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Notice

Applications for New Awards; State Tribal Education Partnership Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education

ACTION:

Notice.

Overview Information

State Tribal Education Partnership Program (STEP) Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2015.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.415A.

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DATES:

Applications Available: April 16, 2015.

Date of Pre-Application Webinar: April 30, 2015.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 21, 2015.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 15, 2015.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 14, 2015.

Deadline for Submission of Final Agreement: March 31, 2016.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purposes of Program: The purposes of this program are to: (1) Promote increased collaboration between tribal education agencies (TEAs) and the State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) that serve students from the affected tribes; and (2) build the capacity of TEAs to conduct certain administrative functions under certain Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) formula grant programs for eligible schools, as determined by the TEA, SEA, and LEA.

Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program (NFP), published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2015 (80 FR 11550).

Absolute Priorities: For FY 2015 and any subsequent year in which we make awards based on 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 meet these priorities.

These priorities are:

Priority 1—Established TEAs.

To meet this priority, a TEA must be an established TEA.

Priority 2—TEAs with Limited Prior Experience.

To meet this priority, a TEA with limited prior experience is, for any STEP competition, a TEA that does not meet the definition of an “established TEA.”

Requirements: Applicants must meet the following requirements from the NFP:

Schools and ESEA Formula Grant Programs Included in Project:

(a) Schools. (1) Projects must include at least two eligible schools, at least one of which must be a public school.

(2) All schools included in the project must receive services or funds for the specific ESEA formula grant program(s) selected by the applicant.

(3) For projects that include one or more tribally controlled schools—

(i) The applicant TEA must include in its application evidence that it submitted a copy of the application to BIE; and

(ii) If the proposed project includes SEA-type functions with regard to the tribally controlled school, the TEA may be required by BIE to enter into an agreement with BIE, to be submitted to the Department at the same time as the final agreement.

(b) ESEA Formula Grant Programs. Projects must include at least one ESEA formula grant program that is State-administered.

Preliminary Agreement: An applicant must submit with its application for funding a signed preliminary agreement among the TEA, SEA, and LEA. Letters of support from an SEA or LEA will not meet this requirement and will not be accepted as a substitute.

The preliminary agreement must include:

(a) An explanation of how the parties will work collaboratively to:

(1) Administer selected ESEA formula grant programs in eligible schools; and

(2) Cooperate on administering other educational programs or services as agreed to by the parties.

(b) The primary ESEA formula grant program(s) for which the TEA will assume SEA-type or LEA-type administrative functions;

(c) A description of the primary SEA-type or LEA-type administrative functions that the TEA will assume;

(d) The training and other activities that the SEA or LEA, as appropriate, will provide for the TEA to gain the knowledge and skills needed to administer ESEA formula programs;

(e) The assistance that the TEA will provide to the SEA or LEA, as appropriate, to facilitate the project, such as cultural competence training;

(f) A statement concerning student data that—

(1) Acknowledges that access by the TEA to data on students who are tribal members is important to building the capacity of the TEA, and, depending on the project design, may be one of the factors the Secretary considers in determining whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project for the purpose of making continuation awards; and

(2) Commits the parties to making their best efforts to:

(i) Participate in training and technical assistance, provided by or through the Department, on the requirements of section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (commonly referred to as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA) and on the possible ways in which the TEA could be provided access to tribal student data consistent with FERPA; and

(ii) Reach agreement on and include as part of the Final Agreement to be submitted during year 1 of the grant, a provision on data sharing that is consistent with FERPA, if data sharing is required by the project design;

(g) The names of at least one LEA and two or more eligible schools, at least one of which must be a public school, that are expected to participate in the project;

(h) An explanation of how the STEP funds will be used to build on existing activities or add new activities rather than replace tribal or other funds; and

(i) Signatures of the authorized representatives of the TEA, SEA, participating LEA(s), and any BIE-funded tribally controlled school that is included in the project.

Final Agreement: Each grantee must submit to the Department a final agreement by March 31, 2016. The final agreement must contain:

(a) All of the elements from the preliminary agreement, in final form;

(b) A timetable for accomplishing each of the objectives and activities that the parties will undertake;

(c) Goals of the project and measureable objectives towards reaching the goals; and

(d) The actions that the parties will take to sustain the relationships and activities established in the agreement after the project ends.

ISDEAA Hiring Preference:

(a) Awards that are primarily for the benefit of Indians are subject to the provisions of section 7(b) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Pub. L. 93-638). That section requires that, to the greatest extent feasible, a grantee—

(1) Give to Indians preferences and opportunities for training and employment in connection with the administration of the grant; and

(2) Give to Indian organizations and to Indian-owned economic enterprises, as defined in section 3 of the Indian Financing Act of 1974 (25 U.S.C. 1452(e)), preference in the award of contracts in connection with the administration of the grant.

(b) For purposes of this section, an Indian is a member of any federally recognized Indian tribe.

Definitions: The following definitions are from the NFP and apply to this competition:

Cultural competency means the use of culturally responsive education that takes into account a student's own cultural experiences, creates connections between home and school experiences, and uses the cultural Start Printed Page 20477knowledge, prior experiences, and learning styles of diverse students to make learning more appropriate and effective.

Eligible Indian tribe means a federally recognized or a State-recognized tribe.

Eligible school means a school that is included in the applicant's preliminary and final agreements, and that is:

(a) A public school, including a public charter school, or

(b) A BIE-funded tribally controlled school.

Established TEA means, for purposes of this competition, a TEA that:

(a) Previously received a STEP grant, or

(b) Has an existing prior relationship with an SEA or LEA as evidenced by a prior written agreement between the TEA and SEA or LEA, and meets two or more of the following criteria:

(i) Has an existing tribal education code;

(ii) Has administered at least one education program (for example, a tribally operated preschool or afterschool program) within the past five years; or

(iii) Has administered at least one Federal, State, local, or private grant within the past five years.

ESEA formula grant program means one of the following programs authorized under the ESEA, for which SEAs or LEAs receive formula funding:

(a) Improving Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged (title I, part A);

(b) School Improvement Grants (section 1003(g));

(c) Migrant Education (title I, part C);

(d) Neglected and Delinquent State Grants (title I, part D);

(e) Improving Teacher Quality State Grants (title II, part A);

(f) English Learner Education State Grants (title III, part A);

(g) 21st Century Community Learning Centers (title IV, part B); and

(h) Indian Education Formula Grants (title VII, part A).

Note:

State-administered ESEA formula grant programs are the programs identified in paragraphs (a)-(g) of the definition of ESEA formula grant program. If an applicant chooses the Indian Education Formula Grants program (title VII, part A), which makes direct grants to LEAs, it must also choose at least one State-administered program listed in (a)-(g), as required by paragraph (b) of Schools and ESEA Formula Grant Programs Included in Project, in the Requirements section of this notice. Applicants can still choose SEA- or LEA-type functions for the State-administered ESEA formula grant.

LEA-type function means the type of activity that LEAs typically conduct, such as direct provision of educational services to students, grant implementation, school district curriculum development, staff professional development pursuant to State guidelines, and data submissions.

SEA-type function means the type of activity that SEAs typically conduct, such as overall education policy development, supervision and monitoring of school districts, provision of technical assistance to districts, statewide curriculum development, collecting and analyzing performance data, and evaluating programs.

Tribal educational agency (TEA) means the agency, department, or instrumentality of an eligible Indian tribe that is primarily responsible for supporting tribal students' elementary and secondary education, which may include early learning.

Start Authority

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7451(a)(4).

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Non-procurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The NFP published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2015 (80 FR 11550).

Note:

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $1,950,000.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2016 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards: Awards for a single TEA range from $150,000 to $330,000; awards for a consortium of TEAs range from $300,000 to $500,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $390,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application from a single TEA that proposes a budget exceeding $330,000 for a single budget period of 12 months, or from a consortium of TEAs that proposes a budget exceeding $500,000 for a single budget period of 12 months. The Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Estimated Number of Awards: 4-6.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: (a) A TEA that is from an eligible Indian tribe and authorized by its tribe to administer this program; or (b) a consortium of such TEAs.

To be eligible for an award, an applicant must include, as a part of its application, certification by the eligible Indian tribe that the applicant is the agency, department, or instrumentality of the eligible Indian tribe that is primarily responsible for supporting the elementary and secondary education of the tribe's students.

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

3. Other: (a) To be eligible for an award, a TEA must submit a preliminary agreement, signed by an SEA and at least one LEA, with its application.

(b) Projects funded under this competition must budget funds for a representative from the TEA, a representative from the SEA, and a representative from at least one LEA to attend a two-day Project Director's meeting in the Washington, DC area during each year of the project period.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Shahla Ortega, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W223, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-5602 or by email: shahla.ortega@ed.gov.

To obtain a copy of the application package via the Internet, use the following address: http://www2.ed.gov/​programs/​step/​index.html.

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. 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.Start Printed Page 20478

Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to review grant applications more efficiently if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply. Therefore, the Assistant Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of their intent to submit an application for funding no later than May 21, 2015. To do so, please email shahla.ortega@ed.gov with the subject line “Intent to Apply,” and include the following information:

1. Applicant's name, mailing address, and phone number;

2. Contact person's name and email address;

3. Name of SEA; and

4. Whether the applicant intends to apply as a single TEA or a consortium of TEAs.

Applicants that do not submit a notice of intent to apply may still apply for funding; applicants that do submit a notice of intent to apply are not bound to apply or bound by the information provided.

Pre-Application Webinar: The Department intends to hold a pre-application webinar designed to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. Information about webinar times and instructions for registering are on the Department Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/​programs/​STEP/​index.html.

Page Limit: The project narrative (Part IV) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the project narrative to no more than 50 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.

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: April 16, 2015.

Date of Pre-Application Webinar: April 30, 2015.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 21, 2015.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 15, 2015.

Deadline for Submission of Final Agreement: March 31, 2016.

Applications for grants under this competition 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: August 14, 2015.

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 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 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 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 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 two to five 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.

Note:

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 competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications. Start Printed Page 20479

Applications for grants under STEP, CFDA number 84.415A, 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 STEP 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 84.415, not 84.415A).

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 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 4:30:00 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.

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 prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.Start Printed Page 20480

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: Shahla Ortega, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W223, Washington, DC 20202. FAX: (202) 401-0606.

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 84.415A), 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 84.415A), 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 for this competition are from the NFP and from 34 CFR 75.210. We will award up to 100 points to an application under the selection criteria; the total possible points for each selection criterion are noted in parentheses.

a. Need for Project (Maximum 5 points). In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the goals and objectives in the preliminary agreement, including the TEA capacity-building activities, address identified educational needs of the Indian students to be served.

b. Quality of the Project Design (Maximum 35 points). In determining the quality of project design, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the proposed project would recognize and support tribal sovereignty. (5 points)

(ii) The extent to which the preliminary agreement defines goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project that are likely to be achieved by the end of the project period. (10 points)

(iii) The extent to which the proposed project would build relationships and better communication among the TEA, SEA, and LEA, as well as families and communities, to the benefit of Indian students in the selected schools, including by enhancing the cultural competency of SEA and LEA staff. (10 points)

(iv) The extent to which the proposed project would enhance the capacity of the TEA to administer ESEA formula grants during the grant period and beyond. (10 points)

c. Adequacy of Resources (Maximum 5 points). In determining the adequacy of resources, the Secretary considers the extent to which the TEA has established, prior to developing the preliminary agreement, a relationship with either the SEA or an LEA that will enhance the likelihood of the project's success.

d. Quality of the Management Plan (Maximum 25 points). In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

(i) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks. (10 points)

(ii) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project. (5 points)

(iii) How the applicant will ensure that a diversity of perspectives are brought to bear in the operation of the proposed project, including those of parents, teachers, the business community, a variety of disciplinary and professional fields, recipients or beneficiaries of the services, or others, as appropriate. (10 points)

Note:

In addressing the third subpart of the Quality of the Management Plan selection criteria, applicants may want to consider describing the involvement of the SEA and LEA in the project, in addition to the input of other affected groups, as appropriate.

e. Quality of Project Personnel (Maximum 15 points). In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary considers:

(i) The extent to which the proposed project director has experience in education and in administering Federal grants. (5 points)

(ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel. (5 points)

(iii) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in Start Printed Page 20481practice among the recipients of those services. (5 points)

Note:

Please note that section 7(b) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act requires that to the greatest extent feasible, a grantee must give to Indians preference and opportunities in connection with the administration of the grant, and give Indian organizations and Indian-owned economic enterprises, as defined in section 3 of the Indian Financing Act of 1974 (25 U.S.C. 1452(e)), preference in the award of contracts in connection with the administration of the grant.

In addressing the third subpart of the Quality of Project Personnel selection criterion, applicants may want to consider including the context of training or professional development among all three entities—TEA, SEA, and LEA. For example, the SEA or LEA could provide training to TEA staff with regard to Federal grant administration, and the TEA could provide training to SEA and LEA staff with regard to cultural competence.

f. Quality of Project Evaluation (Maximum 15 points). In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project. (5 points)

(ii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies. (5 points)

(iii) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes. (5 points)

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).

3. Special Conditions: Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk 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 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; 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: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) performance measures:

(1) Number of TEA grantees that report increased collaboration among TEAs, SEAs, and LEAs.

(2) The number of SEA-type and LEA-type administrative functions for which the TEA grantees have assumed responsibility.

These measures constitute the Department's indicators of success for this program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a grant under this program to give careful consideration to these measures in developing the proposed project and identifying the method of evaluation. Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance and final reports, data about its progress in meeting these measures.

5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application. 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:

Shahla Ortega, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W223, Washington, DC 20202-6450. Telephone: (202) 453-5602 or by email: shahla.ortega@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 Start Printed Page 20482at: 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: April 10, 2015.

Deborah S. Delisle,

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 2015-08681 Filed 4-15-15; 8:45 am]

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