Skip to Content

We invite you to try out our new beta eCFR site at https://ecfr.federalregister.gov. We’ve made big changes to make the eCFR easier to use. Be sure to leave feedback using the 'Help' button on the bottom right of each page!

Notice

Applications for New Awards; Magnet Schools Assistance Program

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Document Statistics
Document page views are updated periodically throughout the day and are cumulative counts for this document. Counts are subject to sampling, reprocessing and revision (up or down) throughout the day.
Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice inviting applications (NIA) for fiscal year (FY) 2020 for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.165A. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1855-0011.

DATES:

Application Available: March 10, 2020.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: April 9, 2020.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 26, 2020.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 23, 2020.

Pre-Application Webinar Information: No later than March 16, 2020, MSAP will hold a webinar to provide technical assistance to interested applicants. Detailed information regarding this webinar will be provided on the MSAP web page at https://oese.ed.gov/​offices/​office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/​school-choice-improvement-programs/​magnet-school-assistance-program-msap/​. A recording of this webinar will be available on the MSAP web page following the session.

ADDRESSES:

For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2019-02-13/​pdf/​2019-02206.pdf.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Gillian Cohen-Boyer, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3C134, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 401-1259. Email: msap.team@ed.gov.

If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Start Printed Page 13879Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: MSAP, authorized under title IV, part D of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA), provides grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) and consortia of LEAs to support magnet schools under an approved, required, or voluntary desegregation plan.

Under the ESEA, MSAP prioritizes the creation and replication of evidence-based (as defined in this notice) magnet programs and magnet schools that seek to reduce, eliminate, or prevent minority group isolation by taking into account socioeconomic diversity.

Grantees may use grant funds for activities intended to improve students' academic achievement, including acquiring books, materials, technology, and equipment to support a rigorous, theme-based academic program; conducting planning and promotional activities; providing professional development opportunities for teachers to implement the academic program; and paying the salaries of effective teachers and other instructional personnel. MSAP also enables LEAs to support student transportation, provided the transportation costs are sustainable and the costs do not constitute a significant portion of grant funds.

Background: MSAP seeks to reduce, eliminate or prevent minority group isolation by funding projects carried out by LEAs or consortia of LEAs that propose to implement magnet schools with academically challenging, innovative instructional approaches, or specialized curricula that are, consistent with constitutional and statutory limitations, “designed to bring students from different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds together.” [1]

Through the implementation of high-demand programming, using sophisticated technology and curricula, magnet schools have often served as a conduit for innovative, theme-based instruction. For example, 61 percent of the 145 schools currently supported by MSAP grants include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) themes in their programming, which aligns with the Secretary's Supplemental Priority 6, Promoting STEM Education.[2]

While some grantees have effectively implemented innovative, theme-based programming and successfully diversified their schools, other grantees have struggled to meet their desegregation goals. Significant variations in grantees' ability to increase academic achievement also persist. Therefore, we continue to use selection criteria to focus on projects that seek to promote academic achievement and reduce, eliminate, or prevent minority group isolation. The Department encourages applicants to propose projects of high interest to students and families that offer rigorous curriculum with authentic theme-based experiences and to form integrated partnerships that will attract and retain students from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. In this year's competition we have added criteria specific to partnerships. Specifically, we encourage applicants to propose robust partnerships that offer relevant opportunities for students and teachers, such as mentoring, apprenticeships, certifications, and theme-related, industry-specific experiences.

In addition, as part of MSAP's focus on improving academic achievement and reducing, eliminating, or preventing minority group isolation, consistent with constitutional and statutory limitations, we encourage applicants, through competitive preference points, to propose projects that would increase racial integration by taking into account socioeconomic diversity. Beyond proposing quality projects that have the potential to attract students from various backgrounds, we encourage applicants to propose a range of activities that incorporate a focus on socioeconomic and racial diversity, such as: Establishing and participating in a voluntary, inter-district transfer program for students from varied neighborhoods; making strategic decisions regarding magnet school sites to maximize the potential diversity of the school given the school's neighboring communities; revising school boundaries, attendance zones, or feeder patterns to take into account residential segregation or other related issues; and formal merging or coordinating among multiple educational jurisdictions in order to pool resources, provide transportation, and expand high-quality public school options for lower-income students. Applicants that choose to address this priority should identify the criteria they intend to use to determine students' socioeconomic status (e.g., family income level, education level of the students' parent or guardian, other factors identified by the LEA, or a combination thereof) and clearly describe how their approach to incorporating socioeconomic diversity is part of their overall effort to eliminate, reduce, or prevent minority group isolation.

To encourage systemic and timely change, the Department is interested in proposals that establish new school assignment or admissions policies for schools that seek to increase the number of low-income students schools serve through new student assignment policies that consider the socioeconomic status of students' households, students residing in neighborhoods experiencing concentrated poverty, and students from low-performing schools (among other factors). As applicable, each applicant should coordinate with other relevant government entities—such as housing and transportation authorities, among others—given the impact that other public policies have on the composition of a school's student body. Such proposals may be addressed in response to Competitive Preference Priority 4.

This NIA also includes a competitive preference priority for MSAP projects that would be carried out in areas that overlap with a Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ). Public Law (Pub. L.) 115-97 authorized the designation of QOZs to promote economic development and job creation in distressed communities through preferential tax treatment for investors. A list of QOZs is available at www.cdfifund.gov/​Pages/​Opportunity-Zones.aspx;​ applicants may also determine whether a particular area overlaps with a QOZ using the National Center of Education Statistics' map located at: https://nces.ed.gov/​programs/​maped/​LocaleLookup/​. To receive competitive preference points under this priority, applicants must provide the Department with the census tract number of the QOZ they plan to serve and describe the services they will provide. For the purpose of this competition, applicants should consider the area where their LEA is located to be the area that must overlap with a QOZ; an LEA may be considered to overlap with a QOZ even if only one magnet school included in the current MSAP grant application is located in a QOZ.

Lastly, with this year's competition, the Department also aims to improve MSAP's short- and longer-term outcomes, as well as generate evidence to inform future efforts, by encouraging Start Printed Page 13880applicants to propose (1) projects that are supported by prior evidence, and (2) robust evaluations of their proposed MSAP projects that would yield promising evidence (as defined in this notice) from which future MSAP applicants could learn. Along these lines, we include selection factors that encourage applicants to provide a conceptual framework (logic model) as part of their applications and propose evaluations designed to produce promising evidence. Each proposed project should be supported by a logic model with clearly defined outcomes that will inform the project's performance measures and evaluation. In addition, through Competitive Preference Priority 2, we encourage applicants to implement activities that are evidence-based in their proposed MSAP project schools and we encourage applicants to submit supporting evidence that corresponds to the highest levels of evidence available.

Priorities: This competition includes five competitive preference priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), Competitive Preference Priorities 1 and 3 are from the MSAP regulations at 34 CFR 280.32. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), Competitive Preference Priorities 2 and 4 are from section 4406 of the ESEA, 20 U.S.C. 7231e. Competitive Preference Priority 5 is from the notice of final priority published in the Federal Register on November 27, 2019 (84 FR 65300) (Opportunity Zones NFP).

Competitive Preference Priorities: These priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award one additional point to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1; up to two additional points to an application, depending on how well the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 2; up to three additional points to an application, depending on how well the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 3; up to two additional points to an application, depending on how well the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 4; and three additional points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 5. Depending on how well the application meets these priorities, an application may be awarded up to a total of 11 additional points. Applicants may apply under any, all, or none of the competitive preference priorities. The maximum possible points for each competitive preference priority are indicated in parentheses following the name of the priority. These points are in addition to any points the application earns under the selection criteria in this notice.

These priorities are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Competitive Preference Priority 2—New or Revised Magnet Schools Projects and Strength of Evidence to Support Proposed Projects (0 to 2 additional points).

The Secretary determines the extent to which the applicant proposes to carry out a new, evidence-based magnet school program or significantly revise an existing magnet school program, using evidence-based methods and practices, as available, or replicate an existing magnet school program that has a demonstrated record of success in increasing student academic achievement and reducing isolation of minority groups.

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

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

Competitive Preference Priority 4—Increasing Racial Integration and Socioeconomic Diversity (0 to 2 additional points).

The Secretary determines the extent to which the applicant proposes to increase racial integration by taking into account socioeconomic diversity in designing and implementing magnet school programs.

Competitive Preference Priority 5—Spurring Investment in Qualified Opportunity Zones (0 or 3 additional points).

Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that the area in which the applicant proposes to provide services overlaps with a QOZ, as designated by the Secretary of the Treasury under section 1400Z-1 of the Internal Revenue Code. An applicant must—

(1) Provide the census tract number of the QOZ(s) in which it proposes to provide services; and

(2) Describe how the applicant will provide services in the QOZ(s).

Definitions: The definition of “evidence-based” is from 20 U.S.C. 7801. The remaining definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1(c).

Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in the project's logic model is informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve relevant outcomes.

Evidence-based means an activity, strategy, or intervention that—

(i) Demonstrates a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on—

(A) Strong evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented experimental study;

(B) Moderate evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study; or

(C) Promising evidence from at least one well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias; or

(ii)(A) Demonstrates a rationale based on high-quality research findings or positive evaluation that such activity, strategy, or intervention is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes; and

(B) Includes ongoing efforts to examine the effects of such activity, strategy, or intervention.

Experimental study means a study that is designed to compare outcomes between two groups of individuals (such as students) that are otherwise equivalent except for their assignment to either a treatment group receiving a project component or a control group that does not. Randomized controlled trials, regression discontinuity design studies, and single-case design studies are the specific types of experimental studies that, depending on their design and implementation (e.g., sample attrition in randomized controlled trials and regression discontinuity design studies), can meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) standards without reservations as described in the WWC Handbook:

(i) A randomized controlled trial employs random assignment of, for example, students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to receive the project Start Printed Page 13881component being evaluated (the treatment group) or not to receive the project component (the control group).

(ii) A regression discontinuity design study assigns the project component being evaluated using a measured variable (e.g., assigning students reading below a cutoff score to tutoring or developmental education classes) and controls for that variable in the analysis of outcomes.

(iii) A single-case design study uses observations of a single case (e.g., a student eligible for a behavioral intervention) over time in the absence and presence of a controlled treatment manipulation to determine whether the outcome is systematically related to the treatment.

Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active “ingredients” that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes.

Project component means an activity, strategy, intervention, process, product, practice, or policy included in a project. Evidence may pertain to an individual project component or to a combination of project components (e.g., training teachers on instructional practices for English learners and follow-on coaching for these teachers).

Promising evidence means that there is evidence of the effectiveness of a key project component in improving a relevant outcome, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:

(i) A practice guide prepared by WWC reporting a “strong evidence base” or “moderate evidence base” for the corresponding practice guide recommendation;

(ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC reporting a “positive effect” or “potentially positive effect” on a relevant outcome with no reporting of a “negative effect” or “potentially negative effect” on a relevant outcome; or

(iii) A single study assessed by the Department, as appropriate, that—

(A) Is an experimental study, a quasi-experimental design study, or a well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias (e.g., a study using regression methods to account for differences between a treatment group and a comparison group); and

(B) Includes at least one statistically significant and positive (i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome.

Quasi-experimental design study means a study using a design that attempts to approximate an experimental study by identifying a comparison group that is similar to the treatment group in important respects. This type of study, depending on design and implementation (e.g., establishment of baseline equivalence of the groups being compared), can meet WWC standards with reservations, but cannot meet WWC standards without reservations, as described in the WWC Handbook.

Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcome(s) the key project component is designed to improve, consistent with the specific goals of the program.

What Works Clearinghouse Handbook (WWC Handbook) means the standards and procedures set forth in the WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook, Version 3.0 or Version 2.1 (incorporated by reference, see 34 CFR 77.2). Study findings eligible for review under WWC standards can meet WWC standards without reservations, meet WWC standards with reservations, or not meet WWC standards. WWC practice guides and intervention reports include findings from systematic reviews of evidence as described in the Handbook documentation.

Note: The What Works Clearinghouse Procedures and Standards Handbook (Version 3.0), as well as the more recent What Works Clearinghouse Handbooks released in October 2017 (Version 4.0) and January 2020 (Version 4.1), are available at: https://ies.ed.gov/​ncee/​wwc/​Handbooks.

Start Authority

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

End Authority

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The 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 regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 280. (e) The Opportunity Zones NFP.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $23,500,887.

Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2021 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

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

Maximum Award: We will not make an award to an LEA or a consortium of LEAS exceeding $15,000,000 for the project period. Grantees may not expend more than 50 percent of the year one grant funds and not more than 15 percent of year two and three grant funds on planning activities. Professional development is not considered to be a planning activity.

Note: Yearly award amounts may vary.

Estimated Number of Awards: 7-9.

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

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

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

3. Application Requirement: Under section 4405(b)(1)(A) of the ESEA, applicants must describe how a grant awarded under this competition will be used to promote desegregation and include any available evidence on how the proposed magnet school programs will increase interaction among students of different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. If such evidence is not available, applicants must include a rationale, based on current research, for how the proposed magnet school programs will increase interaction among students of different social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Applicants should address this application requirement in the project narrative and, as appropriate, the logic model.

4. Other: Applicants must submit with their applications one of the following types of desegregation plans to establish eligibility to receive MSAP assistance: (a) A desegregation plan required by a court order; (b) a desegregation plan required by a State agency or an official of competent jurisdiction; (c) a desegregation plan required by the Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI); or (d) a voluntary desegregation plan adopted by the applicant and submitted to the Department for approval as part of the application. Under the MSAP regulations, applicants are required to Start Printed Page 13882provide all of the information required in 34 CFR 280.20(a) through (g) in order to satisfy the civil rights eligibility requirements found in 34 CFR 280.2(a)(2) and (b).

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

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

Required Desegregation Plans

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

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

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

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

An applicant should indicate in its application if it is seeking to modify its previously approved desegregation plan. However, all applicants must submit proof of approval of all modifications to their plans to the Department by June 11, 2020. Proof of plan modifications should be mailed to: Gillian Cohen-Boyer, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3C134, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 401-1259. Email: msap.team@ed.gov.

Voluntary Desegregation Plans

A voluntary desegregation plan must be approved by the Department each time an application is submitted for funding. Even if the Department has approved a voluntary desegregation plan in an LEA in the past, to be reviewed, the desegregation plan must be resubmitted with the application, by the application deadline.

An applicant's voluntary desegregation plan must describe how the LEA defines or identifies minority group isolation, demonstrate how the LEA will reduce, eliminate, or prevent minority group isolation for each magnet school in the proposed magnet school application, and, if relevant, at identified feeder schools, demonstrate that the proposed voluntary desegregation plan is adequate under Title VI.

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

Voluntary desegregation plan applicants must submit documentation of school board approval or documentation of other official adoption of the plan as required by the regulations in 34 CFR 280.20(f)(2) when submitting their application. LEAs that were previously under a required desegregation plan, but that have achieved unitary status and so are voluntary desegregation plan applicants, typically would not need to include court orders. Rather, such applications should provide the documentation discussed in this section.

5. Single-Sex Programs: An applicant proposing to operate a single-sex magnet school or a coeducational magnet school that offers single-sex classes or extracurricular activities, will undergo a review of its proposed single-sex educational program to determine compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws, including the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution (as interpreted in United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), and other cases) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681, et seq.) and its regulations—including 34 CFR 106.34. This review may require the applicant to provide additional fact-specific information about the single-sex program. Please see the application package for additional information about an application proposing a single-sex magnet school or a coeducational magnet school offering single-sex classes or extracurricular activities.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768), and available at www.govinfo.gov/​content/​pkg/​FR-2019-02-13/​pdf/​2019-02206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application.

2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the MSAP, 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 Start Printed Page 13883Exemption 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. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

4. 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.

5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to 150 pages and (2) 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 recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances, certifications, the desegregation plan and related information, and the tables used to respond to Competitive Preference Priorities 2 and 3; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, or letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative in Part III.

6. Notice of Intent To Apply: The Department will be able to review grant applications more efficiently if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply. Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify the Department of their intent to submit an application. To do so, please submit your intent to apply for funding by completing a web-based form at https://oese.ed.gov/​offices/​office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/​school-choice-improvement-programs/​magnet-school-assistance-program-msap/​. Applicants that do not notify the Department of their intent to apply may still apply for funding.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria are from 34 CFR 75.210, 280.30, and 280.31, and sections 4401 and 4405 of the ESEA.

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 111 points.

(a) Desegregation (30 points).

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

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

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

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

(4) The effectiveness of all other desegregation strategies proposed by the applicant for the elimination, reduction, or prevention of minority group isolation in elementary schools and secondary schools with substantial proportions of minority students. (Section 4401(b)(1) of the ESEA)

(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 manner and extent to which the magnet school program will increase student academic achievement in the instructional area or areas offered by the school, including any evidence, or if such evidence is not available, a rationale based on current research findings, to support such description. (Sections 4405(b)(1)(E)(i) and 4405(b)(1)(B) of the ESEA)

(2) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among the recipients of those services. (34 CFR 75.210)

(3) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for maximizing the effectiveness of project services. (34 CFR 75.210)

(4) The extent to which there is a conceptual framework underlying the proposed research or demonstration activities and the quality of that framework. (34 CFR 75.210)

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

The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

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

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

(3) 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., State educational agencies, teachers' unions) critical to the project's long-term success; or more than one of these types of evidence.Start Printed Page 13884

(d) Quality of Personnel (5 points) (34 CFR 280.31).

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

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

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

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

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

(e) Quality of Project Evaluation (20 points) (34 CFR 75.210).

The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation will, if well implemented, produce promising evidence (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)) about the project's effectiveness.

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

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

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

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

3. Risk Assessment and Specific 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 specific 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.

4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000) under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

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 as well.

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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee or subgrantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements, please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20(c).

4. 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) If awarded a grant, applicants that responded to the selection criterion (e)(1), Quality of the Project Evaluation, must also submit a final evaluation report addressing the study to produce promising evidence.Start Printed Page 13885

5. Performance Measures: We have established the following five performance measures for the MSAP:

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

(b) The percentage increase of students from major racial and ethnic groups in magnet schools receiving assistance who score proficient or above on State assessments in reading/language arts as compared to previous year's data.

(c) The percentage increase of students from major racial and ethnic groups in magnet schools receiving assistance who score proficient or above on State assessments in mathematics as compared to previous year's data.

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

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

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

6. 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. 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.

Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. 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 Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

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

Start Signature

Dated: March 5, 2020.

Frank T. Brogan,

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

2.  STEM is also a national priority. For more details, see “Charting A Course For Success: America's Strategy For STEM Education,” www.whitehouse.gov/​wp-content/​uploads/​2018/​12/​STEM-Education-Strategic-Plan-2018.pdf (December 2018).

Back to Citation

[FR Doc. 2020-04885 Filed 3-9-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P