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Overview Information; Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2005

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.349A.

Dates:

Applications Available: February 7, 2005.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 22, 2005.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 21, 2005.

Eligible Applicants: A partnership consisting of at least one entity from each of the following categories, as indicated below:

(i) One or more institutions of higher education, or other public or private Start Printed Page 6425entities (including faith-based organizations), that provide professional development for early childhood educators who work with children from low-income families in high-need communities.

(ii) One or more public agencies (including local educational agencies, State educational agencies, State human services agencies, and State and local agencies administering programs under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990), Head Start agencies, or private organizations (including faith-based organizations).

(iii) If feasible, an entity with demonstrated experience in providing training to educators in early childhood education programs concerning identifying and preventing behavior problems or working with children identified as or suspected to be victims of abuse. This entity may be one of the partners described in paragraphs (i) and (ii) under Eligible Applicants.

A partnership may apply for these funds only if one of the partners currently provides professional development for early childhood educators working in programs located in high-need communities with children from low-income families.

Estimated Available Funds: $14,695,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $2,500,000-$5,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $3,750,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 3-6 awards.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months. Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Early Childhood Educator Professional Development (ECEPD) program is to enhance the school readiness of young children, particularly disadvantaged young children, and to prevent them from encountering difficulties once they enter school, by improving the knowledge and skills of early childhood educators who work in communities that have high concentrations of children living in poverty.

Projects funded under the ECEPD program provide high-quality, sustained, and intensive professional development for these early childhood educators in how to provide developmentally appropriate school-readiness services for preschool-age children that are based on the best available research on early childhood pedagogy and on child development and learning. For these grants, increased emphasis is being placed on the quality of program evaluations for the proposed projects.

The specific activities for which recipients may use grant funds are identified in the application package.

Priorities: This competition includes one absolute priority and two invitational priorities that are explained in the following paragraphs. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), the absolute priority is from section 2151(e)(5)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 6651(e)(5)(A). The absolute priority and the two invitational priorities are as follows.

Absolute Priority: For FY 2005 this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority. This priority is:

High-Need Communities

The applicant partnership, if awarded a grant, shall use the grant funds to carry out activities that will improve the knowledge and skills of early childhood educators who are working in early childhood programs that are located in “high-need communities.”

An eligible applicant must demonstrate in its application how it meets the statutory requirement in section 2151(e)(5)(A) of the ESEA by including relevant demographic and socioeconomic data about the “high-need community” in which the program is located, as indicated in the application package. (See section 2151(e)(3)(B)(i) of the ESEA.)

“High-need community,” as defined in section 2151(e)(9)(B) of the ESEA, means—

(a) A political subdivision of a State, or a portion of a political subdivision of a State, in which at least 50 percent of the children are from low-income families; or

(b) A political subdivision of a State that is among the 10 percent of political subdivisions of the State having the greatest numbers of such children.

Note:

The following additional terms used in or related to this absolute priority have statutory definitions that are included in the application package: “early childhood educator,” “low-income family,” and “professional development.”

Under this competition we are particularly interested in applications that address the following two invitational priorities.

Invitational Priorities: For FY 2005, these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

Invitational Priority 1—Young Children with Limited English Proficiency, Disabilities, or Other Special Needs

The Secretary is especially interested in applications that focus on providing professional development for early childhood educators who work with young children (including infants or toddlers, as applicable) with: limited English proficiency; disabilities, as identified under Parts B or C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; or other special needs.

Note:

The following terms used in this invitational priority have statutory definitions that are included in the application package: “child with a disability,” “infants and toddlers with disabilities,” and “limited English proficient.”

Invitational Priority 2—Classroom Curricula and Teacher Professional Development

The Secretary also is especially interested in applications that focus on professional development for early childhood educators on the specific preschool curricula that are being used in their early childhood programs and that promote young children's school readiness in the areas of language and cognitive development and early reading and numeracy skills. The curricula should be based on scientifically based research, and have standardized training procedures and published curriculum materials to support implementation by the early childhood educators. The chosen curricula should include a scope and sequence of skills and content with concrete instructional goals that will promote early language, reading, and numeracy skills.

The need for rigorous preschool curricula is driven by the national focus on high-quality preschool experiences that prepare children for formal reading instruction in the elementary grades. The professional development in the ECEPD program provides opportunities for the program participants to achieve greater understanding of the implementation of scientifically based curricula that focus on early language, reading, and numeracy skills of young children. Grantees should focus on assisting the early childhood educators to fully implement the selected curricula and measuring learning outcomes for the children taught by those educators.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6651(e). Start Printed Page 6426

Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99, as applicable.

Note:

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

Note:

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grant.

Estimated Available Funds: $14,695,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $2,500,000 “ $5,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $3,750,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 3-6 awards.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: A partnership consisting of at least one entity from each of the following categories, as indicated below:

(i) One or more institutions of higher education, or other public or private entities (including faith-based organizations), that provide professional development for early childhood educators who work with children from low-income families in high-need communities.

(ii) One or more public agencies (including local educational agencies, State educational agencies, State human services agencies, and State and local agencies administering programs under the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990), Head Start agencies, or private organizations (including faith-based organizations).

(iii) If feasible, an entity with demonstrated experience in providing training to educators in early childhood education programs concerning identifying and preventing behavior problems or working with children identified as or suspected to be victims of abuse. This entity may be one of the partners described in paragraphs (i) and (ii) under Eligible Applicants.

A partnership may apply for these funds only if one of the partners currently provides professional development for early childhood educators working in programs located in high-need communities with children from low-income families.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: Each partnership that receives a grant under this program must provide (1) at least 50 percent of the total cost of the project for the entire grant period; and (2) at least 20 percent of the project cost for each year. The project may provide these funds from any source, other than this program, including other Federal sources. The partnership may satisfy these cost-sharing requirements by providing contributions in cash or in-kind, fairly evaluated, including plant, equipment, and services. Only allowable costs may be counted as part of the grantee's share. For example, any indirect costs over and above the allowable amount may not be counted toward a grantee's share. For additional information about indirect costs, see section IV.5. of this notice.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: You may obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain an application via the Internet, use the following Web address: http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​eceducator/​index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write or call the following: Education Publications Center, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone (toll free): 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call (toll free): 1-877-576-7734.

If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.349A.

You may also contact ED Pubs at its Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or you may contact ED Pubs at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.349A.

Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) following the instructions in section VII of this notice.

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

Page Limits: The application narrative for this program (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit Part III of the application to the equivalent of no more than 30 typed pages. Part IV of the application is where you, the applicant, provide a budget narrative that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the budget narrative in Part IV of the application to the equivalent of no more than 5 typed pages. For all page limits, use the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ × 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application and budget narratives, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. Text in tables, charts, or graphs, and the limited Appendices, may be single spaced.
  • Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch). You may use other point fonts for any tables, charts, graphs, and the limited Appendices, but those tables, charts, graphs and limited Appendices should be in a font size that is easily readable by the reviewers of your application.
  • Any tables, charts, or graphs are included in the overall narrative page limit. The limited Appendices, including the partnership agreement required as a group agreement under 34 CFR 75.128, are not part of these page limits.
  • Appendices are limited to the following: Required partnership agreement; and curriculum vitae of key personnel (including key contract personnel and consultants).
  • Other application materials are limited to the specific materials indicated in the application package, and may not include any video or other non-print materials.

Our reviewers will not read any pages of your application that—

  • Exceed the page limits if you apply these standards; or
  • Exceed the equivalent of the page limits if you apply other standards.

3. Submission Dates and Times.

Applications Available: February 7, 2005.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 22, 2005.

Applications for grants under this program [competition] may be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants system, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section Start Printed Page 6427IV.6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

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

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 21, 2005.

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

5. Funding Restrictions:

(a) Indirect Costs. For purposes of indirect cost charges, the Secretary considers all ECEPD program grants to be “educational training grants” within the meaning of section 75.562(a) of EDGAR. Consistent with 34 CFR 75.562, the indirect cost rate for any fiscal agent other than a State agency or agency of local government (such as a local educational agency) is limited to a maximum of eight percent or the amount permitted by the fiscal agent's negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, whichever is less. Further information about indirect cost rates, and on how to apply for a negotiated indirect cost rate for fiscal agents that do not yet have one, is available at the following Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​about/​offices/​list/​ocfo/​intro.html?​exp=​0.

(b) Pre-award Costs: For FY 2005 the Secretary exercises her authority under sections 75.263 and 74.25(e)(1) of EDGAR to approve pre-award costs incurred by recipients of these grants more than 90 calendar days before the grant award. Specifically, the Secretary approves necessary and reasonable pre-award costs incurred by these grant recipients for up to 90 days before the application deadline date. These pre-award costs must be related to the needs assessment that applicants conduct under section 2151(e)(3)(B)(iii) of the ESEA before submitting their applications, to determine the most critical professional development needs of the early childhood educators to be served by the project and in the broader community.

Applicants incur any pre-award costs at their own risk. The Secretary is under no obligation to reimburse these costs if for any reason the applicant does not receive an award or if the award is less than anticipated and inadequate to cover these costs.

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

6. Other Submission Requirements.

Applications for grants under this program [competition] may be submitted electronically or in paper format by mail or hand delivery.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

If you choose to submit your application to us electronically, you must use e-Application available through the Department's e-Grants system, accessible through the e-Grants portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

While completing your electronic application, you will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following:

  • Your participation in e-Application is voluntary.
  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The e-Application system will not accept an application for this program [competition] after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
  • The regular hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6 a.m. Monday until 7 p.m. Wednesday; and 6 a.m. Thursday until midnight Saturday, Washington, DC time. Please note that the system is unavailable on Sundays, and between 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, DC time, for maintenance. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including the Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524) , and all necessary assurances and certifications.
  • Any narrative sections of your application should be attached as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement that will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the ED 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print ED 424 from e-Application.

(2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

(3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard-copy signature page of the ED 424.

(4) Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 245-6272.

  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on other forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day in order to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. We will grant this extension if—

(1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have initiated an electronic application for this competition; and

(2)(a) The e-Application system is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date; or

(b) The e-Application system is unavailable for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgement of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If the system is down and therefore the application deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users who have initiated an e-Application.

Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of the Department's e-Application system. If the e-Application system is available, and, for any reason, you are unable to submit your application electronically or you do not receive an automatic acknowledgement of your submission, you may submit your application in Start Printed Page 6428paper format by mail or hand delivery in accordance with the instructions in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you submit your application in paper format by mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier), you must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.349A), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260. or

By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center—Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.349A), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address you use, you must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

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

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

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

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

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

(1) A private metered postmark, or

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

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

Note:

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

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you submit your application in paper format by hand delivery, you (or a courier service) must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.349A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

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

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 4 of the ED 424 the CFDA number—and suffix letter, if any—of the competition under which you are submitting your application.

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

V. Award Administration Information

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

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

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

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

3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as specified by the Secretary in 34 CFR 75.118. ECEPD program grantees also are required by section 2151(e)(6)(B) of the ESEA to report annually to the Secretary on the partnership's progress toward attaining the achievement indicators referenced in section VI. 4. Performance Measures in this notice. For specific requirements on grantee reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: For FY 2005, grants under this program will be governed by the achievement indicators that the Secretary published in the Federal Register on March 31, 2003 (68 FR 15646-15648). These achievement indicators are included in the application package.

VI. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Rosemary Fennell, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3C-100, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 260-0792, or by e-mail: eceprofdev@ed.gov.

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

Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed in this section.

VII. Other Information

Electronic Access to This Document: You may 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) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​fedregister.

To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

Note:

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 on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

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Dated: February 2, 2005.

Raymond Simon,

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 05-2438 Filed 2-4-05; 8:45 am]

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