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Office of Innovation and Improvement; Overview Information; Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP); Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.165A.

Dates:

Applications Available: March 9, 2007.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 6, 2007.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 27, 2007.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 27, 2007.

Eligible Applicants: Local educational agencies (LEAs) or consortia of LEAs.

Estimated Available Funds: $100,000,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $350,000-$4,000,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $2,500,000 per year.

Maximum Award: We will not fund any application at an amount exceeding the maximum amount of $4,000,000 per year specified in section 5309(c) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) for a single fiscal year. We may choose not to further consider or review applications with budget requests for any 12-month budget period that exceed this amount, if we conclude, during our initial review of the application, that the proposed goals and objectives cannot be obtained with the specified maximum amount.

Estimated Number of Awards: 40.

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 MSAP provides grants to eligible LEAs and consortia of LEAs to support magnet schools that are part of an approved desegregation plan. Through the implementation of magnet schools, these program resources can be used in pursuit of the objectives of the ESEA, which supports State and local efforts to enable all elementary and secondary students to achieve to high standards and holds schools, LEAs, and States accountable for ensuring that their students do so. In particular, the MSAP provides an opportunity for eligible entities to focus on expanding their capacity to provide public school choice to students who attend schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under Title I, Part A of the ESEA (Title I). Start Printed Page 10723

Priorities: This competition includes four competitive preference priorities and one invitational priority that are explained in the following paragraphs.

Competitive Preference Priorities: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), Priorities 1, 2 and 3 are from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 280.32). Priority 4 is from the notice of final priority for this program (NFP), published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

For FY 2007 these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 40 points depending on how well the application meets these priorities. The maximum possible points for each priority are indicated in parentheses following the name of the competitive preference priority. These points are in addition to any points the application earns under the selection criteria.

These priorities are:

Priority 1—Need for assistance (up to 10 additional points). The Secretary evaluates the applicant's needs for assistance under the MSAP regulations in 34 CFR part 280, by considering—

(a) The costs of fully implementing the magnet schools project as proposed;

(b) The resources available to the applicant to carry out the project if funds under the program were not provided;

(c) The extent to which the costs of the project exceed the applicant's resources; and

(d) The difficulty of effectively carrying out the approved plan and the project for which assistance is sought, including consideration of how the design of the magnet schools project—e.g., the type of program proposed, the location of the magnet school within the LEA—impacts on the applicant's ability to successfully carry out the approved plan.

Priority 2—New or revised magnet schools projects (up to 10 additional points). The Secretary determines the extent to which the applicant proposes to carry out new magnet schools projects or significantly revise existing magnet schools projects.

Priority 3—Selection of students (up to 10 additional points). The Secretary determines the extent to which the applicant proposes to select students to attend magnet schools by methods such as lottery, rather than through academic examination.

Priority 4—Expanding Capacity to Provide Choice (up to 10 additional points). This priority supports projects that will—

(1) Help parents whose children attend low-performing schools (that is, schools that have been identified for school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under Title I of the ESEA) by—

(a) Selecting schools identified for school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under Title I as magnet schools to be funded under this project and improving the quality of teaching and instruction in these schools; or

(b) Maximizing the opportunity for students in low-performing schools to attend higher-performing magnet schools funded under the project and thereby reduce minority group isolation in the low-performing sending schools; and

(2) Effectively inform parents whose children attend low-performing schools about choices that are available to them in the magnet schools to be funded under the project.

Note:

For the purpose of selecting applications under this priority, school improvement has the meaning given in 34 CFR 200.32(a)(1), corrective action has the meaning given in 34 CFR 200.33(a), and restructuring has the meaning given in 34 CFR 200.34(a).

Invitational Priority: For FY 2007 this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Priority 5—Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evaluation Designs. This invitational priority supports projects proposing an evaluation plan that is based on rigorous scientifically based research methods to assess the effectiveness of a particular intervention. The Secretary intends that this priority will allow program participants and the Department to determine whether the project produces meaningful effects on student achievement or teacher performance.

Evaluation methods using an experimental design are best for determining project effectiveness. Thus, when feasible, the project must use an experimental design under which participants—e.g., students, teachers, classrooms, or schools—are randomly assigned to participate in the project activities being evaluated or to a control group that does not participate in the project activities being evaluated.

If random assignment is not feasible, the project may use a quasi-experimental design with carefully matched comparison conditions. This alternative design attempts to approximate a randomly assigned control group by matching participants—e.g., students, teachers, classrooms, or schools—with non-participants having similar pre-program characteristics.

In cases where random assignment is not possible and participation in the intervention is determined by a specified cutting point on a quantified continuum of scores, regression discontinuity designs may be employed.

For projects that are focused on special populations in which sufficient numbers of participants are not available to support random assignment or matched comparison group designs, single-subject designs such as multiple baseline or treatment-reversal or interrupted time series that are capable of demonstrating causal relationships can be employed.

Proposed evaluation strategies that use neither experimental designs with random assignment nor quasi-experimental designs using a matched comparison group nor regression discontinuity designs will not be considered responsive to the priority when sufficient numbers of participants are available to support these designs. Evaluation strategies that involve too small a number of participants to support group designs must be capable of demonstrating the causal effects of an intervention or program on those participants.

The proposed evaluation plan must describe how the project evaluator will collect—before the project intervention commences and after it ends—valid and reliable data that measure the impact of participation in the program or in the comparison group.

In determining the quality of the evaluation method, we will consider the extent to which the applicant presents a feasible, credible plan that includes the following:

(1) The type of design to be used (that is, random assignment or matched comparison). If matched comparison, include in the plan a discussion of why random assignment is not feasible.

(2) Outcomes to be measured.

(3) A discussion of how the applicant plans to assign students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to the project and control group or match them for comparison with other students, teachers, classrooms, or schools.

(4) A proposed evaluator, preferably independent, with the necessary background and technical expertise to carry out the proposed evaluation. An independent evaluator does not have any authority over the project and is not involved in its implementation.

Definitions

As used in this invitational priority— Start Printed Page 10724

Scientifically based research (section 9101(37) of the ESEA as amended, 20 U.S.C. 7801(37)):

(A) Means research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs; and

(B) Includes research that—

(i) Employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;

(ii) Involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn;

(iii) Relies on measurements or observational methods that provide reliable and valid data across evaluators and observers, across multiple measurements and observations, and across studies by the same or different investigators;

(iv) Is evaluated using experimental or quasi-experimental designs in which individuals, entities, programs, or activities are assigned to different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the effects of the condition of interest, with a preference for random-assignment experiments, or other designs to the extent that those designs contain within-condition or across-condition controls;

(v) Ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication or, at a minimum, offer the opportunity to build systematically on their findings; and

(vi) Has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review.

Random assignment or experimental design means random assignment of students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to participate in a project being evaluated (treatment group) or not participate in the project (control group). The effect of the project is the difference in outcomes between the treatment and control groups.

Quasi experimental designs include several designs that attempt to approximate a random assignment design.

Carefully matched comparison groups design means a quasi-experimental design in which project participants are matched with non-participants based on key characteristics that are thought to be related to the outcome.

Regression discontinuity design means a quasi-experimental design that closely approximates an experimental design. In a regression discontinuity design, participants are assigned to a treatment or control group based on a numerical rating or score of a variable unrelated to the treatment such as the rating of an application for funding. Eligible students, teachers, classrooms, or schools above a certain score (“cut score”) are assigned to the treatment group and those below the score are assigned to the control group. In the case of the scores of applicants' proposals for funding, the “cut score” is established at the point where the program funds available are exhausted.

Single subject design means a design that relies on the comparison of treatment effects on a single subject or group of single subjects. There is little confidence that findings based on this design would be the same for other members of the population.

Treatment reversal design means a single subject design in which a pre-treatment or baseline outcome measurement is compared with a post-treatment measure. Treatment would then be stopped for a period of time, a second baseline measure of the outcome would be taken, followed by a second application of the treatment or a different treatment. For example, this design might be used to evaluate a behavior modification program for disabled students with behavior disorders.

Multiple baseline design means a single subject design to address concerns about the effects of normal development, timing of the treatment, and amount of the treatment with treatment-reversal designs by using a varying time schedule for introduction of the treatment and/or treatments of different lengths or intensity.

Interrupted time series design means a quasi-experimental design in which the outcome of interest is measured multiple times before and after the treatment for program participants only.

General

Applicants who are planning to respond to this invitational priority are strongly encouraged to review the following technical assistance resources:

(1) Random Assignment in Program Evaluation, Qs and As: http://www.ed.gov/​rschstat/​eval/​resources/​randomqa.pdf. This document lists basic questions and answers that an educator or administrator might have about random assignment and why it is an effective and beneficial tool to use in education.

(2) How to Report the Results of Your Study: A User-Friendly Guide for Evaluators of Educational Programs and Practices: http://www.whatworkshelpdesk.ed.gov/​guide_​SRF.pdf. This guide can help grantees produce reports that are user-friendly and include the appropriate information needed to accurately and fully convey their findings to an audience.

(3) Key Items to Get Right When Conducting a Randomized Control Trial in Education: http://www.whatworkshelpdesk.ed.gov/​guide_​RCT.pdf. This guide discusses planning a study, the random assignment process, measuring outcomes, and analysis.

Start Authority

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7231-7231j.

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 280. (c) The amended final regulations for this program published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. (d) The NFP for the MSAP, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $100,000,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $350,000-$4,000,000 per year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $2,500,000 per year.

Maximum Award: We will not fund any application at an amount exceeding the maximum amount of $4,000,000 per year specified in section 5309(c) of the ESEA for a single fiscal year. We may choose not to further consider or review applications with budget requests for any 12-month budget period that exceed this amount, if we conclude, during our initial review of the application, that the proposed goals and objectives cannot be obtained with the specified maximum amount.

Estimated Number of Awards: 40.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: LEAs or consortia of LEAs.

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

3. Other: Applicants must submit with their applications one of the following types of plans to establish eligibility to receive MSAP assistance: (a) A desegregation plan required by a court order; (b) a plan required by a State agency or an official of competent jurisdiction; (c) a plan required by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), United States Department of Education (ED), under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of Start Printed Page 107251964 (Title VI plan); or (d) a voluntary plan adopted by the applicant and submitted to us for approval as part of the application.

Under the MSAP regulations, applicants are required to provide all of the information required in 34 CFR 280.20(a) through (g) in order to satisfy the civil rights eligibility requirements found in 34 CFR 280.2(a)(2) and (b).

In addition to the particular data and other items for required and voluntary plans described in the application package, an application must include—

  • Signed civil rights assurances (included in the application package);
  • A copy of the applicant's plan; and
  • An assurance that the plan is being implemented or will be implemented if the application is funded.

Required Plans

1. Plans required by a court order. An applicant that submits a plan required by a court order must submit complete and signed copies of all court or State documents demonstrating that the magnet schools are a part of the approved plan. Examples of the types of documents that would meet this requirement include—

  • A Federal or State court order that establishes or amends a previous order or orders by establishing additional or different specific magnet schools;
  • A Federal or State court order that requires or approves the establishment of one or more unspecified magnet schools or that authorizes the inclusion of magnet schools at the discretion of the applicant.

2. Plans required by a State agency or official of competent jurisdiction. An applicant submitting a plan ordered by a State agency or official of competent jurisdiction must provide documentation that shows that the plan was ordered based upon a determination that State law was violated. In the absence of this documentation, the applicant should consider its plan to be a voluntary plan and submit the data and information necessary for voluntary plans.

3. Title VI required plans. An applicant that submits a plan required by OCR under Title VI must submit a complete copy of the plan demonstrating that magnet schools are part of the approved plan.

4. Modifications to required plans. A previously approved desegregation plan that does not include the magnet school or program for which the applicant is now seeking assistance must be modified to include the magnet school component. The modification to the plan must be approved by the court, agency, or official that originally approved the plan. An applicant that wishes to modify a previously approved OCR Title VI plan to include different or additional magnet schools must submit the proposed modification for review and approval to the OCR regional office that approved its original plan.

An applicant should indicate in its application if it is seeking to modify its previously approved plan. However, all applicants must submit proof of approval of all modifications to their plans to ED by June 1, 2007. Proof of plan modifications should be mailed to the person and address identified in FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT elsewhere in this notice.

Voluntary Plans

A voluntary plan must be approved by ED each time an application is submitted for funding. Even if ED has approved a voluntary plan in an LEA in the past, the plan must be resubmitted for approval as part of the application.

The enrollment and other information as required by the regulations in 34 CFR 280.20(f) and (g) for applicants with voluntary plans (specific requirements are detailed in the application package) are critical to our determination of an applicant's eligibility under a voluntary plan.

The purposes of the MSAP include the reduction, elimination, or prevention of minority group isolation. All voluntary plans proposed in an LEA's application must be adequate under Title VI. The Department believes that LEAs submitting voluntary plans can achieve the statutory purposes of reducing, eliminating, or preventing minority group isolation using race-neutral admissions practices. The United States Supreme Court is expected to provide additional guidance about the use of race in voluntary plans in two cases prior to the award of FY 2007 grants. The Department will examine the implications of those decisions on the MSAP program when making FY 2007 awards.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Joan Scott-Ambrosio, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W236, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 260-2715 or by e-mail: joan.scott-ambrosio@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 a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.

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

Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if it has a better understanding of the number of entities that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify the Department by sending a short e-mail message indicating the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding. The e-mail need not include information regarding the content of the proposed application, only the applicant's intent to submit it. This e-mail notification should be sent to joan.scott-ambrosio@ed.gov.

Applicants that fail to provide this e-mail notification may still apply for funding.

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria and two of the competitive preference priorities that reviewers use to evaluate your application. The two competitive preference priorities that must be addressed in the application narrative are Competitive Preference Priority 1—Need for Assistance and Competitive Preference Priority 4—Expanding Capacity to Provide Choice. You must limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 250 pages, using the following standards:

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

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances, certifications, the desegregation plan and related information, and the forms used to respond to Competitive Preference Priority 2—New or revised magnet schools projects and Competitive Preference Priority 3—Start Printed Page 10726Selection of students; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, or letters of support. However, you must include all of the application narrative in Part III.

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

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

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: March 9, 2007.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 6, 2007.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 27, 2007.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

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

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact. Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 27, 2007.

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: We specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 280.41. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

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

a. Electronic Submission of Applications. Applications for grants under the Magnet Schools Assistance Program, CFDA Number 84.165A must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

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

You may access the electronic grant application for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program or competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.165, not 84.165A).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted, and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not consider your application if it is date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov at http://e-Grants.ed.gov/​help/​GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf.
  • To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process (see http://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​get_​registered.jsp). These steps include (1) registering your organization, a multi-part process that includes registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (2) registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/​section910/​Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf). You also must provide on your application the same D-U-N-S Number used with this registration. Please note that the registration process may take five or more business days to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to allow you to submit successfully an application via Grants.gov. In addition, you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. Please note that two of these forms—the SF 424 and the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424—have replaced the ED 424 (Application for Federal Education Assistance).
  • You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password protected file, we will not review that material. Start Printed Page 10727
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date. Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

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

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

Note:

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

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

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

and

  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

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

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Joan Scott-Ambrosio, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 4W225, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Fax: (202) 205-5630.

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

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail. If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.165A), 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 84.165A), 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.

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

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

(1) A private metered postmark.

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

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

Note:

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

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery. If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.165A), 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 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288. Start Printed Page 10728

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: All of the selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 280.31, with the exception of the selection criterion for the Quality of project design. The Quality of project design selection criterion is from sections 5305(b)(1)(A), 5305(b)(1)(B), 5305(b)(1)(D)(i), 5305(b)(2)(D) and 5307(b) of the ESEA, in accordance with 34 CFR 75.209.

The maximum score for all the selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is included in parentheses. Each criterion also includes the factors that reviewers will consider in determining whether an application meets the criterion.

Points awarded under these selection criteria are in addition to any points an applicant earns under the competitive preference priorities in this notice. The maximum score an application may receive based on the priority points and the selection criteria is 140 points.

(a) Plan of operation. (25 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the plan of operation for the project.

(2) The Secretary determines the extent to which the applicant demonstrates—

(i) The effectiveness of its management plan to ensure proper and efficient administration of the project;

(ii) The effectiveness of its plan to attain specific outcomes that—

(A) Will accomplish the purposes of the program;

(B) Are attainable within the project period;

(C) Are measurable and quantifiable; and

(D) For multi-year projects, can be used to determine the project's progress in meeting its intended outcomes;

(iii) The effectiveness of its plan for utilizing its resources and personnel to achieve the objectives of the project, including how well it utilizes key personnel to complete tasks and achieve the objectives of the project;

(iv) How it will ensure equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who have been traditionally underrepresented in courses or activities offered as part of the magnet school, e.g., women and girls in mathematics, science, or technology courses, and disabled students; and

(v) The effectiveness of its plan to recruit students from different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds into the magnet schools.

(b) Quality of personnel. (10 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the qualifications of the personnel the applicant plans to use on the project.

(2) The Secretary determines the extent to which—

(i) The project director (if one is used) is qualified to manage the project;

(ii) Other key personnel are qualified to manage the project;

(iii) Teachers who will provide instruction in participating magnet schools are qualified to implement the special curriculum of the magnet schools; and

(iv) The applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices will ensure that its personnel are selected for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

(3) To determine personnel qualifications, the Secretary considers experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project, including the key personnel's knowledge of and experience in curriculum development and desegregation strategies.

(c) Quality of project design. (35 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the project design based on sections 5305(b)(1)(A), 5305(b)(1)(B), 5305(b)(1)(D)(i), 5305(b)(2)(D) and 5307(b) of the ESEA.

(2) The Secretary determines the extent to which each magnet school for which funding is sought will—

(i) Promote desegregation, including how each proposed magnet school program will increase interaction among students of different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds;

(ii) Improve student academic achievement for all students attending each magnet school program, including the manner and extent to which each magnet school program will increase student academic achievement in the instructional area or areas offered by the school;

(iii) Implement high-quality activities that are directly related to improving student academic achievement based on the State's academic content standards and academic achievement standards or directly related to improving students' reading skills or knowledge of mathematics, science, history, geography, English, foreign languages, art, or music, or to improving vocational, technological, and professional skills; and

(iv) Encourage greater parental decisionmaking and involvement.

(d) Budget and resources. (5 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the adequacy of the resources and the cost-effectiveness of the budget for the project, including—

(1) The adequacy of the facilities that the applicant plans to use;

(2) The adequacy of the equipment and supplies that the applicant plans to use; and

(3) The adequacy and reasonableness of the budget for the project in relation to the objectives of the project.

(e) Evaluation plan. (15 points) The Secretary determines the extent to which the evaluation plan for the project—

(1) Includes methods that are appropriate to the project;

(2) Will determine how successful the project is in meeting its intended outcomes, including its goals for desegregating its students and increasing student achievement; and

(3) Includes methods that are objective and that will produce data that are quantifiable.

(f) Commitment and capacity. (10 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application to determine whether the applicant is likely to continue the magnet school activities after assistance under the regulations is no longer available.

(2) The Secretary determines the extent to which the applicant—

(i) Is committed to the magnet schools project; and

(ii) Has identified other resources to continue support for the magnet school activities when assistance under this program is no longer available.

VI. 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 Notification (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 Start Printed Page 10729performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as specified by the Secretary in 34 CFR 75.118, including information that documents the extent of success in addressing the performance measures described in the following paragraph. For specific requirements on grantee reporting, please go to the ED Performance Report Form 524B at http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: We have established three performance measures for the MSAP:

(a) The percentage of magnet schools whose student applicant pool reflects a racial and ethnic composition that, in relation to the total enrollment of the school, reduces, eliminates or prevents minority group isolation. The Secretary has set an overall performance target that calls for the percentage of magnet schools whose student applicant pool would have a beneficial effect on the reduction, prevention or elimination of minority group isolation in participating project schools to increase annually from a baseline established with magnet school applicant data from the first year of the project.

(b) The percentage of magnet schools whose students from major racial and ethnic groups meet or exceed their State's adequate yearly progress standard, in accordance with their State's plan required by section 1111 of the ESEA. The Secretary has set an overall performance target that calls for the percentage of magnet schools whose students meet or exceed the adequate yearly progress standard to increase annually from a baseline established by participating schools' performance in the school year prior to the beginning of the project.

(c) The percentage of magnet schools that receive assistance and that are still operating magnet school programs three years after Federal funding ends and the percentage of magnet schools that received assistance that meet State standards at least three years after Federal funding ends. The Secretary has set an overall performance target that calls for the percentage of magnet schools that are in operation and meet or exceed State standards three years after Federal funding ends to increase annually from a baseline established three years after Federal funding ceases.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Steven L. Brockhouse, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W229, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 260-2476 or by e-mail: steve.brockhouse@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.

VIII. 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.

Start Signature

Dated: March 6, 2007.

Morgan S. Brown,

Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E7-4271 Filed 3-8-07; 8:45 am]

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