Administrative Priorities for Discretionary Grant Programs, 65734-65739 [2019-25765]

Download as PDF 65734 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 230 / Friday, November 29, 2019 / Proposed Rules MHz). The Coast Guard vessels enforcing this section can be contacted on Marine Band Radio VHF–FM channel 16 (156.8 MHz). Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the COTP’s designated representative. (3) The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and local agencies. (d) Enforcement. The safety zones created by this section will be enforced only upon issuance of a Broadcast Notice to Mariners (BNM) by the COTP or the COTP’s representative, as well as on-scene notice or other appropriate means in accordance with § 165.7. Dated: November 22, 2019. Joseph B. Loring, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Maryland-National Capital Region. [FR Doc. 2019–25853 Filed 11–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter II [Docket ID ED–2019–OPEPD–0120] Administrative Priorities for Discretionary Grant Programs Department of Education. Proposed priorities. AGENCY: ACTION: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Nov 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding the proposed priorities. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final priorities, we urge you to identify clearly the specific proposed priority that each comment addresses. We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from the proposed priorities. Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of our programs. During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about the proposed priorities in 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W312, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays. Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request we will SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Secretary of Education proposes to establish six priorities for discretionary grant programs that would expand the Department of Education’s (the Department’s) flexibility to give priority to a broader range of applicants with varying experience in administering Federal education funds (Proposed Priorities 1 and 2), applicants proposing to serve rural communities (Proposed Priorities 3 and 4), applicants that demonstrate a rationale for their proposed projects (Proposed Priority 5), or applicants proposing to collect data after the grant’s original project period (Proposed Priority 6). DATES: We must receive your comments on or before December 30, 2019. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments. SUMMARY: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under ‘‘Help.’’ • Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you mail or deliver your comments about the proposed priorities, address them to Kelly Terpak, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W312, Washington, DC 20202. Privacy Note: The Department’s policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelly Terpak, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W312, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 205–5231. Email: kelly.terpak@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. PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for the proposed priorities. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e– 3. Proposed Priorities This document contains six proposed priorities. The Department seeks to expand the range of applicants benefiting from Federal funding, in part to promote greater innovation, and we believe the proposed priorities for new potential grantees and applicants proposing to serve rural communities would help the Department meet this goal. To operationalize these priorities, the Department may choose to use multiple absolute priorities to create separate funding slates for applicants that are new potential grantees compared with those that are not or for applicants that propose to serve rural communities compared with applicants that do not. Accordingly, the Department seeks to establish priorities that define the inverse populations and would only be used in conjunction with the priorities for new potential grantees or rural applicants. The Department also recognizes the importance of developing evidence for effective education interventions and strategies, particularly in areas where the existing evidence base is thin or non-existent. We propose a priority for applicants that demonstrate a rationale for their projects and a priority for applicants proposing to collect data after the grant project period. Proposed Priority 1—Applications From New Potential Grantees Background: The Department believes that our programs will best serve students across the country if a broader range of entities can compete on a level playing field for grants, including entities that have not typically participated in our grant programs. Under 34 CFR 75.225, the Department has been able to prioritize applicants that have never received funding under a particular program and have not received any Federal grants in the past five years. However, the definition for ‘‘novice applicant’’ in 34 CFR 75.225 is too restrictive for most of the Department’s grant programs and frequently does not benefit many applicants. Some programs have created E:\FR\FM\29NOP1.SGM 29NOP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 230 / Friday, November 29, 2019 / Proposed Rules program-specific definitions that are tailored to their individual contexts to address this issue, highlighting the fact that 34 CFR 75.225 does not work in all contexts. We believe that this proposed priority defines ‘‘new potential grantee’’ more flexibly than 34 CFR 75.225 currently defines ‘‘novice applicant,’’ and more discretionary grant programs will be able to use it. The proposed priority would more effectively promote the Department’s interest in awarding grants to a wider variety of applicants while also streamlining our work, because discretionary grant programs would no longer need to create their own program-specific priorities in order to encourage new entities to apply for grants. A grant program would be able to choose any of the elements identified that most appropriately defines a new potential grantee for the given program, specifying in the notice inviting applications (NIA) for that program which portions of this priority apply. We believe that establishing this priority is the most efficient way to ensure a level playing field for new potential grantees and to provide needed flexibility for programs in encouraging new potential grantees to apply. The Department would not use this proposed priority for any grant programs that, by statute, prohibit its use. Proposed Priority: (a) Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more of the following: (i) The applicant has never received a grant, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127–75.129, under the program from which it seeks funds. (ii) The applicant does not, as of the deadline date for submission of applications, have an active grant, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127–75.129, under the program from which it seeks funds. (iii) The applicant has not had an active discretionary grant under the program from which it seeks funds, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127–75.129, in the number of years stated in the notice inviting applications before the deadline date for submission of applications under the program. (iv) The applicant has not had an active discretionary grant from the Department, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127–75.129, in the number of years VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Nov 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 stated in the notice inviting applications before the deadline date for submission of applications under the program from which it seeks funds. (v) The applicant has not had an active contract from the Department in the number of years stated in the notice inviting applications before the deadline date for submission of applications under the program for which it seeks funds. (b) For the purpose of this priority, a grant or contract is active until the end of the grant’s or contract’s project or funding period, including any extensions of those periods that extend the grantee’s or contractor’s authority to obligate funds. Proposed Priority 2—Applications From Grantees That Are Not New Potential Grantees Background: As described above, the Department believes that our programs will best serve students across the country if our grants benefit a broad range of entities. One way of operationalizing this goal is to create multiple funding slates using multiple absolute priorities. Accordingly, the Department proposes to establish a priority that would serve as the inverse of Proposed Priority 1. Using both priorities, a program could include all eligible entities but allow for different funding slates, which provides the flexibility for the Department to evaluate applicants on each separate slate against only the other applicants on that slate. A grant program would use the elements that most appropriately define a grantee that is not a new potential grantee for a given program, specifying in the NIA for that program which portions of this priority apply. We believe that establishing this priority is the most efficient way to provide needed flexibility for programs in encouraging applications from the broadest possible range of eligible applicants. The Department would not use this proposed priority for any grant programs that, by statute, prohibit its use. Proposed Priority: (a) Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more of the following: (i) The applicant has received a grant, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127–75.129, under the program from which it seeks funds. (ii) The applicant has, as of the deadline date for submission of applications, an active grant, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65735 with 34 CFR 75.127–75.129, under the program from which it seeks funds. (iii) The applicant has had an active discretionary grant under the program from which it seeks funds, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127–75.129, in the number of years stated in the notice inviting applications before the deadline date for submission of applications under the program. (iv) The applicant has had an active discretionary grant from the Department, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127–75.129, in the number of years stated in the notice inviting applications before the deadline date for submission of applications under the program from which it seeks funds. (v) The applicant has had an active contract from the Department in the number of years stated in the notice inviting applications before the deadline date for submission of applications under the program for which it seeks funds. (b) For the purpose of this priority, a grant or contract is active until the end of the grant’s or contract’s project or funding period, including any extensions of those periods that extend the grantee’s or contractor’s authority to obligate funds. (c) This priority can only be used in competitions where the priority for Applications from New Potential Grantees is used. Proposed Priority 3—Rural Applicants Background: Rural communities face unique challenges and have unique opportunities. These factors are reflected in the statutory priority accorded to applicants that serve rural communities in many Department programs, but the Department believes that it is appropriate for it to have the option to give priority to applicants that will serve rural communities under any of its discretionary grant programs. In addition, some rural districts receive very small allocations under the Department’s formula grant programs that may have limited impact. For these reasons, the Department strongly believes that new authority to specifically encourage applications that will provide services in rural communities is essential to more equitable administration of Federal education programs. Proposed Priority: Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more of the following: E:\FR\FM\29NOP1.SGM 29NOP1 65736 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 230 / Friday, November 29, 2019 / Proposed Rules khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS (a) The applicant proposes to serve a local educational agency (LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title V, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. (b) The applicant proposes to serve a community that is served by one or more LEAs— (i) With a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43; or (ii) With a locale code of 41, 42, or 43. (c) The applicant proposes a project in which a majority of the schools served— (i) Have a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43; or (ii) Have a locale code of 41, 42, or 43. (d) The applicant is an institution of higher education (IHE) with a rural campus setting, or the applicant proposes to serve a campus with a rural setting. Rural settings include any of the following: Town-Fringe, Town-Distant, Town-Remote, Rural Fringe, RuralDistant, Rural-Remote, as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator search tool. Note: To determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for SRSA or RLIS, refer to the Department’s website at https://www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/ local/reap.html. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve locale codes from the NCES School District search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch/), where LEAs can be looked up individually to retrieve locale codes, and Public School search tool (https:// nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/), where individual schools can be looked up to retrieve locale codes. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve campus settings from the NCES College Navigator search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/ collegenavigator/) where IHEs can be looked up individually to determine the campus setting. Proposed Priority 4—Non-Rural Applicants Background: As described above, the Department believes that our programs will best serve students across the country if our grants benefit a broad range of entities. One way of operationalizing this goal is to create multiple funding slates using multiple absolute priorities. Accordingly, the Department proposes to establish a priority that would serve as the inverse of Proposed Priority 3. Using both priorities, a program could include all eligible entities but allow for different funding slates, which provides the flexibility for the Department to evaluate applicants on each separate VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Nov 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 slate against only the other applicants on that slate. A grant program would use the elements that most appropriately define a grantee that is not a rural applicant for a given program, specifying in the NIA for that program which portions of this priority apply. We believe that establishing this priority is the most efficient way to provide needed flexibility for programs in encouraging applications from the broadest possible range of eligible applicants. The Department would not use this proposed priority for any grant programs that, by statute, prohibit its use. Proposed Priority: Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more of the following: (a) The applicant does not propose to serve a local educational agency (LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title V, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. (b) The applicant does not propose to serve a community that is served by one or more LEAs— (i) With a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43; or (ii) With a locale code of 41, 42, or 43. (c) The applicant does not propose a project in which a majority of the schools served— (i) Have a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43; or (ii) Have a locale code of 41, 42, or 43. (d) The applicant is not an institution of higher education (IHE) with a rural campus setting, or the applicant proposes to serve a campus with a rural setting. Rural settings include any of the following: Town-Fringe, Town-Distant, Town-Remote, Rural Fringe, RuralDistant, Rural-Remote, as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator search tool. (e) This priority can only be used in competitions where the priority for Rural Applicants is used. Note: To determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for SRSA or RLIS, refer to the Department’s website at https://www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/ local/reap.html. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve locale codes from the NCES School District search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch/), where LEAs can be looked up individually to retrieve locale codes, and Public School search tool (https:// nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/), where individual schools can be looked up to retrieve locale codes. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve campus settings PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 from the NCES College Navigator search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/college navigator/) where IHEs can be looked up individually to determine the campus setting. Proposed Priority 5—Applications That Demonstrate a Rationale in the Project’s Logic Model Background: Consistent with 34 CFR 77.1, a project demonstrates a rationale if a key project component included in the project’s logic model is informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve relevant outcomes. Logic models describe the need for a program, its inputs and outputs, and the intended outcomes. Logic models are helpful tools for applicants to use when establishing timelines and resource needs. They also are helpful to the Department and reviewers in understanding the applicant’s rationale for how its proposed project will achieve the project outcomes. Finally, the requirement that a key project component identified in the logic model be informed by research and evaluation findings that suggest it is likely to improve relevant outcomes establishes a standard of evidence that should improve the overall quality of funded applications. As such, the Department may choose to prioritize applications that demonstrate a rationale through the use of a logic model to support project planning and implementation. In addition, we believe this proposed priority would allow us to focus Federal dollars on evidence-based proposals, even for programs where the relevant evidence base is relatively nascent. Proposed Priority: Under this priority, an applicant proposes a project that demonstrates a rationale (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1). Proposed Priority 6—Data Collection Background: With the recent passage of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115– 435), along with Strategy 3: DecisionMaking and Accountability of the 2018 President’s Management Agenda (performance.gov/PMA), Congress and the President have signaled an active interest in having the Federal government collect more comprehensive performance data in order to support policy decisions informed by a strong body of evidence. Accordingly, the Department is particularly interested in collecting outcomes data from grantees after the end of the project period of a grant, assuming availability of funds. By requiring or encouraging applicants to E:\FR\FM\29NOP1.SGM 29NOP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 230 / Friday, November 29, 2019 / Proposed Rules collect data, the Department hopes to further expand the evidence base for existing grant programs and report more comprehensive outcomes data to Congress and the public. To address the proposed priority, an applicant would include in its application a budget for and a description of its proposed postproject data collection efforts, which would be funded by the Department under 34 CFR 75.250(b). Proposed Priority: Under this priority, an applicant includes a data collection period after the conclusion of the grant project period, for a period of time to be specified in the notice inviting applications, consistent with 34 CFR 75.250(b). Types of Priorities: When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows: Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)). Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the 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 priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)). Final Priorities: We will announce the final priorities in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priorities after considering responses to the proposed priorities and other information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements. Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use one or more of these priorities, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register. Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771 Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866, it must be determined whether this regulatory VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Nov 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 action is ‘‘significant’’ and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ as an action likely to result in a rule that may— (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an ‘‘economically significant’’ rule); (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order. This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f)(4) of Executive Order 12866. Under Executive Order 13771, for each new regulation that the Department proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates that is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, and that imposes total costs greater than zero, it must identify two deregulatory actions. For FY 2020, any new incremental costs associated with a new regulation must be fully offset by the elimination of existing costs through deregulatory actions. However, Executive Order 13771 does not apply to ‘‘transfer rules’’ that cause only income transfers between taxpayers and program beneficiaries, such as those regarding discretionary grant programs. Because the proposed priorities would be used in connection with one or more discretionary grant programs, Executive Order 13771 does not apply. We have also reviewed these proposed regulations under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency— (1) Propose or adopt regulations only on a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify); PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65737 (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations; (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity); (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices. Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ‘‘to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.’’ The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include ‘‘identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.’’ We issue these proposed priorities only on a reasoned determination that their benefits would justify their costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that would maximize net benefits. Based on an analysis of anticipated costs and benefits, we believe that these proposed regulations are consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563. We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly interfere with State, local, and Tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions. Potential Costs and Benefits We have reviewed the proposed priorities in accordance with Executive Order 12866 and do not believe that these priorities would generate a considerable increase in burden. We believe any additional costs imposed by the proposed priorities would be negligible, primarily because they would create new opportunities to prioritize applicants that may have submitted applications regardless of these changes, changes that do not impose additional burden. Moreover, we believe any costs will be significantly outweighed by the E:\FR\FM\29NOP1.SGM 29NOP1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 65738 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 230 / Friday, November 29, 2019 / Proposed Rules potential benefits of making funding opportunities increasingly available to the widest possible field of applicants and the benefits of expanding the research base. In addition, generally, participation in a discretionary grant program is entirely voluntary; as a result, these proposed priorities do not impose any particular burden except when an entity voluntarily elects to apply for a grant. Proposed priority 1 would give the Department the opportunity to prioritize a ‘‘new potential grantee’’ with greater flexibility than is currently available through existing methods of giving special consideration to ‘‘novice applicants.’’ We believe that this proposed priority could result in a number of changes in the behavior of both Department staff and applicants. First, we believe that the additional flexibility in the new definition would increase the number of competitions in which we prioritize a ‘‘new potential grantee.’’ Second, we believe that it could result in additional applicants submitting applications for competitions that include such a priority. Finally, we believe that the proposed priority could shift at least some of the Department’s grants among eligible entities. However, because this proposed priority, in conjunction with Proposed Priority 2, would neither expand nor restrict the universe of eligible entities for any Department grant program, and since application submission and participation in our discretionary grant programs is voluntary, we do not think that it would be appropriate to characterize any increased participation in our grant competitions as costs associated with this priority. Proposed Priority 2, as the inverse of Proposed Priority 1, would similarly not create costs or benefits, but may have the result of shifting at least some of the Department’s grants among eligible entities. Again, since application submission and participation in our discretionary grant programs is voluntary, we do not think that it would be appropriate to characterize any increased participation or differences in which entities receive awards as costs associated with this priority. Similarly, Proposed Priority 3 would give the Department the opportunity to prioritize rural applicants. We believe that this proposed priority could result in changes in the behavior of both Department staff and applicants similar to those described above with respect to proposed priority 1. First, we believe that the availability of a priority related to supporting rural communities will increase the number of competitions in VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Nov 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 which we prioritize rural applicants, since a program could use this priority without going through program-specific rulemaking. Second, we believe that it may result in additional applicants submitting applications for competitions that include such a priority. Finally, we believe that the proposed priority could shift at least some of the Department’s grants among eligible entities. However, because this proposed priority would neither expand nor restrict the universe of eligible entities for any Department grant program, and since application submission and participation in our discretionary grant programs is voluntary, we do not think that it would be appropriate to characterize any increased participation in our grant competitions as costs associated with this priority. Similar to Proposes Priority 2, Proposed Priority 4, as the inverse of Proposed Priority 3, would not create costs or benefits. Instead, Proposed Priorities 3 and 4 may have the result of shifting at least some of the Department’s grants among eligible entities. Again, since application submission and participation in our discretionary grant programs is voluntary, we do not think that it would be appropriate to characterize any increased participation or differences in which entities receive awards as costs associated with this priority. The combined benefits of Proposed Priorities 1, 2, 3 and 4 could be an increased diversity of awardees. To the extent a program helps build the evidence base on a particular action or approach, such as through Proposed Priorities 5 and 6, there may be a benefit in the form of broadened information about the evidence on the grantee’s approach in the grantee’s setting. However, it is not possible to quantify the extent of such a benefit without knowing which programs will use these priorities and in what circumstances. Proposed priority 5 would allow the Secretary to require applicants to submit a logic model, which is unlikely to generate any quantifiable costs or benefits but may result in qualitative benefits if grantees use the logic model to better plan and more clearly communicate the intended effects of the project. Many grant competitions already include this requirement and, to the extent it is included in additional competitions in the future, we do not believe that it would create a substantial burden for applicants, because we assume that applicants in those programs would likely already have conceptualized an implicit logic model for their applications and would, PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 therefore, experience only minimal paperwork burden associated with explaining it in their applications. Finally, proposed priority 6 would allow the Department to give priority to applications that propose data collection after the original project period. We believe that this would result only in transfers between applicants that do not propose postproject data collection and the grantees that benefited from this priority, since the proposed priority would not require a grantee to fund the data collection itself. Rather, at the completion of a project period, the Department would make data collection awards under existing authority to do so. As with proposed priorities 1 and 2, because this proposed priority would neither expand nor restrict the universe of eligible entities for any Department grant program, and since application submission and participation in our discretionary grant programs is voluntary, we do not think that it would be appropriate to characterize any participation in data collection awards as costs associated with this regulation. However, it is possible that, in electing to provide data collection grants to a particular cohort of grantees, the Department would have fewer funds available to fund new awards. At this time, absent specific funding scenarios, it is not possible to predict the specific costs related to shifts from new awards to data collection awards. Longitudinal data are valuable as a resource for practitioners, researchers, and the Department. Therefore, providing grants to allow for extended data collection would likely benefit the field as a whole, including by providing better evidence about what works and what does not. Absent a particular context, it is not feasible to calculate a specific benefit, but we anticipate benefits related to better information about program effects. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification The Secretary certifies that this proposed regulatory action would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The U.S. Small Business Administration Size Standards define proprietary institutions as small businesses if they are independently owned and operated, are not dominant in their field of operation, and have total annual revenue below $7,000,000. Nonprofit institutions are defined as small entities if they are independently owned and operated and not dominant in their field of operation. Public institutions are defined as small organizations if they E:\FR\FM\29NOP1.SGM 29NOP1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 230 / Friday, November 29, 2019 / Proposed Rules are operated by a government overseeing a population below 50,000. Of the impacts we estimate accruing to grantees or eligible entities, all are voluntary and related mostly to an increase in the number of applications prepared and submitted annually for competitive grant competitions. Therefore, we do not believe that the proposed priorities would significantly impact small entities beyond the potential for increasing the likelihood of their applying for, and receiving, competitive grants from the Department. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Paperwork Reduction Act The proposed priorities do not contain any information collection requirements. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program. 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 program 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. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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 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 your search to documents published by the Department. Dated: November 22, 2019. Betsy DeVos, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–25765 Filed 11–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Nov 27, 2019 Jkt 250001 LIBRARY OF CONGRESS U.S. Copyright Office 37 CFR Part 210 [Docket No. 2019–5] Music Modernization Act Implementing Regulations for the Blanket License for Digital Uses and Mechanical Licensing Collective: Extension of Comment Period U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress. ACTION: Notification of inquiry; extension of comment period. AGENCY: The U.S. Copyright Office is extending the deadline for the submission of written reply comments in response to its September 24, 2019 notification of inquiry regarding implementation regulations for the Musical Works Modernization Act, title I of the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act. DATES: The reply comment period for the notification of inquiry published September 24, 2019, at 84 FR 49966, is extended. Written reply comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 20, 2019. ADDRESSES: For reasons of government efficiency, the Copyright Office is using the regulations.gov system for the submission and posting of public comments in this proceeding. All comments are therefore to be submitted electronically through regulations.gov. Specific instructions for submitting comments are available on the Copyright Office’s website at https:// www.copyright.gov/rulemaking/mmaimplementation/. If electronic submission of comments is not feasible due to lack of access to a computer and/ or the internet, please contact the Office using the contact information below for special instructions. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Regan A. Smith, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights, by email at regans@copyright.gov, Anna Chauvet, Associate General Counsel, by email at achau@copyright.gov, or Jason E. Sloan, Assistant General Counsel, by email at jslo@copyright.gov. Each can be contacted by telephone by calling (202) 707–8350. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Copyright Office issued a notification of inquiry (‘‘NOI’’) regarding implementation regulations for the Musical Works Modernization Act, title I of the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (‘‘MMA’’). 84 FR SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 65739 49966 (Sept. 24, 2019). The Office solicited public comments on a broad range of subjects concerning the administration of the new blanket compulsory license for digital uses of musical works that was created by the MMA, including regulations regarding notices of license, notices of nonblanket activity, usage reports and adjustments, information to be included in the mechanical licensing collective’s database, database usability, interoperability, and usage restrictions, and the handling of confidential information. To ensure that members of the public have sufficient time to respond, and to ensure that the Office has the benefit of a complete record, the Office is extending the deadline for the submission of written reply comments to no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on December 20, 2019. Dated: November 22, 2019. Regan A. Smith, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights. [FR Doc. 2019–25805 Filed 11–27–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410–30–P ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 372 [EPA–HQ–TRI–2019–0146; FRL–9995–92] RIN 2070–AK53 Community Right-to-Know; Corrections to Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Requirements Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: EPA is proposing corrections to existing regulatory language for the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program. EPA is proposing corrections that will update identifiers, formulas, and names for certain TRI-listed chemicals and updates to the text that identifies which chemicals the 0.1 percent de minimis concentration applies to in order to remedy a cross-reference to a no-longeraccurate Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulatory citation. These proposed corrections maintain previous regulatory actions and do not alter existing reporting requirements or impact compliance burdens or costs. DATES: Comments must be received on or before January 28, 2020. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\29NOP1.SGM 29NOP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 230 (Friday, November 29, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 65734-65739]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25765]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter II

[Docket ID ED-2019-OPEPD-0120]


Administrative Priorities for Discretionary Grant Programs

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Proposed priorities.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education proposes to establish six 
priorities for discretionary grant programs that would expand the 
Department of Education's (the Department's) flexibility to give 
priority to a broader range of applicants with varying experience in 
administering Federal education funds (Proposed Priorities 1 and 2), 
applicants proposing to serve rural communities (Proposed Priorities 3 
and 4), applicants that demonstrate a rationale for their proposed 
projects (Proposed Priority 5), or applicants proposing to collect data 
after the grant's original project period (Proposed Priority 6).

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before December 30, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not 
accept comments submitted by fax or by email or those submitted after 
the comment period. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, 
please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the 
Docket ID at the top of your comments.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to 
submit your comments electronically. Information on using 
Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, 
submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site 
under ``Help.''
     Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you 
mail or deliver your comments about the proposed priorities, address 
them to Kelly Terpak, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue 
SW, Room 4W312, Washington, DC 20202.
    Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all comments 
received from members of the public available for public viewing in 
their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include 
in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly 
available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelly Terpak, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W312, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: (202) 205-5231. Email: [email protected].
    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: Invitation to Comment: We invite you to 
submit comments regarding the proposed priorities. To ensure that your 
comments have maximum effect in developing the notice of final 
priorities, we urge you to identify clearly the specific proposed 
priority that each comment addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771 and their 
overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result 
from the proposed priorities. Please let us know of any further ways we 
could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while 
preserving the effective and efficient administration of our programs.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about the proposed priorities in 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 
4W312, Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., 
Eastern time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for the proposed priorities. If you want to 
schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary 
aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3.

Proposed Priorities

    This document contains six proposed priorities. The Department 
seeks to expand the range of applicants benefiting from Federal 
funding, in part to promote greater innovation, and we believe the 
proposed priorities for new potential grantees and applicants proposing 
to serve rural communities would help the Department meet this goal. To 
operationalize these priorities, the Department may choose to use 
multiple absolute priorities to create separate funding slates for 
applicants that are new potential grantees compared with those that are 
not or for applicants that propose to serve rural communities compared 
with applicants that do not. Accordingly, the Department seeks to 
establish priorities that define the inverse populations and would only 
be used in conjunction with the priorities for new potential grantees 
or rural applicants. The Department also recognizes the importance of 
developing evidence for effective education interventions and 
strategies, particularly in areas where the existing evidence base is 
thin or non-existent. We propose a priority for applicants that 
demonstrate a rationale for their projects and a priority for 
applicants proposing to collect data after the grant project period.

Proposed Priority 1--Applications From New Potential Grantees

    Background: The Department believes that our programs will best 
serve students across the country if a broader range of entities can 
compete on a level playing field for grants, including entities that 
have not typically participated in our grant programs. Under 34 CFR 
75.225, the Department has been able to prioritize applicants that have 
never received funding under a particular program and have not received 
any Federal grants in the past five years. However, the definition for 
``novice applicant'' in 34 CFR 75.225 is too restrictive for most of 
the Department's grant programs and frequently does not benefit many 
applicants. Some programs have created

[[Page 65735]]

program-specific definitions that are tailored to their individual 
contexts to address this issue, highlighting the fact that 34 CFR 
75.225 does not work in all contexts. We believe that this proposed 
priority defines ``new potential grantee'' more flexibly than 34 CFR 
75.225 currently defines ``novice applicant,'' and more discretionary 
grant programs will be able to use it. The proposed priority would more 
effectively promote the Department's interest in awarding grants to a 
wider variety of applicants while also streamlining our work, because 
discretionary grant programs would no longer need to create their own 
program-specific priorities in order to encourage new entities to apply 
for grants. A grant program would be able to choose any of the elements 
identified that most appropriately defines a new potential grantee for 
the given program, specifying in the notice inviting applications (NIA) 
for that program which portions of this priority apply. We believe that 
establishing this priority is the most efficient way to ensure a level 
playing field for new potential grantees and to provide needed 
flexibility for programs in encouraging new potential grantees to 
apply. The Department would not use this proposed priority for any 
grant programs that, by statute, prohibit its use.
    Proposed Priority:
    (a) Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more 
of the following:
    (i) The applicant has never received a grant, including through 
membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 
75.127-75.129, under the program from which it seeks funds.
    (ii) The applicant does not, as of the deadline date for submission 
of applications, have an active grant, including through membership in 
a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, 
under the program from which it seeks funds.
    (iii) The applicant has not had an active discretionary grant under 
the program from which it seeks funds, including through membership in 
a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, 
in the number of years stated in the notice inviting applications 
before the deadline date for submission of applications under the 
program.
    (iv) The applicant has not had an active discretionary grant from 
the Department, including through membership in a group application 
submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, in the number of 
years stated in the notice inviting applications before the deadline 
date for submission of applications under the program from which it 
seeks funds.
    (v) The applicant has not had an active contract from the 
Department in the number of years stated in the notice inviting 
applications before the deadline date for submission of applications 
under the program for which it seeks funds.
    (b) For the purpose of this priority, a grant or contract is active 
until the end of the grant's or contract's project or funding period, 
including any extensions of those periods that extend the grantee's or 
contractor's authority to obligate funds.

Proposed Priority 2--Applications From Grantees That Are Not New 
Potential Grantees

    Background: As described above, the Department believes that our 
programs will best serve students across the country if our grants 
benefit a broad range of entities. One way of operationalizing this 
goal is to create multiple funding slates using multiple absolute 
priorities. Accordingly, the Department proposes to establish a 
priority that would serve as the inverse of Proposed Priority 1. Using 
both priorities, a program could include all eligible entities but 
allow for different funding slates, which provides the flexibility for 
the Department to evaluate applicants on each separate slate against 
only the other applicants on that slate. A grant program would use the 
elements that most appropriately define a grantee that is not a new 
potential grantee for a given program, specifying in the NIA for that 
program which portions of this priority apply. We believe that 
establishing this priority is the most efficient way to provide needed 
flexibility for programs in encouraging applications from the broadest 
possible range of eligible applicants. The Department would not use 
this proposed priority for any grant programs that, by statute, 
prohibit its use.
    Proposed Priority:
    (a) Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more 
of the following:
    (i) The applicant has received a grant, including through 
membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 
75.127-75.129, under the program from which it seeks funds.
    (ii) The applicant has, as of the deadline date for submission of 
applications, an active grant, including through membership in a group 
application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, under 
the program from which it seeks funds.
    (iii) The applicant has had an active discretionary grant under the 
program from which it seeks funds, including through membership in a 
group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, in 
the number of years stated in the notice inviting applications before 
the deadline date for submission of applications under the program.
    (iv) The applicant has had an active discretionary grant from the 
Department, including through membership in a group application 
submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, in the number of 
years stated in the notice inviting applications before the deadline 
date for submission of applications under the program from which it 
seeks funds.
    (v) The applicant has had an active contract from the Department in 
the number of years stated in the notice inviting applications before 
the deadline date for submission of applications under the program for 
which it seeks funds.
    (b) For the purpose of this priority, a grant or contract is active 
until the end of the grant's or contract's project or funding period, 
including any extensions of those periods that extend the grantee's or 
contractor's authority to obligate funds.
    (c) This priority can only be used in competitions where the 
priority for Applications from New Potential Grantees is used.

Proposed Priority 3--Rural Applicants

    Background:
    Rural communities face unique challenges and have unique 
opportunities. These factors are reflected in the statutory priority 
accorded to applicants that serve rural communities in many Department 
programs, but the Department believes that it is appropriate for it to 
have the option to give priority to applicants that will serve rural 
communities under any of its discretionary grant programs. In addition, 
some rural districts receive very small allocations under the 
Department's formula grant programs that may have limited impact. For 
these reasons, the Department strongly believes that new authority to 
specifically encourage applications that will provide services in rural 
communities is essential to more equitable administration of Federal 
education programs.
    Proposed Priority:
    Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more of 
the following:

[[Page 65736]]

    (a) The applicant proposes to serve a local educational agency 
(LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) 
program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized 
under Title V, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965, as amended.
    (b) The applicant proposes to serve a community that is served by 
one or more LEAs--
    (i) With a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43; or
    (ii) With a locale code of 41, 42, or 43.
    (c) The applicant proposes a project in which a majority of the 
schools served--
    (i) Have a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43; or
    (ii) Have a locale code of 41, 42, or 43.
    (d) The applicant is an institution of higher education (IHE) with 
a rural campus setting, or the applicant proposes to serve a campus 
with a rural setting. Rural settings include any of the following: 
Town-Fringe, Town-Distant, Town-Remote, Rural Fringe, Rural-Distant, 
Rural-Remote, as defined by the National Center for Education 
Statistics (NCES) College Navigator search tool.
    Note: To determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for SRSA or 
RLIS, refer to the Department's website at https://www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve locale 
codes from the NCES School District search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch/), where LEAs can be looked up individually to 
retrieve locale codes, and Public School search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/), where individual schools can be looked 
up to retrieve locale codes. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve 
campus settings from the NCES College Navigator search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/) where IHEs can be looked up individually 
to determine the campus setting.

Proposed Priority 4--Non-Rural Applicants

    Background: As described above, the Department believes that our 
programs will best serve students across the country if our grants 
benefit a broad range of entities. One way of operationalizing this 
goal is to create multiple funding slates using multiple absolute 
priorities. Accordingly, the Department proposes to establish a 
priority that would serve as the inverse of Proposed Priority 3. Using 
both priorities, a program could include all eligible entities but 
allow for different funding slates, which provides the flexibility for 
the Department to evaluate applicants on each separate slate against 
only the other applicants on that slate. A grant program would use the 
elements that most appropriately define a grantee that is not a rural 
applicant for a given program, specifying in the NIA for that program 
which portions of this priority apply. We believe that establishing 
this priority is the most efficient way to provide needed flexibility 
for programs in encouraging applications from the broadest possible 
range of eligible applicants. The Department would not use this 
proposed priority for any grant programs that, by statute, prohibit its 
use.
    Proposed Priority:
    Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more of 
the following:
    (a) The applicant does not propose to serve a local educational 
agency (LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement 
(SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program 
authorized under Title V, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended.
    (b) The applicant does not propose to serve a community that is 
served by one or more LEAs--
    (i) With a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43; or
    (ii) With a locale code of 41, 42, or 43.
    (c) The applicant does not propose a project in which a majority of 
the schools served--
    (i) Have a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43; or
    (ii) Have a locale code of 41, 42, or 43.
    (d) The applicant is not an institution of higher education (IHE) 
with a rural campus setting, or the applicant proposes to serve a 
campus with a rural setting. Rural settings include any of the 
following: Town-Fringe, Town-Distant, Town-Remote, Rural Fringe, Rural-
Distant, Rural-Remote, as defined by the National Center for Education 
Statistics (NCES) College Navigator search tool.
    (e) This priority can only be used in competitions where the 
priority for Rural Applicants is used.
    Note: To determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for SRSA or 
RLIS, refer to the Department's website at https://www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve locale 
codes from the NCES School District search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch/), where LEAs can be looked up individually to 
retrieve locale codes, and Public School search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/), where individual schools can be looked 
up to retrieve locale codes. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve 
campus settings from the NCES College Navigator search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/) where IHEs can be looked up individually 
to determine the campus setting.

Proposed Priority 5--Applications That Demonstrate a Rationale in the 
Project's Logic Model

    Background:
    Consistent with 34 CFR 77.1, a project demonstrates a rationale if 
a key project component included in the project's logic model is 
informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project 
component is likely to improve relevant outcomes. Logic models describe 
the need for a program, its inputs and outputs, and the intended 
outcomes. Logic models are helpful tools for applicants to use when 
establishing timelines and resource needs. They also are helpful to the 
Department and reviewers in understanding the applicant's rationale for 
how its proposed project will achieve the project outcomes. Finally, 
the requirement that a key project component identified in the logic 
model be informed by research and evaluation findings that suggest it 
is likely to improve relevant outcomes establishes a standard of 
evidence that should improve the overall quality of funded 
applications. As such, the Department may choose to prioritize 
applications that demonstrate a rationale through the use of a logic 
model to support project planning and implementation. In addition, we 
believe this proposed priority would allow us to focus Federal dollars 
on evidence-based proposals, even for programs where the relevant 
evidence base is relatively nascent.
    Proposed Priority:
    Under this priority, an applicant proposes a project that 
demonstrates a rationale (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1).

Proposed Priority 6--Data Collection

    Background:
    With the recent passage of the Foundations for Evidence-Based 
Policymaking Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-435), along with Strategy 3: 
Decision-Making and Accountability of the 2018 President's Management 
Agenda (performance.gov/PMA), Congress and the President have signaled 
an active interest in having the Federal government collect more 
comprehensive performance data in order to support policy decisions 
informed by a strong body of evidence. Accordingly, the Department is 
particularly interested in collecting outcomes data from grantees after 
the end of the project period of a grant, assuming availability of 
funds. By requiring or encouraging applicants to

[[Page 65737]]

collect data, the Department hopes to further expand the evidence base 
for existing grant programs and report more comprehensive outcomes data 
to Congress and the public. To address the proposed priority, an 
applicant would include in its application a budget for and a 
description of its proposed post-project data collection efforts, which 
would be funded by the Department under 34 CFR 75.250(b).
    Proposed Priority: Under this priority, an applicant includes a 
data collection period after the conclusion of the grant project 
period, for a period of time to be specified in the notice inviting 
applications, consistent with 34 CFR 75.250(b).
    Types of Priorities: When inviting applications for a competition 
using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as 
absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in 
the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the 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 priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).
    Final Priorities: We will announce the final priorities in a notice 
in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priorities after 
considering responses to the proposed priorities and other information 
available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from 
proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or 
selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 
requirements.
    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use one or more of these priorities, we invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771

Regulatory Impact Analysis
    Under Executive Order 12866, it must be determined whether this 
regulatory action is ``significant'' and, therefore, subject to the 
requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 
defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely to 
result in a rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or 
Tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the 
Executive order.
    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory 
action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f)(4) of Executive 
Order 12866.
    Under Executive Order 13771, for each new regulation that the 
Department proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates 
that is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, 
and that imposes total costs greater than zero, it must identify two 
deregulatory actions. For FY 2020, any new incremental costs associated 
with a new regulation must be fully offset by the elimination of 
existing costs through deregulatory actions. However, Executive Order 
13771 does not apply to ``transfer rules'' that cause only income 
transfers between taxpayers and program beneficiaries, such as those 
regarding discretionary grant programs. Because the proposed priorities 
would be used in connection with one or more discretionary grant 
programs, Executive Order 13771 does not apply.
    We have also reviewed these proposed regulations under Executive 
Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, 
structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in 
Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 
13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only on a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practicable--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated 
behavioral changes.''
    We issue these proposed priorities only on a reasoned determination 
that their benefits would justify their costs. In choosing among 
alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that 
would maximize net benefits. Based on an analysis of anticipated costs 
and benefits, we believe that these proposed regulations are consistent 
with the principles in Executive Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, and Tribal governments in the exercise of 
their governmental functions.
Potential Costs and Benefits
    We have reviewed the proposed priorities in accordance with 
Executive Order 12866 and do not believe that these priorities would 
generate a considerable increase in burden. We believe any additional 
costs imposed by the proposed priorities would be negligible, primarily 
because they would create new opportunities to prioritize applicants 
that may have submitted applications regardless of these changes, 
changes that do not impose additional burden. Moreover, we believe any 
costs will be significantly outweighed by the

[[Page 65738]]

potential benefits of making funding opportunities increasingly 
available to the widest possible field of applicants and the benefits 
of expanding the research base. In addition, generally, participation 
in a discretionary grant program is entirely voluntary; as a result, 
these proposed priorities do not impose any particular burden except 
when an entity voluntarily elects to apply for a grant.
    Proposed priority 1 would give the Department the opportunity to 
prioritize a ``new potential grantee'' with greater flexibility than is 
currently available through existing methods of giving special 
consideration to ``novice applicants.'' We believe that this proposed 
priority could result in a number of changes in the behavior of both 
Department staff and applicants. First, we believe that the additional 
flexibility in the new definition would increase the number of 
competitions in which we prioritize a ``new potential grantee.'' 
Second, we believe that it could result in additional applicants 
submitting applications for competitions that include such a priority. 
Finally, we believe that the proposed priority could shift at least 
some of the Department's grants among eligible entities. However, 
because this proposed priority, in conjunction with Proposed Priority 
2, would neither expand nor restrict the universe of eligible entities 
for any Department grant program, and since application submission and 
participation in our discretionary grant programs is voluntary, we do 
not think that it would be appropriate to characterize any increased 
participation in our grant competitions as costs associated with this 
priority.
    Proposed Priority 2, as the inverse of Proposed Priority 1, would 
similarly not create costs or benefits, but may have the result of 
shifting at least some of the Department's grants among eligible 
entities. Again, since application submission and participation in our 
discretionary grant programs is voluntary, we do not think that it 
would be appropriate to characterize any increased participation or 
differences in which entities receive awards as costs associated with 
this priority.
    Similarly, Proposed Priority 3 would give the Department the 
opportunity to prioritize rural applicants. We believe that this 
proposed priority could result in changes in the behavior of both 
Department staff and applicants similar to those described above with 
respect to proposed priority 1. First, we believe that the availability 
of a priority related to supporting rural communities will increase the 
number of competitions in which we prioritize rural applicants, since a 
program could use this priority without going through program-specific 
rulemaking. Second, we believe that it may result in additional 
applicants submitting applications for competitions that include such a 
priority. Finally, we believe that the proposed priority could shift at 
least some of the Department's grants among eligible entities. However, 
because this proposed priority would neither expand nor restrict the 
universe of eligible entities for any Department grant program, and 
since application submission and participation in our discretionary 
grant programs is voluntary, we do not think that it would be 
appropriate to characterize any increased participation in our grant 
competitions as costs associated with this priority.
    Similar to Proposes Priority 2, Proposed Priority 4, as the inverse 
of Proposed Priority 3, would not create costs or benefits. Instead, 
Proposed Priorities 3 and 4 may have the result of shifting at least 
some of the Department's grants among eligible entities. Again, since 
application submission and participation in our discretionary grant 
programs is voluntary, we do not think that it would be appropriate to 
characterize any increased participation or differences in which 
entities receive awards as costs associated with this priority.
    The combined benefits of Proposed Priorities 1, 2, 3 and 4 could be 
an increased diversity of awardees. To the extent a program helps build 
the evidence base on a particular action or approach, such as through 
Proposed Priorities 5 and 6, there may be a benefit in the form of 
broadened information about the evidence on the grantee's approach in 
the grantee's setting. However, it is not possible to quantify the 
extent of such a benefit without knowing which programs will use these 
priorities and in what circumstances.
    Proposed priority 5 would allow the Secretary to require applicants 
to submit a logic model, which is unlikely to generate any quantifiable 
costs or benefits but may result in qualitative benefits if grantees 
use the logic model to better plan and more clearly communicate the 
intended effects of the project. Many grant competitions already 
include this requirement and, to the extent it is included in 
additional competitions in the future, we do not believe that it would 
create a substantial burden for applicants, because we assume that 
applicants in those programs would likely already have conceptualized 
an implicit logic model for their applications and would, therefore, 
experience only minimal paperwork burden associated with explaining it 
in their applications.
    Finally, proposed priority 6 would allow the Department to give 
priority to applications that propose data collection after the 
original project period. We believe that this would result only in 
transfers between applicants that do not propose post-project data 
collection and the grantees that benefited from this priority, since 
the proposed priority would not require a grantee to fund the data 
collection itself. Rather, at the completion of a project period, the 
Department would make data collection awards under existing authority 
to do so. As with proposed priorities 1 and 2, because this proposed 
priority would neither expand nor restrict the universe of eligible 
entities for any Department grant program, and since application 
submission and participation in our discretionary grant programs is 
voluntary, we do not think that it would be appropriate to characterize 
any participation in data collection awards as costs associated with 
this regulation. However, it is possible that, in electing to provide 
data collection grants to a particular cohort of grantees, the 
Department would have fewer funds available to fund new awards. At this 
time, absent specific funding scenarios, it is not possible to predict 
the specific costs related to shifts from new awards to data collection 
awards. Longitudinal data are valuable as a resource for practitioners, 
researchers, and the Department. Therefore, providing grants to allow 
for extended data collection would likely benefit the field as a whole, 
including by providing better evidence about what works and what does 
not. Absent a particular context, it is not feasible to calculate a 
specific benefit, but we anticipate benefits related to better 
information about program effects.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that this proposed regulatory action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The U.S. Small Business Administration Size Standards define 
proprietary institutions as small businesses if they are independently 
owned and operated, are not dominant in their field of operation, and 
have total annual revenue below $7,000,000. Nonprofit institutions are 
defined as small entities if they are independently owned and operated 
and not dominant in their field of operation. Public institutions are 
defined as small organizations if they

[[Page 65739]]

are operated by a government overseeing a population below 50,000.
    Of the impacts we estimate accruing to grantees or eligible 
entities, all are voluntary and related mostly to an increase in the 
number of applications prepared and submitted annually for competitive 
grant competitions. Therefore, we do not believe that the proposed 
priorities would significantly impact small entities beyond the 
potential for increasing the likelihood of their applying for, and 
receiving, competitive grants from the Department.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The proposed priorities do not contain any information collection 
requirements.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    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 program 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. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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 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 your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: November 22, 2019.
Betsy DeVos,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2019-25765 Filed 11-27-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P