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April 5, 2004


Department of

Improving Literacy Through School

Libraries Program Overview Information;
Final Clarification of Eligible Local
Activities and Inviting Applications for
New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2004;

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17894 Federal Register / Vol. 69, No. 65 / Monday, April 5, 2004 / Notices

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION proposed priority and clarification. An Other commenters stated that funds are
analysis of the comments and of the necessary to sustain academic gains
RIN 1810–ZA09
withdrawal of the competitive from strong reading programs already
Notice of Final Clarification of Eligible preference priority follows. established at the K–3 level.
Generally, we do not address Discussion: After considering public
Local Activities for Improving Literacy
technical and other minor changes—and comment, the Secretary believes that it
Through School Libraries Program
suggested changes the law does not is unnecessary to establish a
AGENCY: Office of Elementary and authorize us to make under the competitive preference priority because
Secondary Education, Department of applicable statutory authority. the Secretary would not wish to
Education. discourage applications that meet the
Clarification of Eligible Local Activities
SUMMARY: The Secretary clarifies the needs of grades 4–12. Instead, an
eligible local professional development Comments: Several commenters invitational priority is established in the
activities under the Improving Literacy supported the clarification of eligible notice inviting applications for FY 2004,
Through School Libraries Program so local activities that allowed services to published elsewhere in this issue of the
that school library media specialists can benefit grades K–3 as well as preschool. Federal Register.
address not only the needs of preschool The commenters further recommended Changes: No competitive preference
children but also those of children in that professional development priority will be established.
grades K–3. The Secretary will use the benefiting grades 4–12 also be made an
eligible local activity. Clarification of Eligible Local Activities
clarification for the FY 2004
Discussion: The statute authorizing The Secretary allows grantees to
competition and in later years.
the Improving Literacy Through School conduct professional development
EFFECTIVE DATE: This clarification is Libraries Program allows funds to be activities for school library media
effective May 5, 2004. used for a number of activities designed specialists that further the purposes of
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: to improve student literacy skills and the program, not only as related to
Irene Harwarth, U.S. Department of academic achievement through the preschool education, but also related to
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., improvement of school libraries. Our education benefiting children in grades
20202–6200. Telephone: (202) 401– interpretation of the program statute is K–3. This is consistent with our
3751, or via the Internet: that Congress intended that funds under interpretation of the statute and its this program be used to benefit children legislative history. The Secretary
If you use a telecommunications in any of the grades K–12 with respect believes that allowing professional
device for the deaf (TDD), you may call to all of the authorized program development for school library media
the Federal Information Relay Service activities, except professional specialists benefiting children from
(FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339. development. This is because the preschool through grade 3 can help link
Individuals with disabilities may statutory provision authorizing the use projects under this program with efforts
obtain this document in an alternative of funds for professional development, such as those funded under the Early
format (e.g., Braille, large print, unlike other comparable statutory Reading First program authorized by
audiotape, or computer diskette) on provisions, speaks specifically of section 1221 et seq. of the Elementary
request to the contact person listed professional development only to and Secondary Education Act of 1965,
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION benefit library media specialists that as amended (ESEA), that benefit
CONTACT. serve preschool age children. The teachers of preschool children, and
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This statute’s legislative history, however, under the Reading First program
clarification of eligible local activities is supports the use of funds for authorized by section 1201 et seq. of the
established to allow professional professional development to benefit ESEA that benefit teachers of K–3
development activities for library media children in grades K–3, as well as children. Professional development for
specialists to better address the reading preschool children. Therefore, while the school library media specialists that
needs of students in grades K–3. legislative history supports professional serve children from preschool through
We published a notice of proposed development benefiting grades K–3, it grade 3 will assist these specialists and
priority and clarification of eligible local also indicates that it is not preferable to help them better meet the needs of
activities for this program in the Federal interpret the statute even more broadly students and fellow educators.
Register on January 13, 2004 (69 FR to allow professional development
1975). After considering the comments benefiting grades 4–12. Executive Order 12866
received, the Secretary is clarifying the Changes: None. This clarification of eligible local
eligible local activities for the program. activities has been reviewed in
Competitive Preference Priority
The Secretary will not establish the accordance with Executive Order 12866.
proposed competitive preference Comments: Some commenters were Under the terms of the order, we have
priority that reflected the importance of supportive of the proposed competitive assessed the potential costs and benefits
mastering reading skills in grades K–3. preference priority that would award an of this regulatory action.
Instead, the Secretary announces an extra five points to projects primarily The potential costs associated with
invitational priority for the FY 2004 serving grades K–3 (‘‘primarily’’ means the clarification of eligible local
competition as set forth in a notice that more than 50 percent of an activities are those resulting from
inviting applications for this program applicant’s proposed budget would be statutory requirements and those we
published elsewhere in this issue of the used for grades K–3). Other commenters have determined as necessary for
Federal Register. were critical of the competitive administering this program effectively
preference priority. Some commenters and efficiently.
Analysis of Comments and Changes stressed that students in grades higher In assessing the potential costs and
In response to our invitation in the than K–3 are also at risk academically, benefits—both quantitative and
notice of proposed priority and and that funds may be needed to qualitative—of this clarification of
clarification of eligible local activities, respond to higher standards and eligible local activities, we have
15 parties submitted comments on the statewide assessments at grades 4–12. determined that the benefits of the

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Federal Register / Vol. 69, No. 65 / Monday, April 5, 2004 / Notices 17895

clarification of eligible local activities DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Under this competition we are
justify the costs. particularly interested in applications
Office of Elementary and Secondary that address the following priority.
Intergovernmental Review Education Invitational Priority: For FY 2004 this
This program is subject to Executive priority is an invitational priority.
Improving Literacy Through School Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 Libraries Program Overview
CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the give an application that meets this
Information; Notice Inviting invitational priority a competitive or
Executive order is to foster an Applications for New Awards for Fiscal absolute preference over other
intergovernmental partnership and a Year (FY) 2004 applications.
strengthened federalism. The Executive Under this priority the Secretary
order relies on processes developed by Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
strongly encourages applicants to focus
State and local governments for (CFDA) Number: 84.364A
their efforts on elementary schools to
coordination and review of proposed DATES: Applications Available: April 5, maximize the impact of the project on
Federal financial assistance. 2004. improving reading achievement.
This document provides early Deadline for Notice of Intent to Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6383.
notification of our specific plans and Apply: April 27, 2004. Applicable Regulations: (a) The
actions for this program. Deadline for Transmittal of Education Department General
Applications: May 20, 2004. Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in
Applicable Program Regulations: 34 Deadline for Intergovernmental 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84,
CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, Review: July 19, 2004. 85, 97, 98 and 99. (b) The notice of final
97, 98 and 99. Eligible Applicants: Local Educational clarification of eligible local activities,
Electronic Access to This Document Agencies (LEAs) in which at least 20 published elsewhere in this issue of the
percent of the students served by the Federal Register.
You may view this document, as well LEA are from families with incomes
below the poverty line. A list of LEAs II. Award Information
as all other Department of Education
documents published in the Federal with their family poverty rates is posted Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Register, in text or Adobe Portable on our Web site at: Estimated Available Funds: $19.8
Document Format (PDF) on the Internet programs/lsl/eligibility.html. million.
at the following site: Estimated Available Funds: $19.8 Estimated Range of Awards: $30,000
news/fedregister. million. to $350,000.
Estimated Range of Awards: $30,000 Estimated Average Size of Awards:
To use PDF you must have Adobe to $350,000. $100,000.
Acrobat Reader, which is available free Note: Actual award amounts will be based
Note: Actual award amounts will be based
at this site. If you have questions about on the number of schools and students
on the number of schools and students
using PDF, call the U.S. Government served by the project. served by the project.
Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1–
Estimated Average Size of Awards: Estimated Number of Awards: 200.
888–293–6498; or in the Washington,
DC, area at (202) 512–1530. $100,000. Note: The Department is not bound by any
Estimated Number of Awards: 200. estimates in this notice.
You may also view this document in
text at the Applicant Information link of Note: The Department is not bound by any Project Period: 12 months.
estimates in this notice.
the following site: III. Eligibility Information
programs/lsl. Project Period: 12 months.
1. Eligible Applicants: LEAs in which
Note: The official version of this document FULL TEXT OF ANNOUNCEMENT at least 20 percent of the students served
is the document published in the Federal I. Funding Opportunity Description by the LEA are from families with
Register. Free Internet access to the official incomes below the poverty line. A list
edition of the Federal Register and the Code Purpose of Program: The purpose of of LEAs with their family poverty rates
of Federal Regulations is available on GPO this program is to improve student is posted on our Web site at:
Access at: reading skills and academic
index.html. achievement by providing students with eligibility.html.
increased access to up-to-date school 2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This
(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance library materials; well-equipped, program does not involve cost sharing
Number 84.364A Improving Literacy technologically advanced school library or matching, but does involve
Through School Libraries Program) media centers; and well-trained, supplement-not-supplant funding
Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6383. professionally certified school library provisions. Funds made available under
Dated: March 31, 2004.
media specialists. this program shall be used to
Clarification of Eligible Local supplement, and not supplant, other
Raymond J. Simon,
Activities: Applicants may propose Federal, State, and local funds
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and professional development activities for expended to carry out activities relating
Secondary Education. school library media specialists that to library, technology, or professional
[FR Doc. 04–7634 Filed 4–2–04; 8:45 am] further the purposes of the program not development activities (20 U.S.C.
BILLING CODE 4000–01–P only as related to preschool education, 6383(i)).
but also as related to education
benefiting children in grades K–3. (See IV. Application and Submission
the notice of final clarification of Information
eligible local activities for this program, 1. Address to Request Application
published elsewhere in this issue of the Package: Education Publications Center
Federal Register.) (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD

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