[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 16 (Tuesday, January 25, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4322-4330]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-1518]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Charter Schools Program (CSP); Office of Innovation and 
Improvement; Overview Information; Charter Schools Program (CSP): State 
Educational Agencies Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for 
Fiscal Year (FY) 2011

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.282A.

DATES:
    Applications Available: January 25, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 18, 2011.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 17, 2011.

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Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the CSP is to increase national 
understanding of the charter school model (1) by expanding the number 
of high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation 
by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and 
initial implementation of charter schools, and (2) by evaluating the 
effects of charter schools, including their effects on students, 
student academic achievement, staff, and parents. The Secretary awards 
grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) on a competitive basis to 
enable them to conduct charter school programs in their States. SEAs in 
turn use their CSP funds to make subgrants to eligible applicants in 
their State. These subgrants are used for planning, program design, and 
initial implementation of a charter school, and to support the 
dissemination of information about charter schools, including 
successful practices demonstrated by charter schools.
    Priorities and Definitions: This competition includes seven 
competitive preference priorities, one invitational priority, and 
definitions. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(1) and 34 CFR 
75.105(b)(2)(iv), competitive preference priorities 1 through 4 are 
from section 5202(e) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 
1965, as amended (ESEA), 20 U.S.C. 7221a(e). Competitive preference 
priorities 5 through 7 and the definitions for graduation rate, high-
poverty school, open educational resources, and rural local educational 
agency are from the notice of final supplemental priorities and 
definitions for discretionary grant programs, published in the Federal 
Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 78486). The definitions for 
developer and eligible applicant are from 20 U.S.C. 7221i.
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2011 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants 
from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference 
priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 
50 points to an application, depending on how well the application 
meets one or more of these priorities.

    Note: In order to receive preference under priorities 1 through 
7, an applicant must (a) Identify the priority or priorities that it 
believes it meets; (b) describe, in detail, how it meets the 
priority or priorities; and (c) provide documentation in support of 
its claims, including citations and examples from its State's 
charter school law, regulations, or policies. In order to receive 
points for priority 1 or to receive points for priorities 2 through 
4, an application must meet priority 1 and must meet one or more of 
priorities 2 through 4.

    An SEA that meets priority 1 but does not meet one or more of 
priorities 2 through 4 will not receive any points for priorities 1 
through 4.
    An SEA that does not meet priority 1 but meets one or more of 
priorities 2 through 4 will not receive any points for priorities 2 
through 4.
    The Notes following the competitive preference priorities are 
guidance to assist applicants in responding to the priorities and are 
not required by statute or regulation. However, we encourage applicants 
to consider those Notes in responding to the priorities.
    These priorities are:
    Competitive Preference Priority 1--Periodic Review and Evaluation 
(up to 10 points). The State provides for periodic review and 
evaluation by the authorized public chartering agency of each charter 
school at least once every five years, unless required more frequently 
by State law, to determine whether the charter school is meeting the 
terms of the school's charter and is meeting or exceeding the student 
academic achievement requirements and goals for charter schools as set 
forth under State law or the school's charter.

    Note: The Secretary invites the applicant to provide information 
regarding whether the periodic review that takes place at least once 
every five years includes a public vote on whether to terminate, 
extend, or renew a school's charter and on whether a failure to 
affirmatively renew or extend a school's charter during the periodic 
review that takes place at least once every five years would result 
in the charter school being closed.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2--Number of High-Quality Charter 
Schools (up to 8 points). The State has demonstrated progress in 
increasing the number of high-quality charter schools that are held 
accountable in the terms of the schools' charters for meeting clear and 
measurable objectives for the educational progress of the students 
attending the schools, in the period prior to the period for which an 
SEA applies for a grant under this competition.

    Note: The Secretary invites the applicant to provide the 
following information: (1) Its definition of ``high-quality charter 
school''; (2) the number of ``high-quality charter schools'' in the 
State and a description of how the rate has changed over the past 
five years; and (3) the percentage of ``high-quality charter 
schools'' in the State and a description of how the percentage has 
changed over the past five years.

    Competitive Preference Priority 3--One Authorized Public Chartering 
Agency Other than a Local Educational Agency (LEA), or an Appeals 
Process (5 points). The State--
    (a) Provides for one authorized public chartering agency that is 
not an LEA, such as a State chartering board, for each individual or 
entity seeking to operate a charter school pursuant to State law; or
    (b) In the case of a State in which LEAs are the only authorized 
public chartering agencies, allows for an appeals process for the 
denial of an application for a charter school.
    Competitive Preference Priority 4--High Degree of Autonomy (up to 5 
points). The State ensures that each charter school has a high degree 
of autonomy over the charter school's budget and expenditures.
    Competitive Preference Priority 5--Improving Achievement and High 
School Graduation Rates (up to 12 points). Projects that are designed 
to address one or more of the following priority areas:
    (a) Accelerating learning and helping to improve high school 
graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment 
rates for students in rural local educational agencies (as defined in 
this notice) (up to 3 points).
    (b) Accelerating learning and helping to improve high school 
graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment 
rates for students with disabilities (up to 3 points).
    (c) Accelerating learning and helping to improve high school 
graduation rates (as defined in this notice) and college enrollment 
rates for English learners (up to 3 points).
    (d) Accelerating learning and helping to improve high school 
graduation rates and college enrollment rates in high-poverty schools 
(as defined in this notice) (up to 3 points).

    Note: For each population of students for which the applicant is 
seeking competitive priority points, the Secretary invites the 
applicant to discuss the steps it would take to meet the priority. 
For example, the applicant could describe any guidance or support it 
would provide to charter school developers to assist such developers 
in recruiting and providing high-quality services to students who 
are members of the particular student populations(s); how it would 
monitor charter schools in the State to ensure that they are taking 
effective and active steps to recruit and enroll students who are 
members of the particular student population(s); how it would 
monitor charter schools in the State to ensure that students who are 
members of the particular student population(s) are being served by 
such schools; or how it would design its subgrant competition, which 
may include the use of

[[Page 4324]]

preferences, to ensure that students who are members of the 
particular student population(s) are being served at rates equal to 
or greater than such students are being served in other schools in 
the area.

    Competitive Preference Priority 6--Promoting Diversity (up to 5 
points). Projects that are designed to promote student diversity, 
including racial and ethnic diversity, or avoid racial isolation.

    Note: The Secretary invites the applicant to discuss how it 
would design its subgrant competition to meet this priority.

    Competitive Preference Priority 7-- Improving Productivity (up to 5 
points). Projects that are designed to significantly increase 
efficiency in the use of time, staff, money, or other resources while 
improving student learning or other educational outcomes (i.e., outcome 
per unit of resource). Such projects may include innovative and 
sustainable uses of technology, modification of school schedules and 
teacher compensation systems, use of open educational resources (as 
defined in this notice), or other strategies.
    Invitational Priority: Under this competition we are particularly 
interested in applications that address the following priority. For FY 
2011 and any subsequent year in which we make awards based on the list 
of unfunded applicants 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:
    Support for Turnaround Schools.
    The Secretary is particularly interested in projects that are 
designed to turn around persistently low-performing schools by 
providing support for one or both of the following types of activities: 
(1) the creation of a charter school in coordination with an LEA in the 
vicinity of one or more public schools closed as a consequence of the 
LEA implementing a restructuring plan under section 1116(b)(8) of the 
ESEA; or (2) the creation of a new charter school under the restart 
model of intervention as described in the Final Requirements for School 
Improvement Grants as Amended in January 2010 at (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/faq.html). Under the restart model of intervention, an LEA 
converts a school into a charter school or closes and reopens a school 
under a charter school operator, a charter management organization, or 
an education management organization that has been selected through a 
rigorous review process.

    Note: For purposes of this invitational priority--
    Charter management organization is a non-profit organization 
that operates, manages, or oversees multiple charter schools by 
centralizing or sharing certain functions and resources among 
schools.
    Educational management organization is an organization that 
provides whole-school operation services.

Definitions
    The following definitions are taken from the notice of final 
supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant 
programs, published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 
78486) and the CSP authorizing statute (20 U.S.C. 7221).
    Developer means an individual or group of individuals (including a 
public or private non-profit organization), which may include teachers, 
administrators and other school staff, parents, or other members of the 
local community in which a charter school project will be carried out. 
(20 U.S.C. 7221i(2)).
    Eligible applicant means a developer that has (a) applied to an 
authorized public chartering authority to operate a charter school; and 
(b) provided adequate and timely notice to that authority under section 
5203(d)(3) of the ESEA. (20 U.S.C. 7221i(3)).
    Graduation rate means a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate 
consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1) and may also include an extended-
year adjusted cohort graduation rate consistent with 34 CFR 
200.19(b)(1)(v) if the State in which the proposed project is 
implemented has been approved by the Secretary to use such a rate under 
Title I of the ESEA. (75 FR 78509).
    High-poverty school means a school in which at least 50 percent of 
students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the 
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act or in which at least 50 
percent of students are from low-income families as determined using 
one of the criteria specified under section 1113(a)(5) of the ESEA. For 
middle and high schools, eligibility may be calculated on the basis of 
comparable data from feeder schools. Eligibility as a high-poverty 
school under this definition is determined on the basis of the most 
currently available data. (75 FR 78509).
    Open educational resources (OER) means teaching, learning, and 
research resources that reside in the public domain or have been 
released under an intellectual property license that permits their free 
use or repurposing by others. (75 FR 78509).
    Rural local educational agency means an LEA that is eligible under 
the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-
Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the 
ESEA. Eligible applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is 
eligible for these programs by referring to information on the 
Department's Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html. (75 FR 78510).
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7221-7221i; Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2010, Division D, Title III, Public Law 111-117.

    Note: The Department anticipates that an authority similar to 
that in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Division D, Title 
III, Public Law 111-117 will be included in the fiscal year 2011 
appropriations act.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 
80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 97, 98, and 99; (b) The notice of final 
supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant 
programs published in the Federal Register on December 15, 2010 (75 FR 
78486).

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

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: We estimate that between $45,000,000 and 
$62,000,000 will be available for new awards for this program for FY 
2011. The actual level of funding, if any, depends on final 
congressional action. However, we are inviting applications to allow 
enough time to complete the grant process, if Congress appropriates 
funds for this program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications we may make additional awards later in FY 2011 and in FY 
2012 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $1,000,000-$15,000,000 per year.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $5,000,000 per year.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 7-12.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice. The estimated range, size, and number of awards are based on 
a single 12-month budget period. However, the Department may choose 
to fund more than 12 months of a project using the FY 2011 funds.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months.

    Note: Planning and implementation subgrants awarded by an SEA to 
non-SEA eligible applicants will be awarded for a period of up to 
three years, no more than 18 months of which may be used for 
planning

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and program design and no more than two years of which may be used 
for the initial implementation of a charter school. Dissemination 
subgrants are awarded for a period of up to two years.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs in States with a State statute 
specifically authorizing the establishment of charter schools.

    Note: Non-SEA eligible applicants in States in which the SEA 
elects not to participate in or does not have an application 
approved under the CSP may apply for funding directly from the 
Department. The Department plans to hold a separate competition for 
non-SEA eligible applicants under CFDA numbers 84.282B and 84.282C.

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

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Leslie Hankerson, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W249, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-8524 or by e-mail: 
Leslie.Hankerson@ed.gov. If you use a telecommunications device for the 
deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-
877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) by contacting the program contact person listed 
in this section.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this competition.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. The Secretary strongly 
encourages applicants to limit Part III to the equivalent of no more 
than 60 pages, using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover 
sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-
page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, you must include all of the application narrative in 
Part III.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: January 25, 2011.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 18, 2011.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 17, 2011.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under 
Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this 
competition.
    5. Funding Restrictions: The following funding restrictions apply 
to this competition:
    Use of Funds for Post-Award Planning and Design of the Educational 
Program and Initial Implementation of the Charter School. A non-SEA 
eligible applicant receiving a subgrant under this program may use the 
subgrant funds only for--
    (a) Post-award planning and design of the educational program, 
which may include (i) refinement of the desired educational results and 
of the methods for measuring progress toward achieving those results; 
and (ii) professional development of teachers and other staff who will 
work in the charter school; and
    (b) Initial implementation of the charter school, which may include 
(i) informing the community about the school; (ii) acquiring necessary 
equipment and educational materials and supplies; (iii) acquiring or 
developing curriculum materials; and (iv) other initial operational 
costs that cannot be met from State or local sources. (20 U.S.C. 
7221c(f)(3))
    Use of Funds for Dissemination Activities. An SEA may reserve not 
more than 10 percent of its grant funds to support dissemination 
activities (20 U.S.C. 7221c(f)(1)). A charter school may use those 
funds to assist other schools in adapting the charter school's program 
(or certain aspects of the charter school's program) or to disseminate 
information about the charter school through such activities as--
    (a) Assisting other individuals with the planning and start-up of 
one or more new public schools, including charter schools, that are 
independent of the assisting charter school and the assisting charter 
school's developers and that agree to be held to at least as high a 
level of accountability as the assisting charter school;
    (b) Developing partnerships with other public schools, including 
charter schools, designed to improve student academic achievement in 
each of the schools participating in the partnership;
    (c) Developing curriculum materials, assessments, and other 
materials that promote increased student achievement and are based on 
successful practices within the assisting charter school; and
    (d) Conducting evaluations and developing materials that document 
the successful practices of the assisting charter school and that are 
designed to improve student achievement (20 U.S.C. 7221c(f)(6)(B)(i) 
through (iv)).
    Award Basis. In determining whether to approve a grant award and 
the amount of such award, the Department will consider, among other 
things, the amount of any unobligated carryover funds the applicant has 
under an existing CSP grant and the applicant's performance and use of 
funds under a previous or existing award under any Department program 
(34 CFR 75.233(b) and 75.217(d)(3)(ii)). In assessing applicant's 
performance and use of funds under a previous or existing award the 
Secretary will consider, among other things, the outcomes the applicant 
has achieved and the results

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of any Departmental grant monitoring, as well as an applicant's 
progress in remedying any deficiencies identified in such monitoring.
    We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions 
in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined in the 
Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/section910/Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf).
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify 
for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the 
instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the CSP, CFDA number 84.282A, must be 
submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site 
at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a 
copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload 
and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a 
grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the CSP at 
http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application 
package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the 
CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.326, not 
84.326A).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at http://www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: the 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must attach any narrative sections of your application 
as files in a .PDF (Portable Document) format only. If you upload a 
file type other than a .PDF or submit a password-protected file, we 
will not review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

[[Page 4327]]

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

    Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Leslie Hankerson, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W249, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970.
    FAX: (202) 205-8524.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
84.282A, LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 
20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated 
postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your 
local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
84.282A, 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.

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

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you 
mail or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by 
the Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including 
suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are 
submitting your application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a 
notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not 
receive this notification within 15 business days from the 
application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Application Requirements: Applicants applying for CSP grant 
funds must address the following application requirements, which are 
based on 20 U.S.C. 7221b(b) and 7221c(f), and the selection criteria 
described in this notice. An applicant may choose to respond to the 
application requirements in the context of its responses to the 
selection criteria.
    (i) Describe the objectives of the SEA's charter school grant 
program and how these objectives will be fulfilled, including steps 
taken by the SEA to inform teachers, parents, and communities of the 
SEA's charter school grant program;
    (ii) Describe how the SEA will inform each charter school in the 
State about Federal funds the charter school is eligible to receive and 
Federal programs in which the charter school may participate;
    (iii) Describe how the SEA will ensure that each charter school in 
the State receives the school's commensurate share of Federal education 
funds that are allocated by formula each year, including during the 
first year of operation of the school and a year in which the school's 
enrollment expands significantly;
    (iv) Describe how the SEA will disseminate best or promising 
practices of charter schools to each LEA in the State;
    (v) If an SEA elects to reserve part of its grant funds (no more 
than 10 percent) for the establishment of a revolving loan fund, 
describe how the revolving loan fund would operate;
    (vi) If an SEA desires the Secretary to consider waivers under the 
authority of

[[Page 4328]]

the CSP, include a request and justification for any waiver of 
statutory or regulatory provisions that the SEA believes is necessary 
for the successful operation of charter schools in the State; and
    (vii) Describe how charter schools that are considered to be LEAs 
under State law and LEAs in which charter schools are located will 
comply with sections 613(a)(5) and 613(e)(1)(B) of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act.
    2. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 20 U.S.C. 7221c and 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR and the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Division D, Title III, Public 
Law 111-117. The Department anticipates that selection criteria similar 
to that in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Division D, Title 
III, Public Law 111-117 will be included in the fiscal year 2011 
appropriations act. The selection criteria are as follows:
    SEAs that propose to use a portion of their grant funds for 
dissemination activities must address each selection criterion (i) 
through (vii) individually and title each accordingly. SEAs that do not 
propose to use a portion of their grant funds for dissemination 
activities must address selection criteria (i) through (v) and (vii) 
only. SEAs that do not address criterion (vi) because they are not 
proposing to use a portion of their grant funds for dissemination 
activities will not be penalized. The maximum possible score (based on 
the selection criteria and not including the competitive preference 
priorities) is 100 points for SEAs that do not propose to use grant 
funds to support dissemination activities and 110 points for SEAs that 
propose to use grant funds to support dissemination activities. The 
maximum possible score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses 
following the criterion. The Notes following the selection criteria are 
guidance to help applicants in preparing their applications and are not 
required by statute or regulation. However, we encourage applicants to 
consider those Notes in responding to the selection criteria.
    (i) The contribution the charter schools grant program will make in 
assisting educationally disadvantaged and other students in meeting 
State academic content standards and State student academic achievement 
standards (20 points).

    Note: The Secretary encourages the applicant to provide a 
description of the objectives for the SEA's charter school grant 
program and to explain how these objectives will be met, including 
steps that will be taken by the SEA to inform teachers, parents, and 
communities of the SEA's charter school grant program and how the 
SEA will disseminate best or promising practices of charter schools 
to each LEA in the State.

    (ii) The degree of flexibility afforded by the SEA to charter 
schools under the State's charter school law (20 points).

    Note:  The Secretary encourages the applicant to describe how 
the State's charter school law establishes an administrative 
relationship between charter schools and the authorized public 
chartering agency and exempts charter schools from significant State 
or local rules that inhibit the flexible operation and management of 
public schools.

    The Secretary also encourages the applicant to describe the degree 
of autonomy charter schools in the State exercise over such matters as 
the charter school's budgets, expenditures, daily operation, schedules, 
curricula, and personnel in accordance with the State's charter school 
law.
    (iii) The number of high-quality charter schools to be created in 
the State (20 points).

    Note:  The Secretary considers the SEA's reasonable estimate of 
the number of new high-quality charter schools that will be 
authorized and opened in the State during the project period.

    The Secretary encourages the applicant to describe, in detail, its 
charter school subgrant application and peer review processes, how the 
peer review process will assess quality, and how the SEA will ensure 
that only high-quality charter school applicants (as defined by the 
applicant) are selected for funding. States that have received grants 
under this program previously are invited to provide data on the 
percentages of eligible applicants that were awarded subgrants and how 
this percentage related to the overall quality of applicants funded.
    (iv) Quality of the management plan. In determining the quality of 
the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers 
(a) 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; and (b) how the SEA will inform each charter school in 
the State about Federal funds the charter school is eligible to receive 
and ensure that each charter school in the State receives the school's 
commensurate share of Federal education funds that are allocated by 
formula each year, including during the first year of operation of the 
school and during a year in which the school's enrollment expands 
significantly (20 U.S.C. 7221b(b)(2)(A) and (B) and 7221e(a)) (10 
points).

    Note:  The Secretary encourages the applicant to describe any 
compliance issues or findings related to the CSP that have been 
identified in an audit or other monitoring review, as well as the 
steps taken to address such compliance issues or findings.

    (v) The SEA's plan to monitor and hold accountable authorized 
public chartering agencies through such activities as providing 
technical assistance or establishing a professional development 
program, which may include providing authorized public chartering 
agency staff with training and assistance on planning and systems 
development, so as to improve the capacity of those agencies to 
authorize, monitor, and hold accountable charter schools (20 points). 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2010, Division D, Title III, Public 
Law 111-117.
    (vi) In the case of SEAs that propose to use grant funds to support 
dissemination activities under section 5204(f)(6)(B) of the ESEA, the 
quality of the dissemination activities (5 points) and the likelihood 
that those activities will improve student academic achievement (5 
points).

    Note: The Secretary encourages the applicant to describe the 
steps to be taken by the SEA to award these funds to eligible 
applicants, including a description of the peer review process the 
SEA will use to review applications for dissemination, the timelines 
for awarding such funds, and how the SEA will assess the quality of 
the applications.

    Applicants that have previously awarded dissemination subgrants 
under this program are encouraged to describe the outcomes of such 
subgrants and to identify any improvements to the applicant's processes 
for awarding and administering dissemination subgrants.
    (vii) Quality of the project evaluation. In determining the quality 
of the evaluation, the Secretary considers 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 (10 points).

    Note:  The Secretary encourages the applicant to include a 
strong evaluation plan in the application narrative and to use that 
plan, as appropriate, to shape the development of the project from 
the beginning of the grant period. The Secretary encourages the 
applicant to design the plan so that it includes (a) benchmarks to 
monitor progress toward specific project objectives and (b) outcome 
measures to assess the impact on teaching and learning or other 
important outcomes for project participants. In its plan, we 
encourage the applicant to

[[Page 4329]]

identify the individual and/or organization that will serve as the 
evaluator and to describe the qualifications of the evaluator. We 
also encourage the applicant to describe, in its application, the 
evaluation design, indicating: (1) The types of data that will be 
collected; (2) when various types of data will be collected; (3) the 
methods that will be used; (4) the instruments that will be 
developed and when; (5) how the data will be analyzed; (6) when 
reports of results and outcomes will be available; and (7) how the 
applicant will use the information collected through the evaluation 
to monitor progress of the funded project and to provide 
accountability information both about success at the initial site 
and about effective strategies for replication in other settings. 
Applicants are encouraged to devote an appropriate level of 
resources to project evaluation.

    3. 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, and compliance with grant conditions. The 
Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a 
timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable 
quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    4. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special 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 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year 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 http://www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: The goal of the CSP is to support the 
creation and development of a large number of high-quality charter 
schools that are free from State or local rules that inhibit flexible 
operation, are held accountable for enabling students to reach 
challenging State performance standards, and are open to all students. 
The Secretary has set two performance indicators to measure progress 
toward this goal: (1) The number of charter schools in operation around 
the Nation, and (2) the percentage of fourth- and eighth-grade charter 
school students who are achieving at or above the proficient level on 
State examinations in mathematics and reading/language arts. 
Additionally, the Secretary has established the following measure to 
examine the efficiency of the CSP: Federal cost per student in 
implementing a successful school (defined as a school in operation for 
three or more years).
    All grantees will be expected to submit an annual performance 
report documenting their contribution in assisting the Department in 
meeting these performance measures.
    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, 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).
    6. Project Director's Meeting: Applicants approved for funding 
under this competition must attend a two-day meeting for project 
directors at a location to be determined in the continental United 
States during each year of the project. Applicants may include the cost 
of attending this meeting in their proposed budgets.

VII. Agency Contacts

    For Further Information Contact: Leslie Hankerson, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W249, Washington, DC 
20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-8524 or by e-mail: 
Leslie.Hankerson@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on 
request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT of section VII in this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.

    Note:  The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.



[[Page 4330]]


    Dated: January 19, 2011.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2011-1518 Filed 1-24-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P