[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 232 (Wednesday, December 3, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 71929-71947]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-28354]



[[Page 71929]]

Vol. 79

Wednesday,

No. 232

December 3, 2014

Part IV





Department of Education





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34 CFR Part 263





Indian Education Discretionary Grant Programs; Professional Development 
Program and Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program; Proposed 
Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 79 , No. 232 / Wednesday, December 3, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 71930]]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Part 263

RIN 1810-AB19
[Docket ID ED-2014-OESE-0050]


Indian Education Discretionary Grant Programs; Professional 
Development Program and Demonstration Grants for Indian Children 
Program

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

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary proposes to revise the regulations that govern 
the Professional Development program and the Demonstration Grants for 
Indian Children program (Demonstration Grants program), authorized 
under title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, 
as amended (ESEA). The proposed regulations would govern the grant 
application process for new awards for each program for the next fiscal 
year in which competitions are conducted for that program and 
subsequent years. For the Professional Development program, the 
regulations would enhance the project design and quality of services to 
better meet the objectives of the program; establish post-award 
requirements; and govern the payback process for grants in existence on 
the date these regulations become effective. For the Demonstration 
Grants program, we propose new priorities, including one for native 
youth community projects, and application requirements.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before January 2, 2015.

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.
    If you are submitting comments electronically, we strongly 
encourage you to submit any comments or attachments in Microsoft Word 
format. If you must submit a comment in Adobe Portable Document format 
(PDF), we strongly encourage you to convert the PDF to print-to-PDF 
format or to use some other commonly used searchable text format. 
Please do not submit the PDF in a scanned format. Using print-to-PDF 
format allows the Department to electronically search and copy certain 
portions of your submissions.
     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 ``Are you new to the site?''
     Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you 
mail or deliver your comments about these proposed regulations, address 
them to: John Cheek, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue 
SW., Room 3W207, Washington, DC 20202-6135. Telephone: (202) 401-0274.
    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: John Cheek, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W207, Washington, DC 20202-
6135. Telephone: (202)401-0274 or by 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 
these proposed regulations. To ensure that your comments have maximum 
effect in developing the final regulations, we urge you to identify 
clearly the specific section or sections of the proposed regulations 
that each of your comments addresses and to arrange your comments in 
the same order as the proposed regulations.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall 
requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from these 
proposed regulations. 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 the Department's programs 
and activities.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about these proposed regulations by accessing Regulations.gov. 
You may also inspect the comments in person in room 3W207, 400 Maryland 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays. Please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.
    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 these proposed regulations. 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.

Background

    The Secretary proposes to revise the regulations in 34 CFR part 263 
that govern the Professional Development program and Demonstration 
Grants for Indian Children program. For the Professional Development 
program, we propose adding grantee post-award requirements and revising 
the selection criteria to better enable the Department and grantees to 
meet the objectives of the program. For the Demonstration Grants 
program, we propose new priorities, including one for native youth 
community projects. For both the Professional Development and 
Demonstration Grants programs, we propose to amend certain definitions 
and reorganize sections of the regulations to give the Department more 
flexibility in determining which priorities and selection criteria to 
use each year of a competition.
    Through our work with grantees under the Professional Development 
program and our monitoring of their participant recruitment, retention, 
graduation, and job placement rates, it became apparent that the 
projects being selected for grant awards were not adequately addressing 
the issues faced by Indian individuals seeking to become teachers and 
administrators. These issues include high teacher and administrator 
turnover rates; lack of cultural relevancy of teacher training 
programs; and difficulty in finding qualified employment. As a result, 
many Indian students participating in the Professional Development 
program either do not complete their course of study or cannot obtain 
employment upon graduation, and therefore have to repay the assistance 
they received in cash rather than through a work-related payback.

[[Page 71931]]

    The proposed regulations would encourage Professional Development 
program applicants to better tailor their programs to meet the needs of 
the Indian students participating in the program. The proposed 
regulations also would encourage Professional Development program 
applicants to have stronger plans for placing participants in 
qualifying employment upon completion of the program and in supporting 
participants in their first year on the job. The proposed changes are 
designed to result in more participants successfully completing their 
program of study and obtaining employment as teachers and 
administrators. The proposed changes should result in fewer 
participants who, after receiving assistance under these grants, do not 
complete a ``work payback'' and instead must repay the Department in 
cash for the training received because they are not employed as 
teachers or administrators.
    For the Demonstration Grants program, the proposed changes would 
add new priorities that we could use in any year of a new competition. 
These new priorities would provide more flexibility to tribal 
communities in designing coordinated projects to help students become 
college- and career-ready. By college- and career-ready, we mean that a 
student graduating from high school has the knowledge and skills to 
succeed in his or her chosen post-secondary path, including continued 
education, work, or a traditional lifestyle. A rigorous and well-
rounded high school education will provide rewards for a graduate no 
matter his or her pursuit.
    As in all communities, for native students to succeed, they must 
have a quality school to attend and be surrounded by community and 
school conditions that support learning. Low educational outcomes can 
be exacerbated by factors outside of school such as poor health, food 
insecurity, or unstable housing. Given the interconnectedness of in-
school and out-of-school factors, the Federal government proposes to 
support communities that will assess the set of issues they face in 
ensuring their students are college- and career-ready, and respond with 
interconnected, coordinated solutions. The purpose of these proposed 
priorities is to encourage a community-wide approach to providing 
academic, social, and other support services, such as health services, 
for students and students' family members that will result in improved 
educational outcomes for all children, and specifically college- and 
career-readiness.
    Tribal Consultation: Before developing these proposed regulations, 
the Department held two nationally accessible consultation events on 
January 28, 2014 and February 5, 2014, pursuant to Executive Order 
13175 (``Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
Governments''), to solicit tribal input on the Professional Development 
program broadly, and on the definition of ``Indian organization'' for 
the Demonstration Grants program. A link to the transcripts for these 
consultations is available at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oie/index.html.
    Additionally, the Department sent several email messages to tribal 
leaders from each of the 566 federally recognized Indian tribes to 
solicit input, via a blog, on the future direction of the Professional 
Development program. The topics on which we sought input included 
program participants' job placement, recruitment, and retention; 
induction services for program participants; costs of training 
programs; the definition of ``Indian organization''; and the subject 
areas, geographic areas, and specialty areas in which educators are 
most needed. A link to the blog posting can be found at: www.ed.gov/edblogs/oese/2014/03/indian-professional-development-program-for-tribal-consultation/.
    While the Department received limited feedback from its 
consultation efforts regarding the Professional Development program, 
respondents were generally in favor of the Department placing a greater 
emphasis on applicants' plans for recruitment and retention of 
qualified participants; requiring job placement assistance for 
graduates; and improving induction services during the first year of 
employment. In addition, while reaction was mixed as to whether we 
should expand the definition of ``Indian organization,'' most of the 
commenters were in favor of the broader definition.
    The Department then conducted additional consultations regarding 
proposed new priorities for the Demonstration Grants program, including 
a priority for native youth community projects. These consultations 
were held in-person on October 17, 2014 (Alaska) and October 29, 2014 
(Georgia), and via webinars on October 21 and 24, 2014. Tribal leaders 
were generally positive about the concept of native youth community 
projects. A link to the transcripts for these consultations is 
available at: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oie/index.html. Many participants expressed support for allowing grantees 
the flexibility to identify community-specific barriers and 
opportunities, rather than being required to address specific issues or 
grade spans. In addition, participants appreciated the ability to focus 
attention on one or more opportunities, barriers, and strategies, 
through this proposal, especially if Federal grant resources are 
limited in a given year. Participants highlighted the need for guidance 
and technical assistance in developing strategies and objectives, as 
well as access to evidence-based and promising practices.

Significant Proposed Regulations

    We discuss substantive issues under the sections of the proposed 
regulations to which they pertain. Generally, we do not address 
proposed regulatory changes that are technical or otherwise minor in 
effect.

Subpart A--Professional Development Program

Section 263.3 What definitions apply to the Professional Development 
program?
    Statute: Under section 7122 of the ESEA, an ``Indian 
organization,'' in a consortium with an institution of higher 
education, is eligible to receive a grant under the Professional 
Development program. However, title VII of the ESEA does not define 
this term. Similarly, section 7122 states that funds under this program 
must be used for training, either in-service or pre-service, of Indian 
individuals to go into the field of education, but it does not define 
the terms ``expenses,'' ``induction services,'' ``professional 
development activities,'' ''stipend,'' or ``undergraduate degree.'' The 
Secretary has the authority to regulate the definitions that apply to 
the Professional Development program under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.
    Current Regulations: Section 263.3 of the current regulations 
defines key terms used by the Department in administering the program. 
Current definitions include, among other terms, ``expenses,'' ``Indian 
organization,'' ``induction services,'' ``professional development 
activities,'' ``stipend,'' and ``undergraduate degree.'' Under the 
current regulations:
     ``Expenses'' is defined as costs incurred by a participant 
during training, such as tuition, books, fees, room and board, and 
supplies.
     ``Indian organization'' is limited to an organization 
that, in addition to meeting other criteria, has as its primary purpose 
the promotion of the education of Indians.
     ``Induction services'' are defined as services meeting 
certain criteria that grantees provide to program participants

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after they complete their training, including such activities as 
mentoring, access to research on teaching and learning, feedback on 
performance, and periodic meetings between participants.
     ``Professional development activities'' are defined as in-
service training that focuses on enhancing skills of participants that 
are already employed.
     ``Stipend'' is defined as funds provided to participants 
to cover living expenses such as room and board.
     ``Undergraduate degree'' is defined as a bachelor's degree 
awarded by an institution of higher education.
    Proposed Regulations: First, we propose to remove the definition of 
``expenses.'' Next, we propose to modify the definition of ``Indian 
organization'' to include an organization that has as one of its 
purposes the education of Indian students. We also propose to revise 
the definition of ``induction services'' to state that they are 
provided during the participant's first year of teaching to improve 
participants' performance and promote their retention. Also, the 
proposed revisions state that induction services must include services 
assisting teachers to use technology and data as part of their 
instruction. Additionally, the proposed revisions clarify that the 
mentoring and coaching services must be of high quality and that the 
feedback provided to participants must be clear, timely, and useful. 
Another proposed change is to expand the definition of ``professional 
development activities'' to include pre-service training, in addition 
to in-service training, which is included in the current definition. 
Additionally, we propose to change the definition of ``stipend'' to 
limit this term to only funds used for room, board, and personal living 
expenses for full-time students living at or near the institution 
providing the training. The last proposed change is the elimination of 
the definition of ``undergraduate degree.''
    Reasons: First, we propose removing the definition of ``expenses'' 
because we propose to explain in detail in Sec.  263.4 what types of 
student costs are allowable.
    Second, we propose to change the definition of ``Indian 
organization'' to include organizations that have as one of their 
primary purposes the promotion of the education of Indians, in order to 
expand the pool of eligible applicants. The current regulatory 
definition excludes from eligibility Indian organizations that have 
multiple areas of expertise (e.g., Indian housing or health services in 
addition to education) and we believe this unnecessarily limits the 
pool of eligible applicants. Because these organizations have the 
knowledge necessary to carry out successful projects under the 
Professional Development program, the Department wants these entities, 
in consortia with institutions of higher education, to be eligible to 
apply for these grants.
    We propose to amend the definition of ``induction services'' to 
more specifically describe the induction services that grantees would 
provide graduates upon completion of their pre-service training and to 
better align this definition with similar definitions in other 
Department programs, such as the Teacher Quality Partnership Grant 
Program. These changes would ensure that graduates receive useful and 
productive support in their schools during the crucial first year of 
teaching, and specifically that they receive training on effective use 
of technology and data in the classroom. Grantees either can provide 
induction services directly or use grant funds, as specified in 
proposed Sec.  263.4(c), to sponsor mentorships at the school or 
school-district level. We expect these induction services to increase 
the likelihood that new teachers and administrators remain in the 
professional fields for which they received training and to increase 
their effectiveness.
    We also propose to expand the definition of ``professional 
development activities'' to include pre-service activities to provide 
maximum flexibility to grantees in creating learning opportunities that 
will prepare participants to overcome some of the barriers they may 
encounter as teachers and administrators.
    We also plan to limit the definition of ``stipend'' to only room, 
board, and personal living expenses for full-time students who are 
living at or near the institution where they are receiving training, to 
eliminate the practice of participants receiving stipends from two 
professional development grants concurrently.
    Lastly, we propose to remove the definition of ``undergraduate 
degree'' because this term is not used in the regulations or guidance 
for the Professional Development program. The program now uses the 
terms ``bachelor's degree'' or ``baccalaureate degree,'' and we do not 
believe these terms require definition.

Section 263.4 What training costs may a Professional Development 
program include?

    Statute: Section 7122 of the ESEA states that grant funds under the 
Professional Development program may be used to provide support and 
training for program participants, including continuing programs, 
workshops, conferences, and direct financial support.
    Current Regulations: The current regulations explain the training 
costs that may be covered under the Professional Development program. 
The regulations state that training costs may include costs to fully 
finance a student's educational expenses and supplement other financial 
aid including stipends.
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to revise the regulations to 
provide greater detail about the kinds of training costs that may be 
covered under the Professional Development program, including in-
service and pre-service training. We propose to include examples of 
costs that contribute to the full cost of a participant's education, 
such as technology costs. Additionally, in 263.4(c), we propose to 
revise the regulations to specify other kinds of costs that can be 
covered under the Professional Development program, including costs 
associated with collaborating with prospective employers, providing in-
service training such as mentorships for participants who have 
graduated, and assisting participants in finding employment. These are 
costs that cannot be passed on to the participants.
    Reasons: The inclusion of examples of costs to fully finance a 
participant's education would help grantees and participants understand 
what education costs can be covered by the program. This would result 
in uniform treatment of allowable educational expenses among grantees 
and reduce the risk that grantees would use program funds for 
unallowable expenses or incorrectly charge participants for costs that 
should be covered by grant administration funds.
    The inclusion of grantee costs beyond educational expenses in this 
section of the regulations would encourage grantees to include costs 
associated with creating partnerships with prospective employers, 
providing in-service training such as mentorships for graduated 
participants, and assisting participants in finding employment in their 
field of study. This would improve the quality of the job placement and 
in-service supports provided to participants. Specifically, these 
changes would help increase the pool of available jobs for graduates; 
assist new teachers and administrators with overcoming workplace 
challenges they encounter within the first year of employment; and 
increase the number of program participants finding employment upon 
graduation.

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Section 263.5 What priority is given to certain projects and 
applicants?

    Statute: Section 7143 of the ESEA states that the Secretary shall 
give preference to Indian tribes, Indian organizations, and Indian 
institutions of higher education applying for grants under the 
Professional Development program. Section 7122 of the ESEA does not 
establish any other priorities for this program, but it states that 
funds under this program must be used to provide pre-service or in-
service training for Indian individuals to become teachers, 
administrators, and other education professionals.
    Current Regulations: Section 263.5 establishes two different 
competitive preference priorities--one for applications submitted by an 
Indian tribe, Indian organization, or an Indian institution of higher 
education, and one for consortium applications that designate a tribal 
college or university as a fiscal agent--and assigns five points to 
each of these priorities. In addition, the current regulations 
establish as absolute priorities applications for pre-service training 
of teachers and administrators.
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to combine the two competitive 
preference priorities in Sec.  263.5(a) and (b) into one competitive 
preference priority. Instead of setting the number of competitive 
points at five, as the current regulations do, we propose to determine 
the number of points awarded for this combined competitive preference 
priority annually. In other words, we will determine the number of 
competitive points to be awarded in each year of a new competition for 
the program. For the remaining current priorities, we propose to 
designate these priorities as absolute, competitive preference, or 
invitational in the notice inviting applications.
    We also propose to amend the current priorities for pre-service 
training for teachers and administrators to require that applicants 
under these priorities include project-specific goals for the number of 
participants to be recruited, to continue each year, to graduate, and 
to find jobs upon completion.
    Finally, we propose a new priority for applicants that submit a 
letter of support from a local educational agency (LEA), Bureau of 
Indian Education-funded school, or other entity in the applicant's 
service area agreeing to consider program graduates for qualifying 
employment. We also propose removing the note to paragraph 263.5(c)(1) 
regarding participants who need a fifth year of study to complete 
licensure requirements and incorporating that language into paragraph 
263.5(b)(i)(A). We believe this change will make it clearer that 
certain individuals may participate in the Professional Development 
program even after the end of the grant period.
    Reasons: The removal of points associated with the competitive 
preference priority for applications submitted by certain Indian 
entities and the removal of the designation of the remaining priorities 
as absolute or competitive preference would provide the Secretary with 
flexibility to determine the priority structure and priority point 
allocation for each grant competition. We propose to combine the 
current competitive preference priorities in Sec.  263.5(a) and (b) 
into a single priority to streamline the application process. The 
current priorities ask applicants for similar commitments, and the 
Department has observed that applicants that meet one of these 
competitive preference priorities almost always also meet the other. By 
combining these priorities into a single priority, applicants would no 
longer receive points twice for the same commitment.
    We believe that requiring grantees to establish project goals for 
participant recruitment, retention, graduation, and job placement as 
part of the pre-service training priority would make grantees more 
accountable for setting and reaching goals in these areas.
    We propose adding the priority regarding the letter of support from 
potential employers to improve the relationships between grantees and 
potential employers from the beginning of the grant period. This 
priority is expected to help increase the number of participants that 
obtain employment upon graduation from the program and complete a work-
related payback because the Department has learned that grantees that 
develop a close working relationship with school districts and other 
potential employers have been more successful placing participants into 
eligible employment after graduation.

Section 263.6 How does the Secretary evaluate applications for the 
Professional Development program?

    Statute: Under section 7142 of the ESEA, the Secretary uses a peer 
review process to review applications submitted for the Professional 
Development program. Title VII of the ESEA does not address the 
criteria that should be used to evaluate these applications, and under 
20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474 the Secretary has the authority to establish 
these selection criteria through regulations.
    Current Regulations: Under the current regulations, the Secretary 
awards a fixed number of points for each of the selection criteria used 
for evaluating grant applications. The current criteria are the:
     Need for the project (5 points);
     Significance of the project (10 points);
     Quality of project design (15 points);
     Quality of project services to be provided (15 points);
     Quality of project personnel (15 points);
     Adequacy of resources to accomplish project goals (10 
points);
     Quality of the management plan (15 points); and
     Quality of the project evaluation (15 points).
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to remove the fixed points 
assigned to each criterion. Instead, the Secretary would establish the 
number of points for each selection criterion annually, that is, for 
each year of a new competition for the program, in the notice inviting 
applications for the competition. The Secretary could also include any 
of the selection criteria from 34 CFR 75.210 and select from among the 
list of factors under each criterion in 34 CFR 75.210 or these 
regulations when making new grant awards.
    We propose to include in the regulations only program-specific 
factors and to eliminate the factors that are codified in 34 CFR 
75.210, as well as entire selection criteria for which we do not 
propose program-specific factors. To that end, we propose to remove the 
selection criteria for ``adequacy of resources,'' ``quality of the 
management plan,'' and ``quality of the project evaluation.''
    In Sec.  263.6(a) we propose to revise the ``need for project'' 
selection criterion to address how the proposed project will prepare 
participants to work in a field of study where there are demonstrated 
shortages, and the extent to which employment opportunities exist in 
the project's service area. Both the shortages and the employment 
opportunities would be demonstrated through a job market analysis.
    We also propose to revise the ``significance'' selection criterion 
in Sec.  263.6(b) to address how the proposed project would help 
increase effective strategies for teaching and improving Indian student 
achievement, and would build local capacity to provide, improve, or 
expand services that address the specific needs of Indian students.

[[Page 71934]]

    In Sec.  263.6(c) we propose to add the following factors within 
the ``quality of project design'' selection criterion:
     The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to 
be achieved by the proposed project are ambitious, attainable, and 
address specific project performance goals;
     The extent to which the applicant designed a recruitment 
plan that ensures that participants are likely to complete the program; 
and
     The extent to which the proposed project will incorporate 
the needs of the potential employers by establishing partnerships and 
developing programs that meet their employment needs.
    We propose to add four new project-specific factors to the 
selection criterion for ``quality of project services'' in Sec.  
263.6(d). These proposed factors are designed to identify applicants 
that would:
     Provide learning experiences to help participants become 
successful teachers or administrators;
     Prepare participants to adapt practice to meet the breadth 
of Indian student needs;
     Offer job placement activities; and
     Offer induction services that reflect the latest research.
    For the selection criterion ``Quality of project personnel,'' we 
propose amending the factors to include consideration of the cultural 
competence of proposed key project personnel.
    Reasons: We propose these changes to make the selection criteria 
for the Professional Development program more focused on the goals of 
the program--to train qualified Indian individuals to be teachers and 
administrators and to increase the number of such individuals in 
education professions serving Indian people. Through its work with 
grantees, the Department has learned that the projects that best reach 
these goals are ones that recruit qualified participants and have 
supports in place to help them complete their training successfully, 
have high-quality plans to place graduates in jobs upon their 
graduation, and provide transition supports to graduates as they begin 
their careers.
    Specifically, the proposed amendments to the ``need for project'' 
selection criterion would encourage applicants to demonstrate that 
their proposed training relates to a field with a demonstrated shortage 
of teachers and administrators in their geographic area, which would 
increase the likelihood of participant job placement after graduation. 
The proposed amendments to the ``significance'' selection criterion 
would encourage applicants to demonstrate that the project would 
significantly improve the effectiveness of training given to Indian 
teachers and would develop strategies for improving the resulting 
outcomes for Indian students in ways that can be replicated. The 
proposed amendments to the ``quality of project design'' selection 
criterion would encourage applicants to have specific plans for 
recruiting qualified applicants and for creating partnerships with 
potential employers, and to set ambitious goals that would measure 
success related to these plans. The proposed amendments to the 
``quality of project services'' selection criterion are designed to 
encourage applicants to have plans to place participants in jobs and to 
provide participants with supports during the beginning of their 
careers. Lastly, the proposed amendments to the ``quality of project 
personnel'' selection criterion aim to ensure that the project team 
would have competency regarding cultural challenges facing project 
participants, and the skills to address differences in learning styles 
of Indian students.
    Additionally, we propose removing the fixed selection criteria 
points to provide flexibility to determine the point allocation for 
each grant competition. This would allow us to tailor grant 
competitions to changing student learning needs and employment 
opportunities in the field.
    Finally, we propose removing the selection criteria that are 
identical to the selection criteria codified in section 34 CFR 75.210 
because, under 34 CFR 75.200, the Secretary has the ability to use 
these criteria in 34 CFR 75.210 for the Department's discretionary 
grant programs.

Section 263.7 What are the requirements for a leave of absence?

    Statute: Section 7122 of the ESEA does not address how the 
Department or grantees should handle situations in which participants 
take a leave of absence from the course of study. The Secretary has the 
authority to regulate this issue under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.
    Current Regulations: The current regulations allow participants to 
be granted a leave of absence for up to one academic year as long as 
the participant receives approval from the project director, but the 
regulations do not specify how to handle these situations for the 
purpose of project performance reporting.
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to specify that participants who 
do not return from a leave of absence by the end of the grant period 
will be considered not to have completed the program for the purposes 
of project performance reporting. This change is proposed to address 
situations where participants do not return after taking a leave of 
absence.
    Reasons: We propose to add the provision regarding participants who 
do not return to the program after a leave of absence because the 
current regulations do not address how such participants are treated 
for reporting purposes. Currently, grantees generally are not reporting 
the final status of participants who never return from a leave of 
absence. The proposed change would ensure that grantees track 
participant progress through the program more accurately, and it would 
allow the Department to track grantee progress toward meeting goals for 
participant completion.

Section 263.8 What are the payback requirements?

    Statute: Section 7122 of the ESEA requires individuals who receive 
training under the Professional Development program to either perform 
work-related payback or to repay all or a prorated part of the 
assistance they received under the program. This section also requires 
the Secretary to establish regulations to govern this procedure.
    Current Regulations: The current regulations in Sec.  263.8 require 
participants to sign a payback agreement when selected to be in the 
Professional Development program, perform work related to training 
received, and repay all or a prorated amount of the assistance received 
if work-related payback is not completed. For cash payback, the 
regulations state that the cash payback is equal to the total amount of 
assistance received. Additionally, the current regulations in Sec.  
263.9 (``When does payback begin?'') and Sec.  263.10 (``What are the 
payback reporting requirements?'') address other aspects of the payback 
requirements. Section 263.9 explains that payback begins within six 
months of training completion, and Sec.  263.10 states that if a 
participant cannot complete a work-related payback, he or she must 
complete a cash payback.
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to consolidate all of the 
regulatory provisions that govern the payback process, currently in 
Sec.  263.8 through Sec.  263.10, into Sec.  263.8. First, we propose 
to outline the general payback requirements. We would clarify the two 
different types of payback to the Department, work-related payback and 
cash payback, and to specify that the preference is for participants to

[[Page 71935]]

complete a work-related payback. We would also note the payback 
agreement and employer verification requirements, which we discuss in 
more detail in Sec.  263.10 and Sec.  263.11. With respect to the 
payback process, we propose that work-related payback would be tracked 
and credited on a month-for-month basis, that it would be credited 
based on actual time worked, and that if a participant is unable to 
complete a work-related payback he or she would be required to make a 
cash payback on a prorated basis. For cash payback, we propose that 
participants who do not report eligible employment within twelve months 
would be automatically referred for a cash payback, would be 
responsible to repay the total amount of funds received, and would 
incur non-refundable fees and interest charges from the date of 
referral. The regulations would also clarify that cash payback can only 
be discharged through bankruptcy if repaying the loan would cause undue 
hardship as defined under bankruptcy law.
    Reasons: The Department proposes to clarify the regulations that 
govern the payback process so that participants better understand the 
repayment requirement. In the current regulations, much of the 
information regarding work and cash payback appears in Sec.  263.9 and 
Sec.  263.10, and we believe this is confusing for participants. The 
proposed regulations better organize the information about work and 
cash payback requirements and provide more clarity to grantees and 
participants regarding the requirements for each.
    For cash payback, we also propose to add provisions that would 
better inform participants of the nature of the debt they are incurring 
when they begin their course of study. To align the regulations with 
our current practice, we propose the provision regarding non-refundable 
fees and interest charges to notify participants that they will incur 
these fees in addition to their training costs if they are referred for 
a cash payback. Similarly, we propose to specify how loans will be 
treated in bankruptcy so that participants would be aware that it may 
not be possible to discharge these loans through bankruptcy.
    We also propose to amend the regulations to clarify the date by 
which the two different types of payback must begin. The current 
regulations state that work-related payback begins within six months of 
completion of the training program but do not state when cash payback 
would begin. We propose to clarify that, for participants who have not 
previously reported eligible employment, cash payback would begin 
within twelve months of completion of training, or, for participants 
who have entered but not completed work-related payback, cash payback 
would begin when participants have failed to submit verification of 
eligible employment for a twelve-month period. We believe these changes 
would reduce the confusion of many participants regarding when work-
related payback would begin and when a participant would be referred 
for a cash payback.
    Additionally, we expect these proposed changes would reduce the 
number of participants completing a cash payback because many 
participants do not currently submit the required employment 
verification documentation because they do not understand their 
responsibilities under the current regulations.

Section 263.9 What are the requirements for payback deferral?

    Statute: Section 7122 of the ESEA requires individuals who receive 
training under the Professional Development program to either perform 
work-related payback or to repay all or a prorated part of the 
assistance they received under the program. This section also requires 
the Secretary to establish regulations to govern this procedure.
    Current Regulations: Section 263.9 is currently titled, ``When does 
payback begin?'' and states that payback begins within six months of 
program completion. Additionally, Sec.  263.9 allows participants who 
leave the Professional Development program but continue their education 
as full-time students to defer the payback of assistance.
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to rename this section of the 
regulations ``What are the requirements for payback deferral?'' and to 
specify the two types of deferral that are available: Education and 
military service. Current regulations specify the conditions under 
which education deferrals can be granted, but they do not explain the 
deferrals of payback for military service.
    We also propose to add a provision for deferrals, for no more than 
36 months, for individuals called to active duty in the armed services 
for more than 30 days. We propose to add regulations to establish the 
criteria for a ``military deferral'' and the process to request a 
``military deferral.'' As part of the request process, we propose that 
a participant provide to the Secretary a written statement from the 
recipient's commanding officer or a copy of his or her military orders 
and military identification.
    In addition, we propose to remove the provision stating that 
payback begins within six months of program completion, as we propose 
to revise Sec.  263.8 to provide that participants would be referred 
for cash payback if they do not submit employment verification within 
twelve months of completion of pre-service or in-service training or 
for any twelve-month period prior to work-related payback completion.
    Reasons: We propose changing the title of this section to better 
reflect the information included in this regulation and to clarify the 
two situations in which the Department will grant deferrals. We believe 
the proposed changes would eliminate the confusion regarding what types 
of payback deferrals are available to participants who receive funding 
from the Professional Development program. The program has always 
permitted deferrals for participants who continued their education 
full-time and for military deployment, and the proposed regulations 
would clarify and specify the rules for each type of deferment. The 
military deferment provisions are modeled after those used in the 
Department's TEACH Grant program (see 34 CFR part 686) and would allow 
participants serving in specified reserve components of military units 
to defer their payback obligations if they are called to active 
military service.

Section 263.10 What are the participant payback reporting requirements?

    Statute: Section 7122 of the ESEA requires individuals who receive 
training under the Professional Development program to report 
periodically on their status in work-related payback. This section also 
requires the Secretary to establish regulations to govern this 
procedure.
    Current Regulations: Section 263.10 requires participants to submit 
written notice of intent to complete a work-related payback within 30 
days of completing the program, develop a plan to demonstrate how their 
proposed work-related service is related to the training and how it 
benefits Indian people, notify the Secretary within 30 days of any 
change in employment once employment has begun, and submit employment 
verification every six months that includes a certification that the 
work was continuous. The regulations also state that if participants 
cannot complete a work-related payback, they must complete a cash 
payback.
    Proposed Regulations: First, we propose to amend the title of the 
section to indicate that the section relates to the reporting 
requirements of participants,

[[Page 71936]]

rather than grantees. We also propose to move the provisions governing 
the cash and work payback process to Sec.  263.8, ``What are the 
payback requirements?''
    We also propose to eliminate the work-related payback plan and the 
requirement that eligible employment must be continuous.
    Reasons: We propose to eliminate the participant work plans because 
these plans have been burdensome for participants to complete and for 
the Department to track, and they do not help participants secure 
employment. We propose to eliminate the continuous employment 
certification because the Department would accept part-time employment, 
temporary employment, and substitute employment as qualifying 
employment as this information can now be accurately tracked in the 
Professional Development Program Data Collection System (DCS). The DCS 
is an electronic service obligation tracking system that the Department 
now uses to track participant training assistance and the fulfillment 
of the work-related payback requirements of the program. The change to 
accept other types of employment also addresses the difficulty many 
first-time teachers and administrators have in securing permanent full-
time employment.

Sections 263.11 What are the grantee post-award requirements?

    Statute: Section 7122 and the related portions of title VII of the 
ESEA do not directly address post-award requirements of grantees in the 
Professional Development program. The Secretary has the authority to 
regulate the post-award requirements that apply to the Professional 
Development program under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474. Section 7(b) of 
the Indian Education and Self-Determination Assistance Act (Pub. L. 93-
638) requires that grantees under the Professional Development program 
give, to the greatest extent feasible, certain employment and 
procurement preferences to members of federally recognized Indian 
tribes.
    Current Regulations: None.
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to add a requirement for grantees 
to conduct a payback meeting with each participant. At this meeting, 
the grantee would review the payback requirements with the participant 
before funds are provided to the participant. We propose to require 
that grantees report information regarding participant training and 
payback information to the Department in a manner designated by the 
Department. We also propose to require that grantees obtain a signed 
payback agreement from each participant. These agreements would have to 
contain information about estimated training costs and length of 
training and document that a payback meeting took place between the 
grantee and participant. We propose that grantees would submit the 
signed payback agreements to the Department within seven days of their 
signing. Additionally, we propose a requirement that grantees assist 
participants in finding qualifying employment after completing the 
program. Finally, the proposed regulations would clarify that the 
hiring preference provisions of the Indian Self-Determination and 
Education Assistance Act apply to this program.
    Reasons: The proposed requirements regarding the payback meeting 
and signed payback agreement would help ensure that participants are 
aware of the total training costs and payback responsibilities. We 
expect these changes to reduce misinformation regarding payback and 
address a major area of complaint from program participants. We propose 
that grantees report to the Secretary, using DCS, their participants' 
payback information in order to strengthen the Department's ability to 
oversee grantees and track their progress toward meeting their goals of 
graduating and placing participants in qualifying employment. The 
proposed requirement that grantees perform activities to assist 
participants in obtaining employment would increase the likelihood that 
participants will be able to enter qualifying employment upon 
graduation, which would reduce the number of participants completing a 
cash payback.
    Finally, we propose to add Sec.  263.11(e) to make it clear to 
grantees that the hiring preference requirements under the Indian 
Education and Self Determination Act apply to grantees' administration 
of these grants to the extent that the projects primarily serve members 
of federally recognized tribes.

Section 263.12 What are the program-specific requirements for 
continuation awards?

    Statute: Section 7122 and the related portions of title VII of the 
ESEA do not directly address the issue of continuation awards for the 
Professional Development program. The Secretary has the authority to 
regulate on this issue under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.
    Current Regulations: None.
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to add to the criteria the 
Secretary would use in making continuation awards. In addition to the 
criteria in 34 CFR 75.253, we propose to add consideration of the 
extent of grantees' progress toward meeting recruitment, retention, 
graduation, and job placement goals. In addition, we propose to clarify 
that we may reduce continuation awards, including the portions of 
grantees' awards allocated to both administrative and training costs, 
based on grantees' failure to meet project goals.
    Reasons: We propose criteria for continuation awards based on 
grantees' specific project goals to emphasize the importance of 
achieving the specific goals that grantees establish regarding 
recruitment, retention, graduation, and job placement of participants. 
The proposal to allow the Department to reduce continuation awards by 
taking reductions from administrative costs, student training costs, or 
both would provide incentives for the grantee to achieve and maintain 
enrollment in order to receive the full continuation award amount. This 
change would help reduce the high number of participants who dropout or 
do not find qualifying employment.

Subpart B--Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program

Section 263.20 What definitions apply to the Demonstration Grants for 
Indian Children program?

    Statute: Although section 7121 of the ESEA states that Indian 
organizations are eligible entities to receive grants under the 
Demonstration Grants program, title VII of the ESEA does not define 
this term. The Secretary has the authority to regulate the definitions 
that apply to the Demonstration Grants for Indian Children program 
under 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.
    Current Regulations: Section 263.20 limits the definition of 
``Indian organization'' to an organization that has as its primary 
purpose the promotion of the education of Indians.
    Proposed Regulations: We propose to modify the definition of 
``Indian organization'' to include an Indian organization that, in 
addition to meeting other criteria, has as one of its purposes the 
education of Indian students. We also propose to add a definition of 
``native youth community projects.''
    Reasons: Our reasons for proposing the change to the definition of 
``Indian organization'' are described in Sec.  263.3, ``What 
definitions apply to the Professional Development program?''
    We propose the definition of ``native youth community projects'' to 
accompany the proposed priority for such projects in Sec.  263.21, 
``What priority is given to certain projects and applicants?'' Under 
this definition,

[[Page 71937]]

native youth community projects would be focused on a specific local 
geographic area, as determined by the applicant, and would not be 
limited to Indian reservations. These projects would be based on 
partnerships that include at least one tribe or its tribal educational 
agency, as well as a public school district or a school funded by the 
Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Education (BIE). The 
proposed definition does not limit the types of entities that could 
join in a partnership for native youth community projects; other 
entities such as community-based organizations or national nonprofit 
organizations could be valuable partners in a local initiative.
    Under the statute, eligible entities for Demonstration Grants are: 
Indian tribes, Indian organizations, Indian institutions (including 
Indian institutions of higher education), BIE-funded schools, LEAs, and 
SEAs. For any competition in which we use the proposed priority for 
native youth community projects as an absolute priority, any of these 
eligible entities could apply as the lead applicant for a grant, but 
would be required to have formed a partnership that includes the 
required tribal and educational entities. In many tribal areas, 
including on reservations, there are both public schools and BIE 
schools, and students transfer and transition between them. Projects in 
such places should ideally include both types of educational 
institutions in order to improve outcomes for all local Indian 
students.
    Under the proposed definition, native youth community projects 
would be projects, informed by evidence and data, addressing the 
greatest in- and out-of-school barriers to student college- and career-
readiness. Projects would also address opportunities for improving 
student outcomes and the availability of existing programs and funding 
sources. Projects would select and track measurable objectives to 
determine progress and success of the project. For example, communities 
could identify, as barriers to college- and career-readiness, 
inadequate mental health supports for students, ineffective teacher 
recruitment and retention practices, and low student attendance rates. 
Applicants could identify opportunities such as the local school 
board's interest in a partnership with a native language preschool 
program, the superintendent's hiring goals for more Indian 
instructional and support staff, and recent changes to criteria for 
gifted and talented programs that include recognition of native arts 
and performance arts.
    The definition would require applicants to develop a plan that 
identifies a strategy or strategies to address the barriers or 
opportunities that it determines to be most crucial for the community. 
For example, applicants, including the tribe, tribally-controlled 
school, and local school district partners, after surveying existing 
services and resources, could jointly decide to focus their projects on 
early childhood, with services for preschool-aged children and their 
parents. They could invite health and social service organizations to 
join as partners and select as measurable objectives the number of 
kindergarten students who meet the criteria on the State's readiness 
assessment compared to previous years, or the number of slots available 
for high-quality full-day prekindergarten. As another example, a 
community could identify teen substance abuse as its greatest barrier 
to student success, and design services around the goal of reducing 
that barrier. Services could include counseling and other supportive 
services to youth struggling with substance abuse, and prevention 
programs that improve school performance and teach behavior skills that 
increase persistence. The partnership could include a nonprofit 
organization with expertise in drug abuse prevention and a health 
services organization. Measurable objectives could be grade retention 
and substance use rates as reported on a school climate survey.

Section 263.21 What priority is given to certain projects and 
applicants?

    Statute: Section 7143 of the ESEA states that the Secretary shall 
give preference to Indian tribes, Indian organizations, and Indian 
institutions of higher education applying for grants under the 
Demonstration Grants program. In addition, section 7121 states that the 
Secretary shall give priority to entities that submit applications 
proposing to combine at least two activities listed in section 
7121(c)(1) over a period of more than one year. Section 7121 of the 
ESEA does not establish any other priorities for this program.
    Current Regulations: Section 263.21 currently assigns five points 
to two different competitive preference priorities--one for 
applications submitted by an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or an 
Indian institution of higher education, and one for applications that 
propose to combine at least two activities listed in section 7121(c)(1) 
of the ESEA. In addition, paragraph (c) of the current regulation 
establishes school readiness projects, early childhood and kindergarten 
programs, and transition to college programs as absolute priorities 
that the Secretary may choose.
    Proposed Regulations: In proposed Sec.  263.21(a) and (b), instead 
of setting the number of competitive preference points at five, as the 
current regulations do, we propose to determine the number of points 
for the current competitive preference priorities annually. In other 
words, we will determine the number of competitive preference points 
that are available in each year of a new competition for the program. 
In addition, in the current priority for applications submitted by 
tribes, Indian organizations, and Indian institutions of higher 
education in paragraph (b), we propose to delete the language that 
includes members of a consortium of eligible entities.
    We propose revising paragraph (c) to: Designate these priorities as 
absolute, competitive preference, or invitational annually; replace the 
priorities relating to early childhood education and college 
preparatory programs that are in current paragraph (c)(1)-(3) with a 
priority in paragraph (c)(4) that would enable the Department to choose 
as a priority any of the authorized activities in section 7121(c) of 
the statute; and add new priorities that the Secretary may use in 
awarding grants under the Demonstration Grants program.
    As new priorities, we first propose in paragraph (c)(1) a priority 
for native youth community projects. In paragraph (c)(2), we propose a 
priority for applications in which the lead applicant, or a primary 
partner that has signed the agreement described in proposed Sec.  
263.22(b)(2) of these regulations, has received a grant under another 
program as specified by the Secretary. Similarly, in paragraph (c)(3) 
of this section, we propose a priority for applicants that have the 
Department's approval to consolidate funds, either under the provisions 
of section 7116 of the ESEA or other authority designated by the 
Secretary.
    Reasons: We propose to remove the point values associated with the 
current competitive preference priorities in paragraphs (a) and (b) to 
allow for flexibility to determine the point allocation for each year's 
competition. We also propose to limit the competitive preference 
priority in paragraph (b) to tribes serving as the lead applicant, in 
order to build tribal capacity.
    We propose to remove the designation of the priorities in paragraph 
(c) as absolute to allow for flexibility to determine the priority 
structure for each grant competition. Further, to provide maximum 
flexibility in tailoring the

[[Page 71938]]

demonstration grants to the needs identified by the public, rather than 
providing for only the existing priorities for early childhood and 
college-readiness projects, we propose to enable the Department to 
choose any of the authorized activities in section 7121(c) of the ESEA 
as a priority. The twelve activities enumerated in the statute include 
early childhood and college-readiness projects.
    We propose in paragraph (c) a new priority for native youth 
community projects to provide an opportunity for Indian communities to 
work together to develop and implement projects to address the 
barriers, in and out of school, to college- and career-readiness that 
are the most important from that community's point of view. Through 
tribal consultations we have heard that tribes would like the maximum 
flexibility to design projects that are culturally relevant, that 
respect tribal sovereignty, and that are tailored to a community's 
specific circumstance. We have also heard, and have learned through the 
Department's State Tribal Education Partnership (STEP) grants 
administered by the Office of Indian Education, that it is often 
difficult for tribes and local school districts to work together and 
share information. However, such coordination benefits students; 
accordingly, this priority encourages such coordination, while 
supporting tribal sovereignty and fostering local solutions to local 
challenges.
    Because many Federal grant programs for Indian students have 
related goals, we have also proposed a priority for an applicant, or 
one of its primary partners, that has received a grant under another 
Federal program specified by the Secretary. This priority is designed 
to help build on existing Federal resources and programs for Indian 
students. For example, in a year in which the Secretary identifies in 
the notice inviting applications a competitive preference for 
applicants that have received a grant under the Department's STEP 
program or the Department of Interior's Sovereignty in Indian Education 
Grant program, an applicant or consortium member with one of those 
grants would receive preference points.
    The proposed priority for applicants that have an approvable plan 
to consolidate funds under section 7116 of the ESEA has a similar goal. 
Section 7116 permits an entity that receives an Indian Education 
formula grant under title VII, Part A of the ESEA--school districts, 
BIE-funded schools, and certain tribes that receive a title VII formula 
grant in lieu of the local school district--to consolidate funds from 
Federal grants received for Indian students. We have heard from some 
school districts that reporting and grant administration requirements 
are duplicative for the title VII formula grants and the Department of 
Interior's ``Johnson O'Malley'' grants, and that combining those funds, 
which is permissible under a plan submitted under section 7116, would 
be cost-effective for both programs. A plan submitted under section 
7116 would also permit consolidation of funds from other Federal 
programs intended to benefit Indian students.
    Finally, we propose a priority for rural projects. We recognize 
that many American Indian and Alaska Native students attend schools in 
urban areas, and urban school districts face unique challenges in 
serving students from many different tribal backgrounds in their 
schools. The challenges facing rural areas, however, including Indian 
reservations, are of a different nature; they often include 
longstanding problems of poverty and lack of resources due to the 
inability of local jurisdictions to levy property tax revenues on 
Indian lands. We believe the proposed priority for rural areas would 
help such rural areas compete with applicants from urban areas that 
have more resources.

Section 263.22 What are the application requirements for these grants?

    Statute: To receive a grant under section 7121(d) of the ESEA, an 
eligible entity must submit an application at such time and in such 
manner as the Secretary may reasonably require. In addition to four 
specific application requirements, the Secretary can also require other 
reasonable information.
    Current Regulations: None.
    Proposed Regulations: The proposed regulations would add 
application requirements for Demonstration Grants. The requirements in 
proposed Sec.  263.22(a) are statutory. Proposed Sec.  263.22(b) 
contains requirements that the Secretary could choose in any year of a 
new grant competition.
    Reasons: Proposed Sec.  263.22(b) would provide flexibility for the 
Secretary to choose specific application requirements to correspond to 
the priorities chosen. The requirement for evidence of a needs 
assessment or other data analysis would ensure that projects are 
targeted toward the needs of the community. The requirement for a 
partnership agreement would provide evidence of a commitment among 
service providers and identify the responsibilities of each party. 
These requirements would help ensure that high-quality applications are 
received and funded.

Section 263.23 What is the Federal requirement for Indian hiring 
preference that applies to these grants?

    Statute: Section 7(b) of the Indian Education and Self-
Determination Assistance Act requires that, for awards that are 
primarily for the benefit of members of federally recognized tribes, 
grantees must give, to the greatest extent feasible, certain employment 
and procurement preferences to members of federally recognized Indian 
tribes.
    Current Regulations: None.
    Proposed Regulations: The proposed regulations would clarify that 
the hiring preference provisions of the Indian Self-Determination and 
Education Assistance Act apply to this program.
    Reasons: Our reasons for proposing this change are in ``Section 
263.11 What are the grantee post-award requirements?''

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine 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) of Executive Order 
12866.
    We have also reviewed these regulations under Executive Order 
13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, 
structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in

[[Page 71939]]

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 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 these proposed regulations 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 the analysis that 
follows, the Department believes that these proposed regulations are 
consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.
    We have also determined that this regulatory action would 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 associated 
with this regulatory action are those resulting from statutory 
requirements and those we have determined as necessary for 
administering the Department's programs and activities.
    Discussion of Costs and Benefits: The potential costs associated 
with the proposed priorities and requirements would be minimal while 
the potential benefits are significant.
    For Professional Development grants, applicants may anticipate 
costs in developing their applications and time spent reporting 
participant payback information in the DCS. Additional costs would be 
associated with participant and employer information entered in the 
DCS, but the costs of carrying out these activities would be paid for 
with program funds.
    The benefits include enhancing project design and quality of 
services to better meet the objectives of the programs with the end 
result being more participants successfully completing their programs 
of study and obtaining employment as teachers and administrators.
    For Demonstration grants, applicants may anticipate costs 
associated with developing a partnership agreement and providing 
evidence of a local needs assessment or data analysis. These 
requirements should improve the quality of projects funded and 
conducted under these grants, and we believe the benefits of these 
improvements will outweigh the costs.
    Elsewhere in this section under Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we 
identify and explain burdens specifically associated with information 
collection requirements.

Clarity of the Regulations

    Executive Order 12866 and the Presidential memorandum ``Plain 
Language in Government Writing'' require each agency to write 
regulations that are easy to understand.
    The Secretary invites comments on how to make these proposed 
regulations easier to understand, including answers to questions such 
as the following:
     Are the requirements in the proposed regulations clearly 
stated?
     Do the proposed regulations contain technical terms or 
other wording that interferes with their clarity?
     Does the format of the proposed regulations (grouping and 
order of sections, use of headings, paragraphing, etc.) aid or reduce 
their clarity?
     Would the proposed regulations be easier to understand if 
we divided them into more (but shorter) sections? (A ``section'' is 
preceded by the symbol ``Sec. '' and a numbered heading; for example, 
Sec.  263.1 What is the Professional Development Program?)
     Could the description of the proposed regulations in the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this preamble be more helpful in 
making the proposed regulations easier to understand? If so, how?
     What else could we do to make the proposed regulations 
easier to understand?
    To send any comments that concern how the Department could make 
these proposed regulations easier to understand, see the instructions 
in the ADDRESSES section.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that these proposed regulations would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. The small entities that are affected by these regulations are 
LEAs, institutions of higher education, tribes, or tribally-operated 
schools receiving Federal funds under this program. The proposed 
regulations would not have a significant economic impact on the small 
entities affected because the regulations do not impose excessive 
regulatory burdens or require unnecessary Federal supervision. The 
regulations impose minimal requirements to ensure the proper 
expenditure of program funds, including reporting of participant 
payback information. We note that grantees that would be subject to the 
minimal requirements that these proposed regulations would impose and 
would be able to meet the costs of compliance using Federal funds 
provided through the Indian Education Discretionary Grant programs.
    However, the Secretary specifically invites comments on the effects 
of the proposed regulations on small entities, and on whether there may 
be further opportunities to reduce any potential adverse impact or 
increase potential benefits resulting from these proposed regulations 
without impeding the effective and efficient administration of the 
Indian Education Discretionary Grant programs. Commenters are requested 
to describe the nature of any effect and provide empirical data and 
other factual support for their views to the extent possible.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, the Department provides the general public and Federal agencies 
with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections 
of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: The public 
understands the Department's collection instructions, respondents can 
provide the requested

[[Page 71940]]

data in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial 
resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, 
and the Department can properly assess the impact of collection 
requirements on respondents.
    Sections 263.6, 263.10, and 263.11 contain information collection 
requirements that have been approved by OMB. These proposed amendments 
do not change the OMB approved data collection burden. Section 263.22 
contains information collection requirements that have not been 
approved by OMB. As a result of these proposed amendments, the 
Department is creating a new application package. Under the PRA, the 
Department has submitted a copy of this section to OMB for its review.
    A Federal agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of 
information unless OMB approves the collection under the PRA and the 
corresponding information collection instrument displays a currently 
valid OMB control number. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 
no person is required to comply with, or is subject to penalty for 
failure to comply with, a collection of information if the collection 
instrument does not display a currently valid OMB control number.
    The Department currently collects information from applicants for 
the Professional Development program using a discretionary 
Demonstration grant application package under the approved OMB Control 
Number 1810-0580. For the purposes of the PRA, the burden associated 
with the information grantees are required to submit would not change 
as a result of the proposed regulations.
    Additionally, grantees, participants, and employers currently 
report information to the Department through the Indian Education 
Professional Development Grants Program: Government Performance and 
Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) and Service Payback Data Collection System 
(DCS) under the approved OMB Control Number 1810-0698. The burden 
associated with the information grantees, participants, and employers 
are currently reporting would not change as a result of the proposed 
regulations.
    In the final regulations we will display the control numbers 1810-
0580, 1810-0698, and 1810-NEW assigned by OMB to these information 
collection requirements.

Section 263.6--How does the Secretary evaluate applications for the 
Professional Development program?

    Section 263.6 contains information collection requirements that the 
Department uses to evaluate applications submitted for the Professional 
Development program. The proposed changes to these requirements would 
focus the selection criteria more specifically on the program goals 
and, by removing the fixed selection criteria points, permit us to 
tailor competitions to changing student needs and employment 
opportunities in the field.
    Based on the current approved burden for this program, a total of 
50 applications are received annually for the grant competition. It 
takes each applicant 30 hours to complete the application package, 
including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data 
sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and 
reviewing the collection of information, for a total burden of 1,500 
hours for the collection of information through the application 
package. Burden costs of applicants are calculated at an annual hourly 
rate of $50. Accordingly, the annual respondent cost for 50 applicants 
at 30 hours is $44,198. These proposed changes to the regulations would 
not change the burden hours for this collection.

                                                    Table A-1
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Estimated
                                                     Number of      annual hour      Estimated         Total
                   Data source                       estimated      burden per      annual hour      estimated
                                                    respondents     respondent        burden        annual cost
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Discretionary Grant Professional Development                  50              30           1,500         $44,198
 Program Application (1810-0580)................
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Totals......................................              50              30           1,500          44,198
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 263.10--What are the participant payback reporting 
requirements? Section 263.11--What are the grantee post-award 
requirements?

    Sections 263.10 and 263.11 contain information collection 
requirements. The information collection requirements under these 
sections are already approved under OMB Control Number 1810-0698 and 
the associated burden hours would not change as a result of these 
proposed regulations.
    Sections 263.10 and 263.11 require both program participants and 
grantees to report information to the Department. Under Sec.  263.10, 
participants initiate contact with Department staff within 30 days of 
graduating or exiting the program and indicate their intent to complete 
a work-related or cash payback. They also submit employment information 
starting six months after completion of the program and an employment 
status report every six months thereafter. Under Sec.  263.11, grantees 
report information on all participants for the length of the grant 
award providing budget and project-specific performance information in 
the DCS. Grantees also enter into a payback agreement with each 
participant and submit a copy to the Department.
    In addition, as part of the information collection requirements 
approved under OMB Control Number 1810-0698, employers review and 
verify the accuracy of the information entered into the DCS by 
participants for work-related payback.
    The three primary purposes for these information collection 
requirements are to:
     Fulfill six GPRA performance measures and reporting 
requirements;
     Ensure that participants fulfill the statutory payback 
requirement; and
     Collect budget and project-specific performance 
information from grantees for project monitoring.
    The proposed changes to the regulations would establish in the 
program regulations the existing grantee reporting requirements and 
streamline the participant reporting requirements.
    Table A-2 presents the current annual burden and costs for grantees 
and participants, approved under OMB Control Number 1810-0698. Under 
OMB control number 1810-0698, there are currently 35 grantees and 776

[[Page 71941]]

participants. The burden for grantees of completing the participant 
record form is two hours per participant per year. The burden for 
grantees of preparing and submitting a payback agreement is 3.7 hours 
per participant and occurs when the participant is recruited. On 
average, each grantee has 22 participants. Burden costs for grantee 
administrators are calculated at an hourly rate of $50. Accordingly, 
the annual respondent cost for 35 grantees and 776 participants at 
1,540 hours is $77,000.
    The burden for participants of completing the training and 
employment information form is .5 hours per year. Burden costs for 
participants are calculated at an average hourly rate of $24.69. 
Accordingly, the annual burden hours for 388 participants are $9,580. 
The burden for employers of verifying participant employment 
information is .33 hours per year. Burden costs for employers are 
calculated at an average hourly rate of $50, with one employer for each 
participant for a total of 776 employers. Accordingly, the annual 
burden hours for employers are 259, and the annual burden for employers 
is $12,950.
    The proposed regulations in Sec. Sec.  263.10 and 263.11 would not 
change the approved burden hours for this collection.

                                                    Table A-2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Annual hour
                   Data source                       Number of      burden per      Annual hour    Total annual
                                                    respondents     respondent        burden           cost
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grantees: Participant Record Form (Quarterly)...              35              44           1,540         $77,000
Grantees: Payback Agreement (Once)..............              35             3.7             130           6,500
Participants: Training and Employment                        776              .5             388           9,580
 Information Form (Twice/year)..................
Employer Representatives: Employment                         776             .33             259          12,950
 Verification Form (Twice/year).................
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Totals......................................           1,622            48.5           2,317         106,030
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 263.22--What are the application requirements for these grants?

    Section 263.22 contains information collection requirements. The 
information collection requirements under this section have not been 
approved by OMB; the Department has submitted a new Information 
Collection Request (ICR) to OMB adding this proposed section. Section 
263.22 proposes to add application requirements for Demonstration 
grants, such as requirements to submit evidence of a local needs 
assessment or other data analysis and a copy of an agreement signed by 
the primary partners in the proposed project.
    Table A-3 presents the estimated number of respondents, annual 
burden and costs for respondents under the proposed ICR 1810-NEW. Under 
this proposed section, the number of applicants is estimated at 80, and 
we estimate it would take each applicant 40 hours to complete the 
application package, for a total burden estimate of 3,200 hours. Burden 
costs to applicants are estimated at an hourly rate of $45. 
Accordingly, the annual respondent cost for 80 applicants is estimated 
at $144,000.

                                                    Table A-3
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Annual hour
                                                    Estimate of       burden        Annual hour    Total annual
                   Data source                      respondents    estimate per       burden       cost estimate
                                                                    respondent       estimate
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Discretionary Grant Demonstration Program                     80              40           3,200        $144,000
 Application (1810-NEW).........................
                                                 ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Totals......................................              80              40           3,200         144,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you want to comment on the information collection requirements, 
please send your comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory 
Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for U.S. Department of Education. 
Send these comments by email to [email protected] or by fax to 
(202) 395-6974. Additionally, you may send a copy of these comments to 
the Department via the Federal eRulemaking Portal listed in the below 
ADDRESSES section.
    We have prepared an ICR for these collections. If you want to 
review and comment on the ICR, it is available at www.reginfo.gov. 
Click on Information Collection Review. This ICR is identified as ED-
2014-OESE-0050.
    We consider your comments on these collections of information in--
     Deciding whether the collections are necessary for the 
proper performance of our functions, including whether the information 
will have practical use;
     Evaluating the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of 
the collections, including the validity of our methodology and 
assumptions;
     Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the 
information we collect; and
     Minimizing the burden on those who must respond. This 
includes exploring the use of appropriate automated, electronic, 
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques.

ADDRESSES: Comments submitted in response to this notice should be 
submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket ID ED-2014-OESE-0050 or via 
postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that 
comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the 
comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information 
or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to 
the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Mailstop L-OM-2-
2E319LBJ, Room 2E115, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

[[Page 71942]]


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Electronically mail 
[email protected]. Please do not send comments here.

Intergovernmental Review

    These programs are 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 these programs.

Assessment of Educational Impact

    In accordance with section 411 of the General Education Provisions 
Act, 20 U.S.C. 1221e-4, the Secretary particularly requests comments on 
whether these proposed regulations would require transmission of 
information that any other agency or authority of the United States 
gathers or makes available.
    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 person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers: 84.299A 
Demonstration Grants for Indian Children; 84.299B Professional 
Development Program)

List of Subjects in 34 CFR Part 263

    Business and industry, Colleges and universities, Elementary and 
secondary education, Grant programs--education, Grant programs--
Indians, Indians--education, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Scholarships and fellowships.

    Dated: November 26, 2014.
Deborah S. Delisle,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Secretary of 
Education proposes to amend title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations 
by revising part 263 to read as follows:

PART 263--INDIAN EDUCATION DISCRETIONARY GRANT PROGRAMS

Subpart A--Professional Development Program
Sec.
263.1 What is the Professional Development Program?
263.2 Who is eligible to apply under the Professional Development 
program?
263.3 What definitions apply to the Professional Development 
program?
263.4 What costs may a Professional Development program include?
263.5 What priority is given to certain projects and applicants?
263.6 How does the Secretary evaluate applications for the 
Professional Development program?
263.7 What are the requirements for a leave of absence?
263.8 What are the payback requirements?
263.9 What are the requirements for payback deferral?
263.10 What are the participant payback reporting requirements?
263.11 What are the grantee post-award requirements?
263.12 What are the program-specific requirements for continuation 
awards?
Subpart B--Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program
Sec.
263.20 What definitions apply to the Demonstration Grants for Indian 
Children program?
263.21 What priority is given to certain projects and applicants?
263.22 What are the application requirements for these grants?
263.23 What is the Federal requirement for Indian hiring preference 
that applies to these grants?

    Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7441 and 7442, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A--Professional Development Program


Sec.  263.1  What is the Professional Development program?

    (a) The Professional Development program provides grants to 
eligible entities to--
    (1) Increase the number of qualified Indian individuals in 
professions that serve Indian people;
    (2) Provide training to qualified Indian individuals to become 
teachers, administrators, teacher aides, social workers, and ancillary 
educational personnel; and
    (3) Improve the skills of qualified Indian individuals who serve in 
the education field.
    (b) The Professional Development program requires individuals who 
receive training to--
    (1) Perform work related to the training received under the program 
and that benefits Indian people, or to repay all or a prorated part of 
the assistance received under the program; and
    (2) Periodically report to the Secretary on the individual's 
compliance with the work requirement until work-related payback is 
complete or the individual has been referred for cash payback.


Sec.  263.2  Who is eligible to apply under the Professional 
Development program?

    (a) In order to be eligible for either pre-service or in-service 
training programs, an applicant must be an eligible entity which 
means--
    (1) An institution of higher education, including an Indian 
institution of higher education;
    (2) A State educational agency in consortium with an institution of 
higher education;
    (3) A local educational agency in consortium with an institution of 
higher education;
    (4) An Indian tribe or Indian organization in consortium with an 
institution of higher education; or
    (5) A Bureau of Indian Education (Bureau)-funded school.
    (b) Bureau-funded schools are eligible applicants for--
    (1) An in-service training program; and
    (2) A pre-service training program when the Bureau-funded school 
applies in consortium with an institution of higher education that is 
accredited to provide the coursework and level of degree required by 
the project.
    (c) Eligibility of an applicant requiring a consortium with any 
institution of higher education, including Indian institutions of 
higher education, requires that the institution of higher education be 
accredited to provide the coursework and level of degree required by 
the project.


Sec.  263.3  What definitions apply to the Professional Development 
program?

    The following definitions apply to the Professional Development 
program:
    Bureau-funded school means a Bureau of Indian Education school, a 
contract or grant school, or a school for which assistance is provided 
under the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988.

[[Page 71943]]

    Department means the U.S. Department of Education.
    Dependent allowance means costs for the care of minor children 
under the age of 18 who reside with the training participant and for 
whom the participant has responsibility. The term does not include 
financial obligations for payment of child support required of the 
participant.
    Full course load means the number of credit hours that the 
institution requires of a full-time student.
    Full-time student means a student who--
    (1) Is a degree candidate for a baccalaureate or graduate degree;
    (2) Carries a full course load; and
    (3) Is not employed for more than 20 hours a week.
    Good standing means a cumulative grade point average of at least 
2.0 on a 4.0 grade point scale in which failing grades are computed as 
part of the average, or another appropriate standard established by the 
institution.
    Graduate degree means a post-baccalaureate degree awarded by an 
institution of higher education.
    Indian means an individual who is--
    (1) A member of an Indian tribe or band, as membership is defined 
by the Indian tribe or band, including any tribe or band terminated 
since 1940, and any tribe or band recognized by the State in which the 
tribe or band resides;
    (2) A descendant of a parent or grandparent who meets the 
requirements of paragraph (1) of this definition;
    (3) Considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for 
any purpose;
    (4) An Eskimo, Aleut, or other Alaska Native; or
    (5) A member of an organized Indian group that received a grant 
under the Indian Education Act of 1988 as it was in effect on October 
19, 1994.
    Indian institution of higher education means an accredited college 
or university within the United States cited in section 532 of the 
Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, any other 
institution that qualifies for funding under the Tribally Controlled 
College or University Assistance Act of 1978, and the Navajo Community 
College, authorized in the Navajo Community College Assistance Act of 
1978.
    Indian organization means an organization that--
    (1) Is legally established--
    (i) By tribal or inter-tribal charter or in accordance with State 
or tribal law; and
    (ii) With appropriate constitution, by-laws, or articles of 
incorporation;
    (2) Includes in its purposes the promotion of the education of 
Indians;
    (3) Is controlled by a governing board, the majority of which is 
Indian;
    (4) If located on an Indian reservation, operates with the sanction 
or by charter of the governing body of that reservation;
    (5) Is neither an organization or subdivision of, nor under the 
direct control of, any institution of higher education; and
    (6) Is not an agency of State or local government.
    Induction services means services provided after participant's 
complete their training program and during their first year of 
teaching. Induction services support and improve participants' 
professional performance and promote their retention in the field of 
education and teaching. They include, at a minimum, these activities:
    (1) High-quality mentoring, coaching, and consultation services for 
the participant to improve performance;
    (2) Access to research materials and information on teaching and 
learning;
    (3) Assisting new teachers with use of technology in the classroom 
and use of data, particularly student achievement data, for classroom 
instruction;
    (4) Clear, timely and useful feedback on performance, provided in 
coordination with the participant's supervisor; and
    (5) Periodic meetings or seminars for participants to enhance 
collaboration, feedback, and peer networking and support.
    In-service training means activities and opportunities designed to 
enhance the skills and abilities of individuals in their current areas 
of employment.
    Institution of higher education means an accredited college or 
university within the United States that awards a baccalaureate or 
post-baccalaureate degree.
    Participant means an Indian individual who is being trained under 
the Professional Development program.
    Payback means work-related service or cash reimbursement to the 
Department of Education for the training received under the 
Professional Development program.
    Pre-service training means training to Indian individuals to 
prepare them to meet the requirements for licensing or certification in 
a professional field requiring at least a baccalaureate degree.
    Professional development activities means pre-service or in-service 
training offered to enhance the skills and abilities of individual 
participants.
    Secretary means the Secretary of the Department of Education or an 
official or employee of the Department acting for the Secretary under a 
delegation of authority.
    Stipend means that portion of an award that is used for room, 
board, and personal living expenses for full-time participants who are 
living at or near the institution providing the training.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7442 and 7491)

Sec.  263.4  What costs may a Professional Development program include?

    (a) A Professional Development program may include, as training 
costs, assistance to--
    (1) Fully finance a student's educational expenses including 
tuition, books, and required fees; health insurance required by the 
institution of higher education; stipend; dependent allowance; 
technology costs; program required travel; and instructional supplies; 
or
    (2) Supplement other financial aid, including Federal funding other 
than loans, for meeting a student's educational expenses.
    (b) The Secretary announces the expected maximum amounts for 
stipends and dependent allowance in the annual notice inviting 
applications published in the Federal Register.
    (c) Other costs that a Professional Development program may 
include, but that must not be included as training costs, include costs 
for--
    (1) Collaborating with prospective employers within the grantees' 
local service area to create a pool of potentially available qualifying 
employment opportunities;
    (2) In-service training activities such as providing mentorships 
linking experienced teachers at job placement sites with program 
participants; and
    (3) Assisting participants in identifying and securing qualifying 
employment opportunities in their field of study following completion 
of the program.


Sec.  263.5  What priority is given to certain projects and applicants?

    (a) The Secretary gives priority to an application submitted by an 
Indian tribe, Indian organization, or an Indian institution of higher 
education that is eligible to participate in the Professional 
Development program. A consortium application of eligible entities that 
meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 of EDGAR and 
includes an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian institution of 
higher education will be considered eligible to receive priority points 
only if the consortium designates the Indian institution of higher 
education as the fiscal agent. In order to be considered a consortium 
application, the application must include the consortium agreement, 
signed by all parties.

[[Page 71944]]

    (b) The Secretary may annually establish as a priority any of the 
priorities listed in this paragraph. When inviting applications for a 
competition under the Professional Development program, the Secretary 
designates 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 is described in 34 CFR 75.105.
    (1) Pre-Service training for teachers. The Secretary establishes a 
priority for projects that:
    (i) Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete 
a pre-service education program that enables the individuals to meet 
the requirements for full State certification or licensure as a teacher 
through--
    (A) Training that leads to a bachelor's degree in education before 
the end of the award period, unless the State requires a fifth year for 
licensure in a specific subject area;
    (B) For States allowing a degree in a specific subject area, 
training that leads to a bachelor's degree in the subject area as long 
as the training meets the requirements for full State teacher 
certification or licensure; or
    (C) Training in a current or new specialized teaching assignment 
that requires at least a bachelor's degree and in which a documented 
teacher shortage exists;
    (ii) Provide one year of induction services, during the award 
period, to participants after graduation, certification, or licensure, 
while they are completing their first year of work in schools with 
significant Indian student populations; and
    (iii) Include goals for the:
    (A) Number of participants to be recruited each year;
    (B) Number of participants to continue in the project each year;
    (C) Number of participants to graduate each year; and
    (D) Number of participants to find qualifying jobs within twelve 
months of completion.
    (2) Pre-service administrator training. The Secretary establishes a 
priority for projects that--
    (i) Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete 
a master's degree in education administration that is provided before 
the end of the award period and that allows participants to meet the 
requirements for State certification or licensure as an education 
administrator;
    (ii) Provide one year of induction services, during the award 
period, to participants after graduation, certification, or licensure, 
while they are completing their first year of work as administrators in 
schools with significant Indian student populations; and
    (iii) Include goals for the:
    (A) Number of participants to be recruited each year;
    (B) Number of participants to continue in the project each year;
    (C) Number of participants to graduate each year; and
    (D) Number of participants to find qualifying jobs within twelve 
months of completion.
    (3) Letter of support. The Secretary establishes a priority for 
applicants that include a letter of support signed by the authorized 
representative of a local educational agency (LEA) or Bureau-funded 
school or other entity in the applicant's service area that agrees to 
consider program graduates for qualifying employment.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7442 and 7473)

Sec.  263.6  How does the Secretary evaluate applications for the 
Professional Development program?

    The Secretary uses the procedures for establishing selection 
criteria and factors in 34 CFR Sec.  75.200 through 75.210 of this 
title to establish the criteria and factors used to evaluate 
applications submitted in a grant competition for the Professional 
Development program. The Secretary may also consider one or more of the 
criteria and factors listed in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this 
section to evaluate applications.
    (a) Need for project. In determining the need for the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project will prepare personnel 
in specific fields in which shortages have been demonstrated through a 
job market analysis; and
    (2) The extent to which employment opportunities exist in the 
project's service area, as demonstrated through a job market analysis.
    (b) Significance. In determining the significance of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers one or more of the following:
    (1) The potential of the proposed project to develop effective 
strategies for teaching Indian students and improving Indian student 
achievement, as demonstrated by a plan to share findings gained from 
the proposed project with parties who could benefit from such findings, 
such as other institutions of higher education who are training 
teachers and administrators who will be serving Indian students; and
    (2) The likelihood that the proposed project will build local 
capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the 
specific needs of Indian students.
    (c) Quality of the project design. The Secretary considers one or 
more of the following factors in determining the quality of the design 
of the proposed project:
    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are ambitious but also attainable and 
address--
    (i) The number of participants expected to be recruited in the 
project each year;
    (ii) The number of participants expected to continue in the project 
each year;
    (iii) The number of participants expected to graduate; and
    (iv) The number of participants expected to find qualifying jobs 
within twelve months of completion;
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project has a plan for 
recruiting and selecting participants that ensures that program 
participants are likely to complete the program; and
    (3) The extent to which the proposed project will incorporate the 
needs of potential employers, as identified by a job market analysis, 
by establishing partnerships and relationships with appropriate 
entities (e.g., Bureau-funded schools, organizations providing 
educational services to Indian students, and LEAs) and developing 
programs that meet their employment needs.
    (d) Quality of project services. The Secretary considers one or 
more of the following factors in determining the quality of project 
services:
    (1) The likelihood that the proposed project will provide 
participants with learning experiences that develop needed skills for 
successful teaching and/or administration in schools with significant 
Indian populations;
    (2) The extent to which the proposed project prepares participants 
to adapt teaching and/or administrative practices to meet the breadth 
of Indian student needs;
    (3) The extent to which the applicant will provide job placement 
activities that reflect the findings of the job market analysis and 
needs of potential employers; and
    (4) The extent to which the applicant will offer induction services 
that reflect the latest research on effective delivery of such 
services.
    (e) Quality of project personnel. The Secretary considers one or 
more of the following factors when determining the quality of the 
personnel who will carry out the proposed project:

[[Page 71945]]

    (1) The qualifications, including relevant training, experience, 
and cultural competence, of the project director and the amount of time 
this individual will spend directly involved in the project;
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training, experience, 
and cultural competence, of key project personnel and the amount of 
time to be spent on the project and direct interactions with 
participants; and
    (3) The qualifications, including relevant training, experience, 
and cultural competence (as necessary), of project consultants or 
subcontractors, if any.


Sec.  263.7  What are the requirements for a leave of absence?

    (a) A participant must submit a written request for a leave of 
absence to the project director not less than 30 days prior to 
withdrawal or completion of a grading period, unless an emergency 
situation has occurred and the project director chooses to waive the 
prior notification requirement.
    (b) The project director may approve a leave of absence, for a 
period not longer than twelve months, provided the participant has 
completed at least twelve months of training in the project and is in 
good standing at the time of request.
    (c) The project director permits a leave of absence only if the 
institution of higher education certifies that the training participant 
is eligible to resume his or her course of study at the end of the 
leave of absence.
    (d) A participants who is granted a leave of absence and does not 
return to his or her course of study by the end of the grant project 
period will be considered not to have completed the course of study for 
the purpose of project performance reporting.


Sec.  263.8  What are the payback requirements?

    (a) General. All participants must--
    (1) Either perform work-related payback or provide cash 
reimbursement to the Department for the training received. It is the 
preference of the Department for participants to complete a work-
related payback;
    (2) Sign an agreement, at the time of selection for training, that 
sets forth the payback requirements; and
    (3) Report employment verification in a manner specified by the 
Department or its designee.
    (b) Work-related payback.
    (1) Participants qualify for work-related payback if the work they 
are performing is in their field of study under the Professional 
Development program and benefits Indian people. Employment in a school 
that has a significant Indian student population qualifies as work that 
benefits Indian people.
    (2) The period of time required for a work-related payback is 
equivalent to the total period of time for which pre-service or in-
service training was actually received on a month-for-month basis under 
the Professional Development program.
    (3) Work-related payback is credited for the actual time the 
participant works, not for how the participant is paid (e.g., for work 
completed over 9 months but paid over 12 months, the payback credit is 
9 months).
    (4) For participants that initiate, but cannot complete, a work-
related payback, the payback converts to a cash payback that is 
prorated based upon the amount of work-related payback completed.
    (c) Cash payback.
    (1) Participants who do not submit employment verification within 
twelve months of program exit or completion, or have not submitted 
employment verification for a twelve-month period during a work-related 
payback, will automatically be referred for a cash payback unless the 
participant qualifies for a deferral as described in Sec.  263.9.
    (2) The cash payback required shall be equivalent to the total 
amount of funds received and expended for training received under this 
program and may be prorated based on any approved work-related service 
the participant performs.
    (3) Participants who are referred to cash payback may incur non-
refundable penalty and administrative fees in addition to their total 
training costs and will incur interest charges starting the day of 
referral.
    (4) The cash payback obligation may only be discharged through 
bankruptcy if repaying the loan would cause the participant undue 
hardship as defined in 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(8).

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7442)


Sec.  263.9  What are the requirements for payback deferral?

    (a) Education deferral. If a participant completes or exits the 
Professional Development program, but plans to continue his or her 
education as a full-time student without interruption, in a program 
leading to a degree at an accredited institution of higher education, 
the Secretary may defer the payback requirement until the participant 
has completed his or her educational program.
    (1) A request for a deferral must be submitted to the Secretary 
within 30 days of leaving the Professional Development program and must 
provide the following information--
    (i) The name of the accredited institution the student will be 
attending;
    (ii) A copy of the letter of admission from the institution;
    (iii) The degree being sought; and
    (iv) The projected date of completion.
    (2) If the Secretary approves the deferment of the payback 
requirement on the basis that a participant is continuing as a full-
time student, the participant must submit to the Secretary a status 
report from an academic advisor or other authorized representative of 
the institution of higher education, showing verification of enrollment 
and status, after every grading period.
    (b) Military deferral. If a participant exits the Professional 
Development program because he or she is called or ordered to active 
duty status in connection with a war, military operation, or national 
emergency for more than 30 days as a member of a reserve component of 
the Armed Forces named in 10 U.S.C. 10101, or as a member of the 
National Guard on full-time National Guard duty, as defined in 10 
U.S.C. 101(d)(5), the Secretary may defer the payback requirement until 
the participant has completed his or her military service, for a period 
not to exceed 36 months. Requests for deferment must be submitted to 
the Secretary within 30 days of the earlier of leaving the Professional 
Development program or the call to military service, and must provide--
    (1) A written statement from the participant's commanding or 
personnel officer certifying--
    (i) That the participant is on active duty in the Armed Forces of 
the United States;
    (ii) The date on which the participant's service began; and
    (iii) The date on which the participant's service is expected to 
end; or
    (2)(i) A true certified copy of the participant's official military 
orders; and
    (ii) A copy of the participant's military identification.


Sec.  263.10  What are the participant payback reporting requirements?

    (a) Notice of intent. Participants must submit to the Secretary, 
within 30 days of completion of, or exit from, as applicable, their 
training program, a notice of intent to complete a work-related or cash 
payback, or to continue in a degree program as a full-time student.
    (b) Work-related payback.
    (1) Starting within six months after exit from or completion of the 
program,

[[Page 71946]]

participants must submit to the Secretary employment information, which 
includes information explaining how the employment is related to the 
training received and benefits Indian people.
    (2) Participants must submit an employment status report every six 
months beginning from the date the work-related service is to begin 
until the payback obligation has been fulfilled.
    (c) Cash payback. If a cash payback is to be made, the Department 
contacts the participant to establish an appropriate schedule for 
payments.


Sec.  263.11  What are the grantee post-award requirements?

    (a) Prior to providing funds or services to a participant, the 
grantee must conduct a payback meeting with the participant to explain 
the costs of training and payback responsibilities following training.
    (b) The grantee must report to the Secretary all participant 
training and payback information in a manner specified by the 
Department or its designee.
    (c)(1) Grantees must obtain a signed payback agreement from each 
participant before the participant begins training. The agreement must 
include--
    (i) The estimated total training costs;
    (ii) The estimated length of training; and
    (iii) Information documenting that the grantee held a payback 
meeting with the participant that meets the requirements of this 
section.
    (2) Grantees must submit a signed payback agreement to the 
Department within seven days of signing of the payback agreement.
    (d) Grantees must conduct activities to assist participants in 
identifying and securing qualifying employment opportunities following 
completion of the program.
    (e)(1) Awards that are primarily for the benefit of Indians are 
subject to the provisions of section 7(b) of the Indian Self-
Determination and Education Assistance Act (Pub. L. 93-638). That 
section requires that, to the greatest extent feasible, a grantee--
    (i) Give to Indians preferences and opportunities for training and 
employment in connection with the administration of the grant; and
    (ii) Give to Indian organizations and to Indian-owned economic 
enterprises, as defined in section 3 of the Indian Financing Act of 
1974 (25 U.S.C. 1452(e)), preference in the award of contracts in 
connection with the administration of the grant.
    (2) For the purposes of paragraph (e), an Indian is a member of any 
federally recognized Indian tribe.

(Authority: Pub. L. 93-638, Section 7(b); 25 U.S.C. 450b, 450e(b))


Sec.  263.12  What are the program-specific requirements for 
continuation awards?

    (a) In making continuation awards, in addition to applying the 
criteria in 34 CFR Sec.  75.253, the Secretary considers the extent to 
which a grantee has achieved its project goals to recruit, retain, 
graduate, and place in qualifying employment program participants.
    (b) The Secretary may reduce continuation awards, including the 
portion of awards that may be used for administrative costs, as well as 
student training costs, based on a grantee's failure to achieve its 
project goals specified in paragraph (a) of this section.
    Subpart B--Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program


Sec.  263.20  What definitions apply to the Demonstration Grants for 
Indian Children program?

    The following definitions apply to the Demonstration Grants for 
Indian Children program:
    Federally supported elementary or secondary school for Indian 
students means an elementary or secondary school that is operated or 
funded, through a contract or grant, by the Bureau of Indian Education.
    Indian means an individual who is--
    (1) A member of an Indian tribe or band, as membership is defined 
by the Indian tribe or band, including any tribe or band terminated 
since 1940, and any tribe or band recognized by the State in which the 
tribe or band resides;
    (2) A descendant of a parent or grandparent who meets the 
requirements described in paragraph (1) of this definition;
    (3) Considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for 
any purpose;
    (4) An Eskimo, Aleut, or other Alaska Native; or
    (5) A member of an organized Indian group that received a grant 
under the Indian Education Act of 1988 as it was in effect on October 
19, 1994.
    Indian institution of higher education means an accredited college 
or university within the United States cited in section 532 of the 
Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994, any other 
institution that qualifies for funding under the Tribally Controlled 
College or University Assistance Act of 1978, and the Navajo Community 
College, authorized in the Navajo Community College Assistance Act of 
1978.
    Indian organization means an organization that--
    (1) Is legally established--
    (i) By tribal or inter-tribal charter or in accordance with State 
or tribal law; and
    (ii) With appropriate constitution, by-laws, or articles of 
incorporation;
    (2) Includes in its purposes the promotion of the education of 
Indians;
    (3) Is controlled by a governing board, the majority of which is 
Indian;
    (4) If located on an Indian reservation, operates with the sanction 
of or by charter from the governing body of that reservation;
    (5) Is neither an organization or subdivision of, nor under the 
direct control of, any institution of higher education; and
    (6) Is not an agency of State or local government.
    Native youth community projects mean projects that are--
    (1) Focused on a defined local geographic area;
    (2) Centered on the goal of ensuring that Indian students are 
prepared for college and careers;
    (3) Informed by data, which could be either a needs assessment 
conducted within the last three years or other data analysis, on:
    (i) The greatest barriers, both in and out of school, to the 
readiness of local Indian students for college and careers;
    (ii) Opportunities in the local community to support Indian 
students; and
    (iii) Existing local policies, programs, practices, service 
providers, and funding sources;
    (4) Focused on one or more barriers or opportunities with a 
community-based strategy or strategies and measurable objectives; and
    (5) Designed and implemented through a partnership of various 
entities, which includes:
    (i) A tribe or its tribal educational agency;
    (ii) One or more BIE-funded schools, one or more local educational 
agencies, or both; and
    (iii) Other optional entities, including community-based 
organizations, national nonprofit organizations, and Alaska regional 
corporations; and
    (6) Led by an entity that--
    (i) Is eligible for a grant under the Demonstration Grants for 
Indian Children program; and
    (ii) Demonstrates, or partners with an entity that demonstrates, 
the capacity to improve outcomes for Indian students through experience 
with programs funded through other sources.
    Professional development activities means in-service training 
offered to enhance the skills and abilities of individuals that may be 
part of, but not exclusively, the activities provided in a

[[Page 71947]]

Demonstration Grants for Indian Children program.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7441)


Sec.  263.21  What priority is given to certain projects and 
applicants?

    (a) The Secretary gives priority to an application that presents a 
plan for combining two or more of the activities described in section 
7121(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended, over a period of more than one year.
    (b) The Secretary gives priority to an application submitted by an 
Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian institution of higher 
education that is eligible to participate in the Demonstration Grants 
for Indian Children program.
    (c) The Secretary may give priority to an application that meets 
any of the priorities listed in this paragraph. When inviting 
applications for a competition under the Demonstration Grants program, 
the Secretary designates the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice inviting 
applications published in the Federal Register. The effect of each type 
of priority is described in 34 CFR 75.105.
    (1) Native youth community projects.
    (2) Projects in which the applicant or one of its primary partners 
has received a grant under a Federal program specified by the Secretary 
in the notice inviting applications.
    (3) Projects in which the applicant has Department approval to 
consolidate funding through a plan that complies with section 7116 of 
the ESEA or other authority designated by the Secretary.
    (4) Projects that focus on a specific activity authorized in 
section 7121(c) of the ESEA, as designated by the Secretary in the 
notice inviting applications.
    (5) Projects that include either:
    (i) A local educational agency that is eligible under the Small 
Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income 
School (RLIS) program authorized under title VI, part B of the ESEA, or
    (ii) A school that receives funds from the Department of the 
Interior's Bureau of Indian Education.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7426, 7441, and 7473)


Sec.  263.22  What are the application requirements for these grants?

    (a) Each application must contain--
    (1) A description of how Indian tribes and parents of Indian 
children have been, and will be, involved in developing and 
implementing the proposed activities;
    (2) Assurances that the applicant will participate, at the request 
of the Secretary, in any national evaluation of this program;
    (3) Information demonstrating that the proposed project is based on 
scientific research, where applicable, or an existing program that has 
been modified to be culturally appropriate for Indian students;
    (4) A description of how the applicant will continue the proposed 
activities once the grant period is over; and
    (5) Other assurances and information as the Secretary may 
reasonably require.
    (b) The Secretary may require an applicant to satisfy any of the 
requirements in this paragraph. When inviting applications for a 
competition under the Demonstration Grants program, the Secretary 
establishes the application requirements through a notice inviting 
applications published in the Federal Register. If specified in the 
notice inviting applications, an applicant must submit--
    (1) Evidence, which could be either a needs assessment conducted 
within the last three years or other data analysis, of:
    (i) The greatest barriers, both in and out of school, to the 
readiness of local Indian students for college and careers;
    (ii) Opportunities in the local community to support Indian 
students; and
    (iii) Existing local policies, programs, practices, service 
providers, and funding sources.
    (2) A copy of an agreement signed by the primary partners in the 
proposed project, identifying the responsibilities of each partner in 
the project. The agreement can be either:
    (i) A consortium agreement that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 
75.128, if each of the primary entities are eligible entities under 
this program; or
    (ii) Another form of partnership agreement, such as a memorandum of 
understanding or a memorandum of agreement, if not all the primary 
partners are eligible entities under this program.
    (3) Measurable objectives for reaching the project goal or goals.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7441)


Sec.  263.23  What is the Federal requirement for Indian hiring 
preference that applies to these grants?

    (a) Awards that are primarily for the benefit of Indians are 
subject to the provisions of section 7(b) of the Indian Self-
Determination and Education Assistance Act (Pub. L. 93-638). That 
section requires that, to the greatest extent feasible, a grantee--
    (1) Give to Indians preferences and opportunities for training and 
employment in connection with the administration of the grant; and
    (2) Give to Indian organizations and to Indian-owned economic 
enterprises, as defined in section 3 of the Indian Financing Act of 
1974 (25 U.S.C. 1452(e)), preference in the award of contracts in 
connection with the administration of the grant.
    (b) For purposes of this section, an Indian is a member of any 
federally recognized Indian tribe.

(Authority: Pub. L. 93-638, Section 7(b); 25 U.S.C. 450b, 450e(b))


[FR Doc. 2014-28354 Filed 12-2-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P