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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

Overview Information: Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) Program. Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.215G.

DATES:

Applications Available: April 7, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 9, 2016.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 6, 2016.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The IAL program supports high-quality programs designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) intends to support innovative programs that promote early literacy for young children, motivate older children to read, and increase student achievement by using school libraries as partners to improve literacy, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities.

The IAL program supports the implementation of high-quality plans for childhood literacy activities and book distribution efforts that are supported by evidence of strong theory.

Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority and three competitive preference priorities. The absolute priority is from the notice of final priorities, requirement, and definitions for this program (IAL NFP) published in the Federal Register on June 17, 2014 (79 FR 34428). Competitive Preference Priorities 1 and 2 are from the Department's notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs (Supplemental Priorities), published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425). Competitive Preference Priority 3 is from the IAL NFP.

Absolute Priority: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

High-Quality Plan for Innovative Approaches to Literacy That Include Book Distribution, Childhood Literacy Activities, or Both, and That Is Supported, at a Minimum, by Evidence of Strong Theory.

To meet this priority, applicants must submit a plan that is supported by evidence of strong theory, including a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice and a corresponding logic model.

The applicant must submit a plan with the following information:

(a) A description of the proposed book distribution, childhood literacy activities, or both, that are designed to improve the literacy skills of children and students by one or more of the following—

(1) Promoting early literacy and preparing young children to read;

(2) Developing and improving students' reading ability;

(3) Motivating older children to read; and

(4) Teaching children and students to read.

(b) The age or grade spans of children and students from birth through 12th grade to be served.

(c) A detailed description of the key goals, the activities to be undertaken, the rationale for those activities, the timeline, the parties responsible for implementing the activities, and the credibility of the plan (as judged, in part, by the information submitted as evidence of strong theory); and

(d)(i) A description of how the proposed project is supported by strong theory; and

(ii) The corresponding logic model.

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional five points per priority to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priorities 1-3, for a total of 15 possible points.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Leveraging Technology To Support Instructional Practice and Professional Development. (5 points)

Projects that are designed to leverage technology through using high-speed Internet access and devices to increase students' and educators' access to high-quality accessible digital tools, assessments, and materials, particularly open educational resources.

Competitive Preference Priority 2—Improving Early Learning and Development Outcomes. (5 points)

Projects that are designed to improve early learning and development outcomes across one or more of the essential domains of school readiness for children from birth through third grade (or for any age group within this range) through a focus on one or more of the following:

(a) Increasing access to high-quality early learning and development Start Printed Page 20377programs and comprehensive services, particularly for children with high needs.

(b) Improving the quality and effectiveness of the early learning workforce so that early childhood educators, including administrators, have the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to improve young children's health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes.

(c) Sustaining improved early learning and development outcomes throughout the early elementary school years.

Competitive Preference Priority 3—Serving Rural Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). (5 points)

To meet this priority, an applicant must propose a project designed to provide high-quality literacy programming, or distribute books, or both, to students served by a rural LEA.

Definitions: The following definitions are from the Supplemental Priorities, the IAL NFP, and 34 CFR 77.1(c).

Children with high needs means children from birth through kindergarten entry who are from low-income families or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, including children who have disabilities or developmental delays; who are English learners; who reside on “Indian lands” as that term is defined by section 8013(7) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB); who are migrant, homeless, or in foster care; and who are other children as identified by the State.

Essential domains of school readiness means the domains of language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge (including early mathematics and early scientific development), approaches toward learning (including the utilization of the arts), physical well-being and motor development (including adaptive skills), and social and emotional development.

Evidence of promise means there is empirical evidence to support the theoretical linkage(s) between at least one critical component and at least one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed processes, products, strategies, or practices. Specifically, evidence of promise means the conditions in both paragraphs (i) and (ii) of this section are met:

(i) There is at least one study that is a—

(A) Correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias;

(B) Quasi-experimental design study that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations; or

(C) Randomized controlled trial that meets the What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with or without reservations.

(ii) The study referenced in paragraph (i) of this definition found a statistically significant or substantively important (defined as a difference of 0.25 standard deviations or larger), favorable association between at least one critical component and one relevant outcome presented in the logic model for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice.

High-need local educational agency (High-need LEA) means—

(i) Except for LEAs referenced in paragraph (ii), an LEA in which at least 25 percent of the students aged 5-17 in the school attendance area of the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates for school districts for the most recent income year (Census list).

(ii) For an LEA that is not included on the Census list, such as a charter school LEA, an LEA for which the State educational agency (SEA) determines, consistent with the manner described under section 1124(c) of the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, in which the SEA determines an LEA's eligibility for Title I allocations, that 25 percent of the students aged 5-17 in the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line.

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.

National not-for-profit organization (NNP) means an agency, organization, or institution owned and operated by one or more corporations or associations whose net earnings do not benefit, and cannot lawfully benefit, any private shareholder or entity. In addition, it means, for the purposes of this program, an organization of national scope that is supported by staff or affiliates at the State and local levels, who may include volunteers, and that has a demonstrated history of effectively developing and implementing literacy activities.

Note:

A local affiliate of an NNP does not meet the definition of NNP. Only a national agency, organization, or institution is eligible to apply as an NNP.

Open educational resources means teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.

Quasi-experimental design study means a study using a design that attempts to approximate an experimental design by identifying a comparison group that is similar to the treatment group in important respects. These studies, depending on design and implementation, can meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards with reservations (but not What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations).

Randomized controlled trial means a study that employs random assignment of, for example, students, teachers, classrooms, schools, or districts to receive the intervention being evaluated (the treatment group) or not to receive the intervention (the control group). The estimated effectiveness of the intervention is the difference between the average outcomes for the treatment group and for the control group. These studies, depending on design and implementation, can meet What Works Clearinghouse Evidence Standards without reservations.

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.

Rural local educational agency (Rural LEA) means an LEA that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement program or the Rural and Low-Income School program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, at the time of application. (IAL NFP)

Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.

What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards means the standards set forth in the What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook (Version 3.0, March 2014), which can be found at the following link: http://ies.ed.gov/​ncee/​wwc/​DocumentSum.aspx?​sid=​19.

Start Authority

Program Authority: Sections 5411-5413 of the ESEA, as amended by NCLB; Title III of Division H of Pub. L. 114-113, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Start Printed Page 20378Suspension (Nonprocurement) 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 as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations in 34 CFR part 299. (e) The Supplemental Priorities. (f) The IAL NFP.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $26,475,715.00.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

Estimated Range of Awards to LEAs and Consortia of LEAs: $175,000 to $750,000 (annually).

Estimated Average Size of Awards to LEAs and Consortia of LEAs: $500,000 (annually).

Estimated Number of Awards to LEAs and Consortia of LEAs: 30.

Estimated Range of Awards to NNPs, Consortia of NNPs, and Consortia of NNPs and LEAs: $1,500,000 to $5,000,000 (annually).

Estimated Average Size of Awards to NNPs, Consortia of NNPs, and Consortia of NNPs and LEAs: $3,000,000 (annually).

Estimated Number of Awards to NNPs, Consortia of NNPs, and Consortia of NNPs and LEAs: 2-6.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 24 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: To be considered for an award under this competition, an applicant must:

(a) Be one of the following:

(1) A high-need LEA (as defined in this notice);

(2) An NNP (as defined in this notice) that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs;

(3) A consortium of NNPs that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs;

(4) A consortium of high-need LEAs; or

(5) A consortium of one or more high-need LEAs and one or more NNPs that serves children and students within the attendance boundaries of one or more high-need LEAs.

(b) Coordinate with school libraries in developing project proposals.

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

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet, from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), or from the program office. To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www2.ed.gov/​programs/​innovapproaches-literacy/​applicant.html.

To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call: 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) or text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application package from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.215G.

To obtain a copy from the program office, write, call, or send an email to the following person: Beth Yeh, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E332, Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 205-5798 or by email: beth.yeh@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.

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 competition.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the application narrative to no more than 25 pages, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, 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 be not accepted.

The page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; eligibility information; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, the logic model, or the letters of support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section.

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

Note:

The applicant should include, as an attachment, the logic model used to address paragraph (d)(ii) of the absolute priority.

b. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the IAL program, an application may include business information that the applicant considers proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define “business information” and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended).

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 believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments 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: April 7, 2016

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 9, 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 Other Submission Requirements in section IV of this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.Start Printed Page 20379

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: July 6, 2016.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and 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), 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 at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/​webform. 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 you enter into the SAM database. 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, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and 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: 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.

Applications for grants under the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program, CFDA number 84.215G, 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 IAL 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 84.215, not 84.215G).

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 competition 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. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/​web/​grants/​applicants/​apply-for-grants.html. Start Printed Page 20380
  • 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 read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the project narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason, it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF.
  • 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. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application. These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

  • 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 the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine 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.

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: Beth Yeh, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E335, Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 205-5798 or by email: beth.yeh@ed.gov.

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 84.215G), 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.Start Printed Page 20381

(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.

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.

We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

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 84.215G), 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 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 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all selection criteria is 100. The maximum possible score for each selection criterion is indicated in parentheses. The selection criteria for this competition are as follows:

(a) Significance (10 points). The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population.

(b) Quality of the project design (20 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(i) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable. (4 points)

(ii) The extent to which the proposed project will establish linkages with other appropriate agencies and organizations providing services to the target population. (4 points)

(iii) The extent to which the proposed project is part of a comprehensive effort to improve teaching and learning and support rigorous academic standards for students. (4 points)

(iv) The extent to which performance feedback and continuous improvement are integral to the design of the proposed project. (4 points)

(v) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by evidence of promise. (4 points)

(c) Quality of project services (25 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

(i) The quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. (10 points)

(ii) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project are appropriate to the needs of the intended recipients or beneficiaries of those services. (10 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 practice among the recipients of those services. (5 points)

(d) Adequacy of resources (10 points). The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

(i) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project. (5 points)

(ii) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits. (5 points)

(e) Quality of the management plan (20 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. 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 mechanisms for ensuring high-quality products and services from the proposed project. (5 points)

(iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project. (5 points)

(f) Quality of the project evaluation (15 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide performance feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving intended outcomes.

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 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. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by Start Printed Page 20382applicants. 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 multiyear 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.

(c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

4. Performance Measures: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) performance measures for the IAL program: (1) The percentage of four-year-old children participating in the project who achieve significant gains in oral language skills; (2) the percentage of fourth graders participating in the project who demonstrated individual student growth (i.e., an improvement in their achievement) over the past year on State reading or language arts assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA, as amended by NCLB; (3) the percentage of eighth graders participating in the project who demonstrated individual student growth (i.e., an improvement in their achievement) over the past year on State reading or language arts assessments under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA, as amended by NCLB; (4) the percentage of schools participating in the project whose book-to-student ratios increase from the previous year; and (5) the percentage of participating children who receive at least one free, grade- and language-appropriate book of their own.

Note:

For purposes of measures (2) and (3) above, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, the applicable statutory provision is section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

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 conceptualizing the approach and evaluation for its proposed project. Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance and final reports, data about its progress in meeting these measures, to the extent that they apply to the grantee's project.

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 award, 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:

Beth Yeh, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E332, Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 205-5798 or by email: beth.yeh@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 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 4, 2016.

Ann Whalen,

Senior Advisor to the Secretary Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

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[FR Doc. 2016-08051 Filed 4-6-16; 8:45 am]

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