[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 185 (Friday, September 23, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59074-59085]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-24563]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Subtitle B, Chapter II

[Docket ID ED-2011-OS-0005]
RIN 1894-AA02


State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program and Discretionary and 
Other Formula Grant Programs

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of proposed revisions to certain data collection and 
reporting requirements, and proposed priority.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education (Secretary) established 
requirements for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund (SFSF) program in 
a notice of final requirements, definitions, and approval criteria 
published in the Federal Register on November 12, 2009 (November 2009 
Notice). In this notice, the Secretary proposes to revise some of those 
requirements. In a separate notice of interim final requirement, the 
Secretary is extending to January 31, 2012, the deadline by which a 
State must collect and publicly report data and information under the 
SFSF program.
    In addition, the Secretary proposes in this notice to establish a 
priority that the U.S. Department of Education (Department) may use, as 
appropriate, in any future discretionary grant competitions. The 
Department would give a priority to States that have developed and 
implemented the statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS) required 
under SFSF Indicator (b)(1) on or before the applicable deadline.
    Through this notice, we also remind grantees that under its current 
authority, the Department may identify grantees as high risk and impose 
sanctions on them for failing to meet programmatic requirements. In 
addition, the Department is proposing that it may take enforcement 
action against a State educational agency (SEA) under certain 
circumstances where a State fails to meet the requirements of 
Indicators (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12).

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before October 24, 2011.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not 
accept comments by fax or by e-mail. To ensure that we do not receive 
duplicate copies, please submit your comments only one time. In 
addition, please include the Docket ID and the term ``State Fiscal 
Stabilization Fund--Proposed Revisions'' at the top of your comments.

[[Page 59075]]

     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information 
on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency 
documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on 
the site under ``How To Use This Site.''
     Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery: If you 
mail or deliver your comments about these proposed revisions to certain 
data collection and reporting requirements and proposed priority, 
address them to Office of the Deputy Secretary (Attention: State Fiscal 
Stabilization Fund Proposed Revisions Comments), U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 7E214, Washington, DC 20202-
6200.
     Privacy Note: The Department's policy for comments 
received from members of the public (including comments submitted by 
mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery) is to make these 
submissions available for public viewing in their entirety on the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, 
commenters should be careful to include in their comments only 
information that they wish to make publicly available on the Internet.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Butler, State Fiscal 
Stabilization Fund Program, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland 
Ave., SW., room 7E214, Washington, DC 20202-0008. Telephone: (202) 260-
9737 or by e-mail: SFSFcomments@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final revisions to certain data collection and 
reporting requirements, and final priority, we urge you to identify 
clearly the specific proposal that each comment addresses.
    We invite you also to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 and 
their overall requirements of reducing regulatory burden that might 
result from these proposed revisions to certain data collection and 
reporting requirements and proposed priority. Please suggest further 
ways we could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits 
while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the 
program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about this notice by accessing Regulations.gov. You may also 
inspect the public comments in person in room 7E214, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal 
holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request, we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please 
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Purpose of Program: The SFSF program provided approximately $48.6 
billion in formula grants to States to help stabilize State and local 
budgets in order to minimize and avoid reductions in education and 
other essential services, in exchange for a State's commitment to 
advance education reform in four key areas: (1) Achieving equity in the 
distribution of teachers; (2) improving the collection and use of data; 
(3) standards and assessments; and (4) supporting struggling schools.

    Program Authority: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 
2009, Division A, Title XIV--State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Pub. 
L. 111-5; 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3 and 3474.

Proposed Revisions to Reporting Requirements

Background

    Section 14005(d) of Division A of the American Recovery and 
Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) requires a State receiving funds under 
the SFSF program to provide assurances in four key areas of education 
reform: (1) Achieving equity in teacher distribution; (2) improving 
collection and use of data; (3) standards and assessments; and (4) 
supporting struggling schools. In the November 2009 Notice (74 FR 
58436), we established specific data and information requirements 
(assurance indicators and descriptors) that a State must meet with 
respect to the statutory assurances. We also established specific 
requirements for the plans that a State had to submit as part of its 
application for the second phase of funding under the SFSF program, 
describing the steps it would take to collect and publicly report the 
required data and other information. As we explained in the November 
2009 Notice, these two sets of requirements provide transparency on the 
extent to which a State is implementing the actions for which it 
provided the assurances. Increased access to and focus on these data 
better enable States and other stakeholders to identify strengths and 
weaknesses in education systems and to determine where concentrated 
reform effort is warranted.
    We are taking this action in response to the January 18, 2011 
Executive Order 13563 entitled ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review'' and the February 28, 2011 Memorandum from the President to 
executive departments and agencies entitled ``Administrative 
Flexibility, Lower Costs, and Better Results for State, Local, and 
Tribal Governments.'' These documents direct each Federal executive 
department and agency to review periodically its existing significant 
regulations in order to determine whether any of those regulations 
should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed so as to make 
the department's or agency's regulatory program more effective or less 
burdensome in achieving regulatory objectives. These proposed 
modifications would address concerns raised by some States regarding 
their capacity to meet the requirements in the November 2009 Notice.
    As a result of a regulatory review of the SFSF program 
requirements, the Secretary is publishing elsewhere in this issue of 
the Federal Register an IFR that extends to January 31, 2012 the 
deadline for States to collect and publicly report data and information 
under the program. In addition, in this notice, the Secretary proposes 
to: (1) Eliminate the requirement for States to report data annually 
for Indicators (c)(1) through (c)(9) and (d)(1) through (d)(6); (2) 
extend to December 31, 2012, upon submission of an approvable request 
by a State, the deadline for meeting the requirements under Indicators 
(b)(1) and (c)(12); (3) extend to December 31, 2012, upon submission of 
an approvable request by a State, the deadline for publicly reporting 
or developing the capacity to collect and publicly report student 
enrollment data under Indicator (c)(11) for high school graduates who 
enroll in an in-State public institution of higher education (IHE); and 
(4) apply an alternative standard, upon submission of an approvable 
request by a State, by which a State may meet the Indicator (c)(11) 
data collection and reporting requirements for high school graduates 
who enroll in private or out-of-State public IHEs. The Secretary 
proposes to establish December 31, 2012 as the

[[Page 59076]]

deadline by which a State must meet the requirements of the Indicator 
(c)(11) alternative standard.
    In addition to these revisions, the Secretary proposes to establish 
a priority that the Department may use in future discretionary grant 
competitions, for States that have met the requirements of Indicator 
(b)(1) on or before the applicable deadline. The Secretary also is 
reminding States of possible sanctions that may be imposed on them for 
failing to meet SFSF collection and reporting requirements. Further, 
the Secretary is proposing to have the authority to extend those 
sanctions to SEAs in States that have received an extension of the 
deadline to December 31, 2012 for Indicators (b)(1), (c)(11), or 
(c)(12) but fail to meet the revised deadline or that have received 
permission to use the alternative standard for Indicator (c)(11) but 
fail to meet the requirements of that standard by the deadline.
    We note that other than the revised January 31, 2012 deadline for 
collecting and publicly reporting data that has been established in the 
IFR, or unless specifically referenced in this notice, we are not 
proposing to modify any other SFSF requirements and those requirements 
remain in effect as originally established.
    In addition, we note that where the SFSF indicators make use of 
information in ``Existing Collections'' (see column 4 of the table in 
Section I of State Fiscal Stabilization Fund: Summary of Final 
Requirements at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/statestabilization/summary-requirements.doc), the modification of an SFSF indicator does not 
affect other Federal requirements for those collections that are 
established under separate legal authority. Some of the data that 
States submit through the Department's EDFacts system to meet 
requirements established under other authorities (e.g., Title I 
accountability data) are also reported publicly by States to meet the 
requirements of certain SFSF indicators. Those requirements established 
by other authorities are not affected by the modification of any SFSF 
indicator.

Proposed Revisions

Proposed Elimination of Annual Reporting Requirements for Indicators 
(c)(1) Through (c)(9) and (d)(1) Through (d)(6)

    Currently, each State is required to collect and publicly report, 
at least annually, the data and other information required by 
Indicators (c)(1) through (c)(9) and (d)(1) through (d)(6). Indicators 
(c)(1) through (c)(9) (standards and assessments indicators) require 
each State to collect and publicly report data and other information 
annually on, among other things, whether students are provided high-
quality State assessments; whether students with disabilities and 
limited English proficient students are included in State assessment 
systems; and whether the State makes information available regarding 
student academic performance in the State compared to the academic 
performance of students in other States.
    Indicators (d)(1) through (d)(6) (supporting struggling schools 
indicators) require a State to collect and publicly report data and 
other information annually on, among other things, the progress of 
certain groups of schools in the State on State assessments in reading/
language arts and mathematics and on the extent to which reforms to 
improve student academic achievement are implemented in the 
persistently lowest-achieving schools in the State.
    A majority of States have collected and publicly reported the data 
and information required by Indicators (c)(1) through (c)(9) and (d)(1) 
through (d)(6). The data and information highlight the progress each 
State is making to address potential inequities in standards and 
assessments and to inform the public on the extent to which reforms to 
improve student academic achievement are implemented in the 
persistently lowest-achieving schools in the State. However, much of 
these data are now also collected through other Department information 
collections. For example, data on the participation of students with 
disabilities, by assessment type, is provided by States as part of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Consolidated State 
Performance Report (CSPR) and the annual assessment data reporting 
under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The CSPRs are 
available at http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/account/consolidated/sy08-09part1/index.html. Data are also available to the public about the 
participation of students with disabilities by assessment type at 
https://www.ideadata.org/PartBData.asp. In addition, data about the 
performance of students on statewide assessments, by subgroup 
(including students with disabilities and limited English proficient 
students), are publicly available at http://www.eddataexpress.ed.gov/.
    Under the IFR, States have until January 31, 2012, to collect and 
publicly report the data and information required under the SFSF 
indicators and descriptors, including Indicators (c)(1) through (c)(9) 
and (d)(1) through (d)(6). However, given the availability of these 
data through other sources, we do not believe it continues to be 
necessary to have States separately collect and report data for 
Indicators (c)(1) through (c)(9) and Indicators (d)(1) through (d)(6) 
more than one time under the SFSF program. Any State that has already 
collected and publicly reported these data would not be required to 
take any further actions relative to these indicators for the purposes 
of the SFSF program. Any State that has not already provided data under 
these Indicators must do so by the January 31, 2012 deadline.

Proposed Extension of Deadline for Indicators (b)(1) and (c)(12)

    Indicator (b)(1) requires a State to identify which of the 12 
elements in section 6401(e)(2)(D) of the America COMPETES Act are 
included in its SLDS. Any State that did not have an SLDS that included 
all 12 elements was required to provide the Department, as part of its 
SFSF Phase 2 application, a plan for fully developing and implementing 
such a system by September 30, 2011.
    Indicator (c)(12) requires each State to collect and publicly 
report course completion data for high school graduates who enroll in a 
public IHE in the State.\1\ If, at the time of submission of its SFSF 
Phase 2 application, a State lacked the capacity to collect and 
publicly report the specified course completion data it had to provide 
the Department with a plan for how it would collect and report those 
data or develop the capacity to do so by September 30, 2011.
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    \1\ Specifically, Indicator (c)(12) requires each State to 
provide for the State, for each LEA in the State, for each high 
school in the State and, at each of these levels, by student 
subgroup (consistent with section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA), 
of the students who graduate from high school consistent with 34 CFR 
200.19(b)(1)(i) who enroll in a public IHE (as defined in section 
101(a) of the Higher Education Act) in the State within 16 months of 
receiving a regular high school diploma, the number and percentage 
(including numerator and denominator) who complete at least one 
year's worth of college credit (applicable to a degree) within two 
years of enrollment in the IHE.
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    As the Department noted in its November 2009 Notice, timely and 
reliable information from across sectors will facilitate program 
evaluation and help determine whether a program is improving outcomes 
for students. Thus, it is imperative that States complete the 
development and implementation of an SLDS that includes the 12 elements 
required under the America COMPETES Act. Further, a State must have an 
SLDS to be able to report the course

[[Page 59077]]

completion data required under Indicator (c)(12) that provides 
information on how effectively schools in the State are preparing their 
students for postsecondary education.
    The Department recognizes the challenges and competing priorities 
that many States have faced in trying to meet the requirements of 
Indicators (b)(1) and (c)(12) by the September 30, 2011 deadline. 
During program monitoring, States have expressed concerns about their 
ability to fully develop and implement an SLDS by the established 
deadline. In addition, many States indicated in their March 2011 
Amended Application for Funding Under the State Fiscal Stabilization 
Fund Program that they still had not fully incorporated the following 
elements into their SLDS: (1) Student-level transcript information, 
including data on courses completed and grades earned (Element 9); (2) 
information regarding the extent to which students transition 
successfully from secondary school to postsecondary education, 
including whether students enroll in remedial coursework (Element 11); 
and (3) other information determined necessary to address alignment and 
adequate preparation for success in postsecondary education (Element 
12). Further, most States reported in their amended SFSF application 
that they do not yet have the capacity to collect and publicly report 
the course completion data required under Indicator (c)(12).
    As a result, in the IFR, the Department is extending to January 31, 
2012 the deadline by which States must meet the requirements of the 
SFSF indicators and descriptors, including Indicators (b)(1) and 
(c)(12). Further, the Department proposes in this notice to extend to 
December 31, 2012, upon submission of an approvable request by a State, 
the deadline for the development and implementation of an SLDS that 
includes the 12 elements included in the America COMPETES Act. In 
addition, the Department proposes to extend to December 31, 2012, upon 
submission of an approvable request by a State, the deadline by which a 
State must have the capacity to collect and publicly report the 
required course completion data under Indicator (c)(12).
    The Department proposes that, to be approvable, an extension 
request must provide the specific information described under the 
heading Proposed Requirements for Requests for Extensions to December 
31, 2012, of Deadlines for Indicator (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) or Use 
of the Indicator (c)(11) Alternative Standard.

Proposed Revisions to Requirements Under Indicator (c)(11)

    Under the requirements for Indicator (c)(11) established in the 
November 2009 Notice, each State must (1) Collect and publicly report, 
by September 30, 2011, data on the number and percentage of high school 
graduates who enroll in IHEs--public or private, in-State or out-of-
State; or (2) submit to the Department a plan describing how the State 
would develop, by September 30, 2011, the capacity to do so. Further, 
under those requirements, each State must submit to the Department, by 
September 30, 2011, evidence demonstrating that it has developed the 
capacity to collect and publicly report the data.
    A number of States have raised concerns about the challenges in 
collecting and publicly reporting student enrollment data. In their 
March 2011 SFSF amended applications, 43 States indicated that they did 
not yet have the capacity to collect and publicly report those data. 
Therefore, in the IFR, the Department is extending until January 31, 
2012, the deadline for States to comply with the SFSF indicators and 
descriptors, including Indicator (c)(11). Further, in this notice the 
Department proposes to extend to December 31, 2012, upon submission of 
an approvable request by a State, the deadline by which a State must 
collect and publicly report or have the capacity to collect and 
publicly report the student enrollment data required under Indicator 
(c)(11) for high school graduates who attend an in-State public IHE. 
The Department would grant an extension to December 31, 2012 only to a 
State that submits a request that contains the specific information 
proposed under the heading Proposed Requirements for Requests for 
Extensions to December 31, 2012, of Deadlines for Indicator (b)(1), 
(c)(11), or (c)(12) or Use of the Indicator (c)(11) Alternative 
Standard.
    The Department acknowledges that obtaining student enrollment data 
from private and out-of-State public IHEs can be particularly 
challenging. Therefore, the Department also proposes to establish an 
alternative standard by which a State may meet the Indicator (c)(11) 
data collection and reporting requirements with respect to high school 
graduates who enroll in private or out-of-State public IHEs. While such 
data are essential in determining how well an LEA or secondary school 
is preparing its students for postsecondary education, some States may 
need additional time to develop fully the capacity to collect and 
report these data. Under the alternative standard, a State would have 
to increase, by December 31, 2012, its current capacity to collect and 
publicly report the required student enrollment data for high school 
graduates who attend a private or an out-of-State public IHE. A State 
would not be required to be fully capable of collecting and reporting 
these data by December 31, 2012. For the purposes of the alternative 
standard, a State would be considered to be making acceptable progress 
in increasing its capacity to collect and publicly report student 
enrollment data for high school graduates who enroll in private or out-
of-State public IHEs through such activities as: (1) Entering into data 
reciprocity agreements with private in-State IHEs that receive any 
State funds, including those for student financial aid, research, or 
any other activities; (2) entering into data reciprocity agreements 
with private in-State IHEs over which the State exercises significant 
oversight, such as serving as an accrediting body; (3) entering into 
data reciprocity agreements with geographically contiguous States or 
States with which it has tuition reciprocity agreements; or (4) 
conducting a data analysis to determine the out-of-State IHEs where 
large numbers of the State's high school graduates enroll.
    The Department proposes that States that use the alternative 
standard for Indicator (c)(11) be required to publicly report, by 
December 31, 2012, the following--
    (1) For each in-State private IHE--
    (a) Whether the State provides funding to the IHE;
    (b) Whether the State has a data-sharing agreement in place with 
the IHE and, if so, whether the data-sharing agreement enables the 
State to track its recent high school graduates; and
    (2) For each out-of-State private or out-of-State public IHE with 
which the State has a data-sharing agreement--
    (a) Whether the State provides funding to the IHE; and
    (b) Whether the data-sharing agreement enables the State to track 
its recent high school graduates.
    The Department proposes to permit a State that provides the 
specific information described under the heading Proposed Requirements 
for Requests for Extensions to December 31, 2012, of Deadlines for 
Indicator (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) or Use of the Indicator (c)(11) 
Alternative Standard to use the alternative standard.

[[Page 59078]]

Proposed Requirements for Requests for Extensions to December 31, 2012, 
of Deadlines for Indicators (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) or Use of the 
Indicator (c)(11) Alternative Standard

    Because of an SEA's significant role in carrying out education 
reform activities in a State, including developing and implementing an 
SLDS, the Department proposes that any request for an extension to 
December 31, 2012, of the deadline for Indicator (b)(1), (c)(11), or 
(c)(12), as well as any request to use the alternative standard for 
Indicator (c)(11), must be submitted jointly by the Governor and the 
Chief State School Officer. Further, the Secretary proposes that an 
extension request or a request to use the alternative standard must be 
submitted by the deadline that the Department will establish in the 
notice of final revisions to certain data collection and reporting 
requirements, and final priority. The additional requirements for these 
requests are as follows:
A. Indicator (b)(1) Extension Requests
    The Secretary proposes that a State must provide the following 
information when requesting an extension of the deadline for developing 
and implementing an SLDS under Indicator (b)(1) that includes the 12 
elements required by the America COMPETES Act:
    (1) An identification of the elements in the America COMPETES Act 
that the State has implemented to date as part of its SLDS; and
    (2) An assurance signed by the Governor and the Chief State School 
Officer that the State will--
    (i) Incorporate the remaining elements into its SLDS by the 
December 31, 2012, deadline; and
    (ii) Provide, within 60 days of submission of the request, a 
revised plan for incorporating those elements by the deadline.
B. Indicator (c)(11) Extension Requests
    The Secretary proposes that a State must provide the following 
information when requesting an extension of the deadline for collecting 
and publicly reporting under Indicator (c)(11) student enrollment data 
for high school graduates who enroll in an in-State public IHE:
    (1) A description of the State's current capacity to collect and 
publicly report such student enrollment data; and
    (2) An assurance signed by the Governor and the Chief State School 
Officer that the State will--
    (i)(A) Collect and publicly report by December 31, 2012, student 
enrollment data for high school graduates who attend an in-State public 
IHE; or
    (B) Develop the capacity to collect and publicly report those data 
by December 31, 2012; and
    (ii) Provide, within 60 days of submission of the request, a 
revised plan for how the State will--
    (A) Collect and publicly report the data by December 31, 2012; or
    (B) Develop the capacity to collect and publicly report those data 
by December 31, 2012.
C. Indicator (c)(12) Extension Requests
    The Secretary proposes that a State must provide the following 
information when requesting an extension of the deadline for collecting 
and publicly reporting under Indicator (c)(12) course completion data 
for high school graduates who enroll in an in-State public IHE:
    (1) A description of the State's current capacity to collect and 
publicly report such course completion data; and
    (2) An assurance signed by the Governor and the Chief State School 
Officer that the State will--
    (i)(A) Collect and publicly report, by December 31, 2012, course 
completion data for high school graduates who attend an in-State public 
IHE; or
    (B) Develop the capacity to collect and publicly report, by 
December 31, 2012, such data; and
    (ii) Provide, within 60 days of submission of the request, a 
revised plan for how the State will--
    (A) Collect and publicly report the data by December 31, 2012; or
    (B) Develop the capacity to collect and publicly report such data 
by December 31, 2012.
D. Indicator (c)(11) Alternative Standard Requests
    The Secretary proposes that a State must provide the following 
information when requesting permission to use the alternative standard 
to satisfy the Indicator (c)(11) requirements to collect and publicly 
report student enrollment data for high school graduates who enroll in 
private or out-of-State public IHEs:
    (1) A description of the State's current capacity to collect and 
publicly report such student enrollment data; and
    (2) An assurance signed by the Governor and the Chief State School 
Officer that the State will--
    (i)(A) Collect and publicly report, by December 31, 2012, student 
enrollment data for high school graduates who enroll in private or out-
of-State public IHEs; or
    (B) Increase its current capacity to collect and publicly report 
such data by December 31, 2012, and, by that date, publicly report, the 
following--
    (1) For each in-State private IHE--
    (a) Whether the State provides funding to the IHE;
    (b) Whether the State has a data-sharing agreement in place with 
the IHE and, if so, whether the data-sharing agreement enables the 
State to track its recent high school graduates; and
    (2) For each out-of-State private or out-of-State public IHE with 
which the State has a data-sharing agreement, whether individually or 
through a State agency or consortium--
    (a) Whether the State provides funding to the IHE; and
    (b) Whether the data-sharing agreement enables the State to track 
its recent high school graduates;
    (ii) Provide, within 60 days of submission of the request, a 
revised plan for how the State will--
    (A) Collect and publicly report the data by December 31, 2012; or
    (B) Increase its current capacity to collect and report those data 
by December 31, 2012.

Proposed Requirements for Revised Plans for Indicator (b)(1), (c)(11), 
or (c)(12)

    The Department proposes that the revised plans for Indicator 
(b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) must include the following information:
    (a) A detailed description of the steps that the State will take to 
ensure that the requirements of the indicator will be met by December 
31, 2012, including a reasonable timeline for those actions;
    (b) Identification of the agency or agencies in the State 
responsible for the development and implementation of the revised plan; 
and
    (c) An overall budget, including the funding sources, that is 
sufficient to support the development and implementation of the revised 
plan.

Proposed Priority

    This notice contains one proposed priority.

Proposed Priority--Developing and Implementing a Statewide Longitudinal 
Data System That Includes the 12 Required Elements

    Background: A State that develops and implements an SLDS that 
includes the 12 elements required under the America COMPETES Act is 
more likely to effectively implement education reforms. As a result, a 
State that meets the SLDS requirements of the SFSF program is more 
likely to meet the goals of other Federal programs that support efforts 
to improve the quality of instruction and raise student academic 
achievement.

[[Page 59079]]

    Given the importance of full implementation of a complete SLDS 
system, the Secretary is proposing a priority for a State that has met 
the requirements of Indicator (b)(1) as established under the SFSF 
program.
    Proposed Priority: The Secretary is proposing a priority for a 
State that has met the requirements of SFSF Indicator (b)(1) on or 
before the applicable deadline.
Types of Priorities
    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate 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 follows:
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only 
applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii)).
    Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are 
particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. 
However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a 
preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

Enforcement of SFSF Requirements; Proposed Authority To Take 
Enforcement Action Against SEAs

    The Department only extends the deadline for complying with program 
requirements when appropriate. The Department is proposing to extend 
the deadline under this notice to ensure full implementation of key 
SFSF program requirements. For example, the development and 
implementation of an SLDS are integral to State and local efforts to 
improve student academic achievement. In light of the proposed deadline 
extension, we remind States that the Department has a wide range of 
actions that it can take to enforce program requirements. For example, 
the Department has the authority under the provisions of Part E of the 
General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) (20 U.S.C. 1234 et seq.) to 
take the following enforcement actions: the recovery of funds (section 
452 of GEPA), the withholding of funds (section 455 of GEPA), or the 
establishment of a compliance agreement (section 457 of GEPA). 
Additionally, under 34 CFR 80.12, the Department may designate a 
grantee as high risk for a number of reasons, including failure to 
comply with the terms and conditions of an award. We also note that, 
under 34 CFR 75.217, the Department may consider the performance of a 
grantee when awarding funds in future discretionary grant programs.
    As stated previously, the Department proposes that the SEA must 
jointly request with the Office of the Governor an extension to 
December 31, 2012, of the January 31, 2012 deadline for Indicators 
(b)(1), (c)(11), and (c)(12) or the authority to use the alternative 
standard for Indicator (c)(11). In those cases in which the State has 
received an extension of a deadline to January 31, 2012 or the 
authority to use the alternative standard for Indicator (c)(11) but 
fails to meet the extended deadline or alternative standard, the 
Department also proposes that it may take enforcement actions against 
the SEA, including designation as high risk. In such instances the 
Department would have the authority also to elect not to award funds in 
a future discretionary grant competition to the SEA.
    When implementing enforcement actions, the Department takes into 
account the specific circumstances of the grantee and the severity of 
the non-compliance.

Final Revisions to Certain Data Collection and Reporting Requirements 
and Final Priority

    We will announce the final revisions to the SFSF requirements and 
final priority in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine 
the final revisions to the requirements and the final priority after 
considering any comments submitted in response to this notice and other 
information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude 
us from proposing additional revisions to the requirements or 
additional priorities, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 
requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use the priority proposed in this notice, we 
invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 12866

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 to review by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 
defines ``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.
    It has been determined that this regulatory action is significant 
under paragraph (f)(4) of the Executive order. Accordingly, we have 
assessed the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative and 
qualitative--of this proposed regulatory action and determined that the 
benefits justify the costs. Additionally, the Department has determined 
that this regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, 
local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental 
functions.
    In this regulatory impact analysis, we discuss the need for 
regulatory action, the regulatory alternatives we considered, and the 
potential costs and benefits of the proposed action.
Need for Federal Regulatory Action
    The proposed revisions in this notice are the result of a 
regulatory review \2\ of the SFSF requirements established in the 
November 2009 Notice and also a response to concerns raised by States 
regarding their capacity to implement those requirements fully. The 
proposed revisions would eliminate requirements that have been 
identified through the regulatory review as overly burdensome or 
unnecessary for the achievement of the intended purposes of the SFSF 
program. The proposed revisions would also modify requirements that 
have been identified by certain States as not

[[Page 59080]]

feasible to meet by the currently established deadline, by extending 
the deadline for establishing compliance or providing an alternative 
compliance standard for States that seek that flexibility. The 
Secretary believes that these revisions are needed in order for the 
Department to administer the SFSF program in a manner that enables 
States to provide sufficient transparency on the extent to which they 
are implementing education reform actions consistent with the 
assurances provided in their SFSF applications while affording them an 
appropriate amount of time and flexibility to implement those actions. 
The Secretary further believes that this notice's proposed requirements 
for requesting an extension of the deadline for Indicator (b)(1), 
(c)(11), or (c)(12) or using the Indicator (c)(11) alternative 
standard, as well as the proposed requirements for revising plans for 
those indicators, are necessary to ensure that States' actions are 
consistent with the requirements for those indicators.
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    \2\ As discussed elsewhere in this notice, the regulatory review 
was conducted in response to the January 18, 2011 Executive Order 
13563 entitled ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'' and 
the February 28, 2011 Memorandum from the President to executive 
departments and agencies entitled ``Administrative Flexibility, 
Lower Costs, and Better Results for State, Local, and Tribal 
Governments.''
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Regulatory Alternatives Considered
    An alternative to promulgation of the proposed revisions in this 
notice would be to take no regulatory action and, instead, take 
enforcement action, such as recovering or withholding Department funds 
or establishing compliance agreements, against States that fail to 
comply with the relevant SFSF requirements established in the November 
2009 Notice. In general, the Secretary believes that the latter 
approach would unfairly punish States that the Department believes, 
based on available information on implementation of SFSF plans, are 
making a good-faith effort to fully develop their statewide 
longitudinal data systems and their capacity to collect and report data 
on student postsecondary enrollment and persistence, but need more time 
to comply with the SFSF requirements. That said, the Secretary 
believes, for reasons discussed elsewhere in this notice, that States 
must fully develop statewide longitudinal data systems and may place on 
high-risk status those States that fail to comply with the requirements 
of Indicator (b)(1) by the current or (if approved for the State) 
extended deadline.
    With respect to Indicator (c)(11), the Department considered 
proposing only an extension of the deadline for collecting and 
reporting student enrollment data for high school graduates who attend 
IHEs, but concluded that extending the deadline for the public, in-
State IHEs and providing additional flexibility with the proposed 
alternative standard for collecting and publicly reporting student 
enrollment data for high school graduates who attend private and out-
of-State public IHEs would better address the capacity concerns raised 
by States.

Summary of Costs and Benefits

Proposed Revisions to SFSF Indicator Requirements
    In the November 2009 Notice, the Department provided detailed 
estimates of the costs to States, LEAs, and IHEs of complying with the 
SFSF requirements. We have assessed the potential costs and benefits of 
the proposed revisions to those requirements in this notice and 
determined that they would impose no net additional costs to States, 
LEAs, or IHEs.
    On the contrary, the proposed revisions would produce potential net 
cost savings.\3\ For instance, the proposed elimination of the annual 
reporting requirements for Indicators (c)(1) through (c)(9) and (d)(1) 
through (d)(6) would confer savings by reducing collection and 
reporting burden on States and LEAs. Although it would confer some new 
cost (as discussed in more detail later in this section), the proposed 
Indicator (c)(11) alternative standard would confer net savings to 
States using the standard (and to affected LEAs and IHEs) by no longer 
requiring that those States, at a minimum, fully develop the capacity 
to collect and report, by September 30, 2011, enrollment data for high 
school graduates who enroll in private or out-of-State public IHEs. The 
proposed extensions of the compliance deadlines for Indicators (b)(1), 
(c)(11), and (c)(12) would not add to the costs of complying with the 
associated requirements and might result in marginal savings 
(calculated on a present-value basis) as States would be able to spread 
the compliance costs over a longer period of time.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ We have not provided estimates of potential cost savings in 
this notice because we cannot reasonably estimate the amount of 
funds States have already spent to meet the applicable SFSF 
requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Apart from potential cost savings, the benefits of the proposed 
revisions are, as discussed elsewhere in this notice, simplified and 
more streamlined SFSF requirements that still provide the Department 
and the public with useful information on whether States are 
implementing education reforms consistent with the statutorily required 
assurances.
    States using the proposed Indicator (c)(11) alternative standard 
would incur minimal new costs. Under the standard, a State would be 
required to publicly report, by December 31, 2012, information on the 
extent to which it has data-sharing agreements with private and out-of-
State public IHEs that enable the State to track its recent high school 
graduates and demonstrate certain concrete steps it had taken to 
increase its capacity to track its high school graduates who enrolled 
in private and out-of-State public IHEs. We estimate that a State would 
need, on average, 40 hours to collect and report this information. At 
$30 per hour, the average cost of doing so is an estimated $1,200.
    Based on information available from States on implementation of 
their SFSF plans, we estimate that 43 States will request use of the 
Indicator (c)(11) alternative standard. The total estimated cost to 
States for complying with the proposed Indicator (c)(11) alternative 
standard reporting requirements is accordingly $51,600 ($1,200 times 43 
States).
Proposed Requirements for Requests for Extensions of Deadlines for 
Indicator (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) or Use of the Indicator (c)(11) 
Alternative Standard, and Proposed Requirements for Revised Plans for 
Indicator (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12)
    The costs for complying with these proposed requirements would, in 
general, be minimal. Because States that do not meet the requirements 
associated with an SFSF indicator or descriptor were already required 
to submit a plan for achieving compliance that includes progress 
tracking and providing regular public progress reports, we do not 
believe that any new effort would be needed in order for a State to 
determine whether to request an extension of the deadline for Indicator 
(b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) or use of the Indicator (c)(11) alternative 
standard.
    In requesting a deadline extension or use of the alternative 
standard, a State would be required to provide a description of its 
current capacity with respect to the applicable indicator and a signed 
assurance that it will comply with the revised requirements for the 
indicator and will submit its plan for doing so to the Department 
within 60 days of the request. The level of effort needed to meet these 
requirements would be minimal. We estimate that a State would need, on 
average, eight hours to complete such a request. At $30 per hour, the 
average cost of completing a request is an estimated $240.
    Based on information available from States on implementation of 
their SFSF plans, we estimate that 40 States will request an extension 
of the deadline for

[[Page 59081]]

Indicator (b)(1), 43 States will request an extension of the deadline 
for Indicator (c)(11), 47 States will request an extension of the 
deadline for Indicator (c)(12), and 43 States will request use of the 
Indicator (c)(11) alternative standard. In total, States will complete 
an estimated 173 requests. At $240 per request, the total estimated 
cost to States for complying with the proposed requirements for 
requests is $41,520 ($240 times 173 requests).
    A State requesting a deadline extension or the use of the Indicator 
(c)(11) alternative standard would then be required to submit to the 
Department, within 60 days, a revised plan with respect to the 
applicable indicator that includes the specific steps the State will 
take to meet the revised requirements for the indicator, the budget for 
developing and implementing the revised plan, and the responsible 
agency or agencies. The cost of meeting these proposed plan revision 
requirements should also be minimal. We estimate that a State would 
need, on average, eight hours to complete a plan revision consistent 
with the requirements. At $30 per hour, the average cost of completing 
a plan revision is an estimated $240.
    As discussed above, States will complete an estimated 173 total 
requests for deadline extensions or for use of the Indicator (c)(11) 
alternative standard. Accordingly, we estimate that States will 
complete, at most, 173 plan revisions.\4\ At $240 per revision, the 
total estimated cost to States for complying with the proposed plan 
revision requirements is $41,520 ($240 per revision times 173 
requests).
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    \4\ A State requesting both an extension of the deadline for 
Indicator (c)(11) (as it applies to data on student enrollment in 
in-State public IHEs) and use of the alternative standard for that 
indicator (as it applies to data on student enrollment in private 
and out-of-State public IHEs) could address both of these requests 
in a single plan revision for the indicator. Consequently, the total 
number of completed plan revisions will almost certainly be lower 
than this estimate.
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    The total estimated cost for complying with the proposed 
requirements for requests and for plan revisions is accordingly 
$83,040.
    The November 2009 notice detailed the cost of collecting and 
reporting the information and data associated with Indicators (b)(1), 
(c)(11), and (c)(12) on an annual basis. We expect that the cost of 
meeting these requirements will be reduced because most States have 
completed a substantial amount of the work related to collecting and 
reporting the required information. However, States requesting an 
extension of Indicators (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) will need to report 
the information and data for an additional year. We discuss the costs 
associated with reporting these indicators for an additional year 
below.
    We estimate that, on average, a State would need one hour to 
collect and report the information associated with Indicator (b)(1). 
This is a one hour reduction from the estimate in the November 2009 
Notice because States have indicated that, on average, they have 
completed 50 percent of the work associated with collecting and 
reporting this information. Based on information available from States 
on implementation of their SFSF plans, we expect that 40 States will 
need to collect and report this information. At $30 per hour, the 
average cost for collecting and reporting this information is $30. The 
total estimated cost for complying with the Indicator (b)(1) reporting 
requirements is $1,200 ($30 per hour times 40 States).
    As 9 States have already met the requirement for Indicator (c)(11), 
we expect that 43 States will need to collect and report the 
information associated with it, or provide evidence that they have 
developed the capacity to do so, for students who attend in-State, 
public IHEs. We estimate that, on average, a State would need 40 hours 
to meet this requirement. This is a reduction from the average hours 
per response in the November 2009 Notice because this estimate only 
includes reporting on students who attend in-State, public IHEs rather 
than all students enrolled in an IHE. The remaining students will be 
covered under the (c)(11) alternative standard. At $30 per hour, we 
estimate that the average cost of meeting this requirement is $1,200. 
The total estimated cost for States to comply with the requirements for 
Indicator (c)(11) is $51,600 ($1,200 per State times 43 States).
    The 13,409 LEAs located in those 43 States would need to provide 
information associated with Indicator (c)(11). Based on an estimate of 
the total number of students enrolled in public IHEs in their home 
State,\5\ and based on the assumption that LEAs could provide this 
information at a rate of 20 students per hour, we estimate that these 
LEAs will require a total of 84,584 hours to comply with the 
requirements for Indicator (c)(11) at a total cost of $2,114,597. 
Divided by the total number of affected LEAs, we estimate that each LEA 
would require 6.31 hours to provide this information. This would be a 
reduction from the average hours per response in the November 2009 
Notice because the current estimate only relates to students who attend 
in-State, public IHEs rather than all students attending an IHE. 
Information on the remaining students will be covered under the (c)(11) 
alternative standard. At $25 per hour, the average cost per LEA of 
meeting the requirements of this Indicator is approximately $158.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ According to the Digest of Education Statistics, 2009, 
2,240,414 first-time freshmen enrolled in public, degree-granting 
IHEs in fall 2008, which represented 74 percent of all first-time 
freshmen. See http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_199.asp. Also in fall 2008, 2,109,931 freshmen who graduated from 
high school within the last 12 months attended degree-granting IHEs 
in their home State, which represented 81 percent of all freshmen. 
See http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_223.asp. 1. 
An estimate of the number of first-time freshmen enrolled in public, 
degree-granting IHEs in their home State can be derived two ways. 
Applying the percentage of first-time freshmen attending public 
degree-granting IHEs to the number of first-time freshmen attending 
an IHE in their home State yields an estimate of 1,508,484, and 
applying the percentage of first-time freshmen attending an IHE in 
their home State to the number of first-time freshmen attending 
public degree-granting IHEs yields an estimate of 2,169,077. For the 
purposes of this estimate, the Department chooses the midpoint of 
these figures, which is 1,838,780. Applying the estimate (described 
earlier) that 94 percent of all first-time postsecondary students 
graduated from public schools, the Department estimates that 
1,691,678 public high school graduates enroll in public degree-
granting IHEs in their home State.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Again, based on our estimate of the total number of students 
enrolled in public IHEs in their home State and the assumption that 
IHEs could provide this information at a rate of 20 students per hour, 
we estimate that a total of 84,584 hours would be required for the 
1,676 IHEs in the 43 affected States to respond to this requirement. On 
average, each IHE would need 50.47 hours to collect and report the 
information associated with Indicator (c)(11). This would be an 
increase in the average hours per response in the November 2009 Notice 
because this estimate only relates to students who attend in-State 
public IHEs rather than all students attending an IHE. The remaining 
students will be covered under the (c)(11) alternative standard. The 
average burden per response increased from the burden estimated in the 
November 2009 Notice because the analysis now accounts for in-State 
public IHEs in the 43 States that have not yet met this requirement. 
Since 74 percent of freshmen attend in-State public IHEs, the burden in 
this notice is higher because it is no longer shared with private and 
out-of-State IHEs, which led to lower overall burden that we estimated 
for all IHEs in the November 2009 Notice. We expect that 1,676 IHEs 
will need to provide this information. At $25 per hour, the average 
cost per IHE for collecting and reporting this information is 
$1,261.75. The total estimated cost for IHEs to

[[Page 59082]]

comply with the reporting requirements for Indicator (c)(11) is 
$2,114,597.
    The total estimated cost for complying with the reporting 
requirements in Indicator (c)(11) is $4,280,794.
    Based on information provided by the States, we expect that 47 
States will need to collect and report the information associated with 
Indicator (c)(12). We estimate that, on average, a State would need 20 
hours to collect and report the information. This represents a 20 hour 
reduction from our estimate in the November 2009 Notice because States 
have indicated that, on average, they have completed 50 percent of the 
work associated with this Indicator. At $30 per hour, the average cost 
for collecting and reporting this information is $600. The total 
estimated cost for States to comply with the reporting requirements for 
Indicator (c)(12) is $28,200 ($600 per State times 47 States).
    The 1,555 IHEs located in these States would be required to report 
information on the number of students who have completed at least one 
year's worth of college credit within two years of enrollment in the 
IHE. Based on data from the Digest of Education Statistics, we estimate 
that 1,140,855 first-time freshmen are enrolled in degree-granting in-
State public IHEs in the 47 States that have not yet met this 
requirement. We estimate that IHEs could provide this information at a 
rate of 20 students per hour, which leads to approximately 57,043 hours 
of total effort across the affected IHEs at an estimated cost of 
$1,426,069. By dividing this total number of hours by the 1,555 public 
IHEs in the 47 States, we estimate that, on average, an IHE would need 
36.68 hours to collect and report the information associated with 
Indicator (c)(12). This represents a reduction from the average hours 
per response that we estimated in the November 2009 Notice because some 
States with higher than average percentages of in-State students have 
already completed this work. We estimate a reduced average response 
time after excluding the IHEs from States that have completed the work 
from the calculation. At $25 per hour of IHE effort, we estimate that 
the average cost for collecting and reporting this information is $917 
per IHE.
    The total estimated cost for complying with the reporting 
requirements in Indicator (c)(12) is $1,454,269. The total estimated 
cost for complying with the collection and reporting requirements 
associated with (b)(1), (c)(11), and (c)(12) is accordingly $5,736,263.
    The total estimated cost for complying with those collection and 
reporting requirements and the proposed requirements in this notice is 
$5,870,903.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that this regulatory action will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The small entities that this regulatory action will affect are small 
LEAs receiving funds under this program and small IHEs.
    This regulatory action will not have a significant economic impact 
on small LEAs because they will be able to meet the costs of compliance 
with this regulatory action using the funds provided under this 
program.
    With respect to small IHEs, the U.S. Small Business Administration 
Size Standards define these institutions as ``small entities'' if they 
are for-profit or nonprofit institutions with total annual revenue 
below $5,000,000 or if they are institutions controlled by small 
governmental jurisdictions, which are comprised of cities, counties, 
towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, 
with a population of less than 50,000. Based on data from the 
Department's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), up 
to 427 small IHEs with revenues of less than $5 million may be affected 
by these requirements; only 33 of these IHEs are public. These small 
IHEs represent only 13 percent of degree-granting IHEs. In addition, 
only 98,032 students (0.5 percent) enrolled in degree-granting IHEs in 
fall 2007 attended these small institutions; just 11,830 of these 
students are enrolled in small, degree-granting public IHEs. As the 
burden for indicators (c)(11) and (c)(12) is driven by the number of 
students for whom IHEs would be required to submit data, small IHEs 
will require significantly less effort to adhere to these requirements 
than will be the case for larger IHEs. Based on IPEDS data, the 
Department estimates that 1,873 of these students are first-time 
freshmen. As stated earlier in the Summary of Costs and Benefits 
section of this notice, the Department estimates that, as required by 
indicator (c)(11), IHEs will be able to confirm the enrollment of 20 
first-time freshmen per hour. Applying this estimate to the estimated 
number of first-time freshmen at small IHEs, the Department estimates 
that these IHEs will need to spend 94 hours to respond to this 
requirement at a total cost of $2,350 (assuming a cost of $25 per 
hour).
    The effort involved in reporting the number of students enrolling 
in a public IHE in their home State who complete at least one year's 
worth of college credit applicable toward a degree within two years as 
required by indicator (c)(12) will also apply to small IHEs, but will 
be limited to students who enroll in public IHEs in their home State. 
As discussed earlier in the Summary of Costs and Benefits section of 
this notice, the Department estimates that 81 percent of first-time 
freshmen who graduate from public high schools enroll in degree-
granting IHEs in their home State. Applying this percentage to the 
estimated number of first-time freshmen enrolled in small public IHEs 
(1,873), the Department estimates that small IHEs will be required to 
report credit completion data for a total of 1,517 students. For this 
requirement, the Department also estimates that IHEs will be able to 
report the credit completion status of 20 first-time freshmen per hour. 
Again, applying this data entry rate to the estimated number of first-
time freshmen at small public IHEs in their home State, the Department 
estimates that these IHEs will need to spend 76 hours to respond to 
this requirement at a total cost of $1,900. The total cost of these 
requirements for small IHEs is, therefore, $4,250; $2,068 of this cost 
will be borne by small private IHEs, and $2,182 of the cost will be 
borne by small public IHEs. Based on the total number of small IHEs 
across the Nation, the estimated cost per small private IHE is 
approximately $10, and the estimated cost per small public IHE is $66. 
The Department has, therefore, determined that the requirements will 
not represent a significant burden on small not-for-profit IHEs. It is 
also important to note that States may use their Government Services 
Fund allocations to help small IHEs meet the costs of complying with 
the requirements that affect them, and public IHEs may use Education 
Stabilization Fund dollars they receive for that purpose.
    In addition, the Department believes the benefits provided under 
this regulatory action will outweigh the burdens on these institutions 
of complying with the requirements. One of these benefits will be the 
provision of better information on student success in postsecondary 
education to policymakers, educators, parents, and other stakeholders. 
The Department believes that the information gathered and reported as a 
result of these requirements will improve public accountability for 
performance; help States, LEAs, and schools learn from one another and 
improve their decision-making; and inform Federal policymaking.
    A second major benefit is that better public information on State 
and local progress in the four reform areas will

[[Page 59083]]

likely spur more rapid progress on those reforms, because States and 
LEAs that appear to be lagging in one area or another may see a need to 
redouble their efforts. The Department believes that more rapid 
progress on the essential educational reforms will have major benefits 
nationally, and that these reforms have the potential to drive dramatic 
improvements in student outcomes. The requirements that apply to IHEs 
should, in particular, spur more rapid implementation of pre-K-16 State 
longitudinal data systems.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, the Department conducts a preclearance consultation program to 
provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to 
comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in 
accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 
3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: The public understands the 
Department's collection instructions; respondents can provide the 
requested data in the desired format; reporting burden (time and 
financial resources) is minimized; collection instruments are clearly 
understood; and the Department can properly assess the impact of 
collection requirements on respondents.
    This notice of proposed revisions contains information collection 
requirements previously approved under OMB control number 1810-0695, 
revisions to which are proposed herein. The Department has 
contemporaneously published a notice of interim final requirements that 
extends the deadline for reporting under the existing performance 
indicators (See RIN 1894-AA03). Under the PRA the Department has 
submitted both the information collection contained in the IFR and the 
revised information collection requirements contained in this notice to 
OMB for its review.
    A Federal agency cannot 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.
    In the final requirements, we will display the control number 
assigned by OMB to any information collection requirement proposed in 
this notice of proposed revisions and adopted in the final 
requirements.

Revisions to SFSF Indicator (c)(11) Requirements

    Under the proposed Indicator (c)(11) alternative standard, a State 
would be required to publicly report, by December 31, 2012, information 
on the extent to which it has data-sharing agreements with private and 
out-of-State public IHEs that enable the State to track its recent high 
school graduates. We estimate that a State would need, on average, 40 
hours to collect and report this information.
    Based on information available from States on implementation of 
their SFSF plans, we estimate that 43 States will request use of the 
Indicator (c)(11) alternative standard. The total estimated hours for 
States to comply with the proposed Indicator (c)(11) alternative 
standard reporting requirements is accordingly an increase of 1,720 
hours (40 hours per request times 43 requests) under collection 1810-
0695.

Proposed Requirements for Requests for Extensions of Deadlines for 
Indicator (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) or Use of the Indicator (c)(11) 
Alternative Standard, and Proposed Requirements for Revised Plans for 
Indicators (b)(1), (c)(11), and (c)(12)

    Because States that did not meet the requirements associated with 
an SFSF indicator or descriptor were required to submit a plan for 
achieving compliance that includes progress tracking and providing 
regular public progress reports, we do not believe that any new effort 
would be needed in order for a State to determine whether to request an 
extension of the deadline for Indicator (b)(1), (c)(11), or (c)(12) or 
use of the Indicator (c)(11) alternative standard.
    In requesting a deadline extension or use of the alternative 
standard, a State would be required to provide a description of its 
current capacity with respect to the applicable indicator and a signed 
assurance that it will comply with the revised requirements for the 
indicator and will submit its plan for doing so to the Department 
within 60 days of the request. The level of effort needed to meet these 
requirements would be minimal. We estimate that a State would need, on 
average, eight hours to complete such a request.
    Based on information available from States on implementation of 
their SFSF plans, we estimate that 40 States will request an extension 
of the deadline for Indicator (b)(1), 43 States will request an 
extension of the deadline for Indicator (c)(11), 47 States will request 
an extension of the deadline for Indicator (c)(12), and 43 States will 
request use of the Indicator (c)(11) alternative standard. In total, 
States will complete an estimated 173 requests. The total estimated 
hours for States to comply with the proposed requirements for requests 
is an increase of 1,384 hours (eight hours per request times 173 
requests) under collection 1810-0695.
    A State requesting a deadline extension or the use of the Indicator 
(c)(11) alternative standard would then be required to submit to the 
Department, within 60 days, a revised plan with respect to the 
applicable indicator that includes the specific steps the State will 
take to meet the revised requirements for the indicator, the budget for 
developing and implementing the revised plan, and the responsible 
agency or agencies. We estimate that a State would need, on average, 
eight hours to complete a plan revision consistent with the 
requirements.
    As discussed above, States will complete an estimated 173 total 
requests for deadline extensions or for use of the Indicator (c)(11) 
alternative standard. Accordingly, we estimate that States will 
complete, at most, 173 plan revisions.\6\ At eight hours per revision, 
the total estimated burden to States for complying with the proposed 
plan revision requirements is an increase of 1,384 hours (eight hours 
per request times 173 requests) under collection 1810-0695.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ A State requesting both an extension of the deadline for 
Indicator (c)(11) (as it applies to data on student enrollment in 
in-State public IHEs) and use of the alternative standard for that 
indicator (as it applies to data on student enrollment in private 
and out-of-State public IHEs) could address both of these requests 
in a single plan revision for the indicator. Consequently, the total 
number of completed plan revisions will likely be lower than this 
estimate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The total estimated burden for complying with the proposed 
requirements for requests and for plan revisions is accordingly 2,768 
hours.
    After requesting an extension and providing a plan, a State would 
be required to collect and report the information associated with 
Indicators (b)(1), (c)(11), and (c)(12) by December 31, 2012. Based on 
information available from States on implementation of their SFSF plan, 
we estimate that 40 States will need to report and collect the 
information associated with Indicator (b)(1). At an estimated one hour 
per collection and report, the total estimated burden to States is an 
increase of 40 hours (one hour per State times 40 States) under 
collection 1810-0695. The average response time of one hour per 
collection is a one hour reduction from the estimates we provided in 
the November 2009 Notice because States

[[Page 59084]]

have indicated that, on average, they have completed 50 percent of the 
work associated with reporting on this indicator.
    As 9 States have already met the requirement for Indicator (c)(11), 
we expect that 43 States will need to collect and report the 
information associated with Indicator (c)(11), or provide evidence that 
they have developed the capacity to do so, for students who attend in-
State, public IHEs. We estimate that, on average, a State would need 40 
hours to meet this requirement. This is a reduction from the average 
hours per response that we estimated in the November 2009 Notice 
because the current estimate only relates to students who attend in-
State, public IHEs rather than all students enrolled in an IHE. The 
remaining students will be covered under the (c)(11) alternative 
standard. The current estimate would equal a 1,720 hour (40 hours per 
State times 43 States) increase under collection 1810-0695.
    The 13,409 LEAs located in those 43 States would need to provide 
information associated with Indicator (c)(11). Based on an estimate of 
the total number of students enrolled in public IHEs in their home 
State,\7\ and based on the assumption that LEAs could provide this 
information at a rate of 20 students per hour, we estimate that these 
LEAs will require a total of 84,584 hours to comply with the 
requirements for Indicator (c)(11). Divided by the total number of 
affected LEAs, we estimate that each LEA would require 6.31 hours to 
provide this information. This would be a reduction from the average 
hours per response estimated in the November 2009 Notice because the 
current estimate only relates to students who attend in-State, public 
IHEs rather than all students attending an IHE. Information on the 
remaining students will be covered under the (c)(11) alternative 
standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ According to the Digest of Education Statistics, 2009, 
2,240,414 first-time freshmen enrolled in public, degree-granting 
IHEs in fall 2008, which represented 74 percent of all first-time 
freshmen. See http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_199.asp. Also in fall 2008, 2,109,931 freshmen who graduated from 
high school within the last 12 months attended degree-granting IHEs 
in their home State, which represented 81 percent of all freshmen. 
See http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d09/tables/dt09_223.asp. 1. 
An estimate of the number of first-time freshmen enrolled in public, 
degree-granting IHEs in their home State can be derived two ways. 
Applying the percentage of first-time freshmen attending public 
degree-granting IHEs to the number of first-time freshmen attending 
an IHE in their home State yields an estimate of 1,508,484, and 
applying the percentage of first-time freshmen attending an IHE in 
their home State to the number of first-time freshmen attending 
public degree-granting IHEs yields an estimate of 2,169,077. For the 
purposes of this estimate, the Department chooses the midpoint of 
these figures, which is 1,838,780. Applying the estimate (described 
earlier) that 94 percent of all first-time postsecondary students 
graduated from public schools, the Department estimates that 
1,691,678 public high school graduates enroll in public degree-
granting IHEs in their home State.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Again, based on our estimate of the total number of students 
enrolled in public IHEs in their home State and the assumption that 
IHEs could provide this information at a rate of 20 students per hour, 
we estimate that, a total of 84,584 hours would be required for the 
1,676 IHEs in the 43 affected States to respond to this requirement. On 
average, each IHE would need 50.47 hours to provide the information 
associated with Indicator (c)(11). This would be an increase in the 
average hours per response estimated in the November 2009 Notice 
because this estimate only relates to students who attend in-State 
public IHEs rather than all students attending an IHE. The remaining 
students will be covered under the (c)(11) alternative standard. The 
average burden per response increased from the burden estimated in the 
November 2009 Notice because the analysis now accounts for in-State 
public IHEs in the 43 States that have not yet met this requirement. 
Because 74 percent of freshmen attend in-State public IHEs, the burden 
under these proposed revisions is higher because it is no longer shared 
with private and out-of-State IHEs, which led to an estimate of a lower 
overall burden for all IHEs in the November 2009 Notice. We expect that 
1,676 IHEs will need to provide this information.
    The total estimated hours for complying with the requirements of 
Indicator (c)(11) is 170,888.
    We estimate that the State burden for collecting and reporting the 
information associated with Indicator (c)(12), or providing evidence 
that the State has developed the capacity to do so, will be 
approximately 20 hours per State. This is a 20 hour reduction from the 
estimates in the November 2009 Notice because States have indicated 
that they have, on average, completed 50 percent of the work for this 
Indicator. Based on information provided by the States, we expect that 
47 States will need to provide this information. Accordingly, the total 
burden to States is an increase of 940 hours (20 hours per State times 
47 States) under collection 1810-0695.
    The 1,555 IHEs located in these States would be required to report 
information on the number of students who have completed at least one 
year's worth of college credit within two years of enrollment in the 
IHE. Based on data from the Digest of Education Statistics, we estimate 
that 1,140,855 first-time freshmen are enrolled in degree-granting in-
State public IHEs in the 47 States that have not yet met this 
requirement. We estimate that IHEs could provide this information at a 
rate of 20 students per hour, which leads to approximately 57,043 hours 
of total effort across the affected IHEs. By dividing the total number 
of hours by the 1,555 public IHEs in the 47 States, we estimate that, 
on average, an IHE would need 36.68 hours to collect and report the 
information associated with Indicator (c)(12). The average hours per 
response is less than the estimate in the November 2009 Notice because 
some States with higher than average percentages of in-State students 
have already completed this work. Excluding the IHEs from these States 
from the calculations led to a reduced average response time.
    The total estimated burden hours for complying with the collection 
and reporting requirements for Indicator (c)(12) is 57,983.
    The estimated burden hours for complying with the collection and 
reporting requirements associated with the proposed Indicator (c)(11) 
alternative standard is discussed above.
    The total estimated burden hours for complying with the proposed 
collection and reporting requirements associated with Indicators 
(b)(1), (c)(11) and (c)(12) is accordingly 228,911 hours.
    The total estimated burden for complying with the proposed 
requirements in this notice is an increase of 233,399 hours under 
collection 1810-0695.

[[Page 59085]]



                                            Collection of Information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Information collection                       OMB Control No. and estimated change in burden
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This notice of proposed revisions         OMB 1810-0695.
 proposes an extension for collecting     The burden would increase by 233,399 hours.
 and reporting information associated
 with Indicators (b)(1), (c)(11), and
 (c)(12); an alternative standard for
 Indicator (c)(11); proposes
 requirements for requests for
 extensions of deadlines for Indicators
 (b)(1), (c)(11), and (c)(12); and
 proposes requirements for revised plans
 for Indicators (b)(1), (c)(11), and
 (c)(12).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If you want to comment on the proposed information collection 
requirements, please send your comments to the Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for U.S. 
Department of Education. Send these comments by e-mail to OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov or by fax to (202) 395-6974. You may also send a 
copy of these comments to the Department contact named in the ADDRESSES 
section of this preamble.
    We have prepared an Information Collection Request (ICR) for this 
collection. In preparing your comments you may want to review the ICR, 
which we maintain in the Education Department Information Collection 
System (EDICS) at http://edicsweb.ed.gov. Click on Browse Pending 
Collections. This proposed collection is identified as proposed 
collection 1810-0695.
    We consider your comments on this proposed collection of 
information in--
     Deciding whether the proposed collection is necessary for 
the proper performance of our functions, including whether the 
information will have practical use;
     Evaluating the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection, including the validity of our methodology and 
assumptions;
     Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the 
information we collect; and
     Minimizing the burden on those who must respond. This 
includes exploring the use of appropriate automated, electronic, 
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques.
    OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of 
information contained in these proposed regulations between 30 and 60 
days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. 
Therefore, to ensure that OMB gives your comments full consideration, 
it is important that OMB receives your comments on the proposed 
collection within 30 days after publication. This does not affect the 
deadline for your comments to us on the proposed regulations.

Assessment of Educational Impact

    In accordance with section 411 of the General Education Provisions 
Act, 20 U.S.C. 1221e-4, the Department invites comment on whether these 
requirements require transmission of information that any other agency 
or authority of the United States gathers or makes available.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    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: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, 
as well as all other documents of this Department published in the 
Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: http://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 (CFDA) Numbers: 84.394 
(Education Stabilization Fund) and 84.397 (Government Services 
Fund).

    Dated: September 19, 2011.
Arne Duncan,
Secretary of Education.
[FR Doc. 2011-24563 Filed 9-22-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P