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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Magnet Schools Assistance Program

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

Overview Information:

Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP)

Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.165A.

DATES:

Applications Available: April 22, 2016.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 9, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 1, 2016.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 8, 2016.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The MSAP provides grants to eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) and consortia of LEAs to support magnet schools under an approved, required or voluntary, desegregation plan. By supporting the development and implementation of magnet schools that reduce, eliminate, or prevent minority group isolation, these program resources can be used in pursuit of the objectives of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), which supports State and local efforts to enable all elementary and Start Printed Page 23684secondary school students to achieve high standards. In particular, the MSAP provides an opportunity for eligible entities to provide students from varied backgrounds with the educational benefits of diversity and equitable access to a high-quality education that will enable all students to succeed academically.

Background: This background section highlights some design changes in the FY 2016 MSAP competition. Despite the potential benefits associated with integration, institutional and contextual barriers often prevent LEAs from integrating their schools in meaningful and impactful ways. Past experience has shown that these barriers often negatively impact schools that receive MSAP funding, shrinking the impact of the implemented services. As such, we have revised the program's selection criteria to place an increased emphasis on desegregation-related activities (including a selection criterion specifically related to desegregation), and a renewed focus on academic rigor. The competition also includes a new focus on the use of evidence. These shifts bring MSAP into greater alignment with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which was signed into law on December 10, 2015; beginning in FY 2017, the ESSA will serve as the statutory framework for future MSAP competitions.

Research consistently demonstrates that concentrated poverty in schools negatively affects academic performance. Children who attend high-poverty schools have poorer academic outcomes than those who do not.[1] Conversely, studies have shown that socioeconomic diversity in school contributes to improved academic and life outcomes for students, and that the socioeconomic make-up of a school is one of the strongest predictors of whether or not a student will succeed academically.[2] Almost half of public elementary school students attend schools where most of the students are from lower income households, and Black and Latino students are disproportionately concentrated in these schools in almost every State.[3] Strategies that promote socioeconomic integration could have a profound impact on reducing the number of high-poverty schools in many districts across the country, which could in turn greatly improve academic achievement and close achievement gaps.[4]

In this competition, we are particularly interested in projects that seek to improve MSAP outcomes related to minority group isolation and academic achievement by implementing complementary strategies to increase the socioeconomic integration of schools in an effort to eliminate, reduce, or prevent minority group isolation. Therefore, we include an invitational priority for these types of projects. These proposals will help inform future MSAP competitions conducted under ESSA, which will include the statutory priority for projects proposing to increase racial integration by taking into account socioeconomic diversity in designing and implementing magnet school programs. We also encourage applicants to define socioeconomic status (such as family income, education level or other factors), and to describe how the applicant's approach to defining and using socioeconomic status connects to their efforts to eliminate, reduce, or prevent minority group isolation.

When proposing projects that seek to eliminate, reduce, or prevent minority group isolation and, if applicable, increase the socioeconomic integration of schools, we encourage all applicants to consult the “Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools,” released by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice on December 2, 2011.[5] This guidance provides some examples of approaches that may be considered, including school and program siting; grade realignment and feeder patterns; school zoning; open choice and enrollment; and inter- and intra-district transfers. We encourage applicants to consult legal counsel when considering which approaches might be best suited to a particular situation and in alignment with this program's objectives.

This competition is also designed to improve MSAP outcomes by supporting evidence-based strategies for eliminating, reducing, or preventing minority group isolation; increasing diversity; and improving academic achievement. For this reason, we include a selection factor that asks applicants to address the extent to which projects are grounded in a logic model (as defined in this notice) that connects the program's inputs to its intended outcomes.

In addition, we include a competitive preference priority for applicants that can support their proposed projects with evidence of promise (as defined in this notice). Such evidence will enable us to better understand the empirical connection between school districts that have systematically moved toward integration in the past and student outcomes that are relevant to MSAP. We are particularly interested in evidence-based strategies that promote racial integration by taking into account socioeconomic diversity.

Priorities: This competition includes five competitive preference priorities, one invitational priority within a competitive preference priority, and one stand alone invitational priority.

In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), Competitive Preference Priorities 1, 2, and 3 are from the MSAP regulations (34 CFR 280.32). Competitive Preference Priority 4 is from the notice of final supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2014 (79 FR 73425) (Supplemental Priorities). Competitive Preference Priority 5 is from 34 CFR 75.226.

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2016 these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 280.30(f) we will award up to 15 additional points to an application, depending on how well the applicant addresses Competitive Preference Priorities 1, 2, and 3. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we will award up to an additional five points to an application, depending on how well the application addresses Competitive Preference Priority 4, and we will award an additional five points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 5. Together, depending on how well the application meets these Start Printed Page 23685priorities, an application may be awarded up to a total of 25 additional points. Applicants may apply under any or all of the competitive preference priorities. The maximum possible points for each competitive preference priority are indicated in parentheses following the name of the priority. These points are in addition to any points the application earns under the selection criteria in this notice.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Need for Assistance (0 to 5 additional points).

The Secretary evaluates the applicant's need for assistance by considering—

(a) The costs of fully implementing the magnet schools project as proposed;

(b) The resources available to the applicant to carry out the project if funds under the program were not provided;

(c) The extent to which the costs of the project exceed the applicant's resources; and

(d) The difficulty of effectively carrying out the approved plan and the project for which assistance is sought, including consideration of how the design of the magnet schools project—e.g., the type of program proposed, the location of the magnet school within the LEA—impacts the applicant's ability to successfully carry out the approved plan.

Competitive Preference Priority 2—New or Revised Magnet Schools Projects (0 to 5 additional points).

The Secretary determines the extent to which the applicant proposes to carry out new magnet schools projects or significantly revise existing magnet schools projects.

Competitive Preference Priority 3—Selection of Students (0 to 5 additional points).

The Secretary determines the extent to which the applicant proposes to select students to attend magnet schools by methods such as lottery, rather than through academic examination.

Competitive Preference Priority 4—Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education (0 to 5 additional points).

Projects that are designed to improve student achievement (as defined in this notice) or other related outcomes by supporting local or regional partnerships to give students access to real-world STEM experiences and to give educators access to high-quality STEM-related professional learning.

Competitive Preference Priority 5—Supporting Strategies for which there is Evidence of Promise (0 or 5 additional points).

Projects that propose a process, product, strategy, or practice supported by evidence of promise.

Within this competitive preference priority, we are particularly interested in applications that address the following invitational priority.

Invitational Priority: Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Racial and Socioeconomic Integration Evidence of Promise.

We are especially interested in evidence of promise surrounding racial and socioeconomic integration.

Note:

An applicant addressing Competitive Preference Priority 5 should clearly identify up to two research study citation(s) to be reviewed for the purposes of meeting this priority. In addition, the applicant should specify the intervention(s) in the identified study or studies that it plans to implement and the findings within the citation(s) that the applicant is requesting be considered as evidence of promise. At a minimum, applicants should provide the referenced citation(s), and a discussion of the relevant intervention(s) and findings, in the application narrative. The Department will not consider a study citation that an applicant fails to clearly identify for review.

An applicant must either ensure that all evidence is available to the Department from publicly available sources and provide links or other guidance indicating where it is available; or, in the application, include a copy of the full study in the Appendix. If the Department determines that an applicant provided insufficient information, the applicant will not have an opportunity to provide additional information at a later time.

Under this competition we are particularly interested in applications that address the following invitational priority.

Invitational Priority: For FY 2016 this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Socioeconomic Integration.

The Secretary encourages projects that propose to increase racial integration by taking into account socioeconomic diversity in designing and implementing magnet school programs. Projects may implement inter-district or intra-district integration strategies such as neighborhood preferences or weighted lotteries.

Definitions: All definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1(c) and the Supplemental Priorities.

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 process, product, strategy, or practice. Specifically, evidence of promise means the conditions in 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 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) 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.

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.

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 Start Printed Page 23686implementation, 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.

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

Student achievement means—

For grades and subjects in which assessments are required under section 1111(b)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA): (1) A student's score on such assessments; and, as appropriate (2) other measures of student learning, such as those described in the subsequent paragraph, provided that they are rigorous and comparable across schools within a local educational agency (LEA).

For grades and subjects in which assessments are not required under section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA: (1) Alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student results on pre-tests, end-of-course tests, and objective performance-based assessments; (2) student learning objectives; (3) student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and (4) other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across schools within an LEA.

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: 20 U.S.C. 7231-7231j.

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (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 for this program in 34 CFR part 280. (e) The Supplemental Priorities.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $91,322,994.

Estimated Range of Awards: $700,000-$4,000,000 per budget year.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $3,200,000 per budget year.

Maximum Award: $12,000,000. We will not fund an annual budget period exceeding $4,000,000 per budget year or $12,000,000 total. We may choose not to further review an application that proposes a one year budget period that exceeds $4,000,000.

Estimated Number of Awards: 8-10. We may make awards under this competition for the complete three-year (36-month) project period by front-loading all three budget periods using FY 2016 funds. Additional information regarding how we will fund this competition can be found on the MSAP Web site at http://innovation.ed.gov/​what-we-do/​parental-options/​magnet-school-assistance-program-msap/​applicant-info-and-eligibility/​.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: LEAs or consortia of LEAs implementing a desegregation plan as specified in section III. 3 of this notice.

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

3. Other: Applicants must submit with their applications one of the following types of desegregation plans to establish eligibility to receive MSAP assistance: (a) A desegregation plan required by a court order; (b) a desegregation plan required by a State agency or an official of competent jurisdiction; (c) a desegregation plan required by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), United States Department of Education (Department), under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI); or (d) a voluntary desegregation plan adopted by the applicant and submitted to the Department for approval as part of the application. Under the MSAP regulations, applicants are required to provide all of the information required in 34 CFR 280.20(a) through (g) in order to satisfy the civil rights eligibility requirements found in 34 CFR 280.2(a)(2) and (b).

In addition to the particular data and other items for required and voluntary desegregation plans described in the application package, an application must include—

  • Projected enrollment by race and ethnicity for magnet and feeder schools;
  • Signed civil rights assurances (included in the application package); and
  • An assurance that the desegregation plan is being implemented or will be implemented if the application is funded.

Required Desegregation Plans

1. Desegregation plans required by a court order. An applicant that submits a desegregation plan required by a court order must submit complete and signed copies of all court documents demonstrating that the magnet schools are a part of the approved desegregation plan. Examples of the types of documents that would meet this requirement include a Federal or State court order that establishes specific magnet schools, amends a previous order or orders by establishing additional or different specific magnet schools, requires or approves the establishment of one or more unspecified magnet schools, or that authorizes the inclusion of magnet schools at the discretion of the applicant.

2. Desegregation plans required by a State agency or official of competent jurisdiction. An applicant submitting a desegregation plan ordered by a State agency or official of competent jurisdiction must provide documentation that shows that the desegregation plan was ordered based upon a determination that State law was violated. In the absence of this documentation, the applicant should consider its desegregation plan to be a voluntary plan and submit the data and information necessary for voluntary plans.

3. Desegregation plans required by Title VI. An applicant that submits a desegregation plan required by OCR under Title VI must submit a complete copy of the desegregation plan demonstrating that magnet schools are part of the approved plan or that the plan authorizes the inclusion of magnet schools at the discretion of the applicant.

4. Modifications to required desegregation plans. A previously approved desegregation plan that does not include the magnet school or program for which the applicant is now seeking assistance must be modified to include the magnet school component. The modification to the desegregation plan must be approved by the court, agency, or official that originally approved the plan. An applicant that wishes to modify a previously approved OCR Title VI desegregation plan to include different or additional magnet schools must submit the proposed Start Printed Page 23687modification for review and approval to the OCR regional office that approved its original plan.

An applicant should indicate in its application if it is seeking to modify its previously approved desegregation plan. However, all applicants must submit proof of approval of all modifications to their plans to the Department by June 30, 2016. Proof of plan modifications should be mailed to the person and address identified under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

Voluntary Desegregation Plans

A voluntary desegregation plan must be approved by the Department each time an application is submitted for funding. Even if the Department has approved a voluntary desegregation plan in an LEA in the past, the desegregation plan must be resubmitted for approval as part of the application.

An applicant's voluntary desegregation plan must describe how the LEA defines or identifies minority group isolation, demonstrate how the LEA will reduce, eliminate, or prevent minority group isolation for each magnet school in the proposed magnet school application, and, if relevant, at identified feeder schools, and demonstrate that the proposed voluntary desegregation plan is adequate under Title VI. For additional guidance on how an LEA can voluntarily reduce minority group isolation and promote diversity in an LEA in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No 1 et al., 551 U.S. 701 (2007), see the December 2, 2011, “Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary Schools” available on the Department's Web site at www.ed.gov/​ocr/​docs/​guidance-ese-201111.pdf.

Complete and accurate enrollment forms and other information as required by the regulations in 34 CFR 280.20(f) and (g) for applicants with voluntary desegregation plans are critical to the Department's determination of an applicant's eligibility under a voluntary desegregation plan (specific requirements are detailed in the application package).

Voluntary desegregation plan applicants must submit evidence of school board approval or evidence of other official adoption of the plan as required by the regulations in 34 CFR 280.20(f)(2).

4. Single-Sex Programs: In addition to the normal MSAP grant review process, an applicant proposing to operate a single-sex magnet school or a coeducational magnet school that offers single-sex classes or extracurricular activities will undergo a separate and detailed review of its proposed single-sex educational program to determine compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws, including the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution (as interpreted in United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), and other cases) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681, et seq.) and its regulations, including 34 CFR 106.34. This additional review is likely to require the applicant to provide additional fact-specific information about the single-sex program within the Department's timeframes for determining eligibility for funding. It is likely special conditions will be placed on any grant used to support a single-sex educational program. Please see the application package for additional information about an application proposing a single-sex magnet school or a coeducational magnet school offering single-sex classes or extracurricular activities.

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: www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​grantapps/​.

To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: Education Publications Center, 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 a 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 from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.165A.

To obtain a copy from the program office, contact: Tiffany McClain, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W250, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 453-7200 or by email: msap.team@ed.gov. If you use a TDD or 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 competition.

Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if it has a better understanding of the number of entities that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify the Department of the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by completing a Web-based form. When completing this form, applicants will provide (1) the applicant organization's name and address, (2) the number of and proposed theme(s) of school(s) that will be served through the MSAP grant, and (3) information on the priority or priorities (if any) under which the applicant intends to apply. Applicants may access this form online at http://innovation.ed.gov/​what-we-do/​parental-options/​magnet-school-assistance-program-msap/​. Applicants that do not complete this form may still apply for funding.

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria and the competitive preference priorities that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the application narrative to no more than 150 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.
  • Include page numbers at the bottom of each page in your narrative.

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances, certifications, the desegregation plan Start Printed Page 23688and related information, and the forms used to respond to Competitive Preference Priorities 2 and 3; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, or letters of support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative in Part III.

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

2.b. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the MSAP program, your application may include business information that you consider 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 22, 2016.

Date of Informational Webinar: The MSAP intends to hold a Webinar to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. Detailed information regarding this Webinar will be provided on the MSAP Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/​programs/​magnet/​index.html. A recording of this Webinar will be available on the Web site following the session.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 1, 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.

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 8, 2016.

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 280.41. 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), 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: 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 MSAP 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 MSAP, CFDA number 84.165A, 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. Start Printed Page 23689Further 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 Magnet Schools Assistance 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 84.165, not 84.165A).

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 MSAP 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.
  • 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 Start Printed Page 23690technical 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: Tiffany McClain, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W250, Washington, DC 20202-5970. FAX: (202) 205-5630.

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 84.165A) 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.

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 84.165A) 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 are from 34 CFR 75.210, 34 CFR 280.30, 34 CFR 280.31, and section 5305 of the ESEA. All of the selection criteria are listed in this section and in the application package.

The maximum score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is included in parentheses following the title of the specific selection criterion. Each criterion also includes the factors that reviewers will consider in determining the extent to which an applicant meets the criterion.

Points awarded under these selection criteria are in addition to any points an applicant earns under the competitive preference priorities in this notice. The maximum score that an application may receive under the competitive preference priorities and the selection criteria is 125 points.

(a) Desegregation (30 points).

The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the desegregation-related activities and determines the extent to which the applicant demonstrates—

(1) The effectiveness of its plan to recruit students from different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds into the magnet schools. (34 CFR 280.31)

(2) How it will foster interaction among students of different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds in classroom activities, extracurricular activities, or other activities in the magnet schools (or, if appropriate, in the schools in which the magnet school programs operate). (34 CFR 280.31)

(3) How it will ensure equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who have been traditionally underrepresented in courses or activities offered as part of the magnet school, e.g., women and girls in mathematics, science, or technology courses, and disabled students. (34 CFR 280.31)

(4) The effectiveness of all other desegregation strategies proposed by the applicant for the elimination, reduction, or prevention of minority group isolation in elementary schools and secondary schools with substantial proportions of minority students. (Section 5301(b)(1) of the ESEA)

(b) Quality of Project Design (35 points).

The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality of the project design. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The manner and extent to which the magnet school program will improve student academic achievement for all students attending each magnet school program, including the manner and extent to which each magnet school program will increase student academic achievement in the instructional area or areas offered by the school. (Sections 5305(b)(1)(B) and 5305(b)(1)(D)(i) of the ESEA)

(2) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates that it has the resources to operate the project beyond the length of Start Printed Page 23691the grant, including a multi-year financial and operating model and accompanying plan; the demonstrated commitment of any partners; evidence of broad support from stakeholders (e.g., State educational agencies, teachers' unions) critical to the project's long-term success; or more than one of these types of evidence. (34 CFR 75.210)

(3) 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. (34 CFR 75.210)

(4) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice). (34 CFR 75.210)

(c) Quality of Management Plan (15 points) (34 CFR 75.210).

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 the following factors:

(1) 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; and

(2) 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 services, or others, as appropriate.

(d) Quality of Personnel (10 points) (34 CFR 280.31).

The Secretary reviews each application to determine the qualifications of the personnel the applicant plans to use on the project. The Secretary determines the extent to which—

(1) The project director (if one is used) is qualified to manage the project;

(2) Other key personnel are qualified to manage the project; and

(3) Teachers who will provide instruction in participating magnet schools are qualified to implement the special curriculum of the magnet schools.

To determine personnel qualifications, the Secretary considers experience and training in fields related to the objectives of the project, including the key personnel's knowledge of and experience in curriculum development and desegregation strategies.

(e) Quality of Project Evaluation (10 points) (34 CFR 75.210).

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 following factors:

(1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation provide for examining the effectiveness of project implementation strategies;

(2) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible; and

(3) 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 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. 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 applicants. 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.

(c) 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: We have established the following six performance measures for the MSAP:

(a) The percentage of magnet schools receiving assistance whose student enrollment reduces, eliminates, or prevents minority group isolation.

(b) The percentage of students from major racial and ethnic groups in magnet schools receiving assistance who score proficient or above on State assessments in reading/language arts.

(c) The percentage of students from major racial and ethnic groups in magnet schools receiving assistance who score proficient or above on State assessments in mathematics.

(d) The cost per student in a magnet school receiving assistance.Start Printed Page 23692

(e) The percentage of magnet schools that received assistance that are still operating magnet school programs three years after Federal funding ends.

(f) The percentage of magnet schools that received assistance that meet the State's annual measurable objectives and, for high schools, graduation rate targets at least three years after Federal funding ends.

Note:

Recognizing that States are no longer required to report annual measurable objectives to the Department under the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, we include this performance measure in order to ensure grantees monitor and report high school graduation rates. States must establish and measure against ambitious, long-term goals; we encourage MSAP grantees to consider these State goals and incorporate them into their annual performance reporting as appropriate.

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

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Tiffany McClain, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W250, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 453-7200 or by email: msap.team@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD or TTY, call the FRS, 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.

Start Signature

Dated: April 19, 2016.

Nadya Chinoy Dabby,

Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.

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Footnotes

1.  James S. Coleman, Equality and Educational Opportunity (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1966); Christopher Jencks, “The Coleman Report and Conventional Wisdom,” in On Equality of Educational Opportunity: Non-Racial Approaches to Integration, eds. Frederick Mosteller and Daniel P. Moynihan (New York: Vintage Books, 1972), 69-115; Russell Rumberger and Gregory Palardy, “Does Segregation Still Matter? The Impact of Student Composition on Academic Achievement in High School,” Teacher College Record 107, no. 9 (2005): 1999-2045; Laura B. Perry and Andrew McConney, “Does the SES of the School Matter? An Examination of Socioeconomic Status and Student Achievement using PISA 2003,” Teachers College Record 112, no. 4 (2010).

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2.  James S. Coleman, Equality and Educational Opportunity; Russell Rumberger and Gregory Palardy, “Does Segregation Still Matter?” 1999-2045.

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3.  Susan Aud et al., The Condition of Education 2011 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2011), Table A-28-1.

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4.  Ann Mantil, Anne G. Perkins, and Stephanie Aberger, “The Challenge of High-Poverty Schools: How Feasible Is Socioeconomic School Integration?” in The Future of School Integration: Socioeconomic Diversity as an Education Reform Strategy, ed. Richard D. Kahlenberg (New York: The Century Foundation, 2012), 155-222.

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[FR Doc. 2016-09437 Filed 4-21-16; 8:45 am]

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