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

Enforcement (Sec. 300.604)

Comment: A few commenters recommended changing the enforcement requirements in Sec. 300.604 to clarify the actions a State must take relating to enforcement. The commenters stated that it is essential that States understand their explicit authority under the Act to take certain enforcement actions against LEAs if the State is identified as a State that needs assistance, needs intervention, or needs substantial intervention. The commenters stated that some of the enforcement mechanisms available to the Secretary in section 616(e) of the Act, such as requiring entry into a GEPA compliance agreement or referral to the Office of the Inspector General, may have no direct counterpart under State law and therefore, would not be available to States.

Discussion: The Department agrees that it is important to clarify the specific enforcement actions that States must use against an LEA if the LEA is determined to need assistance, intervention, or substantial intervention. We are revising Sec. 300.600(a) to identify the specific enforcement actions identified in Sec. 300.604 that are appropriate for a State, as opposed to the Federal government, to use if it determines that an LEA needs assistance or intervention in implementing the requirements of Part B of the Act.

Changes: We have revised Sec. 300.600(a) to require States to enforce Part B of the Act in accordance with the enforcement mechanisms identified in Sec. 300.604(a)(1) and (a)(3), (b)(2)(i) and (b)(2)(v), and (c)(2).

Comment: One commenter recommended including in Sec. Sec. 300.600 through 300.609 a method for individuals or organizations to inform the Department about compliance issues in their district or State.

Discussion: The Department is committed to obtaining input from individuals and organizations as part of its monitoring process, and has a system for receiving and responding to citizen complaints about LEA and State compliance. However, detailed operational procedures for monitoring State activities are not typically included in regulations. Accordingly, we believe it is unnecessary to provide further clarification regarding specific monitoring procedures in Sec. Sec. 300.600 through 300.609.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter recommended clarifying in Sec. 300.604 that withholding State administrative funds would only occur following the Secretary's determination that, for three or more consecutive years, the State needs intervention in implementing the requirements of Part B of the Act.

Discussion: Section 300.604(b)(2)(iii), consistent with section 616(e)(2)(iii) of the Act, clearly delineates that consideration of withholding State administrative funds occurs following a "needs intervention" determination by the Secretary for three or more consecutive years. Therefore, we do not believe it is necessary to add further clarification regarding the withholding of State administrative funds.

Changes: None.