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Notice

Equity Assistance Centers Program; Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Overview Information; Training and Advisory Services; Equity Assistance Centers (Formerly the Desegregation Assistance Centers (DAC)); Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

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

Dates:

Applications Available: March 10, 2011.Start Printed Page 13138

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 25, 2011.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 20, 2011.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Training and Advisory Services—Equity Assistance Centers (EAC) program is authorized under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000c-2000c-2, 2000c-5, and the implementing regulations in 34 CFR parts 270 and 272. This program awards grants through cooperative agreements to operate 10 regional EACs that provide technical assistance (including training) at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools—which in this context means plans for equity (including desegregation based on race, sex, and national origin)—and in the development of effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation. Assistance may include, among other activities: (1) Dissemination of information regarding effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation; (2) assistance and advice in coping with these problems; and (3) training designed to improve the ability of teachers, supervisors, counselors, parents, community members, and other elementary or secondary school personnel to deal effectively with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation.

Note:

The phrase “special educational problems occasioned by desegregation” means those problems that arise in classrooms, schools, and communities as a result of desegregation efforts. The phrase does not refer to issues or problems related to special education programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.).

Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486).

Competitive Priorities: For FY 2011 these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional five points to an application, depending on how well the application addresses one of the following two priorities. Applicants may address more than one of the competitive preference priorities; however, the Department will review and award points under only one of the priorities. Therefore, an applicant must identify in its application which priority it wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning the competitive preference priority points.

These priorities are:

1. Improving the Effectiveness and Distribution of Effective Teachers or Principals.

Projects that are designed to address the following priority area:

Increasing the retention, particularly in high-poverty schools (as defined in this notice), and equitable distribution of teachers or principals who are effective.

For the purposes of this priority, teacher and principal effectiveness should be measured using:

(1) Teacher or principal evaluation data, in States or local educational agencies that have in place a high-quality teacher or principal evaluation system that takes into account student growth (as defined in this notice) in significant part and uses multiple measures, that, in the case of teachers, may include observations for determining teacher effectiveness (such as systems that meet the criteria for evaluation systems under the Race to the Top program as described in criterion (D)(2)(ii) of the Race to the Top notice inviting applications (74 FR 59803)); or

(2) Data that include, in significant part, student achievement (as defined in this notice) or student growth data (as defined in this notice) and may include multiple measures in States or local educational agencies that do not have the teacher or principal evaluation systems described in paragraph (1).

Note:

EACs provide technical assistance at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for equity. Under this priority we may award additional points to eligible projects that demonstrate expertise in addressing equity issues related to the attainment and maintenance of the equitable distribution of effective teachers or principals in high-poverty schools.

2. Improving School Engagement, School Environment, and School Safety and Improving Family and Community Engagement.

Projects that are designed to address the following priority area:

Improving school safety, which may include decreasing the incidence of harassment, bullying, violence, and substance use.

Note:

EACs provide technical assistance at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for equity. Under this priority we may award additional points to eligible projects that demonstrate expertise in addressing equity issues related to school safety, including decreasing the incidence of harassment, bullying, violence, and substance use.

In this competition, we are particularly interested in applications that address the following invitational priorities.

Invitational Priorities: For FY 2011 these two priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

These priorities are:

1. Enabling More Data-Based Decision-Making.

Projects that are designed to collect (or obtain), analyze, and use high-quality and timely data, including data on program participant outcomes, in accordance with privacy requirements (as defined in this notice) in the following priority area:

Providing reliable and comprehensive information on the implementation of Department of Education programs, and participant outcomes in these programs, by using data from State longitudinal data systems or by obtaining data from reliable third-party sources.

Note:

Applicants are encouraged to propose EAC programs that collect, analyze, and use reliable data to improve EAC implementation and improve participant outcomes.

2. Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education.

Projects that are designed to address the following priority area:

Increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with disabilities, and women, who are provided with access to rigorous and engaging coursework in STEM or who are prepared for postsecondary or graduate study and careers in STEM.

Note:

EACs provide technical assistance at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for equity. This priority encourages projects related to increasing the number of individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM, including minorities, individuals with disabilities, and women, and designed in a manner that is permitted under current law.

Definitions: The following definitions are from the notice of supplemental priorities and definitions for Start Printed Page 13139discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 and apply to this competition. Additional definitions applicable to this program are found in the authorizing statute for this program at 42 U.S.C. 2000c and in the program regulations in 34 CFR parts 77, 270, and 272, and will be included in the application package.

For purposes of this competition, the following definitions apply:

High-poverty school means a school in which at least 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 percent of students are from low-income families as determined using one of the criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. For middle and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most currently available data.

Privacy requirements means the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, and its implementing regulations in 34 CFR part 99, the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, as well as all applicable Federal, State and local requirements regarding privacy.

Student achievement means—

(a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across schools.

(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 may also include other measures that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.

Program Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2000c-2000c-2, 2000c-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, except that 34 CFR 75.232 does not apply to grants under 34 CFR part 272. (b) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR parts 270 and 272. (c) The notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486).

Note:

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Cooperative agreement.

Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested $6,989,000 for the Training and Advisory Services—Equity Assistance Centers program for FY 2011. Of this amount, we intend to use $6,896,000 for this competition. 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: $500,000—$800,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $689,600.

Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

Maximum Award: We will reject and not review any application that proposes a budget exceeding $800,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: A public agency (other than a State educational agency or a school board) or a private, non-profit organization.

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

3. Geographical Regions: Ten EACs will be funded under this grant program in ten different geographical regions in accordance with 34 CFR 272.12. Our reviewers will read all proposals by region. One award will be made in each region to the highest ranking proposal from that region.

The geographic regions served by the EACs are:

Region I: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.

Region II: New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands.

Region III: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia.

Region IV: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee.

Region V: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin.

Region VI: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas.

Region VII: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska.

Region VIII: Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming.

Region IX: Arizona, California, Nevada.

Region X: Alaska, American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, The Federated States of Micronesia, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, The Republic of Palau, Washington.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: http://www2.ed.gov/​programs/​equitycenters/​index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: 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: http://www.EDPubs.gov or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.004D.

To obtain a copy from the program office, contact: Fran Walter, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3W115, Washington, DC 20202-6450. Telephone: (202) 205-9198 or by e-mail: Fran.Walter@ed.gov. If you use a 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 program.

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection Start Printed Page 13140criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We encourage you to limit the narrative to no more than 50 pages and suggest that you use 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.

The optional supplemental narrative is where you, the applicant, may address one of the competitive preference priorities. You must identify the competitive preference priority that you are addressing in this narrative. Our reviewers will only score the competitive preference priority that you identify. We suggest that you limit the optional supplemental narrative to no more than three pages using the formatting standards previously identified.

The suggested page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, the optional supplemental narrative to address the competitive preference priority, or the letters of support. However, the suggested page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section [Part III].

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: March 10, 2011.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 25, 2011.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV.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: June 20, 2011.

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 in this notice.

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant database;

c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

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.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://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 Training and Services—Equity Assistance Centers (EACs) CFDA number 84.004D, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement. You may access the electronic grant application for Training and Advisory Services—Equity Assistance Centers at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.004, not 84.004D).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your Start Printed Page 13141application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
  • 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 .PDF (Portable Document) format only. If you upload a file type other than a .PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

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

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

Note:

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

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

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

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

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Fran Walter, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3W115, Washington, DC 20202. FAX: (202) 202-5870.

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 84.004D) 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.Start Printed Page 13142

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 84.004D, 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

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

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

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The following selection criteria for this program are from the regulations for this program in 34 CFR 272.30. The maximum score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parenthesis with the criterion. The Secretary uses the following criteria to evaluate applications for EAC grants:

(a) Mission and Strategy. (30 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which the applicant understands effective practices for addressing problems in each of the desegregation assistance areas, including the extent to which the applicant:

(1) Understands the mission of the proposed DAC;

(2) Is familiar with relevant research, theory, materials, and training models;

(3) Is familiar with the types of problems that arise in each of the desegregation assistance areas;

(4) Is familiar with relevant strategies for technical assistance and training; and

(5) Is familiar with the desegregation needs of responsible governmental agencies in its designated region.

Note:

The phrase “desegregation assistance areas” is defined in 34 CFR 270.3.

Note:

EACs were originally identified as DACs and are still referred to by that name in the regulations for this program.

(b) Organizational Capability. (15 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the ability of the applicant to sustain a long-term, high-quality, and coherent program of technical assistance and training, including the extent to which the applicant:

(1) Demonstrates the commitment to provide the services of appropriate faculty or staff members from its organization;

(2) Selects project staff with an appropriate mixture of scholarly and practitioner backgrounds; and

(3) Has had past successes in rendering technical assistance and training in the desegregation assistance areas, including collaborating with other individuals and organizations.

(c) Plan of Operation. (25 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the plan of operation for the project, including the extent to which:

(1) The design of the project is of high quality;

(2) The plan of management ensures proper and efficient administration of the project;

(3) The applicant plans to use its resources and personnel effectively to achieve each objective; and

(4) The applicant will ensure that project participants who are otherwise eligible to participate are selected without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicapping condition.

(d) Quality of Key Personnel. (15 points)

(1) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the qualifications of the key personnel that the applicant plans to use on the project, including:

(i) The qualifications of the project director;

(ii) The qualifications of the other key personnel to be used in the project;

(iii) The time that each person referred to in paragraphs (d)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section will commit to the project; and

(iv) How the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment practices, will ensure that its personnel are selected for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or handicapping condition.

(2) To determine personnel qualifications, under paragraphs (d)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, the Secretary considers:

(i) Experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project; and

(ii) Any other qualifications that pertain to the quality of the project.

(e) Budget and Cost Effectiveness. (5 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the extent to which:

(1) The budget for the project is adequate to support the project activities; and

(2) Costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the project.

(f) Evaluation Plan. (5 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the evaluation plan for the project, including the extent to which the methods of evaluation—

(1) Are appropriate for the project; and

(2) To the extent possible, are objective and produce data that are quantifiable.

Note:

A strong evaluation plan should be included in the application narrative and should be used, as appropriate, to shape the development of the project from the beginning of the grant period. The plan should describe what methods will be used to collect data, what data will be collected, and when. It should identify benchmarks that will be used to monitor progress toward achieving project objectives and outcome measures. Applicants are encouraged to devote an appropriate level of resources to project evaluation.

(g) Adequacy of Resources. (5 points) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the adequacy of the resources that the applicant plans to devote to the project, including facilities, equipment, and supplies.

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.Start Printed Page 13143

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

Additional factors we consider in selecting an application for an award are as follows: The Training and Advisory Services Program will award one EAC grant per geographical region. See 34 CFR 272.31(b).

3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

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: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) 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 measures for the Training and Advisory Services—Equity Assistance Centers program, adapted from a set of common measures developed to help assess performance across the Department's technical assistance programs:

Program Goal: To support access and equity in public schools and help school districts solve equity problems in education related to race, gender, and national origin.

Objective 1: Provide high-quality technical assistance and training to public school districts in addressing equity in education.

Measure 1: The percentage of customers of EACs that develop, implement, or improve their policies or practices, or both, in eliminating, reducing, or preventing harassment, conflict, and school violence.

Measure 2: The percentage of customers of EACs that develop, implement, or improve their policies or practices, or both, ensuring that students of different race, sex, and national origin have equitable opportunity for high-quality instruction.

Measure 3: The percentage of customers of EACs that report the products and services they received from the EACs are of high quality.

Measure 4: The percentage of customers who report that the products and services they received from the EACs are of high usefulness to their policies and practices.

All grantees will be expected to submit, as part of their annual and final performance reports, quantitative data documenting their progress with regard to these performance measures.

5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a grantee has made “substantial progress toward meeting the objectives in its approved application.” This consideration includes the review of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Fran Walter, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3W115, Washington, DC 20202-6400. 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 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: March 7, 2011.

Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana,

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2011-5544 Filed 3-9-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P