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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Equity Assistance Centers

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

Overview Information:

Equity Assistance Centers

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

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.004D.

DATES:

Applications Available: July 18, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 22, 2016.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Equity Assistance Centers (EAC) program is authorized under title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000c—2000c-2, 2000c-5, and the implementing regulations in 34 CFR part 270. This program awards grants through cooperative agreements to operate regional EACs that provide technical assistance (including training) at the request of school boards and other responsible governmental agencies in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools—which in this context means plans for equity (including desegregation based on race, national origin, sex, and religion)—and in the development of effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation. Assistance may include, among other activities: (1) Dissemination of information regarding effective methods of coping with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation; (2) assistance and advice in coping with these problems; and (3) training designed to improve the ability of teachers, supervisors, counselors, parents, community members, community organizations, and other elementary or secondary school personnel to deal effectively with special educational problems occasioned by desegregation.

Priorities: This notice contains one competitive preference priority and one invitational priority. The competitive preference priority is from the notice of final priority and requirement for this program published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional five points to an application, depending on how well the application addresses this priority. If an applicant wishes to be considered for this priority, the applicant must submit a supplemental narrative describing how the applicant meets this priority.

This priority is:

A track record of success or demonstrated expertise in developing or providing technical assistance to increase socioeconomic diversity in schools or school districts as a means to further desegregation by race, sex, national origin, and religion.

The Department will award up to five additional points to eligible applicants that have a track record of success or demonstrated expertise in both of the following:

(a) Providing effective and comprehensive technical assistance on strategies or interventions supported by evidence and designed to increase socioeconomic diversity within or across schools, districts, or communities; and

(b) Researching, evaluating, or developing strategies or interventions supported by evidence and designed to increase socioeconomic diversity within or across schools, districts, or communities.

Invitational Priority: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

A track record of success or demonstrated expertise in providing effective technical assistance on strategies to ensure equitable access to effective teachers and leaders, particularly for students from low-income families and students of color across and within schools and districts.

The Department seeks applications from eligible applicants that have a track record of success or demonstrated expertise in both of the following:

(a) Developing and providing technical assistance with the goal of ensuring that low-income children and children of color are not served at disproportionate rates by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers or ineffective leaders, including assistance to ensure continuous improvement toward such goals; and

(b) Researching or evaluating teacher and leader recruitment, support, and retention policies and practices, specifically with respect to their impact on the equitable access to effective teachers and leaders for low-income children and children of color.

Program Requirement: This requirement is from the notice of final priority and requirement for this program published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The following requirement applies to all applicants awarded a grant under this competition that receive points under the competitive preference priority:

Conducting Outreach and Engagement: When providing technical assistance on socioeconomic diversity in response to requests from responsible governmental agencies as a means to further desegregation by race, sex, national origin, and religion, a grantee under this program must assist in conducting outreach and engagement on strategies or interventions designed to increase socioeconomic diversity with appropriate stakeholders, including community members, parents, and teachers.

Definitions: The following definitions apply to this competition and, except as otherwise noted, are from the notice of final regulations, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Desegregation assistance means the provision of technical assistance (including training) in the areas of race, sex, national origin, and religion desegregation of public elementary and secondary schools.

Desegregation assistance areas mean the areas of race, sex, national origin, and religion desegregation.

English learner has the same meaning as the same term defined in section 8101(20) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended.

Start Authority

Authority: Section 8101(20) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, Public Law 114-95 (2015) (ESSA).

End Authority

Equity Assistance Center means a regional desegregation technical assistance and training center funded under this part.

National origin desegregation means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their national origin, including providing students such as those who are English learners with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their national origin.

Public school means any elementary or secondary educational institution Start Printed Page 46821operated by a State, subdivision of a State, or governmental agency within a State, or operated wholly or predominantly from or through the use of governmental funds or property, or funds or property derived from governmental sources.

Public school personnel means school board members and persons who are employed by or who work in the schools of a responsible governmental agency, as that term is defined in this section.

Race desegregation means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their race, including providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their race. “Race desegregation” does not mean the assignment of students to public schools to correct conditions of racial separation that are not the result of State or local law or official action.

Religion desegregation means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their religion, including providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their religion.

Responsible governmental agency means any school board, State, municipality, LEA, or other governmental unit legally responsible for operating a public school or schools.

School board means any agency or agencies that administer a system of one or more public schools and any other agency that is responsible for the assignment of students to or within that system.

Sex desegregation means the assignment of students to public schools and within those schools without regard to their sex (including transgender status; gender identity; sex stereotypes, such as treating a person differently because he or she does not conform to sex-role expectations because he or she is attracted to or is in a relationship with a person of the same sex; and pregnancy and related conditions), including providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their sex.

Special educational problems occasioned by desegregation means those issues that arise in classrooms, schools, and communities in the course of desegregation efforts based on race, national origin, sex, or religion. The phrase does not refer to the provision of special education and related services for students with disabilities as defined under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.).

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Program Authority: 42 U.S.C. 2000c—2000c-2, 2000c-5.

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Guidelines to Agencies on 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 notice of final regulations for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. (e) The notice of final priority and requirement for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

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: Cooperative agreement.

Estimated Available Funds: $6,518,563.

Estimated Range of Awards: $1,400,000-$1,700,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,629,640.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $1,700,000 for any single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 4.

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: A public agency (other than a State educational agency or a school board) or a private, non-profit organization.

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

3. Geographical Regions: Four EACs will be funded under this grant program in four geographical regions, in accordance with 34 CFR 270.5. One award will be made in each region to the highest ranking proposal from that region. Eligible applicants need not be located in the geographic region for which they choose to apply. If an applicant wishes to apply to serve more than one region, such an applicant must submit an application for each region it wishes to serve.

The geographic regions served by the EACs are:

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Region I: Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands, West Virginia.

Region II: Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.

Region III: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin.

Region IV: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: Britt Jung, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E206, Washington, DC 20202-6132. Telephone: (202) 205-4513 or by email: Britt.Jung@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in this section.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this program.

Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We encourage you to limit the narrative to no more than 50 pages and suggest that you use the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

The optional supplemental narrative is where you, the applicant, may address the competitive preference priority. Our reviewers will only score the competitive preference priority if you submit the optional supplemental narrative. We suggest that you limit the optional supplemental narrative to no more than three pages using the formatting standards previously identified.

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, the optional supplemental narrative to address the competitive preference priority, or the letters of support. However, the suggested page limit does apply to all of the application narrative.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: July 18, 2016.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 22, 2016.

Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to Other Submission Requirements in section IV of this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in Start Printed Page 46823connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make awards by the end of FY 2016.

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

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;

c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/​webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.

The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

Note: Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov.

If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.

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 in the Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/​web/​grants/​register.html.

7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications. Applications for grants under the EAC program, CFDA number 84.004D, 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 EAC 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 84.004, not 84.004D).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this program to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.Start Printed Page 46824
  • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the project narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

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

  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department 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: Britt Jung, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E206, Washington, DC 20202-6135. FAX: (202) 205-0310.

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 84.004D), 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 deadline date.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.Start Printed Page 46825

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 84.004D, 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from section 75.210 of EDGAR. The maximum score for addressing all of these criteria is 100 points (not including competitive preference priority points). The maximum score for addressing each criterion is indicated in parentheses. The Secretary uses the following criteria to evaluate applications for EAC grants:

(a) Significance. (Up to 5 points) The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed project is likely to build local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the needs of the target population.

(b) Quality of Project Services. (Up to 20 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among the recipients of those services. (Up to 10 points)

(2) The extent to which the technical assistance services to be provided by the proposed project involve the use of efficient strategies, including the use of technology, as appropriate, and the leveraging of non-project resources. (Up to 5 points)

(3) The extent to which the results of the proposed project are to be disseminated in ways that will enable others to use the information or strategies. (Up to 5 points)

(c) Quality of Project Design. (Up to 30 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The extent to which there is a conceptual framework underlying the proposed research or demonstration activities and the quality of that framework. (Up to 10 points)

(2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project includes a thorough, high-quality review of the relevant literature, a high-quality plan for project implementation, and the use of appropriate methodological tools to ensure successful achievement of project objectives. (Up to 10 points)

(3) The extent to which the proposed project represents an exceptional approach for meeting statutory purposes and requirements. (Up to 10 points)

(d) Quality of Project Personnel. (Up to 15 points) The Secretary considers the quality of project personnel. In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary considers the qualifications, including relevant training and experience, of key project personnel.

(e) Adequacy of Resources. (Up to 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 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.

(f) Quality of the Project Evaluation. (Up to 15 points) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measureable. (Up to 10 points)

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

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

3. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this program 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 Start Printed Page 46826and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

(b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

(c) The Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

4. Performance Measures: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 performance measures for the EAC program, adapted from a set of common measures developed to help assess performance across the Department's technical assistance programs:

Measure 1: The percentage of customers reporting an increase in awareness and/or knowledge resulting from technical assistance provided.

Measure 2: The percentage of customers who report changed policies or practices related to providing students with a full opportunity for participation in all educational programs regardless of their sex, race, religion, and national origin.

Measure 3: The percentage of customers reporting an increase in capacity resulting from technical assistance provided.

All grantees will be expected to submit, as part of their annual and final performance reports, quantitative data documenting their progress with regard to these performance measures.

Project Measures: The Department has established the following project measures for the EAC program:

Measure 1: The percentage of technical assistance requests received from organizations that were accepted during the performance period.

Measure 2: The percentage of technical assistance requests received from new (not previously served by the EAC) organizations during the performance period.

Measure 3: The percentage of customers willing to request additional technical assistance and/or refer another organization to an EAC for technical assistance during the performance period.

All grantees will be expected to submit, as part of their annual and final performance reports, quantitative data documenting their progress with regard to these project measures. An applicant may propose additional project measures specific to that applicant's proposed project. If an applicant chooses to propose such project measures, the application must provide the following information as directed under 34 CFR 75.110(b): How each proposed project measure would accurately measure the performance of the project and how the proposed project measure would be consistent with the performance measures established for this program.

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

In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Britt Jung, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E206, Washington, DC 20202-6135. Telephone: (202) 205-4513 or by email: britt.jung@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/​fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or PDF. To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

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Dated: July 12, 2016.

Ann Whalen,

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

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[FR Doc. 2016-16809 Filed 7-15-16; 8:45 am]

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