[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 97 (Monday, May 20, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 29499-29518]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-11821]



[[Page 29499]]

Vol. 78

Monday,

No. 97

May 20, 2013

Part III





Department of Education





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34 CFR Chapter II





Department of Health and Human Services





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45 CFR Subtitle A, Subchapter A





 Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection 
Criteria--Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge; Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 97 / Monday, May 20, 2013 / Proposed 
Rules

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

34 CFR Chapter II

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

45 CFR Subtitle A, Subchapter A

[Docket ID ED-2013-OESE-0046]
RIN 1801-AA13


Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection 
Criteria--Race to the Top--Early Learning Challenge

[CFDA Number: 84.412A.]

AGENCY: Department of Education and Department of Health and Human 
Services.

ACTION: Proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education and Secretary of Health and Human 
Services (``the Secretaries'') propose priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria under the Race to the Top--Early 
Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) Grant program. The Secretaries may use one 
or more of these priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2013 and later years.
    The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively, ``the Departments'') 
conducted the first competition under the RTT-ELC program in FY 2011 
and awarded grants to nine States. In FY 2012, the five next highest-
rated applicants on the slate of high-scoring applications from the FY 
2011 competition were funded at up to 50 percent of the funds each 
requested in their FY 2011 applications.
    We propose to maintain the overall purpose and structure of the FY 
2011 RTT-ELC competition in future competitions. These proposed 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria are 
almost identical to the ones used in the FY 2011 competition. We 
describe the changes at the beginning of each section of this document.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before June 19, 2013, and we 
encourage you to submit comments well in advance of this date.

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 email. To ensure we do not receive 
duplicate comments, please submit your comments only once. In addition, 
please include the Docket ID and the term ``Early Learning Challenge 
Grant-Comments'' at the top of your comments.
    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit 
your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, 
including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting 
comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under ``Are 
you new to the site?''
    Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery. If you mail or 
deliver your comments about these proposed priorities, requirements, 
definitions, or selection criteria, address them to the Office of 
Elementary and Secondary Education (Attention: Early Learning Challenge 
Grant--Comments), U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue 
SW., room 3E245, Washington, DC 20202-6200.

    Privacy Note: The Departments' policies are to make all comments 
received from members of the public available for public viewing in 
their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at 
www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to 
include in their comments only information that they wish to make 
publically available.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Miriam Lund. Telephone: (202) 401-2871 
or by email: miriam.lund@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:

Executive Summary

    Purpose of This Regulatory Action: The purpose of this document is 
to propose priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria for the RTT-ELC program that will enable effective grant 
making and result in high-quality proposals from States. The RTT-ELC 
program focuses Federal financial resources on improving early learning 
and development for young children by supporting States' efforts to 
increase the number and percentage of low-income and disadvantaged 
children in each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who 
are enrolled in high-quality early learning and development programs; 
design and implement an integrated system of high-quality early 
learning and development programs and services directly resulting in 
more children, especially those with high needs, entering kindergarten 
ready to succeed in school and in life; and ensure that any use of 
assessments conforms with the recommendations of the National Research 
Council \1\ reports on early childhood.\2\
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    \1\ National Research Council. (2008). Early Childhood 
Assessment: Why, What, and How. Committee on Developmental Outcomes 
and Assessments for Young Children, C.E. Snow and S.B. Van Hemel, 
Editors. Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Board on Testing 
and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and 
Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 
www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12446.
    \2\ See Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing 
Appropriations Act, 2011, Division B, Sec.  1832(b), Public Law 112-
10 (April 15, 2011).
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    Summary of the Major Provisions of This Regulatory Action: The RTT-
ELC program is designed to build on the momentum of other Race to the 
Top competitions by improving State systems of early care and education 
in order to prepare more children for kindergarten. The priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria proposed in this 
document are almost identical to those we used in the FY 2011 
competition. Through future competitions using these proposed 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, we will 
again invite applicants to demonstrate how they can transform their 
early learning systems with better coordination among various State 
Participating Agencies,\3\ improved standards, and meaningful education 
and training for early childhood educators.
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    \3\ Terms with initial capitalization are defined in the 
Definition section of this document.
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    In that regard, through future competitions, the Department will 
encourage and reward States that have the leadership and vision to 
develop successful State systems that:
     Support an ambitious early learning and reform agenda;
     Align and raise standards for existing early learning 
programs, including Head Start, public preschool, childcare, home 
visiting, Part B, Section 619 and Part C programs under the Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and private preschools;
     Provide information to families about the quality of 
programs;
     Promote early learning and development outcomes across 
Essential Domains of School Readiness for all children, reflected in 
clear standards that detail what children should know and be able to do 
and are measured through comprehensive assessment systems;
     Build a great early childhood education workforce, 
supported by strategies to train, support, and retain high-quality 
teachers, providers, and administrators; and
     Measure outcomes and progress using Comprehensive 
Assessment

[[Page 29501]]

Systems and Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEA); and develop or 
enhance data systems.
    These proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria are designed to help States meet these goals and are almost 
identical to those we used in the FY 2011 competition with the 
exception of minor language clarifications and five substantive 
changes. We are proposing to (1) Revise the KEA priority(Proposed 
Priority 3) to simplify scoring; (2) revise and rename the priority 
designed to sustain and build upon early learning outcomes from 
preschool-through-third grade (Proposed Priority 4); (3) revise the 
requirements to reduce the maximum grant amounts for which an applicant 
may apply;(4) revise the program requirements to require that States 
have an operational State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education 
and Care, and that this council include the administrator from the 
State's Child Care and Development Fund program, representatives from 
both Part B and Part C of IDEA, and State agency representatives 
responsible for health and mental health; and (5)add a new eligibility 
requirement excluding States that previously received funding for a 
RTT-ELC grant.
    We believe these proposed changes will improve the peer review 
evaluation; strengthen the gains from early learning outcomes from 
preschool through the early elementary school years; and enable the 
Departments to maximize the number of grantees that would receive 
funding while still awarding grants of sufficient size to support 
ambitious yet achievable early learning reforms.
    The remaining priorities proposed in this notice (priorities 1, 2, 
and 5) are unchanged from those we used in the FY 2011 competition.
    Costs and Benefits: The cost imposed on applicants by these 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria would be 
limited to paperwork burden related to preparing an application. 
Benefits would outweigh any costs to applicants. The costs of carrying 
out activities would be paid for with RTT-ELC grant funds. The costs of 
implementation would not be a burden for any eligible applicant, 
including small entities. Please refer to the Regulatory Impact 
Analysis in this document for a more complete discussion of the costs 
and benefits of this regulatory action.
    This document provides an accounting statement that estimates that 
approximately $300 million will transfer from the Federal Government to 
States under this program. Please refer to the accounting statement in 
this document for a more detailed discussion.
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments on this 
document. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria, we urge you to identify clearly the specific 
proposed priority, requirement, definition, and or selection criterion 
that each comment addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall 
requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from these 
proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. 
Please let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs 
or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and 
efficient administration of the 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 comments in person in room 3E245, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
LBJ Building, Washington, DC 20202-6200, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. 
and 4:00 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 purpose of the RTT-ELC program is to improve the quality of 
early learning and development and close the educational gaps for 
Children with High Needs. This program focuses on improving early 
learning and development for young children by supporting States' 
efforts to increase the number and percentage of low-income and 
disadvantaged children, in each age group of infants, toddlers, and 
preschoolers, who are enrolled in high-quality early learning and 
development programs; and to design and implement an integrated system 
of high-quality early learning and development programs and services.

    Program Authority:  Sections 14005 and 14006, Division A, of the 
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as amended by 
section 1832(b) of Division B of Pub. L. 112-10, the Department of 
Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, and the 
Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2012 (Title III of 
Division F of Pub. L. 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 
2012).

Backgound

The Statutory Context and Program Overview

Race to the Top--Early Learning Challenge
    A critical focus of the Departments is supporting America's 
youngest learners and helping ensure that children, especially Children 
with High Needs, enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in 
life. A robust body of research demonstrates that high-quality early 
learning and development programs and services can improve young 
children's health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes; enhance 
school readiness; and help close the educational gaps 4 5 
that exist between Children with High Needs and their peers at the time 
they enter kindergarten.6 7
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    \4\ Camilli, G., Vargas, S., Ryan, S., & Barnett, W. S. (2010). 
Meta-analysis of the effects of early education interventions on 
cognitive and social development. Teachers College Record, 112(3), 
579-620.
    \5\ Reynolds, A.J., Temple, J.A., Ou, S., Arteaga, I.A., & 
White, B.A.B. (2011). School-based early childhood education and 
age-28 well-being: effects by timing, dosage, and subgroups. 
Science, Retrieved from www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/06/08/science.1203618.abstract doi: 10.1126/science.1203618.
    \6\ Princiotta, D., Flanagan, K. D., and Germino Hausken, E. 
(2006). Fifth Grade: Findings From The Fifth-Grade Follow-up of the 
Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 
(ECLS-K). (NCES 2006-038) U.S. Department of Education.
    \7\ Halle, T., Forry, N., Hair, E., Perper, K., Wandner, L., 
Wessel, J., & Vick, J.(2009). Disparities in Early Learning and 
Development: Lessons from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study--
Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). Washington, DC: Child Trends.
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    To address this educational gap, the Departments have identified, 
as high priorities, strengthening the quality of existing early 
learning and development programs and increasing access to high-quality 
Early Learning and Development Programs for all children, especially 
for Children with High Needs.
    On May 25, 2011, Secretaries Arne Duncan and Kathleen Sebelius 
announced the RTT-ELC, a new $500 million State-level grant competition 
authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 
(ARRA), as amended by section 1832(b) of the Department of Defense and 
Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act,

[[Page 29502]]

2011. Through the RTT-ELC program, the Departments seek to help close 
the educational gaps between Children with High Needs and their peers 
by supporting State efforts to build strong systems of early learning 
and development that provide increased access to high-quality programs 
for the children who need them most.
    The FY 2011 RTT-ELC competition \8\ represented an unprecedented 
opportunity for States to focus deeply on their early learning and 
development systems for children from birth through age five. (See 
notice inviting applications for the competition, published in the 
Federal Register on August 26, 2011 (76 FR 53564)). Through the FY 2011 
RTT-ELC competition, States were given an opportunity to build a more 
unified approach to supporting young children and their families--an 
approach that increases access to high-quality early learning and 
development programs and services, and helps ensure that children enter 
kindergarten with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions toward 
learning they need to be successful in school and in life.
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    \8\ Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA exempts the Secretary of Education 
from rulemaking requirements governing the first grant competition 
under a new or substantially revised program authority. We utilized 
this authority to forgo formal rulemaking for the FY2011 RTT-ELC 
competition, instead soliciting informal public participation 
through the ED.gov Web site.
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    In December 2011, the Departments made awards to the nine highest-
scoring applications from the FY 2011 RTT-ELC competition: California, 
Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, 
Rhode Island, and Washington.
    On December 23, 2011, Public Law 112-74, the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2012, which made $550 million available for the 
Race to the Top Fund, was signed into law. This legislation authorized 
the Secretary of Education to make Race to the Top Fund awards on ``the 
basis of previously submitted applications.''
    On April 9, 2012, the Departments announced that approximately $133 
million of the $550 million appropriated for the Race to the Top Fund 
would be made available to the next five highest scoring applicants 
from the FY 2011 RTT-ELC competition. These five applicants, each of 
which received approximately 75 percent or more of the available points 
under the competition, received awards: Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, 
Oregon, and Wisconsin.
    The FY 2011 RTT-ELC competition identified five key reform areas 
representing the foundation of an effective early learning and 
development reform agenda focused on school readiness and ongoing 
educational success. These areas, which provided a framework for the 
competition's priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria, are as follows:
    (A) Successful State Systems;
    (B) High-Quality, Accountable Programs;
    (C) Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children;
    (D) A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce; and
    (E) Measuring Outcomes and Progress.
    The first two of these reform areas, (A) and (B), are core areas of 
focus for this program (``Core Areas''), and applicants under the FY 
2011 RTT-ELC competition were required to respond to all selection 
criteria under these Core Areas. The reform areas in (C), (D), and (E) 
that targeted attention to specific activities are relevant to 
individual States (``Focused Investment Areas''). Applicants were 
required to address each Focused Investment Area but not each of the 
selection criteria under them.
    In this notice, we propose specific priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria that the Departments could choose 
to use in future competitions. The priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria proposed in this notice are in 
large part identical to those in the FY 2011 notice inviting 
applications.

Proposed Priorities

Changes from the FY 2011 competition

Priority 3
    We propose to revise Priority 3 by deleting sub-bullet (1). This 
change will simplify scoring by requiring all applicants to address the 
KEA in one location in the application: selection criterion (E)(1). The 
revised priority is: ``Understanding the Status of Children's Learning 
and Development at Kindergarten Entry. To meet this priority, the State 
must, in its application address selection criterion (E)(1) and earn a 
score of at least 70 percent of the maximum points available for that 
criterion.''
    The original priority for the reader's reference was: 
``Understanding the Status of Children's Learning and Development at 
Kindergarten Entry.
--To meet this priority, the State must, in its application--
--Demonstrate that it has already implemented a Kindergarten Entry 
Assessment that meets selection criterion (E)(1) by indicating that all 
elements in Table (A)(1)-12 are met; or
--Address selection criterion (E)(1) and earn a score of at least 70 
percent of the maximum points available for that criterion.''
Priority 4
    We propose to revise Priority 4 to emphasize the importance of 
sustaining and building upon early learning outcomes from preschool 
through the early elementary school years. We propose this revision to 
improve all transitions for children across the birth-through-third-
grade continuum and to encourage States to be focused on increasing the 
percentage of children able to read and do mathematics at grade level 
by the end of the third grade. The revised priority is: ``Creating 
Approaches to Sustain Improved Early Learning Outcomes through the 
Early Elementary Grades.
    Priority 4 is designed to sustain and build upon early learning 
outcomes through the early elementary school years. To meet this 
priority, the State must have a High-Quality Plan to improve the 
overall quality, alignment, and continuity of teaching and learning to 
serve children from preschool through third grade by engaging in 
activities such as--
    (a) Enhancing the State's kindergarten-through-third-grade 
standards to align them with the State's Early Learning and Development 
Standards across all Essential Domains of School Readiness;
    (b) Identifying and addressing the health, behavioral, and 
developmental needs of Children with High Needs from preschool through 
third grade;
    (c) Implementing teacher preparation and professional development 
programs and strategies that emphasize developmental science, pedagogy, 
and the delivery of developmentally appropriate content for teachers 
serving children from preschool through grade 3;
    (d) Implementing model systems of collaboration both within and 
between early learning and development programs and elementary schools 
to improve all transitions for children across the birth through third 
grade continuum;
    (e) Building or enhancing data systems to monitor the status of 
children's learning and development from preschool through third grade 
to support student progress in meeting critical educational benchmarks 
in the early elementary grades;
    (f) Initiatives designed to increase the percentage of children who 
are able to

[[Page 29503]]

read and do mathematics at grade level by the end of the third grade; 
and
    (g) Leveraging existing Federal, State, and local resources, 
including but not limited to funds received under Title I and Title II 
of ESEA, as amended, and IDEA.''
    The original priority for the reader's reference was: ``Sustaining 
Program Effects in the Early Elementary Grades.
    The Departments are particularly interested in applications that 
describe the State's High-Quality Plan to sustain and build upon 
improved early learning outcomes throughout the early elementary school 
years, including by--
    (a) Enhancing the State's current standards for kindergarten 
through grade 3 to align them with the Early Learning and Development 
Standards across all Essential Domains of School Readiness;
    (b) Ensuring that transition planning occurs for children moving 
from Early Learning and Development Programs to elementary schools;
    (c) Promoting health and family engagement, including in the early 
grades;
    (d) Increasing the percentage of children who are able to read and 
do mathematics at grade level by the end of the third grade; and
    (e) Leveraging existing Federal, State, and local resources, 
including but not limited to funds received under Title I and Title II 
of ESEA, as amended, and IDEA.''
    Proposed Priorities: The Secretaries propose five priorities. The 
Departments may apply one or more of these priorities in any year in 
which a competition for program funds is held.
    Priority 1: Promoting School Readiness for Children with High 
Needs.
    To meet this proposed priority, the State's application must 
comprehensively and coherently address how the State will build a 
system that increases the quality of Early Learning and Development 
Programs for Children with High Needs so that they enter kindergarten 
ready to succeed.
    The State's application must demonstrate how it will improve the 
quality of Early Learning and Development Programs by integrating and 
aligning resources and policies across Participating State Agencies and 
by designing and implementing a common, statewide Tiered Quality Rating 
and Improvement System. In addition, to achieve the necessary reforms, 
the State must make strategic improvements in those areas that will 
most significantly improve program quality and outcomes for Children 
with High Needs. Therefore, the State must address those criteria from 
within each of the Focused Investment Areas (sections (C) Promoting 
Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children, (D) A Great Early 
Childhood Education Workforce, and (E) Measuring Outcomes and Progress) 
that it believes will best prepare its Children with High Needs for 
kindergarten success.
    Priority 2: Including all Early Learning and Development Programs 
in the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System.
    Proposed Priority 2 is designed to increase the number of children 
from birth to kindergarten entry who are participating in programs that 
are governed by the State's licensing system and quality standards, 
with the goal that all licensed or State-regulated programs will 
participate. The State will meet this priority based on the extent to 
which the State has in place, or has a High-Quality Plan to implement 
no later than June 30th of the fourth year of the grant--
    (a) A licensing and inspection system that covers all programs that 
are not otherwise regulated by the State and that regularly care for 
two or more unrelated children for a fee in a provider setting; 
provided that if the State exempts programs for reasons other than the 
number of children cared for, the State may exclude those entities and 
reviewers will determine whether an applicant has met this priority 
only on the basis of non-excluded entities; and
    (b) A Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System in which all 
licensed or State-regulated Early Learning and Development Programs 
participate.
    Priority 3: Understanding the Status of Children's Learning and 
Development at Kindergarten Entry.
    To meet this proposed priority, the State must, in its application, 
address selection criterion (E)(1) and earn a score of at least 70 
percent of the maximum points available for that criterion.
    Priority 4: Creating Preschool through Third Grade Approaches to 
Sustain Improved Early Learning Outcomes through the Early Elementary 
Grades.
    Proposed Priority 4 is designed to sustain and build upon early 
learning outcomes from preschool through the early elementary school 
years, including by leveraging existing Federal, State, and local 
resources. The State will meet this priority based on the extent to 
which it describes a High-Quality Plan to improve the overall quality, 
alignment, and continuity of teaching and learning to serve children 
from preschool through third grade through such activities as--
    (a) Enhancing the State's kindergarten-through-third-grade 
standards to align them with the State's Early Learning and Development 
Standards across all Essential Domains of School Readiness;
    (b) Identifying and addressing the health, behavioral, and 
developmental needs of Children with High Needs from preschool through 
third grade;
    (c) Implementing teacher preparation and professional development 
programs and strategies that emphasize developmental science, pedagogy, 
and the delivery of developmentally appropriate content for teachers 
serving children from preschool through grade 3;
    (d) Implementing model systems of collaboration both within and 
between early learning and development programs and elementary schools 
to improve all transitions for children across the birth through third 
grade continuum;
    (e) Building or enhancing data systems to monitor the status of 
children's learning and development from preschool through third grade 
to support student progress in meeting critical educational benchmarks 
in the early elementary grades; and
    (f) Other efforts designed to increase the percentage of children 
who are able to read and do mathematics at grade level by the end of 
the third grade.
    Priority 5: Encouraging Private-Sector Support.
    The State will meet this priority based on the extent to which it 
describes how the private sector will provide financial and other 
resources to support the State and its Participating State Agencies or 
Participating Programs in the implementation of the State Plan.

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

[[Page 29504]]

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)).

Proposed Eligibility Requirements

Changes from the FY 2011 competition

Eligibility Requirement 1(a)
    We propose to eliminate the eligibility requirement requiring an 
operational State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and 
Care due to the elimination of Federal funding for this activity and 
the difficulty in determining whether a State has an operational State 
Advisory Council at the time of application. We have made this a 
program requirement instead, which will mean that the Council does not 
need to be operational at the time of application but must be 
reinstated or maintained throughout the grant period.
    We also propose to add a new eligibility requirement excluding 
States that previously received funding for a RTT-ELC grant. This 
proposed eligibility requirement would increase the number of States 
with ambitious early learning reforms that promote early learning and 
development outcomes for all children.
    The revised eligibility requirement is: The State has not 
previously received an RTT-ELC grant.
Eligibility Requirement (1)(c)
    In eligibility requirement (1)(c), we propose a revision that 
states the applicant must have an active Maternal, Infant, and Early 
Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program in the State. In the FY 2011 
competition, we required applicants to have submitted their MIECHV 
plans for FY 2010 and an application for formula funding under the 
MIECHV program. However, we are proposing to update this requirement to 
reflect that all States that currently have an active MIECHV program 
would be eligible for funding.
    The revised eligibility requirement is: ``(c) There must be an 
active Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) 
program in the State, either through the State under section 511(c) of 
Title V of the Social Security Act, as added by section 2951 of the 
Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148), or through an eligible 
non-profit organization under section 511(h)(2)(B).)).
    The original eligibility requirement for the reader's reference 
was: ``(c) The State must have submitted in FY 2010 an updated MIECHV 
State plan and FY 2011 Application for formula funding under the 
Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (see 
section 511 of Title V of the Social Security Act, as added by section 
2951 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-148)).''
    Proposed Eligibility Requirements: The Secretaries propose the 
following requirements a State must meet in order to be eligible to 
receive funds under this competition. We may apply one or more of these 
requirements in any year in which this program is in effect.
    1. Eligible Applicants: States that meet the following 
requirements:
    (a) The State has not previously received an RTT-ELC grant.
    (b) The Lead Agency must have executed with each Participating 
State Agency a memorandum of understanding (MOU) or other binding 
agreement that the State must attach to its application, describing the 
Participating State Agency's level of participation in the grant. At a 
minimum, the MOU or other binding agreement must include an assurance 
that the Participating State Agency agrees to use, to the extent 
applicable--
    (1) A set of statewide Early Learning and Development Standards;
    (2) A set of statewide Program Standards;
    (3) A statewide Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System; and
    (4) A statewide Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework and 
progression of credentials.
    (c) There must be an active Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood 
Home Visiting (MIECHV) program in the State, either through the State 
under section 511(c) of Title V of the Social Security Act, as added by 
section 2951 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148), or 
through an eligible non-profit organization under section 511(h)(2)(B).

Proposed Application Requirements

    Changes from the FY 2011 Competition: The Departments are not 
proposing any substantive changes to the application requirements that 
were included in the FY 2011 competition; however we made minor 
language changes for clarity.
    The Secretaries propose the following application requirements for 
the application a State would submit for funding under this 
competition. We may apply one or more of these requirements in any year 
in which this program is in effect.
    Each applicant must meet the following application requirements:
    (a) The State's application must be signed by the Governor or an 
authorized representative; an authorized representative from the Lead 
Agency; and an authorized representative from each Participating State 
Agency.
    (b) The State must submit a certification from the State Attorney 
General or an authorized representative that the State's description 
of, and statements and conclusions in its application concerning, State 
law, statute, and regulation are complete and accurate and constitute a 
reasonable interpretation of State law, statute, and regulation.
    (c) The State must complete the budget spreadsheets that are 
provided in the application package and submit the completed 
spreadsheet as part of its application. These spreadsheets should be 
included on the CD or DVD that the State submits as its application.
    (d) The State must submit preliminary scopes of work for each 
Participating State Agency as part of the executed MOU or other binding 
agreement. Each preliminary scope of work must describe the portions of 
the State's proposed plans that the Participating State Agency is 
agreeing to implement. If a State is awarded a RTT-ELC grant, the State 
will have up to 90 days to complete final scopes of work for each 
Participating State Agency.
    (e) The State must include a budget that details how it will use 
grant funds awarded under this competition, and funds from other 
Federal, State, private, and local sources to achieve the outcomes of 
the State Plan (as described in proposed selection criterion 
(A)(4)(a)), and how the State will use funds awarded under this program 
to--
    (1) Achieve its ambitious yet achievable targets for increasing the 
number and percentage of Early Learning and Development Programs that 
are participating in the State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement 
System (as described in selection criterion (B)(2)(c)); and
    (2) Achieve its ambitious yet achievable targets for increasing the 
number and percentage of Children with High Needs who are enrolled in 
Early Learning and Development Programs that are in the top tiers of 
the State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (as described 
in selection criterion (B)(4)(c)).
    (f) The State must provide an overall summary for the State Plan 
and a rationale for why it has chosen to address the selected criteria 
in each Focused Investment Area, including--
     How the State's choices build on its progress to date in 
each Focused Investment Area (as outlined in Tables

[[Page 29505]]

(A)(1) 6-13 and the narrative under (A)(1)); and
     Why these selected criteria will best achieve the State's 
ambitious yet achievable goals for improving program quality, improving 
outcomes for Children with High Needs statewide, and closing the 
educational gaps between Children with High Needs and their peers.
    (g) The State, within each Focused Investment Area, must select and 
address--
     Two or more selection criteria within Focused Investment 
Area (C) Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for 
Children; and
     One or more selection criteria within Focused Investment 
Areas (D) A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce and (E) Measuring 
Outcomes and Progress.
    (h) Where the State is submitting a High-Quality Plan, the State 
must include in its application a detailed plan that is feasible and 
includes, but need not be limited to--
    (1) The key goals;
    (2) The key activities to be undertaken; the rationale for the 
activities; and, if applicable, where in the State the activities will 
be initially implemented, and where and how they will be scaled up over 
time to eventually achieve statewide implementation;
    (3) A realistic timeline, including key milestones, for 
implementing each key activity;
    (4) The party or parties responsible for implementing each activity 
and other key personnel assigned to each activity;
    (5) Appropriate financial resources to support successful 
implementation of the plan;
    (6) The information requested as supporting evidence, if any, 
together with any additional information the State believes will be 
helpful to peer reviewers in judging the credibility of the plan;
    (7) The information requested or required in the performance 
measures, where applicable;
    (8) How the State will address the needs of the different types of 
Early Learning and Development Programs, if applicable; and
    (9) How the State will meet the unique needs of Children with High 
Needs.

Proposed Program Requirements

Changes From the FY 2011 Competition

Program Requirement (a)
    In program requirement (a), we propose requiring States to have an 
operational State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and 
Care that meets the requirements described in section 642B(b) of the 
Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9837(b)). The coordinated system of early 
learning and development plays a unique and important role interweaving 
the work required by the RTT-ELC grant. In addition, the State Advisory 
Council on Early Childhood Education and Care must include the State's 
Child Care and Development Fund administrator; State agency 
coordinators from both Part B section 619 and Part C of IDEA, and State 
agency representatives responsible for health and mental health. These 
State agency representatives explicitly oversee the child care work in 
the States and their participation adds value and raises the bar 
because of their content knowledge on child care subsidy, quality, and 
Quality Rating and Improvement System development.
    We further propose to reorganize this program requirement into 
three paragraphs. Paragraph (a) Will address the State Advisory Council 
on Early Childhood Education and Care, paragraph (b) will address the 
IDEA, Part B and Part C programs and the Child Care Development 
Program, and paragraph (c) will require States to have an active 
Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program 
for the duration of the grant. The remaining paragraphs in this 
requirement will be redesignated accordingly. These proposed changes 
will ensure State agencies continue to meet throughout the duration of 
their grant to assess implementation of their early learning activities 
for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
    The revised Program Requirements are: ``(a) The State must have an 
operational State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and 
Care that meets the requirements described in section 642B(b) of the 
Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9837(b)). In addition, the State Advisory 
Council on Early Childhood Education and Care must include the State's 
Child Care and Development Fund administrator, State agency 
coordinators from both Part B, section 619 and Part C of IDEA, and 
State agency representatives responsible for health and mental health;
    (b) The State must continue to participate in the programs 
authorized under section 619 of Part B of IDEA and Part C of IDEA and 
in the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) program.
    (c) States must continue to have an active Maternal, Infant, and 
Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program (pursuant to section 511 
of Title V of the Social Security Act, as added by section 2951 of the 
Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148)) for the duration of the 
grant, whether operated by the State or by an eligible non-profit 
organization.''
    The original program requirements were: ``(a) The State must 
continue to participate in the programs authorized under section 619 of 
Part B of IDEA and Part C of IDEA; in the CCDF program; and in the 
Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program 
(pursuant to section 511 of Title V of the Social Security Act, as 
added by section 2951 of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-
148)) for the duration of the grant.''
    Proposed Program Requirements: The Secretaries propose the 
following program requirements for States receiving funds under this 
competition. We may apply one or more of these requirements in any year 
in which this program is in effect.
    (a) The State must have an operational State Advisory Council on 
Early Childhood Education and Care that meets the requirements 
described in section 642B(b) of the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9837(b)). 
In addition, the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education 
and Care must include the State's Child Care and Development Fund 
administrator, State agency coordinators from both Part B section 619 
and Part C of IDEA, and State agency representatives responsible for 
health and mental health.
    (b) The State must continue to participate in the programs 
authorized under section 619 of Part B of IDEA and Part C of IDEA and 
in the CCDF program.
    (c) States must continue to have an active Maternal, Infant, and 
Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program (pursuant to section 511 
of Title V of the Social Security Act, as added by section 2951 of the 
Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148)) for the duration of the 
grant, whether operated by the State or by an eligible non-profit 
organization.
    (d) The State is prohibited from spending funds from the grant on 
the direct delivery of health services.
    (e) The State must participate in RTT-ELC grantee technical 
assistance activities facilitated by ED or HHS, individually or in 
collaboration with other State grantees in order to share effective 
program practices and solutions and collaboratively solve problems, and 
must set aside $400,000 from its grant funds for this purpose.
    (f) The State must--
    (1) Comply with the requirements of any evaluation sponsored by ED 
or HHS

[[Page 29506]]

of any of the State's activities carried out with the grant;
    (2) Comply with the requirements of any cross-State evaluation--as 
part of a consortium of States--of any of the State's proposed reforms, 
if that evaluation is coordinated or funded by ED or HHS, including by 
using common measures and data collection instruments and collecting 
data necessary to the evaluation;
    (3) Together with its independent evaluator, if any, cooperate with 
any technical assistance regarding evaluations provided by ED or HHS. 
The purpose of this technical assistance will be to ensure that the 
validation of the State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System 
and any other evaluations conducted by States or their independent 
evaluators, if any, are of the highest quality and to encourage 
commonality in approaches where such commonality is feasible and 
useful;
    (4) Submit to ED and HHS for review and comment its design for the 
validation of its Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (as 
described in selection criteria (B)(5)) and any other evaluations of 
activities included in the State Plan, including any activities that 
are part of the State's Focused Investment Areas, as applicable; and
    (5) Make widely available through formal (e.g., peer-reviewed 
journals) or informal (e.g., newsletters) mechanisms, and in print or 
electronically, the results of any evaluations it conducts of its 
funded activities.
    (g) The State must have a longitudinal data system that includes 
the 12 elements described in section 6401(e)(2)(D) of the America 
COMPETES Act by the date required under the State Fiscal Stabilization 
Fund (SFSF) grant and in accordance with Indicator (b)(1) of its 
approved SFSF plan.
    (h) The State must comply with the requirements of all applicable 
Federal, State, and local privacy laws, including the requirements of 
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Health Insurance 
Portability Accountability Act, and the privacy requirements in IDEA, 
and their applicable regulations.
    (i) The State must ensure that the grant activities are implemented 
in accordance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws.
    (j) The State must provide researchers with access, consistent with 
the requirements of all applicable Federal State, and local privacy 
laws, to data from its Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System and 
from the Statewide Longitudinal Data System and the State's coordinated 
early learning data system (if applicable) so that they can analyze the 
State's quality improvement efforts and answer key policy and practice 
questions.
    (k) Unless otherwise protected as proprietary information by 
Federal or State law or a specific written agreement, the State must 
make any work (e.g., materials, tools, processes, systems) developed 
under its grant freely available to the public, including by posting 
the work on a Web site identified or sponsored by ED or HHS. Any Web 
sites developed under this grant must meet government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility (www.section508.gov/).
    (l) Funds made available under an RTT-ELC grant must be used to 
supplement, not supplant, any Federal, State, or local funds that, in 
the absence of the funds awarded under this grant, would be available 
for increasing access to and improving the quality of Early Learning 
and Development Programs.
    (m) For a State that is awarded an RTT-ELC grant, the State will 
have up to 90 days from the grant award notification date to complete 
final scopes of work for each Participating State Agency. These final 
scopes of work must contain detailed work plans that are consistent 
with their corresponding preliminary scopes of work and with the 
State's grant application, and must include the Participating State 
Agency's specific goals, activities, timelines, budgets, key personnel, 
and annual targets for key performance measures for the portions of the 
State's proposed plans that the Participating State Agency is agreeing 
to implement.

Proposed Budget Requirements

Changes From the FY 2011 competition

Budget Requirement
    We propose reducing the funding band amounts from the FY 2011 
levels to maximize the number of States that we can fund while 
providing each winning State with a large enough grant to support 
comprehensive plans. As in the FY 2011 competition, the Departments 
developed the following categories by ranking every State according to 
its share of the national population of children ages birth through 
five years old from Low-Income families and identifying the natural 
breaks in the rank order. Then, based on population, budget caps were 
developed for each category.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, 2009. 
American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year Public Use Microdata Sample 
(PUMS) data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposed Budget Requirements
    The Secretaries propose the following budget requirements for 
States receiving funds under this competition. We may apply these 
requirements in any year in which this program is in effect.
    Category 1--Up to $75 million-- Florida, New York, Texas.
    Category 2--Up to $52.5 million--Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, 
Pennsylvania.
    Category 3--Up to $45 million--Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, 
Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, 
Tennessee, Virginia.
    Category 4--Up to $37.5 million--Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, 
District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, 
Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, 
Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Proposed Definitions
    Changes from the FY 2011 competition: The Departments are not 
proposing any substantive changes to the definitions used in the FY 
2011 competition. We propose only minor changes were made to the 
definitions of the terms ``High Quality Plan'' and to ``Participating 
State Agency'' to provide clarity.
    Proposed Definitions: The Secretaries propose the following 
definitions for this program. We may apply one or more of these 
definitions in any year in which this program is in effect.
    Children with High Needs means children from birth through 
kindergarten entry who are from Low-Income families or otherwise in 
need of special assistance and support, including children who have 
disabilities or developmental delays; who are English learners; who 
reside on ``Indian lands'' as that term is defined by section 8013(6) 
of the ESEA; who are migrant, homeless, or in foster care; and other 
children as identified by the State.
    Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) means voluntary, common 
standards for a key set of education data elements (e.g., demographics, 
program participation, transition, course information) at the early 
learning, K-12, and postsecondary levels developed through a national 
collaborative effort being led by the National Center for Education 
Statistics. CEDS focus on standard definitions, code sets, and 
technical specifications of a subset of key data elements and are 
designed to increase data interoperability, portability, and 
comparability across Early Learning and Development Programs and 
agencies, States, local

[[Page 29507]]

educational agencies, and postsecondary institutions.
    Comprehensive Assessment System means a coordinated and 
comprehensive system of multiple assessments, each of which is valid 
and reliable for its specified purpose and for the population with 
which it will be used, that organizes information about the process and 
context of young children's learning and development in order to help 
Early Childhood Educators make informed instructional and programmatic 
decisions and that conforms to the recommendations of the National 
Research Council reports on early childhood.
    A Comprehensive Assessment System includes, at a minimum--
    (a) Screening Measures;
    (b) Formative Assessments;
    (c) Measures of Environmental Quality; and
    (d) Measures of the Quality of Adult-Child Interactions.
    Data System Oversight Requirements means policies for ensuring the 
quality, privacy, and integrity of data contained in a data system, 
including--
    (a) A data governance policy that identifies the elements that are 
collected and maintained; provides for training on internal controls to 
system users; establishes who will have access to the data in the 
system and how the data may be used; sets appropriate internal controls 
to restrict access to only authorized users; sets criteria for 
determining the legitimacy of data requests; establishes processes that 
verify the accuracy, completeness, and age of the data elements 
maintained in the system; sets procedures for determining the 
sensitivity of each inventoried element and the risk of harm if those 
data were improperly disclosed; and establishes procedures for 
disclosure review and auditing; and
    (b) A transparency policy that informs the public, including 
families, Early Childhood Educators, and programs, of the existence of 
data systems that house personally identifiable information, explains 
what data elements are included in such a system, enables parental 
consent to disclose personally identifiable information as appropriate, 
and describes allowable and potential uses of the data.
    Early Childhood Educator means any professional working in an Early 
Learning and Development Program, including but not limited to center-
based and family child care providers; infant and toddler specialists; 
early intervention specialists and early childhood special educators; 
home visitors; related services providers; administrators such as 
directors, supervisors, and other early learning and development 
leaders; Head Start teachers; Early Head Start teachers; preschool and 
other teachers; teacher assistants; family service staff; and health 
coordinators.
    Early Learning and Development Program means any (a) State-licensed 
or State-regulated program or provider, regardless of setting or 
funding source, that provides early care and education for children 
from birth to kindergarten entry, including, but not limited to, any 
program operated by a child care center or in a family child care home; 
(b) preschool program funded by the Federal Government or State or 
local educational agencies (including any IDEA-funded program); (c) 
Early Head Start and Head Start program; and (d) a non-relative child 
care provider who is not otherwise regulated by the State and who 
regularly cares for two or more unrelated children for a fee in a 
provider setting. A State should include in this definition other 
programs that may deliver early learning and development services in a 
child's home, such as the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home 
Visiting; Early Head Start; and Part C of IDEA.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ Note: Such home-based programs and services will most 
likely not participate in the State's Tiered Quality Rating and 
Improvement System unless the State has developed a set of Tiered 
Program Standards specifically for home-based programs and services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Early Learning and Development Standards means a set of 
expectations, guidelines, or developmental milestones that--
    (a) Describe what all children from birth to kindergarten entry 
should know and be able to do and their disposition toward learning;
    (b) Are appropriate for each age group (e.g., infants, toddlers, 
and preschoolers); for English learners; and for children with 
disabilities or developmental delays;
    (c) Cover all Essential Domains of School Readiness; and
    (d) Are universally designed and developmentally, culturally, and 
linguistically appropriate.
    Early Learning Intermediary Organization means a national, 
statewide, regional, or community-based organization that represents 
one or more networks of Early Learning and Development Programs in the 
State and that has influence or authority over them. Such Early 
Learning Intermediary Organizations include, but are not limited to, 
Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies; State Head Start 
Associations; Family Child Care Associations; State affiliates of the 
National Association for the Education of Young Children; State 
affiliates of the Council for Exceptional Children's Division of Early 
Childhood; statewide or regional union affiliates that represent Early 
Childhood Educators; affiliates of the National Migrant and Seasonal 
Head Start Association; the National Tribal, American Indian, and 
Alaskan Native Head Start Association; and the National Indian Child 
Care Association.
    Essential Data Elements means the critical child, program, and 
workforce data elements of a coordinated early learning data system, 
including--
    (a) A unique statewide child identifier or another highly accurate, 
proven method to link data on that child, including Kindergarten Entry 
Assessment data, to and from the Statewide Longitudinal Data System and 
the coordinated early learning data system (if applicable);
    (b) A unique statewide Early Childhood Educator identifier;
    (c) A unique program site identifier;
    (d) Child and family demographic information, including indicators 
identifying the criteria that States use to determine whether a child 
is a Child with High Needs;
    (e) Early Childhood Educator demographic information, including 
data on educational attainment and State credential or licenses held, 
as well as professional development information;
    (f) Program-level data on the program's structure, quality, child 
suspension and expulsion rates, staff retention, staff compensation, 
work environment, and all applicable data reported as part of the 
State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System; and
    (g) Child-level program participation and attendance data.
    Essential Domains of School Readiness means the domains of language 
and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge (including 
early mathematics and early scientific development), approaches toward 
learning, physical well-being and motor development (including adaptive 
skills), and social and emotional development.
    Formative Assessment (also known as a classroom-based or ongoing 
assessment) means assessment questions, tools, and processes--
    (a) That are--
    (1) Specifically designed to monitor children's progress in meeting 
the Early Learning and Development Standards;
    (2) Valid and reliable for their intended purposes and their target 
populations; and

[[Page 29508]]

    (3) Linked directly to the curriculum; and
    (b) The results of which are used to guide and improve 
instructional practices.
    High-Quality Plan means any plan developed by the State to address 
a selection criterion or priority in this notice that is feasible and 
has a high probability of successful implementation and at a minimum 
includes--
    (a) The key goals;
    (b) The key activities to be undertaken; the rationale for the 
activities; and, if applicable, where in the State the activities will 
be initially implemented, and where and how they will be scaled up over 
time to eventually achieve statewide implementation;
    (c) A realistic timeline, including key milestones, for 
implementing each key activity;
    (d) The party or parties responsible for implementing each activity 
and other key personnel assigned to each activity;
    (e) Appropriate financial resources to support successful 
implementation of the plan;
    (f) The information requested as supporting evidence, if any, 
together with any additional information the State believes will be 
helpful to peer reviewers in judging the credibility of the plan;
    (g) The information requested in the performance measures, where 
applicable;
    (h) How the State will address the needs of the different types of 
Early Learning and Development Programs, if applicable; and
    (i) How the State will meet the needs of Children with High Needs.
    Kindergarten Entry Assessment means an assessment that--
    (a) Is administered to children during the first few months of 
their admission into kindergarten;
    (b) Covers all Essential Domains of School Readiness;
    (c) Is used in conformance with the recommendations of the National 
Research Council\11\ reports on early childhood; and
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ National Research Council. (2008). Early Childhood 
Assessment: Why, What, and How. Committee on Developmental Outcomes 
and Assessments for Young Children, C.E. Snow and S.B. Van Hemel, 
Editors. Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Board on Testing 
and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and 
Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 
www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12446.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (d) Is valid and reliable for its intended purposes and for the 
target populations and aligned to the Early Learning and Development 
Standards.
    Results of the assessment should be used to inform efforts to close 
the school readiness gap at kindergarten entry and to inform 
instruction in the early elementary school grades. This assessment 
should not be used to prevent children's entry into kindergarten.
    Lead Agency means the State-level agency designated by the Governor 
for the administration of the RTT-ELC grant; this agency is the fiscal 
agent for the grant. The Lead Agency must be one of the Participating 
State Agencies.
    Low-Income means having an income of up to 200 percent of the 
Federal poverty rate.
    Measures of Environmental Quality means valid and reliable 
indicators of the overall quality of the early learning environment.
    Measures of the Quality of Adult-Child Interactions means the 
measures obtained through valid and reliable processes for observing 
how teachers and caregivers interact with children, where such 
processes are designed to promote child learning and to identify 
strengths and areas for improvement for early learning professionals.
    Participating State Agency means a State agency that administers 
public funds related to early learning and development and is 
participating in the State Plan. The following State agencies are 
required Participating State Agencies: the agencies that administer or 
supervise the administration of CCDF, the section 619 of Part B of IDEA 
and Part C of IDEA programs, State-funded preschool, home visiting, 
Title I of ESEA, the Head Start State Collaboration Grant, and the 
Title V Maternal and Child Care Block Grant, the State's Child Care 
Licensing Agency, and the State Education Agency. Other State agencies, 
such as the agencies that administer or supervise the administration of 
Child Welfare, Mental Health, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
(TANF), Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, the Child and Adult 
Care Food Program, and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act 
(AEFLA) may be Participating State Agencies if they elect to 
participate in the State Plan as well as the State Advisory Council on 
Early Childhood Education and Care.
    Participating Program means an Early Learning and Development 
Program that elects to carry out activities described in the State 
Plan.
    Program Standards means the standards that serve as the basis for a 
Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System and define differentiated 
levels of quality for Early Learning and Development Programs. Program 
Standards are expressed, at a minimum, by the extent to which--
    (a) Early Learning and Development Standards are implemented 
through evidence-based activities, interventions, or curricula that are 
appropriate for each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers;
    (b) Comprehensive Assessment Systems are used routinely and 
appropriately to improve instruction and enhance program quality by 
providing robust and coherent evidence of--
    (1) Children's learning and development outcomes; and
    (2) Program performance;
    (c) A qualified workforce improves young children's health, social, 
emotional, and educational outcomes;
    (d) Strategies are successfully used to engage families in 
supporting their children's development and learning. These strategies 
may include, but are not limited to, parent access to the program, 
ongoing two-way communication with families, parent education in child 
development, outreach to fathers and other family members, training and 
support for families as children move to preschool and kindergarten, 
social networks of support, intergenerational activities, linkages with 
community supports and adult and family literacy programs, parent 
involvement in decision making, and parent leadership development;
    (e) Health promotion practices include health and safety 
requirements; developmental, behavioral, and sensory screening, 
referral, and follow up; and the promotion of physical activity, 
healthy eating habits, oral health and behavioral health, and health 
literacy among parents; and
    (f) Effective data practices include gathering Essential Data 
Elements and entering them into the State's Statewide Longitudinal Data 
System or other early learning data system, using these data to guide 
instruction and program improvement, and making this information 
readily available to families.
    Screening Measures means age and developmentally appropriate, 
valid, and reliable instruments that are used to identify children who 
may need follow-up services to address developmental, learning, or 
health needs in, at a minimum, the areas of physical health, behavioral 
health, oral health, child development, vision, and hearing.
    State means any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 
Puerto Rico.
    State Plan means the plan submitted as part of the State's RTT-ELC 
application.

[[Page 29509]]

    Statewide Longitudinal Data System means the State's longitudinal 
education data system that collects and maintains detailed, high-
quality, student- and staff-level data that are linked across entities 
and that over time provide a complete academic and performance history 
for each student. The Statewide Longitudinal Data System is typically 
housed within the State educational agency but includes or can be 
connected to early childhood, postsecondary, and labor data.
    Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System means the system 
through which the State uses a set of progressively higher Program 
Standards to evaluate the quality of an Early Learning and Development 
Program and to support program improvement. A Tiered Quality Rating and 
Improvement System consists of four components: (a) Tiered Program 
Standards with multiple rating categories that clearly and meaningfully 
differentiate program quality levels; (b) monitoring to evaluate 
program quality based on the Program Standards; (c) supports to help 
programs meet progressively higher standards (e.g., through training, 
technical assistance, financial support); and (d) program quality 
ratings that are publically available; and includes a process for 
validating the system.
    Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework means a set of 
expectations that describes what Early Childhood Educators (including 
those working with children with disabilities and English learners) 
should know and be able to do. The Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework, at a minimum, (a) Is evidence-based; (b) incorporates 
knowledge and application of the State's Early Learning and Development 
Standards, the Comprehensive Assessment Systems, child development, 
health, and culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies for 
working with families; (c) includes knowledge of early mathematics and 
literacy development and effective instructional practices to support 
mathematics and literacy development in young children; (d) 
incorporates effective use of data to guide instruction and program 
improvement; (e) includes effective behavior management strategies that 
promote positive social emotional development and reduce challenging 
behaviors; and (f) incorporates feedback from experts at the State's 
postsecondary institutions and other early learning and development 
experts and Early Childhood Educators.

Proposed Selection Criteria

Changes from the FY 2011 competition

Selection Criteria A(1)(a); A(1)(b); and (E)(1)(c)
    Regarding selection criteria A(1)(a), A(1)(b), and (E)(1)(c), we 
propose two minor changes for the purpose of demonstrating past 
commitment. Successful State Systems selection criteria A(1)(a) and 
A(1)(b) have been updated to remove the reference to ``January 2007'' 
and change it to ``the previous five years.'' Additionally, in the 
Measuring Outcomes and Process selection criterion (E)(1)(c), we have 
updated the school year referenced from ``2014-2015'' to ``ending 
during the fourth year of the grant.''
Selection Criteria (D)(2)(a)
    In A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce selection criterion 
(D)(2)(a), additional language was added requiring proposed 
professional development opportunities be supported by evidence (e.g., 
evaluations, developmental theory, or data or information) 
demonstrating improved outcomes for Children with High Needs.
    The revised selection criterion is: (a) Providing and expanding 
access to effective professional development opportunities that--
    (1) Are aligned with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework;
    (2) Tightly link training with professional development approaches, 
such as coaching and mentoring; and
    (3) Are supported by strong evidence (e.g. available evaluations, 
developmental theory, and/or data or information) as to why these 
policies and incentives will be effective in improving outcomes for 
Children with High Needs.
    The original selection criterion for the reader's reference was: 
``(a) Providing and expanding access to effective professional 
development opportunities that are aligned with the State's Workforce 
Knowledge and Competency Framework;''.
Selection Criterion (D)(2)(b)
    Additional language has been incorporated into selection criterion 
(D)(2)(b) of criteria (D)(2) Supporting Early Childhood Educators in 
improving their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The new language 
would require strong evidence as to why these policies and incentives 
will be effective in improving child outcomes.
    The revised selection criterion is: (b) Implementing effective 
policies and incentives (e.g., scholarships, compensation and wage 
supplements, tiered reimbursement rates, other financial incentives, 
management opportunities) to promote professional improvement and 
career advancement along an articulated career pathway that--
    (1) Are aligned with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework;
    (2) Tightly link training with professional development approaches, 
such as coaching and mentoring; and
    (3) Are supported by strong evidence (e.g. available evaluations, 
developmental theory, or data or information) as to why these policies 
and incentives will be effective in improving outcomes for Children 
with High Needs.
    The original selection criterion for the reader's reference was: 
(b) Implementing policies and incentives (e.g., scholarships, 
compensation and wage supplements, tiered reimbursement rates, other 
financial incentives, management opportunities) that promote 
professional improvement and career advancement along an articulated 
career pathway that is aligned with the Workforce Knowledge and 
Competency Framework, and that are designed to increase retention.
Proposed Selection Criteria
    The Secretaries propose the following selection criteria for 
evaluating an application under this program. We may apply one or more 
of these criteria in any year in which this program is in effect. The 
Secretaries propose that they may use:
     One or more of the selection criteria established in the 
notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria;
     Any of the selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210;
     Criteria based on the statutory requirements for the RTT-
ECL program in accordance with 34 CFR 75.209; or
     Any combination of these when establishing selection 
criteria for any RTT-ELC competition.
    The Secretaries propose that they may further define each criterion 
by selecting specific factors for it. The Secretaries may select these 
factors from any selection criterion in the list below. In the notice 
inviting applications, the application package, or both we will 
announce the specific selection criteria that apply to a competition 
and the maximum possible points assigned to each criterion.
    Core Areas--Sections (A) (Successful State Systems) and (B) (High-
Quality, Accountable Programs) States must

[[Page 29510]]

address in their application all of the selection criteria in the Core 
Areas.
A. Successful State Systems
    (A)(1) Demonstrating past commitment to early learning and 
development.
    The extent to which the State has demonstrated past commitment to 
and investment in high-quality, accessible Early Learning and 
Development Programs and services for Children with High Needs, as 
evidenced by the State's--
    (a) Financial investment, from five years ago to the present, in 
Early Learning and Development Programs, including the amount of these 
investments in relation to the size of the State's population of 
Children with High Needs during this time period;
    (b) Increasing, from the previous five years to the present, the 
number of Children with High Needs participating in Early Learning and 
Development Programs;
    (c) Existing early learning and development legislation, policies, 
or practices; and
    (d) Current status in key areas that form the building blocks for a 
high quality early learning and development system, including Early 
Learning and Development Standards, Comprehensive Assessment Systems, 
health promotion practices, family engagement strategies, the 
development of Early Childhood Educators, Kindergarten Entry 
Assessments, and effective data practices.
    Evidence for (A)(1):
     The number and percentage of children from Low-Income 
families in the State, by age;
     The number and percentage of Children with High Needs from 
special populations in the State; and
     The number of Children with High Needs in the State who 
are enrolled in Early Learning and Development Programs, by age.
     Data currently available, if any, on the status of 
children at kindergarten entry (across Essential Domains of School 
Readiness, if available), including data on the readiness gap between 
Children with High Needs and their peers.
     Data currently available, if any, on program quality 
across different types of Early Learning and Development Programs.
     The number of Children with High Needs participating in 
each type of Early Learning and Development Program for each of the 
previous five years to the present.
     The number of Children with High Needs participating in 
each type of Early Learning and Development Program for each of the 
previous five years to the present.
     The current status of the State's Early Learning and 
Development Standards, for each of the Essential Domains of School 
Readiness, by age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
     The elements of a Comprehensive Assessment System 
currently required within the State by different types of Early 
Learning and Development Programs or systems.
     The elements of high-quality health promotion practices 
currently required within the State by different types of Early 
Learning and Development Programs or systems.
     The elements of a high-quality family engagement strategy 
currently required within the State by different types of Early 
Learning and Development Programs or systems.
     All early learning and development workforce credentials 
currently available in the State, including whether credentials are 
aligned with a State Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework and 
the number and percentage of Early Childhood Educators who have each 
type of credential.
     The current status of postsecondary institutions and other 
professional development providers in the State that issue credentials 
or degrees to Early Childhood Educators.
     The current status of the State's Kindergarten Entry 
Assessment.
     All early learning and development data systems currently 
used in the State.
    Performance Measures for (A)(1):
     None required.
    (A)(2) Articulating the State's rationale for its early learning 
and development reform agenda and goals.
    The extent to which the State clearly articulates a comprehensive 
early learning and development reform agenda that is ambitious yet 
achievable, builds on the State's progress to date (as demonstrated in 
selection criterion (A)(1)), is likely to result in improved school 
readiness for Children with High Needs, and includes--
    (a) Ambitious yet achievable goals for improving program quality, 
improving outcomes for Children with High Needs statewide, and closing 
the educational gaps between Children with High Needs and their peers;
    (b) An overall summary of the State Plan that clearly articulates 
how the High-Quality Plans proposed under each selection criterion, 
when taken together, constitute an effective reform agenda that 
establishes a clear and credible path toward achieving these goals; and
    (c) A specific rationale that justifies the State's choice to 
address the selected criteria in each Focused Investment Area (C), (D), 
and (E), including why these selected criteria will best achieve these 
goals.
    Evidence for (A)(2):
     The State's goals for improving program quality statewide 
over the period of this grant.
     The State's goals for improving child outcomes statewide 
over the period of this grant.
     The State's goals for closing the readiness gap between 
Children with High Needs and their peers at kindergarten entry.
     Identification of the two or more selection criteria that 
the State has chosen to address in Focused Investment Area (C).
     Identification of the one or more selection criteria that 
the State has chosen to address in Focused Investment Area (D).
     Identification of the one or more selection criteria that 
the State has chosen to address in Focused Investment Area (E).
     For each Focused Investment Area (C), (D), and (E), a 
description of the State's rationale for choosing to address the 
selected criteria in that Focused Investment Area, including how the 
State's choices build on its progress to date in each Focused 
Investment Area (as outlined in the narrative under (A)(1) in the 
application) and why these selected criteria will best achieve the 
State's ambitious yet achievable goals for improving program quality, 
improving outcomes for Children with High Needs statewide, and closing 
the educational gap between Children with High Needs and their peers.
    Performance Measures for (A)(2):
     None required.
    (A)(3) Aligning and coordinating early learning and development 
across the State.
    The extent to which the State has established, or has a High-
Quality Plan to establish, strong participation in and commitment to 
the State Plan by Participating State Agencies and other early learning 
and development stakeholders by--
    (a) Demonstrating how the Participating State Agencies and other 
partners, if any, will identify a governance structure for working 
together that will facilitate interagency coordination, streamline 
decision making, effectively allocate resources, and create long-term 
sustainability, and describing--

[[Page 29511]]

    (1) The organizational structure for managing the grant and how it 
builds upon existing interagency governance structures such as 
children's cabinets, councils, and commissions, if any already exist 
and are effective;
    (2) The governance-related roles and responsibilities of the Lead 
Agency, the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and 
Care, each Participating State Agency, and the State's Interagency 
Coordinating Council for Part C of IDEA, and other partners, if any;
    (3) The method and process for making different types of decisions 
(e.g., policy, operational) and resolving disputes; and
    (4) The plan for when and how the State will involve 
representatives from Participating Programs, Early Childhood Educators 
or their representatives, parents and families, including parents and 
families of Children with High Needs, and other key stakeholders in the 
planning and implementation of the activities carried out under the 
grant;
    (b) Demonstrating that the Participating State Agencies are 
strongly committed to the State Plan, to the governance structure of 
the grant, and to effective implementation of the State Plan, by 
including in the MOUs or other binding agreements between the State and 
each Participating State Agency--
    (1) Terms and conditions that reflect a strong commitment to the 
State Plan by each Participating State Agency, including terms and 
conditions designed to align and leverage the Participating State 
Agencies' existing funding to support the State Plan;
    (2) ``Scope-of-work'' descriptions that require each Participating 
State Agency to implement all applicable portions of the State Plan and 
a description of efforts to maximize the number of Early Learning and 
Development Programs that become Participating Programs; and
    (3) A signature from an authorized representative of each 
Participating State Agency; and
    (c) Demonstrating commitment to the State Plan from a broad group 
of stakeholders that will assist the State in reaching the ambitious 
yet achievable goals outlined in response to selection criterion 
(A)(2)(a), including by obtaining--
    (1) Detailed and persuasive letters of intent or support from Early 
Learning Intermediary Organizations, and, if applicable, local early 
learning councils; and
    (2) Letters of intent or support from such other stakeholders as 
Early Childhood Educators or their representatives; the State's 
legislators; local community leaders; State or local school boards; 
representatives of private and faith-based early learning programs; 
other State and local leaders (e.g., business, community, tribal, civil 
rights, education association leaders); adult education and family 
literacy State and local leaders; family and community organizations; 
representatives from the disability community, the English learner 
community, and entities representing other Children with High 
Needs(e.g., parent councils, nonprofit organizations, local 
foundations, tribal organizations, and community-based organizations); 
libraries and children's museums; health providers; and postsecondary 
institutions.
    Evidence for (A)(3) (a) and (b):
     For (A)(3)(a)(1): An organizational chart that shows how 
the grant will be governed and managed.
     Governance-related roles and responsibilities.
     A copy of all fully executed MOUs or other binding 
agreements that cover each Participating State Agency. (MOUs or other 
binding agreements should be referenced in the narrative but must be 
included in the Appendix to the application).
    Evidence for (A)(3)(c)(1):
     A list of every Early Learning Intermediary Organization 
and local early learning council (if applicable) in the State that 
indicates which organizations and councils have submitted letters of 
intent or support.
     A copy of every letter of intent or support from Early 
Learning Intermediary Organizations and local early learning councils.
    Evidence for (A)(3)(c)(2):
     A copy of every letter of intent or support from other 
stakeholders.
    Performance Measures for (A)(3):
     None required.
    (A)(4) Developing a budget to implement and sustain the work of 
this grant.
    The extent to which the State Plan--
    (a) Demonstrates how the State will use existing funds that support 
early learning and development from Federal, State, private, and local 
sources (e.g., CCDF; Title I and II of ESEA; IDEA; Striving Readers 
Comprehensive Literacy Program; State preschool; Head Start 
Collaboration funding; Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home 
Visiting Program; Title V MCH Block Grant; TANF; Medicaid; child 
welfare services under Title IV (B) and (E) of the Social Security Act; 
Statewide Longitudinal Data System; foundation; other private funding 
sources) for activities and services that help achieve the outcomes in 
the State Plan, including how the quality set-asides in CCDF will be 
used;
    (b) Describes, in both the budget tables and budget narratives, how 
the State will effectively and efficiently use funding from this grant 
to achieve the outcomes in the State Plan, in a manner that--
    (1) Is adequate to support the activities described in the State 
Plan;
    (2) Includes costs that are reasonable and necessary in relation to 
the objectives, design, and significance of the activities described in 
the State Plan and the number of children to be served; and
    (3) Details the amount of funds budgeted for Participating State 
Agencies, localities, Early Learning Intermediary Organizations, 
Participating Programs, or other partners, and the specific activities 
to be implemented with these funds consistent with the State Plan, and 
demonstrates that a significant amount of funding will be devoted to 
the local implementation of the State Plan; and
    (c) Demonstrates that it can be sustained after the grant period 
ends to ensure that the number and percentage of Children with High 
Needs served by Early Learning and Development Programs in the State 
will be maintained or expanded.
    Evidence for (A)(4)(a):
     The existing funds to be used to achieve the outcomes in 
the State Plan.
     Description of how these existing funds will be used for 
activities and services that help achieve the outcomes in the State 
Plan.
    Evidence for (A)(4)(b):
     The State's budget.
     The narratives that accompany and explain the budget, and 
describes how it connects to the State Plan.
    Performance Measures for (A)(4):
     None required.
B. High-Quality, Accountable Programs
    (B)(1) Developing and adopting a common, statewide Tiered Quality 
Rating and Improvement System.
    The extent to which the State and its Participating State Agencies 
have developed and adopted, or have a High-Quality Plan to develop and 
adopt, a Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System that--
    (a) Is based on a statewide set of tiered Program Standards that 
include--
    (1) Early Learning and Development Standards;
    (2) A Comprehensive Assessment System;
    (3) Early Childhood Educator qualifications;
    (4) Family engagement strategies;
    (5) Health promotion practices; and
    (6) Effective data practices;
    (b) Is clear and has standards that are measurable, meaningfully 
differentiate

[[Page 29512]]

program quality levels, and reflect high expectations of program 
excellence commensurate with nationally recognized standards that lead 
to improved learning outcomes for children; and
    (c) Is linked to the State licensing system for Early Learning and 
Development Programs.
    Evidence for (B)(1):
     Each set of existing Program Standards currently used in 
the State and the elements that are included in those Program Standards 
(Early Learning and Development Standards, Comprehensive Assessment 
Systems, Qualified Workforce, Family Engagement, Health Promotion, 
Effective Data Practices, and Other).
     To the extent the State has developed and adopted a Tiered 
Quality Rating and Improvement System based on a common set of tiered 
Program Standards that meet the elements in criterion (B)(1)(a), 
submit--
    [cir] A copy of the tiered Program Standards;
    [cir] Documentation that the Program Standards address all areas 
outlined in the definition of Program Standards, demonstrate high 
expectations of program excellence commensurate with nationally 
recognized standards, and are linked to the States licensing system; 
and
    [cir] Documentation of how the tiers meaningfully differentiate 
levels of quality.
    Performance Measures for (B)(1):
     None required.
    (B)(2) Promoting Participation in the State's Tiered Quality Rating 
and Improvement System.
    The extent to which the State has maximized, or has a High-Quality 
Plan to maximize, program participation in the State's Tiered Quality 
Rating and Improvement System by--
    (a) Implementing effective policies and practices to reach the goal 
of having all publicly funded Early Learning and Development Programs 
participate in such a system, including programs in each of the 
following categories--
    (1) State-funded preschool programs;
    (2) Early Head Start and Head Start programs;
    (3) Early Learning and Development Programs funded under section 
619 of Part B of IDEA and Part C of IDEA;
    (4) Early Learning and Development Programs funded under Title I of 
the ESEA; and
    (5) Early Learning and Development Programs receiving funds from 
the State's CCDF program;
    (b) Implementing effective policies and practices designed to help 
more families afford high-quality child care and maintain the supply of 
high-quality child care in areas with high concentrations of Children 
with High Needs (e.g., maintaining or increasing subsidy reimbursement 
rates, taking actions to ensure affordable co-payments, providing 
incentives to high-quality providers to participate in the subsidy 
program); and
    (c) Setting ambitious yet achievable targets for the numbers and 
percentages of Early Learning and Development Programs that will 
participate in the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System by type 
of Early Learning and Development Program (as listed in (B)(2)(a)(1) 
through (5) above).
    Evidence for (B)(2):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (B)(2)(c):
    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Number and percentage of Early Learning and Development 
Programs participating in the statewide Tiered Quality Rating and 
Improvement System, by type of Early Learning and Development Program.
    (B)(3) Rating and monitoring Early Learning and Development 
Programs.
    The extent to which the State and its Participating State Agencies 
have developed and implemented, or have a High-Quality Plan to develop 
and implement, a system for rating and monitoring the quality of Early 
Learning and Development Programs participating in the Tiered Quality 
Rating and Improvement System by--
    (a) Using a valid and reliable tool for monitoring such programs, 
having trained monitors whose ratings have an acceptable level of 
inter-rater reliability, and monitoring and rating the Early Learning 
and Development Programs with appropriate frequency; and
    (b) Providing quality rating and licensing information to parents 
with children enrolled in Early Learning and Development Programs 
(e.g., displaying quality rating information at the program site) and 
making program quality rating data, information, and licensing history 
(including any health and safety violations) publicly available in 
formats that are written in plain language, and are easy to understand 
and use for decision making by families selecting Early Learning and 
Development Programs and families whose children are enrolled in such 
programs.
    Evidence for (B)(3):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (B)(3):
     None required.
    (B)(4) Promoting access to high-quality Early Learning and 
Development Programs for Children with High Needs.
    The extent to which the State and its Participating State Agencies 
have developed and implemented, or have a High-Quality Plan to develop 
and implement, a system for improving the quality of the Early Learning 
and Development Programs participating in the Tiered Quality Rating and 
Improvement System by--
    (a) Developing and implementing policies and practices that provide 
support and incentives for Early Learning and Development Programs to 
continuously improve (e.g., through training, technical assistance, 
financial rewards or incentives, higher subsidy reimbursement rates, 
compensation);
    (b) Providing supports to help working families who have Children 
with High Needs access high-quality Early Learning and Development 
Programs that meet those needs (e.g., providing full-day, full-year 
programs; transportation; meals; family support services); and
    (c) Setting ambitious yet achievable targets for increasing--
    (1) The number of Early Learning and Development Programs in the 
top tiers of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System; and
    (2) The number and percentage of Children with High Needs who are 
enrolled in Early Learning and Development Programs that are in the top 
tiers of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System.
    Evidence for (B)(4):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (B)(4)(c):
    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Number of Early Learning and Development Programs in the 
top tiers of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System, by type 
of Early Learning and Development Program.
     Number and Percentage of Children with High Needs who are 
enrolled in Early Learning and Development Programs that that are in 
the top tiers of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System, by 
type of Early Learning and Development Program.
    (B)(5) Validating the effectiveness of State Tiered Quality Rating 
and Improvement Systems.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to design and 
implement evaluations--working with an independent evaluator and, when

[[Page 29513]]

warranted, as part of a cross-State evaluation consortium--of the 
relationship between the ratings generated by the State's Tiered 
Quality Rating and Improvement System and the learning outcomes of 
children served by the State's Early Learning and Development Programs 
by--
    (a) Validating, using research-based measures, as described in the 
State Plan (which also describes the criteria that the State used or 
will use to determine those measures), whether the tiers in the State's 
Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System accurately reflect 
differential levels of program quality; and
    (b) Assessing, using appropriate research designs and measures of 
progress (as identified in the State Plan), the extent to which changes 
in quality ratings are related to progress in children's learning, 
development, and school readiness.
Focused Investment Areas--Sections (C), (D), and (E)
    Each State must address in its application--
    (1) Two or more of the selection criteria in Focused Investment 
Area (C);
    (2) One or more of the selection criteria in Focused Investment 
Area (D); and
    (3) One or more of the selection criteria in Focused Investment 
Area (E).
    Evidence for (B)(5):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (B)(5):
     None required.
    C. Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children.
    The applicant must address at least two of the selection criteria 
within Focused Investment Area (C), which are as follows:
    (C)(1) Developing and using statewide, high-quality Early Learning 
and Development Standards.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to put in 
place high-quality Early Learning and Development Standards that are 
used statewide by Early Learning and Development Programs and that--
    (a) Includes evidence that the Early Learning and Development 
Standards are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically 
appropriate across each age group of infants, toddlers, and 
preschoolers, and that they cover all Essential Domains of School 
Readiness;
    (b) Includes evidence that the Early Learning and Development 
Standards are aligned with the State's K-3 academic standards in, at a 
minimum, early literacy and mathematics;
    (c) Includes evidence that the Early Learning and Development 
Standards are incorporated in Program Standards, curricula and 
activities, Comprehensive Assessment Systems, the State's Workforce 
Knowledge and Competency Framework, and professional development 
activities; and
    (d) The State has supports in place to promote understanding of and 
commitment to the Early Learning and Development Standards across Early 
Learning and Development Programs.
    Evidence for (C)(1)(a) and (b):
     To the extent the State has implemented Early Learning and 
Development Standards that meet the elements in criteria (C)(1)(a) and 
(b), submit--
    [cir] Proof of use by all types of Early Learning and Development 
Programs in the State;
    [cir] The State's Early Learning and Development Standards for:
--Infants and toddlers
--Preschoolers
    [cir] Documentation that the standards are developmentally, 
linguistically and culturally appropriate for all children, including 
children with disabilities and developmental delays and English 
Learners;
    [cir] Documentation that the standards address all Essential 
Domains of School Readiness and that they are of high-quality; and
    [cir] Documentation of the alignment between the State's Early 
Learning and Development Standards and the State's K-3 standards.
    Performance Measures for (C)(1):
     None required.
    (C)(2) Supporting effective uses of Comprehensive Assessment 
Systems.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to support 
the effective implementation of developmentally appropriate 
Comprehensive Assessment Systems by--
    (a) Working with Early Learning and Development Programs to select 
assessment instruments and approaches that are appropriate for the 
target populations and purposes;
    (b) Working with Early Learning and Development Programs to 
strengthen Early Childhood Educators' understanding of the purposes and 
uses of each type of assessment included in the Comprehensive 
Assessment Systems;
    (c) Articulating an approach for aligning and integrating 
assessments and sharing assessment results, as appropriate, in order to 
avoid duplication of assessments and to coordinate services for 
Children with High Needs who are served by multiple Early Learning and 
Development Programs; and
    (d) Training Early Childhood Educators to appropriately administer 
assessments and interpret and use assessment data in order to inform 
and improve instruction, programs, and services.
    Evidence for (C)(2):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (C)(2):
     None required.
    (C)(3) Identifying and addressing the health, behavioral, and 
developmental needs of Children with High Needs to improve school 
readiness.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to identify 
and address the health, behavioral, and developmental needs of Children 
with High Needs by--
    (a) Establishing a progression of standards for ensuring children's 
health and safety; ensuring that health and behavioral screening and 
follow-up occur; and promoting children's physical, social, and 
emotional development across the levels of its Program Standards;
    (b) Increasing the number of Early Childhood Educators who are 
trained and supported on an on-going basis in meeting the health 
standards;
    (c) Promoting healthy eating habits, improving nutrition, expanding 
physical activity; and
    (d) Leveraging existing resources to meet ambitious yet achievable 
annual targets to increase the number of Children with High Needs who--
    (1) Are screened using Screening Measures that align with the 
Medicaid Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment benefit 
(see section 1905(r)(5) of the Social Security Act) or the well-baby 
and well-child services available through the Children's Health 
Insurance Program (42 CFR 457.520), and that, as appropriate, are 
consistent with the Child Find provisions in IDEA (see sections 
612(a)(3) and 635(a)(5) of IDEA);
    (2) Are referred for services based on the results of those 
screenings, and, where appropriate, received follow-up; and
    (3) Participate in ongoing health care as part of a schedule of 
well-child care, including the number of children who are up to date in 
a schedule of well-child care.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(a):
     To the extent the State has established a progression of 
health standards across the levels of Program Standards that meet the 
elements in criterion (C)(3)(a), submit--

[[Page 29514]]

    [cir] The progression of health standards used in the Program 
Standards and the State's plans for improvement over time, including 
documentation demonstrating that this progression of standards 
appropriately addresses health and safety standards; developmental, 
behavioral, and sensory screening, referral, and follow-up; health 
promotion including healthy eating habits, improved nutrition, and 
increased physical activity; oral health; and social and emotional 
development; and health literacy among parents and children.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(b):
     To the extent the State has existing and projected numbers 
and percentages of Early Childhood Educators who receive training and 
support in meeting the health standards, the State must submit 
documentation of these data. If the State does not have these data, the 
State must outline its plan for deriving them.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(c):
    Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful to peer 
reviewers.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(d):
     Documentation of the State's existing and future resources 
that are or will be used to address the health, behavioral, and 
developmental needs of Children with High Needs. At a minimum, 
documentation must address the screening, referral, and follow-up of 
all Children with High Needs; how the State will promote the 
participation of Children with High Needs in ongoing health care as 
part of a schedule of well-child care; how the State will promote 
healthy eating habits and improved nutrition as well as increased 
physical activity for Children with High Needs; and how the State will 
promote health literacy for children and parents.
    Performance Measures for (C)(3)(d):
    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Number of Children with High Needs Screened.
     Number of Children with High Needs referred for services 
and received follow-up/treatment.
     Number of Children with High Needs that participate in 
ongoing health care as part of a schedule of well-child care.
     Of these participating Children with High Needs, the 
number or percentage of children who are up-to-date in receiving 
services as part of a schedule of well-child care.
    (C)(4) Engaging and supporting families.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to provide 
culturally and linguistically appropriate information and support to 
families of Children with High Needs in order to promote school 
readiness for their children by--
    (a) Establishing a progression of culturally and linguistically 
appropriate standards for family engagement across the levels of its 
Program Standards, including activities that enhance the capacity of 
families to support their children's education and development;
    (b) Increasing the number and percentage of Early Childhood 
Educators trained and supported on an on-going basis to implement the 
family engagement strategies included in the Program Standards; and
    (c) Promoting family support and engagement statewide, including by 
leveraging other existing resources such as through home visiting 
programs, other family-serving agencies, and through outreach to 
family, friend, and neighbor caregivers.
    Evidence for (C)(4)(a):
     To the extent the State has established a progression of 
family engagement standards across the levels of Program Standards that 
meet the elements in criterion (C)(4)(a), submit--
    [cir] The progression of culturally and linguistically appropriate 
family engagement standards used in the Program Standards that includes 
strategies successfully used to engage families in supporting their 
children's development and learning. A State's family engagement 
standards must address, but need not be limited to: parent access to 
the program, ongoing two-way communication with families, parent 
education in child development, outreach to fathers and other family 
members, training and support for families as children move to 
preschool and kindergarten, social networks of support, 
intergenerational activities, linkages with community supports and 
adult and family literacy programs, parent involvement in decision 
making, and parent leadership development; and
    [cir] Documentation that this progression of standards includes 
activities that enhance the capacity of families to support their 
children's education and development.
    Evidence for (C)(4)(b):
     To the extent the State has existing and projected numbers 
and percentages of Early Childhood Educators who receive training and 
support on the family engagement strategies included in the Program 
Standards, the State must submit documentation of these data. If the 
State does not have these data, the State must outline its plan for 
deriving them.
    Evidence for (C)(4)(c):
     Documentation of the State's existing resources that are 
or will be used to promote family support and engagement statewide, 
including through home visiting programs and other family-serving 
agencies and the identification of new resources that will be used to 
promote family support and engagement statewide.
    Performance Measures for (C)(4)
     None required.
D. A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce
    The applicant must address at least one of the selection criteria 
within Focused Investment Area (D), which are as follows:
    (D)(1) Developing a Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework 
and a progression of credentials.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to--
    (a) Develop a common, statewide Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework designed to promote children's learning and development and 
improve child outcomes;
    (b) Develop a common, statewide progression of credentials and 
degrees aligned with the Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework; 
and
    (c) Engage postsecondary institutions and other professional 
development providers in aligning professional development 
opportunities with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework.
    Evidence for (D)(1):
     To the extent the State has developed a common, statewide 
Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework that meets the elements in 
criterion (D)(1), submit:
    [cir] The Workforce Knowledge and Competencies;
    [cir] Documentation that the State's Workforce Knowledge and 
Competency Framework addresses the elements outlined in the definition 
of Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework in the Program 
Definitions section of this notice and is designed to promote 
children's learning and development and improve outcomes.
    Performance Measures for (D)(1)
     None required.
    (D)(2) Supporting Early Childhood Educators in improving their 
knowledge, skills, and abilities.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to improve 
the effectiveness and retention of Early Childhood Educators who work 
with Children with High Needs, with the goal of improving child 
outcomes by--
    (a) Providing and expanding access to effective professional 
development opportunities that--

[[Page 29515]]

    (1) Are aligned with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework;
    (2) Tightly link training with professional development approaches, 
such as coaching and mentoring; and
    (3) Are supported by strong evidence (e.g. available evaluations, 
developmental theory, and/or data or information) as to why these 
policies and incentives will be effective in improving outcomes for 
Children with High Needs;
    (b) Implementing effective policies and incentives (e.g., 
scholarships, compensation and wage supplements, tiered reimbursement 
rates, other financial incentives, management opportunities) to promote 
professional improvement and career advancement along an articulated 
career pathway that--
    (1) Are aligned with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework;
    (2) Tightly link training with professional development approaches, 
such as coaching and mentoring; and
    (3) Are supported by strong evidence provided (e.g. available 
evaluations, developmental theory, or data or information) as to why 
these policies and incentives will be effective in improving outcomes 
for Children with High Needs;
    (c) Publicly reporting aggregated data on Early Childhood Educator 
development, advancement, and retention; and
    (d) Setting ambitious yet achievable targets for--
    (1) Increasing the number of postsecondary institutions and 
professional development providers with programs that are aligned to 
the Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework and the number of 
Early Childhood Educators who receive credentials from postsecondary 
institutions and professional development providers that are aligned to 
the Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework; and
    (2) Increasing the number and percentage of Early Childhood 
Educators who are progressing to higher levels of credentials that 
align with the Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework.
    Evidence for (D)(2):
     Evidence to support why the proposed professional 
development opportunities, policies, and incentives will be effective 
in improving outcomes for Children with High Needs (e.g. available 
evaluations, developmental theory, and/or data or information about the 
population of Children with High Needs in the State).
    Performance Measures for (D)(2)(d):
    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     (D)(2)(d)(1): Number of postsecondary institutions and 
professional development providers that are aligned to the State's 
Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework, and the number of Early 
Childhood Educators receiving credentials from those aligned 
postsecondary institutions or professional development providers.
     (D)(2)(d)(2): Number and percentage of Early Childhood 
Educators who are progressing to higher levels of credentials that 
align with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework.
E. Measuring Outcomes and Progress
    The applicant must address at least one of the selection criteria 
within Focused Investment Area (E), which are as follows:
    (E)(1) Understanding the status of children's learning and 
development at kindergarten entry.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to implement, 
independently or as part of a cross-State consortium, a common, 
statewide Kindergarten Entry Assessment that informs instruction and 
services in the early elementary grades and that--
    (a) Is aligned with the State's Early Learning and Development 
Standards and covers all Essential Domains of School Readiness;
    (b) Is valid, reliable, and appropriate for the target population 
and for the purpose for which it will be used, including for English 
learners and children with disabilities;
    (c) Is administered beginning no later than the start of school 
year ending during the fourth year of the grant to children entering a 
public school kindergarten; States may propose a phased implementation 
plan that forms the basis for broader statewide implementation;
    (d) Is reported to the Statewide Longitudinal Data System, and to 
the early learning data system, if it is separate from the Statewide 
Longitudinal Data System, as permitted under and consistent with the 
requirements of Federal, State, and local privacy laws; and
    (e) Is funded, in significant part, with Federal or State resources 
other than those available under this grant, (e.g., with funds 
available under section 6111 or 6112 of the ESEA).
    Evidence for (E)(1):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (E)(1):
     None required.
    (E)(2) Building or enhancing an early learning data system to 
improve instruction, practices, services, and policies.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to enhance 
the State's existing Statewide Longitudinal Data System or to build or 
enhance a separate, coordinated, early learning data system that aligns 
and is interoperable with the Statewide Longitudinal Data System, and 
that either data system--
    (a) Has all of the Essential Data Elements;
    (b) Enables uniform data collection and easy entry of the Essential 
Data Elements by Participating State Agencies and Participating 
Programs;
    (c) Facilitates the exchange of data among Participating State 
Agencies by using standard data structures, data formats, and data 
definitions such as Common Education Data Standards to ensure 
interoperability among the various levels and types of data;
    (d) Generates information that is timely, relevant, accessible, and 
easy for Early Learning and Development Programs and Early Childhood 
Educators to use for continuous improvement and decision making; and
    (e) Meets the Data System Oversight Requirements and complies with 
the requirements of Federal, State, and local privacy laws.
    Evidence for (E)(2):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (E)(2):
     None required.
    Final Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection 
Criteria:
    We will announce the final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria in the Federal Register. We will determine the 
final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, 
after considering responses to this notice and other information 
available to the Departments. This notice does not preclude us from 
proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or 
selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking 
requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to these priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria, we invite applications through a notice in the 
Federal Register.


[[Page 29516]]



Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretaries must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and, therefore, subject to 
the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866 defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely 
to result in a rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or 
tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the 
Executive order.
    This proposed regulatory action would have an annual effect on the 
economy of more than $100 million because the Departments anticipate 
more than that amount will be appropriated for RTT-ELC and awarded as 
grants. Therefore, this proposed action is ``economically significant'' 
and subject to review by OMB under section 3(f)(1) of Executive Order 
12866. Notwithstanding this determination, we have assessed the 
potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of 
this proposed regulatory action and have determined that the benefits 
would justify the costs.
    The Departments also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under 
Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the 
principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review 
established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, 
Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency--
    (1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination 
that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits 
and costs are difficult to quantify);
    (2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, 
consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into 
account--among other things and to the extent practicable--the costs of 
cumulative regulations;
    (3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select 
those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential 
economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other 
advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);
    (4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather 
than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must 
adopt; and
    (5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct 
regulation, including economic incentives--such as user fees or 
marketable permits--to encourage the desired behavior, or provide 
information that enables the public to make choices.
    Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency ``to use the best 
available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future 
benefits and costs as accurately as possible.'' The Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these 
techniques may include ``identifying changing future compliance costs 
that might result from technological innovation or anticipated 
behavioral changes.''
    We are proposing these priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria only on a reasoned determination that their benefits 
would justify their costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory 
approaches, we selected those approaches that would maximize net 
benefits.
    Based on the analysis that follows, the Departments believe that 
this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive 
Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this proposed 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 potential costs and benefits, net budget 
impacts, assumptions, limitations, and data sources, as well as 
regulatory alternatives we considered.
Discussion of Costs and Benefits
    The Secretaries believe that the proposed priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria would not impose significant costs 
on eligible States. States that applied for a grant under the FY 2011 
RTT-ELC competition reported that they found the application process to 
be useful in organizing their early childhood planning efforts because 
the priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria 
provided them with direction and structure for developing a State High-
Quality Early Learning plan. Several unfunded States then used their 
prepared application as their State's strategic early learning plan. In 
addition, the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria, in particular those related to maintaining 
conditions of reform required under the FY 2011 RTT-ELC competition, 
would require continuation of existing commitments and investments 
rather than the imposition of additional burdens and costs for 
applicant States. The Departments believe, therefore, that those States 
that previously applied but did not receive funding would incur minimal 
costs in developing an application.
    In addition, because the Departments are maintaining the criteria 
and priorities of the FY 2011 competition, States that did not 
previously apply can draw upon the posted applications and reviewer 
comments from the FY 2011 competition. These resources will minimize 
burden for all applicants. The Departments believe therefore that the 
benefits of developing an application for this competition outweigh the 
costs.
    We believe that States will significantly benefit from the 
application process because it will require them to build strong 
relationships between State agencies and early learning non-profit 
organizations and consider how to use Federal, State, and local funding 
streams to best support early learning. A further benefit is that the 
proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria 
would result in the selection of high-quality grantees that are most 
likely to successfully implement RTT-ELC grants in the manner that the 
Departments believe will best enable the program to achieve its 
objective of creating the conditions for effective reform in State 
early learning systems.
    The proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria clarify the scope of activities the Secretaries expect to 
support with program funds. The pool of possible interested applicants 
is limited to State applicants that have not previously received an 
RTT-ELC grant. Potential applicants need to consider carefully the 
effort that will be required to prepare a strong application, their 
capacity to implement projects successfully, and their chances of 
submitting a successful application.
    Program participation is voluntary. The Secretaries believe that 
the costs imposed on applicants by the proposed priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria would be limited to 
paperwork burden related to preparing

[[Page 29517]]

an application and that the benefits of implementing these proposals 
would outweigh any costs incurred by applicants. The costs of carrying 
out activities associated with the application would be paid for with 
program funds. Thus, the costs of implementation would not be a burden 
for eligible applicants, including small entities.
    Elsewhere in this document, under Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
we identify and explain burdens specifically associated with 
information collection requirements.
Regulatory Alternatives Considered
    An alternative to promulgating these priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria would be to use FY 2013 Race to the 
Top funds to make awards to the remaining highest-scoring unfunded 
applications from the FY 2011 RTT-ELC competition. However, the 
Departments have determined that funding applications from the FY 2011 
competition would result in funding applications that are likely 
outdated and of only moderate quality, having received fewer than 75 
percent of the total points available in the FY 2011 competition. The 
Departments have determined that $300 million is a sufficient amount to 
hold a high-quality competition and that holding a new competition will 
result in higher quality applications than those submitted in FY 2011, 
due to progress made in early learning systems during the last two 
years.
    The Departments also could have decided to make significant changes 
to the priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria 
rather than making only the few changes proposed here. However, we have 
determined that making significant changes would be unduly burdensome 
on applicants who will rely on their FY 2011 efforts to prepare an 
updated application and that maintaining substantially the same 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria will 
better enable the Departments to conduct an evaluation of the 
performance of grantees under the RTT-ELC program overall.
    To assist the Departments in complying with the requirements of 
Executive Order 12866, the Secretaries invite comments on whether there 
may be further opportunities to reduce any potential costs or increase 
potential benefits resulting from these proposed priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria without impeding the 
effective and efficient administration of the RTT-ELC program.
Accounting Statement
    As required by OMB Circular A-4 (available at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/circulars/a004/a-4.pdf), in the 
following table we have prepared an accounting statement showing the 
classification of the expenditures associated with the provisions of 
this regulatory action. This table provides our best estimate of the 
Federal payments to be made to States under this program as a result of 
this regulatory action. Expenditures are classified as transfers to 
States.

      Accounting Statement Classification of Estimated Expenditures
                              [in millions]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Category                             Transfers
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Annualized Monetized Transfers............  $300,000,000.
From Whom To Whom?                          From the Federal Government
                                             to States.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FY 2013 RTT-ELC competition process would provide approximately 
$300 million in competitive grants to eligible applicants.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

    The Secretaries certify that this proposed regulatory action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. This proposed regulatory action will not have a significant 
economic impact on small entities (such as subaward recipients) as 
States are not small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act.
    The Secretaries invite comments from small entities as to whether 
they believe this proposed regulatory action would have a significant 
economic impact on them and, if so, request evidence to support that 
belief.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, the Departments will conduct a preclearance consultation 
program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an 
opportunity to comment on proposed 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 
Departments' 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 Departments can properly assess the impact of 
collection requirements on respondents.
    We estimate that each applicant would spend approximately 225 hours 
of staff time to address the proposed priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria, prepare the application, and 
obtain necessary clearances. The total number of hours for all 
applicants will vary based on the number of applications. Based on the 
number of applications received in the FY 2011 competition, we expect 
to receive approximately 38 applications for these funds. The total 
number of hours for all expected applicants is an estimated 8,550 
hours. We estimate the total cost per hour of the applicant-level staff 
who carry out this work to be $30 per hour. The total estimated cost 
for all applicants would be $256,500. We have submitted a new 
Information Collection Request (ICR) for the information collection 
requirements, under OMB control number 1810--New, to OMB.
    If you want to comment on the proposed information collection 
requirements, please submit your comments through the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at by selecting Docket ID number [insert FDMS Docket 
number] or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. 
Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted 
after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for 
information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be 
addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance 
Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, 
Room 2E117, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Electronically mail 
ICDocketMgr@ed.gov. Please do not send comments here.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Departments, in accordance with the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), 
provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to 
comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of 
information. This helps the Departments assess the impact of the 
information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting 
burden. It also helps the public understand the Departments' 
information collection requirements and provide the requested data in 
the desired format. The Departments are soliciting comments on the 
proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. 
The Departments are especially interested in public comment

[[Page 29518]]

addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to 
the proper functions of the Departments; (2) will this information be 
processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden 
accurate; (4) how might the Departments enhance the quality, utility, 
and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the 
Departments minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, 
including through the use of information technology. Please note that 
written comments received in response to this notice will be considered 
public records.
    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 the Departments' 
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: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents from both Departments 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 Departments published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by either Department.

    Dated: May 14, 2013.
Deborah S. Delisle,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. 
Department of Education.
George Sheldon,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Department 
of Health and Human Services.
[FR Doc. 2013-11821 Filed 5-17-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-1-P