[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 44 (Tuesday, March 6, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13304-13311]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5427]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Application for New Awards; Charter Schools Program (CSP); Grants 
for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools

AGENCY: Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants for Replication and Expansion of 
High-Quality Charter Schools

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2012.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.282M.
    Applications Available: March 6, 2012.
    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: March 27, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 7, 2012.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 5, 2012.

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; to expand the number of 
high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation by 
providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, 
initial implementation, and expansion of charter schools; and to 
evaluate the effects of charter schools, including their effects on 
students, student academic achievement, staff, and parents.
    The purpose of the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality 
Charter Schools (Replication and Expansion) competition (CFDA 84.282M) 
is to award grants to eligible applicants to enable them to replicate 
or expand high-quality charter schools with demonstrated records of 
success, including success in increasing student academic achievement. 
Eligible applicants may use their grant funds to expand the enrollment 
of one or more existing charter schools by substantially increasing the 
number of available seats per school or to open one or more new charter 
schools that are based on the charter school model for which the 
eligible applicant has presented evidence of success.
    Priorities: This notice includes one absolute priority, six 
competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority. The 
absolute and competitive preference priorities are from the notice of 
final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for 
this program, published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (76 FR 
40898); 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 corrected on May 12, 
2011 (76 FR 27637); and from 34 CFR 75.225(a).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards based on the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:
    Experience Operating or Managing High-Quality Charter Schools. (76 
FR 40898)
    This priority is for projects that will provide for the replication 
or expansion of high-quality charter schools by applicants that 
currently operate or manage more than one high-quality charter school 
(as defined in this notice).
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2012 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 will award an additional 9 
points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1; 
an additional point to an application that meets Competitive Preference 
Priority 2; up to an additional 4 points to an application that meets 
Competitive Preference Priority 3, depending on how well the 
application meets the priority; an additional point to an application 
that meets Competitive Preference Priority 4; an additional point to an 
application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 5; and an 
additional 4 points to an application that meets Competitive Preference 
Priority 6.

    Note: In order to receive preference under these competitive 
preference priorities, the applicant must identify the priority or 
priorities that it believes it meets and provide documentation 
supporting its claims.

    These priorities are:
    Competitive Preference Priority 1--Low-Income Demographic. (76 FR 
40900) (9 points)
    To meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that at least 
60 percent of all students in the charter schools it currently operates 
or manages are individuals from low-income families (as defined in this 
notice).
    Competitive Preference Priority 2--School Improvement. (76 FR 
40900) (1 point)
    To meet this priority, an applicant must demonstrate that its 
proposed replication or expansion of one or more high-quality charter 
schools will occur in partnership with, and will be designed to assist, 
one or more local educational agencies (LEAs) in implementing academic 
or structural interventions to serve students attending schools that 
have been identified for improvement, corrective action, closure, or 
restructuring under section 1116 of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), and as described in the 
notice of final requirements for the School Improvement Grants, 
published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2010 (75 FR 66363).

    Note: Applicants in States operating under ESEA Flexibility that 
have opted to waive the requirement in ESEA section 1116(b) for LEAs 
to identify for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, as 
appropriate, their Title I schools that fail to make AYP for two or 
more consecutive years may partner with LEAs to serve students 
attending priority or focus schools (see the September 23, 2011 
``ESEA Flexibility'' document at http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility).

    Competitive Preference Priority 3--Promoting Diversity. (76 FR 
40900) (Up to 4 points)
    This priority is for applicants that demonstrate a record of (in 
the schools they currently operate or manage), as well as an intent to 
continue (in schools that they will be creating or substantially 
expanding under this grant), taking active measures to--
    (a) Promote student diversity, including racial and ethnic 
diversity, or avoid racial isolation;
    (b) Serve students with disabilities at a rate that is at least 
comparable to the rate at which these students are served in public 
schools in the surrounding area; and
    (c) Serve English learners at a rate that is at least comparable to 
the rate at which these students are served in public schools in the 
surrounding area.
    In support of this priority, applicants must provide enrollment 
data as well as descriptions of existing policies and activities 
undertaken or planned to be undertaken.

    Note: An applicant addressing this priority is invited to 
discuss how the proposed design of its project will encourage 
approaches by charter schools that help bring together students of 
different backgrounds, including students from different racial and 
ethnic backgrounds, to attain the benefits that flow from a diverse 
student body.



[[Page 13305]]


    Note: For additional information, please refer to the 
Department's ``Guidance on the Voluntary Use of Race to Achieve 
Diversity and Avoid Racial Isolation in Elementary and Secondary 
Schools'' guidance documents at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/guidance-ese-201111.pdf.

    Competitive Preference Priority 4--Technology. (76 FR 27638) (1 
point)
    This priority is for projects that are designed to improve student 
achievement (as defined in this notice) or teacher effectiveness 
through the use of high-quality digital tools or materials, which may 
include preparing teachers to use the technology to improve 
instruction, as well as developing, implementing, or evaluating digital 
tools or materials.

    Note: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the 
Department's regulations implementing Section 504 at 34 CFR Part 
104, prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs 
and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the 
Department. The obligations under these laws--to provide an equal 
opportunity to individuals with disabilities to participate in, and 
receive the benefits of, the educational program and to provide 
accommodations or modifications when necessary to ensure equal 
treatment--apply to a recipient's use of technology, including 
digital tools and equipment. For additional information, please 
refer to the Department's May 26, 2011, Dear Colleague Letter 
available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201105-ese.pdf, and attached Frequently Asked Questions 
about the June 26, 2010, Dear Colleague Letter available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-ebook-faq-201105.pdf.

    Competitive Preference Priority 5--Promoting Science, Technology, 
Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education. (76 FR 27639) (1 point)
    This priority is for projects that are designed to provide students 
with increased access to rigorous and engaging coursework in STEM.
    Competitive Preference Priority 6--Novice Applicant (34 CFR 
75.225(c)(2)) (4 points)
    This priority is for applicants that qualify as novice applicants. 
``Novice applicant'' means an applicant for a grant from the Department 
that (i) has never received a Replication and Expansion grant; (ii) has 
never been a member of a group application, submitted in accordance 
with 34 CFR 75.127-75.129, that received a Replication and Expansion 
grant; and (iii) has not had an active discretionary grant from the 
Federal Government in the five years before the deadline date for 
applications for new awards under this Replication and Expansion grant 
competition.
    For the purposes of clause (iii) in the preceding paragraph, a 
grant is active until the end of the grant's project or funding period, 
including any extensions of those periods that extend the grantee's 
authority to obligate funds (34 CFR 75.225(b)).
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2012 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:

Students With Disabilities and English Learners

    The Secretary is particularly interested in applications that 
demonstrate, through participant, achievement, and outcome data for 
students with disabilities, English learners, or both--
    (1) Prior success in improving educational achievement and outcomes 
for these students; and
    (2) That the charter school model the applicant proposes to 
replicate or expand serves these students at rates that are comparable 
to the enrollment rates of students with disabilities, English 
learners, or both, in the school districts in which the applicant's 
schools operate.

    Note: An applicant addressing this priority should provide 
participant, achievement, and outcome data separately for students 
with disabilities and English learners.

Definitions

    The following definitions are from the notice of final priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this program 
published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (76 FR 40898), and 
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 corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 
27637), and apply to this competition.
    Charter management organization (CMO) is a nonprofit organization 
that operates or manages multiple charter schools by centralizing or 
sharing certain functions and resources among schools. (76 FR 40901)
    Educationally disadvantaged students includes, but is not 
necessarily limited to, individuals from low-income families (as 
defined in this notice), English learners, migratory children, children 
with disabilities, and neglected or delinquent children. (76 FR 40901)
    High-quality charter school is a school that shows evidence of 
strong academic results for the past three years (or over the life of 
the school, if the school has been open for fewer than three years), 
based on the following factors:
    (1) Increasing student academic achievement and attainment for all 
students, including, as applicable, educationally disadvantaged 
students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the 
applicant.
    (2) Either (i) Demonstrated success in closing historic achievement 
gaps for the subgroups of students described in section 
1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA at the charter schools operated or 
managed by the applicant, or
    (ii) No significant achievement gaps between any of the subgroups 
of students described in section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA at 
the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant and 
significant gains in student academic achievement have been made with 
all populations of students served by the charter schools operated or 
managed by the applicant.
    (3) Achieved results (including performance on statewide tests, 
annual student attendance and retention rates, high school graduation 
rates, college attendance rates, and college persistence rates where 
applicable and available) for low-income and other educationally 
disadvantaged students served by the charter schools operated or 
managed by the applicant that are above the average academic 
achievement results for such students in the State.
    (4) No significant compliance issues (as defined in this notice), 
particularly in the areas of student safety and financial management. 
(76 FR 40901-02)
    Individual from low-income family means an individual who is 
determined by an SEA or LEA to be a child, ages 5 through 17, from a 
low-income family on the basis of (a) data used by the Secretary to 
determine allocations under section 1124 of the ESEA, (b) data on 
children eligible for free or reduced-price lunches under the Richard 
B. Russell National School Lunch Act, (c) data on children in families 
receiving assistance under part A of title IV of the Social Security 
Act, (d) data on children eligible to receive medical assistance under 
the Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Social Security Act, or (e) 
an alternate method that combines or extrapolates from the data in 
items (a) through (d) of this definition (see 20 U.S.C. 6537(3)). (76 
FR 40902)
    Replicate means to open one or more new charter schools that are 
based on the charter school model or models for

[[Page 13306]]

which the applicant has presented evidence of success. (76 FR 40902)
    Significant compliance issue means a violation that did, will, or 
could lead to the revocation of a school's charter. (76 FR 40902)
    Student achievement means--
    (a) For tested grades and subjects: (1) A student's score on the 
State's assessments under the ESEA; and, as appropriate, (2) other 
measures of student learning, such as those described in paragraph (b) 
of this definition, provided they are rigorous and comparable across 
schools.
    (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 schools. (76 FR 27641)
    Substantially expand means to increase the student count of an 
existing charter school by more than 50 percent or to add at least two 
grades to an existing charter school over the course of the grant. (76 
FR 40902)

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7221-7221j; Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2012, Division F, Title III, Public Law 112-74.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 76, 77, 79, 
80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this 
program published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (76 FR 
40898). (c) 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 corrected on May 12, 2011 (76 FR 
27637). (d) The regulations in 34 CFR 75.225(a).

    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 only to 
institutions of higher education.


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 99 apply only to an 
educational agency or institution.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $13,500,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds, and the quality of the 
applications, we may make additional awards later in FY 2012 and in FY 
2013 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $200,000 to $3,000,000 per year.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $1,600,000 per year.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 7-11.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice. The estimated range, average 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 FY 2012 
funds.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Non-profit charter management organizations 
and other entities that are not for-profit entities. Eligible 
applicants may also apply as a group or consortium.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other:
    (a) Reasonable and Necessary Costs: The Secretary may elect to 
impose maximum limits on the amount of grant funds that may be awarded 
per charter school replicated, per charter school substantially 
expanded, or per new school seat created.
    For this competition the maximum limit of grant funds that may be 
awarded per new school seat is $3,000, including a maximum limit per 
new school created of $800,000. The maximum limit per new school seat 
in a charter school that is substantially expanding its enrollment is 
$1,500, including a maximum limit per substantially expanded school of 
$800,000.

    Note: Applicants must ensure that all costs included in the 
proposed budget are reasonable and necessary in light of the goals 
and objectives of the proposed project. Any costs determined by the 
Secretary to be unreasonable or unnecessary will be removed from the 
final approved budget.

    (b) Other CSP Grants: A charter school that receives funds under 
this competition is ineligible to receive funds for the same purpose 
under section 5202(c)(2) of the ESEA, including for planning and 
program design or the initial implementation of a charter school (i.e., 
CFDA 84.282A or 84.282B).
    A charter school that has received CSP funds for replication 
previously, or that has received funds for planning or initial 
implementation of a charter school (i.e., CFDA 84.282A or 84.282B), may 
not use funds under this grant for the same purpose. However, such 
charter schools may be eligible to receive funds under this competition 
to substantially expand the charter school beyond the existing grade 
levels or student count.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package:
    Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
room 4W255, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-3525 or by 
email: erin.pfeltz@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 compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in 
this section.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this 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 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, the page 
limit does apply to all of the application narrative section (Part 
III).
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: March 6, 2012.
    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: The Department will hold a pre-
application meeting via webinar for prospective applicants on March 27, 
2012, from 1

[[Page 13307]]

p.m. to 4 p.m., Washington, DC, time. Individuals interested in 
attending this meeting are encouraged to pre-register by emailing their 
name, organization, and contact information with the subject heading 
``PRE-APPLICATION MEETING'' to CharterSchools@ed.gov. There is no 
registration fee for attending this meeting.
    For further information about the pre-application meeting, contact 
Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
room 4W255, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-3525 or by 
email: erin.pfeltz@ed.gov.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 7, 2012.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to 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 
of 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: July 5, 2012.
    4. 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.
    5. Funding Restrictions: Grantees under this program must use the 
grant funds to replicate or substantially expand the charter school 
model or models for which the applicant has presented evidence of 
success. Grant funds must be used to carry out allowable activities, as 
described in section 5204(f)(3) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7221c(f)(3)).
    Pursuant to section 5204(f)(3) of the ESEA, grantees under this 
program must use the grant funds 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.

    Note: A grantee may use up to 20 percent of grant funds for 
initial operational costs associated with the expansion or 
improvement of the grantee's oversight or management of its charter 
schools, provided that: (i) the specific charter schools being 
created or substantially expanded under the grant are the intended 
beneficiaries of such expansion or improvement, and (ii) such 
expansion or improvement is intended to improve the grantee's 
ability to manage or oversee the charter schools created or 
substantially expanded under the grant.

    We reference 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 at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    7. Other Submission Requirements. Applications for grants under 
this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an 
exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in 
this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    Applications for grants under the CSP Grants for Replication and 
Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools, CFDA number 84.282M, must be 
submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site 
at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a 
copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload 
and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a 
grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for CSP Grants for 
Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools at 
www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application 
package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA 
number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.282, not 
84.282M).
    Please note the following:

[[Page 13308]]

     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this program to ensure that you 
submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. 
You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to 
Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home 
page at 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 upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a .PDF (Portable Document) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Specifically, do not upload an 
interactive or fillable .PDF file. If you upload a file type other than 
a read-only, non-modifiable .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 email. 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.
    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: Erin Pfeltz, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W255, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970. FAX: (202) 205-5630.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
CFDA Number 84.282M, LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.

[[Page 13309]]

    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: 
CFDA Number 84.282M, 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8 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 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.
    These application requirements are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this 
competition published in the Federal Register on July 12, 2011 (79 FR 
40898).
    (a) Describe the objectives of the project for replicating or 
substantially expanding high-quality charter schools and the methods by 
which the applicant will determine its progress toward achieving those 
objectives.
    (b) Describe how the applicant currently operates or manages the 
charter schools for which it has presented evidence of success, and how 
the proposed new or substantially expanded charter schools will be 
operated or managed. Include a description of central office functions, 
governance, daily operations, financial management, human resources 
management, and instructional management. If applying as a group or 
consortium, describe the roles and responsibilities of each member of 
the group or consortium and how each member will contribute to this 
project.
    (c) Describe how the applicant will ensure that each proposed new 
or substantially expanded charter school receives its commensurate 
share of Federal education funds that are allocated by formula each 
year, including during the first year of operation of the school and 
any year in which the school's enrollment substantially expands.
    (d) Describe the educational program to be implemented in the 
proposed new or substantially expanded charter schools, including how 
the program will enable all students (including educationally 
disadvantaged students) to meet State student academic achievement 
standards, the grade levels or ages of students to be served, and the 
curriculum and instructional practices to be used.
    (e) Describe the administrative relationship between the charter 
school or schools to be replicated or substantially expanded by the 
applicant and the authorized public chartering agency.
    (f) Describe how the applicant will provide for continued operation 
of the proposed new or substantially expanded charter school or schools 
once the Federal grant has expired.
    (g) Describe how parents and other members of the community will be 
involved in the planning, program design, and implementation of the 
proposed new or substantially expanded charter school or schools.
    (h) Include a request and justification for waivers of any Federal 
statutory or regulatory provisions that the applicant believes are 
necessary for the successful operation of the proposed new or 
substantially expanded charter schools.
    (i) Describe how the grant funds will be used, including how these 
funds will be used in conjunction with other Federal programs 
administered by the Secretary, and with any matching funds.
    (j) Describe how all students in the community, including students 
with disabilities, English learners, and other educationally 
disadvantaged students, will be informed about the proposed new or 
substantially expanded charter schools and given an equal opportunity 
to attend such schools.
    (k) Describe how the proposed new or substantially expanded charter 
schools that are considered to be LEAs under State law, or the LEAs in 
which the new or substantially expanded charter schools are located, 
will comply with sections 613(a)(5) and 613(e)(1)(B) of the Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act.
    (l) Provide information on any significant compliance issues 
identified within the past three years for each school managed by the 
applicant, including compliance issues in the areas of student safety, 
financial management, and statutory or regulatory compliance.
    (m) For each charter school currently operated or managed by the 
applicant, provide the following information: The year founded, the 
grades currently served, the number of students, the address, the 
percentage of students in each subgroup of students described in 
section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA, results on the State 
assessment for the past three years (if available) by subgroup, 
attendance rates, student attrition rates for the past three years, and 
(if the school operates a 12th grade) high school graduation rates and 
college attendance rates (maintaining standards to protect personally 
identifiable information).
    (n) Provide objective data showing applicant quality. In 
particular, the Secretary requires the applicant to provide the 
following data:
    (1) Performance (school-wide and by subgroup) for the past three 
years (if available) on statewide tests of all charter schools operated 
or managed by the applicant as compared to all students in other 
schools in the State or States at the same grade level, and as compared 
with other schools serving similar demographics of students 
(maintaining standards to protect personally identifiable information);

[[Page 13310]]

    (2) Annual student attendance and retention rates (school-wide and 
by subgroup) for the past three years (or over the life of the school, 
if the school has been open for fewer than three years), and 
comparisons with other similar schools (maintaining standards to 
protect personally identifiable information); and
    (3) Where applicable and available, high school graduation rates, 
college attendance rates, and college persistence rates (school-wide 
and by subgroup) for the past three years (if available) of students 
attending schools operated or managed by the applicant, and the 
methodology used to calculate these rates (maintaining standards to 
protect personally identifiable information). When reporting data for 
schools in States that may have particularly demanding or low standards 
of proficiency, applicants are invited to discuss how their academic 
success might be considered against applicants from across the country.
    (o) Provide such other information and assurances as the Secretary 
may require.
    2. Selection Criteria. The selection criteria for this program are 
from the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria for this program published in the Federal Register 
on July 12, 2011 (76 FR 40898), and from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum 
possible score for addressing all of the criteria in this section is 
100 points. The maximum possible score for addressing each criterion is 
indicated in parentheses following the criterion.
    In evaluating an application, the Secretary considers the following 
criteria:
    (a) Quality of the eligible applicant (50 points). In determining 
the quality of the applicant, the Secretary considers the following 
factors:
    (1) The degree, including the consistency over the past three 
years, to which the applicant has demonstrated success in significantly 
increasing student academic achievement and attainment for all 
students, including, as applicable, educationally disadvantaged 
students served by the charter schools operated or managed by the 
applicant (20 points).
    (2) Either (i) The degree, including the consistency over the past 
three years, to which the applicant has demonstrated success in closing 
historic achievement gaps for the subgroups of students described in 
section 1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA at the charter schools 
operated or managed by the applicant, or
    (ii) The degree, including the consistency over the past three 
years, to which there have not been significant achievement gaps 
between any of the subgroups of students described in section 
1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA at the charter schools operated or 
managed by the applicant and to which significant gains in student 
academic achievement have been made with all populations of students 
served by the charter schools operated or managed by the applicant (15 
points).
    (3) The degree, including the consistency over the past three 
years, to which the applicant has achieved results (including 
performance on statewide tests, annual student attendance and retention 
rates, high school graduation rates, college attendance rates, and 
college persistence rates where applicable and available) for low-
income and other educationally disadvantaged students served by the 
charter schools operated or managed by the applicant that are 
significantly above the average academic achievement results for such 
students in the State (15 points).
    (b) Contribution in assisting educationally disadvantaged students 
(10 points).
    The contribution the proposed project will make in assisting 
educationally disadvantaged students served by the applicant to meet or 
exceed State academic content standards and State student academic 
achievement standards, and to graduate college- and career-ready. When 
responding to this selection criterion, applicants must discuss the 
proposed locations of schools to be created or substantially expanded 
and the student populations to be served.
    (c) Quality of the project design (10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed 
project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the goals, 
objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are 
clearly specified, measurable, and attainable. Applicants proposing to 
open schools serving substantially different populations than those 
currently served by the model for which they have demonstrated evidence 
of success must address the attainability of outcomes given this 
difference.
    (d) Quality of the management plan and personnel (25 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
personnel to replicate and substantially expand high-quality charter 
schools. In determining the quality of the management plan and 
personnel for the proposed project, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks.
    (2) The business plan for improving, sustaining, and ensuring the 
quality and performance of charter schools created or substantially 
expanded under these grants beyond the initial period of Federal 
funding in areas including, but not limited to, facilities, financial 
management, central office, student academic achievement, governance, 
oversight, and human resources of the charter schools.
    (3) A multi-year financial and operating model for the 
organization, a demonstrated commitment of current and future partners, 
and evidence of broad support from stakeholders critical to the 
project's long-term success.
    (4) The plan for closing charter schools supported, overseen, or 
managed by the applicant that do not meet high standards of quality.
    (5) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director, chief executive officer or organization 
leader, and key project personnel, especially in managing projects of 
the size and scope of the proposed project.
    (e) Quality of the evaluation plan (5 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the 
evaluation, the Secretary considers the 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.
    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, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial

[[Page 13311]]

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 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 two performance indicators to measure progress 
towards 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 consecutive years).
    All grantees must submit an annual performance report with 
information that is responsive to 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).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin Pfeltz, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W255, Washington, DC 20202-
5970. Telephone: (202) 205-3525 or by email: erin.pfeltz@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 compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
in section VII of this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe 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.

    Dated: March 1, 2012.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2012-5427 Filed 3-5-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P