Final Priorities-Effective Educator Development Division, 36217-36220 [2021-14713]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 129 / Friday, July 9, 2021 / Rules and Regulations List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 199 Claims, Dental health, Health care, Health insurance, Individuals with disabilities, Military personnel. Accordingly, 32 CFR part 199 is amended as follows: PART 199—CIVILIAN HEALTH AND MEDICAL PROGRAM OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES CHAMPUS 1. The authority citation for part 199 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 10 U.S.C. chapter 55. 2. In § 199.5, revise paragraph (c)(7) introductory text to read as follows: ■ § 199.5 TRICARE Extended Care Health Option (ECHO). * * * * * (c) * * * (7) Respite care. TRICARE beneficiaries enrolled in ECHO are eligible for a maximum of 16 hours of respite care per month. Respite care is defined in § 199.2. Respite care services will be provided by a TRICAREauthorized HHA and will be designed to provide health care services for the covered beneficiary. The benefit will not be cumulative, that is, any respite hours not used in one month will not be carried over or banked for use on another occasion. * * * * * Dated: July 2, 2021. Aaron T. Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense. [FR Doc. 2021–14614 Filed 7–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–06–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter II [Docket ID ED–2021–OESE–0045] Final Priorities—Effective Educator Development Division Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Final priorities. AGENCY: The Department of Education (Department) announces priorities for the following programs of the Effective Educator Development Division (EED): Teacher and School Leader Incentive Grants (TSL), Assistance Listing Number (ALN) 84.374A; Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED), ALN 84.423A; and Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP), ALN 84.336S. We jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:24 Jul 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 may use these priorities for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2021 and later years. We propose these priorities to focus on educator development, leadership, and diversity in the various EED programs in order to improve the quality of teaching and school leadership. DATES: These priorities are effective August 9, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Orman Feres, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3C124, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453–6921. Email: orman.feres@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: Purpose of Program: This notice identifies final priorities for use in three Department programs: TSL, SEED, and TQP. The purpose of TSL is to assist States, local educational agencies, and nonprofit organizations to develop, implement, improve, or expand comprehensive performance-based compensation systems (PBCS) or human capital management systems (HCMS) for teachers, principals, and other school leaders (educators) (especially educators in high-need schools who raise student academic achievement and close the achievement gap between high- and low-performing students). In addition, a portion of TSL funds may be used to study the effectiveness, fairness, quality, consistency, and reliability of such systems. The SEED program provides funding to increase the number of highly effective educators by supporting the implementation of evidence-based practices that prepare, develop, or enhance the skills of educators. SEED grants allow eligible entities to develop, expand, and evaluate practices that can serve as models to be sustained and disseminated. The purposes of the TQP program are to improve student achievement; improve the quality of prospective and new teachers by improving the preparation of prospective teachers and enhancing professional development activities for new teachers; hold teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education accountable for preparing teachers who meet applicable State certification and licensure requirements; and recruit highly qualified individuals, including minorities and individuals from other occupations, into the teaching profession. Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e– 3. TSL: Sections 2211–2213 of the PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 36217 Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 6631–6633. SEED: Section 2242 of the ESEA, 20 U.S.C. 6672. TQP: Sections 200–204 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1021–1022c. We published a notice of proposed priorities (NPP) for these programs in the Federal Register on April 20, 2021 (86 FR 20471). The NPP contained background information and our reasons for proposing the particular priorities. Except for minor editorial and technical revisions, there are no differences between the proposed priorities and these final priorities. Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the NPP, we received 31 comments, 23 of which were relevant to the proposed priorities and 8 of which were not relevant to the proposed priorities and were not considered in the analysis. Of the 23 comments addressing the proposed priorities, 7 expressed support for the proposed priorities but either offered no specific recommendations to revise them or offered broad recommendations for strengthening the educator workforce that were outside the scope of these proposed priorities. The remaining 16 comments either expressed disagreement or broadly agreed while offering suggestions to strengthen the proposed priorities. Responses to these comments are found in the Analysis of the Comments and Changes below. Analysis of the Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and of any changes to the proposed priorities follows. Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes, or suggested changes the law does not authorize us to make under the applicable statutory authority. In addition, we do not address general comments that raise concerns not directly related to the NPP. Comment: In response to Priority 1— Supporting Educators and Their Professional Growth, one commenter suggested that encouraging educators to pursue advanced credentials, such as Master’s degrees, may not necessarily lead to improvements in educator effectiveness and may produce unintended incentives for educators to leave the profession. Discussion: We appreciate the comment regarding the potential limited impact on educator effectiveness and potential disincentives to educator retention that could result from encouraging teachers to pursue advanced credentials. Creating or enhancing professional growth E:\FR\FM\09JYR1.SGM 09JYR1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 36218 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 129 / Friday, July 9, 2021 / Rules and Regulations opportunities for educators is a chief component of the Administration’s approach to ensuring that students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and other historically underserved students have equal access to qualified, experienced, and effective educators. The concerns outlined by the commenter are precisely the reasons why this priority promotes a holistic approach to supporting teachers and school leaders. The priority not only targets increased numbers of teachers with advanced credentials, which, in addition to a Master’s Degree, may include National Board Certification or an additional credential, such as to teach English learners or students with special needs. It also promotes establishment of career ladders, improved pay systems, targeted professional development and a range of other strategies aimed at improving the educator workforce. We think that advanced credential attainment is an important part of this holistic strategy. Thus, we do not think that it is necessary to revise the proposed priorities to address this specific need. Changes: None. Comment: In response to Priority 1— Supporting Educators and Their Professional Growth, one commenter recommended that we focus on raising teacher salaries to be commensurate with that of other professionals whose roles require specialized training. Discussion: We appreciate the comment regarding economic concerns facing educators and low teacher salaries may pose potential barriers to diverse candidates entering the educator profession. While we agree with the commenters on the need for educators’ salaries to reflect the significance of their roles, we note that these priorities focus on preparing educators with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed to support the personal and academic growth of all students. We note one of the programs intended for potential use of these priorities, TSL, provides applicants with flexibility to propose innovative interventions aimed at enhancing educators’ compensation based on their performance. For this reason, we do not think that it is necessary to revise the proposed priorities to address teachers’ salaries. Changes: None. Comment: In response to Priority 2— Increasing Educator Diversity, one commenter cautioned that factors such as the wealth gap and income inequality along racial lines may lead to difficulty hiring diverse educators. Discussion: We appreciate the comment regarding economic concerns VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Jul 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 facing educators and how they may pose potential barriers to diverse candidates entering the educator profession. We note that this priority has been established, due in part to the barriers to achieving a diverse educator workforce the commenter identified. We also note that this priority seeks to promote a holistic approach to attracting and retaining teachers and school leaders and we encourage districts and localities to leverage the opportunities afforded under this priority to design evidence-based and promising approaches to attracting diverse educator candidates. For this reason, we do not think that it is necessary to revise the proposed priority. Changes: None. Comment: Multiple commenters expressed support for both priorities, while suggesting a range of specific revisions. One commenter recommended changes to emphasize the importance of antibias and antiracist education to our existing workforce. On the topic of cultural responsiveness, multiple commenters cited research emphasizing the importance of culturally responsive school leadership and recommended specific revisions to highlight the importance of culturally responsive and culturally sustaining teaching practices. Another commenter recommended changes to both priorities to promote development and diversification of school leaders. With regard to professional development and professional learning of educators, one commenter recommended that the Department focus on learning communities, leadership, resources, data, learning designs, implementation, and outcomes. Another commenter noted the significant role of traditional educator preparation programs in advancing the goals of these priorities, while another commenter, focusing on the SEED program, recommended that we revise the priorities to more clearly highlight the role of high-quality, nontraditional educator preparation programs. A separate commenter recommended that we revise the priorities to emphasize the long-term sustainability of project activities implemented under these priorities. Additionally, one commenter stressed the importance of prioritizing growyour-own recruitment approaches. Discussion: We appreciate each commenter’s suggestions and recognize the significance of the specific areas they recommend be emphasized in the proposed priorities. We note that several of these suggested items, such as ‘‘grow your own’’ programs, diversification of school leaders, and placing an emphasis on data and outcomes, are directly PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 addressed in the priorities. We also acknowledge and appreciate the other suggestions made by commenters that highlight specific strategies or activities that could be specified in the priority. We note that these priorities are intended for use in discretionary grant programs and are designed to offer districts and localities flexibility to shape their local instructional programming around innovative initiatives that meet their distinct needs. We think that the priorities, as written, provide an equal measure of specificity and flexibility for prospective applicants to address the goals of supporting educators and their professional growth, as well as increasing educator diversity. Finally, we note that these suggested activities are already allowable under these programs, in addition to other programs funded by the Department, and are reflective of the Department’s overall vision for the improvement of the educator workforce. Upon further review, the Department believes that additional clarity would be helpful for applicants with respect to their plans to implement educator diversity practices. We are revising Priority 2 to combine and clarify the activities in proposed paragraphs (a) and (h). Changes: In Priority 2, we have removed proposed paragraphs (a) and (h) and added a new paragraph (g) that encompasses activities related to data systems, timelines, and action plans for promoting educator and school leader diversity. Comment: Multiple commenters expressed support for the proposed priorities but recommended we add language that specifically references sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to add clarity around what is meant by the term ‘‘diversity.’’ Discussion: We appreciate the importance of being clear about the meaning of ‘‘diversity.’’ The Department has chosen to use the term ‘‘diversity’’ to describe and embrace all students and educators without exception. Thus, we do not think that it is necessary to revise the priorities in response to these specific recommendations. Changes: None. Final Priorities: Priority 1—Supporting Educators and Their Professional Growth. Projects that are designed to increase the number and percentage of wellprepared, experienced, effective, and diverse educators—which may include one or more of the following: Teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, or other school leaders as defined in section 8101(44) of the ESEA—through E:\FR\FM\09JYR1.SGM 09JYR1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 129 / Friday, July 9, 2021 / Rules and Regulations evidence-based strategies (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1 or the ESEA) incorporating one or more of the following: (a) Adopting, implementing, or expanding efforts to recruit, select, prepare, support, and develop talented, diverse individuals to serve as mentors, instructional coaches, principals, or school leaders in high-need schools (as may be defined in the program’s authorizing statute or regulations) who have the knowledge and skills to significantly improve instruction. (b) Implementing practices or strategies that support high-need schools (as may be defined in the program’s authorizing statute or regulations) in recruiting, preparing, hiring, supporting, developing, and retaining qualified, experienced, effective, diverse educators. (c) Increasing the number of teachers with State or national advanced educator certification or certification in a teacher shortage area, as determined by the Secretary, such as special education or bilingual education. (d) Providing high-quality professional development opportunities to all educators in high-need schools (as may be defined in the program’s authorizing statute or regulations) on meeting the needs of diverse learners, including students with disabilities and English learners. Proposed Priority 2—Increasing Educator Diversity. Under this priority, applicants must develop projects that are designed to improve the recruitment, outreach, preparation, support, development, and retention of a diverse educator workforce through adopting, implementing, or expanding one or more of the following: (a) High-quality, comprehensive teacher preparation programs that have a track record of attracting, supporting, graduating, and placing underrepresented teacher candidates, and that include one year of highquality clinical experiences (prior to becoming the teacher of record) in highneed schools (as may be defined in the program’s authorizing statute or regulations). (b) High-quality, comprehensive teacher preparation programs in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (eligible institutions under part B of title III and subpart 4 of part A title VII of the HEA), Hispanic Serving Institutions (eligible institutions under section 502 of the HEA), Tribal Colleges and Universities (eligible institutions under section 316 of the HEA), or other Minority Serving Institutions (eligible institutions under title III and title V of the HEA) that include one year of high- VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Jul 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 quality clinical experiences (prior to becoming the teacher of record) in highneed schools (as may be defined in the program’s authorizing statute or regulations) and that incorporate best practices for attracting, supporting, graduating, and placing underrepresented teacher candidates. (c) Reforms to teacher preparation programs to improve the diversity of teacher candidates, including changes to ensure underrepresented teacher candidates are fully represented in program admission, completion, placement, and retention as educators. (d) Educator candidate support and preparation strategies and practices focused on underrepresented teacher candidates, and which may include ‘‘grow your own programs,’’ which typically recruit middle or high school students, paraprofessionals, or other school staff and provide them with clear pathways and intensive support to enter into the teaching profession. (e) Professional growth and leadership opportunities for diverse educators, including opportunities to influence school, district, or State policies and practices in order to improve educator diversity. (f) High-quality professional development on addressing bias in instructional practice and fostering an inclusive, equitable, and supportive workplace and school climate for educators. (g) Data systems, timelines, and action plans for promoting inclusive and biasfree human resources practices that promote and support development of educator and school leader diversity. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 36219 application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)). This document does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements. Note: This document does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use these priorities, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must determine whether this regulatory action is ‘‘significant’’ and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by 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 regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. We have also reviewed this regulatory action 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 upon 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 E:\FR\FM\09JYR1.SGM 09JYR1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 36220 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 129 / Friday, July 9, 2021 / Rules and Regulations 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 are issuing the final priorities only on a reasoned determination that their benefits will 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 the final priorities 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. In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as necessary for administering the Department’s programs and activities. Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification: The Secretary certifies that this regulatory action does 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:58 Jul 08, 2021 Jkt 253001 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 are operated by a government overseeing a population below 50,000. The small entities that this regulatory action will affect are school districts, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit organizations. 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 priorities will 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 of 1995: The priorities contain information collection requirements that are approved by OMB under OMB control number 1894–0006 and 1810–0758; the priorities do not affect the currently approved data collection. 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: On request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format. The Department will provide the requestor with an accessible format that may include Rich Text Format (RTF) or text format (txt), a thumb drive, an MP3 file, braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc, or other accessible format. 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 this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 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. Ian Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs Delegated the Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties of the Assistant Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. [FR Doc. 2021–14713 Filed 7–8–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Chapter II [Docket ID ED–2020–OESE–0199] Final Priority and Definition—Teacher and School Leader Incentive (TSL) Program Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education. ACTION: Final priority and definition. AGENCY: The Department announces one priority and one definition under the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program (TSL), Assistance Listing Number 84.374A. The Department may use this priority and definition for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2021 and later years. We take this action to make program improvements based on lessons learned over the last decade and to improve program outcomes. DATES: The priority and definition are effective August 9, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Orman Feres, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3C124, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453–6921. Email: orman.feres@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: Purpose of Program: The purpose of TSL is to assist States, local educational agencies (LEAs), and nonprofit organizations to develop, implement, improve, or expand comprehensive performance-based compensation systems (PBCS) or human capital management systems (HCMS) for SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09JYR1.SGM 09JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 129 (Friday, July 9, 2021)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36217-36220]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-14713]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter II

[Docket ID ED-2021-OESE-0045]


Final Priorities--Effective Educator Development Division

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

ACTION: Final priorities.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) announces priorities 
for the following programs of the Effective Educator Development 
Division (EED): Teacher and School Leader Incentive Grants (TSL), 
Assistance Listing Number (ALN) 84.374A; Supporting Effective Educator 
Development (SEED), ALN 84.423A; and Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP), 
ALN 84.336S. We may use these priorities for competitions in fiscal 
year (FY) 2021 and later years. We propose these priorities to focus on 
educator development, leadership, and diversity in the various EED 
programs in order to improve the quality of teaching and school 
leadership.

DATES: These priorities are effective August 9, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Orman Feres, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3C124, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: (202) 453-6921. 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:
    Purpose of Program: This notice identifies final priorities for use 
in three Department programs: TSL, SEED, and TQP. The purpose of TSL is 
to assist States, local educational agencies, and nonprofit 
organizations to develop, implement, improve, or expand comprehensive 
performance-based compensation systems (PBCS) or human capital 
management systems (HCMS) for teachers, principals, and other school 
leaders (educators) (especially educators in high-need schools who 
raise student academic achievement and close the achievement gap 
between high- and low-performing students). In addition, a portion of 
TSL funds may be used to study the effectiveness, fairness, quality, 
consistency, and reliability of such systems. The SEED program provides 
funding to increase the number of highly effective educators by 
supporting the implementation of evidence-based practices that prepare, 
develop, or enhance the skills of educators. SEED grants allow eligible 
entities to develop, expand, and evaluate practices that can serve as 
models to be sustained and disseminated. The purposes of the TQP 
program are to improve student achievement; improve the quality of 
prospective and new teachers by improving the preparation of 
prospective teachers and enhancing professional development activities 
for new teachers; hold teacher preparation programs at institutions of 
higher education accountable for preparing teachers who meet applicable 
State certification and licensure requirements; and recruit highly 
qualified individuals, including minorities and individuals from other 
occupations, into the teaching profession.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3. TSL: Sections 2211-2213 of 
the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), 
20 U.S.C. 6631-6633. SEED: Section 2242 of the ESEA, 20 U.S.C. 6672. 
TQP: Sections 200-204 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, 
20 U.S.C. 1021-1022c.
    We published a notice of proposed priorities (NPP) for these 
programs in the Federal Register on April 20, 2021 (86 FR 20471). The 
NPP contained background information and our reasons for proposing the 
particular priorities.
    Except for minor editorial and technical revisions, there are no 
differences between the proposed priorities and these final priorities.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the NPP, we 
received 31 comments, 23 of which were relevant to the proposed 
priorities and 8 of which were not relevant to the proposed priorities 
and were not considered in the analysis. Of the 23 comments addressing 
the proposed priorities, 7 expressed support for the proposed 
priorities but either offered no specific recommendations to revise 
them or offered broad recommendations for strengthening the educator 
workforce that were outside the scope of these proposed priorities. The 
remaining 16 comments either expressed disagreement or broadly agreed 
while offering suggestions to strengthen the proposed priorities. 
Responses to these comments are found in the Analysis of the Comments 
and Changes below.
    Analysis of the Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments 
and of any changes to the proposed priorities follows. Generally, we do 
not address technical and other minor changes, or suggested changes the 
law does not authorize us to make under the applicable statutory 
authority. In addition, we do not address general comments that raise 
concerns not directly related to the NPP.
    Comment: In response to Priority 1--Supporting Educators and Their 
Professional Growth, one commenter suggested that encouraging educators 
to pursue advanced credentials, such as Master's degrees, may not 
necessarily lead to improvements in educator effectiveness and may 
produce unintended incentives for educators to leave the profession.
    Discussion: We appreciate the comment regarding the potential 
limited impact on educator effectiveness and potential disincentives to 
educator retention that could result from encouraging teachers to 
pursue advanced credentials. Creating or enhancing professional growth

[[Page 36218]]

opportunities for educators is a chief component of the 
Administration's approach to ensuring that students from low-income 
backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and other 
historically underserved students have equal access to qualified, 
experienced, and effective educators. The concerns outlined by the 
commenter are precisely the reasons why this priority promotes a 
holistic approach to supporting teachers and school leaders. The 
priority not only targets increased numbers of teachers with advanced 
credentials, which, in addition to a Master's Degree, may include 
National Board Certification or an additional credential, such as to 
teach English learners or students with special needs. It also promotes 
establishment of career ladders, improved pay systems, targeted 
professional development and a range of other strategies aimed at 
improving the educator workforce. We think that advanced credential 
attainment is an important part of this holistic strategy. Thus, we do 
not think that it is necessary to revise the proposed priorities to 
address this specific need.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: In response to Priority 1--Supporting Educators and Their 
Professional Growth, one commenter recommended that we focus on raising 
teacher salaries to be commensurate with that of other professionals 
whose roles require specialized training.
    Discussion: We appreciate the comment regarding economic concerns 
facing educators and low teacher salaries may pose potential barriers 
to diverse candidates entering the educator profession. While we agree 
with the commenters on the need for educators' salaries to reflect the 
significance of their roles, we note that these priorities focus on 
preparing educators with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed to 
support the personal and academic growth of all students. We note one 
of the programs intended for potential use of these priorities, TSL, 
provides applicants with flexibility to propose innovative 
interventions aimed at enhancing educators' compensation based on their 
performance. For this reason, we do not think that it is necessary to 
revise the proposed priorities to address teachers' salaries.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: In response to Priority 2--Increasing Educator Diversity, 
one commenter cautioned that factors such as the wealth gap and income 
inequality along racial lines may lead to difficulty hiring diverse 
educators.
    Discussion: We appreciate the comment regarding economic concerns 
facing educators and how they may pose potential barriers to diverse 
candidates entering the educator profession. We note that this priority 
has been established, due in part to the barriers to achieving a 
diverse educator workforce the commenter identified. We also note that 
this priority seeks to promote a holistic approach to attracting and 
retaining teachers and school leaders and we encourage districts and 
localities to leverage the opportunities afforded under this priority 
to design evidence-based and promising approaches to attracting diverse 
educator candidates. For this reason, we do not think that it is 
necessary to revise the proposed priority.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Multiple commenters expressed support for both priorities, 
while suggesting a range of specific revisions. One commenter 
recommended changes to emphasize the importance of antibias and 
antiracist education to our existing workforce. On the topic of 
cultural responsiveness, multiple commenters cited research emphasizing 
the importance of culturally responsive school leadership and 
recommended specific revisions to highlight the importance of 
culturally responsive and culturally sustaining teaching practices. 
Another commenter recommended changes to both priorities to promote 
development and diversification of school leaders. With regard to 
professional development and professional learning of educators, one 
commenter recommended that the Department focus on learning 
communities, leadership, resources, data, learning designs, 
implementation, and outcomes. Another commenter noted the significant 
role of traditional educator preparation programs in advancing the 
goals of these priorities, while another commenter, focusing on the 
SEED program, recommended that we revise the priorities to more clearly 
highlight the role of high-quality, non-traditional educator 
preparation programs. A separate commenter recommended that we revise 
the priorities to emphasize the long-term sustainability of project 
activities implemented under these priorities. Additionally, one 
commenter stressed the importance of prioritizing grow-your-own 
recruitment approaches.
    Discussion: We appreciate each commenter's suggestions and 
recognize the significance of the specific areas they recommend be 
emphasized in the proposed priorities. We note that several of these 
suggested items, such as ``grow your own'' programs, diversification of 
school leaders, and placing an emphasis on data and outcomes, are 
directly addressed in the priorities. We also acknowledge and 
appreciate the other suggestions made by commenters that highlight 
specific strategies or activities that could be specified in the 
priority. We note that these priorities are intended for use in 
discretionary grant programs and are designed to offer districts and 
localities flexibility to shape their local instructional programming 
around innovative initiatives that meet their distinct needs. We think 
that the priorities, as written, provide an equal measure of 
specificity and flexibility for prospective applicants to address the 
goals of supporting educators and their professional growth, as well as 
increasing educator diversity. Finally, we note that these suggested 
activities are already allowable under these programs, in addition to 
other programs funded by the Department, and are reflective of the 
Department's overall vision for the improvement of the educator 
workforce.
    Upon further review, the Department believes that additional 
clarity would be helpful for applicants with respect to their plans to 
implement educator diversity practices. We are revising Priority 2 to 
combine and clarify the activities in proposed paragraphs (a) and (h).
    Changes: In Priority 2, we have removed proposed paragraphs (a) and 
(h) and added a new paragraph (g) that encompasses activities related 
to data systems, timelines, and action plans for promoting educator and 
school leader diversity.
    Comment: Multiple commenters expressed support for the proposed 
priorities but recommended we add language that specifically references 
sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression to add 
clarity around what is meant by the term ``diversity.''
    Discussion: We appreciate the importance of being clear about the 
meaning of ``diversity.'' The Department has chosen to use the term 
``diversity'' to describe and embrace all students and educators 
without exception. Thus, we do not think that it is necessary to revise 
the priorities in response to these specific recommendations.
    Changes: None.
    Final Priorities:
    Priority 1--Supporting Educators and Their Professional Growth.
    Projects that are designed to increase the number and percentage of 
well-prepared, experienced, effective, and diverse educators--which may 
include one or more of the following: Teachers, principals, 
paraprofessionals, or other school leaders as defined in section 
8101(44) of the ESEA--through

[[Page 36219]]

evidence-based strategies (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1 or the ESEA) 
incorporating one or more of the following:
    (a) Adopting, implementing, or expanding efforts to recruit, 
select, prepare, support, and develop talented, diverse individuals to 
serve as mentors, instructional coaches, principals, or school leaders 
in high-need schools (as may be defined in the program's authorizing 
statute or regulations) who have the knowledge and skills to 
significantly improve instruction.
    (b) Implementing practices or strategies that support high-need 
schools (as may be defined in the program's authorizing statute or 
regulations) in recruiting, preparing, hiring, supporting, developing, 
and retaining qualified, experienced, effective, diverse educators.
    (c) Increasing the number of teachers with State or national 
advanced educator certification or certification in a teacher shortage 
area, as determined by the Secretary, such as special education or 
bilingual education.
    (d) Providing high-quality professional development opportunities 
to all educators in high-need schools (as may be defined in the 
program's authorizing statute or regulations) on meeting the needs of 
diverse learners, including students with disabilities and English 
learners.
    Proposed Priority 2--Increasing Educator Diversity.
    Under this priority, applicants must develop projects that are 
designed to improve the recruitment, outreach, preparation, support, 
development, and retention of a diverse educator workforce through 
adopting, implementing, or expanding one or more of the following:
    (a) High-quality, comprehensive teacher preparation programs that 
have a track record of attracting, supporting, graduating, and placing 
underrepresented teacher candidates, and that include one year of high-
quality clinical experiences (prior to becoming the teacher of record) 
in high-need schools (as may be defined in the program's authorizing 
statute or regulations).
    (b) High-quality, comprehensive teacher preparation programs in 
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (eligible institutions 
under part B of title III and subpart 4 of part A title VII of the 
HEA), Hispanic Serving Institutions (eligible institutions under 
section 502 of the HEA), Tribal Colleges and Universities (eligible 
institutions under section 316 of the HEA), or other Minority Serving 
Institutions (eligible institutions under title III and title V of the 
HEA) that include one year of high-quality clinical experiences (prior 
to becoming the teacher of record) in high-need schools (as may be 
defined in the program's authorizing statute or regulations) and that 
incorporate best practices for attracting, supporting, graduating, and 
placing underrepresented teacher candidates.
    (c) Reforms to teacher preparation programs to improve the 
diversity of teacher candidates, including changes to ensure 
underrepresented teacher candidates are fully represented in program 
admission, completion, placement, and retention as educators.
    (d) Educator candidate support and preparation strategies and 
practices focused on underrepresented teacher candidates, and which may 
include ``grow your own programs,'' which typically recruit middle or 
high school students, paraprofessionals, or other school staff and 
provide them with clear pathways and intensive support to enter into 
the teaching profession.
    (e) Professional growth and leadership opportunities for diverse 
educators, including opportunities to influence school, district, or 
State policies and practices in order to improve educator diversity.
    (f) High-quality professional development on addressing bias in 
instructional practice and fostering an inclusive, equitable, and 
supportive workplace and school climate for educators.
    (g) Data systems, timelines, and action plans for promoting 
inclusive and bias-free human resources practices that promote and 
support development of educator and school leader diversity.
    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)).
    This document does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria subject to 
meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This document does not solicit applications. In any year 
in which we choose to use these priorities, we invite applications 
through a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB) must determine whether this regulatory action is ``significant'' 
and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and 
subject to review by 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 regulatory action is not a significant regulatory action 
subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.
    We have also reviewed this regulatory action 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 upon 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

[[Page 36220]]

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 are issuing the final priorities only on a reasoned 
determination that their benefits will 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 the final priorities 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.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and 
qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those 
resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as 
necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification: The Secretary certifies 
that this regulatory action does 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 are operated by a government overseeing a 
population below 50,000.
    The small entities that this regulatory action will affect are 
school districts, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit 
organizations. 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 
priorities will 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 of 1995: The priorities contain information 
collection requirements that are approved by OMB under OMB control 
number 1894-0006 and 1810-0758; the priorities do not affect the 
currently approved data collection.
    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: On request to the program contact person listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, individuals with disabilities 
can obtain this document in an accessible format. The Department will 
provide the requestor with an accessible format that may include Rich 
Text Format (RTF) or text format (txt), a thumb drive, an MP3 file, 
braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc, or other accessible 
format.
    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 this 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.

Ian Rosenblum,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs Delegated the 
Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties of the Assistant 
Secretary, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2021-14713 Filed 7-8-21; 8:45 am]
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