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Notice

Applications for New Awards; Promise Neighborhoods (PN) Program

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AGENCY:

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2021 for the PN Program, Assistance Listing Number 84.215N. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1894-0006.

DATES:

Applications Available: January 19, 2021.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: February 3, 2021.

Date of Pre-Application Meetings: The Department will hold a pre-application meeting on January 29, 2021 via webinar for prospective applicants. Detailed information regarding pre-application webinar(s) will be provided on the PN website at https://oese.ed.gov/​offices/​office-of-discretionary-grants-support-services/​school-choice-improvement-programs/​promise-neighborhoods-pn/​.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 5, 2021.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 4, 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.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Adrienne Hawkins, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W220, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-5638. Email: Adrienne.Hawkins@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 PN program is authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA). The purpose of the PN program is to significantly improve the academic and developmental outcomes of children living in the most distressed communities of the United States, including ensuring school readiness, high school graduation, and access to a community-based continuum of high-quality services. The program serves neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-income individuals; multiple signs of distress, which may include high rates of poverty, childhood obesity, academic failure, and juvenile delinquency, adjudication, or incarceration; and schools implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities or targeted support and improvement activities under section 1111(d) of the ESEA. All strategies in the continuum of solutions must be accessible to children with disabilities and English learners.

Priorities: This competition includes three absolute priorities, four competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority.

Absolute Priorities 1 and 3 and Competitive Preference Priorities 1 and 4 are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register (NFP). Absolute Priority 2 and Competitive Preference Priority 3 are from the notice of final priorities published in the Federal Register on March 9, 2020 (85 FR 13640) (Administrative Priorities). Competitive Preference Priority 2 is from the notice of final priority published in the Federal Register on November 27, 2019 (84 FR 65300) (Opportunity Zones NFP).

Absolute 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 absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider Start Printed Page 5155only applications that meet one or more of these priorities.

These priorities are:

Absolute Priority 1—Non-Rural and Non-Tribal Communities.

To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to implement a PN strategy that serves one or more non-rural or non-Tribal communities.

Absolute Priority 2—Rural Applicants.

Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate one or more of the following:

(a) The applicant proposes to serve a local educational agency (LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title V, Part B of the ESEA.

(b) The applicant proposes to serve a community that is served by one or more LEAs with a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43.

(c) The applicant proposes a project in which a majority of the schools served have a locale code of 32, 33, 41, 42, or 43.

(d) The applicant is an institution of higher education (IHE) with a rural campus setting, or the applicant proposes to serve a campus with a rural setting. Rural settings include any of the following: Town-Fringe, Town-Distant, Town-Remote, Rural Fringe, Rural-Distant, Rural-Remote, as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator search tool.

Note:

To determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for SRSA or RLIS, refer to the Department's website at https://oese.ed.gov/​offices/​office-of-formula-grants/​rural-insular-native-achievement-programs/​rural-education-achievement-program/​. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve locale codes from the NCES School District search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/​ccd/​districtsearch/​), where LEAs can be looked up individually to retrieve locale codes, and Public School search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/​ccd/​schoolsearch/​), where individual schools can be looked up to retrieve locale codes. Applicants are encouraged to retrieve campus settings from the NCES College Navigator search tool (https://nces.ed.gov/​collegenavigator/​) where IHEs can be looked up individually to determine the campus setting.

Absolute Priority 3—Tribal Communities.

To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to implement a PN strategy that serves one or more Indian Tribes (as defined in this notice).

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 up to an additional 10 points to an application, depending on how well the application meets one or more of these priorities; the total possible points for each priority are noted in parentheses.

These priorities are:

Competitive Preference Priority 1—Community-Level Opioid Abuse Prevention Efforts (0 to 3 points).

To meet this priority, an applicant must: (1) Demonstrate how it will partner with an organization that conducts high-quality, community-level activities to prevent opioid abuse, such as an organization supported by an Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug-Free Communities Support Program grant, in PN communities; (2) describe the partner organization's record of success in approaching opioid abuse prevention at the community level; and (3) provide, in its application, a memorandum of understanding between it and the partner organization responsible for managing the effort. The memorandum of understanding must indicate a commitment on the part of the applicant to coordinate implementation and align resources to the greatest extent practicable.

Competitive Preference Priority 2—Spurring Investment in Qualified Opportunity Zones (0 to 3 points).

Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that the area in which the applicant proposes to provide services overlaps with a Qualified Opportunity Zone (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 (1 point); and

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

Competitive Preference Priority 3—Applications from New Potential Grantees (0 or 1 point).

Under this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that it has never received a grant, including through membership in a group application submitted in accordance with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, under the program from which it seeks funds.

Note:

For new potential grantees unfamiliar with grantmaking at the Department, please consult our funding basics resource at www2.ed.gov/​documents/​funding-101/​funding-101-basics.pdf or a more detailed resource at www2.ed.gov/​documents/​funding-101/​funding-101.pdf.

Competitive Preference Priority 4—Evidence-Based Activities to Support Academic Achievement (0 to 3 points).

Projects that propose to use evidence-based (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)) activities, strategies, or interventions that support teaching practices that will lead to increasing student achievement (as defined in this notice), graduation rates, and career readiness.

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 absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Community-Based Crime Reduction Efforts.

To meet this priority, an applicant must: (1) Demonstrate how it will partner with an organization that conducts high-quality activities focused on the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals or on community-based crime reduction activities, such as an organization supported by a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Innovations in Community-Based Crime Reduction Program grant, a grant authorized under the Second Chance Act, as reauthorized under the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person (FIRST STEP) Act, or DOJ Office of Justice Programs competitive grants related to juvenile justice and delinquency prevention; (2) describe the partner organization's record of success with supporting the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals or community-based crime reduction and how their efforts will be coordinated with the PN activities of this grant; and (3) provide, in its application, a memorandum of understanding between it and a partner organization managing the effort. The memorandum of understanding must indicate a commitment on the part of the applicant to coordinate implementation and align resources to the greatest extent practicable.

Requirements: For FY 2021 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, applicants must meet the following application and program requirements from section 4624 of the ESEA and the NFP.

Application Requirements:

(1) A plan to significantly improve the academic outcomes of children living in the geographically defined area (neighborhood) that is served by the eligible entity by providing pipeline services that address the needs of children in the neighborhood, as Start Printed Page 5156identified by the needs analysis; and that is supported by effective practices.

(2) A description of the neighborhood the eligible entity will serve.

Note:

Applicants may propose to serve multiple, non-contiguous geographically defined areas, that is to say geographic areas that are not adjacent to one another. In cases where target areas are non-contiguous, the applicant should explain its rationale for including non-contiguous areas.

(3) An applicant must demonstrate that its proposed project—

(a) Is representative of the geographic area proposed to be served (as defined in this notice); and

(b) Would provide a majority of the solutions from the applicant's proposed pipeline services in the geographic area proposed to be served.

(4) An analysis of the needs and assets of the neighborhood, including:

(a) The size and scope of the population affected;

(b) A description of the process through which the needs analysis was produced, including a description of how parents, families, and community members were engaged in such analysis;

(c) An analysis of community assets and collaborative efforts (including programs already provided from Federal and non-Federal sources) within, or accessible to, the neighborhood, including, at a minimum, early learning opportunities, family and student supports, local businesses, local educational agencies, and institutions of higher education;

(d) The steps that the eligible entity is taking at the time of the application to address the needs identified in the needs analysis; and

(e) Any barriers the eligible entity, public agencies, and other community-based organizations have faced in meeting such needs.

(5) A description of (i) all information the entity used to identify the pipeline services to be provided, which shall not include information that is more than 3 years old; and (ii) how the eligible entity will collect data on children served by each pipeline service and increase the percentage of children served over time.

(6) A description of how the pipeline services will facilitate the coordination of the following activities:

(a) Providing early learning opportunities for children, including by:

(i) Providing opportunities for families to acquire the skills to promote early learning and child development; and

(ii) Ensuring appropriate diagnostic assessments and referrals for children with disabilities and children aged 3 through 9 experiencing developmental delays, consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.), where applicable.

(b) Supporting, enhancing, operating, or expanding rigorous, comprehensive, effective educational improvements, which may include high-quality academic programs, expanded learning time, and programs and activities to prepare students for postsecondary education admissions and success.

(c) Supporting partnerships between schools and other community resources with an integrated focus on academics and other social, health, and familial supports.

(d) Providing social, health, nutrition, and mental health services and supports, for children, family members, and community members, which may include services provided within the school building.

(e) Supporting evidence-based programs that assist students through school transitions, which may include expanding access to postsecondary education courses and postsecondary education enrollment aid or guidance, and other supports for at-risk youth.

(7) Each applicant must submit, as part of its application, a preliminary memorandum of understanding, signed by each organization or agency with which it would partner in implementing the proposed PN program. Within the preliminary memorandum of understanding, all applicants must detail each partner's financial, programmatic, and long-term commitment with respect to the strategies described in the application. Under section 4624(c) of the ESEA, applicants that are non-profit entities must submit a preliminary memorandum of understanding signed by each partner entity or agency, which must include at least one of the following: A high-need LEA; an institution of higher education, as defined in section 102 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1002); the office of a chief elected official of a unit of local government; or an Indian Tribe or Tribal organization as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).

(8) A description of the process used to develop the application, including the involvement of family and community members. In addressing this paragraph, an applicant must provide a description of the process used to develop the application, which must include the involvement of an LEA(s) (including but not limited to the LEA's or LEAs' involvement in the creation and planning of the application and a signed Memorandum of Understanding) and at least one public elementary or secondary school that is located within the identified geographic area that the grant will serve.

(9) A description of the strategies that will be used to provide pipeline services (including a description of which programs and services will be provided to children, family members, community members, and children within the neighborhood) to support the purpose of the Promise Neighborhoods program.

(10) An explanation of the process the eligible entity will use to establish and maintain family and community engagement, including:

(a) Involving representative participation by the members of such neighborhood in the planning and implementation of the activities of each grant awarded;

(b) The provision of strategies and practices to assist family and community members in actively supporting student achievement and child development;

(c) Providing services for students, families, and communities within the school building; and

(d) Collaboration with institutions of higher education, workforce development centers, and employers to align expectations and programming with postsecondary education and workforce readiness.

(e) In addressing this paragraph, an applicant must describe the process it will use to establish and maintain a family navigation system (as defined in this notice), including an explanation of the process the applicant will use to establish and maintain family and community engagement.

(11) An explanation of how the eligible entity will continuously evaluate and improve the continuum of high-quality pipeline services to provide for continuous program improvement and potential expansion.

(12) In addressing the application requirements in paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), an applicant must clearly demonstrate needs, including a segmentation analysis, gaps in services, and any available data from within the last 3 years to demonstrate needs. The applicant must also describe proposed activities that address these needs and the extent to which these activities are evidence-based. The applicant must also describe its, or its partner organization's, if applicable, experience providing these activities, including any data demonstrating effectiveness.

Program Requirements:

(1) Each grantee under the PN competition must use the grant funds to implement the pipeline services and continuously evaluate the success of the program and improve the program based Start Printed Page 5157on data and outcomes. Section 4624(d) of the ESEA.

(2) Grantees may use not less than 50 percent of grant funds in year one, and not less than 25 percent of grant funds in year two for planning activities to develop and implement pipeline services.

(3) Grantees that operate a school in a neighborhood served by a grant program must provide such school with the operational flexibility, including autonomy over staff, time, and budget, needed to effectively carry out the activities described in this notice.

(4) Grantees cannot, in carrying out activities to improve early childhood education programs, use PN funds to carry out the following activities: (1) Assessments that provide rewards or sanctions for individual children or teachers. (2) A single assessment that is used as the primary or sole method for assessing program effectiveness. (3) Evaluation of children, other than for the purposes of improving instruction, classroom environment, professional development, or parent and family engagement, or program improvement.

Definitions: The definitions for “eligible entity” and “pipeline services” are from section 4622 of the ESEA. The definitions of “family navigation system,” “graduation rate,” “Indian Tribe,” “indicators of need,” “regular high-school diploma,” “representative of the geographic area to be served,” “segmentation analysis,” “student achievement,” and “student mobility rate” are from the NFP. The remaining definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1.

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 the proposed project component is supported by one or more of strong evidence, moderate evidence, promising evidence, or evidence that demonstrates a rationale.

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:

(i) 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).

(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.

Family navigation system means a service delivery model that includes coordinators who teach, mentor, and collaborate with students and their families, as well as community members, to choose interventions, treatments, or solutions provided by the grantee and that best meet the needs of students and their families. Students and their families can select services and supports based on available services and individual needs, as well as advocate for additional services.

Graduation rate means the four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate or extended-year adjusted cohort graduation rate as defined in section 8101(25) and (23) of the ESEA.

Indian Tribe means an Indian Tribe or Tribal organization as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-determination Act (25 U.S.C. 5304(e)).

Indicators of need means currently available data that describe—

(a) Education need, which means—

(1) All or a portion of the neighborhood includes or is within the attendance zone of a low-performing school that is a high school, especially one in which the graduation rate (as defined in this notice) is less than 60 percent or a school that can be characterized as low-performing based on another proxy indicator, such as students' on-time progression from grade to grade; and

(2) Other indicators, such as significant achievement gaps between subgroups of students (as identified in section 1111(b)(2)(B)(xi) of the ESEA), within a school or LEA, high teacher and principal turnover, or high student absenteeism; and

(b) Family and community support need, which means—

(1) Percentages of children with preventable chronic health conditions (e.g., asthma, poor nutrition, dental problems, obesity) or avoidable developmental delays;

(2) Immunization rates;

(3) Rates of crime, including violent crime;

(4) Student mobility rates;

(5) Teenage birth rates;

(6) Percentage of children in single parent or no-parent families;

(7) Rates of vacant or substandard homes, including distressed public and assisted housing; or

(8) Percentage of the residents living at or below the Federal poverty threshold.

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.

Moderate evidence means that there is evidence of effectiveness of a key project component in improving a relevant outcome for a sample that overlaps with the populations or settings proposed to receive that component, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:

(i) A practice guide prepared by the WWC using version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, or 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks reporting a “strong evidence base” or “moderate evidence base” for the corresponding practice guide recommendation;

(ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC using version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, or 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks reporting a “positive effect” or “potentially positive effect” on a relevant outcome based on a “medium to large” extent of evidence, with no reporting of a “negative effect” or “potentially negative effect” on a relevant outcome; or

(iii) A single experimental study or quasi-experimental design study reviewed and reported by the WWC using version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, or 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks, or otherwise assessed by the Department using version 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks, as appropriate, and that—

(A) Meets WWC standards with or without reservations;

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

(C) Includes no overriding statistically significant and negative effects on Start Printed Page 5158relevant outcomes reported in the study or in a corresponding WWC intervention report prepared under version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, or 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks; and

(D) Is based on a sample from more than one site (e.g., State, county, city, school district, or postsecondary campus) and includes at least 350 students or other individuals across sites. Multiple studies of the same project component that each meet requirements in paragraphs (iii)(A), (B), and (C) of this definition may together satisfy this requirement.

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 work-force readiness, which may include job training, internship opportunities, and career counseling.

(f) Community-based support for students who have attended the schools in 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.

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 Handbooks.

Regular high school diploma has the meaning set out in section 8101(43) of the ESEA.

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.

Representative of the geographic area proposed to be served means that residents of the geographic area proposed to be served have an active role in decision-making and that at least one-third of the applicant's governing board or advisory board is made up of—

(a) Residents who live in the geographic area proposed to be served, which may include residents who are representative of the ethnic and racial composition of the neighborhood's residents and the languages they speak;

(b) Residents of the city or county in which the neighborhood is located but who live outside the geographic area proposed to be served, and who earn less than 80 percent of the area's median income as published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development;

(c) Public officials who serve the geographic area proposed to be served (although not more than one-half of the governing board or advisory board may be made up of public officials); or

(d) Some combination of individuals from the three groups listed in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this definition.

Segmentation analysis means the process of grouping and analyzing data from children and families in the geographic area proposed to be served according to indicators of need or other relevant indicators to allow grantees to differentiate and more effectively target interventions based on the needs of different populations in the geographic area.

Strong evidence means that there is evidence of the effectiveness of a key project component in improving a relevant outcome for a sample that overlaps with the populations and settings proposed to receive that component, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:

(i) A practice guide prepared by the WWC using version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, or 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks reporting a “strong evidence base” for the corresponding practice guide recommendation;

(ii) An intervention report prepared by the WWC using version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, or 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks reporting a “positive effect” on a relevant outcome based on a “medium to large” extent of evidence, with no reporting of a “negative effect” or “potentially negative effect” on a relevant outcome; or

(iii) A single experimental study reviewed and reported by the WWC using version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, or 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks, or otherwise assessed by the Department using version 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks, as appropriate, and that—

(A) Meets WWC standards without reservations;

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

(C) Includes no overriding statistically significant and negative effects on relevant outcomes reported in the study or in a corresponding WWC intervention report prepared under version 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, or 4.1 of the WWC Handbooks; and

(D) Is based on a sample from more than one site (e.g., State, county, city, school district, or postsecondary campus) and includes at least 350 students or other individuals across sites. Multiple studies of the same project component that each meet requirements in paragraphs (iii)(A), (B), and (C) of this definition may together satisfy this requirement.

Student achievement means—

(a) For tested grades and subjects—Start Printed Page 5159

(1) A student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; and

(2) As appropriate, other measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across classrooms and programs; and

(b) For non-tested grades and subjects, alternative measures of student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-tests and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.

Student mobility rate is calculated by dividing the total number of new student entries and withdrawals at a school, from the day after the first official enrollment number is collected through the end of the academic year, by the first official enrollment number of the academic year.

What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) 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.

Start Authority

Authority: Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7273-7274.

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.

Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The NFP. (e) The notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2011 (76 FR 39589) (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP). (f) The Administrative Priorities. (g) The Opportunity Zones NFP.

Note:

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

Note:

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

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grant.

Estimated Available Funds: $36,993,970.

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

Estimated Range of Awards: $4,000,000 to $6,000,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $5,000,000.

Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $6,000,000 for a single budget period of 12 months.

Estimated Number of Awards: 5-7.

Note:

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

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

Under section 4623 of the ESEA, a grant awarded under this competition will be for a period of not more than five years, and may be extended for an additional period of not more than two years.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Under section 4622 of the ESEA, an eligible entity must be one of the following:

(a) An institution of higher education, as defined in section 102 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1002);

(b) An Indian Tribe or Tribal organization, as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304); or

(c) One or more nonprofit entities working in formal partnership with not less than one of the following entities:

(i) A high-need LEA.

(ii) An institution of higher education, as defined in section 102 of the HEA (20 U.S.C. 1002).

(iii) The office of a chief elected official of a unit of local government.

(iv) An Indian Tribe or Tribal organization, as defined under section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).

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: Under section 4623(d)(1)(A) of the ESEA, to be eligible for a grant under this competition, an applicant must demonstrate a commitment from one or more entities in the public or private sector, which may include Federal, State, and local public agencies, philanthropic organizations, and private sources, to provide matching funds.

An applicant proposing a project that meets Absolute Priority 1—Non-rural and Non-Tribal Communities must obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 100 percent of its grant award.

Under section 4623(d)(1)(C) of the ESEA, an applicant proposing a project that meets Absolute Priority 2—Rural Applicants or Absolute Priority 3—Tribal Communities must obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at least 50 percent of its grant award.

Eligible sources of matching funds include sources of funds used to pay for solutions within the pipeline services, initiatives supported by the LEA, or public health services for children in the neighborhood. Under section 4623(d)(1)(B) of the ESEA, at least 10 percent of an applicant's total match must be cash or in-kind contributions from the private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations or private sources.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment of matching funds in the application. Applicants must specify the source of the funds or contributions and in the case of a third-party in-kind contribution, a description of how the value was determined for the donated or contributed goods or service. Applicants must demonstrate the match commitment by including letters in their applications explaining the type and quantity of the match commitment Start Printed Page 5160with original signatures from the executives of organizations or agencies providing the match.

Under section 4623(d)(1)(C) of the ESEA, the Secretary may consider decreasing the matching requirement in the most exceptional circumstances, on a case-by-basis.

An applicant that is unable to meet the matching requirement must include in its application a request to the Secretary to reduce the matching requirement, including the amount of the requested reduction, the total remaining match contribution, and a statement of the basis for the request. The Secretary will grant this request only if an applicant demonstrates a significant financial hardship.

An applicant should review the Department's cost-sharing and cost matching regulations, which include specific limitations, in 2 CFR 200.306 and the cost principles regarding donations, capital assets, depreciations, and allowable costs, set out in subpart E of 2 CFR part 200.

The Secretary does not, as a general matter, anticipate waiving the matching requirement. 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. Indirect Cost Rate Information: This program uses an unrestricted 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.

c. 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: The grantee may award subgrants to entities it has identified in an approved application or that it selects through a competition under procedures established by the grantee.

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 PN competition, 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 feel 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 program.

4. Funding Restrictions: 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 no more than 50 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 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 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 us of their intent to submit an application. To do so, please email the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT with the subject line “Intent to Apply,” and include the applicant's name and a contact person's name and email address. Applicants that do not submit a notice of intent to apply may still apply for funding; applicants that do submit a notice of intent to apply are not bound to apply or bound by the information provided.

V. Application Review Information

1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria “Need for project” and “Project design” are from the NFP. The remaining selection criteria are from 34 CFR 75.210 and the 2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP. The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parenthesis; the maximum score that an application may receive under the selection criteria, and the competitive preference priorities, is 110 points.

The selection criteria are as follows:

(a) Need for project (up to 20 points).

In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The magnitude or severity of the problems to be addressed by the proposed project as described by indicators of need and other relevant indicators identified in part by the needs assessment and segmentation analysis (up to 5 points);

(2) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including—

(i) The nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses (up to 5 points); and

(ii) A pipeline of solutions addressing the identified gaps and weaknesses, including solutions targeted to early childhood, K-12, family and community supports, and college and career (up to 10 points).

(b) Quality of project services (up to 30 points).

The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project. In determining the Start Printed Page 5161quality of the project services, the Secretary considers:

(1) 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 (34 CFR 75.210) (up to 10 points); and

(2) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will lead to improvement in the achievement of students as measured against rigorous academic standards (34 CFR 75.210) (up to 20 points).

(c) Quality of project design (up to 20 points).

In determining the quality of project design for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

(1) The extent to which the applicant describes a plan to create a complete pipeline of services, without time and resource gaps, that is designed to prepare all children in the neighborhood to attain a high-quality education and successfully transition to college and a career (up to 5 points);

(2) The extent to which the project will significantly increase the proportion of students in the neighborhood that are served by the complete continuum of high-quality services (up to 5 points); and

(3) The extent to which the proposed family navigation system is high-quality and provides students and their families sufficient services and supports based on available services and individual needs (up to 10 points).

(d) Quality of the management plan (up to 15 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 (34 CFR 75.210) (up to 5 points); and

(2) The experience, lessons learned, and proposal to build capacity of the applicant's management team and project director in collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, learning, continuous improvement, and accountability, including whether the applicant has a plan to build, adapt, or expand a longitudinal data system that integrates student-level data from multiple sources in order to measure progress while abiding by privacy laws and requirements (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP) (up to 10 points).

(e) Adequacy of resources (up to 15 points).

The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:

(1) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits (34 CFR 75.210) (up to 5 points);

(2) The extent to which the applicant demonstrates that it has the resources to operate the project beyond the length of the grant, including a multi-year financial and operating model and accompanying plan; the demonstrated commitment of any partners; evidence of broad support from stakeholders (e.g., State educational agencies, teachers' unions) critical to the project's long term success; or more than one of these types of evidence (34 CFR 75.210) (up to 5 points); and

(3) The extent to which the applicant identifies existing neighborhood assets and programs supported by Federal, State, local, and private funds that will be used to implement a continuum of solutions (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP) (up to 5 points).

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

In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 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 program 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.

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) (34 CFR 200.300, 200.303, 200.339, and 200.341);Start Printed Page 5162
  • 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: The Secretary has established performance indicators (i.e., performance measures) for PN as required under section 4624(h) of the ESEA. Performance indicators established by the Secretary include improved academic and development outcomes for children, including indicators of school readiness, high school graduation, postsecondary education and career readiness, and other academic and developmental outcomes. These outcomes promote data-driven decision-making and access to a community-based continuum of high-quality services for children living in the most distressed communities of the United States, beginning at birth. All grantees will be required to submit data annually against these performance measures as part of their annual performance report.

The Secretary establishes, in Table 1, the following performance indicators under section 4624(h) of the ESEA and 34 CFR 75.110:

Table 1—Promise Neighborhoods Performance Indicators

ResultIndicatorRecommended source
1. Children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school1. Number and percentage of children in kindergarten who demonstrate at the beginning of the program or school year age-appropriate functioning across multiple domains of early learning as determined using developmentally appropriate early learning measuresAdministrative data from LEA.
2. Students are proficient in core academic subjects2.1 Number and percentage of students at or above grade level according to State mathematics assessments in at least the grades required by the ESEA (3rd through 8th grades and once in high school) 2.2 Number and percentage of students at or above grade level according to State English language arts assessments in at least the grades required by the ESEA
3. Students successfully transition from middle school grades to high school3.1 Attendance rate of students in 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grade as defined by average daily attendance 3.2 Chronic absenteeism rate of students in 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades
4. Youth graduate from high school4. Four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate
5. High school graduates obtain a postsecondary degree, certification or credential5.1 Number and percentage of Promise Neighborhood students who enroll in a two-year or four-year college or university after graduation 5.2 Number and percent of Promise Neighborhood students who graduate from a two-year or four-year college or university or vocational certification completionThird party data such as the National Student Clearinghouse.
6. Students are healthy6. Number and percentage of children who consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables dailyNeighborhood survey, school climate survey or other reliable data source for population level data collection.
Start Printed Page 5163
7. Students feel safe at school and in their community7. Number and percentage of children who feel safe at school and traveling to and from school as measured by a school climate survey
8. Students live in stable communities8. Student mobility rate (as defined in the notice)
9. Families and community members support learning in promise Neighborhood Schools9.1 Number and percentage of parents or family members that read to or encourage their children to read three or more times a week or reported their child read to themselves three or more times a week (birth-8th grade) 9.2 Number and percentage of parents/family members who report talking about the importance of college and career (9th-12th grade)
10. Students have access to 21st century learning tools10. Number and percentage of students who have school and home access to broadband internet and a connected computing device

Note: The indicators in Table 1 are not intended to limit an applicant from collecting and using data from additional Family and Community Support indicators proposed to the Department. Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to propose additional performance indicators aligned to the specific pipeline services proposed in their application.

Each eligible entity that receives a grant under this program is required to prepare and submit an annual report to the Secretary that must include the following: (1) Information about the number and percentage of children in the neighborhood who are served by the grant program, including a description of the number and percentage of children accessing each support service offered as part of the pipeline of services; and (2) information relating to the metrics established under the PN Performance Indicators.

In addition, grantees are required to make these data publicly available, including through electronic means. To the extent practicable, and as required by law, such information must be provided in an accessible form and a language accessible to parents and families in the neighborhood served under the PN grant. In addition, data on academic indicators pertinent to the PN program will be, in most cases, part of statewide longitudinal data systems already.

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).

Also, in making continuation awards for years four and five, the Department will consider whether the grantee is achieving the intended goals and outcomes of the grant and shows substantial improvement against baseline data on performance indicators and performance measures.

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

[FR Doc. 2021-00907 Filed 1-15-21; 8:45 am]

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