Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.
Overview Information: State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2014.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.282D
Applications Available: May 14, 2014.
Date of Pre-Application Webinar: Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 2:00 p.m., Washington, DC time.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 30, 2014.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 27, 2014
Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose of Program: The State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program provides grants to eligible States to help them establish or enhance, and then administer, per-pupil facilities aid programs for charter schools. States eligible for these grants are those with per-pupil facilities aid programs that assist charter schools with their school facility costs.
Priorities: This competition includes three competitive preference priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105 (b)(2)(ii), these priorities are from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 226.13 and 226.14).
Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2014 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 10 points to an application that meets competitive preference priority 1; up to an additional 10 points to an application that meets competitive preference priority 2; and an additional 20 points to an application that meets competitive preference priority 3.
These priorities are:
Competitive Preference Priority 1 (10 points). The Secretary will award up to 10 points to an application under competitive preference priority 1. The applicant must meet all of the requirements in (a) through (d) in order to receive the full 10 points. The requirements are: (a) Periodic Review and Evaluation.
The State provides for periodic review and evaluation by the authorized public chartering agency of each charter school at least once every five years, unless required more frequently by State law, to determine whether the charter school is meeting the terms of the school's charter and is meeting or exceeding the student academic performance requirements and goals for charter schools as set forth under State law or the school's charter.
(b) Number of High-Quality Charter Schools.
The State has demonstrated progress in increasing the number of high-quality charter schools that are held accountable in the terms of the schools' charters for meeting clear and measurable objectives for the educational progress of the students attending the schools, in the period prior to the period for which the State applies for a grant under this competition.
The Secretary encourages the applicant to include in its application an analysis of the number of charter schools meeting and exceeding State academic targets, as well as the number of charter schools that have been closed due to academic and operational performance.
(c) One Authorized Public Chartering Agency Other Than a Local Educational Agency (LEA), or an Appeals Process.
(1) Provides for one authorized public chartering agency that is not a LEA, Start Printed Page 27581such as a State chartering board, for each individual or entity seeking to operate a charter school pursuant to State law; or
(2) In the case of a State in which LEAs are the only authorized public chartering agencies, allows for an appeals process for the denial of an application for a charter school.
(d) High Degree of Autonomy.
The State ensures that each charter school has a high degree of autonomy over the charter school's budgets and expenditures.
Competitive Preference Priority 2 (10 points). The Secretary will award up to 10 points to an application under this competitive preference priority regarding the capacity of charter schools to offer public school choice in those communities with the greatest need for this choice based on—
(1) The extent to which this applicant would target services to geographic areas in which a large proportion or number of public schools have been identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under Title 1 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA).
In order for a State with an approved request for ESEA flexibility to receive points under this competitive preference priority, the State should target geographic areas in which a large proportion or number of public schools have been identified as priority or focus schools or belong to a subset of other Title I schools specifically identified as low-achieving under the State's approved ESEA flexibility request (see the June 7, 2012, “ESEA Flexibility” document at www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility). The State should also describe how its proposed project is consistent with the efforts to serve students attending priority or focus schools described in its approved request for ESEA flexibility.
(2) The extent to which the applicant would target services to geographic areas in which a large proportion of students perform poorly on State academic assessments; and
(3) The extent to which the applicant would target services to communities with large proportions of low-income students.
Competitive Preference Priority 3 (20 points). The Secretary will award an additional 20 points to an application under a competitive preference priority for applicants that have not previously received a grant under this program.
Definitions: The following definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1(c):
Ambitious means promoting continued, meaningful improvement for program participants or for other individuals or entities affected by the grant, or representing a significant advancement in the field of education research, practices, or methodologies. When used to describe a performance target, whether a performance target is ambitious depends upon the context of the relevant performance measure and the baseline for that measure.
Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally.
Performance measure means any quantitative indicator, statistic, or metric used to gauge program or project performance.
Performance target means a level of performance that an applicant would seek to meet during the course of a project or as a result of a project.
Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) (or the ultimate outcome if not related to students) the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice is designed to improve; consistent with the specific goals of a program.
Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.
Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7221d(b).
Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department debarment and suspension regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 226.
The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.
The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Estimated Available Funds: $11,000,000.
Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2015 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 states that “funds available for part B of title V of the ESEA may be used for grants that support preschool education in charter schools.” An application submitted under this competition may propose to use CSP funds to support preschool education in a charter school, provided that the charter school meets the definition of “charter school” in section 5210(1) of the ESEA, including the requirement that the charter school provide a program of elementary or secondary education, or both. Under section 9101(18) of the ESEA, “elementary school” means a nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under State law. In a number of States, preschool education is part of elementary education under State law. In such States, CSP funds may be used to support preschool education in charter schools (as defined in section 5210(1)) that provide elementary or secondary education beyond preschool, as well as in charter schools that provide only preschool education. In States in which preschool education is not part of elementary education under State law, CSP funds may be used to support preschool education so long as the preschool program is offered as part of a school that meets the definition of “charter school” in section 5210(1)—that is, the school provides elementary or secondary education, or both. Thus, in States in which preschool education is not part of elementary education under State law, CSP funds may not be used to support charter schools that provide only preschool education. In Spring 2014, the Department plans to release nonregulatory guidance that will provide additional information about how CSP funds may be used to support preschool education in charter schools. Please continue to check the CSP Web site for updates.
Estimated Range of Awards: $1,000,000 to $10,000,000.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $5,500,000.
Estimated Number of Awards: 1-3.
The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
Project Period: Up to 60 months.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants: States that have enacted a law authorizing per-pupil facilities aid for charter schools.
2.a. Cost Sharing or Matching: Under section 5205(b)(2)(C) of the ESEA, States, or parties that are closely collaborating with them, are required to provide matching funds. The minimum non-Federal share of the total cost of the project increases each year of the grant, from 10 percent the first year to 80 percent in the fifth year.
Applicants that are initially selected to receive grants will not receive grant funds unless they demonstrate, by September 1, 2014, that they will be able to fund the non-Federal share of the matching funds required under this program. The Department reserves the right to reject an application if an initial recipient does not demonstrate that it will have the required non-Federal funding by this date.Start Printed Page 27582
b. Supplement-Not-Supplant: This program involves supplement-not-supplant funding requirements. Under section 5205(b)(3)(C) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7221d(b)(3)(C)), program funds must be used to supplement, and not supplant, State and local public funds expended to provide per-pupil facilities aid programs, operations financing programs, or other programs, for charter schools. Therefore, the Federal funds provided under this program, as well as the matching funds provided by the grantee, must be in addition to the State and local funds that would otherwise be used for this purpose in the absence of this Federal program. The Department generally considers that State and local funds would be available for this purpose at least in the amount of the funds that was available in the preceding year and that the Federal funds and matching funds under this program would supplement that amount.
3. Other: The charter schools that a grantee selects to benefit from this program must meet the definition of a “charter school” in the Charter Schools Program authorizing statute throughout the grant period. The definitions of “charter school,” “per-pupil facilities aid programs,” and “authorized public chartering agency” are in sections 5205(b) and 5210(1) of the ESEA.
IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address to Request Application Package: Kristin Lundholm, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W221, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-4352 or by email: Kristin.Lundholm@ed.gov.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), 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 compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.
2.a. 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 is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. Applicants are encouraged to limit their application narrative to no more than 40 pages (not including the required forms and tables), using the following standards:
- A “page” is 8.5″ × 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.
Furthermore, applicants are strongly encouraged to include a table of contents that specifies where each required part of the application is located.
b. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program, an application may include business information that the applicant considers proprietary. The Department's regulations define “business information” in 34 CFR 5.11.
Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.
Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachment Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
3. Submission Dates and Times:
Applications Available: May 14, 2014.
Date of Pre-Application Webinar: The Department will hold a pre-application Webinar for prospective applicants on the following date: Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 2:00 p.m., Washington, DC time.
Individuals interested in attending the Webinar are encouraged to pre-register by emailing their name, organization, contact information, and preferred Webinar date and time with the subject heading STATE INCENTIVE PRE-APPLICATION MEETING to Kristin.Lundholm@ed.gov. There is no registration fee for attending the pre-application Webinar.
For further information about the pre-application Webinar, contact Kristin Lundholm, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W221, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-4352 or by email: Kristin.Lundholm@ed.gov.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 30, 2014.
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, 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: August 27, 2014.
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 specify unallowable costs in 34 CFR 75.533. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: 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 System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly 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 SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are Start Printed Page 27583awarded a grant, during the project period.
You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number can be created within one-to-two business days.
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 SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.
Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through Grants.gov.
If you are currently registered with SAM, 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 registration annually. This may take three or more business days.
Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
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 at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
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 State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program, CFDA number 84.282D, 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 email 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 the State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program 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 84.282, not 84.282D).
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 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 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 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 upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable 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 email. 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 Start Printed Page 27584application 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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 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 4:30:00 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.
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;
- 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: Kristin Lundholm, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W221, Washington, DC 20202-5970. FAX: (202) 250-5630.
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 84.282D)
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.
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 84.282D)
550 12th Street SW.,
Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza,
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.
Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:
If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—
(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and
(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this 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 and factors for this program are from the program regulations in 34 CFR 226.12 and the general selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210. The selection criteria and factors are also listed in this section. The maximum score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. Each criterion also includes the factors that the reviewers will consider to determine how well an application meets the criterion. We encourage applicants to make explicit connections to the selection criteria and factors in their applications.
(a) Need for facility funding (30 points).
(1) The need for per-pupil charter school facility funding in the State.
(2) The extent to which the proposal meets the need to fund charter school facilities on a per-pupil basis.
(b) Quality of plan (30 points).
(1) The likelihood that the proposed grant project will result in the State either retaining a new per-pupil facilities aid program or continuing to enhance such a program without the total amount of assistance (State and Federal) declining over a five-year period.Start Printed Page 27585
(2) The flexibility charter schools have in their use of facility funds for the various authorized purposes.
(3) The quality of the plan for identifying charter schools and determining their eligibility to receive funds.
(4) The per-pupil facilities aid formula's ability to target resources to charter schools with the greatest need and the highest proportions of students in poverty.
(5) For projects that plan to reserve funds for evaluation, the quality of the applicant's plan to use grant funds for this purpose.
(6) For projects that plan to reserve funds for technical assistance, dissemination, or personnel, the quality of the applicant's plan to use grant funds for these purposes.
(7) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice).
The applicant should review the Performance Measures section of this notice for information on the requirements for developing project-specific performance measures and targets consistent with the objectives of the program.
(c) The grant project team (10 points).
(1) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of the project manager and other members of the grant project team, including employees not paid with grant funds, consultants, and subcontractors.
(2) The adequacy and appropriateness of the applicant's staffing plan for the grant project.
(d) The budget (10 points).
(1) The extent to which the requested grant amount and the project costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed grant project.
(2) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of students served and to the anticipated results and benefits.
(3) The extent to which the non-Federal share exceeds the minimum percentages (which are based on the percentages under section 5205(b)(2)(C) of the ESEA), particularly in the initial years of the program.
(e) Quality of project evaluation (10 points).
(1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project.
(2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the extent to which—
(i) The methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.
(ii) The methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.
(iii) The methods of evaluation will provide valid and reliable performance data on relevant outcomes.
(f) State experience (10 points).
The experience of the State in addressing the facility needs of charter schools through various means, including providing per-pupil aid, access to State loan or bonding pools, and the use of Qualified Zone Academy Bonds.
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.
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 in 34 CFR 226.13 and 226.14.
As described in 34 CFR 226.14(c), the Secretary may elect to consider the points awarded under the competitive preference priorities only for proposals that exhibit sufficient quality to warrant funding under the selection criteria.
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); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your 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 www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
4. Performance Measures:
(a) Program Performance Measures. The performance measure for this program is the ratio of funds leveraged by States for charter school facilities to funds awarded by the Department under the State Charter School Facilities Incentive Grants Program.
(b) Project-Specific Performance Measures. Applicants must propose project-specific performance measures and performance targets consistent with the objectives of the project and program. Applications must provide the following information as directed under 34 CFR 75.110(b):
(1) Project Performance Measures. How each proposed project-specific performance measure would accurately measure the performance of the project and how the proposed project-specific performance measure would be consistent with the performance measures established for the program funding the competition.
(2) Project Performance Targets. Why each proposed performance target is Start Printed Page 27586ambitious yet achievable compared to the baseline for the performance measure and when, during the project period, the applicant would meet the performance target(s).
The Secretary encourages the applicant to consider measures and targets tied to the applicant's grant activities during the grant period. The measures should be sufficient to gauge the progress throughout the grant period, show results by the end of the grant period, and be included in the logic model.
For technical assistance in developing effective performance measures, applicants are encouraged to review information provided by the Department's Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs). The RELs seek to build the capacity of States and school districts to incorporate data and research into education decision-making. Each REL provides research support and technical assistance to its region but makes learning opportunities available to educators everywhere. For example, the REL Pacific has developed an electronic program that guides users through the processes of designing logic models, which is available at: http://relpacific.mcrel.org/ELM.html.
(3) The applicant must also describe in the application:
(i) The data collection and reporting methods the applicant would use and why those methods are likely to yield reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data, and
(ii) The applicant's capacity to collect and report reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data, as evidenced by high-quality data collection, analysis, and reporting in other projects or research.
If the applicant does not have experience with collection and reporting of performance data through other projects or research, it should provide other evidence of its capacity to successfully carry out data collection and reporting for their proposed project.
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
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kristin Lundholm, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W221, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-4352 or by email: Kristin.Lundholm@ed.gov.
If you use a TDD or a TTY, 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 compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.
Electronic Access to This Document: 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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site 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). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.
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Dated: May 9, 2014.
Nadya Chinoy Dabby,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2014-11113 Filed 5-14-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P