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Federal Register
/Vol. 67, No. 44/Wednesday, March 6, 2002/Notices
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATIONOffice of Elementary and SecondaryEducation; Consolidated StateApplications Under Section 9302 of theElementary and Secondary EducationAct
Department of Education.
Notice of proposedrequirements and request for comment.
We propose requirements foroptional State consolidated applicationssubmitted under section 9302 of theElementary and Secondary EducationAct of 1965 (ESEA), as reauthorized bythe No Child Left Behind Act of 2001,Public Law 107
110 (NCLB). Submittinga consolidated application will allow aState to obtain funds under manyFederal programs through a singleapplication, rather than throughseparate applications for each program.To receive fiscal year (FY) 2002 programfunds on a timely basis, a Stateeducational agency
s (SEA
s)application would need to be receivedno later than May 28, 2002.
Please send your comments onor before April 5, 2002.
Please address yourcomments to Marcia Kingman, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education,U.S. Department of Education, usingone of the following methods:1.
We encourage you to sendyour comments through the Internet tothe following address:marcia.kingman@ed.gov. You shoulduse the term
ESEA Consolidated Plan
in the subject line of your electronicmessage.2.
Fax Machine.
You also may submityour comments by fax at (202) 205
Surface Mail.
You may submit yourcomments via surface mail addressed to:Marcia Kingman, Office of Elementaryand Secondary Education, U.S.Department of Education, 400 MarylandAvenue, SW. room 3E213, Washington,DC 20202
6400.If you want to comment on theinformation collection requirements,you must send your comments to theDepartment representative named inthis section.
Marcia Kingman, Office of Elementaryand Secondary Education, U.S.Department of Education, 400 MarylandAvenue, SW. room 3E213, Washington,DC 20202
6400. Telephone: (202) 260
2199.Individuals with disabilities mayobtain this document in an alternativeformat (e.g., Braille, large print,audiotape, or computer diskette) onrequest to the contact person forinformation identified in the precedingparagraph.
The NoChild Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub. L.107
110, NCLB) became law on January8, 2002, with the President George W.Bush
s signature of H.R. 1. The Actsubstantially revises the Elementary andSecondary Education Act of 1965(ESEA) in a manner designed to provideall of America
s school children withthe opportunity and means to achieveacademic success. It embodies the fourkey principles of the President
seducation reform plan: (1)Accountability for results, (2) expandedState and local flexibility and reduced
red tape,
(3) expanded choices forparents, and (4) focusing resources onproven educational methods,particularly in reading instruction.These principles are designed toproduce fundamental reforms inclassrooms throughout America. Thenew Act will provide officials andeducators at the school, school district,and State levels substantial flexibility toplan and implement school programsthat will help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minoritystudents and their peers. At the sametime, the reauthorized Act will holdschool officials accountable
to parents,students, and the public
for achievingresults. These and other major changesto the ESEA redefine the Federal role inK
12 education to better focus onimproving the academic performance of all students.The full text of this law may be foundon the Internet at:
http://www.ed.gov/ offices/OESE/esea/index.html.
I. Purpose of Consolidated StateApplications
Before they can implement theirESEA education programs, States needto apply for and receive Federalprogram funds. Each ESEA programstatute contains detailed requirementsfor the content of the plan or applicationunder which States can apply forprogram funding. In enacting the ESEA,Congress crafted these individualprogram plan or applicationrequirements to reflect a need for theDepartment to review criticalprogrammatic information beforeawarding ESEA funds. However,recognizing the burden on States of preparing so many individual ESEAplans or applications, and wanting toencourage States to integrate individualprograms with State and local fundsinto comprehensive educationalimprovement and reform initiatives,Congress retained in sections 9301 and9302 provisions that permit each SEA,in consultation with the Governor, toapply for ESEA program funds on the basis of a
consolidated State plan or aconsolidated State application.
Under this approach, a Stateeducational agency (SEA) may submit aconsolidated plan or application thatresponds to an alternative set of procedures and criteria the Departmenthas established. By statute, aconsolidated application is to include
only descriptions, information,assurances,***and other materialsthat are absolutely necessary for theconsideration of the consolidated Stateplan or consolidated State application.
The consolidated application authoritythus can result in a major reduction inState administrative burden whilehelping States to meld the variousFederal programs into a more coherentstrategy for improving education in theState.In addition, section 9305 of the ESEAextends similar flexibility to localeducational agencies (LEAs), continuingthe authority for LEAs to receiveprogram funding through submission of consolidated local plans or applicationsinstead of having to submit a separateapplication for each individual program.It also clarifies that SEAs may notrequire LEAs to submit individualprogram plans or applications if theLEAs wish to submit a consolidatedplan or application.Consistent with the principlesembodied in NCLB, consolidatedapplications are thus a tool that canpromote State and local flexibility inexchange for greater State and localaccountability for increased studentachievement. These applications can bea vehicle for linking State plans toperformance and, specifically, to dataStates will include in the performancereports submitted under section 9303 of the ESEA. The Department
s currentproposal outlined below, unlikeprevious practice, would require Statesto provide information and data in theirconsolidated applications that would bethe baseline for State reporting in theirannual performance reports. Moreover,while the Department would identifymajor goals against which States wouldcreate program strategies and reportperformance data, States would haveflexibility to develop targets formeasuring progress that fits individualState contexts. In all cases, theapplications and report would focus ona single objective
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Federal Register
/Vol. 67, No. 44/Wednesday, March 6, 2002/Notices
II. The Department’s Proposal for theContent of the Consolidated StateApplication
The No Child Left Behind Actrecognizes that all children can achieveto the same high standards and must beprovided the education they need toreach those standards. Successfulstudent academic performance dependsupon the opportunity to attend schoolsthat
Provide instruction to all studentsthat, based on the findings of solidresearch, will lead to gains inachievement for all students;
Have highly qualified teachers andprincipals;
Provide a learning environment thatis safe and drug free, and conducive tolearning; and
Are accountable to the public forresults.The proposed requirements for theconsolidated application and report areguided by these principles.The Department proposes thatconsolidated State applications integratethese principles in two ways. First, inour framework for ESEA accountabilitywe propose that States adopt (1) sixoverall
performance goals
that cutacross the ESEA programs, (2) coreindicators for measuring progresstoward these goals, and (3) Stateperformance targets that define whensatisfactory progress occurs. Second, wepropose that States provide certainminimum information that will confirmtheir conformance with keyrequirements of the ESEA programs theychoose to include in their consolidatedapplications.
III. The Framework for ESEAAccountability.
ESEA Performance Goals
The ESEA performance goals reflectoverall statements of expectationsarising from the purposes of the ESEAprograms. We have identified inappendix A six ESEA performance goalsthat the Department proposes that eachSEA submitting a consolidatedapplication would have to adopt. Theseare:1. All students will reach highstandards, at a minimum attainingproficiency or better in reading andmathematics by 2013
2014.2. By 2013
2014, all students will beproficient in reading by the end of thethird grade.3. All limited English proficientstudents will become proficient inEnglish.4. By 2005
2006, all students will betaught by highly qualified teachers.5. All students will be educated inlearning environments that are safe,drug free, and conducive to learning.6. All students will graduate fromhigh school.These ESEA performance goals, likethe basic purposes of the ESEAprograms themselves, fall into threeareas: (a) Those that address levels of proficiency that all students wouldmeet; (b) those that address the specialneeds of certain populations of students,such as students who are limitedEnglish proficient, who are the specialfocus of particular ESEA programs and(c) those that address such factors asqualified teachers and safety that arecritical to a school
s success in enablingstudent achievement to flourish.
ESEA Performance Indicators
States would use performanceindicators to measure their progress inmeeting the ESEA performance goals.Along with requiring States to adopt thesix key ESEA performance goalsidentified above, the Department wouldrequire each SEA that submits aconsolidated application to adopt, atminimum, the Department
s core set of indicators for these six performancegoals. For example, as explained inappendix A, relative to the second ESEAperformance goal,
By 2013
2014, allstudents will be proficient in reading bythe end of the third grade,
theDepartment would require all States touse the following indicator:
Example: 2.1Performance indicator:
Thepercentage of students in third grade readingat grade level or above. State adoption of thecommon core indicators listed in appendix Ais critical to the Department
s ability to meetits responsibility under NCLB to ensure thatall States are accountable for implementingthe ESEA programs in ways that contributesignificantly to the achievement of allstudents. As with the ESEA performancegoals, States would be free to add their ownperformance indicators to the core set of indicators that the Department is proposing.
Performance Targets
Performance targets define theprogress a State expects to make atspecified points in time with respect toeach indicator. For example, forindicator 2.1,
the percentage of students in third grade reading at gradelevel,
a State might adopt as a target:the percentage of students in third gradereading at grade level will increase from
percent in 2001
2002 to
percent in 2002
2003.Under our proposal, while each Statewould have to adopt the core set of ESEA performance goals andperformance indicators that theDepartment had established, the Statewould define and adopt its ownperformance targets. (See appendix Afor the ESEA goals and indicators thatthe Department would require Statessubmitting consolidated applications toadopt, and some examples of performance targets that States mightchoose to use.)Finally, the accountability systemrelies upon collection of data thatexplain how well States are succeedingin meeting their performance targets.States would describe in theirconsolidated applications theirtimelines and benchmarks for securingthese data, as well as their data sources.States also would provide their
 baseline data.
For example, a Statethat adopted the performance targetdescribed in the preceding paragraphwould identify the percentage of students in third grade reading at gradelevel at the end of the 2001
2002 schoolyear (i.e., the
percent).In their annual performance reports,States would provide updated data ontheir progress in meeting theirperformance targets, as well as otherdata the Department needs to assess both State progress in improvingstudent achievement and thecontributions of the Federal programs tothat effort.Where applicable, States may includehtml references, electronic files, or otherexisting documentation to comply withthe requirements listed in theapplication.
IV. Other Requirements for theConsolidated Application
In addition to the framework for ESEAaccountability, the consolidatedapplication also would include:A. A description of key strategiesStates would use to implement theESEA programs in order to accomplishthe purposes of those programs(appendix B);B. Key programmatic and fiscalinformation that the Department hasdetermined it needs before it awards FY2002 funds in order to ensure theintegrity of programs States include intheir consolidated applications(appendix C). This information is asmall part of what the individual ESEAprogram statutes would have Statesotherwise provide in individualprogram plans or applications; andC. Assurances of the State
s adherenceto all requirements of the programsincluded in the application (appendixD). In the final application package forthe consolidated application, and, on itswebsite, the Department plans toinclude a list of particular requirementsof individual programs that, whilecovered by these general assurances, the
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Federal Register
/Vol. 67, No. 44/Wednesday, March 6, 2002/Notices
Department believes warrant specialState attention.
V. Documentation of Compliance WithAll Program Requirements
States will be held accountable bypolicymakers, parents, and students, aswell as the Department, for how theyplan for and use Federal funds. As partof Federal accountability, we wouldcontinue to require States to maintaindocumentation of their compliance withall program requirements
 both thosethe ESEA expresses as (1) descriptivecontent or specific assurances to beincluded in individual program plans orapplications, and (2) those thatotherwise govern program planning,public input, implementation, orevaluation. To the extent consistentwith State
open records
statutes,these documents evidencing adherenceto ESEA requirements would beavailable to parents, policymakers, andother members of the public.
VI. Consolidation of Federal Funds
Title VI of the ESEA contains anumber of important flexibilityprovisions that permit States and LEAsto treat funds received under someprograms as if received under others.Moreover, sections 9201
9203 continueto permit the SEAs and LEAs toconsolidate administrative funds underspecified programs. However, beyondthe flexibility that these provisionsoffer, the Department
s approval of aconsolidated State application neitherauthorizes a State or LEA to combine orcommingle program funds noreliminates State or LEA responsibilitiesto keep separate records on the use of each program
s funds.
VII. Data Management Reform
During 2002 and beyond, theDepartment will work with LEAs andSEAs to establish data standards forperformance indicators and otherinformation collected from States anddistricts. The Department will alsoconfer with LEA and SEA officials, theresearch community, informationtechnology vendors, and otherinterested parties on ways in whichStates, LEAs, and schools can collectand electronically record useful baselineand follow-up data through an internet- based format. The new format shouldaccommodate the measurement of success relative to the various indicatorsthat the Department and States haveadopted. Future application andreporting guidelines, therefore, willstress electronic reporting and provideStates with additional options infulfilling federal information requests.
VIII. Other Considerations
NCLB makes significant changes tothe ESEA that are designed to giveschool officials, educators, and parentsthe tools they need to ensure that allstudents can achieve. However, inseveral instances this Act also buildsupon school reform strategies that werepreviously begun under other Federaland State initiatives. In this regard,provided that the content of a State
sconsolidated application is consistentwith Department requirements, theStates would be able to draw uponinformation and data that it developedunder the ESEA as previouslyauthorized.In addition, to gauge the success of the Nation in implementing NCLB, it isimportant that, where possible, Statesreport their assessment data usingcommon formats and measures. Hence,the Department intends to work withStates on the development of theseconsistent formats and measures.
IX. Proposed Process for Submitting aConsolidated State Application
Information States would submit byMay 2002 is proposed in the followingdiscussion. Given the Januaryenactment of the NCLB, States will havea limited period of time to prepare fullconsolidated applications before theywill need to submit them forDepartmental review prior to theawarding of ESEA funds in early July of 2002. In some cases, this period of timewill be shortened further as a result of State procedural requirements,including those for securing approvals by State boards or other reviewingofficials of applications for Federalfunding before SEAs submit them to theDepartment.On the other hand, the ESEA goalsand performance indicators theDepartment proposes to establish arevery basic to the ESEA programs, andmany States already collect data onperformance targets for these kinds of indicators. Moreover, if in the absenceof consolidated applications SEAs wereto submit to the Department theindividual plans or applications that theESEA program statutes otherwiserequire, they would by law be requiredto provide the Department this springnot only the limited amount of programinformation identified in appendix C, but also much more.In balancing these factors, we proposethat each SEA that chooses to submit aconsolidated application submit to theDepartment by May of this year at leastthe following:A. A statement that it (a) has adoptedthe minimum core ESEA goals andperformance indicators that theDepartment will establish, and (b)agrees to adopt (for inclusion in thefollowing year
s consolidatedapplication) its own performance targetsfor these indicators;B. A description of the key activitiesand initiatives the State will carry outwith ESEA State-level, administrativeand activity funds, including activitiesto help achieve their performancetargets: i.e., information about theState
s standards, assessments andaccountability system (of which forcertain items we propose that Statessubmit timelines in May 2002 and otherinformation and evidence at a later dateas specified), subgranting processes,technical assistance, monitoring,professional development, andcoordination activities (appendix B);andC. The individual ESEA programdescriptions that the Departmentdetermines are needed in order toensure program integrity (appendix C),and the required statutory assurances(appendix D).States that already have adoptedperformance targets that link to theseperformance indicators (includingindicator 1.3, which incorporates theNCLB definition of annual yearlyprogress under section 1111(b)(3)),would be encouraged to submit themwith their applications, along with any baseline data they already use (and anidentification of the data sources).If SEAs do not submit their ESEAperformance targets and associated baseline data in the consolidatedapplications provided to the Departmentin May 2002, SEAs would have tosubmit them to the Department no laterthan May 2003 in order that theDepartment can review and approve thisinformation in time to make timelyawards of FY 2003 ESEA programfunds. (SEAs would submit anyinformation for which either the ESEAor the Department establishes a latersubmission date in accordance with thatother schedule.)
X. Programs That May Be Included ina Consolidated Application
Section 9101(13) of the ESEA, whichdefines the term
covered program,
and section 9302, which governsconsolidated State plans andapplications, permit an SEA to seekfunding under any of the programsauthorized by the following titles andparts through a consolidated Stateapplication:Title I, Part A: Improving BasicPrograms Operated by LocalEducational Agencies.
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