[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 100 (Wednesday, May 23, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30512-30514]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12540]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Native American Career and Technical Education Program; Final 
Waivers and Extension of Project Period

AGENCY: Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information: Final Waivers and Extension of Project Period for 
the Native American Career and Technical Education Program

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.101A.
SUMMARY: For 60-month projects funded in fiscal year (FY) 2007 under 
the Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP), 
the Secretary waives 34 CFR 75.250 and 75.261(c)(2) in order to extend 
the

[[Page 30513]]

project period of these current NACTEP grants for an additional 12 
months. This will enable the 30 current NACTEP grantees to seek FY 2012 
continuation awards for their current projects through FY 2013, and we 
will not announce a new NACTEP competition in FY 2012.

DATES: This notice of final waivers and extension of project period is 
effective May 23, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gwen Washington. Telephone: (202) 245-
7790, or by email: gwen.washington@ed.gov. Linda Mayo. Telephone: (202) 
245-7792, or by email: linda.mayo@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: On February 16, 2012, we published a notice 
in the Federal Register (77 FR 9216) (February 2012 notice) proposing 
to waive 34 CFR 75.250 and 75.261(c)(2), as they apply to NACTEP. These 
regulations generally limit project periods to 60 months and prohibit 
project period extensions involving the obligation of additional 
Federal funds. In that notice, the Secretary also proposed to extend 
the project period of NACTEP grants for an additional 12 months to 
enable the 30 current NACTEP grantees to seek FY 2012 continuation 
awards for their current projects through FY 2013; and to not announce 
a new NACTEP competition in FY 2012.
    Public Comment: In the February 2012 notice for NACTEP, the 
Secretary invited comments about the potential effect the proposed 
waivers and extension would have on NACTEP and on applicants that may 
be eligible to apply for grant awards under any new NACTEP notice 
inviting applications, should there be one. In response, we received 82 
comments. Generally, we do not address comments that raise concerns not 
related to the proposed waivers and extension. Of the 82 comments we 
received, 81 supported the waivers, extension, and continuation of 
current NACTEP grantees' awards, citing the benefits the NACTEP grants 
provide to the Native American community.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    Comments: The vast majority, 81 of the 82 comments we received 
supported the proposed waivers and extension of the NACTEP project 
period. We heard from a variety of commenters, including tribal 
community college deans and administrators, teachers, students, and a 
project evaluator. The commenters provided various reasons for their 
support of the waivers and extension, including: their judgment of 
effectiveness of work being done by current NACTEP grantees in current 
projects, the number of students served and placed in employment under 
current projects, and the great need for funding such as that provided 
by NACTEP in the Native American communities served by current 
projects.
    Several commenters stated that it would be difficult for eligible 
entities to prepare NACTEP applications for short-term funding prior to 
the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical 
Education Act of 2006 (the Perkins Act). Other commenters stated that 
with potential changes in the Perkins authorizing legislation for 
NACTEP beyond FY 2012, it was not in the public interest to conduct a 
NACTEP grant competition at this time.
    Several commenters expressed the view that the waivers and 
extension of the current project period would be necessary to allow 
current students sufficient time to complete their programs.
    One commenter, who fully supported the proposed waivers and 
extension, stated that tribal colleges would not have sufficient time 
to plan, establish, or effectively operate viable programs within a 
one-year timeframe. The commenter expressed the view that continuing 
the projects of current NACTEP grantees would eliminate the 
difficulties, barriers, and inefficiencies associated with starting new 
programs and stated further that extending the current project period 
and funding of current grantees would: capitalize upon the current 
momentum of NACTEP grantee service delivery, since service streams were 
already in place and operational; allow current NACTEP grantees to 
support reasonable modification as a direct outgrowth of their current 
work without disruption to participant cohorts, partnerships, programs, 
or plans; and afford a greater likelihood of successful attainment, 
such as student attainment of associate degrees and certificates, and 
subsequent job placement. The commenter further stated that NACTEP 
evaluation requirements place an expectation for the measurement of 
long-term impact of each project, which would be greatly enhanced by 
extending the project duration beyond five years.
    Response: We have considered the comments we received from 
individuals and from individuals representing tribes, community 
colleges, and tribal organizations. The vast majority of commenters 
supported the waivers and extension of the project period and favor our 
proposal to continue the current grants for an additional year under 
the current NACTEP authority. The vast majority of commenters agree 
with our overall rationale for the waivers and extending the current 
project period and believe that these waivers and extension are in the 
public interest.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter requested information on future NACTEP grant 
periods and asked whether a new NACTEP grant competition would be held 
in FY 2013.
    Response: At this time, we do not know whether there will be a 
NACTEP competition in FY 2013 or future years. If there is a NACTEP 
competition in any future year, we will announce that competition 
through a Federal Register notice inviting applications in which we 
will include, among other information, the length of the grant period.
    Changes: None.

Background

    The current NACTEP grantees, selected based on our March 23, 2007, 
NACTEP Federal Register notice inviting applications (72 FR 13770) 
(March 2007 notice), operate career and technical education programs, 
as authorized by section 116(a) through (g) of the Perkins Act (20 
U.S.C. 2326(a)-(g)). The project period for the current 30 NACTEP 
grantees is scheduled to end in FY 2012. For the NACTEP projects funded 
in 2007, the Secretary waives the requirements of 34 CFR 75.250 and 
75.261(c)(2), which generally limit project periods to 60 months and 
prohibit project period extensions involving the obligation of 
additional Federal funds, in order to extend the current NACTEP project 
period for an additional 12 months and allow the 30 current NACTEP 
grantees to seek continuation awards in FY 2012.
    The Secretary's waivers and extension mean that: (1) Current NACTEP 
grantees will be authorized to request and receive NACTEP continuation 
awards in FY 2012 for project periods through FY 2013, (2) we will not 
announce a new competition to make new awards in FY 2012, (3) the March 
2007 notice will continue to govern current projects during the 
extension year, and (4) the 30 applications approved under the March 
2007 notice will govern continuation activities.
    The March 2007 notice: (1) Established a project period of up to 60 
months and reiterated that funding for multi-year awards would be 
dependent on a grantee meeting the requirements of 34 CFR 75.253 
(continuation of a

[[Page 30514]]

multi-year project after the first budget period); (2) explained the 
requirements of the program; (3) described the evaluation and reporting 
requirements; and (4) established the Government Performance and 
Results Act (GPRA) performance indicators for NACTEP.
    With these waivers and extension of the project period, the current 
30 NACTEP grantees may request continuation awards for one additional 
project year, through FY 2013, and we will consider those continuation 
award requests under the current NACTEP statutory authority. Any 
requests for continuation awards will be subject to the requirements of 
34 CFR 75.253, including the requirement that each grantee demonstrate 
that it is making substantial progress performing its NACTEP grant 
activities based on the requirements in the March 2007 notice inviting 
applications.
    We will make decisions regarding continuation awards based on 
information provided in NACTEP grantee requests for continuation 
awards, including information provided in program narratives, budgets 
and budget narratives, and performance reports. Any activities to be 
carried out during the continuation year must be consistent with, or be 
a logical extension of the scope, goals, and objectives of, each 
grantee's application as approved in the 2007 NACTEP competition.

Waiver of Delayed Effective Date

    The Administrative Procedure Act requires that a substantive rule 
must be published at least 30 days before its effective date, except as 
otherwise provided for good cause (5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3)). During the 30-
day public comment period on the notice of proposed waivers and 
extension of project period, of the 82 comments we received, 81 
supported the waivers and extension of the project period for current 
NACTEP grantees. Except for minor editorial and technical revisions, 
there are no differences between the proposed and final notices of 
waivers and extension of the project period for NACTEP. In addition, 
given the fact that the additional period of funding is only for a 12-
month period, and in order to be able to make timely continuation 
grants to the 30 entities affected, the Secretary has determined that a 
delayed effective date is unnecessary and contrary to the public 
interest.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretary certifies that the waivers and extension and the 
activities required to support an additional year of NACTEP funding 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.
    The small entities that will be affected by the waivers and 
extension are the 30 currently-funded NACTEP grantees.
    The Secretary certifies that the waivers and extension will not 
have a significant economic impact on these NACTEP entities because the 
waivers and extension impose minimal compliance costs to extend 
projects already in existence, and the activities required to support 
the additional year of funding will not impose additional regulatory 
burdens or require unnecessary Federal supervision. Furthermore, the 
costs of carrying out these activities could be paid for with program 
funds.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This notice of waivers and extension does not contain any 
information collection requirements.

Intergovernmental Review

    The NACTEP is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79.
    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 either of the contact persons 
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 
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    Program Authority:  20 U.S.C. 2326(a) through (g).

    Dated: May 18, 2012.
Johan Uvin,
Delegated Authority to Perform the Functions and Duties of the 
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education.
[FR Doc. 2012-12540 Filed 5-22-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P