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Proposed Rule

Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria-Race to the Top-District [CFDA Number: 84.416.]

Action

Proposed Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, And Selection Criteria.

Summary

The Secretary proposes priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria under the Race to the Top—District program. The Secretary may use one or more of these priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for competitions using funds from fiscal year (FY) 2013 and later years. The Race to the Top—District program builds on the experience of States and districts in implementing reforms in the four core educational assurance areas through Race to the Top and other key programs and supports applicants that demonstrate how they can personalize education for all students in their schools. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) conducted one competition under the Race to the Top—District program in FY 2012, and we propose to maintain the overall purpose and structure of the FY 2012 Race to the Top—District competition. These proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria are almost identical to the ones we used in the FY 2012 competition. We describe the changes at the beginning of each section of this document.

Unified Agenda

Race to the Top--District

2 actions from April 16th, 2013 to August 2013

  • April 16th, 2013
  • August 2013
    • Final Action
 

Table of Contents Back to Top

Tables Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

We must receive your comments on or before May 16, 2013, and we encourage you to submit comments well in advance of this date.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. We will not accept comments by fax or by email. To ensure we do not receive duplicate comments, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID and the phrase “Race to the Top—District-Comments” at the top of your comments.

Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under ”How to use Regulations.gov” in the Help section.

Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, or Hand Delivery. If you mail or deliver your comments about these proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, address them to the Office of the Deputy Secretary (Attention: Race to the Top—District—Comments), U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 7e208, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

Privacy Note: The Department's policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Meredith Farace. Telephone: (202) 453-6800 or by email: racetothetop.district@ed.gov.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

Executive Summary:

Purpose of This Regulatory Action: The purpose of this document is to propose priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for the Race to the Top—District competition that would enable effective grant making and result in the selection of high-quality applicants that propose to implement activities that are most likely to support bold, locally directed improvements in learning and teaching that would directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness.

Summary of the Major Provisions of This Regulatory Action: The Race to the Top—District program is designed to build on the momentum of other Race to the Top competitions by encouraging bold, innovative reform at the local level. The Race to the Top—District competition is aimed squarely at classrooms and the all-important relationship between educators and students. The proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria in this document are almost identical to those we used in the FY 2012 competition. The competition will again support applicants that demonstrate how they can personalize education for all students in their schools.

In that regard, through this action, the Department will encourage and reward those LEAs or consortia of LEAs that have the leadership and vision to implement the strategies, structures, and systems needed to implement personalized, student-focused approaches to learning and teaching that will produce excellence and ensure equity for all students. The proposed priorities, definitions, requirements, and selection criteria are designed to help LEAs meet these goals. Most changes from the FY 2012 competition reflect minor language clarifications. The two more substantive changes are the removal of the opportunity to apply for an optional budget supplement and the reduction of the minimum and maximum grant amount for which an applicant may apply. We believe these proposed changes would enable the Department to maximize the number of grantees that would receive funding under a competition, while still awarding grants of sufficient size to support bold improvements in learning and teaching.

Under Proposed Priority 1, applicants must design a personalized learning environment that uses collaborative, data-based strategies and 21st century tools such as online learning platforms, computers, mobile devices, and learning algorithms, to deliver instruction and supports tailored to the needs and goals of each student, with the aim of enabling all students to graduate college- and career-ready. Implementation of a personalized learning environment is not achieved through a single solution or product but rather requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses the individual and collective needs of students, educators, and families and that dramatically transforms the learning environment in order to improve student outcomes.

Through Race to the Top—District, the Department proposes to continue to support high-quality proposals from applicants across a varied set of LEAs in order to create diverse models of personalized learning environments for use by LEAs across the Nation. For this reason, the Department is proposing four additional priorities. Proposed Priorities 2 through 5 would support efforts to expand the types of reform efforts being implemented in LEAs in States that have received a Race to the Top award and to LEAs in other States. Moreover, these proposed priorities would also help ensure that LEAs of varying sizes, both rural and non-rural, and with different local contexts are able to implement innovative personalized learning environments for their students that can serve as models for other LEAs and help improve student achievement widely.

Finally, we propose one additional priority to support applicants that propose to extend their reforms beyond the classroom and partner with public or private entities in order to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students, particularly students who attend a high-need school.

Costs and Benefits: The costs imposed on applicants by these proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria would be limited to paperwork burden related to preparing an application and the benefits of implementing them would outweigh any costs incurred by applicants. The costs of carrying out activities would be paid for with program funds. Thus, the costs of implementation would not be a burden for any eligible applicants, including small entities. Please refer to the Regulatory Impact Analysis in this document for a more complete discussion of the costs and benefits of this regulatory action.

This notice provides an accounting statement that estimates that approximately up to $150 million will transfer from the Federal Government to LEAs under this program. Please refer to the accounting statement in this document for a more detailed discussion.

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

We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific requirements of Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and their overall requirement of reducing regulatory burden that might result from these proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. Please let us know of any further ways the Department could reduce potential costs or increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and efficient administration of the program.

During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public comments about this notice in room 7e208, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Race to the Top—District program is to build on the lessons learned from the State competitions conducted under the Race to the Top program and to support bold, locally directed improvements in learning and teaching that will directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness.

Program Authority: Back to Top

Sections 14005 and 14006 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (Pub. L. 111-5), as amended by section 1832(b) of Division B of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 112-10), and the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2012 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012) (Title III of Division F of Pub. L. 112-74).

Background Back to Top

The Statutory Context and Program Overview

Race to the Top

The Race to the Top program, authorized under the ARRA (Pub. L. 111-5), is centered on four core educational reform areas:

(a) Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy;

(b) Building data systems that measure student growth and success and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve instruction;

(c) Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and

(d) Turning around the Nation's lowest-achieving schools.

In 2010, the Department conducted Race to the Top State competitions, which provided incentives to States to adopt bold and comprehensive reforms in elementary and secondary education and laid the foundation for unprecedented innovation. A total of 46 States and the District of Columbia put together plans to implement college- and career-ready standards, use data systems to guide teaching and learning, evaluate and support teachers and school leaders, and turn around their lowest-performing schools. The Race to the Top State competitions provided States with incentives to implement large-scale, system-changing reforms designed to improve student achievement, narrow achievement gaps, and increase graduation and college enrollment rates.

The Race to the Top Assessment program, also authorized under the ARRA, supports consortia of States in developing new and better assessments aligned with high standards.

In 2011, the ARRA was amended by section 1832(b) of Division B of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 112-10), which added an additional education reform area: strengthening the quality of early learning and development programs and increasing access to high-quality early learning programs for all children, including those with high needs. As a result, the Department had the authority to use a portion of the FY 2011 and FY 2012 appropriations for Race to the Top on the Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge program, which is jointly administered by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. The Race to the Top—Early Learning Challenge supports 14 States' efforts to strengthen the quality of their early learning programs.

Race to the Top—District Competition

On May 22, 2012, the Secretary announced the Race to the Top—District program, which is designed to build on the momentum of other Race to the Top competitions by encouraging bold, innovative reform at the local level. This district-level program is authorized under sections 14005 and 14006 of the ARRA, as amended by section 1832(b) of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012. Congress appropriated approximately $550 million for Race to the Top in FY 2012. Of these funds, the Department awarded approximately $383 million to 16 Race to the Top—District grantees representing 55 LEAs, with grants ranging from $10 to $40 million. The amount of an award for which an applicant was eligible to apply depended upon the number of students who would be served under the application.

The Race to the Top—District competition is aimed squarely at classrooms and the all-important relationship between educators and students. The proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria in this document are almost identical to those we used in the FY 2012 competition. The competition will again support applicants that demonstrate how they can personalize education for all students in their schools.

In that regard, the Race to the Top—District program will encourage and reward those LEAs or consortia of LEAs that have the leadership and vision to implement the strategies, structures, and systems needed to implement personalized, student-focused approaches to learning and teaching that will produce excellence and ensure equity for all students. The proposed priorities, definitions, requirements, and selection criteria in this notice are designed to help LEAs meet these goals.

Under Proposed Priority 1, applicants must design a personalized learning environment that uses collaborative, data-based strategies and 21st century tools such as online learning platforms, computers, mobile devices, and learning algorithms, to deliver instruction and supports tailored to the needs and goals of each student, with the aim of enabling all students to graduate college- and career-ready. Implementation of a personalized learning environment is not achieved through a single solution or product but rather requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses the individual and collective needs of students, educators, and families and that dramatically transforms the learning environment in order to improve student outcomes.

The Secretary believes that teacher and student classroom interaction, supported by strong principals and engaged families, is crucial to educating students. Teacher and student interactions are strengthened when an effective teacher has useful information about students' particular needs, support from his or her principal or leadership team, a quality curriculum aligned with college- and career-ready standards, and the other tools needed to do the job.

Too often, however, these supportive conditions have not existed in our schools or districts, and the results are painfully predictable: students fall behind or drop out, achievement gaps remain or widen, teachers get frustrated and leave the field, and stakeholders become polarized and divided under pressure to perform.

That is why—for more than four years—the Department has supported bold reforms at the State and local levels that have reduced barriers to good teaching and helped create better conditions for learning.

There is no single approach or boutique solution to implementation of personalized learning environments. An LEA or consortium of LEAs receiving an award under this competition will build on the experience of States and districts in implementing reforms in the four core educational assurance areas (as defined in this notice) through Race to the Top and other key programs. A successful applicant will provide teachers the information, tools, and supports that enable them to meet the needs of each student and substantially accelerate and deepen each student's learning. These LEAs will have the policies, systems, infrastructure, capacity, and culture to enable teachers, teacher teams, and school leaders to continuously focus on improving individual student achievement and closing achievement gaps. These LEAs will also make equity and access a priority and aim to prepare each student to master the content and skills required for college- and career-readiness, provide each student the opportunity to pursue a rigorous course of study, and accelerate and deepen students' learning through attention to their individual needs. As important, they will create opportunities for students to identify and pursue areas of personal academic interest—all while ensuring that each student masters critical areas identified in college- and career-ready standards or college- and career-ready high school graduation requirements.

Educators want a way to inspire and challenge those students who are furthest ahead, provide targeted help and assistance to those furthest behind, and engage fully and effectively with the students in the middle. To accomplish this objective, educators across the country have created personalized learning environments and used strategies that involve such elements as technology, virtual and blended learning, individual and group tasks, partnering with parents, and aligning non-school hours with the educational needs of students.

Personalized learning environments allow students to: understand their individual learning goals and needs; access deep learning experiences that include individual and group tasks; and develop such skills and traits as goal setting, teamwork, perseverance, critical thinking, communications, creativity, and problem solving across multiple academic domains. If students are to do this successfully, both students and educators need opportunities to build their individual and collective capacity to support the implementation of personalized learning environments and strategies.

The Race to the Top—District program does not create new stand-alone programs, or support niche programs or interventions. Nor is it a vehicle for maintenance of the status quo. Rather, the Race to the Top—District program will support LEAs that demonstrate their commitment to identifying teachers, principals, and schools who have a vision and the expertise to personalize education and extend their reach to all of their students. LEAs successfully implementing an approach to learning and teaching that includes personalized learning environments will lay a foundation for raising student achievement, decreasing the achievement gap across student groups, and increasing the rates at which students graduate from high school prepared for college and careers.

The Department is also proposing to continue to support high-quality proposals from applicants across a varied set of LEAs in order to create diverse models of personalized learning environments for use by LEAs across the Nation. For this reason, the Department is proposing four additional priorities—Proposed Priorities 2 through 5—through which the Department will support efforts to expand the types of reform efforts being implemented in LEAs in States that have received a Race to the Top award and to LEAs in other States. Moreover, these proposed priorities would also help ensure that LEAs of varying sizes, both rural and non-rural, and with different local contexts are able to implement innovative personalized learning environments for their students that can serve as models for other LEAs and help improve student achievement widely.

Finally, we proposed one additional priority to support applicants that propose to extend their reforms beyond the classroom and partner with public or private entities in order to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students, particularly students who attend a high-need school. This priority aligns with other Department programs, such as the Promise Neighborhoods program, and further amplifies the Department's commitment to improve education as well as family and community supports. We believe that this will help children and youth in communities with these partnerships access great schools and the complementary family and community supports that will help prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career.

Changes From the FY 2012 Competition

These proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria maintain the overall purpose and structure of the FY 2012 Race to the Top—District competition, and include almost identical language to the FY 2012 competition. At the beginning of the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria sections, we list all of the differences between the FY 2012 notice inviting applications and this document. Most differences reflect minor language clarifications or changes to ensure language is appropriate for a notice of proposed priorities, definitions, requirements, and selection criteria, as compared to a notice inviting applications. The two more substantive changes are the removal of the opportunity to apply for an optional budget supplement and the reduction of the minimum and maximum grant amount for which an applicant may apply. We believe these proposed changes will enable the Department to maximize the number of grantees that receive funding under a competition, while still awarding grants of sufficient size to support bold improvements in learning and teaching.

Proposed Priorities Back to Top

Changes From the FY 2012 Competition

(a) In Proposed Priority 6, sub-bullet (2), we propose changing “and” to “or” in “educational results or other educational outcomes”, and we separate the sentence with an “(a)” and “(b)”. These edits do not change the meaning, but help to clarify that educational results or outcomes, and family and community supports, are two distinct categories.

—New: “Identify not more than 10 population-level desired results for students in the LEA or consortium of LEAs that align with and support the applicant's broader Race to the Top—District proposal. These results must include both (a) educational results or other education outcomes (e.g., children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school, children exit third grade reading at grade level, and students graduate from high school college- and career-ready) and (b) family and community supports (as defined in this notice) results;”

—Original: “Identify not more than 10 population-level desired results for students in the LEA or consortium of LEAs that align with and support the applicant's broader Race to the Top—District proposal. These results must include both educational results and other education outcomes (e.g., children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school, children exit third grade reading at grade level, and students graduate from high school college- and career-ready) and family and community supports (as defined in this notice) results;”

Proposed priorities: The Secretary proposes six priorities. The Department may apply one or more of these priorities in any year in which a competition for program funds is held. In addition, in any year in which a Race to the Top—District competition is held, we may include priorities 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 DR 276637).

Proposed Priority 1: Personalized Learning Environments. To meet this priority, an applicant must coherently and comprehensively address how it will build on the core educational assurance areas (as defined in this notice) to create learning environments that are designed to significantly improve learning and teaching through the personalization of strategies, tools, and supports for students and educators that are aligned with college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice); accelerate student achievement and deepen student learning by meeting the academic needs of each student; increase the effectiveness of educators; expand student access to the most effective educators; decrease achievement gaps across student groups; and increase the rates at which students graduate from high school prepared for college and careers.

Proposed Priority 2: Non-Rural LEAs in Race to the Top States. To meet this priority, an applicant must be an LEA or a consortium of LEAs in which more than 50 percent of participating students (as defined in this notice) are in non-rural LEAs in States that received awards under the Race to the Top Phase 1, Phase 2, or Phase 3 competition.

Proposed Priority 3: Rural LEAs in Race to the Top States. To meet this priority, an applicant must be an LEA or a consortium of LEAs in which more than 50 percent of participating students (as defined in this notice) are in rural LEAs (as defined in this notice) in States that received awards under the Race to the Top Phase 1, Phase 2, or Phase 3 competition.

Proposed Priority 4: Non-Rural LEAs in non-Race to the Top States. To meet this priority, an applicant must be an LEA or a consortium of LEAs in which more than 50 percent of participating students (as defined in this notice) are in non-rural LEAs in States that did not receive awards under the Race to the Top Phase 1, Phase 2, or Phase 3 competition.

Proposed Priority 5: Rural LEAs in non-Race to the Top States. To meet this priority, an applicant must be an LEA or a consortium of LEAs in which more than 50 percent of participating students (as defined in this notice) are in rural LEAs (as defined in this notice) in States that did not receive awards under the Race to the Top Phase 1, Phase 2, or Phase 3 competition.

Proposed Priority 6: Results, Resource Alignment, and Integrated Services. To meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate the extent to which the applicant proposes to integrate public or private resources in a partnership designed to augment the schools' resources by providing additional student and family supports to schools that address the social, emotional, or behavioral needs of the participating students (as defined in this notice), giving highest priority to students in participating schools with high-need students (as defined in this notice). To meet this priority, an applicant's proposal does not need to be comprehensive and may provide student and family supports that focus on a subset of these needs.

To meet this priority, an applicant must—

(1) Provide a description of the coherent and sustainable partnership that it has formed with public or private organizations, such as public health, before-school, after-school, and social service providers; integrated student service providers; businesses, philanthropies, civic groups, and other community-based organizations; early learning programs; and postsecondary institutions to support the plan described in Priority 1;

(2) Identify not more than 10 population-level desired results for students in the LEA or consortium of LEAs that align with and support the applicant's broader Race to the Top—District proposal. These results must include both (a) educational results or other education outcomes (e.g., children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in school, children exit third grade reading at grade level, and students graduate from high school college- and career-ready) and (b) family and community supports (as defined in this notice) results;

(3) Describe how the partnership would—

(a) Track the selected indicators that measure each result at the aggregate level for all children within the LEA or consortium and at the student level for the participating students (as defined in this notice);

(b) Use the data to target its resources in order to improve results for participating students (as defined in this notice), with special emphasis on students facing significant challenges, such as students with disabilities, English learners, and students affected by poverty (including highly mobile students), family instability, or other child welfare issues;

(c) Develop a strategy to scale the model beyond the participating students (as defined in this notice) to at least other high-need students (as defined in this notice) and communities in the LEA or consortium over time; and

(d) Improve results over time;

(4) Describe how the partnership would, within participating schools (as defined in this notice), integrate education and other services (e.g., services that address social-emotional, and behavioral needs, acculturation for immigrants and refugees) for participating students (as defined in this notice);

(5) Describe how the partnership and LEA or consortium would build the capacity of staff in participating schools (as defined in this notice) by providing them with tools and supports to—

(a) Assess the needs and assets of participating students (as defined in this notice) that are aligned with the partnership's goals for improving the education and family and community supports (as defined in this notice) identified by the partnership;

(b) Identify and inventory the needs and assets of the school and community that are aligned with those goals for improving the education and family and community supports (as defined in this notice) identified by the applicant;

(c) Create a decision-making process and infrastructure to select, implement, and evaluate supports that address the individual needs of participating students (as defined in this notice) and support improved results;

(d) Engage parents and families of participating students (as defined in this notice) in both decision-making about solutions to improve results over time and in addressing student, family, and school needs; and

(e) Routinely assess the applicant's progress in implementing its plan to maximize impact and resolve challenges and problems; and

(6) Identify its annual ambitious yet achievable performance measures for the proposed population-level and describe desired results for students.

Types of Priorities:

When inviting applications for a competition using one or more priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal Register. The effect of each type of priority follows:

Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, we consider only applications that meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(3)).

Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii)).

Invitational priority: Under an invitational priority, we are particularly interested in applications that meet the priority. However, we do not give an application that meets the priority a preference over other applications (34 CFR 75.105(c)(1)).

Proposed Eligibility Requirements Back to Top

Changes From the FY 2012 Competition

(a) In eligibility requirement (1)(a), we propose adding “individual” and “one of” to the requirement to help further describe the entities that are eligible to apply for grants under this program. This does not change the meaning, but helps clarify that every LEA, whether applying individually or as part of a consortium, must be from one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

—New: “An applicant must be an individual LEA (as defined in this notice) or a consortium of individual LEAs from one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.”

—Original: “An applicant must be an individual LEA (as defined in this notice) or a consortium of LEAs from the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(b) In eligibility requirement (1)(a)(iii), we propose adding that “Successful applicants (i.e., grantees) from past Race to the Top—District competitions may not apply for additional funding.” This provides an opportunity for a greater number of LEAs nationwide to receive funding under the program.

Proposed Eligibility Requirements: The Secretary proposes the following requirements that an LEA or consortium of LEAs must meet in order to be eligible to receive funds under this competition. We may apply these requirements in any year in which this program is in effect.

(1) Eligible applicants: To be eligible for a grant under this competition:

(a) An applicant must be an individual LEA (as defined in this notice) or a consortium of individual LEAs from one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

(i) LEAs may apply for all or a portion of their schools, for specific grades, or for subject-area bands (e.g., lowest-performing schools, secondary schools, schools connected by a feeder pattern, middle school math, or preschool through third grade).

(ii) Consortia may include LEAs from multiple States.

(iii) Each LEA may participate in only one Race to the Top—District application. Successful applicants (i.e., grantees) from past Race to the Top—District competitions may not apply for additional funding.

(b) An applicant must serve a minimum of 2,000 participating students (as defined in this notice) or may serve fewer than 2,000 participating students (as defined in this notice) provided those students are served by a consortium of at least 10 LEAs and at least 75 percent of the students served by each LEA are participating students (as defined in this notice). An applicant must base its requested award amount on the number of participating students it proposes to serve at the time of application or within the first 100 days of the grant award.

(c) At least 40 percent of participating students (as defined in this notice) across all participating schools (as defined in this notice) must be students from low-income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, or other poverty measures that LEAs use to make awards under section 1113(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). If an applicant has not identified all participating schools (as defined in this notice) at the time of application, it must provide an assurance that within 100 days of the grant award it will meet this requirement.

(d) An applicant must demonstrate its commitment to the core educational assurance areas (as defined in this notice), including, for each LEA included in an application, an assurance signed by the LEA's superintendent or CEO that—

(i) The LEA, at a minimum, will implement no later than the 2014-2015 school year—

(A) A teacher evaluation system (as defined in this notice);

(B) A principal evaluation system (as defined in this notice); and

(C) A superintendent evaluation (as defined in this notice);

(ii) The LEA is committed to preparing all students for college or career, as demonstrated by—

(A) Being located in a State that has adopted college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice); or

(B) Measuring all student progress and performance against college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice);

(iii) The LEA has a robust data system that has, at a minimum—

(A) An individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match; and

(B) The capability to provide timely data back to educators and their supervisors on student growth (as defined in this notice);

(iv) The LEA has the capability to receive or match student-level preschool-through-12th grade and higher education data; and

(v) The LEA ensures that any disclosure of or access to personally identifiable information in students' education records complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

(e) Required signatures for the LEA or lead LEA in a consortium are those of the superintendent or CEO, local school board president, and local teacher union or association president (where applicable).

Proposed Application Requirements Back to Top

Changes from the FY 2012 competition: No changes proposed.

Proposed Application Requirements:

The Secretary proposes the following application requirements for the application an LEA or consortium of LEAs would submit to the Department for funding under this competition. We may apply these requirements in any year in which this program is in effect.

(1) State comment period. Each LEA included in an application must provide its State at least 10 business days to comment on the LEA's application and submit as part of its application package—

(a) The State's comments or, if the State declined to comment, evidence that the LEA offered the State 10 business days to comment; and

(b) The LEA's response to the State's comments (optional).

(2) Mayor (or city or town administrator) comment period. Each LEA included in an application must provide its mayor or other comparable official at least 10 business days to comment on the LEA's application and submit as part of its application package—

(a) The mayor or city or town administrator's comments or, if that individual declines to comment, evidence that the LEA offered such official 10 business days to comment; and

(b) The LEA's response to the mayor or city or town administrator comments (optional).

(3) Consortium. For LEAs applying as a consortium, the application must—

(a) Indicate, consistent with 34 CFR 75.128, whether—

(i) One member of the consortium is applying for a grant on behalf of the consortium; or

(ii) The consortium has established itself as a separate, eligible legal entity and is applying for a grant on its own behalf;

(b) Be signed by—

(i) If one member of the consortium is applying for a grant on behalf of the consortium, the superintendent or chief executive officer (CEO), local school board president, and local teacher union or association president (where applicable) of that LEA; or

(ii) If the consortium has established itself as a separate eligible legal entity and is applying for a grant on its own behalf, a legal representative of the consortium; and

(c) Include, consistent with 34 CFR 75.128, for each LEA in the consortium, copies of all memoranda of understanding or other binding agreements related to the consortium. These binding agreements must—

(i) Detail the activities that each member of the consortium plans to perform;

(ii) Describe the consortium governance structure (as defined in this notice);

(iii) Bind each member of the consortium to every statement and assurance made in the application; and

(iv) Include an assurance signed by the LEA's superintendent or CEO that—

(A) The LEA, at a minimum, will implement no later than the 2014-2015 school year—

(1) A teacher evaluation system (as defined in this notice);

(2) A principal evaluation system (as defined in this notice); and

(3) A superintendent evaluation (as defined in this notice);

(B) The LEA is committed to preparing students for college or career, as demonstrated by—

(1) Being located in a State that has adopted college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice); or

(2) Measuring all student progress and performance against college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice);

(C) The LEA has a robust data system that has, at a minimum—

(1) An individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match; and

(2) The capability to provide timely data back to educators and their supervisors on student growth (as defined in this notice);

(D) The LEA has the capability to receive or match student-level preschool through 12th grade and higher education data; and

(E) The LEA ensures that any disclosure of or access to personally identifiable information in students' education records complies with the FERPA; and

(v) Be signed by the superintendent or CEO, local school board president, and local teacher union or association president (where applicable).

Proposed Program Requirements Back to Top

Changes from the FY 2012 competition:

(a) In program requirement (1), we propose decreasing the maximum range from 25,001+ participating students with a $30-$40 million award range to 20,001+ participating students with a $25-$30 million award range, and making the next highest range 10,001-20,000 participating students with a $20-$25 million award range. We also propose reducing the minimum award from $5 million to $4 million. We believe these changes would increase the number of grants awarded under a competition, while still awarding grants of sufficient size to support bold improvements in learning and teaching.

Proposed Program Requirements:

The Secretary proposes the following requirements for LEAs receiving funds under this competition. We may apply these requirements in any year in which this program is in effect.

(1) An applicant's budget request for all years of its project must fall within the applicable budget range as follows:

Number of participating students Award range
2,000-5,000 or Fewer than 2,000, provided those students are served by a consortium of at least 10 LEAs and at least 75 percent of the students served by each LEA are participating students (as defined in this notice) $4-10 million.
5,001-10,000 $10-20 million.
10,001-20,000 $20-25 million.
20,001+ $25-30 million.

The Department will not consider an application that requests a budget outside the applicable range of awards.

(2) A grantee must work with the Department and with a national evaluator or another entity designated by the Department to ensure that data collection and program design are consistent with plans to conduct a rigorous national evaluation of the program and of specific solutions and strategies pursued by individual grantees. This commitment must include, but need not be limited to—

(i) Consistent with 34 CFR 80.36 and State and local procurement procedures, grantees must include in contracts with external vendors provisions that allow contractors to provide implementation data to the LEA, the Department, the national evaluator, or other appropriate entities in ways consistent with all privacy laws and regulations.

(ii) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, a plan for identifying and collecting reliable and valid baseline data for program participants.

(3) LEAs must share metadata about content alignment with college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) and use through open-standard registries.

(4) LEAs in which minority students or students with disabilities are disproportionately subject to discipline (as defined in this notice) and expulsion (according to data submitted through the Department's Civil Rights Data Collection, which is available at http://ocrdata.ed.gov/) must conduct a district assessment of the root causes of the disproportionate discipline and expulsions. These LEAs must also develop a detailed plan over the grant period to address these root causes and to reduce disproportionate discipline (as defined in this notice) and expulsions.

(5) Each grantee must make all project implementation and student data available to the Department and its authorized representatives in compliance with FERPA, as applicable.

(6) Grantees must ensure that requests for information (RFIs) and requests for proposal (RFPs) developed as part of this grant are made public, and are consistent with the requirements of State and local law.

(7) Within 100 days of award, each grantee must submit to the Department—

(i) A scope of work that is consistent with its grant application and includes specific goals, activities, deliverables, timelines, budgets, key personnel, and annual targets for key performance measures; and

(ii) An individual school implementation plan for participating schools (as defined in this notice).

(8) Within 100 days of award, each grantee must demonstrate that at least 40 percent of participating students (as defined in this notice) in participating schools (as defined in this notice) are from low-income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, or other poverty measures that LEAs use to make awards under section 1113(a) of the ESEA.

Proposed Definitions Back to Top

Changes from the FY 2012 competition: No changes proposed.

Proposed definitions:

The Secretary proposes the following definitions for terms not defined in the ARRA (or, by reference, in the ESEA). We may apply these definitions in any year in which this program is in effect.

Achievement gap means the difference in the performance between each subgroup (as defined in this notice) within a participating LEA or school and the statewide average performance of the LEA's or State's highest-achieving subgroups in reading or language arts and in mathematics as measured by the assessments required under the ESEA, as amended.

College- and career-ready graduation requirements means minimum high school graduation expectations (e.g., completion of a minimum course of study, content mastery, proficiency on college- and career-ready assessments) that are aligned with a rigorous, robust, and well-rounded curriculum and that cover a wide range of academic and technical knowledge and skills to ensure that by the time students graduate high school, they satisfy requirements for admission into credit-bearing courses commonly required by the State's public four-year degree-granting institutions.

College- and career-ready standards means content standards for kindergarten through 12th grade that build towards college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice). A State's college- and career-ready standards must be either (1) standards that are common to a significant number of States; or (2) standards that are approved by a State network of institutions of higher education, which must certify that students who meet the standards will not need remedial course work at the postsecondary level.

College enrollment means the enrollment of students who graduate from high school consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(i) and who enroll in a public institution of higher education in the State (as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, 20 U.S.C. 1001) within 16 months of graduation.

Consortium governance structure means the consortium's structure for carrying out its operations, including—

(1) The organizational structure of the consortium and the differentiated roles that a member LEA may hold (e.g., lead LEA, member LEA);

(2) For each differentiated role, the associated rights and responsibilities, including rights and responsibilities for adopting and implementing the consortium's proposal for a grant;

(3) The consortium's method and process (e.g., consensus, majority) for making different types of decisions (e.g., policy, operational);

(4) The protocols by which the consortium will operate, including the protocols for member LEAs to change roles or leave the consortium;

(5) The consortium's procedures for managing funds received under this grant;

(6) The terms and conditions of the memorandum of understanding or other binding agreement executed by each member LEA; and

(7) The consortium's procurement process, and evidence of each member LEA's commitment to that process.

Core educational assurance areas means the four key areas originally identified in the ARRA to support comprehensive education reform: (1) Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy; (2) building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals with data about how they can improve instruction; (3) recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and (4) turning around lowest-achieving schools.

Digital learning content means learning materials and resources that can be displayed on an electronic device and shared electronically with other users. Digital learning content includes both open source and commercial content. In order to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, any digital learning content used by grantees must be accessible to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use screen readers. For additional information regarding the application of these laws to technology, please refer to www.ed.gov/ocr/letters/colleague-201105-ese.pdf and www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/dcl-ebook-faq-201105.pdf.

Discipline means any disciplinary measure collected by the 2009-2010 or 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection (see http://ocrdata.ed.gov).

Educators means all education professionals and education paraprofessionals working in participating schools (as defined in this notice), including principals or other heads of a school, teachers, other professional instructional staff (e.g., staff involved in curriculum development, staff development, bilingual/English as a Second Language (ESL) specialists, or instructional staff who operate library, media, and computer centers), pupil support services staff (e.g., guidance counselors, nurses, speech pathologists), other administrators (e.g., assistant principals, discipline specialists), and education paraprofessionals (e.g., assistant teachers, bilingual/ESL instructional aides).

Effective principal means a principal whose students, overall and for each subgroup, achieve acceptable rates (e.g., at least one grade level in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this notice) as defined in the LEA's principal evaluation system (as defined in this notice).

Effective teacher means a teacher whose students achieve acceptable rates (e.g., at least one grade level in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this notice) as defined in the LEA's teacher evaluation system (as defined in this notice).

Family and community supports means—

(1) Child and youth health programs, such as physical, mental, behavioral, and emotional health programs (e.g., home visiting programs; Head Start; Early Head Start; programs to improve nutrition and fitness, reduce childhood obesity, and create healthier communities);

(2) Safety programs, such as programs in school and out of school to prevent, control, and reduce crime, violence, drug and alcohol use and gang activity; programs that address classroom and school-wide behavior and conduct; programs to prevent child abuse and neglect; programs to prevent truancy and reduce and prevent bullying and harassment; and programs to improve the physical and emotional security of the school setting as perceived, experienced, and created by students, staff, and families;

(3) Community stability programs, such as programs that: (a) Provide adult education and employment opportunities and training to improve educational levels, job skills, and readiness in order to decrease unemployment, with a goal of increasing family stability; (b) improve families' awareness of, access to, and use of a range of social services, if possible at a single location; (c) provide unbiased, outcome-focused, and comprehensive financial education, inside and outside the classroom and at every life stage; (d) increase access to traditional financial institutions (e.g., banks and credit unions) rather than alternative financial institutions (e.g., check cashers and payday lenders); (e) help families increase their financial literacy, financial assets, and savings; (f) help families access transportation to education and employment opportunities; and (g) provide supports and services to students who are homeless, in foster care, migrant, or highly mobile; and

(4) Family and community engagement programs that are systemic, integrated, sustainable, and continue through a student's transition from K-12 schooling to college and career. These programs may include family literacy programs and programs that provide adult education and training and opportunities for family members and other members of the community to support student learning and establish high expectations for student educational achievement; mentorship programs that create positive relationships between children and adults; programs that provide for the use of such community resources as libraries, museums, television and radio stations, and local businesses to support improved student educational outcomes; programs that support the engagement of families in early learning programs and services; programs that provide guidance on how to navigate through a complex school system and how to advocate for more and improved learning opportunities; and programs that promote collaboration with educators and community organizations to improve opportunities for healthy development and learning.

Four intervention models means the turnaround model, restart model, school closure, and transformational model as defined by the final requirements for the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2010 (75 FR 66363).

Graduation rate means the four-year or extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1).

High-need students means students at risk of educational failure or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools (as defined in this notice), who are far below grade level, who have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are English learners.

High-minority school is defined by the LEA in a manner consistent with its State's Teacher Equity Plan, as required by section 1111(b)(8)(C) of the ESEA. The LEA must provide, in its Race to the Top—District application, the definition used.

Highly effective principal means a principal whose students, overall and for each subgroup, achieve high rates (e.g., one and one-half grade levels in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this notice) as defined under the LEA's principal evaluation system (as defined in this notice).

Highly effective teacher means a teacher whose students achieve high rates (e.g., one and one-half grade levels in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this notice) as defined under the LEA's teacher evaluation system (as defined in this notice).

Interoperable data system means a system that uses a common, established structure such that data can easily flow from one system to another and in which data are in a non-proprietary, open format.

Local educational agency is an entity as defined in section 9101(26) of the ESEA, except that an entity described under section 9101(26)(D) must be recognized under applicable State law as a local educational agency.

Low-performing school means a school that is in the bottom 10 percent of performance in the State, or that has significant achievement gaps, based on student academic performance in reading/language arts and mathematics on the assessments required under the ESEA, or that has a graduation rate (as defined in this notice) below 60 percent.

Metadata means information about digital learning content such as the grade or age for which it is intended, the topic or standard to which it is aligned, or the type of resource it is (e.g., video, image).

On-track indicator means a measure, available at a time sufficiently early to allow for intervention, of a single student characteristic (e.g., number of days absent, number of discipline referrals, number of credits earned), or a composite of multiple characteristics, that is both predictive of student success (e.g., students demonstrating the measure graduate at an 80 percent rate) and comprehensive of students who succeed (e.g., of all graduates, 90 percent demonstrated the indicator). Using multiple indicators that are collectively comprehensive but vary by student characteristics may be an appropriate alternative to a single indicator that applies to all students.

Open data format means data that are available in a non-proprietary, machine-readable format (e.g., Extensible Markup Language (XML) and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)) such that they can be understood by a computer. Digital formats that require extraction, data translation such as optical character recognition, or other manipulation in order to be used in electronic systems are not machine-readable formats.

Open-standard registry means a digital platform, such as the Learning Registry, that facilitates the exchange of information about digital learning content (as defined in this notice), including (1) alignment of content with college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) and (2) usage information about learning content used by educators (as defined in this notice). This digital platform must have the capability to share content information with other LEAs and with State educational agencies.

Participating school means a school that is identified by the applicant and chooses to work with the applicant to implement the plan under Priority 1, either in one or more specific grade spans or subject areas or throughout the entire school and affecting a significant number of its students.

Participating student means a student enrolled in a participating school (as defined in this notice) and who is directly served by an applicant's plan under Priority 1.

Persistently lowest-achieving school means, as determined by the State, consistent with the requirements of the SIG program authorized by section 1003(g) of the ESEA, [1] (1) 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 this notice) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; and (2) 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 defined in this notice) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years.

To identify the lowest-achieving schools, a State must take into account both (1) 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 or language arts and in mathematics combined; and (2) the school's lack of progress on those assessments over a number of years in the “all students” group.

Principal evaluation system means a system that: (1) Is used for continual improvement of instructional leadership; (2) meaningfully differentiates performance using at least three performance levels; (3) uses multiple valid measures in determining performance levels, including, as a significant factor, data on student growth (as defined in this notice) for all students (including English learners and students with disabilities), as well as other measures of professional practice (which may be gathered through multiple formats and sources, such as observations based on rigorous leadership performance standards, teacher evaluation data, and student and parent surveys); (4) evaluates principals on a regular basis; (5) provides clear, timely, and useful feedback, including feedback that identifies and guides professional development needs; and (6) is used to inform personnel decisions.

Rural local educational agency means an LEA, at the time of the application, that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. Eligible applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to information on the Department's Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligible12/index.html.

School leadership team means a team that leads the implementation of improvement and other initiatives at the school and is composed of the principal or other head of a school, teachers, and other educators (as defined in this notice), and, as applicable, other school employees, parents, students, and other community members. In cases where statute or local policy, including collective bargaining agreements, establishes a school leadership team, that body shall serve as the school leadership team for the purpose of this program.

Student growth means the change in student achievement for an individual student between two or more points in time, defined as—

(1) For grades and subjects in which assessments are required under ESEA section 1111(b)(3): (a) a student's score on such assessments; and (b) may include other measures of student learning, such as those described in (2) below, provided they are rigorous and comparable across schools within an LEA.

(2) For grades and subjects in which assessments are not required under ESEA section 1111(b)(3): Alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student results on pre-tests, end-of-course tests, and objective performance-based assessments; performance against student learning objectives; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools within an LEA.

Student-level data means demographic, performance, and other information that pertains to a single student.

Student performance data means information about the academic progress of a single student, such as formative and summative assessment data, information on completion of coursework, instructor observations, information about student engagement and time on task, and similar information.

Subgroup means each category of students identified under section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA, as well as any combined subgroup used in the State accountability system and approved by the Department in a State's request for ESEA flexibility.

Superintendent evaluation means a rigorous, transparent, and fair annual evaluation of an LEA superintendent that provides an assessment of performance and encourages professional growth. This evaluation must reflect: (1) the feedback of many stakeholders, including but not limited to educators, principals, and parents; and (2) student outcomes.

Teacher evaluation system means a system that: (1) Is used for continual improvement of instruction; (2) meaningfully differentiates performance using at least three performance levels; (3) uses multiple valid measures in determining performance levels, including, as a significant factor, data on student growth (as defined in this notice) for all students (including English learners and students with disabilities), as well as other measures of professional practice (which may be gathered through multiple formats and sources, such as observations based on rigorous teacher performance standards, teacher portfolios, and student and parent surveys); (4) evaluates teachers on a regular basis; (5) provides clear, timely, and useful feedback, including feedback that identifies and guides professional development needs; and (6) is used to inform personnel decisions.

Teacher of record means an individual (or individuals in a co-teaching assignment) who has been assigned the lead responsibility for a student's learning in a subject or course.

Proposed Selection Criteria Back to Top

Changes from the FY 2012 competition:

(a) For selection criteria that include plans, peer reviewers are asked to assess the quality of the plans using a consistent set of high-quality plan elements. To clarify that these elements apply across all selection criteria that include plans, we propose deleting extra references to “plans” or “strategies” in the criteria language. These include:

(i) Selection criteria (C)(1) and (C)(2): In the last sentence of the stem to selection criteria (C)(1) and (C)(2), we propose changing “The quality of the plan will be assessed based on” to “This includes”.

—New: “This includes the extent to which the applicant proposes an approach that includes the following:”

—Original: “The quality of the plan will be assessed based on the extent to which the applicant proposes an approach that includes the following:”

(ii) Selection criterion (C)(1)(b): In (C)(1)(b), we propose deleting “there is a strategy to ensure that”. The proposed change helps clarify the use of the high-quality plan elements, as well as makes the stem for (C)(1)(b) consistent with the stem for (C)(1)(a).

—New: “With the support of parents and educators, each student has access to—”

—Original: “With the support of parents and educators, there is a strategy to ensure that each student has access to—”

(iii) Selection criteria (D)(1) and (D)(2): Similar to the clarification proposed for the stem to selection criteria (C)(1) and (C)(2), we propose changing “The quality of the plan will be assessed based on” to “This includes”.

—New: “This includes the extent to which—”

—Original: “The quality of the plan will be determined based on the extent to which—”

(iv) Selection criteria (E)(1), (E)(2), and (E)(4): We propose changing “strategy” or “plan” to “high-quality plan”.

(b) Selection criterion (E)(3): In selection criterion (E)(3), we propose changing “must” to “should”, to clarify that the number of performance measures should be approximately 12 to 14, and may vary based on the applicant's plan and the number of applicable populations served.

—New: “The applicant should have a total of approximately 12 to 14 performance measures.”

—Original: “The applicant must have a total of approximately 12 to 14 performance measures.”

(c) We propose removing Selection Criterion G: Optional Budget Supplement. As noted elsewhere in this document, we propose removing the opportunity to apply for an optional budget supplement in order to maximize the number of grantees that could receive funding under this program and decrease the complexity of having separate plans and budgets for a single selection criterion that by definition is not intended to impact an applicant's ability to meet Priority 1.

Proposed Selection Criteria:

The Secretary proposes the following selection criteria for evaluating an application under this competition. We may apply one or more of these criteria or sub-criteria, any of the selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210, criteria based on statutory requirements for the program in accordance with 34 CFR 75.209, or any combination of these in any year in which this program is in effect. In the notice inviting applications and the application package, the Department will announce the selection criteria to be applied and the maximum possible points assigned to each criterion.

A. Vision

(1) The extent to which the applicant has set forth a comprehensive and coherent reform vision that builds on its work in four core educational assurance areas (as defined in this notice) and articulates a clear and credible approach to the goals of accelerating student achievement, deepening student learning, and increasing equity through personalized student support grounded in common and individual tasks that are based on student academic interests.

(2) The extent to which the applicant's approach to implementing its reform proposal (e.g., schools, grade bands, or subject areas) will support high-quality LEA-level and school-level implementation of that proposal, including—

(a) A description of the process that the applicant used or will use to select schools to participate. The process must ensure that the participating schools (as defined in this notice) collectively meet the competition's eligibility requirements;

(b) A list of the schools that will participate in grant activities (as available); and

(c) The total number of participating students (as defined in this notice), participating students (as defined in this notice) from low-income families, participating students (as defined in this notice) who are high-need students (as defined in this notice), and participating educators (as defined in this notice). If participating schools (as defined in this notice) have yet to be selected, the applicant may provide approximate numbers.

(3) The extent to which the application includes a high-quality plan describing how the reform proposal will be scaled up and translated into meaningful reform to support district-wide change beyond the participating schools (as defined in this notice), and will help the applicant reach its outcome goals (e.g., the applicant's logic model or theory of change of how its plan will improve student learning outcomes for all students who would be served by the applicant).

(4) The extent to which the applicant's vision is likely to result in improved student learning and performance and increased equity as demonstrated by ambitious yet achievable annual goals that are equal to or exceed State ESEA targets for the LEA(s), overall and by student subgroup (as defined in this notice), for each participating LEA in the following areas:

(a) Performance on summative assessments (proficiency status and growth).

(b) Decreasing achievement gaps (as defined in this notice).

(c) Graduation rates (as defined in this notice).

(d) College enrollment (as defined in this notice) rates.

Optional: The extent to which the applicant's vision is likely to result in improved student learning and performance and increased equity as demonstrated by ambitious yet achievable annual goals for each participating LEA in the following area:

(e) Postsecondary degree attainment.

B. Prior Record of Success and Conditions for Reform

The extent to which each LEA has demonstrated evidence of—

(1) A clear record of success in the past four years in advancing student learning and achievement and increasing equity in learning and teaching, including a description, charts or graphs, raw student data, and other evidence that demonstrates the applicant's ability to—

(a) Improve student learning outcomes and close achievement gaps (as defined in this notice), including by raising student achievement, high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice), and college enrollment (as defined in this notice) rates;

(b) Achieve ambitious and significant reforms in its persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in this notice) or in its low-performing schools (as defined in this notice); and

(c) Make student performance data (as defined in this notice) available to students, educators (as defined in this notice), and parents in ways that inform and improve participation, instruction, and services.

(2) A high level of transparency in LEA processes, practices, and investments, including by making public, by school, actual school-level expenditures for regular K-12 instruction, instructional support, pupil support, and school administration. At a minimum, this information must include a description of the extent to which the applicant already makes available the following four categories of school-level expenditures from State and local funds:

(a) Actual personnel salaries at the school level for all school-level instructional and support staff, based on the U.S. Census Bureau's classification used in the F-33 survey of local government finances (information on the survey can be found at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/f33agency.asp);

(b) Actual personnel salaries at the school level for instructional staff only;

(c) Actual personnel salaries at the school level for teachers only; and

(d) Actual non-personnel expenditures at the school level (if available).

(3) Successful conditions and sufficient autonomy under State legal, statutory, and regulatory requirements to implement the personalized learning environments described in the applicant's proposal;

(4) Meaningful stakeholder engagement in the development of the proposal and meaningful stakeholder support for the proposal, including—

(a) A description of how students, families, teachers, and principals in participating schools (as defined in this notice) were engaged in the development of the proposal and, as appropriate, how the proposal was revised based on their engagement and feedback, including—

(i) For LEAs with collective bargaining representation, evidence of direct engagement and support for the proposals from teachers in participating schools (as defined in this notice); or

(ii) For LEAs without collective bargaining representation, at a minimum, evidence that at least 70 percent of teachers from participating schools (as defined in this notice) support the proposal; and

(b) Letters of support from such key stakeholders as parents and parent organizations, student organizations, early learning programs, tribes, the business community, civil rights organizations, advocacy groups, local civic and community-based organizations, and institutions of higher education; and

(5) A high-quality plan for an analysis of the applicant's current status in implementing personalized learning environments and the logic behind the reform proposal contained within the applicant's proposal, including identified needs and gaps that the plan will address.

C. Preparing Students for College and Careers

The extent to which the applicant has a high-quality plan for improving learning and teaching by personalizing the learning environment in order to provide all students the support to graduate college- and career-ready. This plan must include an approach to implementing instructional strategies for all participating students (as defined in this notice) that enable participating students to pursue a rigorous course of study aligned to college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) and college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice) and accelerate his or her learning through support of his or her needs. This includes the extent to which the applicant proposes an approach that includes the following:

(1) Learning: An approach to learning that engages and empowers all learners, in particular high-need students, in an age-appropriate manner such that:

(a) With the support of parents and educators, all students—

(i) Understand that what they are learning is key to their success in accomplishing their goals;

(ii) Identify and pursue learning and development goals linked to college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice), understand how to structure their learning to achieve their goals, and measure progress toward those goals;

(iii) Are able to be involved in deep learning experiences in areas of academic interest;

(iv) Have access and exposure to diverse cultures, contexts, and perspectives that motivate and deepen individual student learning; and

(v) Master critical academic content and develop skills and traits such as goal-setting, teamwork, perseverance, critical thinking, communication, creativity, and problem-solving;

(b) With the support of parents and educators, each student has access to—

(i) A personalized sequence of instructional content and skill development designed to enable the student to achieve his or her individual learning goals and ensure he or she can graduate on time and college- and career-ready;

(ii) A variety of high-quality instructional approaches and environments;

(iii) High-quality content, including digital learning content (as defined in this notice) as appropriate, aligned with college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice);

(iv) Ongoing and regular feedback, including, at a minimum—

(A) Frequently updated individual student data that can be used to determine progress toward mastery of college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice), or college- and career-ready graduation requirements; and

(B) Personalized learning recommendations based on the student's current knowledge and skills, college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice), and available content, instructional approaches, and supports; and

(v) Accommodations and high-quality strategies for high-need students (as defined in this notice) to help ensure that they are on track toward meeting college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice); and

(c) Mechanisms are in place to provide training and support to students that will ensure that they understand how to use the tools and resources provided to them in order to track and manage their learning.

(2) Teaching and Leading: An approach to teaching and leading that helps educators (as defined in this notice) to improve instruction and increase their capacity to support student progress toward meeting college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice) by enabling the full implementation of personalized learning and teaching for all students such that:

(a) All participating educators (as defined in this notice) engage in training, and in professional teams or communities, that supports their individual and collective capacity to—

(i) Support the effective implementation of personalized learning environments and strategies that meet each student's academic needs and help ensure all students can graduate on time and college- and career-ready;

(ii) Adapt content and instruction, providing opportunities for students to engage in common and individual tasks, in response to their academic needs, academic interests, and optimal learning approaches (e.g., discussion and collaborative work, project-based learning, videos, audio, manipulatives);

(iii) Frequently measure student progress toward meeting college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice), or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice) and use data to inform both the acceleration of student progress and the improvement of the individual and collective practice of educators; and

(iv) Improve teachers' and principals' practice and effectiveness by using feedback provided by the LEA's teacher and principal evaluation systems (as defined in this notice), including frequent feedback on individual and collective effectiveness, as well as by providing recommendations, supports and interventions as needed for improvement.

(b) All participating educators (as defined in this notice) have access to, and know how to use, tools, data, and resources to accelerate student progress toward meeting college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice). Those resources must include—

(i) Actionable information that helps educators (as defined in this notice) identify optimal learning approaches that respond to individual student academic needs and interests;

(ii) High-quality learning resources (e.g., instructional content and assessments), including digital resources, as appropriate, that are aligned with college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice), and the tools to create and share new resources; and

(iii) Processes and tools to match student needs (see Selection Criterion (C)(2)(b)(i)) with specific resources and approaches (see Selection Criterion (C)(2)(b)(ii)) to provide continuously improving feedback about the effectiveness of the resources in meeting student needs.

(c) All participating school leaders and school leadership teams (as defined in this notice) have training, policies, tools, data, and resources that enable them to structure an effective learning environment that meets individual student academic needs and accelerates student progress through common and individual tasks toward meeting college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice). The training, policies, tools, data, and resources must include:

(i) Information, from such sources as the district's teacher evaluation system (as defined in this notice), that helps school leaders and school leadership teams (as defined in this notice) assess, and take steps to improve, individual and collective educator effectiveness and school culture and climate, for the purpose of continuous school improvement; and

(ii) Training, systems, and practices to continuously improve school progress toward the goals of increasing student performance and closing achievement gaps (as defined in this notice).

(d) The applicant has a high-quality plan for increasing the number of students who receive instruction from effective and highly effective teachers and principals (as defined in this notice), including in hard-to-staff schools, subjects (such as mathematics and science), and specialty areas (such as special education).

D. LEA Policy and Infrastructure

The extent to which the applicant has a high-quality plan to support project implementation through comprehensive policies and infrastructure that provide every student, educator (as defined in this notice), and level of the education system (classroom, school, and LEA) with the support and resources they need, when and where they are needed. This includes the extent to which—

(1) The applicant has practices, policies, and rules that facilitate personalized learning by—

(a) Organizing the LEA central office, or the consortium governance structure (as defined in this notice), to provide support and services to all participating schools (as defined in this notice);

(b) Providing school leadership teams in participating schools (as defined in this notice) with sufficient flexibility and autonomy over factors such as school schedules and calendars, school personnel decisions and staffing models, roles and responsibilities for educators and noneducators, and school-level budgets;

(c) Giving students the opportunity to progress and earn credit based on demonstrated mastery, not the amount of time spent on a topic;

(d) Giving students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of standards at multiple times and in multiple comparable ways; and

(e) Providing learning resources and instructional practices that are adaptable and fully accessible to all students, including students with disabilities and English learners; and

(2) The LEA and school infrastructure supports personalized learning by—

(a) Ensuring that all participating students (as defined in this notice), parents, educators (as defined in this notice), and other stakeholders (as appropriate and relevant to student learning), regardless of income, have access to necessary content, tools, and other learning resources both in and out of school to support the implementation of the applicant's proposal;

(b) Ensuring that students, parents, educators, and other stakeholders (as appropriate and relevant to student learning) have appropriate levels of technical support, which may be provided through a range of strategies (e.g., peer support, online support, or local support);

(c) Using information technology systems that allow parents and students to export their information in an open data format (as defined in this notice) and to use the data in other electronic learning systems (e.g., electronic tutors, tools that make recommendations for additional learning supports, or software that securely stores personal records); and

(d) Ensuring that LEAs and schools use interoperable data systems (as defined in this notice) (e.g., systems that include human resources data, student information data, budget data, and instructional improvement system data).

E. Continuous Improvement

Because the applicant's high-quality plan represents the best thinking at a point in time, and may require adjustments and revisions during implementation, it is vital that the applicant have a clear and high-quality approach to continuously improve its plan. This will be determined by the extent to which the applicant has—

(1) A high-quality plan for implementing a rigorous continuous improvement process that provides timely and regular feedback on progress toward project goals and opportunities for ongoing corrections and improvements during and after the term of the grant. The plan must address how the applicant will monitor, measure, and publicly share information on the quality of its investments funded by Race to the Top—District, such as investments in professional development, technology, and staff;

(2) A high-quality plan for ongoing communication and engagement with internal and external stakeholders; and

(3) Ambitious yet achievable performance measures, overall and by subgroup, with annual targets for required and applicant-proposed performance measures. For each applicant-proposed measure, the applicant must describe—

(a) Its rationale for selecting that measure;

(b) How the measure will provide rigorous, timely, and formative leading information tailored to its proposed plan and theory of action regarding the applicant's implementation success or areas of concern; and

(c) How it will review and improve the measure over time if it is insufficient to gauge implementation progress.

The applicant should have a total of approximately 12 to 14 performance measures.

The chart below outlines the required and applicant-proposed performance measures based on an applicant's applicable population.

Applicable population Performance measure
All (a) The number and percentage of participating students, by subgroup (as defined in this notice), whose teacher of record (as defined in this notice) and principal are a highly effective teacher (as defined in this notice) and a highly effective principal (as defined in this notice); and
(b) The number and percentage of participating students, by subgroup (as defined in this notice), whose teacher of record (as defined in this notice) and principal are an effective teacher (as defined in this notice) and an effective principal (as defined in this notice).
PreK-3 (a) Applicant must propose at least one age-appropriate measure of students' academic growth (e.g., language and literacy development or cognition and general learning, including early mathematics and early scientific development); and
(b) Applicant must propose at least one age-appropriate non-cognitive indicator of growth (e.g., physical well-being and motor development, or social-emotional development).
4-8 (a) The number and percentage of participating students, by subgroup, who are on track to college- and career-readiness based on the applicant's on-track indicator (as defined in this notice);
(b) Applicant must propose at least one grade-appropriate academic leading indicator of successful implementation of its plan; and
(c) Applicant must propose at least one grade-appropriate health or social-emotional leading indicator of successful implementation of its plan.
9-12 (a) The number and percentage of participating students who complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form;
(b) The number and percentage of participating students, by subgroup, who are on track to college- and career-readiness based on the applicant's on-track indicator (as defined in this notice);
(c) Applicant must propose at least one measure of career-readiness in order to assess the number and percentage of participating students who are or are on track to being career-ready;
(d) Applicant must propose at least one grade-appropriate academic leading indicator of successful implementation of its plan; and
(e) Applicant must propose at least one grade-appropriate health or social-emotional leading indicator of successful implementation of its plan.

(4) A high-quality plan to evaluate the effectiveness of Race to the Top—District funded activities, such as professional development and activities that employ technology, and to more productively use time, staff, money, or other resources in order to improve results, through such strategies as improved use of technology, working with community partners, compensation reform, and modification of school schedules and structures (e.g., service delivery, school leadership teams (as defined in this notice), and decision-making structures).

F. Budget and Sustainability

The extent to which—

(1) The applicant's budget, including the budget narrative and tables—

(a) Identifies all funds that will support the project (e.g., Race to the Top—District grant; external foundation support; LEA, State, and other Federal funds);

(b) Is reasonable and sufficient to support the development and implementation of the applicant's proposal; and

(c) Clearly provides a thoughtful rationale for investments and priorities, including—

(i) A description of all of the funds (e.g., Race to the Top—District grant; external foundation support; LEA, State, and other Federal funds) that the applicant will use to support the implementation of the proposal, including total revenue from these sources; and

(ii) Identification of the funds that will be used for one-time investments versus those that will be used for ongoing operational costs that will be incurred during and after the grant period, as described in the proposed budget and budget narrative, with a focus on strategies that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the personalized learning environments; and

(2) The applicant has a high-quality plan for sustainability of the project's goals after the term of the grant. The plan should include support from State and local government leaders and financial support. Such a plan may include a budget for the three years after the term of the grant that includes budget assumptions, potential sources, and uses of funds.

Final Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria

We will announce the final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria in a notice in the Federal Register. We will determine the final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria after considering responses to this notice and other information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

Note:

This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in which we choose to use one or more of these priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, we invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

Executive Order 12866 and 13563 Back to Top

Regulatory Impact Analysis

Under Executive Order 12866, the Secretary must determine whether this regulatory action is “significant” and, therefore, subject to the requirements of the Executive order and subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 defines a “significant regulatory action” as an action likely to result in a rule that may—

(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or adversely affect a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities in a material way (also referred to as an “economically significant” rule);

(2) Create serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;

(3) Materially alter the budgetary impacts of entitlement grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or

(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles stated in the Executive order.

This proposed regulatory action would have an annual effect on the economy of more than $100 million because we expect that more than that amount will be appropriated for Race to the Top and awarded as grants. Therefore, this proposed action is “economically significant” and subject to review by OMB under section 3(f)(1) of Executive Order 12866. Notwithstanding this determination, we have assessed the potential costs and benefits, both quantitative and qualitative, of this proposed regulatory action and have determined that the benefits would justify the costs.

We have also reviewed this proposed regulatory action under Executive Order 13563, which supplements and explicitly reaffirms the principles, structures, and definitions governing regulatory review established in Executive Order 12866. To the extent permitted by law, Executive Order 13563 requires that an agency—

(1) Propose or adopt regulations only upon a reasoned determination that their benefits justify their costs (recognizing that some benefits and costs are difficult to quantify);

(2) Tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society, consistent with obtaining regulatory objectives and taking into account—among other things and to the extent practicable—the costs of cumulative regulations;

(3) In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, select those approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety, and other advantages; distributive impacts; and equity);

(4) To the extent feasible, specify performance objectives, rather than the behavior or manner of compliance a regulated entity must adopt; and

(5) Identify and assess available alternatives to direct regulation, including economic incentives—such as user fees or marketable permits—to encourage the desired behavior, or provide information that enables the public to make choices.

Executive Order 13563 also requires an agency “to use the best available techniques to quantify anticipated present and future benefits and costs as accurately as possible.” The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of OMB has emphasized that these techniques may include “identifying changing future compliance costs that might result from technological innovation or anticipated behavioral changes.”

We are issuing these proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria only on a reasoned determination that their benefits would justify their costs. In choosing among alternative regulatory approaches, we selected those approaches that would maximize net benefits. Based on the analysis that follows, the Department believes that this regulatory action is consistent with the principles in Executive Order 13563.

We also have determined that this proposed regulatory action would not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the exercise of their governmental functions.

Discussion of Costs and Benefits

The Secretary believes that the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria would not impose significant costs on eligible LEAs. The Secretary also believes that the benefits of implementing the proposals contained in this notice would outweigh any associated costs. The Secretary believes that the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria would result in selection of high-quality applications to implement activities that are most likely to support bold, locally directed improvements in learning and teaching that would directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness. During the first year of the program, the Department received over 370 applications representing more than 1200 LEAs. We expect that the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria in this notice would strengthen the applications for this program by clarifying the scope of activities the Secretary expects to support with program funds and the expected burden of work involved in preparing an application and implementing projects under the program. The pool of possible applicants is large and there is great interest in the program. Potential applicants need to consider carefully the effort that will be required to prepare a strong application, their capacity to implement projects successfully, and their chances of submitting a successful application.

Program participation is voluntary. The Secretary believes that the costs imposed on applicants by the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria would be limited to paperwork burden related to preparing an application and that the benefits of implementing these proposals would outweigh any costs incurred by applicants. The costs of carrying out activities would be paid for with program funds. Thus, the costs of implementation would not be a burden for eligible applicants, including small entities.

Elsewhere in this section under Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we identify and explain burdens specifically associated with information collection requirements.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

The Secretary certifies that this proposed regulatory action will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The small entities that this proposed regulatory action will affect are small LEAs applying for and receiving funds under this program. The Secretary believes that the costs imposed on applicants by the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria would be limited to paperwork burden related to preparing an application and that the benefits of implementing these proposals would outweigh any costs incurred by applicants.

Participation in this program is voluntary. For this reason, the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria would impose no burden on small entities in general. Eligible applicants would determine whether to apply for funds, and have the opportunity to weigh the requirements for preparing applications, and any associated costs, against the likelihood of receiving funding and the requirements for implementing projects under the program. Eligible applicants most likely would apply only if they determine that the likely benefits exceed the costs of preparing an application. The likely benefits include the potential receipt of a grant as well as other benefits that may accrue to an entity through its development of an application, such as the use of that application to spur educational reforms and improvements without additional Federal funding.

The U.S. Small Business Administration Size Standards defines as “small entities” for-profit or nonprofit institutions with total annual revenue below $7,000,000 or, if they are institutions controlled by small governmental jurisdictions (that are comprised of cities, counties, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts), with a population of less than 50,000. There are approximately 16,000 LEAs in the country that meet the definition of “small entity.” However, the Secretary believes that only a small number of these entities would be interested in applying for funds under this program, thus reducing the likelihood that the proposals contained in this notice would have a significant economic impact on small entities. As discussed earlier, the number of applications received during the last competition was approximately 370.

In addition, the Secretary believes that the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria discussed in this notice do not impose any additional burden on small entities applying for a grant than they would face in the absence of the proposed action. That is, the length of the applications those entities would submit in the absence of the regulatory action and the time needed to prepare an application would likely be the same.

Further, the proposed action may help small entities determine whether they have the interest, need, or capacity to implement activities under the program and, thus, prevent small entities that do not have such an interest, need, and capacity from absorbing the burden of applying.

This proposed regulatory action would not have a significant economic impact on small entities once they are able to meet the costs of compliance using the funds provided under this program.

The Secretary invites comments from small LEAs as to whether they believe this proposed regulatory action would have a significant economic impact on them and, if so, requests evidence to support that belief.

Accounting Statement

As required by OMB Circular A-4 (available at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/omb/circulars/a004/a-4.pdf), in the following table we have prepared an accounting statement showing the classification of the expenditures associated with the provisions of this regulatory action. This table provides our best estimate of the changes in annual monetized transfers as a result of this regulatory action. Expenditures are classified as transfers from the Federal Government to LEAs.

Accounting Statement Classification of Estimated Expenditures Back to Top
Category Transfers
[in millions]
Annualized Monetized Transfers Approximately up to $150.
From Whom To Whom? From the Federal Government to LEAs.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, the Department conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This helps ensure that: the public understands the Department's collection instructions, respondents can provide the requested data in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the Department can properly assess the impact of collection requirements on respondents. We estimate that each applicant would spend approximately 230 hours of staff time to address the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, prepare the application, and obtain necessary clearances. The total number of hours for all applicants will vary based on the number of applications. Based on the number of applications the Department received in the FY 2012 competition, we expect to receive approximately 300 applications for these funds. The total number of hours for all expected applicants is an estimated 69,000 hours. We estimate the total cost per hour of the applicant-level staff who carry out this work to be $30 per hour. The total estimated cost for all applicants would be $2,070,000. We have submitted an Information Collection Request (ICR) for this collection to OMB. If you want to comment on the proposed information collection requirements, please send your comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for U.S. Department of Education. Send these comments by email to OIRA_DOCKET@omb.eop.gov or by fax to (202) 395-6974. You may also send a copy of these comments to the Department contact named in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. In preparing your comments you may want to review the ICR, which we maintain on the Regulations.gov Web site at http://regulations.gov. You may search for this ICR using docket ID ED-2013-OS-0050. This ICR is also available on OMB's RegInfo Web site at www.reginfo.gov under OMB Number 1894-0014. We consider your comments on this proposed collection of information in—

  • Deciding whether the proposed collection is necessary for the proper performance of our functions, including whether the information will have practical use;
  • Evaluating the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the proposed collection, including the validity of our methodology and assumptions;
  • Enhancing the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information we collect; and
  • Minimizing the burden on those who must respond. This includes exploring the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques.

OMB is required to make a decision concerning the collection of information contained in these proposed priorities, requirements, and selection criteria between 30 and 60 days after publication of this document in the Federal Register. Therefore, to ensure that OMB gives your comments full consideration, it is important that OMB receives your comments on the proposed collection within 30 days after publication. This does not affect the deadline for your comments to us on the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.

Please note that a Federal agency cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless OMB approves the collection under the PRA and the corresponding information collection instrument displays a currently valid OMB control number. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to comply with, or is subject to penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information if the collection instrument does not display a currently valid OMB control number. We will provide the OMB control number when we publish the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.

Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.

This document provides early notification of our specific plans and actions for this program.

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

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.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: April 10, 2013.

Arne Duncan,

Secretary of Education.

[FR Doc. 2013-08847 Filed 4-15-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P

Footnotes Back to Top

1. 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.

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