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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Secretary's review and determination regarding State performance (Sec. 300.603)

Comment: One commenter expressed concern that the tone and substance of the monitoring and enforcement provisions in Sec. Sec. 300.603 through 300.609, related to approval or disapproval by the Secretary of the State's performance plan and interventions against the SEA, are overly prescriptive and negative. The commenter stated that enforcement provisions applicable to all elementary school and secondary school programs already exist in GEPA.

Discussion: We do not agree that the enforcement provisions are overly prescriptive. These enforcement provisions simply reflect the statutory requirements in section 616(d) and (e) of the Act. These provisions are more specific than the provisions in GEPA.

Changes: None.

Comment: A few commenters recommended including in the regulations the provisions in section 616(c) of the Act, regarding the process the Secretary must follow if the Secretary finds that a State performance plan does not meet the requirements in section 616 of the Act.

Discussion: We believe that the review process spelled out in section 616(c) of the Act is sufficiently clear and that regulations are not necessary. Further, under the statutory framework, the State performance plans were due to the Department by December 3, 2005, and the Department's review of the State performance plans for the six-year period of federal fiscal years 2005 through 2011 has already been completed. Accordingly, we believe it is unnecessary to add further clarification regarding the Secretary's responsibilities in Sec. 300.603.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter recommended that the Department's process for approval of targets in State performance plans be rational, consistent, and transparent. For example, the commenter suggested that as the Department responds to and negotiates with a State regarding the State's targets, the process should be open so that States can learn from the Department's discussions with other States.

Discussion: We agree with the commenter. Accordingly, the Department has posted its analyses of each State's performance plan on the Department's Web site at: http://www.ed.gov/fund/data/report/idea/partbspap/index.html. In so doing, the Department's analyses are transparent and provide States with the opportunity to review the Department's responses to other States' performance plans.

Changes: None.