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Notice

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Overview Information; Impact Aid Discretionary Construction Grant Program; 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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Start Preamble

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.041C.

DATES:

Applications Available: February 18, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 20, 2009.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 19, 2009.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Impact Aid Discretionary Construction Grant Program provides grants for emergency repairs and modernization of school facilities to certain eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) that receive formula Impact Aid funds.

Priority: In this notice, the Secretary is soliciting applications only for Priority 1 emergency repair grants. We will not accept applications for Priority 2 emergency repair or modernization grants at this time. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii) and (iv), this priority is from section 8007(b)(2)(A) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (Act) (20 U.S.C. 7707(b)), and the regulations for this program in 34 CFR 222.177.

Absolute Priority: For FY 2009, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is: Priority 1 emergency repair grants. An LEA is eligible to apply for an emergency grant under the first priority of section 8007(b) of the Act if it—

(a) Is eligible to receive formula construction funds for the fiscal year under section 8007(a) of the Act (20 U.S.C. 7707(a));

(b)(1) Has no practical capacity to issue bonds;

(2) Has minimal capacity to issue bonds and has used at least 75 percent of its bond limit; or

(3) Is eligible to receive funds for the fiscal year for heavily impacted districts under section 8003(b)(2) of the Act (20 U.S.C. 7707(b)(2)); and

(c) Has a school facility emergency that the Secretary has determined poses a health or safety hazard to students and school personnel.

Note:

For each of the FYs 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 competitions under this program, the amounts requested by applicants for Priority 1 grants exceeded the funds available.

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7707(b).

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75 (except for 34 CFR 75.600 through 75.617), 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 85, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 222.

Note:

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grant.

Estimated Available Funds: $17,500,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $50,000-$5,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,500,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 11.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months. We will determine each project period based on the nature of the project proposed and the time needed to complete the project. We will specify this period in the grant award document.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: To be eligible for an emergency repair grant, an LEA must enroll a high percentage (at least 40 percent) of federally connected children in average daily attendance (ADA) who reside on Indian lands or who have a parent on active duty in the U.S. uniformed services, have a school that enrolls a high percentage of one of these types of students, be eligible for funding for heavily impacted LEAs under section 8003(b)(2) of the Act, or meet the specific numeric requirements regarding bonding capacity. In making emergency grant awards, the Secretary must also consider the LEA's total assessed value of real property that may be taxed for school purposes, its use of available bonding capacity, and the nature and severity of the school facility emergency.

2.a. Cost Sharing or Matching: See 20 U.S.C. 7707(b)(5) and 34 CFR 222.174 Start Printed Page 7593and 222.191 through 222.193. In reviewing proposed awards, the Secretary considers the funds available to the grantee from other sources, including local, State, and other Federal funds. Consistent with 34 CFR 222.192, applicants will be required to submit financial reports for FYs 2006, 2007, and 2008, showing closing balances for all school funds. If significant amounts are available at the close of FY 2008 that are not obligated for other purposes, those funds will be considered as available for the proposed emergency repair project, which may reduce or eliminate the award for an emergency grant.

b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: As outlined in 34 CFR 222.174, grants made under this program are subject to supplement, not supplant funding provisions. Grant funds under this program may not be used to supplant or replace other available non-Federal construction money.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: An electronic application is available at: http://e-grants.ed.gov. For assistance, please contact Kristen Walls-Rivas, Impact Aid Program, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3C155, Washington, DC 20202-6244. FAX: 1-866-799-1272.

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

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team 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 program.

Page Limit: We strongly recommend that applicants limit their responses in each applicable narrative section to two pages.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: February 18, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 20, 2009.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) available through the Department's e-Grants system. 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 of this notice.

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.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 19, 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: Except for applicants with no practical capacity to issue bonds, as defined in 34 CFR 222.176, an eligible applicant's award amount may not be more than 50 percent of the total cost of an approved project and may not exceed four million dollars during any four-year period. See 34 CFR 222.193. While applicants may submit multiple applications, the Department may limit awards for a single applicant based on factors specified in 34 CFR 75.217, including the applicant's performance and use of funds under a prior award. Unallowable costs are specified in 34 CFR 222.173. Grant recipients must, in accordance with Federal, State and local laws, use emergency grants for permissible construction activities at public elementary and secondary school facilities. The scope of a selected facilities project will be identified as part of the final grant award conditions. A grantee must also ensure that its construction expenditures under this program meet the requirements of 34 CFR 222.172 (allowable program activities) and 34 CFR 222.173 (prohibited activities).

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 Impact Aid Discretionary Construction Grant Program, CFDA number 84.041C, must be submitted electronically using the e-Application system available through the Department's e-Grants system, accessible through the e-Grants portal page at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

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.

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:

  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The e-Application system will not accept an application for this competition after 4:30:00 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 6:00 a.m. Monday until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 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 qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Discretionary Construction Program under Section 8007(b) and all necessary assurances and certifications. Cover pages, assurances, and certifications may be sent either by facsimile or by e-mail. All Start Printed Page 7594additional narrative documents must be attached to the 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.
  • 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 acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax or e-mail a signed copy of the cover pages, assurances, and the emergency certification form for the Application for Discretionary Construction Program under Section 8007(b) to the Impact Aid Program after following these steps:

(1) Print a copy of the application from e-Application for your records.

(2) Have the applicant's Authorized Representative, date and sign the cover page and all of the assurance pages. The local certifying official must sign the certification for an emergency application.

(3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard-copy signature page of the Application for Discretionary Construction Program under Section 8007(b).

(4) Fax or e-mail the signed cover page, certification, and assurances for the Discretionary Construction Program under Section 8007(b) to the Impact Aid Program at 1-866-799-1272 or by e-mail to Impact.Aid@ed.gov.

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

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application 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 to enable you 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 4:30:00 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 acknowledgment 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 e-Application system is unavailable due to technical problems with the system 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.

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 e-Application system because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Department's e-Application 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: Kristen Walls-Rivas, Impact Aid Program, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3C155, Washington, DC 20202-6244. FAX: 1-866-799-1272.

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, Impact Aid Program, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.041C), Room 3C155, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-6244.

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 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, Impact Aid Program, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.041C), Room 3C155, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-6244.

The Impact Aid Program 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—if not provided by the Department—the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Impact Aid Program will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant Start Printed Page 7595application. If you do not receive this grant notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Impact Aid Program at (202) 260-3858.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 20 U.S.C. 7707(b)(4) and (b)(6), and are further clarified in 34 CFR 222.183 and 222.187 and described in the following paragraphs. The Secretary gives distinct weight to the listed selection criteria. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. Within each criterion, the Secretary evaluates each factor equally, unless otherwise specified. The maximum score that an application may receive is 100 points.

(1) Need for project/severity of the school facility problem to be addressed by the proposed project. (up to 30 points)

(a) Justification that the proposed project will address a valid emergency, and consistency of the emergency description and the proposed project with the certifying local official's statement.

(b) Impact of the emergency condition on the health and safety of the building occupants or on program delivery. Applicants should describe the systems or areas of the facility involved, e.g., HVAC, roof, floor, windows; the type of space affected, such as instructional, resource, food service, recreational, general support, or other areas; the percentage of building occupants affected by the emergency; and the importance of the facility or affected area to the instructional program.

(2) Project urgency. (up to 28 points)

(a) Risk to occupants if the facility condition is not addressed. Applicants should describe projected increased future costs; the anticipated effect of the proposed project on the useful life of the facility or the need for major construction; and the age and condition of the facility and date of last renovation of affected areas.

(b) The justification for rebuilding, if proposed.

(3) Effects of Federal presence. (up to 30 points total)

(a) Amount of non-taxable Federal property in the applicant LEA (percentage of Federal property divided by 10); (up to 10 points)

(b) The number of federally connected children identified in section 8003(a)(1)(A), (B), (C), and (D) of the Act in the LEA (percentage of identified children in LEA divided by 10); (up to 10 points)

(c) The number of federally connected children identified in section 8003(a)(1)(A), (B), (C), and (D) of the Act in the school facility (percentage of identified children in school facility divided by 10); (up to 10 points)

(4) Ability to respond or pay. (up to 12 points total)

(a) The percentage an LEA has used of its bonding capacity. Four points will be distributed based on this percentage so that an LEA that has used 100 percent of its bonding capacity receives all four points and an LEA that has used less than 25 percent of its bond limit receives only one point. LEAs that do not have limits on bonded indebtedness established by their States will be evaluated by assuming that their bond limit is 10 percent of the assessed value of real property in the LEA. LEAs deemed to have no practical capacity to issue bonds will receive all four points. (up to four points)

(b) Assessed value of real property per student (Applicant LEA's total assessed valuation of real property per pupil as a percentile ranking of all LEAs in the State). Points will be distributed by providing all four points to LEAs in the State's poorest quartile and only one point to LEAs in the State's wealthiest quartile. (up to four points)

(c) Total tax rate for capital or school purposes (Applicant LEA's tax rate for capital or school purposes as a percentile ranking of all LEAs in the State). If the State authorizes a tax rate for capital expenditures, then these data must be used; otherwise, data on the total tax rate for school purposes are used. Points will be distributed by providing all four points to LEAs in the State's highest-taxing quartile and only one point to LEAs in the State's lowest-taxing quartile. (up to four points)

2. Review and Selection Process: Upon receipt, Impact Aid program staff will screen all applications to eliminate any applications that do not meet the eligibility standards, are incomplete, or are late. Program staff will also calculate the scores for each application under criteria (3) and (4). Panel reviewers will assess the applications under criteria (1) and (2).

(a) Applications are ranked based on the total number of points received during the review process. Those with the highest scores will be at the top of the funding slate.

(b) While applicants may submit multiple applications, the Department may limit awards for a single applicant based on factors specified in 34 CFR 75.217, including the applicant's performance and use of funds under a prior award.

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 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 directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118 and 34 CFR 222.195. In general, grantees must comply with applicable reporting requirements in 34 CFR parts 75 and 80. In addition, grantees will be required to provide periodic performance and financial reports, as specified in individual grant award conditions and 34 CFR 222.195. 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: The Department has established the following performance measure for this program: an increasing percentage of LEAs receiving Impact Aid Construction funds will report that the overall condition of their school buildings is adequate. Data for this measure will be reported to the Department on Table 10 of the application for Impact Aid Section 8003 Basic Support Payments.

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kristen Walls-Rivas, Impact Aid Program, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3C155, Washington, DC 20202-6244. Telephone: (202) 260-3858 or by e-mail: Impact.Aid@ed.gov. Start Printed Page 7596

If you use a TDD, call the 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.

Delegation of Authority: The Secretary of Education has delegated authority to Joseph C. Conaty, Director, Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education to perform the functions of the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

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Dated: February 12, 2009.

Joseph C. Conaty,

Director, Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs.

End Signature End Further Info End Preamble

[FR Doc. E9-3405 Filed 2-17-09; 8:45 am]

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