Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period; Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program, 45791-45792 [2014-18607]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 151 / Wednesday, August 6, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2015 Wave 3—ECLS–K:2011 Link and Computer Familiarity Study. OMB Control Number: 1850–0790. Type of Review: A revision of an existing information collection. Respondents/Affected Public: Individuals or households. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 19,600. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 4,267. Abstract: The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a federally authorized survey of student achievement at grades 4, 8, and 12 in various subject areas, such as mathematics, reading, writing, science, U.S. history, civics, geography, economics, and the arts. In the current legislation that reauthorized NAEP (20 U.S.C. 9622), Congress again mandated the collection of national education survey data through a national assessment program. The 2015 main NAEP Wave 3 contains the descriptions, burden, and questionnaires for two special studies: NAEP—Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–11 (ECLS–K:2011) Link, and Computer Familiarity Study. Both of these special studies include the administration of an additional student questionnaire to a sub-sample of students participating in the 2015 main NAEP administration. Dated: August 1, 2014. Kate Mullan, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Privacy, Information and Records Management Services, Office of Management. [FR Doc. 2014–18555 Filed 8–5–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Aug 05, 2014 Jkt 232001 DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period; Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Final waiver and extension of the project period. AGENCY: [Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.371C.] For the Montana Department of Education’s 36-month grant project funded in fiscal year (FY) 2011, under the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program (SRCL), the Secretary waives the requirements that generally prohibit project period extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. The Secretary also extends the current Montana SCRL project period for an additional 24 months. SUMMARY: This final waiver and extension of the project period are effective August 6, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosemary Fennell, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E228, Washington, DC 20202– 5970. Telephone: (202) 401–2425 or by email: rosemary.fennell@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. DATES: On May 20, 2014, we published a notice in the Federal Register (79 FR 28917) (May 2014 proposed waiver) proposing an extension of a project period and a waiver of the requirement of 34 CFR 75.261(a) and (c)(2), which restricts project period extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds, as it applies to the Montana Department of Education’s project funded under the FY 2011 SRCL competition. The Secretary also proposed to extend this grantee’s project period for an additional 24 months. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Comment In the May 2014 proposed waiver, the Secretary invited comments on the proposed waiver and extension of the project period. We received 21 comments in response. Analysis of Comments and Changes Comment: The 21 commenters who addressed the proposed waiver and extension supported it, discussed the accomplishments of the current SRCL PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45791 grantee and benefits of the program, and stated that an extension of the project period would allow the grantee to continue its work and expand on its accomplishments. We did not receive any negative comments regarding the proposed waiver and extension of the project period. Response: We agree with the commenters that extending the current SCRL grant period for one grantee, the Montana Department of Education and, therefore allowing this grantee to request a continuation award, would enable it to continue to work toward accomplishing its goals and objectives stated in its approved 2011 SCRL grant application. Change: None. Background In FY 2010, Congress appropriated $200 million to support establishment of a comprehensive literacy development and education program through the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 111–117) under section 1502 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). The purpose of SRCL is to advance literacy skills— including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing—for students from birth through grade 12, including limitedEnglish-proficient students and students with disabilities. Section 1502 of the ESEA provides the authority for demonstration programs, like SCRL, that show promise of enabling children to meet challenging academic content and achievement standards. In FY 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) awarded $10 million in formula grants to 46 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to establish or support State Literacy Teams with expertise in literacy development and education for children from birth to grade 12 to assist the States in developing a comprehensive literacy plan. The Department also used FY 2010 funds to award set-aside grants to the Bureau of Indian Education and four Outlying Areas, and to award discretionary grants to six State educational agencies (SEAs) to create comprehensive literacy programs to advance literacy skills—including preliteracy skills, reading, and writing—for students from birth through grade 12, including limited-English-proficient students and students with disabilities. The Department announced this discretionary grant competition in a notice inviting applications that was published in the Federal Register on March 10, 2011 (76 FR 13143) (March 2011 NIA). The grants awarded under E:\FR\FM\06AUN1.SGM 06AUN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 45792 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 151 / Wednesday, August 6, 2014 / Notices the FY 2011 competition were for a project period of up to five years. The Department indicated in the March 2011 NIA that it planned to make continuation awards in accordance with section 75.253 of the Education Department’s General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 75.253), depending on the availability of funds. Five of the six SEA grantees funded under the FY 2011 grant competition submitted a budget for all five years of the grant period. One grantee, the Montana Department of Education, submitted a budget request for only three years, believing that it could request funding for years four and five after receiving a grant award. On March 25, 2014, the Montana Department of Education, Office of Public Instruction, requested to extend its project period for an additional two years. As outlined in the May 2014 proposed waiver, the FY 2014 appropriation contained sufficient funding to continue Montana’s grant. The appropriation for SCRL included $158 million, an increase of approximately $6 million over the FY 2013 funding level. The Department does not plan to conduct a new competition in FY 2014, as there are insufficient funds both to provide continuation grants and fund new grantees. We believe it best serves the interests of the Department and the public to ensure that the full cohort of grantees, including Montana, has the opportunity to complete a full five-year program, as originally intended in the March 2011 NIA. Providing Montana an opportunity for an additional two years of funding, and in turn an additional two years of data on implementation, is consistent with the underlying purpose of the SRCL program funded under the Section 1502 demonstration authority: To provide data on the results of promising literacy practices implemented under the SRCL program. Additionally, the Montana Department of Education’s SRCL project is at a critical point; the State is working with participating local education agencies (LEA) to fully implement the State Literacy Plan, and to implement sustainability efforts and activities. The Montana SRCL Implementation Team continues it work to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation of the State Literacy Plan, and continues to identify and provide the support and resources necessary to ensure processes and systems created through the SRCL program are sustainable. The Montana Department of Education has used datadriven decisions, through its evaluation and assessment activities, to make improvements to the SRCL program VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:14 Aug 05, 2014 Jkt 232001 across 10 LEAs and 32 schools. Without an extension of the project period to allow for the work that will lead to sustainability and full implementation of the State Literacy Plan, the SRCL program may cease in some LEAs and be greatly curtailed in others. For these reasons, the Secretary waives the requirements in 34 CFR 75.261(a) and (c)(2) of EDGAR that generally prohibit project period extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. The Secretary also extends the current Montana SCRL project period for an additional 24 months. This two-year extension of the project period will ensure seamless program delivery to the sub-grantees awarded under the Montana Department of Education SRCL grant award, as well as data on project implementation. We will use the process stated in the March 2011 NIA and the regulations in 34 CFR 75.253 to make continuation awards based on information that each grantee provides, indicating that each grantee is making substantial progress performing its SRCL grant activities and is showing improvement against baseline data on specific indicators listed in the March 2011 NIA. Any activities to be carried out during the remaining continuation years of the SCRL award must be consistent with, or be a logical extension of, the scope, goals, and objectives of each grantee’s application as approved in the FY 2011 SCRL competition. With this final waiver and extension of the project period, the project period for the Montana SCRL grantee will be extended through September 30, 2016, which is the same ending date as the ending date for the other SCRL grantees’ project periods. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification The Secretary certifies that the waiver and extension of the project period will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The entities that will be affected by this waiver and extension are the current SRCL grantees receiving Federal funds. The Secretary certifies that the waiver and extension will not have a significant economic impact on these entities because minimal compliance costs are imposed by extending a single project already in existence, and the activities required to support the additional years of funding will not impose additional regulatory burdens or require unnecessary Federal supervision. PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 The final extension of project period and waiver do not contain any information collection requirements. Intergovernmental Review This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR parts 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 notification of our specific plans and actions for this program. Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of the Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit the search to documents published by the Department. Program Authority: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. L. 111–117) under the Title I demonstration authority (Part E, Section 1502 of the ESEA). Dated: August 1, 2014. Deborah Delisle, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. [FR Doc. 2014–18607 Filed 8–5–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P E:\FR\FM\06AUN1.SGM 06AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 151 (Wednesday, August 6, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45791-45792]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18607]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Final Waiver and Extension of the Project Period; Striving 
Readers Comprehensive Literacy Program

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Final waiver and extension of the project period.

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

[Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.371C.]

SUMMARY: For the Montana Department of Education's 36-month grant 
project funded in fiscal year (FY) 2011, under the Striving Readers 
Comprehensive Literacy program (SRCL), the Secretary waives the 
requirements that generally prohibit project period extensions 
involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. The Secretary 
also extends the current Montana SCRL project period for an additional 
24 months.

DATES: This final waiver and extension of the project period are 
effective August 6, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rosemary Fennell, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E228, Washington, DC 20202-
5970. Telephone: (202) 401-2425 or by email: rosemary.fennell@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On May 20, 2014, we published a notice in 
the Federal Register (79 FR 28917) (May 2014 proposed waiver) proposing 
an extension of a project period and a waiver of the requirement of 34 
CFR 75.261(a) and (c)(2), which restricts project period extensions 
involving the obligation of additional Federal funds, as it applies to 
the Montana Department of Education's project funded under the FY 2011 
SRCL competition. The Secretary also proposed to extend this grantee's 
project period for an additional 24 months.

Public Comment

    In the May 2014 proposed waiver, the Secretary invited comments on 
the proposed waiver and extension of the project period. We received 21 
comments in response.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    Comment: The 21 commenters who addressed the proposed waiver and 
extension supported it, discussed the accomplishments of the current 
SRCL grantee and benefits of the program, and stated that an extension 
of the project period would allow the grantee to continue its work and 
expand on its accomplishments. We did not receive any negative comments 
regarding the proposed waiver and extension of the project period.
    Response: We agree with the commenters that extending the current 
SCRL grant period for one grantee, the Montana Department of Education 
and, therefore allowing this grantee to request a continuation award, 
would enable it to continue to work toward accomplishing its goals and 
objectives stated in its approved 2011 SCRL grant application.
    Change: None.

Background

    In FY 2010, Congress appropriated $200 million to support 
establishment of a comprehensive literacy development and education 
program through the Consolidated Appropriations Act (Pub. L. 111-117) 
under section 1502 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965, as amended (ESEA). The purpose of SRCL is to advance literacy 
skills--including pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing--for 
students from birth through grade 12, including limited-English-
proficient students and students with disabilities. Section 1502 of the 
ESEA provides the authority for demonstration programs, like SCRL, that 
show promise of enabling children to meet challenging academic content 
and achievement standards. In FY 2010, the U.S. Department of Education 
(the Department) awarded $10 million in formula grants to 46 States, 
the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to 
establish or support State Literacy Teams with expertise in literacy 
development and education for children from birth to grade 12 to assist 
the States in developing a comprehensive literacy plan.
    The Department also used FY 2010 funds to award set-aside grants to 
the Bureau of Indian Education and four Outlying Areas, and to award 
discretionary grants to six State educational agencies (SEAs) to create 
comprehensive literacy programs to advance literacy skills--including 
pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing--for students from birth 
through grade 12, including limited-English-proficient students and 
students with disabilities. The Department announced this discretionary 
grant competition in a notice inviting applications that was published 
in the Federal Register on March 10, 2011 (76 FR 13143) (March 2011 
NIA). The grants awarded under

[[Page 45792]]

the FY 2011 competition were for a project period of up to five years. 
The Department indicated in the March 2011 NIA that it planned to make 
continuation awards in accordance with section 75.253 of the Education 
Department's General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 
75.253), depending on the availability of funds.
    Five of the six SEA grantees funded under the FY 2011 grant 
competition submitted a budget for all five years of the grant period. 
One grantee, the Montana Department of Education, submitted a budget 
request for only three years, believing that it could request funding 
for years four and five after receiving a grant award. On March 25, 
2014, the Montana Department of Education, Office of Public 
Instruction, requested to extend its project period for an additional 
two years.
    As outlined in the May 2014 proposed waiver, the FY 2014 
appropriation contained sufficient funding to continue Montana's grant. 
The appropriation for SCRL included $158 million, an increase of 
approximately $6 million over the FY 2013 funding level. The Department 
does not plan to conduct a new competition in FY 2014, as there are 
insufficient funds both to provide continuation grants and fund new 
grantees.
    We believe it best serves the interests of the Department and the 
public to ensure that the full cohort of grantees, including Montana, 
has the opportunity to complete a full five-year program, as originally 
intended in the March 2011 NIA. Providing Montana an opportunity for an 
additional two years of funding, and in turn an additional two years of 
data on implementation, is consistent with the underlying purpose of 
the SRCL program funded under the Section 1502 demonstration authority: 
To provide data on the results of promising literacy practices 
implemented under the SRCL program.
    Additionally, the Montana Department of Education's SRCL project is 
at a critical point; the State is working with participating local 
education agencies (LEA) to fully implement the State Literacy Plan, 
and to implement sustainability efforts and activities. The Montana 
SRCL Implementation Team continues it work to assess and evaluate the 
effectiveness of the implementation of the State Literacy Plan, and 
continues to identify and provide the support and resources necessary 
to ensure processes and systems created through the SRCL program are 
sustainable. The Montana Department of Education has used data-driven 
decisions, through its evaluation and assessment activities, to make 
improvements to the SRCL program across 10 LEAs and 32 schools. Without 
an extension of the project period to allow for the work that will lead 
to sustainability and full implementation of the State Literacy Plan, 
the SRCL program may cease in some LEAs and be greatly curtailed in 
others.
    For these reasons, the Secretary waives the requirements in 34 CFR 
75.261(a) and (c)(2) of EDGAR that generally prohibit project period 
extensions involving the obligation of additional Federal funds. The 
Secretary also extends the current Montana SCRL project period for an 
additional 24 months. This two-year extension of the project period 
will ensure seamless program delivery to the sub-grantees awarded under 
the Montana Department of Education SRCL grant award, as well as data 
on project implementation.
    We will use the process stated in the March 2011 NIA and the 
regulations in 34 CFR 75.253 to make continuation awards based on 
information that each grantee provides, indicating that each grantee is 
making substantial progress performing its SRCL grant activities and is 
showing improvement against baseline data on specific indicators listed 
in the March 2011 NIA.
    Any activities to be carried out during the remaining continuation 
years of the SCRL award must be consistent with, or be a logical 
extension of, the scope, goals, and objectives of each grantee's 
application as approved in the FY 2011 SCRL competition. With this 
final waiver and extension of the project period, the project period 
for the Montana SCRL grantee will be extended through September 30, 
2016, which is the same ending date as the ending date for the other 
SCRL grantees' project periods.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that the waiver and extension of the 
project period will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The entities that will be 
affected by this waiver and extension are the current SRCL grantees 
receiving Federal funds.
    The Secretary certifies that the waiver and extension will not have 
a significant economic impact on these entities because minimal 
compliance costs are imposed by extending a single project already in 
existence, and the activities required to support the additional years 
of funding will not impose additional regulatory burdens or require 
unnecessary Federal supervision.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The final extension of project period and waiver do not contain any 
information collection requirements.

Intergovernmental Review

    This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR parts 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 notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the contact person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of the Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit the search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Program Authority:  Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010 (Pub. 
L. 111-117) under the Title I demonstration authority (Part E, 
Section 1502 of the ESEA).

    Dated: August 1, 2014.
Deborah Delisle,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2014-18607 Filed 8-5-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P