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Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.
Promise Neighborhoods Program—Implementation Grant Competition.
Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.215N (Implementation).
Applications Available: July 8, 2016.
Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: July 25, 2016.
Date of Pre-Application Webinars: The Promise Neighborhoods team intends to hold Pre-Application Webinars to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. Detailed information regarding these Webinar times will be provided on the Promise Neighborhoods' Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/index.htm.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 6, 2016.
Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: November 7, 2016.
Note: Due to a scheduled systems shutdown, applicants will not be able to submit applications for the Promise Neighborhoods competition between 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 until 6:00 a.m. on Monday, July 25, 2016 and from 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 until 6:00 a.m. on Monday, August 1, 2016.
Full Text of Announcement
I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose of Program: The Promise Neighborhoods program is carried out under the legislative authority of the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE), title V, part D, subpart 1, sections 5411 through 5413 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 U.S.C. 7243-7243b). FIE supports nationally significant programs to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education at the State and local levels and to help all children meet challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards.
On December 10, 2015, the President signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Public Law 114-95, which reauthorized the ESEA. Beginning in FY 2017, the ESEA, as amended by the ESSA, will serve as the statutory authority for future Promise Neighborhoods competitions.
The purpose of the Promise Neighborhoods program is to significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of children and youth in our most distressed communities and to transform those communities by—
(1) Identifying and increasing the capacity of eligible organizations (as defined in this notice) that are focused on achieving results for children and youth throughout an entire neighborhood;
(2) Building a complete continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions (continuum of solutions) (as defined in this notice) of both education programs and family and community supports (both as defined in this notice), with great schools at the center. All strategies in the continuum of solutions must be accessible to children with disabilities (CWD) (as defined in this notice) and English learners (ELs) (as defined in this notice);
(3) Integrating programs and breaking down agency “silos” so that solutions are implemented effectively and efficiently across agencies;
(4) Developing the local infrastructure of systems and resources needed to develop, implement, and sustain effective interventions to improve education outcomes and enhance family and community well-being across the broader region beyond the initial neighborhood; and
(5) Learning about the overall impact of the Promise Neighborhoods program and about the relationship between particular strategies in Promise Neighborhoods and student outcomes, including through an evaluation of the program, particular elements within the continuum of solutions, or both.
The vision of the Promise Neighborhoods program is that all children and youth living in our most distressed communities have access to great schools and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career.
A Promise Neighborhood is both a place and a strategy. A place eligible to become a Promise Neighborhood is a geographic area 
that is distressed, often facing inadequate access to high-quality early learning programs and services, with struggling schools, low high school and college graduation rates, high rates of unemployment, high rates of crime, and indicators of poor health. These conditions contribute to and intensify the negative outcomes associated with children and youth living in poverty.
Children and youth who are from low-income families and grow up in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty face educational and life challenges above and beyond the challenges faced by children who are from low-income families who grow up in neighborhoods without a high concentration of poverty. A Federal evaluation of the reading and mathematics outcomes of elementary students in 71 schools in 18 districts and 7 States found that even when controlling for individual student poverty, there is a significant negative association between school-level poverty and student achievement.
The evaluation found that students have lower academic outcomes when a higher percentage of their same-school peers qualify for free and reduced-priced lunch (FRPL) compared to when a lower percentage of their same-school peers qualify for FRPL. The compounding effects of neighborhood poverty continue later in life. Another study found that for children with similar levels of family income, growing up in a neighborhood where the number of families in poverty was between 20 and 30 percent increased the chance of downward economic mobility—moving down the income ladder relative to their parents—by more than 50 percent compared with children who grew up in neighborhoods with under 10 percent of families in poverty.
Furthermore, the effects of poverty and distressed neighborhoods are closely connected to children's long-term economic and social mobility. One recent study found that there is a wide variety across cities in the likelihood of children moving from the bottom quintile of earners to the top quintile over the course of their lifetimes.
This implies that the Start Printed Page 44743magnitude of the impact of growing up in a distressed neighborhood varies by region, thereby suggesting that it is particularly important to focus attention and resources on addressing a unique set of needs within specific distressed communities. Researchers also identify school quality as one of the key factors in upward mobility, which suggests that we can improve children's likelihood of success by improving the schools in their communities.
Although education can improve mobility, there are often complex institutional and contextual barriers that prevent communities from making comprehensive improvements.
A Promise Neighborhood strategy addresses the complex, interconnected issues in the distressed community it serves. Promise Neighborhoods are led by organizations that work to ensure that all children and youth in the target geographic area have access to services that lead to improved educational and developmental outcomes from cradle-to-career; are based on the best available evidence and designed to learn about the impact of approaches, for which there is less evidence; are linked and integrated seamlessly; and include education programs as well as programs that provide family and community supports. Promise Neighborhoods enable children and youth within targeted distressed communities to participate in the full range of cradle-to-career supports that are necessary for them to realize their potential. Our expectation is that over time, a greater proportion of the neighborhood residents receive these supports, and that ultimately neighborhood indicators show significant progress. For this reason, each Promise Neighborhood must demonstrate several core features: (1) Significant need in the neighborhood; (2) a strategy to build a continuum of solutions with strong schools at the center; and (3) the organizational and relational capacity to achieve results.
In developing strategies to build a continuum of solutions, communities face the challenge of implementing a comprehensive suite of interconnected services that ensure continuous engagement with community members. Since its inception in 2010, the Promise Neighborhoods program has supported planning and implementation efforts in 47 communities across the country. In particular, the experiences of the 12 Promise Neighborhoods implementation grantees provide valuable information about the conditions that are most critical for successful implementation of a Promise Neighborhoods strategy. To date, Promise Neighborhoods grantees have provided meaningful service coordination across a range of public and private entities; in so doing, they are building out the ongoing community-based infrastructure necessary to coordinate supports and transform outcomes over time. These successes have helped validate the core value of a comprehensive neighborhood approach.
While they have had success in many areas, Promise Neighborhoods grantees have struggled to collect the full range of data necessary to effectively employ comprehensive case and longitudinal data management systems and conduct meaningful evaluation activities. Such data systems are critical to effectively coordinating a range of services for high-need students and their families within a Promise Neighborhood. In order to address this challenge, we encourage applicants to carefully consider the data-related expectations for Promise Neighborhood grantees outlined in this notice, and in particular, to commit to establishing the conditions for effective data management at the onset of the grant period.
In order to help all applicants understand how to effectively set up and utilize appropriate data systems that are critical to grantee success, the Department's applicant outreach materials and Webinars associated with this year's competition—all of which will be made publicly available on our Web site—will discuss effective practices for data collection and management. In addition, recognizing the prior difficulties associated with collecting and managing data related to Promise Neighborhoods, the Department has developed recommended data collection and management strategies for Promise Neighborhoods grantees. These recommendations are intended to guide Promise Neighborhoods grantees in meeting the program's data expectations. This document is available on the Department's Web site at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/resources.html.
There are four competitive preference priorities for this competition. Given the Promise Neighborhoods program's focus on coordinating education and community services, this competition prioritizes applicants that are focused on driving greater collaboration within their communities through the competitive preference priorities. Building on prior Promise Neighborhoods grantees' work to enhance high-quality early learning opportunities, this year's competition includes a competitive preference priority intended to improve coordination among early learning providers and ensure alignment between early learning systems and elementary education systems. We continue to recognize and highlight solutions for catalyzing change in distressed communities through the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). Thus, we prioritize applicants or an applicant's partner who received a Choice or HOPE VI grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) via a competitive preference priority focused on Quality Affordable Housing. The NRI is a place-based approach to help neighborhoods in distress transform themselves into neighborhoods of opportunity. Additional information pertaining to the NRI may be found at https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/oua/initiatives/neighborhood-revitalization.
In addition, we also include a competitive preference priority that gives preference to applicants working in designated Promise Zones.
This competitive preference priority recognizes that Promise Zones represent a network of commitment and collaboration between local public and private sector partners to address community members' interrelated needs within high-poverty regions, and such coordination may better enable the successful implementation of a Promise Neighborhoods grant. The 22 Promise Zones that have been designated as of June 6, 2016 are located in Atlanta, Georgia; Camden City, New Jersey; the Chocktaw Nation of Oklahoma; East Indianapolis, Indiana; Evansville, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Los Angeles, California; the Lowlands of South Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; North Hartford, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Sacramento, California; San Antonio, Texas; San Diego, California; South Los Angeles, California; Southeast Florida Regional Planning Commission; Southeastern Kentucky; St. Louis, Missouri; Spokane Tribe of Indians, Washington; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Start Printed Page 44744Rolette County, North Dakota; and Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.
As Promise Neighborhoods grantees implement comprehensive transformation plans in their communities, we expect them to build out the full continuum of cradle through college to career solutions. We emphasize the importance of robust strategies for the college and career portion of the Promise Neighborhoods pipeline and for this reason, we include a fourth competitive preference priority for applicants that choose to prioritize postsecondary or technical education and career development. In proposing strategies, we encourage applicants to be mindful of the importance of ensuring that all students and their families have an opportunity to benefit from the services and supports provided.
Priorities: This competition includes three absolute priorities and four competitive preference priorities. Absolute Priority 1, Absolute Priority 2, Absolute Priority 3, and Competitive Preference Priority 2 are from the Promise Neighborhoods notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2011 (76 FR 39590) (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP). Competitive Preference Priority 1 and Competitive Preference Priority 4 are 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 3 is from the Promise Zones notice of final priority published in the Federal Register on March 27, 2014 (79 FR 17035) (2014 Promise Zones NFP) (Promise Zones NFP).
Absolute 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 absolute priorities.
Note: Applicants must indicate in their application whether they are applying under Absolute Priority 1 Absolute Priority 2, or Absolute Priority 3. If an applicant applies under Absolute Priority 2 or Absolute Priority 3 and is deemed ineligible, it still may be considered for funding under Absolute Priority 1. For applications addressing Absolute Priority 1, Absolute Priority 2, and Absolute Priority 3, the Secretary prepares a rank order of applications for each absolute priority based solely on the evaluation of their quality according to the selection criteria.
Each of the three absolute priorities constitutes its own funding category. Assuming that applications in each funding category are of sufficient quality, the Secretary intends to award grants under each absolute priority. These priorities are:
Absolute Priority 1—Submission of Promise Neighborhood Plan.
To meet this priority, an applicant must submit a plan to create a Promise Neighborhood. The plan must describe the need in the neighborhood, a strategy to build a continuum of solutions, and the applicant's capacity to achieve results. Specifically, an applicant must—
(1) Describe the geographically defined area (neighborhood) to be served and the level of distress in that area based on indicators of need (as defined in this notice) and other relevant indicators. The statement of need in the neighborhood must be based, in part, on results of a comprehensive needs assessment and segmentation analysis (as defined in this notice). Applicants may propose to serve multiple, non-contiguous geographically defined areas. In cases where target areas are not contiguous, the applicant must explain its rationale for including non-contiguous areas;
(2) Describe the applicant's strategy for building a continuum of solutions over time that addresses neighborhood challenges as identified in the needs assessment and segmentation analysis. The applicant must also describe how it has built community support for and involvement in the development of the plan. The continuum of solutions must be based on best available evidence including, where available strong or moderate evidence (as defined in this notice), and be designed to significantly improve educational outcomes and to support the healthy development and well-being of children and youth in the neighborhood. The strategy must be designed to ensure that over time, a greater proportion of children and youth in the neighborhood who attend the target school or schools have access to a complete continuum of solutions, and must ensure that over time, a greater proportion of children and youth in the neighborhood who do not attend the target school or schools have access to solutions within the continuum of solutions. The strategy must also ensure that, over time, students not living in the neighborhood who attend the target school or schools have access to solutions within the continuum of solutions.
The success of the applicant's strategy to build a continuum of solutions will be based on the results of the project, as measured against the project indicators as defined in this notice and described in Table 1 and Table 2. In its strategy, the applicant must propose clear and measurable annual goals during the grant period against which improvements will be measured using the indicators. The strategy must—
(a) Identify each solution that the project will implement within the proposed continuum of solutions, and must include—
(i) High-quality early learning programs and services designed to improve outcomes across multiple domains of early learning (as defined in this notice) for children from birth through third grade;
(ii) Ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive education reforms that are linked to improved educational outcomes for children and youth in preschool through the 12th grade. Public schools served through the grant may include persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in this notice) or low-performing schools (as defined in this notice) that are not also persistently lowest-achieving schools. An applicant (or one or more of its partners) may serve an effective school or schools (as defined in this notice) but only if the applicant (or one or more of its partners) also serves at least one low-performing school (as defined in this notice) or persistently lowest-achieving school (as defined in this notice). An applicant must identify in its application the public school or schools it would serve and describe the current status of reforms in the school or schools, including, if applicable, the type of intervention model being implemented. In cases where an applicant operates a school or partners with a school that does not serve all students in the neighborhood, the applicant must partner with at least one additional school that also serves students in the neighborhood. An applicant proposing to work with a persistently lowest-achieving school must include in its strategy one of the four school intervention models (turnaround model, restart model, school closure, or transformation model) described in Appendix C of the Race to the Top (RTT) notice inviting applications for new awards for FY 2010 that was published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2009 (74 FR 59836, 59866).
An applicant proposing to work with a or low-performing school must include in its strategy ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive interventions to assist, augment, or replace schools, which may include implementing one of the four school intervention models, or may include another model of sufficient ambition, rigor, and comprehensiveness to Start Printed Page 44745significantly improve academic and other outcomes for students. An applicant proposing to work with a low-performing school must include in its strategy an intervention that addresses the effectiveness of teachers and leaders and the school's use of time and resources, which may include increased learning time (as defined in this notice);
Note regarding school reform strategies: So as not to penalize an applicant for proposing to work with an LEA that has implemented rigorous reform strategies prior to the publication of this notice, an applicant is not required to propose a new reform strategy in place of an existing reform strategy in order to be eligible for a Promise Neighborhoods implementation grant. For example, an LEA might have begun to implement improvement activities that meet many, but not all, of the elements of a transformation model of school intervention. In this case, the applicant could propose, as part of its Promise Neighborhood strategy, to work with the LEA as the LEA continues with its reforms.
(iii) Programs that prepare students to be college- and career-ready; and
(iv) Family and community supports (as defined in this notice).
To the extent feasible and appropriate, the applicant must describe, in its plan, how the applicant and its partners will leverage and integrate high-quality programs, related public and private investments, and existing neighborhood assets into the continuum of solutions. An applicant must also include in its application an appendix that summarizes the evidence supporting each proposed solution and describes how the solution is based on the best available evidence, including, where available, strong or moderate evidence (as defined in this notice). An applicant must also describe in the appendix how and when—during the implementation process—the solution will be implemented; the partners that will participate in the implementation of each solution (in any case in which the applicant does not implement the solution directly); the estimated per-child cost, including administrative costs, to implement each solution; the estimated number of children, by age, in the neighborhood who will be served by each solution and how a segmentation analysis was used to target the children and youth to be served; and the source of funds that will be used to pay for each solution. In the description of the estimated number of children to be served, the applicant must include the percentage of all children of the same age group within the neighborhood proposed to be served with each solution, and the annual goals required to increase the proportion of children served to reach scale over time.
An applicant must also describe in its plan how it will identify Federal, State, or local policies, regulations, or other requirements that would impede its ability to achieve its goals and how it will report on those impediments to the Department and other relevant agencies.
As appropriate, considering the time and urgency required to dramatically improve outcomes of children and youth in our most distressed neighborhoods and to transform those neighborhoods, applicants must establish both short-term and long-term goals to measure progress.
As part of the description of its strategy to build a continuum of solutions, the applicant must also describe how it will participate in, organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, communities of practice for Promise Neighborhoods;
(b) Establish clear, annual goals for evaluating progress in improving systems, such as changes in policies, environments, or organizations that affect children and youth in the neighborhood. Examples of systems change could include a new school district policy to measure the results of family and community support programs, a new funding resource to support the Promise Neighborhoods strategy, or a cross-sector collaboration at the city level to break down municipal agency “silos” and partner with local philanthropic organizations to drive achievement of a set of results; and
(c) Establish clear, annual goals for evaluating progress in leveraging resources, such as the amount of monetary or in-kind investments from public or private organizations to support the Promise Neighborhoods strategy. Examples of leveraging resources are securing new or existing dollars to sustain and scale up what works in the Promise Neighborhood or integrating high-quality programs in the continuum of solutions. Applicants may consider, as part of their plans to scale up their Promise Neighborhood strategy, serving a larger geographic area by partnering with other applicants to the Promise Neighborhoods program from the same city or region;
(3) Explain how it used its needs assessment and segmentation analysis to determine the children with the highest needs and explain how it will ensure that children in the neighborhood receive the appropriate services from the continuum of solutions. In this explanation of how it used the needs assessment and segmentation analysis, the applicant must identify and describe in its application the educational indicators and family and community support indicators that the applicant used to conduct the needs assessment. Whether or not the implementation grant applicant received a Promise Neighborhoods planning grant, the applicant must describe how it—
(a) Collected data for the educational indicators listed in Table 1 and used them as both program and project indicators;
(b) Collected data for the family and community support indicators in Table 2 and used them as program indicators; and
(c) Collected data for unique family and community support indicators, developed by the applicant, that align with the goals and objectives of the project and used them as project indicators or used the indicators in Table 2 as project indicators.
An applicant must also describe how it will collect at least annual data on the indicators in Tables 1 and 2; establish clear, annual goals for growth on indicators; and report those data to the Department.
Table 1—Education Indicators and Results They Are Intended To Measure
|—Number and percentage of children from birth to kindergarten entry who have a place where they usually go, other than an emergency room, when they are sick or in need of advice about their health||Children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school.|
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|—Number and percentage of three-year-olds and children in kindergarten who demonstrate at the beginning of the program or school year age-appropriate functioning across multiple domains of early learning (as defined in this notice) as determined using developmentally appropriate early learning measures (as defined in this notice).|
|—Number and percentage of children, from birth to kindergarten entry, participating in center-based or formal home-based early learning settings or programs, which may include Early Head Start, Head Start, child care, or preschool.|
|—Number and percentage of students at or above grade level according to State mathematics and reading or language arts assessments in at least the grades required by the ESEA (3rd through 8th and once in high school)||Students are proficient in core academic subjects.|
|—Attendance rate of students in 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade||Students successfully transition from middle school grades to high school.|
|—Graduation rate (as defined in this notice)||Youth graduate from high school.|
|—Number and percentage of Promise Neighborhood students who graduate with a regular high school diploma, as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(iv), and obtain postsecondary degrees, vocational certificates, or other industry-recognized certifications or credentials without the need for remediation||High school graduates obtain a postsecondary degree, certification, or credential.|
Table 2—Family and Community Support Indicators and Results They Are Intended To Measure
|—Number and percentage of children who participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily; and||Students are healthy.|
|—Number and percentage of children who consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily; or|
|—possible third indicator, to be determined (TBD) by applicant.|
|—Number and percentage of students who feel safe at school and traveling to and from school, as measured by a school climate needs assessment (as defined in this notice); or||Students feel safe at school and in their community.|
|—possible second indicator, TBD by applicant.|
|—Student mobility rate (as defined in this notice); or||Students live in stable communities.|
|—possible second indicator, TBD by applicant.|
|—For children from birth to kindergarten entry, the number and percentage of parents or family members who report that they read to their child three or more times a week;||Families and community members support learning in Promise Neighborhood schools.|
|—For children in the kindergarten through eighth grades, the number and percentage of parents or family members who report encouraging their child to read books outside of school; and|
|—For children in the ninth through twelfth grades, the number and percentage of parents or family members who report talking with their child about the importance of college and career; or|
|—possible fourth indicator TBD by applicant.|
|—Number and percentage of students who have school and home access (and percentage of the day they have access) to broadband internet (as defined in this notice) and a connected computing device; or||Students have access to 21st century learning tools.|
|—possible second indicator TBD by applicant.|
Note: The indicators in Tables 1 and 2 are not intended to limit an applicant from collecting and using data for additional indicators. Examples of additional indicators are—
(i) The number and percentage of children who participate in high-quality learning activities during out-of-school hours or in the hours after the traditional school day ends;
(ii) The number and percentage of students who are suspended or receive discipline referrals during the year;
(iii) The share of housing stock in the geographically defined area that is rent-protected, publicly assisted, or targeted for redevelopment with local, State, or Federal funds; and
(iv) The number and percentage of children who are homeless or in foster care and who have an assigned adult advocate.
Note: While the Department believes there are many programmatic benefits of collecting data on every child in the proposed neighborhood, the Department will consider requests to collect data on only a sample of the children in the neighborhood for some indicators so long as the applicant describes in its application how it would ensure the sample would be representative of the children in the neighborhood.
(4) Describe the experience and lessons learned, and describe how the applicant will build the capacity of its management team and project director in all of the following areas:Start Printed Page 44747
(a) Working with the neighborhood and its residents, including parents and families that have children or other members with disabilities or ELs, as well as with the schools described in paragraph (2) of this priority; the LEA in which the school or schools are located; Federal, State, and local government leaders; and other service providers.
(b) Collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, learning, continuous improvement, and accountability. The applicant must describe—
(i) Progress towards developing, launching, and implementing a longitudinal data system that integrates student-level data from multiple sources in order to measure progress on educational and family and community support indicators for all children in the neighborhood, disaggregated by the subgroups listed in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA;
(ii) How the applicant has linked or made progress to link the longitudinal data system to school-based, LEA, and State data systems; made the data accessible to parents, families, community residents, program partners, researchers, and evaluators while abiding by Federal, State, and other privacy laws and requirements; and managed and maintained the system;
(iii) How the applicant has used rapid-time (as defined in this notice) data in prior years and, how it will continue to use those data once the Promise Neighborhood strategy is implemented, for continuous program improvement; and
(iv) How the applicant will document the implementation process, including by describing lessons learned and best practices.
(c) Creating and strengthening formal and informal partnerships, for such purposes as providing solutions along the continuum of solutions and committing resources to sustaining and scaling up what works. Each applicant must submit, as part of its application, a memorandum of understanding, signed by each organization or agency with which it would partner in implementing the proposed Promise Neighborhood. The memorandum of understanding must describe—
(i) Each partner's financial and programmatic commitment; and
(ii) How each partner's existing vision, theory of change (as defined in this notice), theory of action (as defined in this notice), and current activities align with those of the proposed Promise Neighborhood; and
(d) The governance structure proposed for the Promise Neighborhood, including a system for holding partners accountable, how the eligible entity's governing board or advisory board is representative of the geographic area proposed to be served (as defined in this notice), and how residents of the geographic area would have an active role in the organization's decision-making.
(e) Integrating funding streams from multiple public and private sources from the Federal, State, and local level. Examples of public funds include Federal resources from the U.S. Department of Education, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program and title I of the ESEA, and from other Federal agencies, such as the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Labor, and Treasury.
(5) Describe the applicant's commitment to work with the Department, and with a national evaluator for Promise Neighborhoods or another entity designated by the Department, to ensure that data collection and program design are consistent with plans to conduct a rigorous national evaluation of the Promise Neighborhoods program and of specific solutions and strategies pursued by individual grantees. This commitment must include, but need not be limited to—
(a) Ensuring that, through memoranda of understanding with appropriate entities, the national evaluator and the Department have access to relevant program and project data sources (e.g., administrative data and program and project indicator data), including data on a quarterly basis if requested by the Department;
(b) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, an evaluation strategy, including identifying a credible comparison group (as defined in this notice); and
(c) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, a plan for identifying and collecting reliable and valid baseline data for both program participants and a designated comparison group of non-participants.
Absolute Priority 2—Promise Neighborhoods in Rural Communities.
To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to implement a Promise Neighborhood strategy that (1) meets all of the requirements in Absolute Priority 1; and (2) serves one or more rural communities only.
Absolute Priority 3—Promise Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities.
To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to implement a Promise Neighborhood strategy that (1) meets all of the requirements in Absolute Priority 1; and (2) serves one or more Indian tribes (as defined in this notice).
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 two additional points to applications that meet Competitive Preference Priority 1, two additional points for applications that meet Competitive Preference Priority 2, two additional points for applications that meet Competitive Preference Priority 3, and two additional points for applications that meet Competitive Preference Priority 4. Applicants may address more than one of the competitive preference priorities. Therefore, an applicant must identify in the project narrative section of its application the priority or priorities it wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning the competitive preference priority points.
Note: The Department will not review or award points under any competitive preference priority for an application that fails to clearly identify the competitive preference priority or priorities it wishes the Department to consider for purposes of earning the competitive preference priority points.
These priorities are:
Competitive Preference Priority 1—Improving Early Learning Development and Outcomes (0 or 2 points).
Projects that are designed to improve early learning and development outcomes across one or more of the essential domains of school readiness (as defined in this notice) for children from birth through third grade (or for any age group within this range) through a focus on improving the coordination and alignment among early learning and development systems and between such systems and elementary education systems, including coordination and alignment in engaging and supporting families and improving transitions for children along the birth-through-third grade continuum, in accordance with applicable privacy laws.
Competitive Preference Priority 2—Quality Affordable Housing (0 or 2 points).
To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to serve geographic areas that were the subject of an affordable housing transformation pursuant to a Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during FY 2009 or later years. To be eligible under this priority, the applicant must either: (1) Be able to demonstrate that it Start Printed Page 44748has received a Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant; or (2) provide, in its application, a memorandum of understanding between it and a partner that is a recipient of a Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant. The memorandum must indicate a commitment on the part of the applicant and partner to coordinate implementation and align resources to the greatest extent practicable.
Competitive Preference Priority 3—Promise Zones (0 or 2 points).
This priority is for projects that are designed to serve and coordinate with a federally designated Promise Zone.
Note: As a participant in the Administration's Promise Zone Initiative, the Department is cooperating with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), and nine other Federal agencies to support comprehensive revitalization efforts in 20 high-poverty urban, rural, and tribal communities across the country. Each application for Promise Neighborhoods funds that is accompanied by a Certification of Consistency with Promise Zone Goals and Implementation (HUD Form 50153) signed by an authorized representative of the lead organization of a Promise Zone designated by HUD or USDA supporting the application will receive two point. An application for Promise Neighborhoods grant funds that is not accompanied by a signed certification (HUD Form 50153) will receive zero points. To view the list of designated Promise Zones and lead organizations please go to www.hud.gov/promisezones. The certification form is available at//portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=HUD_Form_50153.pdf.
Competitive Preference Priority 4—High School and Transition to College (0 or 2 points).
Increasing the number and proportion of high-need students (as defined in this notice) who are academically prepared for, enroll in, or complete on time college, other postsecondary education, or other career and technical education.
The definitions of “large sample,” “logic model,” “multi-site sample,” “moderate evidence of effectiveness,” “relevant outcomes,” “strong theory,” and “What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Evidence Standards” are from 34 CFR 77.1. The definitions of “essential domains of school readiness,” “high-minority school,” “high-need students,” and “regular high school diploma” are from the Supplemental Priorities. All other definitions are from the 2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP. We may apply these definitions in any year in which this program is in effect.
The following definitions apply to this program:
Children with disabilities or CWD means individuals who meet the definition of child with a disability in 34 CFR 300.8, infant or toddler with a disability in 34 CFR 300.25, handicapped person in 34 CFR 104.3(j), or disability as it pertains to an individual in 42 U.S.C. 12102.
Community of practice means a group of grantees that agrees to interact regularly to solve a persistent problem or improve practice in an area that is important to them and the success of their projects. Establishment of communities of practice under Promise Neighborhoods will enable grantees to meet, discuss, and collaborate with each other regarding grantee projects.
Continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions or continuum of solutions means solutions that—
(1) Include programs, policies, practices, services, systems, and supports that result in improving educational and developmental outcomes for children from cradle through college to career;
(2) Are based on the best available evidence, including, where available, strong or moderate evidence (as defined in this notice);
(3) Are linked and integrated seamlessly (as defined in this notice); and
(4) Include both education programs and family and community supports.
Credible comparison group includes a comparison group formed by matching project participants with non-participants based on key characteristics that are thought to be related to outcomes. These characteristics include, but are not limited to: (1) Prior test scores and other measures of academic achievement (preferably the same measures that will be used to assess the outcomes of the project); (2) demographic characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, English proficiency, ethnicity, poverty level, parents' educational attainment, and single- or two-parent family background; (3) the time period in which the two groups are studied (e.g., the two groups are children entering kindergarten in the same year as opposed to sequential years); and (4) methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of reading skills administered in the same way to both groups).
Developmentally appropriate early learning measures means a range of assessment instruments that are used in ways consistent with the purposes for which they were designed and validated; appropriate for the ages and other characteristics of the children being assessed; designed and validated for use with children whose ages, cultures, languages spoken at home, socioeconomic status, abilities and disabilities, and other characteristics are similar to those of the children with whom the assessments will be used; used in conformance with the recommendations of the National Research Council reports on early childhood; 
and used in compliance with the measurement standards set forth by the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Council for Measurement in Education (NCME) in the 1999 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.
Education programs means programs that include, but are not limited to—
(1) High-quality early learning programs or services designed to improve outcomes across multiple domains of early learning for young children. Such programs must be specifically intended to align with appropriate State early learning and development standards, practices, strategies, or activities across as broad an age range as birth through third grade so as to ensure that young children enter kindergarten and progress through the early elementary school grades demonstrating age-appropriate functioning across the multiple domains;
(2) For children in preschool through the 12th grade, programs, inclusive of related policies and personnel, that are linked to improved educational outcomes. The programs—
(a) Must include effective teachers and effective principals;
(b) Must include strategies, practices, or programs that encourage and facilitate the evaluation, analysis, and use of student achievement, student growth (as defined in this notice), and other data by educators, families, and other stakeholders to inform decision-making;
(c) Must include college- and career-ready standards, assessments, and practices, including a well-rounded Start Printed Page 44749curriculum, instructional practices, strategies, or programs in, at a minimum, core academic subjects as defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA, that are aligned with high academic content and achievement standards and with high-quality assessments based on those standards; and
(d) May include creating multiple pathways for students to earn regular high school diplomas (e.g., using schools that serve the needs of over-aged, under-credited, or other students with an exceptional need for flexibility regarding when they attend school or the additional supports they require; awarding credit based on demonstrated evidence of student competency; or offering dual-enrollment options); and
(3) Programs that prepare students for college and career success, which may include programs that—
(a) Create and support partnerships with community colleges, four-year colleges, or universities and that help instill a college-going culture in the neighborhood;
(b) Provide dual-enrollment opportunities for secondary students to gain college credit while in high school;
(c) Provide, through relationships with businesses and other organizations, apprenticeship opportunities to students;
(d) Align curricula in the core academic subjects with requirements for industry-recognized certifications or credentials, particularly in high-growth sectors;
(e) Provide access to career and technical education programs so that individuals can attain the skills and industry-recognized certifications or credentials for success in their careers;
(f) Help college students, including CWD and ELs from the neighborhood to transition to college, persist in their academic studies in college, graduate from college, and transition into the workforce; and
(g) Provide opportunities for all youth (both in and out of school) to achieve academic and employment success by improving educational and skill competencies and providing connections to employers. Such activities may include opportunities for on-going mentoring, supportive services, incentives for recognition and achievement, and opportunities related to leadership, development, decision-making, citizenship, and community service.
Effective school means a school that has—
(1) Significantly closed the achievement gaps between subgroups of students (as identified in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA) within the school or district; or
(2)(a) Demonstrated success in significantly increasing student academic achievement in the school for all subgroups of students (as identified in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA) in the school; and (b) made significant improvements in other areas, such as graduation rates (as defined in this notice) or recruitment and placement of effective teachers and effective principals.
Eligible organization means an organization that:
(1) Is representative of the geographic area proposed to be served;
(2) Is one of the following:
(a) A nonprofit organization that meets the definition of a nonprofit under 34 CFR 77.1(c), which may include a faith-based nonprofit organization.
(b) An institution of higher education as defined by section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
(c) An Indian tribe (as defined in this notice);
(3) Currently provides at least one of the solutions from the applicant's proposed continuum of solutions in the geographic area proposed to be served; and
(4) Operates or proposes to work with and involve in carrying out its proposed project, in coordination with the school's LEA, at least one public elementary or secondary school that is located within the identified geographic area that the grant will serve.
English learners or ELs means individuals who meet the definition of limited English proficient, as defined in section 9101(25) of the ESEA.
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.
Family and community supports means:
(1) Child and youth health programs, such as physical, mental, behavioral, and emotional health programs (e.g., home visiting programs; Early Head Start; programs to improve nutrition and fitness, reduce childhood obesity, and create healthier communities);
(2) Safety programs, such as programs in school and out of school to prevent, control, and reduce crime, violence, drug and alcohol use, and gang activity; programs that address classroom and school-wide behavior and conduct; programs to prevent child abuse and neglect; programs to prevent truancy and reduce and prevent bullying and harassment; and programs to improve the physical and emotional security of the school setting as perceived, experienced, and created by students, staff, and families;
(3) Community stability programs, such as programs that—
(a) Increase the stability of families in communities by expanding access to quality, affordable housing, providing legal support to help families secure clear legal title to their homes, and providing housing counseling or housing placement services;
(b) Provide adult education and employment opportunities and training to improve educational levels, job skills and readiness in order to decrease unemployment, with a goal of increasing family stability;
(c) Improve families' awareness of, access to, and use of a range of social services, if possible at a single location;
(d) Provide unbiased, outcome-focused, and comprehensive financial education, inside and outside the classroom and at every life stage;
(e) Increase access to traditional financial institutions (e.g., banks and credit unions) rather than alternative financial institutions (e.g., check cashers and payday lenders);
(f) Help families increase their financial literacy, financial assets, and savings; and
(g) Help families access transportation to education and employment opportunities;
(4) Family and community engagement programs that are systemic, integrated, sustainable, and continue through a student's transition from K-12 school to college and career. These programs may include family literacy programs and programs that provide adult education and training and opportunities for family members and other members of the community to support student learning and establish high expectations for student educational achievement; mentorship programs that create positive relationships between children and adults; programs that provide for the use of such community resources as libraries, museums, television and radio stations, and local businesses to support improved student educational outcomes; programs that support the engagement of families in early learning programs and services; programs that provide guidance on how to navigate through a complex school system and how to advocate for more and improved learning opportunities; and programs Start Printed Page 44750that promote collaboration with educators and community organizations to improve opportunities for healthy development and learning; and
(5) 21st century learning tools, such as technology (e.g., computers and mobile phones) used by students in the classroom and in the community to support their education. This includes programs that help students use the tools to develop knowledge and skills in such areas as reading and writing, mathematics, research, critical thinking, communication, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Graduation rate means the four-year or extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1).
Note: This definition is not meant to prevent a grantee from also collecting information about the reasons why students do not graduate from the target high school, e.g., dropping out or moving outside of the school district for non-academic or academic reasons.
High-minority school means a school as that term is defined by a local educational agency, which is consistent with its State Teacher Equity Plan, as required by section 1111(b)(8)(c) of the ESEA. The applicant must provide the definition(s) of high-minority schools used in its application.
High-need students means students who are at risk of educational failure or otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools (as defined in this notice), who are far below grade level, who have left school before receiving a regular high school diploma (as defined in this notice), who are at risk of not graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are English learners.
Increased learning time means using a longer school day, week, or year to significantly increase the total number of school hours. This strategy is used to redesign the school's program in a manner that includes additional time for (a) instruction in core academic subjects as defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA; (b) instruction in other subjects and enrichment activities that contribute to a well-rounded education, including, for example, physical education, service learning, and experiential and work-based learning opportunities that are provided by partnering, as appropriate, with other organizations; and (c) teachers to collaborate, plan, and engage in professional development within and across grades and subjects.
Indian tribe means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe, 25 U.S.C. 479a and 479a-1 or any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 43 U.S.C. 1601, et seq., that is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians. The term “Indian” means a member of an Indian tribe.
Indicators of need means currently available data that describe—
(1) Education need, which means—
(a) All or a portion of the neighborhood includes or is within the attendance zone of a low-performing school that is a high school, especially one in which the graduation rate (as defined in this notice) is less than 60 percent or a school that can be characterized as low-performing based on another proxy indicator, such as students' on-time progression from grade to grade; and
(b) Other indicators, such as significant achievement gaps between subgroups of students (as identified in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA) within a school or LEA, high teacher and principal turnover, or high student absenteeism; and
(2) Family and community support need, which means—
(a) Percentages of children with preventable chronic health conditions (e.g., asthma, poor nutrition, dental problems, obesity) or avoidable developmental delays;
(b) Immunization rates;
(c) Rates of crime, including violent crime;
(d) Student mobility rates;
(e) Teenage birth rates;
(f) Percentage of children in single-parent or no-parent families;
(g) Rates of vacant or substandard homes, including distressed public and assisted housing; or
(h) Percentage of the residents living at or below the Federal poverty threshold.
Large sample means an analytic sample of 350 or more students (or other single analysis units), or 50 or more groups (such as classrooms or schools) that contain 10 or more students (or other single analysis units).
Linked and integrated seamlessly, with respect to the continuum of solutions, means solutions that have common outcomes, focus on similar milestones, support transitional time periods (e.g., the beginning of kindergarten, the middle grades, or graduation from high school) along the cradle-through-college-to-career continuum, and address time and resource gaps that create obstacles for students in making academic progress.
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.
Low-performing schools means schools receiving assistance through title I of the ESEA, that are in corrective action or restructuring in the State, as determined under section 1116 of the ESEA, and the secondary schools (both middle and high schools) in the State that are equally as low-achieving as these Title I schools and are eligible for, but do not receive Title I funds.
Note: A State that received ESEA flexibility was not required to identify schools in corrective action or restructuring under Section 1116 of the ESEA; rather, the State identified priority and focus schools. Moreover, with the enactment of the ESSA, and State, beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, will no longer identify schools in corrective action or restructuring under section 1116 of the ESEA or identify schools as priority and focus schools under ESEA flexibility. Therefore, consistent with Section 5(c)(2) of the ESSA, ED will allow applicants to consider the following schools as low-performing schools: (1) Elementary and secondary schools identified, at the time of submission of an application under this competition, as in need as in need of corrective action or restructuring under the ESEA, as authorized amended by the NCLB; (2), elementary and secondary schools identified, at the time of submission of an application under this competition, as a priority or focus school by a State under ESEA flexibility; and, (3) secondary (both middle and high schools) in a State that are, at the time of submission of an application under this competition, equally as low-achieving as these Title I schools above and are eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds.
Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies with designs that can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate external validity) or from studies with high external validity but moderate internal validity.Start Printed Page 44751
Neighborhood assets means—
(1) Developmental assets that allow residents to attain the skills needed to be successful in all aspects of daily life (e.g., educational institutions, early learning centers, and health resources);
(2) Commercial assets that are associated with production, employment, transactions, and sales (e.g., labor force and retail establishments);
(3) Recreational assets that create value in a neighborhood beyond work and education (e.g., parks, open space, community gardens, and arts organizations);
(4) Physical assets that are associated with the built environment and physical infrastructure (e.g., housing, commercial buildings, and roads); and
(5) Social assets that establish well-functioning social interactions (e.g., public safety, community engagement, and partnerships with youth, parents, and families).
Persistently lowest-achieving school means, as determined by the State—
(1) Any school receiving assistance through Title I that is in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring and that—
(a) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools or the lowest-achieving five Title I schools in in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or
(b) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate, that is less than 60 percent over a number of years.
Note: The Department will also consider any school a persistently lowest-achieving school that, at the time of submission of an application under this competition, meets the definition of “lowest-performing schools” set out in the Secretary's Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant Programs (Supplemental Priorities), 79 FR 73425 (Dec. 10, 2014). The definition of “lowest-performing schools” in the Supplemental Priorities is as follows:
Lowest-performing schools means—
For a State with an approved request for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), Priority Schools or Tier I and Tier II Schools that have been identified under the School Improvement Grants program. For any other State, Tier I and Tier II Schools that have been identified under the School Improvement Grants program. 79 FR 73425, 73454 (Dec. 10, 2014).
We are providing this flexibility because a State that received ESEA flexibility was not required to identify schools in corrective action or restructuring under the ESEA; but rather, the State identified priority and focus schools. Moreover, consistent with final regulations issued under the School Improvement Grants program (80 FR 7223), the definition of Tier I and Tier II Schools includes persistently lowest-achieving schools.
Program indicators are indicators that the Department will use only for research and evaluation purposes and for which an applicant is not required to propose solutions.
Project indicators are indicators for which an applicant proposes solutions intended to result in progress on the indicators.
Public officials means elected officials (e.g., council members, aldermen and women, commissioners, State legislators, Congressional representatives, members of the school board), appointed officials (e.g., members of a planning or zoning commission, or of any other regulatory or advisory board or commission), or individuals who are not necessarily public officials, but who have been appointed by a public official to serve on the Promise Neighborhoods governing board or advisory board.
Rapid-time, in reference to reporting and availability of locally-collected data, means that data are available quickly enough to inform current lessons, instruction, and related education programs and family and community supports.
Regular high school diploma means the standard high school diploma that is awarded to students in the State and that is fully aligned with the State's academic content standards or a higher diploma and does not include a General Education Development credential, certificate of attendance, or any alternative award.
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.
Representative of the geographic area proposed to be served means that residents of the geographic area proposed to be served have an active role in decision-making and that at least one-third of the eligible entity's governing board or advisory board is made up of—
(1) Residents who live in the geographic area proposed to be served, which may include residents who are representative of the ethnic and racial composition of the neighborhood's residents and the languages they speak;
(2) Residents of the city or county in which the neighborhood is located but who live outside the geographic area proposed to be served, and who are low-income (which means earning less than 80 percent of the area's median income as published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development);
(3) Public officials (as defined in this notice) who serve the geographic area proposed to be served (although not more than one-half of the governing board or advisory board may be made up of public officials); or
(4) Some combination of individuals from the three groups listed in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this definition.
Rural community means a neighborhood that—
(1) Is served by an LEA that is currently eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. Applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to information on the following Department Web sites. For the SRSA program: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligible10/index.html. For the RLIS program: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reaprlisp/eligible10/index.html; or
(2) Includes only schools designated with a school locale code of 42 or 43. Applicants may determine school locale codes by referring to the following Department Web site: http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/.
School climate needs assessment means an evaluation tool that measures the extent to which the school setting promotes or inhibits academic performance by collecting perception data from individuals, which could include students, staff, or families.
Segmentation analysis means the process of grouping and analyzing data from children and families in the geographic area proposed to be served according to indicators of need (as defined in this notice) or other relevant indicators.
Note: The analysis is intended to allow grantees to differentiate and more effectively target interventions based on what they learn about the needs of different populations in the geographic area.
Strong evidence means evidence from studies with designs that can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal validity), and studies that in total, include enough of the range of participants and settings to support scaling up to the State, regional, or national level (i.e., studies with high external validity).Start Printed Page 44752
Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.
Student achievement means—
(1) For tested grades and subjects:
(a) A student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; and, as appropriate,
(b) Other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (2) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across classrooms and programs.
(2) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
Student growth means the change in achievement data for an individual student between two or more points in time. Growth may also include other measures that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
Student mobility rate is calculated by dividing the total number of new student entries and withdrawals at a school, from the day after the first official enrollment number is collected through the end of the academic year, by the first official enrollment number of the academic year.
Note: This definition is not meant to limit a grantee from also collecting information about why students enter or withdraw from the school, e.g., transferring to charter schools, moving outside of the school district for non-academic or academic reasons.
Theory of action means an organization's strategy regarding how, considering its capacity and resources, it will take the necessary steps and measures to accomplish its desired results.
Theory of change means an organization's beliefs about how its inputs, and early and intermediate outcomes, relate to accomplishing its long-term desired results.
Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7243-7243b.
Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Office of Management and Budget 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 2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP. (e) The 2014 Promise Zones NFP. (f) The Supplemental Priorities.
Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.
Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.
II. Award Information
Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
Estimated Available Funds: $29,800,000.
These estimated available funds are only for Implementation grants under the Promise Neighborhoods program. Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY2017 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.
Estimated Range of Awards: $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $5,000,000.
Maximum Award: $6,000,000.
The maximum award amount is $6,000,000 per 12-month budget period. We will not fund an annual budget exceeding $6,000,000 per 12-month budget period.
Estimated Number of Awards: 3-5.
Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
Project Period: Up to 60 months.
III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants: An applicant must be an eligible organization (as defined in this notice). For purposes of Absolute Priority 3—Promise Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities, an eligible applicant is an eligible organization that partners with an Indian tribe or is an Indian tribe that meets the definition of an eligible organization.
2. Cost-Sharing or Matching: To be eligible for a grant under this competition, an applicant must demonstrate that it has established a commitment from one or more entities in the public or private sector, which may include Federal, State, and local public agencies, philanthropic organizations, private businesses, or individuals, to provide matching funds for the implementation process. An applicant for an implementation grant must obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 100 percent of its grant award, except that an applicant proposing a project that meets Absolute Priority 2—Promise Neighborhoods in Rural Communities or Absolute Priority 3—Promise Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities must obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 50 percent of the grant award.
Eligible sources of matching include sources of funds used to pay for solutions within the continuum of solutions, such as Head Start programs, initiatives supported by the LEA, or public health services for children in the neighborhood. At least 10 percent of an implementation applicant's total match must be cash or in-kind contributions from the private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations, private businesses, or individuals.
Implementation applicants must demonstrate a commitment of matching funds in the applications. The applicants must specify the source of the funds or contributions and in the case of a third-party in-kind contribution, a description of how the value was determined for the donated or contributed goods or service. Applicants must demonstrate the match commitment by including letters in their applications explaining the type and quantity of the match commitment with original signatures from the executives of organizations or agencies providing the match. The Secretary may consider decreasing the matching requirement in the most exceptional circumstances, on a case-by-case basis.
An applicant that is unable to meet the matching requirement must include in its application a request to the Secretary to reduce the matching requirement, including the amount of the requested reduction, the total remaining match contribution, and a statement of the basis for the request. An applicant should review the Department's cost-sharing and cost-matching regulations, which include specific limitations, in 2 CFR 200.306 and the cost principles regarding donations, capital assets, depreciations and allowable costs, set out in subpart E of 2 CFR part 200.
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, Start Printed Page 44753Alexandria, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program as follows: CFDA number 84.215N. To obtain a copy from the program office, contact: Adrienne Hawkins, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W256, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 453-5638 or by email: PromiseNeighborhoods@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: July 25, 2016.
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, and (2) information on the competitive preference priority or priorities under which the applicant intends to apply. Applicants may access this form online at https://innovation.ed.gov/what-we-do/parental-options/promise-neighborhoods-pn/. 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 that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You are strongly encouraged to limit the application narrative to no more than 75 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. Text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs may be single-spaced.
- 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 is strongly encouraged: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.
- Include page numbers at the bottom of each page in your application narrative.
The suggested page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section.
2.b. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the Promise Neighborhoods 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: July 8, 2016.
Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: July 25, 2016.
Date of Pre-Application Webinar: Promise Neighborhoods intends to hold Pre-Application Webinars to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. Detailed information regarding Pre-Application Webinar times will be provided on the Web site at https://innovation.ed.gov/what-we-do/parental-options/promise-neighborhoods-pn/.
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: September 6, 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. Please note, due to a scheduled systems shutdown, applicants will not be able to submit applications for the Promise Neighborhoods competition between 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 until 6:00 a.m. on Monday, July 25, 2016 and from 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 until 6:00 a.m. on Monday, August 1, 2016.
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: October 26, 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 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 Contract Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;
c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; andStart Printed Page 44754
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 in to 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 Promise Neighborhoods 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 Promise Neighborhoods, CFDA number 84.215N, 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 Promise Neighborhoods 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 84.215N).
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 Promise Neighborhoods 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.Start Printed Page 44755
- 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: Adrienne Hawkins, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W256, Washington, DC 20202-5970. FAX: (202) 453-5638.
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 84.215N), 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 84.215N), 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—Start Printed Page 44756
(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 and the 2011 Promise Neighborhood NFP (76 FR 39590). 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 108 points.
(a) Need for the Project (15 points).
The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:
(1) The magnitude or severity of the problems to be addressed by the proposed project as described by indicators of need (as defined in this notice) and other relevant indicators identified in part by the needs assessment and segmentation analysis. (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP)
(2) The extent to which the geographically defined area has been described. (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP)
(3) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses. (34 CFR 75.210); and
(b) Quality of Project Design (30 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 extent to which the applicant describes an implementation plan to create a complete continuum of solutions, including early learning through grade 12, college- and career-readiness, and family and community supports, without time and resource gaps, that will prepare all children in the neighborhood to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to college and a career, and that will significantly increase the proportion of students in the neighborhood that are served by the complete continuum to reach scale over time (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP);
(2) The extent to which the applicant documents that proposed solutions are based on the best available evidence including, where available, strong or moderate evidence (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP);
(3) The extent to which the applicant identifies existing neighborhood assets and programs supported by Federal, State, local, and private funds that will be used to implement a continuum of solutions (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP);
(4) 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 (34 CFR 75.210); and
(5) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by strong theory (as defined in this notice). (34 CFR 75.210)
(c) Quality of Project Services (20 points).
The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the project services, the Secretary considers:
(1) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will lead to improvement in the achievement of students as measured against rigorous academic standards. (34 CFR 75.210)
(2) Creating formal and informal partnerships, including the alignment of the visions, theories of action, and theories of change described in its memorandum of understanding, and creating a system for holding partners accountable for performance in accordance with the memorandum of understanding. (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP);
(d) 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 the following factors:
(1) Working with the neighborhood and its residents; the schools described in paragraph (2)(b) of Absolute Priority 1; the LEA in which those schools are located; Federal, State, and local government leaders; and other service providers (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP).
(2) Collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, learning, continuous improvement, and accountability, including whether the applicant has a plan to build, adapt, or expand a longitudinal data system that integrates student-level data from multiple sources in order to measure progress while abiding by privacy laws and requirements (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP); and
(e) Adequacy of Resources (15 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:
(1) 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 (34 CFR 75.210).
(2) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates that it has the resources to operate the project beyond the length of the 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., LEAs, city government, other nonprofits) critical to the project's long-term success; or more than one of these types of evidence (34 CFR 75.210).
2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will screen applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in this notice, and will determine which applications have met eligibility and other statutory requirements.
The Department will use independent reviewers from various backgrounds and professions including: Pre-kindergarten-12 teachers and principals, college and university educators, researchers and evaluators, social entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, grant makers and managers, and others with community development and education expertise. The Department will thoroughly screen all reviewers for conflicts of interest to ensure a fair and competitive review process.
Reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation, and score the applications assigned to their panel, using the Start Printed Page 44757selection criteria provided in this notice.
For applications addressing Absolute Priority 1, Absolute Priority 2, and Absolute Priority 3, the Secretary prepares a rank order of applications for each absolute priority based solely on the evaluation of their quality according to the selection criteria. The Department may use more than one tier of reviews in determining grantees, including possible site visits for Implementation grant applicants. Additional information about the review process will be posted on the Department's Web site.
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).
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 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.
4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established the following performance indicator for Promise Neighborhoods: the percentage of implementation grantees that attain or exceed the annual goals that they establish and that are approved by the Secretary for—
(a) Project indicators;
(b) Improving systems; and
(c) Leveraging resources.
All grantees will be required to submit annual performance reports documenting their contribution in assisting the Department in measuring the performance of the program against this indicator as well as other information requested by the Department.
5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, 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:
Adrienne Hawkins, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W256, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-5638 or by email: PromiseNeighborhoods@ed.gov.
If you use a TDD or 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 Start Printed Page 44758Register 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.
End Further Info
Dated: July 1, 2016.
Nadya Chinoy Dabby,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2016-16130 Filed 7-7-16; 8:45 am]
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