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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Full-Service Community Schools Program

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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 for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) program, Assistance Listing Number 84.215J. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1894-0006.

DATES:

Applications Available: January 15, 2021.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: February 1, 2021.

Date of Pre-Application Meetings: The Department will hold pre-application meetings via webinars for prospective applicants. Detailed information regarding these webinars will be provided on the FSCS website at https://oese.ed.gov/​offices/​office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/​school-choice-improvement-programs/​full-service-community-schools-programs/​.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 1, 2021.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 30, 2021.

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:

Elson Nash, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4E246, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 260-2655. Email: FSCS@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.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The FSCS program is authorized by sections 4621-4623 and 4625 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). This program Start Printed Page 4018provides support for the planning, implementation, and operation of full-service community schools that improve the coordination, integration, accessibility, and effectiveness of services for children and families, particularly for children attending high-poverty schools, including high-poverty rural schools.

Background: Full-service community schools provide comprehensive academic, social, and health services for students, students' family members, and community members that are designed to improve education outcomes for children. The growing interest at the State and local level in community schools,[1] also known as full-service community schools, coupled with this competition, present an opportunity for nationwide school improvement. The ESEA offers flexibilities at the State and local levels to implement strategies supported by community schools, such as coordination of school and community resources (ESEA sections 1114(b)(5) and 1115(b)(2)) and afterschool programming and support for a community school coordinator (ESEA section 4108(a)(5)(H)). If a State educational agency (SEA) or local educational agency (LEA) (as defined in this notice) lacks the resources to implement community schools at scale, it can productively begin in neighborhoods where community schools are most needed and, therefore, students are most likely to benefit.[2] The Department, through the FSCS program, provides catalytic support for the planning, implementation, operation, and coordination of effective services for children and families, particularly in high-poverty urban and rural areas, at the local level.

According to a 2017 report, comprehensive community school interventions that incorporate most or all of four features, or pillars (integrated student supports; expanded learning time and opportunities; family and community engagement; collaborative leadership and practice), are associated with a range of positive student outcomes.

“A well-implemented community school leads to improvement in student and school outcomes and contributes to meeting the educational needs of low-achieving students in high-poverty schools. Strong research reinforces the efficacy of integrated student supports, expanded learning time and opportunities, and family and community engagement as intervention strategies.” [3]

Over the last decade, the field has observed a wide range of practices coordinated and implemented in full-service community schools. In a January 2020 study of New York City community schools by the Rand Corporation, assuming strong social capital, stable leadership, and a strong instructional program, community schools have been associated with improved attendance, on-time grade progression, student achievement in math, and fewer disciplinary incidents.[4]

This year we encourage applicants to consider where possible the option to give families the choice to apply for services beyond the project's required services to meet the unique needs of students and their families. In order to offer families expanded options, applicants may need to engage in greater collaboration with partners who can meet those unique needs.

Priorities: This notice contains one absolute priority, four competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv), the absolute priority is from section 4625(b)(1)(A) of the ESEA. The competitive preference priorities are from ESEA sections 4625(b)(1)(B), 4625(b)(2), and 4625(b)(3), and 34 CFR 75.226(c).

Absolute Priority: For FY 2021, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Eligible entities that will serve a minimum of two or more full-service community schools eligible for a schoolwide program (as defined in this notice) under section 1114(b) of the ESEA as part of a community- or district-wide strategy.

Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2021, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional two points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1, and we award an additional point to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2. We award an additional point to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 3, and an additional five points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 4. An applicant may receive a maximum of nine competitive preference priority points. Applicants may apply under any, all, or none of the competitive preference priorities. Applicants must identify under Quality of the Project Design the priorities they are addressing in order to receive those points.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Rural Districts-Small and Rural or Rural and Low-Income. (0 or 2 points)

The Secretary gives priority to eligible entities that include an LEA that satisfies the requirements of the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program (ESEA section 5211(b)(1)(A), (B), or (C)) or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program (ESEA section 5221(b)(1)(A), (B), or (C)).

Note:

Applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to information on the following Department website: https://oese.ed.gov/​offices/​office-of-formula-grants/​rural-insular-native-achievement-programs/​rural-education-achievement-program/​.

Note:

An LEA includes a public charter school that operates as an LEA.

Competitive Preference Priority 2—Broadly Representative Consortiums. (0 or 1 point)

The Secretary gives priority to an eligible entity that is a consortium comprised of a broad representation of stakeholders.

Competitive Preference Priority 3—History of Effectiveness. (0 or 1 point)

The Secretary gives priority to an eligible entity that is a consortium demonstrating a history of effectiveness.

Competitive Preference Priority 4—Evidence-Based Activities, Strategies, or Interventions. (0 or 5 points)

The Secretary gives priority to an application that is supported by evidence that meets the definition of promising evidence (as defined in this notice).

Invitational Priority: For FY 2021 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 Start Printed Page 4019absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Empowering Families With the Delivery of On-Demand Support Services that Meet the Unique Needs of Students.

Projects that allow families to choose up to two service options that are in addition to the five required services under the FSCS program.

Definitions: The definitions of “Community-based organization,” “Eligible entity,” “Full-service community school,” “Local educational agency,” “Pipeline services,” and “State educational agency” are from sections 4622 and 8101 of the ESEA. The definitions of “Baseline,” “Experimental study,” “Nonprofit,” “Performance measure,” “Performance target,” “Project,” “Project component,” “Promising evidence,” “Quasi-experimental design study,” “Relevant outcome,” and “What Works Clearinghouse Handbook” are from 34 CFR 77.1. The definition of “School eligible for a schoolwide program” is from 34 CFR 200.25(b).

Baseline means the starting point from which performance is measured and targets are set.

Community-based organization means a public or private nonprofit (as defined in this notice) organization of demonstrated effectiveness that—

(a) Is representative of a community or significant segments of a community; and

(b) Provides educational or related services to individuals in the community.

Eligible entity means a consortium of one or more LEAs; or the Bureau of Indian Education; and one or more community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, or other public or private entities.

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 Handbooks (as defined in this notice):

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

(b) 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.

(c) 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.

Full-service community school means a public elementary school or secondary school that—

(a) Participates in a community-based effort to coordinate and integrate educational, developmental, family, health, and other comprehensive services through community-based organizations and public and private partnerships; and

(b) Provides access to such services in school to students, families, and the community, such as access during the school year (including before- and after-school hours and weekends), as well as during the summer.

Local educational agency (LEA) means:

(a) In General. A public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or of or for a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools.

(b) Administrative Control and Direction. The term includes any other public institution or agency having administrative control and direction of a public elementary school or secondary school.

(c) Bureau of Indian Education Schools. The term includes an elementary school or secondary school funded by the Bureau of Indian Education but only to the extent that including the school makes the school eligible for programs for which specific eligibility is not provided to the school in another provision of law and the school does not have a student population that is smaller than the student population of the LEA receiving assistance under the ESEA with the smallest student population, except that the school shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of any State educational agency (as defined in this notice) other than the Bureau of Indian Education.

(d) Educational Service Agencies. The term includes educational service agencies and consortia of those agencies.

(e) State Educational Agency. The term includes the State educational agency in a State in which the State educational agency is the sole educational agency for all public schools.

Nonprofit, as applied to an agency, organization, or institution, means that it is owned and operated by one or more corporations or associations whose net earnings do not benefit, and cannot lawfully benefit, any private shareholder or entity.

Performance measure means any quantitative indicator, statistic, or metric used to gauge program or project performance.

Performance target means a level of performance that an applicant would seek to meet during the course of a project or as a result of a project.

Pipeline services means a continuum of coordinated supports, services, and opportunities for children from birth through entry into and success in postsecondary education, and career attainment. Such services shall include, at a minimum, strategies to address through services or programs (including integrated student supports) the following:

(a) High-quality early childhood education programs.

(b) High-quality school and out-of-school-time programs and strategies.

(c) Support for a child's transition to elementary school, from elementary school to middle school, from middle school to high school, and from high school into and through postsecondary education and into the workforce, including any comprehensive readiness assessment determined necessary.

(d) Family and community engagement and supports,

which may include engaging or supporting families at

school or at home.

(e) Activities that support postsecondary and workforce readiness, which may include job training, internship opportunities, and career counseling.

(f) Community-based support for students who have attended the schools Start Printed Page 4020in the area served by the pipeline, or students who are members of the community, facilitating their continued connection to the community and success in postsecondary education and the workforce.

(g) Social, health, nutrition, and mental health services and supports.

(h) Juvenile crime prevention and rehabilitation programs.

Project means the activity described in an application.

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:

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

(b) 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

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

(i) 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

(ii) 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 Handbooks.

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.

School eligible for a schoolwide program means any school eligible under 34 CFR 200.25(b) to operate a schoolwide program.

State educational agency (SEA) means the agency primarily responsible for the State supervision of public elementary schools and secondary schools.

What Works Clearinghouse Handbooks (WWC Handbooks) means the standards and procedures set forth in the WWC Standards Handbook, Versions 4.0 or 4.1, and WWC Procedures Handbook, Versions 4.0 or 4.1, or in the WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook, Version 3.0 or Version 2.1 (all incorporated by reference, see § 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 WWC Handbooks documentation.

Application Requirements: The following requirements are from section 4625(a) of the ESEA. In order to receive funding, an applicant must include the following in its application:

(a) A description of the eligible entity.

(b) A memorandum of understanding among all partner entities in the eligible entity that will assist the eligible entity to coordinate and provide pipeline services and that describes the roles the partner entities will assume.

(c) A description of the capacity of the eligible entity to coordinate and provide pipeline services at two or more full-service community schools.

(d) A comprehensive plan that includes descriptions of the following:

(1) The student, family, and school community to be served, including demographic information.

(2) A needs assessment that identifies the academic, physical, nonacademic, health, mental health, and other needs of students, families, and community residents.

(3) Annual measurable performance objectives and outcomes, including an increase in the number and percentage of families and students targeted for services each year of the program, in order to ensure that children are—

(i) Prepared for kindergarten;

(ii) Achieving academically; and

(iii) Safe, healthy, and supported by engaged parents.

(4) Pipeline services, including existing and additional pipeline services, to be coordinated and provided by the eligible entity and its partner entities, including an explanation of—

(i) Why such services have been selected;

(ii) How such services will improve student academic achievement; and

(iii) How such services will address the annual measurable performance objectives and outcomes described above under (d)(3).

(5) Plans to ensure that each full-service community school site has a full-time coordinator of pipeline services at such school, including a description of the applicable funding sources, plans for professional development for the personnel managing, coordinating, or delivering pipeline services, and plans for joint utilization and management of school facilities.

(6) Plans for annual evaluation based upon attainment of the performance objectives and outcomes described above under (d)(3).

(7) Plans for sustaining the programs and services described in the application after the grant period.

(e) An assurance that the eligible entity and its partner entities will focus services on schools eligible for a schoolwide program under section 1114(b) of the ESEA.

Applications that do not address the application requirements are not eligible for funding and will not be reviewed.

Start Authority

Program Authority: as amended sections 4621-4623 and 4625 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7275).

End Authority

Note:

Projects must be awarded and operated in a manner consistent with the nondiscrimination requirements contained in the U.S. Constitution and the Federal civil rights laws. Projects serving children with disabilities must be operated consistent with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and 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) 34 CFR 200.25.

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian Tribes.

Start Printed Page 4021

Note:

The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $13,700,000.

Estimated Range of Awards: $275,000-$500,000 for each 12-month budget period; $1,375,000-$2,500,000 for the entire project period.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $450,000 for each 12-month period.

Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $2,500,000 for the entire project period.

Minimum Award: The Secretary is prohibited by section 4625(d) of the ESEA from making a grant under the FSCS program in an amount that is less than $75,000 for each year of the grant. Therefore, we will reject any application that proposes an amount that is less than $75,000 for any budget period.

Estimated Number of Awards: 30.

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 consortium of—

(a)(i) One or more LEAs; or

(ii) The Bureau of Indian Education; and

(b) One or more community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, or other public or private entities.

A consortium must comply with the provisions governing group applications in 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129.

Note:

If you are a nonprofit organization, under 34 CFR 75.51, you may demonstrate your nonprofit status by providing: (1) Proof that the Internal Revenue Service currently recognizes the applicant as an organization to which contributions are tax deductible under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) a statement from a State taxing body or the State attorney general certifying that the organization is a nonprofit organization operating within the State and that no part of its net earnings may lawfully benefit any private shareholder or individual; (3) a certified copy of the applicant's certificate of incorporation or similar document if it clearly establishes the nonprofit status of the applicant; or (4) any item described above if that item applies to a State or national parent organization, together with a statement by the State or parent organization that the applicant is a local nonprofit affiliate.

2. a. Cost Sharing or Matching: To be eligible for an award, an applicant shall provide matching funds through non-Federal contributions, either in cash or in-kind donations. The applicant must propose the amount of cash or in-kind resources to be contributed for each year of the grant.

The Bureau of Indian Education may meet the matching requirement using funds from other Federal sources.

The Secretary does not, as a general matter, anticipate waiving the matching requirement in the future. Furthermore, given the importance of matching funds to the long-term success of the project, eligible entities must identify appropriate matching funds in the proposed budget.

b. Supplement not Supplant: This program is subject to supplement-not-supplant funding requirements. Grantees must use FSCS grant funds to supplement, and not supplant, any other Federal, State, and local funds that would otherwise have been available to carry out activities authorized under section 4625 of the ESEA.

c. Indirect Cost Rate Information: This program uses a restricted indirect cost rate. For more information regarding indirect costs, or to obtain a negotiated indirect cost rate, please see www2.ed.gov/​about/​offices/​list/​ocfo/​intro.html.

d. Administrative Cost Limitation: This program does not include any program-specific limitation on administrative expenses. All administrative expenses must be reasonable and necessary and conform to Cost Principles described in 2 CFR part 200 subpart E of the Uniform Guidance.

3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application.

4. Planning: Interagency collaborative efforts are highly complex undertakings that require extensive planning and communication among partners and key stakeholders. Partnerships should be based on identified needs and organized around a set of mutually defined results and outcomes. Under section 4625(c) of the ESEA, applicants under this program may not use more than 10 percent of the total amount of grant funds for planning purposes during the first year of the grant. Funding received by grantees during the remainder of the project period must be devoted to program implementation.

5. Use of Funds: Under section 4625(e) of the ESEA, grantees must use FSCS grant funds to: (1) Coordinate not less than three existing pipeline services, as of the date their grants are awarded, and provide not less than two additional pipeline services, at two or more public elementary schools or secondary schools; (2) to the extent practicable, integrate multiple pipeline services into a comprehensive and coordinated continuum to achieve the annual measurable performance objectives and outcomes under section 4625(a)(4)(C) of the ESEA to meet the holistic needs of children; and (3) if applicable, coordinate and integrate services provided by community-based organizations and government agencies with services provided by specialized instructional support personnel.

6. Evaluation: Under section 4625(g) of the ESEA, grantees must conduct an annual evaluation of their project's progress in meeting the purpose of the FSCS program set out in section 4621(2) of the ESEA and use those evaluations to refine and improve activities carried out under the grant and the annual measurable performance objectives and outcomes in section 4625(a)(4)(C) of the ESEA. Grantees must make the results of their annual evaluation publicly available, including by providing public notice of the availability of such results.

Note:

Nothing in section 4625 of the ESEA shall be construed to alter or otherwise affect the rights, remedies, and procedures afforded school or LEA employees under Federal, State, or local laws (including applicable regulations or court orders) under the terms of collective bargaining agreements, memoranda of understanding, or other agreements between such employees and their employers.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to submit 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, which contains 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 FSCS program, your application may include business information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11, we define “business information” and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended).

Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.Start Printed Page 4022

Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

3. 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 reference 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 no more than 150 pages and (2) use the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ × 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 the cover sheet; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative.

6. Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if it has a better understanding of the number of entities that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify the Department of the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by sending a short email message indicating the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding. The email need not include information regarding the content of the proposed application, only the applicant's intent to submit it. This email notification should be sent to FSCS@ed.gov with “INTENT TO APPLY” in the subject line by February 1, 2021. Applicants that do not notify us of their intent to apply may still apply for funding.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210. 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 109 points.

The selection criteria are as follows:

(a) Quality of the Project Design (up to 25 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—

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

(2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs.

(b) Quality of the Project Services (up to 25 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the quality of project services, 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—

(1) The likely impact of the services to be provided by the proposed project on the intended recipients of those services.

(2) 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.

(c) 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 following factors—

(1) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.

(2) 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.

(d) Quality of the Management Plan (up to 20 points).

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

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

(e) 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 methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.

(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 methods of evaluation will provide valid and reliable performance data on relevant outcomes.

2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of Start Printed Page 4023funds, 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 200.206(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.

5. In General: In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, the Department of Education will review and consider applications for funding pursuant to this notice inviting applications in accordance with the following:

  • Selecting recipients most likely to be successful in delivering results based on the program objectives through an objective process of evaluating Federal award applications (2 CFR 200.205);
  • Prohibiting the purchase of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment in alignment with section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 (Pub. L. 115-232) (2 CFR 200.216);
  • Promoting the freedom of speech and religious liberty in alignment with Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty (E.O. 13798) and Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities (E.O. 13864) (2 CFR 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341);
  • Providing a preference, to the extent permitted by law, to maximize use of goods, products, and materials produced in the United States (2 CFR 200.322); and
  • Terminating agreements in whole or in part to the greatest extent authorized by law if an award no longer effectuates the program goals or agency priorities (2 CFR 200.340).

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

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

3. 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.

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

5. Performance Measures: We have established one performance measure for the FSCS program: The percentage and number of individuals targeted for services and who receive services during each year of the project period.

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 Start Printed Page 4024requirements, 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: On request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT, individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format. The Department will provide the requestor with an accessible format that may include Rich Text Format (RTF) or text format (txt), a thumb drive, an MP3 file, braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc, or other accessible format.

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

Frank T. Brogan,

Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

Footnotes

1.  Maier, A., Daniel, J., Oakes, J., & Lam, L. (December 2017). Community Schools as an Equitable School Improvement Strategy: A Review of the Evidence. Learning Policy Institute.

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2.  Horn, M. B., Freeland, J., Butler, S. M., & Brookings Institution. (2015). Schools as Community Hubs: Integrating Support Services to Drive Educational Outcomes. A Series of Discussion Papers on Building Healthy Neighborhoods. No. 3. In Brookings Institution. Brookings Institution.

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3.  Ibid.

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4.  Johnston, W., Engberg, J., Opper, I., Sontag-Padilla, L., and Xenakis, L. (2020). Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the New York City Community Schools Initiative. City of New York, www.rand.org/​pubs/​research_​reports/​RR3245.html.

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[FR Doc. 2021-00725 Filed 1-14-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P