[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 77 (Wednesday, April 22, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 22403-22417]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-09396]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Part 263

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


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

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

ACTION: Final regulations.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary amends 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 Act of 1965, as amended 
(ESEA). The regulations 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 enhance the project 
design and quality of services to 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, the regulations add new priorities, 
including a priority for native youth community projects (NYCPs), and 
new application requirements.

DATES: These regulations are effective May 22, 2015.

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.

[[Page 22404]]


SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 3, 2014, the Secretary published 
a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Indian Education 
Discretionary Grant Programs; Professional Development Program and 
Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program in the Federal 
Register (79 FR 71930-71947).
    In the preamble of the NPRM, we discussed on pages 71931 through 
71938 the major changes proposed in that document to improve the 
Professional Development program and the Demonstration Grants program. 
These included the following:
     Amending Sec.  263.3 to change the definitions of ``Indian 
organization,'' ``induction services,'' and ``professional 
development;'' and to remove the term, ``undergraduate degree.''
     Amending Sec.  263.4 to provide greater detail about the 
kinds of training costs that may be covered under the Professional 
Development program.
     Amending Sec.  263.5 to revise the competitive preference 
priorities for tribes, Indian organizations, and Indian institutions of 
higher education (IHE); to amend pre-service priorities to include 
project-specific goals; and to require applicants to submit a letter of 
support from an entity in the applicant's service area agreeing to 
consider program graduates for qualifying employment.
     Amending Sec.  263.6 to remove fixed points assigned to 
each criterion; to include in the regulations only program-specific 
factors and to eliminate the factors that are separately codified in 34 
CFR 75.210; and to revise the selection criteria.
     Amending Sec.  263.7 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.
     Amending Sec.  263.8 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.
     Amending Sec.  263.9 to specify the two types of deferral 
that are available: Education and military service; to add a provision 
for military deferrals; and to remove the provision stating that 
payback begins within six months of program completion.
     Amending Sec.  263.10 to eliminate the work-related 
payback plan and the requirement that eligible employment must be 
continuous.
     Amending Sec.  263.11 to add a requirement for grantees to 
conduct a payback meeting with each participant; to require that 
grantees report participant and payback information to the U.S. 
Department of Education (Department); to require the grantee to obtain 
a signed payback agreement from each participant and submit it to the 
Department; to require that grantees assist participants in finding 
qualifying employment after completing the program; and to clarify that 
the hiring preference provisions of the Indian Self-Determination and 
Education Assistance Act apply to this program.
     Amending Sec.  263.12 to add to the criteria we use in 
making continuation awards; and to clarify that we may reduce 
continuation awards based on a grantee's failure to meet project goals.
     Amending Sec.  263.20 to modify the definition of ``Indian 
organization''; and to add a definition of ``native youth community 
project.''
     Amending Sec.  263.21 to remove the set number of 
competitive preference priority points; to revise the priority for 
applications submitted by Indian entities in paragraph (b), and to 
propose in paragraph (c) five new priorities, including one for native 
youth community projects.
     Adding Sec.  263.22 to include application requirements 
for the Demonstration Grants program.
     Adding Sec.  263.23 to clarify that the hiring preference 
provisions of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Act apply to 
this program.
    These final regulations contain changes from the NPRM, which are 
fully explained in the Analysis of Comments and Changes section of this 
document.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the NPRM, 15 
parties submitted comments on the proposed regulations. We discuss 
substantive issues under the section number of the item to which they 
pertain. Several comments did not pertain to a specific section of the 
proposed regulations. We discuss these comments based on the general 
topic area. Generally, we do not address technical and other minor 
changes.
    Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and 
of any changes in the regulations since publication of the NPRM 
follows.

General Comments

    Comments: Several commenters expressed strong support for the 
changes in the NPRM generally. One commenter requested that the 
Secretary issue a tribal consultation policy.
    Discussion: We appreciate the support for the changes to the 
Professional Development program and the Demonstration Grants program. 
The tribal consultation policy is outside the scope of this rulemaking. 
However, we are in the process of developing an updated tribal 
consultation policy. During this process, we are consulting with 
tribes, in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 13175. 
We expect to publish this revised policy during FY 2015.
    Changes: None.

Professional Development Program

General

    Comments: Several commenters expressed support for the Professional 
Development program, and gave examples of impressive results from past 
grants, which have expanded the number of American Indian teachers in 
tribal communities.
    Discussion: We appreciate the support for this program.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter asked that we ensure active collaboration 
among grantees, tribes, and local schools to ensure that the training 
provided under the grants meets the educational needs of local 
communities.
    Discussion: We expect that the competitive priority for consortia 
that include a tribal entity (Sec.  263.5(a)), the new priority for 
applicants with a letter of support from a school district or other 
entity that will consider hiring graduates of this project (Sec.  
263.5(b)(3)), and the new selection criteria for need that relates to 
employment opportunities and shortages in certain fields (Sec.  
263.6(a)), will all contribute to the commenter's expressed goal.
    Changes: None.

Eligible Applicants (Sec.  263.2)

    Comments: Several commenters objected to the requirement that a 
tribal applicant (tribe or Indian organization) be required to apply in 
consortium with an IHE. One commenter asked that we allow a period of 
time after funding in order for a grantee to obtain a partner IHE. 
Another commenter asked that we define ``in consortium with an 
institution of higher education,'' in terms of the level of commitment 
required from the IHE, and suggested we permit an Indian organization 
to apply as a sole applicant without an IHE. This commenter also asked 
whether an Indian organization can apply with more than one IHE, and if 
so, what is required to demonstrate the partnerships.
    Discussion: The statute requires that any eligible entity that is 
not an IHE (other than a Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian 
Education (BIE)-funded school) must apply in consortium with an IHE 
(section 7122 of the ESEA), and we cannot change that statutory 
requirement. That eligibility requirement also precludes us from

[[Page 22405]]

permitting grantees to obtain a partner IHE after grants are made; for 
entities required to be in a consortium with an IHE in order to be 
eligible for a grant, the application must be from the consortium.
    With regard to the level of commitment required from the IHE, we do 
not believe it is necessary to prescribe the details of an arrangement 
with an IHE. To demonstrate an eligible consortium, the applicant must 
submit a consortium agreement that complies with the requirements of 34 
CFR 75.127-129, including the requirement that the agreement detail the 
activities to be performed by each member, and bind each member to 
every statement and assurance in the application. The IHE is the entity 
that will provide the actual education and training to Indian 
individuals to enable those individuals to teach in or administer 
schools serving Indians. By receiving a federally-funded education, 
these individuals do not need to take on loans and other financial 
obligations that can be onerous and can often dissuade students from 
pursuing a career in education. The level of commitment required by the 
IHE is large; the IHE educates and trains the participants, granting 
them the degree needed to teach or administer in accordance with State 
requirements. Often the IHE is the entity that recruits the students, 
assists with job placement, provides support services during the first 
year of a participant's teaching or administrative job, and complies 
with the grantee reporting requirements. However, an eligible entity 
partner such as an Indian organization or other nonprofit could provide 
these required support services under the Professional Development 
grant. It is possible for an eligible entity to apply in consortium 
with more than one IHE.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter asked that eligibility for these grants be 
expanded to include national non-profit organizations.
    Discussion: The eligibility requirements are statutory (see section 
7122 of the ESEA) and we cannot expand eligibility beyond the statutory 
authority.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter asked whether two local educational agencies 
(LEAs) and a particular land grant college that does not target Native 
students could serve as partners for the Professional Development 
program under the proposed changes. The commenter also asked whether a 
regional education association (REA) is eligible to apply.
    Discussion: Any number of eligible entities, in consortium with an 
eligible IHE, can join together to apply for a Professional Development 
grant. The IHE must be accredited to provide the coursework and level 
of degree required by the project, as specified in Sec.  263.2(c). The 
IHE does not have to target or serve primarily Native students; 
however, in order to receive the priority for an application submitted 
by an Indian entity, the IHE must be an Indian IHE that meets the 
definition in Sec.  263.3. A consortium applicant must submit a 
consortium agreement that complies with the requirements of 34 CFR 
75.127-129. With regard to the eligibility of an REA, that entity would 
need to meet the definition of one of the eligible entities: IHE, State 
educational agency (SEA), LEA, Indian tribe or Indian organization, or 
BIE-funded school, and would need to partner with an eligible IHE.
    Changes: None.

Definitions (Sec.  263.3)

    Comments: Several commenters supported the broader definition of 
``Indian organization'' that provides eligibility to organizations that 
have education as one of their purposes, rather than the sole purpose. 
One commenter asked that we ensure that the expansion of the definition 
would not preclude existing grantees from receiving funds.
    Discussion: We agree that the broader definition better serves the 
purposes of this program. The change in definition will not affect 
existing grantees, which will continue to be eligible for continuation 
awards. It also will not affect past grantees that qualified under the 
more narrow definition and will continue to be eligible if they apply 
for a new grant.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: A few commenters asked that the definition of ``Indian 
institution of higher education'' be expanded to include Native 
American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTIs).
    Discussion: ``Indian IHE'' is currently defined in Sec.  263.3 of 
these regulations, and includes only tribal colleges and universities. 
NASNTIs are defined in Title III, Parts A and F, of the Higher 
Education Act, to mean IHEs that are not tribal colleges or 
universities, but that meet certain eligibility requirements, including 
a minimum number of enrolled students who are Native American. We 
decline to change the definition of ``Indian IHE'' for ESEA because, 
while the term ``Indian IHE'' is not defined in the ESEA, we believe 
that the plain meaning of the statutory term is limited to tribal 
colleges and universities, as reflected in our regulations.
    Changes: None.

Priorities (Sec.  263.5)

    Comments: Several commenters asked that the priority for Indian 
entities in Sec.  263.5(a) be expanded to include NASNTIs. These 
commenters stated that NASNTIs are often located in close proximity to 
tribal communities, and gave examples, including an institution that 
was founded in response to local tribal needs for qualified teachers in 
reservation schools, and another institution that educates and trains 
large numbers of native students to serve as teachers on a reservation. 
One commenter asked that the priority include NASNTIs that partner with 
a tribal college, for example, when students feed from a two-year 
tribal college into a four-year NASNTI. Another commenter requested 
that the priority include all IHEs that predominantly serve Native 
students.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that many NASNTIs fulfill 
an important role in educating Native students to serve as teachers in 
tribal communities. However, Congress specifically identified in 
section 7143 of the ESEA the group of entities to which we must give 
priority (Indian tribes, Indian organizations, and Indian IHEs). This 
group does not include NANSTIs, and we decline to expand the priority 
for Indian entities to include NASNTIs. Furthermore, because non-Indian 
IHEs, including those designated as NASNTI, received almost half of all 
awards under this grant program over the past three years, we decline 
to add an additional priority for NASNTIs.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: Several commenters objected to the consolidation of the 
two existing priorities (in current Sec.  263.5(a) and (b)) in proposed 
Sec.  263.5(a)); previously, one priority was for applications from any 
tribal entity, and one priority was for a consortium that includes an 
Indian IHE as fiscal agent.
    Discussion: We agree with the comments about the difficulties 
caused by our proposal to combine the two existing priorities into one. 
The statute requires that we give priority to applications from all 
three types of tribal entities: Tribes, Indian organizations, and 
Indian IHEs. As proposed, the combined priority could result in a 
tribal entity that is part of a consortium, but is not the fiscal agent 
or lead applicant, not receiving a preference. However, when an Indian 
IHE or other Indian entity is the lead applicant in a consortium, that 
entity has more influence in directing and

[[Page 22406]]

administering the grant. Therefore we are revising the regulations to 
create two separate priorities rather than the proposed combined one.
    The first priority, in Sec.  263.5(a)(1), gives preference to an 
Indian entity--tribe, organization, or IHE--either applying alone, or 
in a consortium for which it serves as the lead applicant. The second 
priority, in Sec.  263.5(a)(2), is for an Indian entity that is part of 
a consortium but is not the lead applicant. This will satisfy the 
statutory requirement to give priority to the three types of Indian 
entities, while enabling us to provide a competitive preference to 
applications for which the Indian entity is the sole or lead applicant. 
An applicant cannot receive competitive preference points under both of 
these priorities.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  263.5(a) to create two separate 
competitive preference priorities. The first is for an Indian entity--
tribe, organization, or IHE--either applying alone or as lead applicant 
in a consortium. The second is for an Indian entity that is part of a 
consortium but is not the lead applicant.
    Comment: One commenter was concerned about the requirement that a 
consortium applicant would be eligible for the priority in proposed 
Sec.  263.5(a) only if an Indian IHE leads the consortium as fiscal 
agent. The commenter stated that the high overhead costs of IHEs limit 
the funding delivered directly to the program, and that the requirement 
would limit flexibility for an entity that trains teachers and 
administrators by working with a variety of IHEs to provide the 
required coursework. This commenter suggested that, alternatively, an 
Indian organization should be able to serve as lead applicant or fiscal 
agent in a consortium, and be eligible for the priority.
    Discussion: Our goal was to ensure that, in order to receive 
competitive preference points, a consortium would be led by an Indian 
entity. We agree with the commenter, however, that the proposed 
requirement that the lead of the consortium must be an IHE was too 
narrow. We agree that it is possible for an Indian organization to 
operate a Professional Development grant in consortium with an IHE, and 
for the Indian organization to be the actual lead entity for the 
project. The same is true for a tribe as lead applicant. The tribe or 
Indian organization would receive the grant and provide the funding to 
the IHE to pay for the cost of the participants' education. We agree 
that this could result in more direct funding for student training. 
Therefore, we are revising the priority in Sec.  263.5(a)(1) to permit 
a consortium to receive a competitive preference if the lead applicant 
is an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian IHE. Before awarding 
priority points, we will examine the proposed project and activities to 
ensure that the Indian entity will in fact be serving as lead entity 
for the project.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  263.5(a)(1) to provide that a 
consortium may receive a competitive preference if the lead applicant 
is an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian IHE.
    Comment: None.
    Discussion: During our internal review we reexamined the proposed 
requirement that the Indian entity leading a consortium must be the 
fiscal agent in order to receive priority points. While not common, we 
recognize that it is possible to have a fiscal agent that is not the 
lead applicant. Accordingly, in Sec.  263.5(a)(1) we are revising the 
proposed requirement that an Indian entity be the ``fiscal agent,'' to 
instead require that the Indian entity be the lead applicant, which is 
the entity that receives the grant.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  263.5(a) to change the preference 
for consortia in which the fiscal agent is an Indian entity, to 
consortia in which the lead applicant is an Indian entity.
    Comments: Several commenters were generally concerned that the 
proposed priority in Sec.  263.5(a) would prevent entities other than 
tribal entities from obtaining grants.
    Discussion: Due to the confusion evident in some comments, we are 
clarifying that the priorities in Sec.  263.5(a) for tribal entities 
are competitive preference priorities. We will not use those priorities 
as absolute priorities, but we will use them as competitive preference 
priorities in each year of a new competition. If they were absolute 
priorities, then a non-tribal IHE would not be eligible to receive a 
grant, which would be inconsistent with the statutory list of eligible 
entities. This is different from the priorities in Sec.  263.5(b), 
which we can designate as absolute or competitive in any year, or can 
decline to use.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  263.5(a) to clarify that the 
priorities for tribal entities are competitive preference priorities.
    Comments: One commenter objected to removing the point values from 
the priorities for applications submitted by Indian entities, arguing 
that it would cause confusion for applicants and that applicants may 
not have timely information about eligibility requirements. Another 
commenter was opposed to removing the five-point priority for tribal 
colleges. Another commenter suggested that we rely upon letters of 
support to show collaboration but not assign preference points for 
partnerships.
    Discussion: We removed the specific number of points from the 
priorities for Indian entities, including the five points for tribal 
colleges, so that we have the flexibility to assign more (or fewer) 
points in a particular grant competition. This will allow us to provide 
additional points as needed in any application year to ensure that 
tribal entities, including tribal colleges, are eligible to receive a 
competitive preference. We do not believe this will confuse applicants. 
For each year in which we have a competition for new awards, we will 
announce the points for the tribal entity preferences in the notice 
inviting applications. Typically the notice is published 60 days in 
advance of the application deadline.
    With regard to the comment objecting to the awarding of competitive 
preference points for partnerships, eligible entities for this program 
include consortia, and we are required by statute to give priority to 
Indian entities; thus consortia that include such Indian entities will 
receive priority under revised Sec.  263.5(a). An Indian IHE, however, 
that applies as the lead applicant in a consortium would receive no 
advantage, under Sec.  263.5(a), over an Indian IHE that is the sole 
applicant, because both scenarios are included in Sec.  263.5(a)(1) and 
would receive an equal number of competitive preference points. With 
respect to letters of support, Sec.  263.5(b)(3) adds a new priority 
for applicants that include in their applications a letter of support 
from an entity, including a local school district, that agrees to 
consider program graduates for qualifying employment. We believe that 
such letters of support strengthen the likelihood that graduates will 
find employment in schools serving Indian students following their 
training.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: One commenter asked whether we are removing the absolute 
priority for pre-service training. Several commenters requested that we 
permit the use of funds to support and train Indian individuals in 
obtaining masters and doctoral degrees under the priorities in proposed 
Sec.  263.5(b) for pre-service training for teachers and 
administrators.
    Discussion: We have not removed the priority for pre-service 
training, and in any grant competition in which the Department uses 
this priority, we retain the discretion to designate that priority an 
absolute priority (see Sec.  263.5(b)).

[[Page 22407]]

    With regard to masters and doctoral degrees, funds under the 
Professional Development program can be used to support a student in 
obtaining any degree that is required by the State for the teaching or 
administrative position for which individuals are being trained. 
However, the focus of this program is on preparing teachers and 
administrators for elementary and secondary education. The current 
regulations include graduate degrees as part of the definitions of 
``full-time student'' and ``pre-service training'' in Sec.  263.3, and 
we have not changed those definitions. However, we are providing 
further clarification in the priorities for pre-service training for 
teachers and administrators by removing the references to bachelor's 
degrees for teachers and master's degrees for administrators so that a 
student pursuing a higher-level degree may be supported as a 
participant under this program if that degree is required for a 
specific position. However, because we interpret the statute to support 
only the preparation of teachers and administrators in elementary and 
secondary education, we are not expanding the scope of the program to 
include doctoral degrees for Indian students seeking employment in 
higher education.
    Changes: We have revised the priorities for pre-service training in 
proposed Sec. Sec.  263.5(b)(1) and (2) to remove the references to a 
``bachelor's degree'' for pre-service teacher training, and, for 
administrator training, changing the reference from ``master's degree'' 
to ``graduate degree.''
    Comments: None.
    Discussion: During our internal review we analyzed the existing 
requirements in the priorities for pre-service teacher training and 
administrator training (in current Sec.  263.5(c), proposed Sec.  
263.5(b)) and believe it would be helpful to clarify certain 
provisions. We are revising the regulation to make clear that the 
requirement that training be provided before the end of the award 
period applies to all three situations: An education degree, a subject-
matter degree, and specialized training. We are removing the exception 
for a fifth year from the education degree provision because a review 
of funded projects shows that this exception is not necessary. We are 
also removing, in the provision on degrees in a subject area (new Sec.  
263.5(b)(1)(i)(B)), the reference to the requirement that training meet 
the requirements for full State certification or licensure, because it 
is redundant with the introductory language of that paragraph.
    Changes: We have revised the priority for pre-service training for 
teachers in proposed Sec.  263.5(b)(1) by moving the reference to 
earning a degree before the end of the award period from proposed Sec.  
263.5(b)(1)(i)(a) to the introductory language of final Sec.  
263.5(b)(1)(i), by removing the proposed exception for a fifth year 
from Sec.  263.5(b)(1)(i)(A), and by removing the reference to the 
requirement that training meets the requirements for full State 
certification or licensure from proposed Sec.  263.5(b)(1)(i)(B).

Selection Criteria (Sec.  263.6)

    Comments: One commenter objected to the job market analysis element 
of the selection criterion for ``Need for Project'' in proposed Sec.  
263.6, and stated that this would increase the burden for applicants to 
search for and interpret market analysis data. The commenter also 
requested that appropriate market analysis Web site links be made 
available to applicants.
    Discussion: Under the selection criterion ``Need for Project'' in 
Sec.  263.6, we will evaluate the extent to which the proposed project 
will prepare personnel in specific fields, and the extent to which 
employment opportunities exist in the project's service area, with both 
elements to be demonstrated by a job market analysis. The purpose of a 
job market analysis is to determine whether there is a need for 
qualified education personnel to fill vacancies in teacher and 
administrator positions within the geographic region to be served. To 
conduct the job market analysis, applicants can use accessible data 
sources at the national, State and local level to determine current and 
future teacher and administrator shortages in selected fields. Because 
job market data are now generally available online, a market analysis 
would not increase an applicant's burden. We also note that prior 
applicants under the current regulations also addressed need for 
personnel, documenting education personnel shortages in the region to 
be served and designing their proposed programs accordingly.
    Accessible resources for determining teacher shortages are 
available at the national level; however, applicants should rely on 
State and local sources for more accurate and timely data. We also note 
that this is an element of a selection criterion, not an application 
requirement, so it is optional for applicants to address, although we 
encourage all applicants to do so.
    Changes: None.

Payback Requirements (Sec.  263.8)

    Comments: Commenters supported the proposed regulations clarifying 
the payback requirements and procedures.
    Discussion: We appreciate the support for these changes.
    Changes: None.

Demonstration Grants Program

General

    Comments: Several commenters were generally supportive of the 
proposed changes to the Demonstration Grants program regulations.
    Discussion: We appreciate the support for the changes.
    Changes: None.

Definitions (Sec.  263.20)

    Comments: Several commenters addressed the proposed definition of 
``Indian organization'' as it applies to both this program and the 
Professional Development program; it is the same definition for both 
programs.
    Discussion: We address those comments under the discussion of 
Definitions for the Professional Development program (Sec.  263.3).
    Changes: None.

Definition of Native Youth Community Project

    Comments: Several commenters supported the proposed definition of 
``Native Youth Community Project,'' and specifically the requirement 
that a community come together to address the adverse experiences 
affecting Indian children. However, several other commenters expressed 
concern that the requirement for a partnership among the specified 
entities could adversely affect the success of some applications. For 
example, one commenter was concerned that some applicants do not have 
readily available partner organizations, which would reduce the 
likelihood that such applicants would receive funding.
    Discussion: We appreciate the support for encouraging partnerships 
among entities to more effectively address the complex barriers facing 
native youth. We believe that greater collaboration among the 
organizations increases the likelihood that an NYCP will improve the 
college and career readiness of Indian youth. Furthermore, we believe 
that proposed projects that demonstrate the existence of a partnership 
at the time of application are more likely to become strong, viable 
projects. Therefore, we disagree with the commenters who objected to 
the partnership requirement.
    While we cannot ensure that partnerships and agreements formed in 
order to apply for a grant will stand the

[[Page 22408]]

test of time, we believe that an applicant with a formal partnership 
agreement will have a greater chance of success than an applicant with 
only letters of support. We expect that in ranking applications, 
reviewers will judge the quality of the partnerships presented in those 
application, based on the selection criteria. Moreover, a partnership 
that fails after being awarded a grant would not be able to show 
substantial progress in order to receive continuation funding.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter asked that we not give priority to 
applicants simply because of their geographic proximity to locally 
available and willing partners.
    Discussion: We agree that if a community comes together to create 
an NYCP, that partnership should have the flexibility to include non-
local partners. A tribe and school district may wish to engage with a 
national nonprofit organization that is skilled in addressing the focus 
of the local project, whether it is academic success, drug prevention, 
parental engagement in schools, or any other project focus. Therefore 
we are broadening part of the definition of NYCP; rather than requiring 
the applicant or a partner to show that it has the capacity to improve 
outcomes for Indian students, we are requiring the applicant or a 
partner to demonstrate that it has the capacity to improve outcomes 
that are relevant to the project focus. This allows an applicant to 
partner with a national organization that has demonstrated the capacity 
to improve outcomes that are relevant to the project focus, and not be 
limited to locally available and willing partners. There is a statutory 
application requirement that projects must be based either on 
scientific research or on an existing program that has been modified to 
be culturally appropriate for Indian students (see Sec.  263.22(a)(3). 
Thus, an applicant that partners with an entity that has demonstrated 
success with non-Indian students, and proposes to use that entity's 
program model, will need to explain how it has modified that program to 
be culturally appropriate.
    Changes: We have revised paragraph (6) of the definition of NYCP in 
Sec.  263.20 to provide that an applicant or a partner must have 
demonstrated the capacity to improve outcomes that are relevant to the 
project focus.
    Comment: One commenter requested that we ensure that States and 
local public schools actively participate and coordinate with tribal 
grantees.
    Discussion: We are requiring that at least one tribe and at least 
one local school district be partners in a proposed project. We are not 
requiring State involvement, although States may be partners in a 
project. Because of the focus on local community-driven solutions, it 
would not be appropriate to require a State's involvement.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: Two commenters asked that we include tribal colleges in 
NYCP partnerships, and one asked that we include both tribal colleges 
and NASNTIs.
    Discussion: Tribal colleges are eligible entities under the 
Demonstration Grants program, and nothing in the regulations precludes 
either a tribal college or a NASNTI from being a partner in an NYCP. 
Although we agree that a college or university could be a valuable 
partner in an NYCP, we decline to make tribal colleges or any other 
IHEs mandatory partners in NYCPs, because the focus of these projects 
is a local community area, and not all tribal communities have a 
college in the vicinity.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: We received several comments asking whether one NYCP can 
include multiple tribes. We also received additional comments 
expressing the concern that urban communities often include Indian 
youth from many different tribes, and that urban applicants might face 
unfair challenges in partnering with tribes or their tribal education 
agencies because of the distance between the tribes and the urban 
communities in which the Indian youth live and attend school. Another 
commenter expressed concern that a partnering tribe would refuse to 
serve youth from other tribes. Some commenters specifically requested 
that we eliminate the requirement that applicants form a partnership 
with a tribe. Another commenter asked whether one tribe can participate 
in more than one NYCP.
    Discussion: Nothing in the definition of NYCP prohibits a project 
from including multiple tribes as partners. To meet the NYCP 
definition, applicants must identify and address significant barriers 
and needs within a local community. It is likely that in many areas, 
including urban areas, Indian youth and their families from many tribes 
live within a defined local community. Also, members of one tribe often 
live in several different communities. The entities responsible for 
Indian youth in the identified local community should partner with one 
another. We agree that certain NYCP applicants may need to partner with 
multiple tribes or their tribal education agencies in order to address 
the identified need in the local community. We are therefore clarifying 
in the final regulations that partnerships can include more than one 
tribe.
    However, we disagree with the commenters that it is unfair to urban 
areas to require applicants to partner with one or more tribes. The 
NYCPs are intended to support the involvement of tribes in the 
education of Indian children, which is one of the goals of title VII of 
the ESEA. Each project must therefore include a partnership among a 
school district or BIE-funded school, a tribe or its education agency, 
and other organizations as necessary, to address the need identified by 
the project. The partnering entities must agree to serve the Indian 
youth living in the defined local community, regardless of their tribal 
membership.
    With regard to whether one tribe can participate in more than one 
NYCP, nothing in the regulations prohibits such participation.
    Changes: We have revised paragraph (5)(i) of the definition of NYCP 
in Sec.  263.20 to include one or more tribes or their tribal education 
agencies.
    Comment: One commenter objected to the requirement that NYCPs 
include a school district as a partner, arguing that this would lead to 
more bureaucracy and undue attention to the school district's own 
programs as opposed to those favored by a qualifying Indian 
organization.
    Discussion: We believe that schools, tribes, and Indian 
organizations similarly value better outcomes for Indian youth, 
including academic achievement and readiness for postsecondary 
education and employment. The NYCPs are intended to leverage the 
resources and capacity currently spread among tribes, LEAs, BIE-funded 
schools, or other organizations, through a partnership to increase the 
likelihood of reaching these better outcomes. We believe that, 
especially for communities where most American Indian/Alaska Native 
(AI/AN) students attend the local public schools, the inclusion of the 
LEA in these projects is essential to the success of the projects.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the Department should revise 
the definition of NYCP to allow for a project to include a partnership 
with organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of America.
    Discussion: Paragraph (5) of the NCYP definition permits community 
organizations to be included in a partnership. However, we do not 
recommend any specific community organizations as partners in an NYCP. 
The applicants must determine which entities are necessary partners in 
order

[[Page 22409]]

to address the identified need of the Indian youth in the local 
community to be served by the NYCP.
    Changes: None.

Definition of ``Rural''

    Comment: One commenter requested that we add a definition of 
``rural'' in the final regulations.
    Discussion: There is no need to define ``rural'' because the 
priority for rural applicants under Sec.  263.21(c)(5) explains which 
entities are considered rural. We include further discussion of the 
rural priority under the Priorities section of the Analysis of Comments 
and Changes in this notice.
    Changes: None.

Priorities (Sec.  263.21)

    Comments: Several commenters supported our proposal to expand the 
Demonstration Grants program beyond the two absolute priorities of 
early childhood and college readiness. One commenter further commended 
the Department for supporting complex projects to address the complex 
issues facing some Indian communities.
    Discussion: We appreciate the support for the priorities.
    Changes: None.
    Comments: Several commenters generally objected to the proposed 
revisions to the priorities in Sec.  263.21(b), and to the parallel 
provision in the Professional Development regulations. One objected to 
removing the priority preference for consortia that include an Indian 
entity; another commenter objected to removing the required number of 
priority preference points.
    Discussion: The statute for both the Professional Development and 
Demonstration Grants requires that we give priority to applications 
from all three types of tribal entities: Tribes, Indian organizations, 
and Indian IHEs. We proposed to remove the priority for consortia that 
include a tribal entity because a tribal entity that is not a sole 
applicant or lead applicant in a consortium does not necessarily have 
the influence that a sole applicant, or lead applicant in a consortium, 
has. However, if we only give priority when the Indian entity is the 
lead applicant, it would result in a tribal entity receiving no 
preference when it is part of a consortium but not the lead applicant. 
Therefore we are creating two separate priorities for the Demonstration 
Grants, similar to those created for the Professional Development 
Grants. The first priority, in Sec.  263.21(b)(1), gives preference to 
an Indian entity--tribe, organization, or IHE--either applying alone, 
or in a consortium or partnership if it serves as the lead applicant. 
The second priority, in Sec.  263.21(b)(2), is for an Indian entity 
that is part of a consortium or partnership but is not the lead 
applicant. This will enable us to satisfy the statutory requirement to 
give priority to the three types of Indian entities, while retaining 
the ability to provide more points to applications for which the Indian 
entity is the sole or lead applicant. Applicants cannot receive points 
under both of these priorities.
    With regard to the concern about removing point values from the 
regulations, we have removed the five-point limitation for both 
priorities so that we have the flexibility to assign more (or fewer) 
points as needed to ensure that applicants from tribal entities have an 
advantage over other applicants.
    Changes: We have revised Sec.  263.21(b) to create two separate 
competitive preference priorities. The first priority is for an Indian 
entity--tribe, organization, or IHE--either applying alone or as lead 
applicant in a consortium or partnership. The second is for an Indian 
entity that is part of a consortium or partnership but is not the lead 
applicant.
    Comments: One commenter objected to the revisions in Sec.  
263.21(c) that would give the Department discretion to choose specific 
priorities for a competition in any given year. The commenter stated 
that changing the priorities would make it hard for long-term grantees 
to create stable programs across multiple years.
    Discussion: Under Sec.  263.21(c), the Department has the 
discretion to choose any of the listed priorities in any year the 
Department conducts a grant competition for this program. This is 
consistent with the previous provisions in the same paragraph, which 
provided that the Department could choose among three different 
priorities in any given year, although all of those were absolute 
priorities. We recognize that potential applicants will need to respond 
to the priorities as published under each notice inviting applications. 
However, grantees will have the full grant period, typically 48 months, 
to implement their projects. We also note that there is no guarantee 
that a grantee under a discretionary grant program will receive another 
grant under the same program at the end of its grant period. The 
revisions to the priorities in Sec.  263.21(c) enable the Secretary to 
prioritize projects that address the needs of the target communities.
    Changes: None.

Priority for Native Youth Community Project (NYCP) (Sec.  263.21(c)(1))

    Comments: Several commenters supported the proposed priority for 
NYCP; one commenter mentioned the benefits of collaboration between 
tribes and schools and noted how out-of-school environments 
significantly affect in-classroom success. Other commenters requested 
that we support parent and family engagement in funding NYCPs.
    Discussion: We appreciate the support for the NYCP priority. We 
agree that parent and family engagement both in school and in the 
community is a crucial component in efforts to improve the outcomes of 
all children, including Indian children and youth. Each applicant must 
include in its application a description of how parents of Indian 
children have been and will be involved in developing and implementing 
the proposed activities, as required by Sec.  263.22(a)(1). In 
addition, an existing AI/AN parent organization or tribal parent 
committee could serve as a valuable partner in an NYCP.
    Changes: None.

Priority for Grantees Under Other Programs (Sec.  263.21(c)(2))

    Comments: Several commenters objected to the priority for 
applicants that have been awarded grants under other programs. One 
commenter stated that Indian organizations would be unfairly excluded 
under this priority, which would interfere with their ability to 
receive funding. Another commenter stated that the priority would 
provide undue advantage to applicants that are already receiving 
Federal funds.
    Discussion: This priority is designed to increase the likelihood 
that funded projects will attain their goals. The Demonstration Grants 
program is intended to target the most persistent issues facing Indian 
children, and to provide models that others can use. Grantees with 
existing resources to leverage are likely to have greater opportunities 
to address the needs of Indian children and to provide models that can 
be disseminated broadly.
    Although we did not receive a comment requesting clarification, the 
proposed regulations did not state the timeframe within which 
applicants must have received these other awards in order to qualify 
for this preference. We are clarifying that, to receive preference 
under this priority, the lead applicant or its partner must have 
received an award within the last four years. A longer period of time 
would make it less likely that the grantee could build on the 
experience gained by that grant.

[[Page 22410]]

    Changes: We have revised Sec.  263.21(c)(2) to provide that the 
applicant or one of its partners must have received an award under a 
selected program within the last four years in order to receive this 
preference.
    Comment: One commenter objected to the priority for applicants that 
consolidate funds through a plan that complies with section 7116 of the 
ESEA or other authority. The commenter argued that this preference 
would unduly favor tribes, which manage multiple programs, as opposed 
to Indian organizations that have a more narrow focus.
    Discussion: The purpose of the priority in Sec.  263.21(c)(3) for 
entities that have Department approval to consolidate funds is to 
encourage entities to take advantage of measures available to them to 
reduce duplication and bureaucracy, such as the authority under section 
7116 of the ESEA for consolidation of funding designed to benefit 
Indian students. Even though we recognize that not every eligible 
entity will be able to take advantage of this priority, we seek to 
encourage this consolidation in order to increase the impact of Federal 
funding by reducing duplication of effort.
    Changes: None.

Rural Priority (Sec.  263.21(c)(5))

    Comments: We received several comments regarding the competitive 
preference priority for rural applicants. Some commenters commended our 
efforts to address the needs associated with rural poverty. However, 
other commenters stated that urban areas, like rural communities, face 
the challenges of poverty. Several commenters stated that projects 
serving urban communities and those serving rural communities should 
not be required to compete for funding. One commenter stated that more 
American Indian children live in urban than in rural areas. Several 
commenters argued that because the Department's Impact Aid program 
compensates school districts in rural areas, such districts should not 
receive a priority under this program. A commenter also argued that the 
Department should allocate more funds to Impact Aid programs in order 
to address rural poverty, rather than providing a priority under this 
program.
    Discussion: Based on the Common Core of Data reported by SEAs in 
school year 2012-2013, nearly one-third of AI/AN children are enrolled 
in rural school districts, whereas fewer than one-fourth of AI/AN 
children live in city school districts. Therefore, we believe that 
giving preference to rural districts will appropriately focus on the 
geographical areas with proportionately larger populations of Indian 
children.
    Furthermore, we believe that the solutions to educational 
challenges may be different in rural communities than in urban 
communities and that there is a need for solutions that are unique to 
rural communities. The scarcity of services and resources available in 
rural communities may require additional attention to address these 
needs.
    With regard to the argument concerning the Impact Aid program, we 
note that not all rural school districts receive Impact Aid funding, 
often because they do not meet the eligibility requirements. For 
example, compared to the more than 1,200 school districts that receive 
title VII formula grants for Indian students, fewer than 700 school 
districts receive Impact Aid funding for students residing on Indian 
lands. Moreover, Impact Aid funds are intended to replace lost tax 
revenues or increased expenses due to a Federal presence. The Impact 
Aid funds are considered general aid to the recipient school districts, 
and they may use the funds in whatever manner they choose in accordance 
with their local and State requirements. Thus a school district that 
receives Impact Aid may be as much in need of supplemental funding for 
Indian students through the Demonstration Grants program as any other 
school district.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: None.
    Discussion: During our internal review of the proposed priority for 
rural applicants in Sec.  263.21(c)(5), we reviewed again whether all 
BIE-funded schools serve rural locales and determined that not all BIE-
funded schools serve those locales. Accordingly, we are revising the 
regulations to add a reference to the census locale codes as the 
indicator for BIE-funded schools that would be considered rural for 
purposes of this priority.
    Changes: We have revised the language in Sec.  263.21(c)(5) with 
regard to BIE-funded schools to add that, to meet the rural priority, 
they must be in locale codes 42 or 43, as designated by the U.S. Census 
Bureau.

Application Requirements (Sec.  263.22)

    Comment: One commenter objected to the requirement in Sec.  
263.22(b)(2) that applicants submit a written agreement between the 
partners in a proposed project.
    Discussion: This is an application requirement that the Department 
may choose to use in any year of a new competition. For a priority such 
as the NYCP priority, we would select this application requirement 
because it would be essential for such a project to show agreement 
between the required partners. For other priorities, such as a priority 
for early learning projects, this requirement may not be appropriate. 
We will publish the selected application requirements in the notice 
inviting applications in the Federal Register.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: None.
    Discussion: During our internal review of the proposed application 
requirements, we noted that the requirement to submit measureable 
objectives in Sec.  263.22(b)(3) insufficiently communicated the 
expectation for the project to use the measureable objectives in 
evaluating the progress toward and success in meeting its goal or 
goals. Accordingly, we are revising the regulations to include a 
project evaluation plan.
    Changes: We have revised the language in Sec.  263.22(b)(3) to 
clarify that the applicant must submit, in response to a notice 
inviting applications published in the Federal Register, an evaluation 
plan that includes measureable objectives.

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 final 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

[[Page 22411]]

13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, 
structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in 
Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 
13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only on a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practicable--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated 
behavioral changes.''
    We are issuing these final regulations only on a reasoned 
determination that their benefits justify their costs. In choosing 
among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches 
that maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the 
Department believes that these final regulations are consistent with 
the principles in Executive Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action does not unduly 
interfere with State, local, or 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 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 Data Collection System (DCS). 
Additional costs would be associated with participant and employer 
information entered in the DCS, but program funds would pay for the 
costs of carrying out these activities.
    The benefits include enhancing project design and quality of 
services to better meet the program objectives, with the end result 
that more participants successfully complete their programs of study 
and obtain employment as teachers and administrators.
    For the Demonstration Grants program, 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.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    Sections 263.6, 263.10, 263.11 and 263.22 Indian Education 
Discretionary Grant Programs; Professional Development Program and 
Demonstration Grants for Indian Children Program contain information 
collection requirements. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)), the Department of Education has submitted a 
copy of these sections and related application forms to the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval. In accordance 
with the PRA, the OMB Control number associated with the Professional 
Development final regulations, related application forms, and ICRs for 
section 263.6, is OMB approved 1810-0580, and for sections 263.10 and 
263.11 it is OMB approved 1810-0698. The Department also submitted to 
OMB for its review and approval a new Information Collection Request 
(ICR) for control number 1810--New Application for Demonstration Grants 
for Indian Children Program for section 263.22. An approved OMB control 
number will be assigned to this new ICR at the time of publication of 
the final rule.
    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.

Intergovernmental Review

    These programs are subject to the requirements of 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 the NPRM we requested comments on whether the proposed 
regulations would require transmission of information that any other 
agency or authority of the United States gathers or makes available.
    Based on our review, we have determined that these final 
regulations do not 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 program contact person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. 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

[[Page 22412]]

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 Program; 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 program--Indians, 
Indians--education, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Scholarships and fellowships.

    Dated: April 17, 2015.
Deborah Delisle,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Secretary of 
Education amends 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?

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

Subpart A--Professional Development Program

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


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 (LEA) 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.
    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

[[Page 22413]]

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 participants 
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 competitive preference priority to--
    (1) 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 and includes an Indian tribe, Indian 
organization, or Indian institution of higher education will be 
considered eligible to receive preference under this priority only if 
the lead applicant for the consortium is the Indian tribe, Indian 
organization, or Indian institution of higher education. In order to be 
considered a consortium application, the application must include the 
consortium agreement, signed by all parties; or
    (2) A consortium application of eligible entities that--
    (i) Meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 and 
includes an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian institution of 
higher education; and
    (ii) Is not eligible to receive a preference under paragraph (a)(1) 
of this section.
    (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 before the end of the award period that 
enables the individuals to meet the requirements for full State 
certification or licensure as a teacher through--
    (A) Training that leads to a degree in education;
    (B) For States allowing a degree in a specific subject area, 
training that leads to a degree in the subject area; or
    (C) Training in a current or new specialized teaching assignment 
that requires a degree and in which a documented teacher shortage 
exists;
    (ii) Provide one year of induction services, during the award 
period, to

[[Page 22414]]

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 graduate 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 an LEA or Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian 
Education (BIE)-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 75.200 through 75.210 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.
    (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.
    (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.
    (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 a job market analysis and needs 
of potential employers.
    (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:
    (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.
    (3) The qualifications, including relevant training, experience, 
and cultural competence (as necessary), of project consultants or 
subcontractors, if any.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 
1810-0580)


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

[[Page 22415]]

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 participant 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).


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 completing or exiting 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 deferral 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 deferral must be submitted to the 
Secretary within 30 days of the earlier of receiving the call to 
military service or completing or exiting the Professional Development 
program, 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, 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.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 
1810-0698)


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

[[Page 22416]]

    (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 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: 25 U.S.C. 450b, 450e(b))



(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 
1810-0698)


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 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

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7441, unless otherwise noted.)

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 project means a project that is--
    (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 evidence, 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;
    (5) Designed and implemented through a partnership of various 
entities, which--
    (i) Must include--
    (A) One or more tribes or their tribal education agencies; and
    (B) One or more BIE-funded schools, one or more local educational 
agencies, or both; and
    (ii) May include 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 that are relevant to the project focus 
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 
Demonstration Grants for Indian Children program.


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 a competitive preference priority to--
    (1) 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. A group application submitted by a consortium that meets the 
requirements of 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 or submitted by a 
partnership is eligible to receive the preference only if the lead 
applicant is an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian 
institution of higher education; or

[[Page 22417]]

    (2) A group application submitted by a consortium of eligible 
entities that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 or 
submitted by a partnership if the consortium or partnership--
    (i) Includes an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian 
institution of higher education; and
    (ii) Is not eligible to receive the preference in paragraph (b)(1) 
of this section.
    (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 partners has 
received a grant in the last four years under a federal program 
selected by the Secretary and announced in a notice inviting 
applications published in the Federal Register.
    (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) An LEA 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 BIE-funded school that is located in an area designated with 
locale code of either 42 or 43 as designated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

(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 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 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 partners are 
eligible entities under this program.
    (3) A plan, which includes measurable objectives, to evaluate 
reaching the project goal or goals.


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: 25 U.S.C. 450b, 450e(b)).

[FR Doc. 2015-09396 Filed 4-21-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P