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Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Overview Information; Training and Advisory Services Program-Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.004F.

Dates:

Applications Available: July 22, 2009.

Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: August 6, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 21, 2009.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Training and Advisory Services program is authorized under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000c-2000c-2, 2000c-5. The February 23, 2009 House and Senate Conference Report (Conference Report) on H.R. Start Printed Page 361752241, the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009, states that within the $9,489,000 provided for Training and Advisory Services in FY 2009, the Congress made $2,500,000 available for one-time competitive grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) for technical assistance in preparing, adopting, or modifying, and implementing student assignment plans to avoid racial isolation and resegregation in the Nation's schools, and to facilitate student diversity, within the parameters of current law. The Conference Report further called for LEAs to use the grant funds to seek assistance and expertise from student assignment specialists, demographers, community relations specialists, facility and other planners, or curriculum specialists and others in comparable LEAs with relevant and successful experience, as well as specialists and consultants from academia, non-profit organizations, civil rights organizations, and the private sector.

Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority and one competitive preference priority. We are establishing the absolute priority and the competitive preference priority for the FY 2009 grant competition only, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).

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

This priority is:

Absolute Priority—Technical Assistance for Facilitating Student Diversity.

Applications from LEAs seeking to obtain technical assistance in preparing, adopting, or modifying, and implementing student assignment plans that use strategies to avoid racial isolation and resegregation in their schools, and to facilitate student diversity, that are permissible within the parameters of current law. LEAs must use the grant funds to seek assistance and expertise from student assignment specialists, demographers, community relations specialists, facility and other planners, or curriculum specialists and others in comparable LEAs with relevant and successful experience, as well as specialists and consultants from academia, non-profit organizations, civil rights organizations, and the private sector.

Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we give preference to applications that address the following priority.

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award an additional five points to an application that meets this priority. This priority is:

Competitive Preference Priority—School-Board-Approved Voluntary Plans.

Applications from LEAs with existing school-board-approved voluntary student assignment plans, seeking to obtain technical assistance to modify or implement those plans.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements, regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or substantially revised program authority. Public Law 111-8 and its accompanying conference report appropriated, for the first time, funds specifically for competitive, technical assistance grants to school districts under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000c-2000c-2, 2000c-5. Therefore, this grant competition qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment on the priorities under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. These priorities will apply to the FY 2009 grant competition only.

Program Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2000c-2000c-2, 2000c-5.

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

Note:

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $2,250,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $200,000-250,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $225,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $250,000 for a single budget period of up to 24 months. The Secretary may award grants for up to 24 months but no grantee shall receive more than $250,000, regardless of the budget period. The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 24 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Local educational agencies (school districts).

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:

You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the program office. To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​tasap/​index.html. To obtain a copy from the program office, write, fax, or call the following: Fran Walter, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3W113, Washington, DC 20202-6400. Telephone: (202) 205-9198 or by e-mail: fran.walter@ed.gov. Fax: (202) 205-5870. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll free: 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 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.

Notice of Intent To Apply: We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we have a better understanding of the number of applications we will receive. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to send an e-mail notice of its intent to apply for funding to the following address: fran.walter@ed.gov by August 6, 2009. The notice of intent to apply is optional and should not include information about the potential applicant's proposal. LEAs that do not provide us with the notice of intent to apply may still submit an application.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the application narrative to 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 Start Printed Page 36176application 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 the cover sheet; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; 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.

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit; or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: July 22, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 21, 2009.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) accessible though the Department's e-Grants site. 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.

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 program 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 Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans Program, CFDA number 84.004F, must be submitted electronically using e-Application, accessible through the Department's e-Grants Web site 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.

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. E-Application will not accept an application for this program 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 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, because of maintenance, 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. 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: 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.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgement that will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.

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

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

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

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

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because e-Application 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) E-Application 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; orStart Printed Page 36177

(b) E-Application 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 e-Application 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 e-Application.

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 e-Application because—

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to e-Application; 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 prevents 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: Fran Walter, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3W113, LBJ Building, Washington, DC, 20202. fax: (202) 205-5870.

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: (CFDA Number 84.004F), 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 84.004F), 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 grant 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

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. The selection criteria for this competition are as follows:

(a) Need for project. (25 points)

The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the proposed project.

(2) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses.

Note:

Included in the need for assistance will be consideration of the complexity of the student assignment plan—the extent to which the applicant's student assignment plan involves particular challenges because of either the size of the student body that is part of the plan, the diversity of the student population that is part of the plan, or the applicant's current pattern for assigning students to schools.

(b) Significance. (10 points)

The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The likelihood that the proposed project will result in system change or improvement.

(2) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population.

Note:

In evaluating the extent to which the proposed project is likely to build capacity to expand services that address the needs of the target population, the Secretary considers how the student assignment plan will address the needs of the students, teachers, and others who will be affected by the plan.

(c) Quality of the project design. (15 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:Start Printed Page 36178

(1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.

(2) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of Federal financial assistance.

(d) Quality of project services. (15 points) The Secretary considers the quality of 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:

(1) The extent to which entities that are to be served by the proposed technical assistance project demonstrate support for the project.

(2) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice.

(3) The likely impact of the services to be provided by the proposed project on the intended recipients of those services.

Note:

“Project services” are the technical assistance activities provided to the LEA that are related to the student assignment plan. “Project participants” are those individuals who would be participating in the technical assistance activities, who may include, as appropriate, teachers, principals, administrators, school board members, parents, and community leaders.

(e) Quality of project personnel. (10 points)

The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project personnel the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons 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 qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of project consultants or subcontractors.

(f) Adequacy of resources. (5 points)

The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project.

(g) Quality of the management plan. (10 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:

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

(2) 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.

(h) Quality of the project evaluation. (10 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:

(1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies.

(2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.

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 in 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: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) performance measure for the Technical Assistance for Student Assignment Plans program: The percentage of grantees that have school board-approved student assignment plans by the end of the project period that can be, or are being, implemented.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Fran Walter, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3W113, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 205-9198 or by e-mail: fran.walter@ed.gov.

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 in 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 Start Printed Page 36179Improvement 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.

Start Signature

Dated: July 16, 2009.

Joseph C. Conaty,

Director, Academic Improvement and Teacher Quality Programs.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E9-17492 Filed 7-21-09; 8:45 am]

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