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Notice

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Overview Information; High School Equivalency Program (HEP); Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

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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: 84.141A.

Dates: Applications Available: December 15, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 16, 2010.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 14, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of HEP is to help migrant and seasonal farmworkers and members of their immediate family obtain a general education diploma (GED) that meets the guidelines for high school equivalency established by the State in which the HEP project is conducted, and to gain employment or be placed in an institution of higher education (IHE) or other postsecondary education or training.

Priorities: This competition includes two competitive preference priorities and one invitational priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the competitive preference priority for “novice applicant” is from the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 75.225). In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), the competitive preference priority for “prior experience of service delivery” is from section 418A(e) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by section 408(3) of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (20 U.S.C. 1070d-2(e)).

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2010, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award an additional five points to an application that meets the “novice applicant” competitive preference priority, and up to a maximum of 15 additional points to an application that meets the “prior experience of service delivery” competitive preference priority.

These priorities are:

Novice Applicant

The applicant must be a “novice applicant” as defined in 34 CFR 75.225(a).

Prior Experience of Service Delivery

With respect to applicants with an expiring HEP project, the Secretary will consider the applicant's prior experience in implementing its expiring HEP project based on information contained in documents previously provided to the Department, such as annual performance reports, project evaluation reports, site visit reports, and the previously approved HEP application.

Under this competition, we are particularly interested in applications that address the following priority.

Invitational Priority: For FY 2010, 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:

Applications that propose to engage faith-based and community organizations in the delivery of services under this program.

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Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070d-2, the Higher Education Act of 1965, as reauthorized by the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) (Pub. L. 110-315).

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Applicable Regulations: (a) EDGAR in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, and 99. (b) The regulations in 34 CFR part 206. (c) The definitions in 34 CFR 200.81. (d) The regulations in 20 CFR 669.110 and 669.320.

Note:

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

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 206 were issued prior to the enactment of the HEOA. The application package identifies any provisions in part 206 that have been superseded by enactment of the HEOA.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $6,153,000 for new awards for this program for FY 2010. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.

Estimated Range of Awards: $180,000-$475,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $473,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a HEP award exceeding $475,000 for any of the five single budget periods of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Minimum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a HEP award that is less than $180,000 for any of the five single budget periods of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education may change the minimum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 13.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: IHEs or private non-profit organizations (including faith-based organizations) that plan their Start Printed Page 66305projects in cooperation with an IHE and propose to operate some aspects of the project with the facilities of the IHE.

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

3. Annual Meeting Attendance: Projects funded under this competition are encouraged to budget for a two-day OME Annual Meeting for HEP and CAMP Directors in the Washington, DC area during each year of the project period.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: David De Soto, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Migrant Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3E344, Washington, DC 20202-6135. Telephone: (202) 260-8103 or by e-mail: david.de.soto@ed.gov.

The application package content also can be viewed electronically at the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​hep/​applicant.html.

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 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.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Panel readers will award points only for an applicant's response to a given selection criterion that is contained within the section of the application designated to address that particular selection criterion. Readers will not review, or award points for responses to a given selection criterion that are in any other section of the application or appendices. 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 application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions. However, you may single space all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs. Charts, tables, figures, and graphs presented in the application narrative count toward the page limit.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch) throughout the entire application package.
  • Appendices must be limited to 20 pages and must include the following: resumes and job descriptions of key personnel. Job descriptions must include duties and minimum qualifications. Items in the appendices will only be used by the program office for the purpose of approving any future personnel changes.

The 25-page limit for the project narrative does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section.

Our reviewers will not read any pages of your application that exceed the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: December 15, 2009.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: February 16, 2010.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application System (e-Application) accessible through 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.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 14, 2010.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition 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 competition.

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 High School Equivalency Program—CFDA Number 84.141A, 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.

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. E-Application 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 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, Start Printed Page 66306DC 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: The 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 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 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; or

(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: David De Soto, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 3E344, Washington, DC 20202-6135. FAX: (202) 205-0089.

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 84.141A), 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 84.141A), 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—Start Printed Page 66307

(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

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR and are listed in the application package.

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. 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 Department developed the following performance measures to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the HEP: (1) The percentage of HEP program exiters receiving a General Education Development (GED) credential (GPRA 1), and (2) the percentage of HEP GED recipients who enter postsecondary education or training programs, upgraded employment, or the military (GPRA 2).

Applicants must propose annual targets for these measures in their applications. The national target for GPRA 1 for FY 2010 is that 69 percent of HEP program exiters will receive a GED credential. The national target for GPRA 2 for FY 2010 is that 80 percent of HEP GED recipients will enter postsecondary education or training programs, upgraded employment, or the military. The panel readers will score related selection criteria for applicants, in part, on the basis of how well an applicant addresses these GPRA measures. Therefore, applicants should consider how they will demonstrate their capacity to provide reliable data on these measures, including the project's annual performance targets for the GPRA measures, as required by the OMB approved annual performance report that is included in the application package. All grantees will be required to submit, as part of their annual performance report, information with respect to these GPRA measures.

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

David De Soto, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Migrant Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3E344, Washington, DC 20202-6135. Telephone: (202) 260-8103, or by e-mail: david.de.soto@ed.gov, or Tara Ramsey, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Migrant Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3E323, Washington, DC 20202-6135. Telephone: (202) 260-2063, or by e-mail: tara.ramsey@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 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.

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 10, 2009.

Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana,

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

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[FR Doc. E9-29807 Filed 12-14-09; 8:45 am]

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