80 FR 63975 - Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria-Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Federal Register Volume 80, Issue 204 (October 22, 2015)

Page Range63975-63987
FR Document2015-26965

The Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education (Assistant Secretary) proposes priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria under the Performance Partnership Pilots (P3) for Disconnected Youth competition. The Assistant Secretary may use the priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We take this action in order to support the identification of strong and effective pilots that are likely to achieve significant improvements in educational, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth.

Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 204 (Thursday, October 22, 2015)
[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 204 (Thursday, October 22, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 63975-63987]
From the Federal Register Online  [www.thefederalregister.org]
[FR Doc No: 2015-26965]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

[CFDA Number: 84.420A.;Docket ID ED-2015-OCTAE-0095]


Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection 
Criteria--Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth

AGENCY: Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of 
Education.

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

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult 
Education (Assistant Secretary) proposes priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria under the Performance Partnership 
Pilots (P3) for Disconnected Youth competition. The Assistant Secretary 
may use the priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria for competitions in fiscal year (FY) 2015 and later years. We 
take this action in order to support the identification of strong and 
effective pilots that are likely to achieve significant improvements in 
educational, employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before November 23, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments electronically through the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov by selecting Docket No. ED-
2015-OCTAE-0095 or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand 
delivery. We will not accept comments submitted by fax or by email or 
those submitted after the comment period. To ensure that we do not 
receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In 
addition, please include the Docket ID at the top of your comments.
    If you are submitting comments electronically, we strongly 
encourage you to submit any comments or attachments in Microsoft Word 
format. If you must submit a comment in Adobe Portable Document Format 
(PDF), we strongly encourage you to convert the PDF to print-to-PDF 
format or to use some other commonly used searchable text format. 
Please do not submit the PDF in a scanned format. Using a print-to-PDF 
format allows the U.S. Department of Education (the Department) to 
electronically search and copy certain portions of your submissions.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to 
submit your comments electronically. Information on using 
www.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: The 
Department strongly encourages commenters to submit their comments 
electronically. However, if you mail or deliver your comments about the 
proposed regulations, address them to Braden Goetz, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 11141, PCP, Washington, DC 
20202.
    Privacy Note: The Department's policy is 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 publicly 
available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Braden Goetz. Telephone: (202) 245-
7405 or by email: [email protected].
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria (NPP), we urge you to identify clearly the 
specific proposed priority, requirement, definition, or selection 
criterion your 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 the 
proposed priority, 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.

[[Page 63976]]

    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about the proposed priority, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria at www.regulations.gov. You may also inspect the 
comments in person in Room 11141, PCP, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC, 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. If you want to schedule time to inspect comments, please 
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    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: P3, first authorized by Congress for FY 2014 by 
the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (2014 Appropriations Act) and 
reauthorized for FY 2015 by the Consolidated and Further Continuing 
Appropriations Act, 2015 (2015 Appropriations Act) (together, the 
Acts), enables pilot sites to test innovative, outcome-focused 
strategies to achieve significant improvements in educational, 
employment, and other key outcomes for disconnected youth using new 
flexibility to blend existing Federal funds and to seek waivers of 
associated program requirements.

    Program Authority:  Section 524 of Division H and section 219 of 
Division B of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations 
Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235).

Background

    The Acts authorize the Departments of Education (ED), Labor (DOL), 
Health and Human Services (HHS), and Justice (DOJ), the Corporation for 
National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Institute of Museum and 
Library Services (IMLS) (collectively, the Agencies) to enter into 
Performance Partnership Agreements (performance agreements) with State, 
local, or tribal governments to provide additional flexibility in using 
certain of the Agencies' discretionary funds,\1\ including competitive 
and formula grant funds, across multiple Federal programs. Entities 
that seek to participate in these pilots will be required to commit to 
achieving significant improvements in outcomes for disconnected youth 
in exchange for this new flexibility. The 2014 Appropriations Act 
states that ```[t]o improve outcomes for disconnected youth' means to 
increase the rate at which individuals between the ages of 14 and 24 
(who are low-income and either homeless, in foster care, involved in 
the juvenile justice system, unemployed, or not enrolled in or at risk 
of dropping out of an educational institution) achieve success in 
meeting educational, employment, or other key goals.'' Section 
526(a)(2), Division H, 2014 Appropriations Act. The statute thus 
defines ``disconnected youth'' as ``individuals between the ages of 14 
and 24 who are low-income and either homeless, in foster care, involved 
in the juvenile justice system, unemployed, or not enrolled in or at 
risk of dropping out of an education institution.''
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    \1\ Discretionary funds are funds that Congress appropriates on 
an annual basis, rather than through a standing authorization. They 
exclude ``entitlement'' (or mandatory) programs such as Social 
Security, Medicare, Medicaid, most Foster Care IV-E programs, 
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants, and Temporary Assistance to 
Needy Families (TANF). Discretionary programs administered by the 
Agencies support a broad set of public services, including 
education, job training, health and mental health, and other low-
income assistance programs.
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    Government and community partners have invested considerable 
attention and resources to meet the needs of disconnected youth. 
However, practitioners, youth advocates, and others on the front lines 
of service delivery have observed that there are significant 
programmatic and administrative obstacles to achieving meaningful 
improvements in education, employment, health, and well-being for these 
young people. These challenges include: limited evidence and knowledge 
of what works to improve outcomes for disconnected youth; poor 
coordination and alignment across the multiple systems that serve 
youth; policies that make it hard to target the neediest youth and help 
them overcome gaps in services; fragmented data systems that inhibit 
the flow of information to improve results; and administrative 
requirements that impede holistic approaches to serving this 
population. Many of these challenges can be addressed by improving 
coordination among programs and targeting resources to those approaches 
that achieve the best results for youth.
    Performance Partnership Pilots test the hypothesis that additional 
flexibility for States, localities, and tribes, in the form of blending 
funds and waivers of certain programmatic requirements, can help 
overcome some of the significant hurdles that States, localities, and 
tribes face in providing intensive, comprehensive, and sustained 
service pathways and improving outcomes for disconnected youth. For 
example, P3 may help address the ``wrong pockets'' problem, where 
government entities that observe improved outcomes or other benefits 
due to an intervention are unable to use Federal funds to support that 
intervention due to program restrictions or other factors. P3 funds may 
also help to build additional evidence about the effectiveness of an 
intervention or strengthen a foundation of data capacity and 
performance management that would otherwise be lacking. If this 
hypothesis proves true, providing necessary and targeted flexibility to 
remove or minimize these hurdles will help to achieve significant 
benefits for disconnected youth, the communities that serve them, and 
the involved agencies and partners.
    Congress first established the P3 authority in FY 2014, and the 
Agencies announced a competition to select up to 10 P3 pilots in the 
Federal Register on November 24, 2014 (79 FR 70033) (the November 2014 
notice). The Agencies will make selections based on the November 2014 
notice during fiscal year 2015.
    The priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria 
proposed in this notice are based largely on those used in the November 
2014 notice. However, they differ in several important respects:
     As in the November 2014 notice, we are proposing 
priorities for projects that serve disconnected youth in rural and 
tribal communities. We also are proposing additional priorities that 
focus on high-need subpopulations of disconnected youth, including 
priorities for: disconnected youth who are unemployed and not enrolled 
in education; English learners; individuals with disabilities; 
homeless; in foster care; involved with the justice system; or 
immigrants or refugees. The Agencies may choose to use one or more of 
these additional priorities in future competitions if they decide to 
encourage or require pilots that are designed to serve a particular 
high-need subpopulation.
     In addition, we are proposing a priority for projects that 
provide paid work-based learning opportunities, including opportunities 
that are offered during the summer months and are integrated with 
academic and technical instruction.
     The November 2014 notice included two priorities related 
to

[[Page 63977]]

evaluation, one for evaluations that employed a randomized controlled 
trial design and another for evaluations with a quasi-experimental 
design. In this notice, we are proposing to establish a single priority 
for projects that will support evaluations that use either a randomized 
controlled trial or a quasi-experimental design.
     To reduce burden on applicants, several of the application 
requirements have been eliminated or streamlined.
    Additionally, we are proposing to collect some of the required 
information in table form for two reasons: to make clearer to 
applicants all of the data they must provide in their applications and 
to simplify how applicants provide these data.
     The selection criteria we are proposing in this notice 
have also been streamlined and simplified to reduce burden on 
applicants, as well as focus on the factors that we consider to be the 
most critical in the successful implementation of pilots.
    In addition to commenting on the priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria proposed in this notice, we invite 
public comment on the following questions:
     How else can the administration of P3 competitions be 
improved?
     Should other programs, including those from other 
agencies, be included in the P3 initiative? What programs and why?
     What interest, if any, do prospective applicants and their 
potential partners have in using a P3 pilot to support or inform a Pay 
for Success \2\ project?
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    \2\ For more information about Pay for Success, see the U.S. 
Treasury Department's notice in the October 2, 2013, Federal 
Register (78 FR 60998), Strategies to Accelerate the Testing and 
Adoption of Pay for Success (PFS) Financing Models.
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     What technical assistance do prospective applicants need 
in order to prepare their applications, particularly with respect to 
identifying appropriate program requirements that might be modified or 
waived and programs that may be eligible for use in a P3 pilot?
     What, if any, State or local barriers inhibit successful 
implementation of P3 pilots?
     What, if any, mandatory program requirements create 
barriers to the successful implementation of P3 pilots?

Proposed Priorities

    This notice contains 12 proposed priorities. We may apply one or 
more of these priorities in any year in which this program is in 
effect. Please note that these priorities are not listed in any 
particular order of importance or preference.

Proposed Priority 1--Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth

Background

    P3 is intended, through demonstration, to identify effective 
strategies for serving disconnected youth. The Agencies are aware such 
strategies may differ across environments and wish to test the 
authority in a variety of settings. Projects that serve disconnected 
youth in any community would meet Proposed Priority 1.

Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth.

Proposed Priority 2--Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth in Rural 
Communities

Background

    In recognition of the special needs of disconnected youth who 
reside in rural communities, we are proposing to establish a priority 
for projects that serve rural communities only. We note, for example, 
that 85 percent of the U.S. counties that have been persistently poor 
(i.e., counties in which 20 percent or more of the population live in 
poverty) over the last 30 years are rural, accounting for 15 percent of 
rural counties.\3\ Moreover, rural areas have a higher proportion of 
youth ages 18 through 24 who are neither employed nor enrolled in 
school than do urban areas.\4\
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    \3\ United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research 
Service, ``The Geography of Poverty,'' available at 
www.ers.usda.gov/topics/rural-economy-population/rural-poverty-well-being/geography-of-poverty.aspx.3
    \4\ Snyder, A. and McLaughlin, D. (2008). Rural Youth are More 
Likely to be Idle. Durham, NH: Carsey Institute.
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    In the Definitions section of this notice, we have proposed a 
definition of rural community that is based on whether a community is 
served only by one or more local educational agencies (LEAs) that are 
currently eligible under the Department of Education's Small, Rural 
School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School 
(RLIS) program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended. Alternatively, a 
community also could be considered rural if it includes only schools 
designated by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) with 
a locale code of 42 or 43. This definition was used in the 2014 notice, 
as well in notices inviting applications for the Department of 
Education's Promise Neighborhoods program. We welcome comments on 
whether this definition is appropriate for use in connection with a P3 
competition utilizing this priority.

Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth in one or more 
rural communities (as defined in this notice) only.

Proposed Priority 3--Improving Outcomes for Disconnected Youth in 
Tribal Communities

Background

    We propose a priority for projects that will serve youth in tribal 
communities because American Indian and Alaska Native youth are among 
the most disadvantaged subpopulations of youth in our country. During 
school year 2012-13, American Indian and Alaska Native youth had the 
lowest average cohort graduation rate among all ethnic groups, with an 
average of only 70 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native youth 
completing high school within four years.\5\ The average cohort 
graduation rate among White students, in contrast, was 87 percent. We 
note as well that the poverty rate among American Indians and Alaska 
Natives in 2013 was nearly twice the rate for the Nation as a whole (29 
percent vs. 16 percent).\6\
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    \5\ EDFacts/Consolidated State Performance Report, SY 2012-13. 
See https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/tables/ACGR_RE_and_characteristics_2012-13.asp.
    \6\ 2011-2013 American Community Survey.
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Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must (1) propose a pilot that 
is designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth who are members 
of one or more State- or federally-recognized Indian tribal 
communities; and (2) represent a partnership that includes one or more 
State- or federally-recognized Indian tribes.

Proposed Priority 4--Improving Outcomes for Youth Who Are Unemployed 
and Out of School

Background

    In 2013, about 14 percent of youth ages 16 to 24 were neither 
enrolled in school nor working.\7\ We propose a priority for pilots 
that serve these youth because the dearth of opportunities for

[[Page 63978]]

these youth is costly for them and for taxpayers. The longer these 
youth remain disconnected from school and work, the more likely it 
becomes that they will remain unemployed and live in poverty as 
adults.\8\ The lack of opportunities for these youth also imposes a 
significant economic burden on taxpayers; by one estimate, the per 
person cost of these disconnected youth is $13,900 per year in lost tax 
revenue, additional health care spending, expenditures for the criminal 
justice system and corrections, and welfare and social service 
payments.\9\
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    \7\ Kena, G., Musu-Gillette, L., Robinson, J., Wang, X., 
Rathbun, A., Zhang, J., Wilkinson-Flicker, S., Barmer, A., and 
Dunlop Velez, E. (2015). The Condition of Education 2015 (NCES 2015-
144). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education 
Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved June 7, 2015 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch.
    \8\ Besharov, D.J., & Gardiner, K.N. (1998). Preventing Youthful 
Disconnectedness. Children and Youth Services Review, 20 (9/10), 
797-818.
    \9\ Belfield, C.R., Levin, H.M., and Rosen, R. (2012). The 
Economic Value of Opportunity Youth. Washington, DC: Civic 
Enterprises.
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Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth who are neither 
employed nor enrolled in education.

Proposed Priority 5--Improving Outcomes for Youth Who are English 
Learners

Background

    We are proposing to establish a priority for projects that serve 
disconnected youth who are English learners (ELs) because of the 
significant opportunity and achievement gaps these young people face. 
While the national average cohort graduation rate for all youth was 81 
percent for the 2012-13 school year, the average cohort graduation rate 
for ELs was only 61 percent. In some States, the average cohort 
graduation rate for ELs was as low as 22 percent.\10\
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    \10\ EDFacts/Consolidated State Performance Report, SY 2012-13. 
See https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/tables/ACGR_RE_and_characteristics_2012-13.asp.
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    In the Definitions section of this notice, we have proposed a 
definition of English learner that is based on the definition of 
``English language learner'' in section 203 of the Workforce Innovation 
and Opportunity Act (29 U.S.C. 3272(7)). We welcome comments on whether 
this definition is appropriate for use in connection with a P3 
competition utilizing this priority.

Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth who are English 
learners (as defined in this notice).

Proposed Priority 6--Improving Outcomes for Youth with a Disability

Background

    We are proposing to establish a priority for projects that serve 
disconnected youth with a disability because youth with a disability 
graduate at significantly lower rates than their peers who do not have 
a disability. For example, during the 2012-13 school year, the average 
cohort graduation rate for children with a disability receiving special 
education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities 
Education Act was 62 percent, while the average cohort graduation rate 
for all youth was 81 percent.\11\ Dropout rates within this population 
are highest among youth with learning disabilities, emotional 
disturbances, and traumatic brain injuries.\12\
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    \11\ Ibid.
    \12\ Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., Garza, N., and Levine, 
P. (2005). After High School: A First Look at the Postschool 
Experiences of Youth with Disabilities. A Report from the National 
Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) Menlo Park, CA: SRI 
International. Available at www.nlts2.org/reports/2005_04/nlts2_report_2005_04_complete.pdf.
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    As noted in the Definitions section of this notice, to define the 
term ``individual with a disability,'' we propose to use the definition 
found in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 
U.S.C. 12102). We welcome comments on whether this proposed definition 
is appropriate for use in connection with a P3 competition utilizing 
this priority.

Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth who are individuals 
with a disability (as defined in this notice).

Proposed Priority 7--Improving Outcomes for Homeless Youth

Background

    According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's 
2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, on a given night in 
January 2014, there were approximately 194,302 homeless children and 
youth ages 24 and younger, representing one-third of the individuals 
who were homeless that night. Of these children and youth, 45,205 were 
unaccompanied children and youth who experienced homelessness 
alone.\13\ Between the 2010-11 and 2013-14 school years, the number of 
homeless students reported by LEAs under the McKinney-Vento Homeless 
Assistance Act increased 28 percent, from 1,065,794 to 1,360,747 
students. The number of unaccompanied homeless youth reported by LEAs 
increased from 55,066 to 91,351 between the 2010-11 and 2013-14 school 
years.\14\ The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that, 
over the course of a year, approximately 550,000 unaccompanied children 
and youth ages 24 and younger experience a homelessness episode of 
longer than one week.\15\ We propose to establish a priority for 
projects that will serve disconnected youth who are homeless in 
recognition of their significant needs. These young people experience 
higher rates of acute and chronic physical illness and have higher 
rates of mental illness and substance abuse than their peers who have 
stable housing. The high mobility associated with homelessness also 
disrupts the education of these youth, placing them at greater risk of 
falling behind and dropping out of school.\16\
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    \13\ Henry, M., Cortes, A., Shivji, A. and Buck, K. (2014). The 
2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. Washington, DC: 
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Retrieved on June 
8, 2015 from www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/2014-AHAR-Part1.pdf
    \14\ Education for Homeless Children and Youth Consolidated 
State Performance Report Data: School Years 2010-11 and 2013-14. 
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved on September 
29, 2015 from: http://eddataexpress.ed.gov/.
    \15\ An Emerging Framework for Ending Unaccompanied Youth 
Homelessness (2012). Washington, DC: National Alliance to End 
Homelessness. Retrieved on June 7, 2015 from: 
www.endhomelessness.org/library/entry/an-emerging-framework-for-ending-unaccompanied-youth-homelessness.
    \16\ Moore, J. (Undated). Unaccompanied and Homeless Youth: 
Review of Literature (1995-2005). Washington, DC: National Center 
for Homeless Education. Retrieved on June 7, 2015 from: http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/uy_lit_review.pdf.
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    As noted in the Definitions section of this notice, to define the 
term ``homeless youth,'' we propose to use the definition in the 
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431, et seq.). We 
welcome comments on whether this definition is appropriate for use in 
connection with a P3 competition utilizing this priority.

Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth who are homeless 
youth (as defined in this notice).

Proposed Priority 8--Improving Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care

Background

    We are proposing a priority for projects that are designed to 
improve outcomes for youth who are or have

[[Page 63979]]

ever been in foster care because these youth are at high risk for 
negative educational and employment outcomes. For example, youth who 
age out of the child welfare system are at particularly high risk for 
homelessness, with an estimated 11 to 37 percent experiencing 
homelessness, and 20 to 50 percent living in precarious housing 
situations.\17\ Youth in foster care are less likely to graduate from 
high school than their peers, and those who do complete high school are 
less likely to enroll in postsecondary education than their peers.\18\ 
As these youth transition out of foster care and enter adulthood, they 
often face long odds in the labor market. They tend to have greater 
difficulty finding employment and, when they are employed, tend to have 
lower earnings than youth in the general population. For example, one 
study that followed former foster youth as they aged from 18 to 24 
years old in California, Minnesota, and North Carolina found that these 
youth were less likely to be employed and earned less than youth of 
similar ages nationwide, as well as in comparison with low-income youth 
in their respective states.\19\
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    \17\ Dion, R., Dworsky, A., Kauff, J., & Kleinman, R. (2014). 
Housing for youth aging out of foster care. Prepared for U.S. 
Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy 
Development and Research. Washington, DC. Retrieved August 30, 2015 
from http://www.huduser.org/portal/publications/pdf/youth_hsg_main_report.pdf.
    \18\ See, for example, Frerer, K., Sosenko, L.D., and Henke, 
R.R. (2013). At Greater Risk: California Foster Youth and the Path 
from High School to College. San Francisco, CA: Stuart Foundation.
    \19\ Macomber, J., et al. (2008). Coming of Age: Employment 
Outcomes for Youth Who Age Out of Foster Care Through Their Middle 
Twenties. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.
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Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth who are or have 
ever been in foster care.

Proposed Priority 9--Improving Outcomes for Youth Involved in the 
Justice System

Background

    In 2013, the Nation's juvenile courts processed more than one 
million cases of delinquency.\20\ On any given day, more than 50,000 
youth are incarcerated in residential facilities, including juvenile 
detention institutions and local and State correctional facilities.\21\ 
Thousands more youth are incarcerated in local jails \22\ and adult 
correctional facilities.\23\ We propose establishing a priority for 
pilots that will serve disconnected youth involved in the justice 
system because these youth need sustained and comprehensive services 
and supports to facilitate their reentry into the community, to reduce 
their rate of recidivism, and to improve their educational and 
employment outcomes.\24\
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    \20\ Sickmund, M., Sladky, A., and Kang, W. (2015). ``Easy 
Access to Juvenile Court Statistics: 1985-2013.'' Retrieved on June 
7, 2015 from www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezajcs/.
    \21\ Sickmund, M., Sladky, T.J., Kang, W., & Puzzanchera, C. 
(2015). ``Easy Access to the Census of Juveniles in Residential 
Placement.'' Retrieved on June 7, 2015 from www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/ezacjrp/.
    \22\ Minton, T.D. and Zeng, Z. (2015). Jail Inmates at Midyear 
2014. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department 
of Justice.
    \23\ West, H.C. (2010). Prison Inmates at Midyear 2009: 
Statistical Tables. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 
U.S. Department of Justice.
    \24\ Seigle, E., Walsh, N. and Weber, J. (2014). Core Principles 
for Reducing Recidivism and Improving Other Outcomes for Youth in 
the Juvenile Justice System. New York: Council of State Governments 
Justice Center.
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Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth who are involved in 
the justice system.

Proposed Priority 10--Improving Outcomes for Youth Who are Immigrants 
or Refugees

Background

    We are proposing to establish a priority for projects that serve 
disconnected youth who are immigrants or refugees because of the great 
challenges these young people face in achieving civic, economic, and 
linguistic integration in the United States. More than one-third of 
immigrant youth ages 16 to 22 who are not enrolled in school lack a 
high school diploma. In contrast, 20 percent of nonimmigrant youth in 
this age group who are not enrolled in school do not have a high school 
diploma \25\ Refugee youth often face significant educational 
challenges because they did not have the opportunity to enroll in 
school in their country of origin or because their formal schooling was 
interrupted by war, unrest, or migration.\26\
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    \25\ Enchautegui, M.E. (2014) Immigrant Youth Outcomes: Patterns 
by Generation and Race and Ethnicity. Washington, DC: Urban 
Institute.
    \26\ Refugee Children and Youth Backgrounders (2006). New York, 
New York: International Rescue Committee.
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Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that is 
designed to improve outcomes for disconnected youth who are immigrants 
or refugees.

Proposed Priority 11--Work-Based Learning Opportunities

Background

    We are proposing a priority for projects that provide disconnected 
youth with paid work-based learning opportunities because the 
employment rate among youth has declined precipitously over the last 
decade,\27\ and addressing the employment needs of disconnected youth 
is critical to improving their well-being and preparation for lives as 
productive adults. We note as well that new evidence indicates that the 
benefits of work-based learning opportunities extend beyond improving 
the employment outcomes of youth. A recent evaluation of the summer 
work and learning opportunity program offered by New York City for 
youth ages 14 through 21, which selected participants using a 
randomized lottery, found that, within 5 to 8 years after 
participation, the incarceration and mortality rates of participants 
were significantly lower than those of their peers who were not 
selected to participate in the program.\28\ Our proposed priority also 
includes academic and technical instruction because research suggests 
that work experience must be combined with academic and technical 
training, as well as job search and placement assistance and other 
supports, in order to have a positive impact on the employment and 
earnings outcomes of youth.\29\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ Sum, A. et al. (2014) The Plummeting Labor Market Fortunes 
of Teens and Young Adults. Washington, DC: The Brookings 
Institution.
    \28\ Gelber, A., Isen, A. and Kessler, J.B. (2014). The Effects 
of Youth Employment: Evidence from New York City Summer Youth 
Employment. Program Lotteries. NBER Working Paper No. 20810. 
Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
    \29\ Sattar, S. (2010). Evidence Scan of Work Experience 
Programs. Oakland, CA: Mathematica Policy Research. See also Roder, 
A. and Elliott, M. (2014). Sustained Gains: Year-Up's Continued 
Impact on Young Adults' Earnings. New York, NY: Economic Mobility 
Corporation, Inc.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a pilot that will 
provide disconnected youth with paid work-based learning opportunities, 
such as opportunities during the summer, which are integrated with 
academic and technical instruction.

Proposed Priority 12--Site-Specific Evaluation

Background

    Though the Agencies are supporting a national evaluation of the 
implementation of P3, a great deal also

[[Page 63980]]

can be learned through rigorous and independent evaluations of the 
interventions and system reforms carried out by individual pilots. 
Consequently, we are proposing to establish a priority for applications 
that propose to conduct rigorous, independent evaluations of their 
programs or specific components of their programs. The November 2014 
notice included two priorities, one for evaluations that employed a 
randomized controlled trial design and another for evaluations with a 
quasi-experimental design. In this notice, we are proposing to 
establish a single priority for projects that will support evaluations 
that use either a randomized controlled trial or a quasi-experimental 
design. Applications will be evaluated based on the quality and 
appropriateness of the proposed evaluation's design, the scale of the 
contribution the evaluation will make to the evidence base, and the 
applicant's expertise in planning and conducting comparable studies. As 
we did in the November 2014 notice, we propose to require that the 
evaluator be independent of the entities involved in implementing the 
pilot. This independence will help ensure the objectivity of the 
evaluation and will help to prevent even the appearance of a conflict 
of interest.

Proposed Priority

    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to conduct an 
independent evaluation of the impacts on disconnected youth of its 
overall program or specific components of its program that is a 
randomized controlled trial or a quasi-experimental design study. The 
extent to which an applicant meets this priority will be based on the 
clarity and feasibility of the applicant's proposed evaluation design, 
the appropriateness of the design to best capture key pilot outcomes, 
the prospective contribution of the evaluation to the knowledge base 
about serving disconnected youth (including the rigor of the design and 
the validity and generalizability of the findings), and the applicant's 
demonstrated expertise in planning and conducting a randomized 
controlled trial or quasi-experimental evaluation study.
    In order to meet this priority, an applicant also must include the 
following two documents as separate attachments to its application:
    1. A Summary Evaluation Plan that describes how the pilot or a 
component of the pilot (such as a discrete service-delivery strategy) 
will be rigorously evaluated. The evaluation plan may not exceed eight 
pages. The plan must include the following:
     A brief description of the research question(s) proposed 
for study and an explanation of its/their relevance, including how the 
proposed evaluation will build on the research evidence base for the 
project as described in the application and how the evaluation findings 
will be used to improve program implementation;
     A description of the randomized controlled trial or quasi-
experimental design study methodology, including the key outcome 
measures, the process for forming a comparison or control group, a 
justification for the target sample size and strategy for achieving it, 
and the approach to data collection (and sources) that minimizes both 
cost and potential attrition;
     A proposed evaluation timeline, including dates for 
submission of required interim and final reports;
     A description of how, to the extent feasible and 
consistent with applicable Federal, State, local, and tribal privacy 
requirements, evaluation data will be made available to other, 
third[hyphen]party researchers after the project ends; and
     A plan for selecting and procuring the services of a 
qualified independent evaluator (as defined in this notice) prior to 
enrolling participants (or a description of how one was selected if 
agreements have already been reached). The applicant must describe how 
it will ensure that the qualified independent evaluator has the 
capacity and expertise to conduct the evaluation, including estimating 
the effort for the qualified independent evaluator. This estimate must 
include the time, expertise, and analysis needed to successfully 
complete the proposed evaluation.
    2. A supplementary Evaluation Budget Narrative, which is separate 
from the overall application budget narrative and provides a 
description of the costs associated with funding the proposed program 
evaluation component, and an explanation of its funding source--i.e., 
blended funding, start-up funding, State, local, or tribal government 
funding, or other funding (such as philanthropic). The budget must 
include a breakout of costs by evaluation activity (such as data 
collection and participant follow-up), and the applicant must describe 
a strategy for refining the budget after the services of an evaluator 
have been procured. The applicant must include travel costs for the 
qualified independent evaluator to attend at least one in-person 
conference in Washington, DC during the period of evaluation. All costs 
included in this supplementary budget narrative must be reasonable and 
appropriate to the project timeline and deliverables.
    The Agencies will review the Summary Evaluation Plans and 
Evaluation Budget Narratives and provide feedback to applicants that 
are determined to have met the priority and that are selected as pilot 
finalists or alternates. After award, these pilots must submit to the 
lead Federal agency a detailed evaluation plan of no more than 30 pages 
that relies heavily on the expertise of a qualified independent 
evaluator. The detailed evaluation plan must address the Agencies' 
feedback and expand on the Summary Evaluation 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 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 REQUIREMENTS

A. Application Requirements

Background

    The purpose of these proposed requirements is to provide reviewers 
with sufficient information to evaluate applications based on the 
selection criteria, as well as to provide the Agencies with sufficient 
information to understand and assess the merits of the flexibilities 
sought by applicants.

Proposed Application Requirements

    The Assistant Secretary proposes the following application 
requirements for this program. We may apply one or more of these 
requirements in any year in which this program is in effect.

[[Page 63981]]

    a. Executive Summary. The applicant must provide an executive 
summary that briefly describes the proposed pilot, the flexibilities 
being sought, and the interventions or systems changes that would be 
implemented by the applicant and its partners to improve outcomes for 
disconnected youth.
    b. Statement of Need for a Defined Target Population. The applicant 
must define the target population to be served, consistent with section 
524 of the 2015 Appropriations Act and based on a needs assessment that 
was conducted or updated within the past three years using 
representative data on youth from the jurisdiction(s) proposing the 
pilot. The applicant must complete Table 1, specifying the target 
population(s) for the pilot, including the range of ages of youth who 
will be served and the number of youth who will be served annually.

                       Table 1--Target Population
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Estimated number of
   Target population            Age range              youth served
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Note: Applicants do not need to include a copy of the needs 
assessment with the application, but must identify when the needs 
assessment was conducted.
    c. Flexibility, including waivers:
    1. Federal requests for flexibility, including waivers. The 
applicant must identify two or more discretionary Federal programs that 
will be included in the pilot, at least one of which must be 
administered (in whole or in part) by a State, local, or tribal 
government.\30\ The applicant must identify one or more program 
requirements that would inhibit implementation of the pilot and request 
that the requirement(s) be modified or waived. Examples of potential 
waiver requests and other requests for flexibility include, but are not 
limited to: blending of funds and changes to align eligibility 
requirements, allowable uses of funds, and performance reporting. For 
each program to be included in a pilot, the applicant also must 
complete Table 2, Requested Waivers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ Local governments that are requesting waivers of 
requirements in State-administered programs are strongly encouraged 
to consult with the State agencies that administer the programs in 
preparing their applications.

                                           Table 2--Requested Waivers
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Program
                                       requirements to      Statutory or     Name of program    Blending funds?
   Program name      Federal agency      be waived or        regulatory          grantee            (Yes/No)
                                           modified           citation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Please note in ``Name of Program Grantee'' if the grantee is a State, local, or tribal government.

    2. Non-Federal flexibility, including waivers. The applicant must 
provide written assurance that:
    A. The State, local, or tribal government(s) with authority to 
grant any needed non-Federal flexibility, including waivers, has 
approved or will approve such flexibility within 60 days of an 
applicant's designation as a pilot finalist; \31\ or
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ This includes, for example, for local governments, 
instances in which a waiver or modification must be agreed upon by a 
State. It also includes instances in which waivers or modifications 
may only be requested by the State on the local government's behalf, 
such as waivers of the performance accountability requirements for 
local areas established in Title I of the Workforce Innovation and 
Opportunity Act.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    B. Non-Federal flexibility, including waivers, is not needed in 
order to successfully implement the pilot.
    d. Project Design.
    1. The applicant must submit a narrative that describes the project 
and includes an explanation of--
    A. The needs of the target population;
    B. The activities or changes in practice that will be implemented 
to improve outcomes for the target population and how these activities 
differ from the status quo;
    C. Why the requested flexibility is necessary to implement the 
pilot and improve the outcomes of participants;
    D. How the requested flexibility will enable the applicant to 
implement changes in practice to improve outcomes for the target 
population; and
    E. The proposed length of the pilot.
    2. The applicant must provide a graphic depiction (not longer than 
one page) of the pilot's logic model that illustrates the underlying 
theory of how the pilot's strategy will produce intended outcomes.
    e. Work Plan and Project Management. The applicant must provide a 
detailed work plan that describes how the proposed work will be 
accomplished. The applicant must submit a detailed timeline and 
implementation milestones that include, at a minimum--
    1. The number of days after award that pilot activities will start, 
which must be within 180 days of the award, such as participant intake 
and services or changes to administrative systems, practices, and 
policy; and
    2. The number of participants expected to be served under the pilot 
for each period (such as quarterly or annually).
    f. Partnership Capacity and Management. The applicant must--
    1. Identify the proposed partners, including any and all State, 
local, and tribal entities and non-governmental organizations that 
would be involved in implementation of the pilot, and describe their 
roles in the pilot's implementation using Table 3. Partnerships that 
cross programs and funding sources but are under the jurisdiction of a 
single agency or entity must identify the different sub-organizational 
units involved.
    2. Provide a memorandum of understanding or letter of commitment 
signed by the executive leader or other accountable senior 
representative of each partner that describes each proposed partner's 
commitment, including its contribution of financial or in-kind 
resources (if any).

[[Page 63982]]



                         Table 3--Pilot Partners
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Type of organization
                           (state agency, local       Description of
        Partner          agency, community-based   partner's role in the
                         organization, business)           pilot
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note:
    Any grantees mentioned in Table 2 that are not the lead 
applicant must be included in Table 3.

    g. Data and Performance Management Capacity. The applicant must 
propose outcome measures and interim indicators to gauge pilot 
performance using Table 4. At least one outcome measure must be in the 
domain of education, and at least one outcome measure must be in the 
domain of employment. Applicants may specify additional employment and 
education outcome measures, as well as outcome measures in other 
domains of well-being, such as criminal justice, physical and mental 
health, and housing. Regardless of the outcome domain, applicants must 
identify at least one interim indicator for each proposed outcome 
measure. Applicants may apply one interim indicator to multiple outcome 
measures, if appropriate.
    Examples of education- and employment-related outcome measures and 
interim indicators include:
     For the outcome measure High School Diploma Attainment, 
interim indicators could include high school enrollment, attendance, 
and grade promotion;
     For the outcome measure Community College Completion, 
interim indicators could include class attendance and credit 
accumulation; and
     For the outcome measure Sustained Employment in Career 
Field, interim indicators could include unsubsidized employment during 
the second quarter after exit from the program, unsubsidized employment 
during the fourth quarter after exit from the program, and median 
earnings during the second quarter after exit from the program.
    The specific outcome measures and interim indicators the applicant 
uses should be grounded in its logic model, and informed by applicable 
program results or research, as appropriate. Applicants must also 
indicate the source of the data, the proposed frequency of collection, 
and the methodology used to collect the data.

                                Table 4--Outcome Measures and Interim Indicators
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Domain                            Outcome measure                    Interim indicator(s)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Education                             Data Source:                          Data Source:
                                      Frequency of Collection:              Frequency of Collection:
                                      Methodology:                          Methodology:
Employment                            Data Source:                          Data Source:
                                      Frequency of Collection:              Frequency of Collection:
                                      Methodology:                          Methodology:
Other                                 Data Source:                          Data Source:
                                      Frequency of Collection:              Frequency of Collection:
                                      Methodology:                          Methodology:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    h. Budget and Budget Narrative.
    1. The applicant must complete Table 5 to provide the following 
budget information:
    A. For each Federal program, the amount of funds to be blended or 
braided (as defined in this notice), and the percentage of total 
program funding received by the applicant or its partners that the 
amount to be blended or braided represents; and
    B. The total amount of funds from all Federal programs that would 
be blended or braided under the pilot.

                                             Table 5--Federal Funds
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Blended funds as
                                                     Amount of     a percentage of     Federal     Grant already
               Year                  Program name   funds to be    grantee's total   fiscal year    awarded? (Y/
                                                      blended           award          of award          N)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Funds to be Blended
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Year 1                              .............  .............  ................  .............  .............
Year 2                              .............  .............  ................  .............  .............
Year 3                              .............  .............  ................  .............  .............
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                               Funds to be Braided
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Year 1                              .............  .............  ................  .............  .............
Year 2                              .............  .............  ................  .............  .............
Year 3                              .............  .............  ................  .............  .............
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



[[Page 63983]]

    Note: Applicants may propose to expand the number of Federal 
programs supporting pilot activities using FY 2016 or other future 
funding, which may be included in pilots if Congress extends the P3 
authority. If an applicant intends to blend or braid multiple years 
of a program's funds, it must complete a separate row of the table 
for each fiscal year. If an applicant will use a program's funding 
over multiple years of the pilot, it must indicate the amounts to be 
used in each separate year using the Year 1, 2, and 3 rows.

    2. The applicant must provide the following information about the 
proposed uses of funds to implement the pilot--
    A. The amount and proposed uses of the start-up grant funds it is 
requesting (which must be within the estimated award range provided in 
the notice inviting applications);
    B. The proposed uses of the blended and braided funds identified in 
Table 5; and
    C. The amount and sources of any non-Federal resources, including 
funds and in-kind contributions from State, local, tribal, 
philanthropic, and other sources, that will be used for the pilot.
    B. Program Requirements

Background

    We are proposing program requirements for each partnership selected 
as a pilot in order to ensure that each pilot participates in the 
national P3 evaluation and a technical assistance community of practice 
(as defined in this notice), as well as secures necessary consent for 
any data-sharing it carries out. We also specify the proposed contents 
of the performance agreement that will be established with each pilot. 
These proposed program requirements are the same requirements we 
established in the November 2014 notice.

Proposed Program Requirements

    The Assistant Secretary proposes the following program requirements 
for this program. We may apply one or more of these requirements in any 
year in which this program is in effect.
    a. National evaluation. In addition to any site-specific 
evaluations that pilots may undertake, the Agencies have initiated a 
national P3 evaluation. Each P3 pilot must participate fully in any 
federally sponsored P3 evaluation activity, including the national 
evaluation of P3, which will consist of the analysis of participant 
characteristics and outcomes, an implementation analysis at all sites, 
and rigorous impact evaluations of promising interventions in selected 
sites. The applicant must acknowledge in writing its understanding of 
these requirements by submitting the form provided in Appendix A, 
``Evaluation Commitment Form,'' as an attachment to its application.
    b. Community of practice. All P3 pilots must participate in a 
community of practice (as defined in this notice) that includes an 
annual in-person meeting of pilot sites (paid with grant funding that 
must be reflected in the pilot budget submitted) and virtual peer-to-
peer learning activities. This commitment involves each pilot site 
working with the lead Federal agency on a plan for supporting its 
technical assistance needs, which can include learning activities 
supported by foundations or other non-Federal organizations as well as 
activities financed with Federal funds for the pilot.
    c. Consent. P3 pilots must secure necessary consent from parents, 
guardians, students, or youth program participants to access data for 
their pilots and any evaluations, in accordance with applicable 
Federal, State, local, and tribal laws. Applicants must explain how 
they propose to ensure compliance with Federal, State, local, and 
tribal privacy laws and regulations as pilot partners share data to 
support effective coordination of services and link data to track 
outcome measures and interim indicators at the individual level to 
perform, where applicable, a low-cost, high-quality evaluation.\32\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ To the extent feasible and consistent with applicable 
privacy requirements, grantees must also ensure the data from their 
evaluations are made available to third[hyphen]party researchers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    d. Performance agreement. Each P3 pilot, along with other non-
Federal government entities involved in the partnership, must enter 
into a performance agreement that will include, at a minimum, the 
following (as required by section 526(c)(2) of the 2014 Appropriations 
Act):
    1. The length of the agreement;
    2. The Federal programs and federally-funded services that are 
involved in the pilot;
    3. The Federal discretionary funds that are being used in the 
pilot;
    4. The non[hyphen]Federal funds that are involved in the pilot, by 
source (which may include private funds as well as governmental funds) 
and by amount;
    5. The State, local, or tribal programs that are involved in the 
pilot and their respective roles;
    6. The populations to be served by the pilot;
    7. The cost[hyphen]effective Federal oversight procedures that will 
be used for the purpose of maintaining the necessary level of 
accountability for the use of the Federal discretionary funds;
    8. The cost[hyphen]effective State, local, or tribal oversight 
procedures that will be used for the purpose of maintaining the 
necessary level of accountability for the use of the Federal 
discretionary funds;
    9. The outcome (or outcomes) that the pilot is designed to achieve;
    10. The appropriate, reliable, and objective 
outcome[hyphen]measurement methodology that will be used to determine 
whether the pilot is achieving, and has achieved, specified outcomes;
    11. The statutory, regulatory, or administrative requirements 
related to Federal mandatory programs that are barriers to achieving 
improved outcomes of the pilot; and
    12. Criteria for determining when a pilot is not achieving the 
specified outcomes that it is designed to achieve and subsequent steps, 
including:
    i. The consequences that will result; and
    ii. The corrective actions that will be taken in order to increase 
the likelihood that the pilot will achieve such specified outcomes.

PROPOSED DEFINITIONS

Background

    We propose definitions for several important terms that are 
associated with this program and the proposed priorities, requirements, 
and selection criteria in this notice.

Proposed Definitions

    The Assistant Secretary proposes 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.
    Blended funding is a funding and resource allocation strategy that 
uses multiple existing funding streams to support a single initiative 
or strategy. Blended funding merges two or more funding streams, or 
portions of multiple funding streams, to produce greater efficiency 
and/or effectiveness. Funds from each individual stream lose their 
award-specific identity, and the blended funds together become subject 
to a single set of reporting and other requirements, consistent with 
the underlying purposes of the programs for which the funds were 
appropriated.
    Braided funding is a funding and resource allocation strategy in 
which entities use existing funding streams to support unified 
initiatives in as flexible and integrated a manner as possible while 
still tracking and maintaining separate accountability for each funding 
stream. One or more entities may coordinate several funding sources, 
but each individual funding stream

[[Page 63984]]

maintains its award-specific identity. Blending funds typically 
requires one or more waivers of associated program requirements, 
whereas braiding funding does not.
    Community of practice means a group of pilots that agrees to 
interact regularly to solve persistent problems or improve practice in 
an area that is important to them and the success of their projects.
    English learner means an individual who has limited ability in 
reading, writing, speaking, or comprehending the English language, 
and--
    (A) Whose native language is a language other than English; or
    (B) Who lives in a family or community environment where a language 
other than English is the dominant language.
    Evidence-based interventions are approaches to prevention or 
treatment that are validated by documented scientific evidence from 
randomized controlled trials, or quasi-experimental or correlational 
studies, and that show positive effects (for randomized controlled 
trials and quasi-experimental studies) or favorable associations (for 
correlational studies) on the primary targeted outcomes for populations 
or settings similar to those of the proposed pilot. The best evidence 
to support an applicant's proposed reform(s) and target population will 
be based on one or more randomized controlled trials. The next best 
evidence will be studies using a quasi-experimental design. 
Correlational analysis may also be used as evidence to support an 
applicant's proposed reforms.
    Evidence-informed interventions bring together the best available 
research, professional expertise, and input from youth and families to 
identify and deliver services that have promise to achieve positive 
outcomes for youth, families, and communities.
    Homeless youth has the same meaning as ``homeless children and 
youths'' in section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless 
Children and Youth Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 11434a(2)).
    Individual with a disability means an individual with any 
disability as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities 
Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102).
    An interim indicator is a marker of achievement that demonstrates 
progress toward an outcome and is measured at least annually.
    Outcomes are the intended results of a program, or intervention. 
They are what applicants expect their projects to achieve. An outcome 
can be measured at the participant level (for example, changes in 
employment retention or earnings of disconnected youth) or at the 
system level (for example, improved efficiency in program operations or 
administration).
    A qualified independent evaluator is an individual who coordinates 
with the grantee and the lead Federal agency for the pilot, but works 
independently on the evaluation and has the capacity to carry out the 
evaluation, including, but not limited to: Prior experience conducting 
evaluations of similar design (for example, for randomized controlled 
trials, the evaluator will have successfully conducted a randomized 
controlled trial in the past); positive past performance on evaluations 
of a similar design, as evidenced by past performance reviews submitted 
from past clients directly to the awardee; lead staff with prior 
experience carrying out a similar evaluation; lead staff with minimum 
credential (such as a Ph.D. plus three years of experience conducting 
evaluations of a similar nature, or a Master's degree plus seven years 
of experience conducting evaluations of a similar nature); and adequate 
staff time to work on the evaluation.
    A rural community is a community that is served only by one or more 
local educational agencies (LEAs) that are currently eligible under the 
Department of Education's Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) 
program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized 
under Title VI, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965 (ESEA), as amended, or includes only schools designated by the 
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) with a locale code of 
42 or 43.
    A waiver provides flexibility in the form of relief from specific 
statutory, regulatory, or administrative requirements that have 
hindered the ability of a State, locality, or tribe to organize its 
programs and systems or provide services in ways that best meet the 
needs of its target populations. Under P3, waivers provide flexibility 
in exchange for a pilot's commitment to improve programmatic outcomes 
for disconnected youth consistent with underlying statutory authorities 
and purposes.

PROPOSED SELECTION CRITERIA

Background

    We propose to establish program-specific selection criteria for P3 
because we believe the use of the more general selection criteria in 
the Education Department General Administrative Regulations would not 
result in the identification of projects that address the most 
compelling needs and are most likely to be successful in improving 
significantly the outcomes of disconnected youth. The selection 
criteria we are proposing are based largely on the selection criteria 
that appeared in the November 2014 notice. However, based on our 
experience in using these criteria, as well as feedback from 
prospective applicants and reviewers, we are proposing to simplify and 
streamline many of the criteria from the November 2014 notice. For 
example, the selection criteria for Work Plan and Project Management 
included nine elements in the November 2014 notice; the comparable 
proposed selection criteria in this notice include only three elements.

Proposed Selection Criteria

    The Assistant Secretary proposes 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. 
In the notice inviting applications, the application package, or both 
we will announce the maximum possible points assigned to each 
criterion.
    a. Need for Project. In determining the need for the proposed 
project, we will consider the magnitude of the need of the target 
population, as evidenced by the applicant's analysis of data, including 
data from the comprehensive needs assessment, that demonstrates how the 
target population lags behind other groups in achieving positive 
outcomes and the specific risk factors for this population.

    Note: Applicants are encouraged to disaggregate these data 
according to relevant demographic factors such as race, ethnicity, 
gender, age, disability status, involvement in systems such as 
foster care or juvenile justice, status as pregnant or parenting, 
and other key factors selected by the applicant.

    b. Need for Requested Flexibility, Including Blending of Funds and 
Other Waivers. In determining the need for the requested flexibility, 
including blending of funds and other waivers, we will consider:
    1. The strength and clarity of the applicant's justification that 
each of the specified Federal requirements for which the applicant is 
seeking a waiver hinders implementation of the proposed pilot; and
    2. The strength and quality of the applicant's justification of how 
each request for flexibility (i.e., blending funds and waivers) will 
increase efficiency or access to services and produce significantly 
better outcomes for the target population(s).

[[Page 63985]]

    c. Project Design. In determining the strength of the project 
design, we will consider:
    1. The strength and logic of the proposed project design in 
addressing the gaps and the disparities identified in the statement of 
need section and the barriers identified in the flexibility section. 
This includes the clarity of the applicant's plan and how the plan 
differs from current practices. Scoring will account for the strength 
of both the applicant's narrative and the logic model;

    Note: The applicant's narrative should describe how the proposed 
project will use and coordinate resources, including building on 
participation in any complementary Federal initiatives or efforts.

    2. The strength of the evidence base supporting the pilot design, 
based on the use of evidence-based and evidence-informed interventions 
(as defined in this notice) as documented by citations to the relevant 
evidence;

    Note:  Applicants should cite the studies on interventions and 
system reforms that informed their pilot design and explain the 
relevance of the cited evidence to the proposed project in terms of 
subject matter and evaluation evidence. Applicants proposing reforms 
on which there are not yet evaluations (such as innovations that 
have not been formally tested or tested only on a small scale) 
should document how evidence or practice knowledge informed the 
proposed pilot design.

    3. The strength of the applicant's evidence that the project 
design, including any protections and safeguards that will be 
established, ensures that the consequences or impacts of the changes 
from current practices in serving youth through the proposed funding 
streams:
    A. Will not result in denying or restricting the eligibility of 
individuals for services that (in whole or in part) are otherwise 
funded by these programs; and
    B. Based on the best available information, will not otherwise 
adversely affect vulnerable populations that are the recipients of 
those services.
    d. Work Plan and Project Management. In determining the strength of 
the work plan and project management, we will consider the strength and 
completeness of the work plan and project management approach and their 
likelihood of achieving the objectives of the proposed project on time 
and within budget, based on--
    1. Clearly defined and appropriate responsibilities, timelines, and 
milestones for accomplishing project tasks;
    2. The qualifications of project personnel to ensure proper 
management of all project activities;
    3. How any existing or anticipated barriers to implementation will 
be overcome.

    Note:  If the program manager or other key personnel are already 
on staff, the applicant should provide this person's resume or 
curriculum vitae.


    Note:  Evaluation activities may be included in the timelines 
provided as part of the work plan.

    e. Partnership Capacity. In determining the strength and capacity 
of the proposed pilot partnership, we will consider the following 
factors--
    1. How well the applicant demonstrates that it has an effective 
governance structure in which partners that are necessary to implement 
the pilot successfully are represented and have the necessary 
authority, resources, expertise, and incentives to achieve the pilot's 
goals and resolve unforeseen issues, including by demonstrating the 
extent to which, and how, participating partners have successfully 
collaborated to improve outcomes for disconnected youth in the past;
    2. How well the applicant demonstrates that its proposal was 
designed with substantive input from all relevant stakeholders, 
including disconnected youth and other community partners.

    Note:  Where the project design includes job training 
strategies, the extent of employer input and engagement in the 
identification of skills and competencies needed by employers, the 
development of the curriculum, and the offering of work-based 
learning opportunities, including pre-apprenticeship and registered 
apprenticeship, will be considered.

    f. Data and Performance Management Capacity. In determining the 
strength of the applicant's data and performance management capacity, 
we will consider the following factors--
    1. The applicant's capacity to collect, analyze, and use data for 
decision-making, learning, continuous improvement, and accountability, 
and the strength of the applicant's plan to bridge any gaps in its 
ability to do so. This capacity includes the extent to which the 
applicant and partner organizations have tracked and shared data about 
program participants, services, and outcomes, including the execution 
of data-sharing agreements that comport with Federal, State, and other 
privacy laws and requirements, and will continue to do so;
    2. How well the proposed outcome measures, interim indicators, and 
measurement methodologies specified in the application appropriately 
and sufficiently gauge results achieved for the target population under 
the pilot; and
    3. How well the data sources specified in the application can be 
appropriately accessed and used to reliably measure the proposed 
outcome measures and interim indicators.
    g. Budget and Budget Narrative. In determining the adequacy of the 
resources that will be committed to support the project, we will 
consider the appropriateness of expenses within the budget with regards 
to cost and to implementing the pilot successfully.

Final Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria

    We will announce the final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria in a notice 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 Department. 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 use one or more of these proposed priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, we invite 
applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

Regulatory Impact Analysis

    Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether 
this regulatory action is ``significant'' and, therefore, subject to 
the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866 defines a ``significant regulatory action'' as an action likely 
to result in a rule that may--
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, 
jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local or 
tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to 
as an ``economically significant'' rule);
    (2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the

[[Page 63986]]

President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive 
order.
    This proposed regulatory action is not a significant regulatory 
action subject to review by OMB under section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866.
    We have also reviewed 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 issuing these proposed 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 Department 
believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles 
in Executive Order 13563.
    We also have determined that this regulatory action would not 
unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    In accordance with both Executive orders, the Department has 
assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and 
qualitative, of this regulatory action. The potential costs are those 
resulting from statutory requirements and those we have determined as 
necessary for administering the Department's programs and activities. 
The potential benefits of the proposed priorities requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria are that they would promote the 
efficient and effective use of the P3 authority. Implementation of 
these priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria 
will help the Agencies identify pilots that will: (1) Serve 
disconnected youth with significant needs; (2) carry out effective 
reforms and interventions; and (3) be managed by strong partnerships 
with the capacity to collect, analyze, and use data for decision-
making, learning, continuous improvement, and accountability.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent 
burden, the Department provides the general public and Federal agencies 
with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections 
of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: The public 
understands the Department's collection instructions, respondents can 
provide the requested data in the desired format, reporting burden 
(time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are 
clearly understood, and the Department can properly assess the impact 
of collection requirements on respondents.
    We estimate that each applicant would spend approximately 80 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 the Department received in response to the 
November 2014 notice inviting applications, we expect to receive 
approximately 55 applications. The total number of hours for all 
expected applicants is an estimated 4,400 hours. We estimate the total 
cost per hour of the staff who carry out this work to be $44.25 per 
hour, the mean hourly compensation cost for State and local government 
workers in March 2015.\33\ The total estimated cost for all applicants 
would be $194,700.
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    \33\ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, March 2015 
(2015). Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department 
of Labor. Retrieved on August 30, 2015 from: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We have prepared an Information Collection Request (ICR) for this 
collection (1830-0575). If you want to review and comment on the ICR, 
please follow the instructions listed under the ADDRESSES section of 
this notice.

    Note: The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in OMB 
and the Department of Education review all comments posted at 
www.regulations.gov.

    In preparing your comments you may want to review the ICR, 
including the supporting materials, in www.regulations.gov by using the 
Docket ID number specified in this notice. This proposed collection is 
identified as proposed collection 1830-0575.
    We consider your comments on this proposed collection of 
information in--
     Deciding whether the proposed collection is necessary for 
the proper performance of our functions, including whether the 
information will have practical use;
     Evaluating the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of 
the proposed collection, including the validity of our methodology and 
assumptions;
     Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the 
information we collect; and
     Minimizing the burden on those who must respond. This 
includes exploring the use of appropriate automated, electronic, 
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques.
    Between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the 
Federal Register, OMB is required to make a decision concerning the 
collection of information contained in these proposed priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. Therefore, to ensure 
that OMB gives your comments full consideration, it is important that 
OMB receives your comments on this ICR by November 23, 2015. This does 
not affect the deadline for your comments to us on the proposed 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.
    If your comments relate to the ICR for these proposed priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, please specify the 
Docket ID number and indicate ``Information Collection Comments'' on 
the top of your comments.

[[Page 63987]]

    Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal 
mail or delivery related to the information collection requirements 
should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection 
Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue 
SW., Mailstop L-OM-2E319LBJ, Room 2E115, Washington, DC 20202-4537.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the 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.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: October 19, 2015.
Johan E. Uvin,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Delegated the Authority of Assistant 
Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
Appendix A: Proposed Evaluation Commitment Form
    An authorized executive of the lead applicant and all other 
partners, including State, local, tribal, and non-governmental 
organizations that would be involved in the pilot's implementation, 
must sign this form and submit it as an attachment to the grant 
application. The form is not considered in the recommended application 
page limit.
Commitment To Participate in Required Evaluation Activities
    As the lead applicant or a partner proposing to implement a 
Performance Partnership Pilot through a Federal grant, I/we agree to 
carry out the following activities, which are considered evaluation 
requirements applicable to all pilots:
    Facilitate Data Collection: I/we understand that the award of this 
grant requires me/us to facilitate the collection and/or transmission 
of data for evaluation and performance monitoring purposes to the lead 
Federal agency and/or its national evaluator in accordance with 
applicable Federal, State, and local, and tribal laws, including 
privacy laws.
    The type of data that will be collected includes, but is not 
limited to, the following:
     Demographic information, including participants' gender, 
race, age, school status, and employment status;
     Information on the services that participants receive; and
     Outcome measures and interim outcome indicators, linked at 
the individual level, which will be used to measure the effects of the 
pilots.
    The lead Federal agency will provide more details to grantees on 
the data items required for performance and evaluation after grants 
have been awarded.
    Participate in Evaluation: I/we understand that participation and 
full cooperation in the national evaluation of the Performance 
Partnership Pilot is a condition of this grant award. I/we understand 
that the national evaluation will include an implementation systems 
analysis and, for certain sites as appropriate, may also include an 
impact evaluation. My/our participation will include facilitating site 
visits and interviews; collaborating in study procedures, including 
random assignment, if necessary; and transmitting data that are needed 
for the evaluation of participants in the study sample, including those 
who may be in a control group.
    Participate in Random Assignment: I/we agree that if our 
Performance Partnership Pilot or certain activities in the Pilot is 
selected for an impact evaluation as part of the national evaluation, 
it may be necessary to select participants for admission to Performance 
Partnership Pilot by a random lottery, using procedures established by 
the qualified independent evaluator.
    Secure Consent: I/we agree to include a consent form for, as 
appropriate, parents/guardians and students/participants in the 
application or enrollment packet for all youth in organizations 
implementing the Performance Partnership Pilot consistent with any 
Federal, State, local, and tribal laws that apply. The parental/
participant consent forms will be collected prior to the acceptance of 
participants into Performance Partnership Pilot and before sharing data 
with the qualified independent evaluator for the purpose of evaluating 
the Performance Partnership Pilot.
SIGNATURES
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[FR Doc. 2015-26965 Filed 10-21-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P


80_FR_64179
Current View
CategoryRegulatory Information
CollectionFederal Register
sudoc ClassAE 2.7:
GS 4.107:
AE 2.106:
PublisherOffice of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration
SectionNotices
ActionProposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.
DatesWe must receive your comments on or before November 23, 2015.
ContactBraden Goetz. Telephone: (202) 245- 7405 or by email: [email protected]
FR Citation80 FR 63975 

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