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Notice

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education: Overview Information; Teacher Incentive Fund: Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 28740

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers: 84.385 and 84.374.

Dates:

Applications Available: May 21, 2010.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 1, 2010.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 6, 2010.

Dates of Pre-Application Workshops: Visit the Teacher Incentive Fund's Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/​programs/​teacherincentive/​applicant.html for more information.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 3, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) program is to support projects that develop and implement performance-based compensation systems (PBCSs) for teachers, principals, and other personnel in order to increase educator effectiveness and student achievement (as defined in this notice), measured in significant part by student growth (as defined in this notice), in high-need schools (as defined in this notice).

Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria (NFP) for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. This notice contains six priorities for the Main TIF Competition and the TIF Evaluation Competition. Priorities 1 through 3 are absolute priorities. Priorities 4 through 6 are competitive preference priorities and are aligned with other key education reform goals of the Department.

Absolute Priorities: For FY 2010 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 address these priorities.

Applicants for each type of grant must address all three absolute priorities in their applications. These priorities are:

Priority 1 (Absolute)—Differentiated Levels of Compensation for Effective Teachers and Principals:

To meet this absolute priority, an applicant must demonstrate, in its application, that it will develop and implement a PBCS that rewards, at differentiated levels, teachers and principals who demonstrate their effectiveness by improving student achievement (as defined in this notice), as part of the coherent and integrated approach of the local educational agency (LEA) to strengthening the educator workforce.

In determining teacher and principal effectiveness as part of the PBCS, the LEA

(a) Must give significant weight to student growth (as defined in this notice), based on objective data on student performance;

(b) Must include observation-based assessments of teacher and principal performance at multiple points in the year, carried out by evaluators trained in using objective evidence-based rubrics for observation, aligned with professional teaching standards; and, if applicable, as part of the LEA's coherent and integrated approach to strengthening the educator workforce; and

(c) May include other measures, such as evidence of leadership roles (as defined in this notice), that increase the effectiveness of other teachers in the school or LEA.

In determining principal effectiveness as part of a PBCS, the LEA must give significant weight to student growth (as defined in this notice) and may include supplemental measures such as high school graduation and college enrollment rates.

In addition, the applicant must demonstrate that the differentiated effectiveness incentive payments will provide incentive amounts that are substantial and provide justification for the level of incentive amounts chosen. While the Department does not propose a minimum incentive amount, the Department encourages applicants to be thorough in their explanation of why the selected incentive amounts are likely high enough to create change in the behavior of current and prospective teachers and principals in order to ultimately improve student outcomes.

Priority 2 (Absolute)—Fiscal Sustainability of the Performance-Based Compensation System (PBCS):

To meet this absolute priority, the applicant must provide, in its application, evidence that:

(a) The applicant has projected costs associated with the development and implementation of the PBCS, during the project period and beyond, and has accepted the responsibility to provide such performance-based compensation to teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) who earn it under the system; and

(b) The applicant will provide from non-TIF funds over the course of the five-year project period an increasing share of performance-based compensation paid to teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) in those project years in which the LEA provides such payments as part of its PBCS.

Priority 3 (Absolute)—Comprehensive Approaches to the Performance-Based Compensation System (PBCS):

To meet this absolute priority, the applicant must provide, in its application, evidence that the proposed PBCS is aligned with a coherent and integrated strategy for strengthening the educator workforce, including in the use of data and evaluations for professional development and retention and tenure decisions, in the LEA or LEAs participating in the project, during and after the end of the TIF project period.

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2010 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Applicants may choose to address one or more of the three competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) applicants will be awarded points for competitive preference priorities 4 and 5 depending on how well the application addresses the priority. The number of points to be awarded are indicated in parenthesis following the criterion.

These priorities are:

Priority 4 (Competitive Preference)—Use of Value-Added Measures of Student Achievement. (Up to 5 points)

To meet this competitive preference priority, the applicant must demonstrate, in its application, that the proposed PBCS for teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) will use a value-added measure of the impact on student growth (as defined in this notice) as a significant factor in calculating differentiated levels of compensation provided to teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools).

Under this priority, the applicant must also demonstrate that it has a plan to ensure that, as part of the PBCS, it has the capacity to (1) implement the proposed value-added model (e.g., through robust data systems that collect Start Printed Page 28741the necessary data and ensure data quality), and (2) clearly explain the chosen value-added model to teachers to enable them to use the data generated through the model to improve classroom practices.

Priority 5 (Competitive Preference)—Increased Recruitment and Retention of Effective Teachers to Serve High-Need Students and in Hard-to-Staff Subjects and Specialty Areas in High-Need Schools. (Up to 5 points)

To meet this competitive preference priority, the applicant must demonstrate in its application that its proposed PBCS is designed to assist high-need schools (as defined in this notice) to (1) serve high-need students (as defined in this notice), (2) retain effective teachers in teaching positions in hard-to-staff subjects and specialty areas, such as mathematics, science, special education, and English language acquisition, and (3) fill vacancies with teachers of those subjects or specialty areas who are effective or likely to be effective. The applicant must provide an explanation for how it will determine that a teacher filling a vacancy is effective or likely to be effective. In addition, applicants must demonstrate, in their applications, the extent to which the subjects or specialty areas they propose to target are hard-to-staff. Lastly, applicants must demonstrate, in their applications, that they will implement a process for effectively communicating to teachers which of the LEA's schools are high-need and which subjects and specialty areas are considered hard-to-staff.

Priority 6 (Competitive Preference)-- New Applicants to the Teacher Incentive Fund. (2 points)

To meet this competitive preference priority, an applicant must be a new applicant to the TIF program. For the purposes of this priority, a new applicant is (1) an eligible entity that has not previously been awarded a grant under the TIF program, or (2) a nonprofit organization that previously received funding through TIF, as part of a partnership with one or more LEAs or SEAs, but that is applying to work with a different group of eligible LEAs or SEAs than it worked with under any previous TIF grant. Under this competitive preference priority, a current nonprofit grantee may not propose to use new TIF funds to compensate for any activities related to the development and implementation of its PBCS in LEAs and high-need schools (as defined in this notice) already served under the current grant. Rather, a nonprofit organization that is a current TIF grantee may only use new TIF funds for the costs of implementing the PBCS in high-need schools (as defined in this notice) in the new LEAs or SEAs (including charter schools) that have not previously received TIF funds.

Requirements: The following sections provide requirements for both the Main TIF and TIF Evaluation competitions.

Requirements for Main TIF competition:

The following requirements are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria (NFP) for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, and apply to the Main TIF competition.

Selection of Competition. An applicant may submit an application for either the Main TIF competition or the TIF Evaluation competition. Each applicant must identify in its application the competition for which it is applying. Decisions regarding awards for the TIF Evaluation program will be made prior to doing so for the Main TIF competition, so that applicants not funded in the TIF Evaluation competition will still be eligible for funding under the Main TIF competition.

Application Requirement. Each applicant must describe in its application how its proposed PBCS will provide educators with incentives to take on additional responsibilities and leadership roles (as defined in this notice).

Core Elements of a PBCS and a Potential Planning Period. Each applicant must either—

(a) Demonstrate in its application that it has in place the five core elements that follow; or

(b) If the applicant cannot demonstrate in its application that it has in place each of the five core elements—

(1) Agree, as part of its application, to implement a planning period of up to one year, during which it will use its TIF funds to develop the core element or elements it lacks; and

(2) Include, in its application, a plan for how it will implement the core element or elements it lacks during the planning period.

Core Elements.

(a) A plan for effectively communicating to teachers, administrators, other school personnel, and the community-at-large the components of its PBCS;

(b) The involvement and support of teachers, principals, and other personnel (including input from teachers, principals, and other personnel in the schools and LEAs to be served by the grant) and the involvement and support of unions in participating LEAs (where they are the designated exclusive representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining) that is needed to carry out the grant;

(c) Rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation systems for teachers and principals that differentiate effectiveness using multiple rating categories that take into account student growth (as defined in this notice) as a significant factor, as well as classroom observations conducted at least twice during the school year. The evaluation process must: (1) Use an objective, evidence-based rubric aligned with professional teaching or leadership standards and the LEA's coherent and integrated approach to strengthening the educator workforce; (2) provide for observations of each teacher or principal at least twice during the school year by individuals (who may include peer reviewers) who are provided specialized training; (3) incorporate the collection and evaluation of additional forms of evidence; and (4) ensure a high degree of inter-rater reliability (i.e., agreement among two or more raters who score approximately the same);

(d) A data-management system [1] that can link student achievement (as defined in this notice) data to teacher and principal payroll and human resources systems; and

(e) A plan for ensuring that teachers and principals understand the specific measures of teacher and principal effectiveness included in the PBCS, and receive professional development that enables them to use data generated by these measures to improve their practice.

Planning Period Requirements. Each grantee that implements a planning period to develop the core element or elements it lacks, is—

(a) Required to demonstrate in its annual performance report or other interim performance report that it has implemented any of the five core elements it had lacked at the start of the project; and

(b) Prohibited from using TIF program funds to provide incentive payments to teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) until it has implemented a PBCS that, to the Secretary's satisfaction, has all five core elements.

Professional Development. Each applicant must demonstrate, in its Start Printed Page 28742application, that its proposed PBCS will include a high-quality professional development component for teachers and principals consistent with the definition of the term professional development in section 9101(34) of the ESEA.

The applicant must demonstrate that its PBCS has a professional development component in place, or a specific plan for developing one, that is directly linked to the specific measures of teacher and principal effectiveness included in the PBCS. The professional development component of the PBCS must—

(1) Be based on needs assessed either at the high-need schools (as defined in this notice) participating in the applicant's proposed PBCS or LEA-wide;

(2) Be targeted to individual teachers' and principals' needs as identified in the evaluation process;

(3) Provide—

(a) Those teachers and principals in participating TIF schools who do not receive differentiated compensation based on effectiveness under the PBCS with the tools and skills they need to improve their effectiveness in the classroom or school and be able to raise student achievement (as defined in this notice); and

(b) Those teachers and principals who are deemed to be effective and who, therefore, receive differentiated compensation under the PBCS, with the tools and skills they need to (1) continue effective practices in the classroom or school and raise student achievement (as defined in this notice), and (2) successfully assume additional responsibilities and leadership roles (as defined in this notice);

(4) Support teachers and principals to better understand and use the measures of effectiveness in the PBCS to improve practice and student achievement (as defined in this notice); and

(5) Include a process for regularly assessing the effectiveness of this professional development in improving teacher and leadership practice to increase student achievement (as defined in this notice) and making modifications necessary to improve its effectiveness.

High-Need Schools Documentation. Each applicant must demonstrate, in its application, that the schools to be served by the proposed PBCS are high-need schools (as defined in this notice). Each applicant must provide, in its application, a list of schools in which the proposed PBCS will be implemented as well as the most current data on the percentage of each identified school's students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, or other poverty measures that the LEA uses (see section 1113(a)(5) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 6313(a)(5))). Data provided to demonstrate eligibility as a high-need school (as defined in this notice) must be school-level data; the Department will not accept LEA-or State-level data for purposes of documenting whether a school is a high-need school (as defined in this notice).

Additional Eligibility Requirement. Each applicant that currently participates in a TIF project must confirm in its application either that—

(a) Its proposed PBCS would be available to educators in high-need schools (as defined in this notice) in which the LEA does not currently make a TIF-supported PBCS available; or

(b) If the applicant's current TIF project serves only principals or only teachers, its proposed project would add teachers or principals, respectively, who work in high-need schools (as defined in this notice) and who are not eligible for performance-based compensation under the applicant's current TIF project's PBCS.

If awarded a grant, the grantee must maintain its PBCS for teachers and principals in high-need schools (as defined in this notice) for the duration of the new TIF project period. An applicant may also propose to have other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) who work in high-need schools (as defined in this notice) benefit from the PBCS.

Requirements for the TIF Evaluation Competition:

In addition to the requirements and priorities for the Main TIF competition, which applicants for the TIF Evaluation competition are also required to meet, the Secretary includes the following requirements for the TIF Evaluation competition only:

Budget Information. In exchange for its agreement to participate in the national TIF Evaluation, a successful applicant for the TIF Evaluation competition will receive a minimum of $1 million of additional funding over the 5-year grant period (above the amount of funding awarded to it to implement the PBCS proposed in its application) for the four pairs of schools selected to participate in the evaluation. For each additional pair of schools participating in the evaluation, a successful applicant will receive an additional $250,000, up to a maximum total additional award of $2 million.

An applicant for the TIF Evaluation competition must provide, in its application, a proposed budget that indicates how it plans to use the additional funds the Department would award. While these additional funds must be used for TIF-related activities, examples of acceptable expenses include the costs of:

(1) Academic coaches such as mathematics and reading coaches, and Master, Mentor, or Lead Teacher salaries beyond those the Department will otherwise fund under the Main TIF competition. Under the Main TIF competition, the Department approves expenses related to one salary, per position, per high-need school (as defined in this notice) within the project scope);

(2) Activities such as expenses related to release time for teachers to attend professional development beyond those the Department will otherwise fund under the Main competition (the Department does not allow for an unreasonable amount of substitute teacher salaries to compensate for this release time);

(3) Support for the PBCS that would otherwise need to be paid with non-TIF funds in order to implement the applicant's plan for fiscal sustainability under absolute priority 2; and

(4) Costs associated with participating in the national evaluation, such as preparing administrative student records for use by the national evaluator.

Incentive Amounts. Consistent with absolute priority 1, an applicant for the TIF Evaluation competition must demonstrate, in its application, that it will implement a PBCS that uses—

(1) Incentive payments to principals based on differentiated levels of effectiveness in which—

(a) The average principal payout (defined as the total amount of principal payments divided by the total number of principals in the schools participating in the differentiated effectiveness incentive payment component of the PBCS) is substantial (e.g., 5 percent of the average principal salary);

(b) The criteria for determining whether a principal is eligible for payment are challenging (e.g., payments are made to only those who perform significantly better than the current average performance among study schools within the LEA),[2] and;

(c) There is an expectation of meaningful differences in resulting principal pay (e.g., at least some principals could reasonably expect to receive an incentive payment of three Start Printed Page 28743times the average principal payout and the applicant's documentation of cost projections is consistent with this expectation); and

(2) Incentive payments to teachers based on differentiated levels of effectiveness in which—

(a) The average teacher payout (defined as the total amount of teacher payments divided by the total number of teachers in the schools participating in the differentiated effectiveness incentive payment component of the PBCS) is substantial (e.g., 5 percent of the average teacher salary);

(b) The criteria for determining whether a teacher is eligible for payment are challenging (e.g., payments are made only to those who perform significantly better than the current average performance among study schools within the LEA); and

(c) There is an expectation of meaningful differences in resulting teacher pay (e.g., at least some teachers could reasonably expect to receive an incentive payment of three times the average teacher payout and the applicant's documentation of cost projections is consistent with this expectation).

Implementation of Evaluation. Each applicant under the TIF Evaluation competition must agree, in its application, to implement its differentiated effectiveness incentive component of the PBCS and a 1 percent across-the-board annual bonus in at least one LEA in accordance with the implementation plan developed by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) evaluator, Mathematica Policy Research (http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/​education/​tifgrantee.asp). Specifically, the IES evaluator will select by lottery one-half of the evaluation schools within the LEA (i.e., “Group 1”) to implement the applicant's proposed differentiated effectiveness incentive payment component of the PBCS. The other half of the schools within the LEA (i.e., “Group 2”) participating in the evaluation will implement a 1 percent across-the-board annual bonus for teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools). The applicant must identify, in its application, the schools that are proposed for participation in the evaluation.

In participating LEAs that have the five core elements in place at the time of the initial grant award, the first group of schools in that LEA (Group 1 schools) must begin implementation of all components of the PBCS at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. In a participating LEA that does not yet have in place the five core elements necessary to implement a successful PBCS at the time of award, the first group of schools in that LEA (Group 1 schools) must begin implementation of all components of the PBCS no later than the 2011-2012 school year.

The following table illustrates the TIF Evaluation random assignment plan, depending on the amount of planning time an applicant needs:

Random assignmentaPay component of PBCSb
LEAs Ready for 2010-11 ImplementationGroup 1Differentiated pay implemented starting in 2010-11.
Group 2Across-the-board annual 1 percent bonus implemented starting in 2010-11 through 2014-15.
LEAs Ready for 2011-12 ImplementationGroup 1Differentiated pay implemented starting in 2011-12.
Group 2Across-the-board annual 1 percent bonus implemented starting in 2011-12 through 2014-15.
a For each LEA, the IES evaluator will randomly assign the schools participating in the Evaluation into 2 groups (Groups 1 and 2).
b The school year listed is the first year in which the differentiated effectiveness incentive component of the PBCS will be implemented in the LEA's schools participating in the designated group.

Commitment to Evaluation. An applicant for the TIF Evaluation competition must demonstrate, in its application, that each participating LEA and school is willing to participate in the TIF Evaluation. Documentation demonstrating this commitment must include, for each participating LEA—

(1) A letter from the LEA superintendent and the principals of the participating schools stating that those officials agree to meet the TIF Evaluation competition requirements, including adhering to the implementation plan of the IES evaluator, which involves selection through a lottery of those schools to implement the differentiated effectiveness component among the schools participating in the evaluation.

(2) A letter from the research office or research board of the participating LEA that expresses an agreement to comply with the TIF Evaluation requirements (if the LEA requires such research office approval).

Advance Notice. Each applicant must agree, in its application, to work with the IES evaluator to notify all eligible schools participating in the TIF Evaluation at least two months prior to the assigned Group 1 implementation schedule. The Department will waive this advance notice for any applicants that are eligible to implement their PBCS in 2010-11 (i.e., meet the five core requirements) so long as the program is implemented according to the evaluator's assigned group status (Note: The evaluator will be ready to assign group status immediately upon grant award, or if the applicant prefers, the applicant can discuss with Mathematica prior to grant award how to comply with the evaluation requirements by contacting Mathematica at http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/​education/​tifgrantee.asp).

Implementation of All Non-differentiated Effectiveness Incentive Components. Each applicant must agree, in its application, to implement the non-differentiated effectiveness incentive components of its PBCS (e.g., bonuses for leadership or additional responsibilities and professional development activities) in all of the LEA's participating schools (those in Groups 1 and 2) starting at the same time as the differentiated effectiveness incentive component of its PBCS is implemented in the Group 1 schools. The schools in Group 2 must not implement the differentiated effectiveness incentive component of its PBCS for the duration of the TIF grant.

Scope of Schools. An applicant for the TIF Evaluation competition must demonstrate, in its application, that it will implement a PBCS in eight or more high-need schools (as defined in this notice) in an LEA that has students in Start Printed Page 28744tested subjects or grades (i.e., students in grades three through eight). At least two of the schools proposed to participate in the TIF Evaluation must be from within the same grade configuration (i.e., if elementary schools are proposed there are at least two elementary schools among the minimum of eight schools all within the same LEA; if middle schools are proposed there are at least two middle schools among the minimum of eight schools all within the same LEA). Applicants that include multiple LEAs must meet the scope-of-schools requirement in at least one LEA. In addition, no LEA will have more than 16 high-need schools (as defined in this notice) selected for the TIF Evaluation.

An applicant that is a consortium of small LEAs or an intermediary unit that is considered an LEA under State law does not have to have eight eligible schools in a participating LEA provided that the consortium or intermediary unit serves a coordinating function (i.e., data are available from a centralized or coordinating entity). In this case, the minimum number of schools required for the consortium or intermediary unit is still eight, and within the eight, each school is at least paired with another school at the same grade level and within the same State. The Department will use the number of eligible schools, up to 16 per LEA, that a successful applicant makes available for the TIF Evaluation.

Local Evaluation. In order to be eligible to receive points under the selection criteria, TIF Evaluation competition applicants must include a description of its local evaluation, demonstrated in its response to the selection criterion Quality of Local Evaluation. For the purposes of the TIF Evaluation competition, the score for this part of the application will not be used to rank the application. For the purposes of the Main TIF competition, if applicable, the score for this part of the application will be used to rank the application. If an applicant is selected under the TIF Evaluation competition, the local evaluation plan will not be reviewed and will not be applicable for program implementation.

Definitions:

The following definitions are from the NFP for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, and apply to the competitions announced in this notice.

High-need school means a school with 50 percent or more of its enrollment from low-income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, or other poverty measures that LEAs use (see section 1113(a)(5) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 6313(a)(5)). For middle and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-need school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most currently available data.

Student achievement means—

(a) For tested grades and subjects—

(1) A student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; and

(2) As appropriate, other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided that they are rigorous and comparable across schools; and

(b) For non-tested grades and subjects, alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools.

Student growth means the change in student achievement (as defined in this notice) for an individual student between two or more points in time. A State or LEA may also include other measures that are rigorous and comparable across schools.

High-need students means students at risk of educational failure or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools, who are far below grade level, who have left school before receiving a regular high-school diploma, who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are English learners.

Additional responsibilities and leadership roles means additional duties teachers may voluntarily accept, such as: (1) Serving as master or mentor teachers who are chosen through a performance-based selection process (including through assessment of their teaching effectiveness and the ability to work effectively with other adults and students) and who have responsibilities to share effective instructional practices and/or to assess and improve the teaching effectiveness of other teachers in the school; (2) roles in induction and mentoring of novice teachers or high-need students (as defined in this notice); (3) tutoring students; or (4) roles in establishing and developing learning communities designed to continually improve the capacity of all teachers in a school to advance student learning, using a shared set of practices, instructional principles, or teaching strategies.

Program Authority: The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008, Division G, Title III, Public Law 110-161; Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010, Division D, Title III, Public Law 111-117; and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Division A, Title VIII, Public Law 111-5.

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 priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria (NFP) for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

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

Types of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $437,000,000 in total. $300,000,000 million from the FY 2010 appropriations and $137,000,000 from FY 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds.

Estimated Range of Awards: $5,000,000-$10,000,000.*

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $7,500,000.*

Estimated Number of Awards: 40-80.

* Successful applicants for the TIF Evaluation competition can anticipate award amounts at least $1,000,000 more than for the Main TIF competition.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months, including the planning period, if applicable.

III. Eligibility Information and Program Requirements

1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible entities for these funds are:

(a) State educational agencies (SEAs),

(b) Local educational agencies (LEAs), including charter schools that are LEAs, or

(c) Partnerships of—

(1) An SEA, LEA, or both; and

(2) At least one nonprofit organization.Start Printed Page 28745

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. 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: www.EDPubs.ed.gov 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 84.385.

Also, you can download the application package at the Teacher Incentive Fund Web site: http://www2.ed.gov/​programs/​teacherincentive/​index.html.

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 calling the program contact number or by writing to the e-mail address 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.

Notice of Intent to Apply: June 1, 2010.

We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we understand the number of applicants that intend to apply for funding under these competitions. Therefore, the Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by sending a short e-mail message. This short e-mail should provide (1) the applicant organization's name and address, (2) the type of grant for which the applicant intends to apply, (3) the one absolute priority the applicant intends to address, and (4) all competitive preference priorities the applicant intends to address. The Secretary requests that this e-mail be sent to tif@ed.gov with “Intent to Apply” in the e-mail subject line. Applicants that do not provide this e-mail notification may still apply for funding.

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to limit the application narrative (Part III) to not more than 60 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 suggested page limit does not apply to Part 1, the cover sheet; Part 2, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part 7, the assurances and certifications; the one-page abstract; or appendices, such as the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the suggested page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section [Parts 3, 4, and 5].

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: May 21, 2010.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 1, 2010.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 6, 2010.

Bidders' Conferences: In-person bidders' conferences or pre-application workshops will be held in three locations across the country in late May and early June. Bidders' conferences are intended to provide technical assistance to all interested grant applicants. Detailed information regarding the pre-application workshop locations and times, along with the on-line registration form, can be found on the Teacher Incentive Fund's Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/​programs/​teacherincentive/​applicant.html.

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.7. 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: September 3, 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. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the Department of Education, (1) you must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN); (2) you must register both of those numbers with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant database; and (3) you must provide those same numbers on your application.

You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one business day.

If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.

In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.govStart Printed Page 28746 3-Step Registration Guide (see www.grants.gov/​section910/​Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf).

7. 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 Teacher Incentive Fund—CFDA number 84.385 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, 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: 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: April Lee, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (Attention: Teacher Incentive Fund), U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3E120, Washington, DC 20202. FAX: 202-260-8969.

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. Start Printed Page 28747

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 Numbers 84.385), 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 84.385), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00:00 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 competition are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

The selection criteria are as follows. The maximum points assigned to each criterion are indicated in parentheses next to the criterion. Applicants may earn up to a total of 100 points.

(a) Need for the project (10 points). In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary will consider the extent to which the applicant establishes that—

(1) The high-need schools (as defined in this notice) whose educators would be part of the PBCS have difficulty—

(i) Recruiting highly qualified or effective teachers, particularly in hard-to-staff subjects or specialty areas, such as mathematics, science, English language acquisition, and special education; and

(ii) Retaining highly qualified or effective teachers and principals.

(2) Student achievement (as defined in this notice) in each of the schools whose educators would be part of the PBCS is lower than in what the applicant determines are comparable schools in the LEA, or another LEA in its State, in terms of key factors such as size, grade levels, and poverty levels; and

(3) A definition of what it considers a “comparable” school for the purposes of paragraph (2) of this selection criterion is established.

(b) Project design (60 points). The Secretary will consider the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary will consider the extent to which the proposed PBCS—

(1) Is part of a proposed LEA or statewide strategy, as appropriate, for improving the process by which each participating LEA rewards teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) in high-need schools (as defined in this notice) based upon their effectiveness as determined in significant part by student growth (as defined in this notice). With regard to the effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other personnel, the Secretary will consider whether—

(i) The methodology the LEA or SEA proposes to use in its PBCS to determine the effectiveness of a school's teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) includes valid and reliable measures of student growth (as defined in this notice);

(ii) The participating LEA would use the proposed PBCS to provide performance awards to teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) that are of sufficient size to affect the behaviors of teacher, principal, and other personnel and their decisions as to whether to go to, or remain working in, the high-need school; and

(iii) The applicant provides a clear explanation of how teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools) are determined to be “effective” for the purposes of the proposed PBCS.

(2) Has the involvement and support of teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools), including input from teachers, and principals, and other personnel in the schools and LEAs to be served by the grant, and the involvement and support of unions in participating LEAs where they are the designated exclusive representatives for the purpose of collective bargaining that is needed to carry out the grant;

(3) Includes rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation systems for teachers and principals that differentiate levels of effectiveness using multiple rating categories that take into account data on student growth (as defined in this notice) as a significant factor, as well as classroom observations conducted at least twice during the school year;

(4) Includes a data-management system, consistent with the LEA's proposed PBCS, that can link student achievement (as defined in this notice) data to teacher and principal payroll and human resources systems; and

(5) Incorporates high-quality professional development activities that increase the capacity of teachers and principals to raise student achievement (as defined in this notice) and are directly linked to the specific measures of teacher and principal effectiveness included in the PBCS.

(c) Adequacy of Support for the Proposed Project (25 points). In Start Printed Page 28748determining the adequacy of the support for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which—

(1) The management plan is likely to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, and includes clearly defined responsibilities and detailed timelines and milestones for accomplishing project tasks;

(2) The project director and other key personnel are qualified to carry out their responsibilities, and their time commitments are appropriate and adequate to implement the project effectively;

(3) The applicant will support the proposed project with funds provided under other Federal or State programs and local financial or in-kind resources; and

(4) The requested grant amount and project costs are sufficient to attain project goals and reasonable in relation to the objectives and design of the project.

(d) Quality of Local Evaluation (5 points). In determining the quality of the local project evaluation, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant's evaluation plan—

(1) Includes the use of strong and measurable performance objectives (that are clearly related to the goals of the project) for raising student achievement (as defined in this notice), increasing the effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other personnel (in those sites in which the grantee wishes to expand the PBCS to additional staff in its schools), and retaining and recruiting effective teachers, principals, and other personnel;

(2) Will produce evaluation data that are quantitative and qualitative; and

(3) Includes adequate evaluation procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project.

2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will screen applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in this notice, and will determine which applications are eligible to be read based on whether they have met eligibility and other statutory requirements.

The Department will use independent reviewers from various backgrounds and professions, including those with expertise in: Evaluation, teacher quality, data management and analysis, differentiated pay, educational policy, teaching and/or school leadership. The Department will thoroughly screen all reviewers for conflicts of interest to ensure a fair and competitive review process.

Reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation, and score the applications assigned to their panel, using the selection criteria provided in this notice.

Reviewers will review and score all applications on the following four criteria:

(a) Need for the project;

(b) Project design;

(c) Adequacy of support for the proposed project; and

(d) Quality of local evaluation.

If eligible applicants have chosen to address the competitive preference priorities, reviewers will review and score those competitive preference priorities as well. If points are awarded, those points will be added to the eligible applicant's score.

The Secretary will prepare a rank order of applications based solely on the evaluation of their quality according to the selection criteria. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.217(c)(3), the Secretary will make final awards after considering the rank ordering and other information, including an applicant's performance and use of funds and compliance history under a previous award under any Department program. In making awards under any future competitions, the Secretary will consider an applicant's past performance.

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 the 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 75.720(a) and (b). The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR. For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

Funding for the 2010 TIF program has been made available through a combination of funds available under the Department's 2010 Appropriations Act and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Grantees may receive funds from a combination or one of these sources. It is anticipated that grantees that wish to include other school personnel in addition to teachers and principals in their TIF-funded PBCSs will be funded through the FY 2010 appropriation funds. TIF Evaluation competition grantees, at a minimum, will receive funds through the ARRA provisions and therefore must also meet the reporting requirements that apply to all ARRA-funded programs. Specifically, under the ARRA, each grantee must submit reports, within 10 days after the end of each calendar quarter, that contain the information required under section 1512(c) of the ARRA in accordance with any guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget or the Department (ARRA division A, section 1512(c)).

In addition, for each year of the program, each grantee must submit a report to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require, that describes—

1. The uses of funds within the defined area of the proposed project;

2. How the applicant distributed the funds it received;

3. The number of jobs estimated to be saved or created with the funds; and

4. The project's progress in reducing inequities in the distribution of highly qualified teachers, implementing a longitudinal data system, and developing and implementing valid and reliable assessments for English learners and students with disabilities.

4. Performance Measures: Pursuant to the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the Department has established the following performance measures that it will use to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the grantee's project, as well as the TIF program as a whole:

(1) Changes in LEA personnel deployment practices, as measured by changes over time in the percentage of teachers and principals in high-need schools who have a record of effectiveness; and

(2) Changes in teacher and principal compensation systems in participating LEAs, as measured by the percentage of an LEA's personnel budget that is used for performance-related payments to Start Printed Page 28749effective (as measured by student achievement gains) teachers and principals.

All grantees will be also expected to submit an annual performance report documenting their success in addressing these performance measures. The Department will use the applicant's performance data for program management and administration, in such areas as determining new and continuation funding and planning technical assistance.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: April Lee, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3E120, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 205-5224, or by e-mail: TIF@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service, 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 number or e-mail address 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: 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: www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

Start Signature

Dated: May 18, 2010.

Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana,

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  Successful applicants that receive Teacher Incentive Fund grant awards must ensure that the program's PBCS, including the necessary data systems, complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), including the regulations in 34 CFR Part 99, as well as any applicable State and local requirements regarding privacy.

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2.  For the purposes of the TIF Evaluation Competition, an “LEA” includes consortia and intermediary units, so long as they are considered an LEA under State law.

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[FR Doc. 2010-12216 Filed 5-20-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P