Purpose of the Program: To provide State educational agencies (SEAs), and the local educational agencies (LEAs) with which they have performance agreements, with additional flexibility in order to assist them in meeting the State's definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP) and specific, measurable goals for improving student achievement and narrowing achievement gaps.
Eligible Applicants: SEAs with AYP definitions approved by the Department or SEAs that submit an assurance that they will provide the Department with a State AYP definition that meets the requirements of section 1111(b)(2) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) by the AYP deadline established by the Department.
Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the outlying areas are not eligible to apply for State-Flex because they do not have the minimum number of LEAs required for State-Flex authority.
If one of its LEAs has entered into a Local-Flex agreement with the Secretary, an SEA may subsequently seek State-Flex authority only if that LEA agrees to have its Local-Flex agreement submitted as one of the proposed performance agreements in the SEA's State-Flex application.
Applications Available: October 11, 2002.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: January 17, 2003.
Supplementary Information: Sections 6141 through 6144 of the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub. L. 107-110), authorize the Secretary of Education to grant State flexibility (State-Flex) authority to up to seven SEAs, permitting them to (1) consolidate certain Federal education funds that are provided for State-level activities and State administration and use those funds for any educational purpose authorized under the ESEA in order to meet the State's definition of AYP and advance the education priorities of the State and its LEAs; and (2) specify how LEAs in the State will use funds allocated under section 5112(a) of the ESEA (State Grants for Innovative Programs). In addition, an SEA with State-Flex authority must enter into performance agreements with not fewer than four, but no more than ten, LEAs (at least half of which must be high-poverty LEAs), giving those LEAs the flexibility to consolidate certain Federal education funds and to use those funds for any educational purpose permitted under the ESEA in order to meet the State's definition of AYP and specific, measurable goals for improving student achievement and narrowing achievement gaps.
The Secretary will select State-Flex SEAs on a competitive basis in accordance with the selection criteria contained in a notice published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The application requirements and a description of the application process are also provided in that notice.
The Secretary intends to select up to four SEAs for participation in State-Flex under this competition. In conducting this competition, the Department will review the quality of State-Flex plans, including the quality of the local Start Printed Page 63395performance agreements that are submitted as part of those plans. Based on that review, the Department will grant State-Flex authority to up to four SEAs. If an SEA selected for State-Flex authority has not yet had its AYP definition approved by the Department, that SEA will receive conditional State-Flex authority. An SEA with conditional State-Flex authority will not be able to exercise its State-Flex authority or implement any portion of its State-Flex plan (including the local performance agreements) unless the Department approves the SEA's AYP definition by March 31, 2003.
The Department will select the additional State-Flex SEAs in a subsequent competition.
For Further Information Contact: Ms. Milagros Lanauze. Telephone: (202) 401-0039 or via Internet: StateFlex@ed.gov.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339. Individuals with disabilities may obtain this notice in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person listed above.
Applications: You may obtain a copy of the application on the Department's web site at: http://www.ed.gov/GrantApps/#stateflex.
You may also obtain a copy of the application from the contact person identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
Electronic Access to This Document
You may view this document, as well as other Department of Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister.
To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll-free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington DC, area at (202) 512-1530.
The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official version of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO access at: www.access.gpo.gov/nara/index.html.Start Signature
Dated: October 8, 2002.
Susan B. Neuman,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 02-26004 Filed 10-10-02; 8:45 am]
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