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Notice

Application for New Awards; Charter Schools Program (CSP)-Charter School Exemplary Collaboration Awards

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Table of Contents Back to Top

Overview Information Back to Top

Charter Schools Program (CSP)—Charter School Exemplary Collaboration Awards

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

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

DATES: Back to Top

Applications Available: July 30, 2012.

Date of Pre-Application Webinar: August 6, 2012 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 29, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement Back to Top

I. Funding Opportunity Description Back to Top

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Charter Schools Program (CSP) is to increase national understanding of the charter schools model by—

(1) Providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools;

(2) Evaluating the effects of charter schools, including the effects on students, student academic achievement, staff, and parents;

(3) Expanding the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation; and

(4) Encouraging the States to provide support to charter schools for facilities financing in an amount that is more commensurate with the amount States have typically provided for traditional public schools.

The purpose of the Collaboration Awards competition (CFDA 84.282P) is to encourage high-quality public charter schools (as defined in this notice) to partner with non-chartered public schools and non-chartered LEAs to share and transfer best educational and operational practices, and to disseminate information about such practices. By promoting strong partnerships and supporting the dissemination of information about the activities carried out through these partnerships, these Collaboration Awards should facilitate the exchange of best practices between public charter schools, non-chartered public schools, and non-chartered LEAs; and help the United States Department of Education (Department) identify and publicize successful collaborations. The Collaboration Awards competition is designed to encourage public charter schools, non-chartered public schools, and non-chartered LEAs to share resources and responsibilities; build trust and teamwork; boost academic excellence; and provide students and their parents with a range of effective educational options. The Department, through the Collaboration Awards competition, aims to increase national understanding of the charter school model.

Priority: This notice includes one competitive preference priority 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).

Competitive Preference 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 a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to 5 points to an applicant, depending on how well the applicant meets this competitive preference priority.

Note:

In order to receive preference under this competitive preference priority, the applicant must specify that it is responding to this competitive preference priority.

Competitive Preference Priority 1—-Turning Around Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools (up to 5 points).

To meet this priority, projects must be designed to address one or more of the following priority areas:

(a) Improving student achievement (as defined in this notice) in persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in this notice).

(b) Increasing graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment rates for students in persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in this notice).

(c) Providing services to students enrolled in persistently lowest-achieving schools.

Note:

For purposes of this priority, the Department considers schools that are identified as Tier I or Tier II schools under the School Improvement Grants Program (see 75 FR 66363) as part of a State's approved FY 2009 or FY 2010 applications to be persistently lowest-achieving schools. A list of these Tier I and Tier II schools can be found on the Department's Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html.

Definitions: In addition to the definitions in section 5210 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), which include the definition of “charter school,” the following definitions apply to this Collaboration Awards competition. These definitions are 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 the final definitions, requirements, and selection criteria for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Collaboration means the activities of a partnership in which two or more organizations or entities work together to accomplish a common goal, which may involve sharing or transferring best practices or strategies.

Graduation rate is the four-year or extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1) and may also include an extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(v) if the State in which the proposed project is implemented has been approved by the Secretary to use such a rate under Title I of the ESEA.

High-quality charter school means a charter school (as defined in section 5210(1) of the ESEA) that has no significant compliance issue (as defined in this notice) and 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) Increased student achievement (as defined in this notice) and attainment for all students, including, as applicable, educationally disadvantaged students served by the charter school.

(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 school; 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 school and significant gains in student achievement (as defined in this notice) with all populations of students served by the charter school.

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

Persistently lowest-achieving school means, as determined by the State: (i) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that (a) is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or (b) is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and (ii) any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not receive, Title I funds that (a) is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary schools or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State that are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of schools is greater; or (b) is a high school that has had a graduation rate as identified in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years.

To identify the persistently lowest-achieving schools, a State must take into account both: (i) The academic achievement of the “all students” group in a school in terms of proficiency on the State's assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading/language arts and mathematics combined; and (ii) the school's lack of progress on those assessments over a number of years in the “all students” group.

Non-chartered local educational agency (LEA) means an LEA that does not qualify as a charter school as defined in section 5210(1) of the ESEA or under State law.

Non-chartered public school means a public school that does not qualify as a charter school under section 5210(1) of the ESEA or under State law.

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

Student achievement means—

(a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; and (2) as appropriate, 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.

Program Authority: Back to Top

The CSP is authorized under 20 U.S.C. 7221-7221i; CSP national activities are authorized under 20 U.S.C. 7221d.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department suspension and debarment regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The notice of final definitions, requirements, and selection criteria for this program published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. (d) 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).

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 to institutions of higher education only.

II. Award Information Back to Top

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds:$500,000.

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

Estimated Range of Awards:$50,000 to $200,000 per award.

Estimated Number of Awards: 3 to 5.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: 12 to 24 months.

III. Eligibility Information Back to Top

1. Eligible Applicants:

(a) Eligible applicants must be high-quality charter schools (as defined in this notice) that apply in partnership with at least one non-chartered public school (as defined in this notice) or non-chartered LEA (as defined in this notice) and have the support of the partner(s) to participate in the Collaboration Awards competition in accordance with the requirements in the Application Requirements section of this notice. Other public charter schools that do not qualify as high-quality charter schools may be included in the collaboration so long as: (1) The lead applicant is a high-quality charter school; (2) the lead applicant is separate and distinct from any other charter schools included as partners in the collaboration; and (3) at least one non-chartered public school (as defined in this notice) or non-chartered LEA (as defined in this notice) also is a part of the collaboration.

(b) The partnership must comply with the requirements for group applications set forth in 34 CFR 75.127-75.129.

Note:

Only an eligible entity (a high-quality charter school) may apply for a grant or be the fiscal agent for a grant. Thus, neither a non-chartered public school (as defined in this notice) nor a non-chartered LEA (as defined in this notice) is eligible to serve as the lead applicant or fiscal agent for a Collaboration Award. Nor is a public charter school that is not a high-quality charter school eligible to serve as the lead applicant or fiscal agent.

(c) Eligible applicants may not have any significant compliance issues (as defined in this notice), including in the areas of student safety, financial management, and statutory or regulatory compliance.

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

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package:

Nancy Paulu or Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W246, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Emails and telephone numbers: nancy.paulu@ed.gov or (202) 205-5392; erin.pfeltz@ed.gov or (202) 205-3525.

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.

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 either of the program contact persons 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. Additional requirements can be found under the heading, Application Requirements in this document.

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 30 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, you must include all of all of the application narrative in Part III.

3. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in an application for the Collaboration Awards competition, your application may include business information that you consider to be proprietary. The Department's regulations define “business information” in 34 CFR 5.11.

Note:

Because the Department plans to make successful applications and information about their activities available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.

Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

4. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: July 30, 2012.

Date of Pre-Application Webinar: The Department will hold a pre-application webinar for prospective applicants on the following date: August 6, 2012 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Individuals interested in attending the webinar are encouraged to pre-register by emailing their name, organization, and contact information with the subject heading COLLABORATION AWARDS PRE-APPLICATION WEBINAR to Charterschools.ed.gov. There is no registration fee for participating in the webinar.

For further information about the pre-application webinar, contact Nancy Paulu or Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W246, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Emails and telephone numbers: nancy.paulu@ed.gov or (202) 205-5392; erin.pfeltz@ed.gov or (202) 205-3525.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 29, 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 either of the persons 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.

5. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, for this competition, intergovernmental review has been waived so that awards can be made by September 30, 2012, the end of the fiscal year.

6. Funding Restrictions: A Collaboration Award recipient must use the grant funds for one or more of the following:

(a) Continuing the collaboration for which it received the award, as described in its grant application;

(b) Modifying the collaboration for which it received the award, as described in the grant application;

(c) Expanding the collaboration for which it received the award by adding additional areas of collaboration, as described in the grant application;

(d) Expanding the collaboration for which it received the award by adding additional partners (i.e., non-chartered public schools (as defined in this notice), non-chartered LEAs (as defined in this notice) or public charter schools that are not high-quality charter schools (as defined in this notice)), as described in the grant application. Collaboration Award recipients also must use a portion of the grant funds to disseminate information about the collaboration activities to other public schools, including public charter schools, non-chartered public schools (as defined in this notice), and non-chartered LEAs (as defined in this notice). All activities carried out under the Collaboration Awards must fall within the scope of authorized activities set forth in section 5205(a) of the ESEA.

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

7. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, Central Contractor Registry, and System for Award Management: 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)—and, after July 24, 2012, with the System for Award Management (SAM), the Government's primary registrant database;

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

d. Maintain an active CCR or SAM 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 or SAM 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 registration annually. This may take three or more business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at SAM.gov.

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.

8. 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 Exemplary Charter School Collaboration Awards competition, CFDA number 84.282P, 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 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 84.282P).

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. 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: Nancy Paulu or Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W246, 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 84.282P, 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 84.282P, 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 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: An applicant for a Collaboration Award must—

(a) Provide a detailed narrative describing (i) the applicant's past or existing collaboration (which may involve more than one partner); (ii) the applicant's proposal to continue, modify, or expand (by adding new areas of collaboration or new partners) the collaboration; and (iii) the applicant's plan to disseminate information about the collaboration (which may include information about best practices) to other public schools, including public charter schools, non-chartered public schools, and non-chartered LEAs. The proposed collaboration may focus on a wide range of areas within the scope of activities authorized under section 5205(a) of the ESEA. The list of potential areas includes, but is not limited to, curriculum and instruction, data management and sharing, organization and management, personnel, facilities, finances, Federal programs, standards, assessments, special education services and access to charter schools by students with disabilities, English learners, student transportation, professional development and training, and school climate.

(b) Provide written assurances from authorized officials of the entities involved in the partnership that all participants—

  • Agree to submit an application for an award under the competition and have read, understand, and agree with the application for the competition; and
  • Authorize the executive summary or narrative of the application, with proprietary information redacted, to be published on the U.S. Department of Education's Web site (ed.gov), data.ed.gov, the National Charter School Resource Center Web site (charterschoolcenter.org), or any other Web site or publication deemed appropriate by the Secretary;

(c) Submit a partnership agreement that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.128(b);

(d) Provide a clear description of the goals and desired outcomes of the proposed collaboration and current or proposed measures that would be used to gauge success in meeting those goals and desired outcomes;

(e) Describe any past, existing, or anticipated obstacles to implementing the collaboration or to disseminating information about the collaboration, and the strategies that were or will be used to overcome those obstacles;

(f) Specify how the award money will be used to implement the collaboration and to disseminate information about the collaboration in accordance with section 5205(a) of the ESEA; and

(g) Specify how the award money will be allocated between the lead applicant and the partner(s) named in the application, including the specific activities that will be carried out by the lead applicant and its partner(s).

2. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition (84.282P) are from the notice of final definitions, requirements, and selection criteria for this program; published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register; as well as from section 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR. The maximum possible score for addressing all of the criteria in this section is 95 points (up to 5 additional points can be awarded under the competitive preference priority). The maximum possible score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses following the criterion.

The Secretary may make awards to the top-rated applications proposing to carry out activities in specific areas of focus (e.g., curriculum and instruction, data management and sharing, organization and management) within the scope of authorized activities under section 5205(a) of the ESEA. In a particular year, the Secretary may restrict applications to one or more areas of focus. Additionally, in making awards, the Secretary may fund applications out of rank order in order to ensure that the Collaboration Awards are distributed throughout each area of the Nation or a State.

In evaluating an application for a Collaboration Award, the Secretary considers the following criteria:

(a) Record of and potential for success of collaboration (up to 15 points).

(1) The extent to which the applicant's past or existing collaboration has improved educational outcomes and operational practices; and

(2) The extent to which the applicant's proposed collaboration and dissemination plan will achieve one or more of the following demonstrable results:

(i) Improved operational practices and productivity among all partners in such areas as financial performance and sustainability, governing board performance and stewardship, and parent and community engagement;

(ii) Improved student achievement (as defined in this notice);

(iii) Improved student attendance and retention, and improved high school graduation rates;

(iv) Improved rates of college matriculation and college graduation;

(v) Improved rates of attendance and graduation from other postsecondary (i.e., non-college) institutions or programs.

(b) Quality of the lead applicant (up to 15 points).

(1) The degree, including the consistency over the past three years, to which the applicant has demonstrated success in significantly increasing student achievement (as defined in this notice) and attainment for all students, including, as applicable, educationally disadvantaged students served by the charter school.

(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 school; 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 school and to which significant gains in student achievement (as defined in this notice) have been made with all populations of students served by the charter school.

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

(c) Quality of the project design (up to 15 points). The extent to which the applicant proposes a high-quality plan to use its Collaboration Award funds to improve educational outcomes and operational practices in public schools, including public charter schools.

(d) Potential for scalability (up to 15 points). The extent to which the applicant's proposed collaboration can be replicated or adapted beyond the participating partners by other public schools or LEAs, including public charter schools and charter school LEAs, and sustained over the long-term.

(e) Innovation (up to 15 points). The extent to which the applicant demonstrates that its proposed collaboration, as well as its dissemination plan, are either (i) substantially different from other efforts in its area of focus; or (ii) substantially more effective than similar efforts in its area of focus.

(f) Quality of project personnel (up to 10 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project director or principal investigator; and

(ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.

(g) Quality of the management plan (up to 10 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed, the Secretary considers 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.

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: One goal of the CSP is to support the creation and development of a large number of high-quality charter schools (as defined in this notice) 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 toward this goal: (1) The number of high-quality 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 in 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).

5. Continuation Awards: The Secretary may make continuation awards under this competition. 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

Nancy Paulu or Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W246, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Emails and telephone numbers: nancy.paulu@ed.gov or (202) 205-5392; erin.pfeltz@ed.gov or (202) 205-3525.

If you use a TDD or TTY, 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: July 25, 2012.

James H. Shelton, III,

Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.

[FR Doc. 2012-18577 Filed 7-27-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

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