Skip to Content
Notice

Application for New Awards; Charter Schools Program (CSP); Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools

Action

Notice.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

Overview Information Back to Top

Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2012.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.282M.

Applications Available: March 6, 2012.

Date of Pre-Application Meeting: March 27, 2012.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 7, 2012.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 5, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement Back to Top

I. Funding Opportunity Description Back to Top

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the CSP is to increase national understanding of the charter school model; to expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, initial implementation, and expansion of charter schools; and to evaluate the effects of charter schools, including their effects on students, student academic achievement, staff, and parents.

The purpose of the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (Replication and Expansion) competition (CFDA 84.282M) is to award grants to eligible applicants to enable them to replicate or expand high-quality charter schools with demonstrated records of success, including success in increasing student academic achievement. Eligible applicants may use their grant funds to expand the enrollment of one or more existing charter schools by substantially increasing the number of available seats per school or to open one or more new charter schools that are based on the charter school model for which the eligible applicant has presented evidence of success.

Priorities: This notice includes one absolute priority, six competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority. The absolute and competitive preference priorities are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program, published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (76 FR 40898); from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637); and from 34 CFR 75.225(a).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Experience Operating or Managing High-Quality Charter Schools. (76 FR 40898)

This priority is for projects that will provide for the replication or expansion of high-quality charter schools by applicants that currently operate or manage more than one high-quality charter school (as defined in this notice).

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we will award an additional 9 points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1; an additional point to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2; up to an additional 4 points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 3, depending on how well the application meets the priority; an additional point to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 4; an additional point to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 5; and an additional 4 points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 6.

Note:

In order to receive preference under these competitive preference priorities, the applicant must identify the priority or priorities that it believes it meets and provide documentation supporting its claims.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Low-Income Demographic. (76 FR 40900) (9 points)

To meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that at least 60 percent of all students in the charter schools it currently operates or manages are individuals from low-income families (as defined in this notice).

Competitive Preference Priority 2—School Improvement. (76 FR 40900) (1 point)

To meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that its proposed replication or expansion of one or more high-quality charter schools will occur in partnership with, and will be designed to assist, one or more local educational agencies (LEAs) in implementing academic or structural interventions to serve students attending schools that have been identified for improvement, corrective action, closure, or restructuring under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), and as described in the notice of final requirements for the School Improvement Grants, published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2010 (75 FR 66363).

Note:

Applicants in States operating under ESEA Flexibility that have opted to waive the requirement in ESEA section 1116(b) for LEAs to identify for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, as appropriate, their Title I schools that fail to make AYP for two or more consecutive years may partner with LEAs to serve students attending priority or focus schools (see the September 23, 2011 “ESEA Flexibility” document at http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility).

Competitive Preference Priority 3—Promoting Diversity. (76 FR 40900) (Up to 4 points)

This priority is for applicants that demonstrate a record of (in the schools they currently operate or manage), as well as an intent to continue (in schools that they will be creating or substantially expanding under this grant), taking active measures to—

(a) Promote student diversity, including racial and ethnic diversity, or avoid racial isolation;

(b) Serve students with disabilities at a rate that is at least comparable to the rate at which these students are served in public schools in the surrounding area; and

(c) Serve English learners at a rate that is at least comparable to the rate at which these students are served in public schools in the surrounding area.

In support of this priority, applicants must provide enrollment data as well as descriptions of existing policies and activities undertaken or planned to be undertaken.

Note:

An applicant addressing this priority is invited to discuss how the proposed design of its project will encourage approaches by charter schools that help bring together students of different backgrounds, including students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, to attain the benefits that flow from a diverse student body.

Note:

For additional information, please refer to the Department's “Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools” guidance documents at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/guidance-ese-201111.pdf.

Competitive Preference Priority 4—Technology. (76 FR 27638) (1 point)

This priority is for projects that are designed to improve student achievement (as defined in this notice) or teacher effectiveness through the use of high-quality digital tools or materials, which may include preparing teachers to use the technology to improve instruction, as well as developing, implementing, or evaluating digital tools or materials.

Note:

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Department's regulations implementing Section 504 at 34 CFR Part 104, prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the Department. The obligations under these laws—to provide an equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities to participate in, and receive the benefits of, the educational program and to provide accommodations or modifications when necessary to ensure equal treatment—apply to a recipient's use of technology, including digital tools and equipment. For additional information, please refer to the Department's May 26, 2011, Dear Colleague Letter available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201105-ese.pdf, and attached Frequently Asked Questions about the June 26, 2010, Dear Colleague Letter available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-ebook-faq-201105.pdf.

Competitive Preference Priority 5—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education. (76 FR 27639) (1 point)

This priority is for projects that are designed to provide students with increased access to rigorous and engaging coursework in STEM.

Competitive Preference Priority 6—Novice Applicant (34 CFR 75.225(c)(2)) (4 points)

This priority is for applicants that qualify as novice applicants. “Novice applicant” means an applicant for a grant from the Department that (i) has never received a Replication and Expansion grant; (ii) has never been a member of a group application, submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, that received a Replication and Expansion grant; and (iii) has not had an active discretionary grant from the Federal Government in the five years before the deadline date for applications for new awards under this Replication and Expansion grant competition.

For the purposes of clause (iii) in the preceding paragraph, a grant is active until the end of the grant's project or funding period, including any extensions of those periods that extend the grantee's authority to obligate funds (34 CFR 75.225(b)).

Invitational Priority: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Students With Disabilities and English Learners

The Secretary is particularly interested in applications that demonstrate, through participant, achievement, and outcome data for students with disabilities, English learners, or both—

(1) Prior success in improving educational achievement and outcomes for these students; and

(2) That the charter school model the applicant proposes to replicate or expand serves these students at rates that are comparable to the enrollment rates of students with disabilities, English learners, or both, in the school districts in which the applicant's schools operate.

Note:

An applicant addressing this priority should provide participant, achievement, and outcome data separately for students with disabilities and English learners.

Definitions

The following definitions are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (76 FR 40898), and from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637), and apply to this competition.

Charter management organization (CMO) is a nonprofit organization that operates or manages multiple charter schools by centralizing or sharing certain functions and resources among schools. (76 FR 40901)

Educationally disadvantaged students includes, but is not necessarily limited to, individuals from low-income families (as defined in this notice), English learners, migratory children, children with disabilities, and neglected or delinquent children. (76 FR 40901)

High-quality charter school is a school that shows evidence of strong academic results for the past three years (or over the life of the school, if the school has been open for fewer than three years), based on the following factors:

(1) Increasing student academic achievement and attainment for all students, including, as applicable, educationally disadvantaged students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant.

(2) Either (i) Demonstrated success in closing historic achievement gaps for the subgroups of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA at the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant, or

(ii) No significant achievement gaps between any of the subgroups of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA at the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant and significant gains in student academic achievement have been made with all populations of students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant.

(3) Achieved results (including performance on statewide tests, annual student attendance and retention rates, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates, and college persistence rates where applicable and available) for low-income and other educationally disadvantaged students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant that are above the average academic achievement results for such students in the State.

(4) No significant compliance issues (as defined in this notice), particularly in the areas of student safety and financial management. (76 FR 40901-02)

Individual from low-income family means an individual who is determined by an SEA or LEA to be a child, ages 5 through 17, from a low-income family on the basis of (a) data used by the Secretary to determine allocations under section 1124 of the ESEA, (b) data on children eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, (c) data on children in families receiving assistance under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act, (d) data on children eligible to receive medical assistance under the Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, or (e) an alternate method that combines or extrapolates from the data in items (a) through (d) of this definition (see 20 U.S.C. 6537(3)). (76 FR 40902)

Replicate means to open one or more new charter schools that are based on the charter school model or models for which the applicant has presented evidence of success. (76 FR 40902)

Significant compliance issue means a violation that did, will, or could lead to the revocation of a school's charter. (76 FR 40902)

Student achievement means—

(a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across schools.

(b) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools. (76 FR 27641)

Substantially expand means to increase the student count of an existing charter school by more than 50 percent or to add at least two grades to an existing charter school over the course of the grant. (76 FR 40902)

Program Authority: Back to Top

20 U.S.C. 7221-7221j; Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, Division F, Title III, Public Law 112-74.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (76 FR 40898). (c) The notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486), and corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 27637). (d) The regulations in 34 CFR 75.225(a).

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply only to institutions of higher education.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 99 apply only to an educational agency or institution.

II. Award Information Back to Top

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds:$13,500,000.

Contingent upon the availability of funds, and the quality of the applications, we may make additional awards later in FY 2012 and in FY 2013 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards:$200,000 to $3,000,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards:$1,600,000 per year.

Estimated Number of Awards: 7-11.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. The estimated range, average size, and number of awards are based on a single 12-month budget period. However, the Department may choose to fund more than 12 months of a project using FY 2012 funds.

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information Back to Top

1. Eligible Applicants: Non-profit charter management organizations and other entities that are not for-profit entities. Eligible applicants may also apply as a group or consortium.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost sharing or matching.

3. Other:

(a) Reasonable and Necessary Costs: The Secretary may elect to impose maximum limits on the amount of grant funds that may be awarded per charter school replicated, per charter school substantially expanded, or per new school seat created.

For this competition the maximum limit of grant funds that may be awarded per new school seat is $3,000, including a maximum limit per new school created of $800,000. The maximum limit per new school seat in a charter school that is substantially expanding its enrollment is $1,500, including a maximum limit per substantially expanded school of $800,000.

Note:

Applicants must ensure that all costs included in the proposed budget are reasonable and necessary in light of the goals and objectives of the proposed project. Any costs determined by the Secretary to be unreasonable or unnecessary will be removed from the final approved budget.

(b) Other CSP Grants: A charter school that receives funds under this competition is ineligible to receive funds for the same purpose under section 5202(c)(2) of the ESEA, including for planning and program design or the initial implementation of a charter school (i.e., CFDA 84.282A or 84.282B).

A charter school that has received CSP funds for replication previously, or that has received funds for planning or initial implementation of a charter school (i.e., CFDA 84.282A or 84.282B), may not use funds under this grant for the same purpose. However, such charter schools may be eligible to receive funds under this competition to substantially expand the charter school beyond the existing grade levels or student count.

IV. Application and Submission Information Back to Top

1. Address to Request Application Package:

Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W255, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-3525 or by email: erin.pfeltz@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. The Secretary strongly encourages applicants to limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 60 pages, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section (Part III).

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: March 6, 2012.

Date of Pre-Application Meeting: The Department will hold a pre-application meeting via webinar for prospective applicants on March 27, 2012, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Washington, DC, time. Individuals interested in attending this meeting are encouraged to pre-register by emailing their name, organization, and contact information with the subject heading “PRE-APPLICATION MEETING” to CharterSchools@ed.gov. There is no registration fee for attending this meeting.

For further information about the pre-application meeting, contact Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W255, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-3525 or by email: erin.pfeltz@ed.gov.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 7, 2012.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 5, 2012.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.

5. Funding Restrictions: Grantees under this program must use the grant funds to replicate or substantially expand the charter school model or models for which the applicant has presented evidence of success. Grant funds must be used to carry out allowable activities, as described in section 5204(f)(3) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7221c(f)(3)).

Pursuant to section 5204(f)(3) of the ESEA, grantees under this program must use the grant funds for—

(a) Post-award planning and design of the educational program, which may include: (i) Refinement of the desired educational results and of the methods for measuring progress toward achieving those results; and (ii) professional development of teachers and other staff who will work in the charter school; and

(b) Initial implementation of the charter school, which may include: (i) Informing the community about the school; (ii) acquiring necessary equipment and educational materials and supplies; (iii) acquiring or developing curriculum materials; and (iv) other initial operational costs that cannot be met from State or local sources.

Note:

A grantee may use up to 20 percent of grant funds for initial operational costs associated with the expansion or improvement of the grantee's oversight or management of its charter schools, provided that: (i) the specific charter schools being created or substantially expanded under the grant are the intended beneficiaries of such expansion or improvement, and (ii) such expansion or improvement is intended to improve the grantee's ability to manage or oversee the charter schools created or substantially expanded under the grant.

We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant database;

c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one business day.

If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.

In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.

7. Other Submission Requirements. Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

Applications for grants under the CSP Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools, CFDA number 84.282M, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

You may access the electronic grant application for CSP Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.282, not 84.282M).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a .PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Specifically, do not upload an interactive or fillable .PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable .PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system; and
  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W255, Washington, DC 20202-5970. FAX: (202) 205-5630.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: CFDA Number 84.282M, LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark.

(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: CFDA Number 84.282M, 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information Back to Top

1. Application Requirements: Applicants applying for CSP grant funds must address the following application requirements and the selection criteria described in this notice. An applicant may choose to respond to the application requirements in the context of its responses to the selection criteria.

These application requirements are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this competition published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (79 FR 40898).

(a) Describe the objectives of the project for replicating or substantially expanding high-quality charter schools and the methods by which the applicant will determine its progress toward achieving those objectives.

(b) Describe how the applicant currently operates or manages the charter schools for which it has presented evidence of success, and how the proposed new or substantially expanded charter schools will be operated or managed. Include a description of central office functions, governance, daily operations, financial management, human resources management, and instructional management. If applying as a group or consortium, describe the roles and responsibilities of each member of the group or consortium and how each member will contribute to this project.

(c) Describe how the applicant will ensure that each proposed new or substantially expanded charter school receives its commensurate share of Federal education funds that are allocated by formula each year, including during the first year of operation of the school and any year in which the school's enrollment substantially expands.

(d) Describe the educational program to be implemented in the proposed new or substantially expanded charter schools, including how the program will enable all students (including educationally disadvantaged students) to meet State student academic achievement standards, the grade levels or ages of students to be served, and the curriculum and instructional practices to be used.

(e) Describe the administrative relationship between the charter school or schools to be replicated or substantially expanded by the applicant and the authorized public chartering agency.

(f) Describe how the applicant will provide for continued operation of the proposed new or substantially expanded charter school or schools once the Federal grant has expired.

(g) Describe how parents and other members of the community will be involved in the planning, program design, and implementation of the proposed new or substantially expanded charter school or schools.

(h) Include a request and justification for waivers of any Federal statutory or regulatory provisions that the applicant believes are necessary for the successful operation of the proposed new or substantially expanded charter schools.

(i) Describe how the grant funds will be used, including how these funds will be used in conjunction with other Federal programs administered by the Secretary, and with any matching funds.

(j) Describe how all students in the community, including students with disabilities, English learners, and other educationally disadvantaged students, will be informed about the proposed new or substantially expanded charter schools and given an equal opportunity to attend such schools.

(k) Describe how the proposed new or substantially expanded charter schools that are considered to be LEAs under State law, or the LEAs in which the new or substantially expanded charter schools are located, will comply with sections 613(a)(5) and 613(e)(1)(B) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

(l) Provide information on any significant compliance issues identified within the past three years for each school managed by the applicant, including compliance issues in the areas of student safety, financial management, and statutory or regulatory compliance.

(m) For each charter school currently operated or managed by the applicant, provide the following information: The year founded, the grades currently served, the number of students, the address, the percentage of students in each subgroup of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA, results on the State assessment for the past three years (if available) by subgroup, attendance rates, student attrition rates for the past three years, and (if the school operates a 12th grade) high school graduation rates and college attendance rates (maintaining standards to protect personally identifiable information).

(n) Provide objective data showing applicant quality. In particular, the Secretary requires the applicant to provide the following data:

(1) Performance (school-wide and by subgroup) for the past three years (if available) on statewide tests of all charter schools operated or managed by the applicant as compared to all students in other schools in the State or States at the same grade level, and as compared with other schools serving similar demographics of students (maintaining standards to protect personally identifiable information);

(2) Annual student attendance and retention rates (school-wide and by subgroup) for the past three years (or over the life of the school, if the school has been open for fewer than three years), and comparisons with other similar schools (maintaining standards to protect personally identifiable information); and

(3) Where applicable and available, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates, and college persistence rates (school-wide and by subgroup) for the past three years (if available) of students attending schools operated or managed by the applicant, and the methodology used to calculate these rates (maintaining standards to protect personally identifiable information). When reporting data for schools in States that may have particularly demanding or low standards of proficiency, applicants are invited to discuss how their academic success might be considered against applicants from across the country.

(o) Provide such other information and assurances as the Secretary may require.

2. Selection Criteria. The selection criteria for this program are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (76 FR 40898), and from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum possible score for addressing all of the criteria in this section is 100 points. The maximum possible score for addressing each criterion is indicated in parentheses following the criterion.

In evaluating an application, the Secretary considers the following criteria:

(a) Quality of the eligible applicant (50 points). In determining the quality of the applicant, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The degree, including the consistency over the past three years, to which the applicant has demonstrated success in significantly increasing student academic achievement and attainment for all students, including, as applicable, educationally disadvantaged students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant (20 points).

(2) Either (i) The degree, including the consistency over the past three years, to which the applicant has demonstrated success in closing historic achievement gaps for the subgroups of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA at the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant, or

(ii) The degree, including the consistency over the past three years, to which there have not been significant achievement gaps between any of the subgroups of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA at the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant and to which significant gains in student academic achievement have been made with all populations of students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant (15 points).

(3) The degree, including the consistency over the past three years, to which the applicant has achieved results (including performance on statewide tests, annual student attendance and retention rates, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates, and college persistence rates where applicable and available) for low-income and other educationally disadvantaged students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant that are significantly above the average academic achievement results for such students in the State (15 points).

(b) Contribution in assisting educationally disadvantaged students (10 points).

The contribution the proposed project will make in assisting educationally disadvantaged students served by the applicant to meet or exceed State academic content standards and State student academic achievement standards, and to graduate college- and career-ready. When responding to this selection criterion, applicants must discuss the proposed locations of schools to be created or substantially expanded and the student populations to be served.

(c) Quality of the project design (10 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified, measurable, and attainable. Applicants proposing to open schools serving substantially different populations than those currently served by the model for which they have demonstrated evidence of success must address the attainability of outcomes given this difference.

(d) Quality of the management plan and personnel (25 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and personnel to replicate and substantially expand high-quality charter schools. In determining the quality of the management plan and personnel for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

(1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.

(2) The business plan for improving, sustaining, and ensuring the quality and performance of charter schools created or substantially expanded under these grants beyond the initial period of Federal funding in areas including, but not limited to, facilities, financial management, central office, student academic achievement, governance, oversight, and human resources of the charter schools.

(3) A multi-year financial and operating model for the organization, a demonstrated commitment of current and future partners, and evidence of broad support from stakeholders critical to the project's long-term success.

(4) The plan for closing charter schools supported, overseen, or managed by the applicant that do not meet high standards of quality.

(5) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director, chief executive officer or organization leader, and key project personnel, especially in managing projects of the size and scope of the proposed project.

(e) Quality of the evaluation plan (5 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data.

3. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

4. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information Back to Top

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: The goal of the CSP is to support the creation and development of a large number of high-quality charter schools that are free from State or local rules that inhibit flexible operation, are held accountable for enabling students to reach challenging State performance standards, and are open to all students. The Secretary has two performance indicators to measure progress towards this goal: (1) The number of charter schools in operation around the Nation, and (2) the percentage of fourth- and eighth-grade charter school students who are achieving at or above the proficient level on State examinations in mathematics and reading/language arts. Additionally, the Secretary has established the following measure to examine the efficiency of the CSP: Federal cost per student in implementing a successful school (defined as a school in operation for three or more consecutive years).

All grantees must submit an annual performance report with information that is responsive to these performance measures.

5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a grantee has made “substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved application.” This consideration includes the review of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact Back to Top

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W255, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-3525 or by email: erin.pfeltz@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information Back to Top

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents 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: March 1, 2012.

James H. Shelton, III,

Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.

[FR Doc. 2012-5427 Filed 3-5-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

Site Feedback