested. Discussion: We understand the importance of providing assistance to students who test positive for substance abuse, which is why the program requires that applicants provide a comprehensive plan for referring students who are identified as drug users through the testing program to a student assistance program, counseling, or drug treatment. The drug-testing program will be part of an existing, comprehensive drug prevention program in the schools to be served. We want funds for this program to be used for drug testing and not for drug prevention curricula or other prevention programs that can be funded from other sources. The Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act State Grants, for example, provide funds to LEAs to implement prevention programs that are responsive to local needs. We have limited the scope of the random drug-testing programs to students involved in athletics and competitive, school-sponsored, extracurricular activities because drugtesting programs for these students generally are consistent with established constitutional principles. Programs for students in co-curricular activities have not yet received the same level of judicial scrutiny. Change: None. Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use one or more of these eligibility and application requirements, priorities, or selection criteria, 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 priority is as 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) PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 39257 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)). Eligibility Requirements We are limiting eligibility for grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) and public and private entities. Priorities Priority #1—Mandatory Random and Voluntary Student Drug-Testing Programs Under this priority, we will provide Federal financial assistance to eligible applicants to develop and implement, or expand, school-based mandatory random or voluntary drug-testing programs for students in one or more grades 6 through 12. Any drug-testing program conducted with funds awarded under this priority must be limited to one or more of the following: (1) Students who participate in the school’s athletic program; (2) Students who are engaged in competitive, extracurricular, schoolsponsored activities; and (3) A voluntary drug-testing program for students who, along with their parent or guardian, have provided written consent to participate in a random drug-testing program. Applicants that propose voluntary drug testing for students who, along with their parent or guardian, provide written consent, must not prohibit students who do not consent from participating in school or extracurricular activities. Priority #2—National Evaluation of Mandatory Random Student DrugTesting Programs Under this priority, we will provide Federal financial assistance to eligible applicants to develop and implement school-based mandatory random drugtesting programs for students in one or more grades 6 through 12. Any drug-testing program conducted with funds awarded under this priority must be limited to one or more of the following: (1) All students who participate in the school’s athletic program; and (2) All students who are engaged in competitive, extracurricular, schoolsponsored activities. Applicants for this priority must propose drug testing in two or more schools within the same LEA that do not have an existing drug-testing program in E:\FR\FM\07JYN1.SGM 07JYN1 39258 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 129 / Thursday, July 7, 2005 / Notices operation. Drug testing must include, at a minimum, students in three or more grades from 9 through 12. In addition, applicants for this priority must: (1) Not have a voluntary testing component proposed as part of their program; (2) Provide an assurance that the schools randomly assigned to not begin mandatory random drug testing will not implement any drug-testing program for the duration of the national evaluation; (3) Agree to cooperate with all data collection activities that the national evaluation will conduct in all the schools; (4) Develop and implement mandatory random drug-testing policies and procedures to be carried out consistently in all schools selected to implement drug testing; (5) Institute a policy of mandatory random drug-testing for the entire academic year in the schools selected to implement drug testing; (6) Ensure that, to the extent feasible, all students who participate in the drugtesting program remain in the random drug-testing pool for the entire academic year; and (7) Agree to participate in the national evaluation and provide an assurance that the applicant will cooperate with the national evaluator in obtaining parental consent for student participation in surveys that the national evaluator will administer in all the selected schools (control and experimental). At the time of the grant award, the Department of Education’s evaluator will randomly assign the schools either to receive the intervention (mandatory random drug testing) or not receive the intervention (no mandatory random drug testing). The evaluator will collect outcome data in both sets of schools. Application Requirements: The following requirements apply to all applications submitted under this program: (1) Applicants may not submit more than one application for an award under this program. (2) Applicants may not have been the recipient or beneficiary of a grant in 2003 under the Department of Education Demonstration Grants for Student Drug-Testing competition. (3) Non-LEA applicants must submit a letter of agreement to participate from an LEA. The letter must be signed by the applicant and an authorized representative of the LEA. Letters of support are not acceptable as evidence of the required agreement. (4) Funds may not be used for the following purposes: VerDate jul<14>2003 19:31 Jul 06, 2005 Jkt 205001 (a) Student drug tests administered under suspicion of drug use; (b) Incentives for students to participate in programs; (c) Drug treatment; or (d) Drug prevention curricula or other prevention programs. (5) Applicants must: (a) Identify a target population and demonstrate a significant need for drug testing within the target population; (b) Explain how the proposed drugtesting program will be part of an existing, comprehensive drug prevention program in the schools to be served; (c) Provide a comprehensive plan for referring students who are identified as drug users through the testing program to a student assistance program, counseling, or drug treatment if necessary; (d) Provide a plan to ensure the confidentiality of drug-testing results, including a provision that prohibits the party conducting drug tests from disclosing to school officials any information about a student’s use of legal medications; (e) Limit the cost of site-based evaluations to no more than 10 percent of total funds requested; (f) Provide written assurances of the following: (i) That results of student drug tests will not be disclosed to law enforcement officials; (ii) That results of student drug tests will be destroyed when the student graduates or otherwise leaves the LEA or private school involved; (iii) That all positive drug tests will be reviewed by a certified medical review officer; (iv) That legal counsel has reviewed the proposed program and advised that the program activities do not appear to violate established constitutional principles or State and Federal requirements related to implementing a student drug-testing program; and (v) That all proposed activities will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). Selection Criteria: The Secretary will select from the following those criteria and factors that will be used to evaluate applications under any competition conducted under this program. Note: The maximum score for all of these criteria is 100 points. The points or weights assigned to each criterion are in the application package for this competition. (1) Need for Project. (a) The documented magnitude of student drug use in schools to be served PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 by the drug-testing program, including the nature, type, and frequency, if known, of drugs being used by students in the target population; and (b) Other evidence of student drug use, such as reports from parents, students, school staff, or law enforcement officials. (2) Significance. (a) The extent to which the proposed project includes a thorough, highquality review of Federal and State laws and relevant Supreme Court decisions related to the proposed student drugtesting program; (b) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates school and community support for the student drug-testing program and has included a diversity of perspectives such as those of parents, counselors, teachers, and school board members, in the development of the drug-testing program; and (c) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the student drug-testing program. (3) Quality of Project Design. (a) The extent to which the project will be based on up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice, including the methodology for the random selection of students to be tested and procedures outlining the collection, screening, confirmation, and review of student drug tests by a certified medical review officer; (b) The extent to which the applicant identifies the drugs for which it plans to test and includes a rationale for the type of testing device it plans to use for each drug test; (c) The quality of the applicant’s plan to develop and implement a drug-testing program that includes— (i) Detailed procedures for responding to a positive drug test, including parental notification and referral to student assistance programs, drug education, or formal drug treatment, if necessary; and (ii) Clear consequences for a positive drug test. (4) Management Plan. (a) The extent to which the applicant describes appropriate chain-of-custody procedures for test samples and demonstrates a commitment to use labs certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to process student drug tests; and (b) The quality of the applicant’s plan to ensure confidentiality of drug test results, including limiting the number of school officials who will have access to student drug-testing records. (5) Quality of Project Evaluation. (a) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of E:\FR\FM\07JYN1.SGM 07JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 129 / Thursday, July 7, 2005 / Notices objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project; and (b) The quality of the applicant’s plan to collect data on the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) performance measure established by the Department for this program and to report these data to the Department. Note: The Department has established the following GPRA performance measure for the School-Based Student Drug Testing program: the reduction of the incidence of drug use in the past month and past year. The Secretary has set an overall performance target that calls for the prevalence of drug use by students in the target population to decline by five percent annually. Executive Order 12866 This notice of final requirements, priorities, and selection criteria 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 requirements, priorities, and selection criteria are 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 requirements, priorities, and selection criteria, we have determined that the benefits of the final requirements, priorities, and selection criteria 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 of this regulatory action in the notice of proposed eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria. 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 VerDate jul<14>2003 19:31 Jul 06, 2005 Jkt 205001 documents 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. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7131. Dated: July 5, 2005. Deborah A. Price, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and DrugFree Schools. [FR Doc. 05–13495 Filed 7–6–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. RP05–398–000] CenterPoint Energy-Mississippi River Transmission Corporation; Notice of Proposed Changes in FERC Gas Tariff June 29, 2005. Take notice that on June 24, 2005, CenterPoint Energy-Mississippi River Transmission Corporation (MRT) tendered for filing as part of its FERC Gas Tariff, Third Revised Volume No. 1, the following tariff sheets to be effective July 5, 2005. Fifth Revised Sheet No. 250 Fifth Revised Sheet No. 263 Fifth Revised Sheet No. 288 Third Revised Sheet No. 292A Third Revised Sheet No. 330 MRT states that the purpose of this filing is to update its tariff with the new mailing address for its office in St. Louis, MO. Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 39259 appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed in accordance with the provisions of Section 154.210 of the Commission’s regulations (18 CFR 154.210). Anyone filing an intervention or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant. Anyone filing an intervention or protest on or before the intervention or protest date need not serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant. The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the ‘‘eFiling’’ link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 14 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the ‘‘eLibrary’’ link and is available for review in the Commission’s Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an ‘‘eSubscription’’ link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive e-mail notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please e-mail FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, or call (866) 208–3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502–8659. Magalie R. Salas, Secretary. [FR Doc. 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[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 129 (Thursday, July 7, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 39254-39259]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-13495]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Grants for School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs

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

ACTION: Notice of final eligibility and application requirements, 
priorities, and selection criteria.

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

SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools 
announces eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and 
selection criteria for the School-Based Student Drug-Testing program. 
We may use these requirements, priorities, and selection criteria for 
competitions in fiscal year 2005 and later years. We take this action 
to focus Federal financial assistance on an identified national need. 
We intend for these requirements, priorities, and selection criteria to 
increase the use of drug testing as a means to deter student drug use.

EFFECTIVE DATE: These requirements, priorities, and selection criteria 
are effective August 8, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robyn L. Disselkoen or Sigrid Melus, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 
20202-6450. Telephone: (202) 260-3954. E-mail: OSDFSdrugtesting@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: Drug abuse interferes with a student's 
ability to learn and disrupts the orderly environment necessary for 
academic achievement. Although drug use among America's youth has 
declined in recent years, far too many young people continue to use 
illegal drugs. The Department of Education, through these requirements, 
priorities, and selection criteria, is encouraging schools and 
communities to consider the use of mandatory random and voluntary 
student drug-testing programs as a tool to support other drug-
prevention efforts.
    We published a notice of proposed eligibility and application 
requirements, priorities, and selection criteria for this program in 
the Federal Register on April 21, 2005 (70 FR 20739).

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to our invitation in the notice of proposed eligibility 
and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria, nine 
parties submitted comments. Three other comments did not address the 
proposed eligibility and application requirements, priorities, and 
selection criteria and are not discussed here. An analysis of the 
comments and of any changes in the eligibility and application 
requirements, priorities, and selection criteria since publication of 
the notice of proposed eligibility and application requirements, 
priorities, and selection criteria follows.
    We group major issues according to subject. 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.

Eligibility Requirements

    Comment: One commenter suggested that State educational agencies be 
able to apply for grant funds.
    Discussion: Eligible applicants for this competition include public 
and private entities. To the extent that a State educational agency 
meets the definition of a public entity and all other requirements of 
the competition, it may apply.
    Change: None.

Priority 1--Mandatory Random and Voluntary Student Drug-Testing 
Programs

    Comments: Two commenters expressed confusion over the wording in 
option 3 of Priority 1. In the second paragraph, under option 3, we 
stated that schools that proposed a voluntary drug-testing program 
could not prohibit students who did not consent to be drug tested from 
participating in school or extracurricular activities. Both commenters 
requested that we insert the word ``only'' in the sentence as follows: 
``applicants who propose only voluntary drug testing * * *'' to clarify 
that the last paragraph of Priority 1 applies only to option 3, 
regarding voluntary drug testing, and not to options 1 or 2, mandatory 
random testing.
    Discussion: We agree that the wording in the second paragraph under 
option 3 could confuse some readers. We intend that the wording apply 
only to students in a voluntary testing program even when applicants 
propose projects that combine voluntary and mandatory random 
components.
    Change: We have merged the first and second paragraphs under option 
3 to indicate clearly that the requirement applies only to a voluntary 
drug-testing program.

[[Page 39255]]

    Comment: One commenter stated that it is unreasonable to limit a 
drug-testing program to only one grade in a school with many grades.
    Discussion: Priority 1 specifies that a drug-testing program may be 
implemented in one or more grades 6 through 12. Applicants are free to 
implement a drug-testing program in as many grades from 6 through 12 as 
they choose.
    Change: None.

Priority 2--National Evaluation of Mandatory Random Student Drug-
Testing Programs

    Comments: Two commenters questioned why Priority 2 does not permit 
applicants to have a program that includes both mandatory random and 
voluntary drug testing.
    Discussion: We are establishing the restrictions in Priority 2 as 
part of the national evaluation requirements. The goal of the national 
evaluation is to study the effects of mandatory random drug testing on 
a sample of students. Students who volunteer to be drug tested may not 
be using drugs to the same degree as those for whom drug testing is 
mandatory. Therefore, allowing schools in the evaluation to have both a 
voluntary and a mandatory random program would likely make it more 
difficult to identify the impact of mandatory random programs.
    Change: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the clear delineation of the 
effect of mandatory random drug testing may be less than expected in 
the proposed research design because of the requirement that all 
applicants show desire and commitment for a program that will reduce 
drug use, regardless of whether a program is implemented. The commenter 
believes that schools that are committed to implementing drug testing 
will always have a better result, regardless of the intervention, than 
a school that knows it is always going to be a control.
    Discussion: There may be a larger difference in the incidence of 
substance use for schools that desire, and have implemented, a 
mandatory random drug-testing program compared to schools that are not 
interested in and not implementing such a program. However, that 
difference will reflect both the true impact of implementing the 
program and the selection bias of schools that choose to adopt those 
programs; randomly assigning schools that are similarly motivated 
better isolates the effect of the program.
    Change: None.
    Comment: One commenter wanted us to include the explicit statement 
that grantees that participate in the national evaluation must also 
agree to cooperate fully in the contractor's separate Institutional 
Review Board (IRB) requirements in order to comply with Department of 
Education regulations and human research protection procedures.
    Discussion: Grantees whose sites are selected for the national 
evaluation are not required to have IRB approval for their activities 
in support of the national evaluation. The national evaluator only--not 
the grantees--will conduct the research activities, including survey 
administration and obtaining parental permission. The grantees will 
facilitate communication between the national evaluator and the parents 
and/or students by, for example, providing brochures and contact 
information for the contractor, but they will not be involved in 
conducting the research or speaking on behalf of the national 
evaluator.
    Change: None.
    Comment: One commenter argued that for the funded projects to 
constitute a valid research sample, there needs to be harmonization of 
policies and procedures, such as the number of tests and frequency of 
testing for each student.
    Discussion: We do not think that policies and procedures need to be 
harmonized in order to produce a valid research sample. Implementation 
of modestly different mandatory random drug-testing programs by 
different school districts will not affect the validity of the study, 
provided that the evaluation is understood as estimating the impact of 
the average program as implemented by the average school district in 
the study. (Even if the program model adopted were identical across 
districts, the districts would almost certainly differ in some aspects 
of their implementation of the program, making complete harmonization 
of policies and procedures impossible.) Nonetheless, we are concerned 
that, for the treatment schools and control schools to be comparable 
for the sake of the evaluation, the matched schools within each 
district will need to be committed, prior to random assignment, to 
implementing the same policies and procedures with regard to drug 
testing.
    Change: We have added a requirement to Priority 2 that applicants 
develop and implement mandatory random student drug-testing policies 
and procedures that are carried out consistently in all schools 
selected to implement drug testing.
    Comment: One commenter stated that two matched schools will be 
insufficient for a valid research sample due to requirements for 
statistical power analysis and problems with ``nesting'' and 
differences from site to site. The commenter suggested that 75 to 100 
schools should be involved with this research design, following one 
cohort of 9th- and 10th-graders over two years.
    Discussion: We do not agree with the basic premise that 75 to 100 
schools are needed in the research design because we have designed the 
study to detect a 10.2 percent reduction in the 30-day prevalence of 
illicit drug use. In order to detect this effect, we need 30 schools. 
Our assumptions for the study design are: (1) A two-tailed test at 80 
percent power and a 5 percent statistical significance; (2) an R2 value 
of 0.50 because of the use of prior student drug use as a covariate; 
(3) a non-random sample of 30 schools with random assignment of 15 
schools to receive the intervention and 15 schools to serve as 
controls; (4) a sample size of 200 students per school with an 80 
percent response rate, and (5) an intra-class correlation coefficient 
of 0.05. We estimate that this design would generate minimum detectable 
effects (MDE) of approximately 0.17 standard deviation for continuous 
outcomes, and 7.8 percent for binary outcomes where the control group 
mean is 30 percent. Because the sample of schools is purposive, and 
statistically generalizing beyond this sample is not valid, we have 
calculated the power with a fixed-effects, rather than random effects, 
framework. Under our assumptions, the sample of 30 schools would be 
sufficient to detect the reduction of 10.2 percent in the 30-day 
prevalence of use of any illicit drug. If the true impact were smaller 
than the MDE, that would not challenge the validity of the study, only 
its precision in detecting smaller impacts from drug-testing programs.
    Change: None.
    Comment: A commenter stated that the statistical design of the 
evaluation raises serious issues of confidentiality following from 
identification of specific individuals for the evaluation component 
each year. The evaluation, according to the commenter, will require the 
development of separate lists of students eligible for the mandatory 
random drug-testing program and students who are not eligible, as well 
as lists of students in the corresponding groups at the control school. 
Subsequently, in the commenter's example, for each of two 
implementation years, 100 students in the random testing pool and 100 
students not in the pool, and 200 students at the control schools, will 
be selected from the lists to respond to the evaluation questionnaire.

[[Page 39256]]

    Discussion: The national evaluator responsible for data collection 
will respect the confidentiality of all student records and take 
necessary measures to ensure the security of the data. Surveying 
students during school hours would not pose a problem because students' 
responses to the survey would remain confidential. The fact that 
students are voluntarily participating in the study would not 
necessarily be private, but this issue is present in all of our studies 
involving sampling of students for data collection in school settings. 
Students subject to drug testing in Priority 2 will be athletes and 
students in competitive extracurricular activities. The study will be 
carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Family 
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil 
Rights Amendment (PPRA).
    Change: We have added a requirement to the application requirements 
that all applicants must provide a written assurance that all proposed 
activities will be carried out in accordance with the requirements of 
FERPA and PPRA.
    Comment: One commenter stated that schools need to assist in 
obtaining parental consent as part of their participation in the 
national evaluation.
    Discussion: In the notice of proposed eligibility and application 
requirements, priorities, and selection criteria, we proposed a general 
requirement that schools cooperate with the evaluation, which we 
believe would include cooperating with the national evaluator to obtain 
parental consent. We agree, however, that the requirement should 
specifically include support by schools of the evaluator's efforts to 
obtain all required parental consent.
    Change: We are adding a requirement in Priority 2 that applicants 
that agree to participate in the national evaluation provide an 
assurance that they will cooperate with the national evaluator in 
obtaining parental consent for student participation in surveys the 
national evaluator will administer in all of the selected schools 
(control and experimental).
    Comment: One commenter suggested that schools need to require 
mandatory random testing for the entire academic year for all eligible 
students, not just during one sports season, for example. Testing only 
during the season of sports participation reduces the positive effects 
of random student drug testing on illegal drug use significantly.
    Discussion: We agree that testing of athletes and students in 
extracurricular activities during the entire academic year is important 
to maintaining the deterrent effects of drug testing.
    Change: We have added language that requires grantees under 
Priority 2 to institute a policy of mandatory random drug testing for 
the entire academic year in the schools selected to implement drug 
testing, and to ensure, to the extent feasible, that all students who 
participate in the drug-testing program remain in the random drug-
testing pool for the entire academic year.

Application Requirements

    Comment: One commenter noted that the current language concerning 
confidentiality of drug test results indicating that a student is 
taking legal medications would prohibit a medical review officer from 
communicating necessary information to authorized school officials 
regarding a positive drug test.
    Discussion: As part of the general application requirements, 
applicants must provide a written assurance that all positive drug 
tests will be reviewed by a certified medical review officer. 
Applicants must also provide a plan to ensure the confidentiality of 
drug-testing results, including a provision that prohibits the party 
conducting the drug tests from disclosing to school officials any 
information about a student's use of legal medications. The medical 
review officer would confirm with parents whether a student's positive 
drug test resulted from a legal medication. If so, the medical review 
officer would report the test result as a negative for illegal drugs.
    Change: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that we not exclude from this 
competition recipients or beneficiaries of a prior grant in 2003 under 
the Department's Demonstration Grants for Student Drug-Testing 
competition.
    Discussion: Congress appropriated funds in FY 2005 to expand 
student drug-testing programs. It is our intent to extend Federal 
funding for student drug-testing programs to as many new school 
districts as possible. Allowing current grantees to compete for these 
funds would decrease the total number of school districts that could 
receive Federal support to implement a student drug-testing grant.
    Change: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that we include text stating 
that the implementation of a mandatory random drug-testing or voluntary 
drug-testing program be governed by already approved policies.
    Discussion: The requirements in this notice of final eligibility 
and application requirements, priorities, and selection criteria will 
govern student drug-testing programs funded through this program. These 
requirements represent the necessary components of a student drug-
testing program with a drug testing policy, and LEAs should incorporate 
these components into their own drug-testing policy. We encourage LEAs 
to develop student drug-testing policies before beginning drug testing 
but do not require that an LEA have a policy as a prerequisite for 
receiving a grant award. LEAs need time to develop a student drug-
testing policy that has been reviewed and accepted by their school 
administrators and school boards before it can be implemented.
    Change: None.
    Comments: Two commenters expressed concern about the ten percent 
cap on the cost of site-based evaluations.
    Discussion: We believe that the ten percent cap on site-based 
evaluations will provide grantees with sufficient funds to carry out 
their local evaluation. We estimate the average size of an award as 
$200,000, up to $20,000 of which could be used to carry out a local 
evaluation that reports on the Government Performance and Results Act 
(GPRA) performance measures and specific program goals and objectives.
    Change: None.

Selection Criteria: General

    Comment: One commenter recommended that the performance target of 
the reduction of drug use by five percent should only be tied to 
program implementation in years two and three.
    Discussion: We understand that progress in the first year may be 
minimal while the grantee collects baseline data. We think it 
important, however, for grantees to report annually on progress in 
meeting the performance targets, as well as their project goals and 
objectives. This information is necessary to help us assess if grantees 
are making progress and to determine technical assistance needs.
    Change: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that we award student drug-
testing grants on a first-come, first-serve basis for applicants that 
use a standard pre-approved, drug-testing program.
    Discussion: We cannot provide a standard drug-testing program for 
all applicants to use because each applicant must design a program that 
best suits the needs and requirements of its individual community. 
Variations in State laws and local policies must be factored into each 
individual program. Moreover, each applicant must provide an assurance 
that legal counsel has

[[Page 39257]]

reviewed the proposed program and advised the applicant that the 
program activities do not appear to violate established constitutional 
principles or State and Federal requirements related to implementing a 
student drug-testing program.
    Change: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that LEAs funded through this 
program be required to have a strong evaluation design for their local 
efforts. The commenter contended that grantees should commit to 
cooperating with a national evaluation of the student drug-testing 
program, which addresses such issues as: (1) The reduction of the 
prevalence of drug use among students, (2) the effectiveness of a 
random program compared to a voluntary program, (3) how other 
coexisting strategies affect the reduction of drug use, and (4) if 
there are any unintended consequences linked to drug testing.
    Discussion: Under Priority 2 we will carry out a national 
evaluation of student-drug testing programs designed to measure the 
effectiveness of this strategy across all implementation sites. We 
think that evaluating mandatory drug testing programs will yield better 
information about drug testing as an effective deterrent than in 
comparing mandatory random to voluntary drug-testing programs. Priority 
1 requires all grantees to conduct site-based evaluations on program 
effectiveness using objective performance measures related to the 
outcomes of the project and the Government Performance and Results Act 
performance measure on the incidence of drug use in the past month and 
past year. Issues such as a comparison of mandatory random to voluntary 
drug testing may be part of local evaluations.
    Change: None.

Selection Criteria: Project Personnel

    Comment: Two commenters asked whether a grantee under this program 
may hire specific project personnel such as a social worker and a 
prevention coordinator.
    Discussion: Grant funds may be used to pay for staff who implement 
and carry out the drug-testing program. When a student tests positive 
for drug use, staff may be paid for reasonable time spent counseling 
the student, conducting a drug abuse assessment, and referring a 
student to drug treatment services. No funds may be used to pay for 
drug abuse treatment services. Within these parameters, we believe that 
decisions on specific staff to hire and to pay under the grant should 
be left to individual grantees.
    Change: None.

Scope of Program

    Comment: Several commenters suggested that we broaden the scope of 
the overall grant competition. One commenter asked us to ensure that 
appropriate health and mental heath programs are in place before 
student drug testing takes place; one commenter asked us to allow funds 
to be used for general drug prevention activities or training in 
addition to drug testing; and another asked us to expand the program so 
that students in co-curricular activities could be drug tested.
    Discussion: We understand the importance of providing assistance to 
students who test positive for substance abuse, which is why the 
program requires that applicants provide a comprehensive plan for 
referring students who are identified as drug users through the testing 
program to a student assistance program, counseling, or drug treatment. 
The drug-testing program will be part of an existing, comprehensive 
drug prevention program in the schools to be served. We want funds for 
this program to be used for drug testing and not for drug prevention 
curricula or other prevention programs that can be funded from other 
sources. The Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act State 
Grants, for example, provide funds to LEAs to implement prevention 
programs that are responsive to local needs.
    We have limited the scope of the random drug-testing programs to 
students involved in athletics and competitive, school-sponsored, 
extracurricular activities because drug-testing programs for these 
students generally are consistent with established constitutional 
principles. Programs for students in co-curricular activities have not 
yet received the same level of judicial scrutiny.
    Change: None.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use one or more of these eligibility and 
application requirements, priorities, or selection criteria, 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 priority 
is as 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)).

Eligibility Requirements

    We are limiting eligibility for grants to local educational 
agencies (LEAs) and public and private entities.

Priorities

Priority 1--Mandatory Random and Voluntary Student Drug-
Testing Programs

    Under this priority, we will provide Federal financial assistance 
to eligible applicants to develop and implement, or expand, school-
based mandatory random or voluntary drug-testing programs for students 
in one or more grades 6 through 12. Any drug-testing program conducted 
with funds awarded under this priority must be limited to one or more 
of the following:
    (1) Students who participate in the school's athletic program;
    (2) Students who are engaged in competitive, extracurricular, 
school-sponsored activities; and
    (3) A voluntary drug-testing program for students who, along with 
their parent or guardian, have provided written consent to participate 
in a random drug-testing program. Applicants that propose voluntary 
drug testing for students who, along with their parent or guardian, 
provide written consent, must not prohibit students who do not consent 
from participating in school or extracurricular activities.

Priority 2--National Evaluation of Mandatory Random Student 
Drug-Testing Programs

    Under this priority, we will provide Federal financial assistance 
to eligible applicants to develop and implement school-based mandatory 
random drug-testing programs for students in one or more grades 6 
through 12.
    Any drug-testing program conducted with funds awarded under this 
priority must be limited to one or more of the following:
    (1) All students who participate in the school's athletic program; 
and
    (2) All students who are engaged in competitive, extracurricular, 
school-sponsored activities.
    Applicants for this priority must propose drug testing in two or 
more schools within the same LEA that do not have an existing drug-
testing program in

[[Page 39258]]

operation. Drug testing must include, at a minimum, students in three 
or more grades from 9 through 12. In addition, applicants for this 
priority must:
    (1) Not have a voluntary testing component proposed as part of 
their program;
    (2) Provide an assurance that the schools randomly assigned to not 
begin mandatory random drug testing will not implement any drug-testing 
program for the duration of the national evaluation;
    (3) Agree to cooperate with all data collection activities that the 
national evaluation will conduct in all the schools;
    (4) Develop and implement mandatory random drug-testing policies 
and procedures to be carried out consistently in all schools selected 
to implement drug testing;
    (5) Institute a policy of mandatory random drug-testing for the 
entire academic year in the schools selected to implement drug testing;
    (6) Ensure that, to the extent feasible, all students who 
participate in the drug-testing program remain in the random drug-
testing pool for the entire academic year; and
    (7) Agree to participate in the national evaluation and provide an 
assurance that the applicant will cooperate with the national evaluator 
in obtaining parental consent for student participation in surveys that 
the national evaluator will administer in all the selected schools 
(control and experimental).
    At the time of the grant award, the Department of Education's 
evaluator will randomly assign the schools either to receive the 
intervention (mandatory random drug testing) or not receive the 
intervention (no mandatory random drug testing). The evaluator will 
collect outcome data in both sets of schools.
    Application Requirements: The following requirements apply to all 
applications submitted under this program:
    (1) Applicants may not submit more than one application for an 
award under this program.
    (2) Applicants may not have been the recipient or beneficiary of a 
grant in 2003 under the Department of Education Demonstration Grants 
for Student Drug-Testing competition.
    (3) Non-LEA applicants must submit a letter of agreement to 
participate from an LEA. The letter must be signed by the applicant and 
an authorized representative of the LEA. Letters of support are not 
acceptable as evidence of the required agreement.
    (4) Funds may not be used for the following purposes:
    (a) Student drug tests administered under suspicion of drug use;
    (b) Incentives for students to participate in programs;
    (c) Drug treatment; or
    (d) Drug prevention curricula or other prevention programs.
    (5) Applicants must:
    (a) Identify a target population and demonstrate a significant need 
for drug testing within the target population;
    (b) Explain how the proposed drug-testing program will be part of 
an existing, comprehensive drug prevention program in the schools to be 
served;
    (c) Provide a comprehensive plan for referring students who are 
identified as drug users through the testing program to a student 
assistance program, counseling, or drug treatment if necessary;
    (d) Provide a plan to ensure the confidentiality of drug-testing 
results, including a provision that prohibits the party conducting drug 
tests from disclosing to school officials any information about a 
student's use of legal medications;
    (e) Limit the cost of site-based evaluations to no more than 10 
percent of total funds requested;
    (f) Provide written assurances of the following:
    (i) That results of student drug tests will not be disclosed to law 
enforcement officials;
    (ii) That results of student drug tests will be destroyed when the 
student graduates or otherwise leaves the LEA or private school 
involved;
    (iii) That all positive drug tests will be reviewed by a certified 
medical review officer;
    (iv) That legal counsel has reviewed the proposed program and 
advised that the program activities do not appear to violate 
established constitutional principles or State and Federal requirements 
related to implementing a student drug-testing program; and
    (v) That all proposed activities will be carried out in accordance 
with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 
(FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA).
    Selection Criteria: The Secretary will select from the following 
those criteria and factors that will be used to evaluate applications 
under any competition conducted under this program.

    Note: The maximum score for all of these criteria is 100 points. 
The points or weights assigned to each criterion are in the 
application package for this competition.

    (1) Need for Project.
    (a) The documented magnitude of student drug use in schools to be 
served by the drug-testing program, including the nature, type, and 
frequency, if known, of drugs being used by students in the target 
population; and
    (b) Other evidence of student drug use, such as reports from 
parents, students, school staff, or law enforcement officials.
    (2) Significance.
    (a) The extent to which the proposed project includes a thorough, 
high-quality review of Federal and State laws and relevant Supreme 
Court decisions related to the proposed student drug-testing program;
    (b) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates school and 
community support for the student drug-testing program and has included 
a diversity of perspectives such as those of parents, counselors, 
teachers, and school board members, in the development of the drug-
testing program; and
    (c) The importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely 
to be attained by the student drug-testing program.
    (3) Quality of Project Design.
    (a) The extent to which the project will be based on up-to-date 
knowledge from research and effective practice, including the 
methodology for the random selection of students to be tested and 
procedures outlining the collection, screening, confirmation, and 
review of student drug tests by a certified medical review officer;
    (b) The extent to which the applicant identifies the drugs for 
which it plans to test and includes a rationale for the type of testing 
device it plans to use for each drug test;
    (c) The quality of the applicant's plan to develop and implement a 
drug-testing program that includes--
    (i) Detailed procedures for responding to a positive drug test, 
including parental notification and referral to student assistance 
programs, drug education, or formal drug treatment, if necessary; and
    (ii) Clear consequences for a positive drug test.
    (4) Management Plan.
    (a) The extent to which the applicant describes appropriate chain-
of-custody procedures for test samples and demonstrates a commitment to 
use labs certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services 
Administration (SAMHSA) to process student drug tests; and
    (b) The quality of the applicant's plan to ensure confidentiality 
of drug test results, including limiting the number of school officials 
who will have access to student drug-testing records.
    (5) Quality of Project Evaluation.
    (a) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of

[[Page 39259]]

objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended 
outcomes of the project; and
    (b) The quality of the applicant's plan to collect data on the 
Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) performance measure 
established by the Department for this program and to report these data 
to the Department.

    Note: The Department has established the following GPRA 
performance measure for the School-Based Student Drug Testing 
program: the reduction of the incidence of drug use in the past 
month and past year. The Secretary has set an overall performance 
target that calls for the prevalence of drug use by students in the 
target population to decline by five percent annually.

Executive Order 12866

    This notice of final requirements, priorities, and selection 
criteria 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 
requirements, priorities, and selection criteria are 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 requirements, priorities, and 
selection criteria, we have determined that the benefits of the final 
requirements, priorities, and selection criteria 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 of this regulatory action in 
the notice of proposed eligibility and application requirements, 
priorities, and selection criteria.

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 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.


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

    Dated: July 5, 2005.
Deborah A. Price,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
[FR Doc. 05-13495 Filed 7-6-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P