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Office of Innovation and Improvement; Overview Information; Women's Educational Equity Act Program (WEEA); Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009

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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: 84.083A.

Note:

The Department is not inviting applications under CFDA Number 84.083B (research and development grants) for FY 2009.

DATES:

Applications Available: January 2, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 23, 2009.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 22, 2009.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the WEEA program is: (a) To promote gender equity in education in the United States; (b) to provide financial assistance to enable educational agencies and institutions to meet the requirements of title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.); and (c) to promote equity in education for women and girls who suffer from multiple forms of discrimination based on sex, race, ethnic origin, limited English proficiency, disability, or age.

Note:

Men and boys may participate in any program or activity assisted with funds under this program.

Priorities: This competition includes three absolute priorities and one competitive preference priority that are explained in the following paragraphs. These priorities are from the notice of final discretionary grant priorities for FY 2009, published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2008 (73 FR 70627).

Absolute Priorities: For FY 2009 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet Priority 3 and one or both of Priority 1 and Priority 2.

These priorities are:

Priority 1—Mathematics. Projects that support activities to enable students to achieve proficiency or advanced proficiency in mathematics.

Priority 2—Science. Projects that support activities to enable students to achieve proficiency or advanced proficiency in science.

Priority 3—Student Achievement Data. Projects that collect pre- and post-intervention test data to assess the effect of the projects on the academic achievement of student participants relative to appropriate comparison or control groups.

Note:

All applicants must address Priority 3—Student Achievement Data. All applicants must also address either Priority 1—Mathematics or Priority 2—Science. Applicants may address both Priority 1—Mathematics and Priority 2—Science if they believe they have the capacity and personnel to successfully address both of these priorities. However, no additional points will be earned by addressing both the mathematics and science priorities.

Note:

The Department suggests that applicants that are not part of a school system establish a relationship with their project's targeted school(s) to facilitate accessing the required pre- and post-intervention test data regarding proficiency and advanced proficiency.

Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2009 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 10 points to an application, depending on how well the application meets this priority.

This priority is:

Secondary Schools. Projects that support activities and interventions aimed at improving the academic achievement of secondary school students who are at greatest risk of not meeting challenging State academic standards and not completing high school.

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Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7283-7283g.

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Applicable Regulations: (a) 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. (b) The notice of final discretionary grant priorities for FY 2009, published in the Federal Register on November 21, 2008 (73 FR 70627).

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 grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $1,827,714.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, Start Printed Page 102we may make additional awards in FY 2010 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: $125,000-$225,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $182,770.

Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Public agencies; private nonprofit agencies; organizations, including community- and faith-based organizations; institutions; student groups; community groups; and individuals.

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

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), 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), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

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

If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.083A.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

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

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We strongly encourage you to limit the application narrative (Part III) to the equivalent of no more than 25 pages using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

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

3. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: January 2, 2009. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 23, 2009.

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

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

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

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 22, 2009.

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 reference 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 WEEA program, CFDA Number 84.083A, 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 WEEA program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.083, not 84.083A).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will Start Printed Page 103notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

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

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

Note:

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

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

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

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

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Beverly A. Farrar, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W242, Washington, DC 20202-5950. Fax: (202) 205-5630.

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

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: Start Printed Page 104(CFDA Number 84.083A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(1) A private metered postmark.

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

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

Note:

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

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.083A), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

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

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

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from WEEA and 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR. The maximum possible score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses after each criterion. Each criterion also includes the factors that the reviewers will consider in determining how well an application meets the criterion. The maximum score for all of the criteria is 100 points. The note following selection criterion (5) is guidance to help applicants in preparing the applications and is not required by statute or regulations. The selection criteria are as follows:

(1) Project as a component of a comprehensive plan (15 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the project is a significant component of a comprehensive plan for education equity and compliance with title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) in the particular local educational agency, institution of higher education, vocational-technical institution, or other education agency or institution.

(2) Implementing an institutional change strategy (15 points). The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the project would implement an institutional change strategy with long-term impact that will continue as a central activity of the applicant after the grant has been terminated.

(3) Quality of project services (20 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(a) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services.

(b) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will lead to improvements in the achievement of students as measured against rigorous academic standards.

(4) Quality of the management plan (25 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

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

(b) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project.

(c) How the applicant will ensure that a diversity of perspectives are brought to bear in the operation of the proposed project, including those of parents, teachers, the business community, a variety of disciplinary and professional fields, recipients or beneficiaries of services, or others, as appropriate.

(5) Quality of the project evaluation (25 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(a) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.

(b) The extent to which the evaluation will provide guidance about effective strategies suitable for replication or testing in other settings.

Note:

Applicants may wish to consider using the evaluation plan to shape the development of the project from the beginning of the grant period. Applicants also may wish to include benchmarks to monitor progress toward specific project objectives and also outcome measures to assess the impact on teaching and learning or other important outcomes for project participants. Grantees will be expected to report on the progress of their evaluation through the required annual performance report as discussed in VI.3 below.

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 notify you informally, also.

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

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other Start Printed Page 105requirements 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 directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: Under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), the Secretary has established the following five performance measures for assessing the effectiveness of this program. Grantees funded under this competition will be expected to collect and report to the Department data related to these measures. Applicants should discuss in the application narrative how they propose to collect these data. These GPRA performance measures are (1) the percentage of female students served by the WEEA program who achieve proficiency on State mathematics assessments; (2) the percentage of female students served by the WEEA program who achieve advanced proficiency on State mathematics assessments; and/or (3) the percentage of female students served by the WEEA program who achieve proficiency on State science assessments; (4) the percentage of female students served by the WEEA program who achieve advanced proficiency on State science assessments; and (5) the percentage of WEEA projects whose female participants demonstrate statistically significant higher mean increases in achievement compared to mean increases of a comparison group, based on pre- and post-test data.

All applicants will be expected to collect and report data for GPRA performance measure 5. Applicants will be expected to collect and report data on measures 1 through 4 based upon the absolute priority addressed in their application and the targeted proficiency level. For example, if the applicant proposes to develop a program that focuses on helping students achieve proficiency on State mathematics assessments, data would be collected and reported only on GPRA performance measures 1 and 5. Applicants should discuss in the application narrative how they propose to collect these data.

Notes for the GPRA measures: If the applicant uses an instrument other than assessments used for No Child Left Behind of 2001 (NCLB) purposes or for other State-level assessments, the applicant is encouraged to demonstrate that the instrument is both of the following:

(1) Valid for the subject and age range of students included in the project. Validity is the extent to which the test measures what it was supposed to (e.g. mathematics aptitude). There are several types of validity including content, construct, and predictive validity. Evidence of validity is often available from the publisher of the assessment instrument.

(2) Reliable with regard to the consistency and repeatability of measurement. Several types of reliability are routinely established, including the internal consistency of an instrument (how well different items on an instrument measure the same construct) and test/retest reliability (the consistency of measurement at two different points in time). Evidence of reliability is often available from the publisher of the assessment instrument.

Applicants should adhere to the following criteria when constructing a comparison group for reporting on the fifth GPRA measure. The comparison group should (1) match WEEA participants on a baseline measure of the achievement outcome, baseline demographics, or both; (2) be a group of no less than 20 students, and should be a group whose size is no less than 50 percent of the number of project participants; and (3) not receive WEEA project services.

For GPRA purposes, “proficiency” and “advanced proficiency” are defined as follows: (1) “Proficiency” is defined as the State standard for “proficient” for the purposes of NCLB-reporting, or its equivalent for standardized State tests; and (2)”Advanced proficiency” is defined as the State standard for “advanced proficient” for purposes of NCLB-reporting, or its equivalent for standardized State tests.

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Beverly A. Farrar, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W242, Washington, DC 20202-5950. Telephone: (202) 205-3145 or by e-mail: oiiweea@ed.gov.

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

VIII. Other Information

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

Electronic Access to This Document: 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) 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: December 29, 2008.

Amanda L. Farris,

Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.

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[FR Doc. E8-31226 Filed 12-31-08; 8:45 am]

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