[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 169 (Friday, August 30, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 53991-54011]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-21139]



[[Page 53991]]

Vol. 78

Friday,

No. 169

August 30, 2013

Part IV





Department of Education

Department of Health and Human Services





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Applications for New Awards; Race to the Top--Early Learning Challenge; 
Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 169 / Friday, August 30, 2013 / 
Notices

[[Page 53992]]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES


Applications for New Awards; Race to the Top--Early Learning 
Challenge

AGENCY: Department of Education and Department of Health and Human 
Services.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information:

Race to the Top--Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC)

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 
2013.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.412A.

DATES: Applications Available: August 30, 2013.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: September 30, 2013.

    Note: Submission of a notice of intent to apply is optional.

    Date of Technical Assistance Planning Workshop: September 10, 2013. 
 Note: Please refer to the Department of Education's RTT-ELC Web site 
(http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge/index.html) for meeting details.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: October 16, 2013.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Race to the Top--Early 
Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) program is to improve the quality of early 
learning and development and close the educational gaps for Children 
with High Needs.\1\ This program focuses on improving early learning 
and development for young children by supporting States' efforts to 
increase the number of low-income and disadvantaged children in each 
age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are enrolled in 
high-quality Early Learning and Development Programs. The program also 
supports States' efforts to design and implement an integrated system 
of high-quality Early Learning and Development Programs and services.
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    \1\ Defined terms are used throughout the notice and are 
indicated by capitalization.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

    The Statutory Context and Program Overview:

Race to the Top--Early Learning Challenge

    A critical focus of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the 
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively, the 
``Departments'') is supporting America's youngest learners and helping 
ensure that children, especially Children with High Needs, enter 
kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life. A robust body of 
research demonstrates that high-quality Early Learning and Development 
Programs can improve young children's health, social-emotional, and 
cognitive outcomes; enhance school readiness; and help close the 
educational gaps that exist between Children with High Needs and their 
peers at the time they enter kindergarten.
    To address these gaps, the Departments have identified, as high 
priorities, strengthening the quality of existing Early Learning and 
Development Programs and increasing access to high-quality Early 
Learning and Development Programs for all children, especially for 
Children with High Needs.
    On May 25, 2011, Secretaries Arne Duncan and Kathleen Sebelius 
announced the RTT-ELC, a new $500 million State-level grant competition 
authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 
(ARRA), as amended. Through the RTT-ELC program, the Departments seek 
to help close the educational gaps between Children with High Needs and 
their peers by supporting State efforts to build strong systems of 
early learning and development that provide increased access to high-
quality programs for the children who need them most.
    The RTT-ELC program represents an unprecedented opportunity for 
States to focus deeply on their early learning and development systems 
for children from birth through age five. Fourteen States have thus far 
received RTT-ELC grants and are able to build a more unified approach 
to supporting young children and their families--an approach that 
increases access to high-quality Early Learning and Development 
Programs and helps ensure that children enter kindergarten with the 
skills, knowledge, and dispositions toward learning they need to be 
successful in school and in life.
    In this notice, we announce the specific priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria that the Departments will use in 
the FY 2013 RTT-ELC competition. The priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria in this notice are in large part 
identical to those in the FY 2011 notice inviting applications (see 76 
FR 53564).
    The FY 2013 RTT-ELC competition is organized around five key reform 
areas representing the foundation of an effective early learning and 
development reform agenda focused on school readiness and ongoing 
educational success. These areas provide a framework for the 
competition's priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria, and are as follows:
    (A) Successful State Systems;
    (B) High-Quality, Accountable Programs;
    (C) Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children;
    (D) A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce; and
    (E) Measuring Outcomes and Progress.

The first two of these reform areas, (A) and (B), are core areas of 
focus for this program (``Core Areas''), and applicants are required to 
respond to all selection criteria under these Core Areas. The reform 
areas in (C), (D), and (E) are areas where applicants will direct 
targeted attention to specific activities that are relevant to their 
States' context (``Focused Investment Areas''). Applicants are required 
to address each Focused Investment Area but not each of the selection 
criteria under them.
    Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this 
program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2013 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from 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:
    Priority 1: Promoting School Readiness for Children with High 
Needs.
    To meet this priority, the State's application must comprehensively 
and coherently address how the State will build a system that increases 
the quality of Early Learning and Development Programs for Children 
with High Needs so that they enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
    The State's application must demonstrate how it will improve the 
quality of Early Learning and Development Programs by integrating and 
aligning resources and policies across Participating State Agencies and 
by designing and implementing a common, statewide Tiered Quality Rating 
and Improvement System. In addition, to achieve the necessary

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reforms, the State must make strategic improvements in those areas that 
will most significantly improve program quality and outcomes for 
Children with High Needs. Therefore, the State must address those 
criteria from within each of the Focused Investment Areas (sections (C) 
Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children, (D) A 
Great Early Childhood Education Workforce, and (E) Measuring Outcomes 
and Progress) that it believes will best prepare its Children with High 
Needs for kindergarten success.
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2013 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from 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 
10 points to an application depending on how well the application meets 
Priority 2; we award up to an additional 10 points to an application 
depending on how well the application meets Priority 4; we award an 
additional 10 points (all or none) to an application that meets 
Priority 3; and we will award up to an additional 5 points depending on 
how well the application meets Priority 5. The maximum score for all of 
the competitive preference priorities is 35 points.
    Applicants that choose to address Priority 2, Priority 4, and 
Priority 5 must provide a narrative in the space provided in the 
application, and applicants that choose to address Priority 3 must do 
so by writing to selection criterion (E)(1).
    These priorities are:
    Priority 2: Including All Early Learning and Development Programs 
in the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System.
    Priority 2 is designed to increase the number of children from 
birth to kindergarten entry who are participating in programs that are 
governed by the State's licensing system and quality standards, with 
the goal that all licensed or State-regulated programs will 
participate. The State will meet this priority based on the extent to 
which the State has in place, or has a High-Quality Plan to implement 
no later than June 30th of the fourth year of the grant--
    (a) A licensing and inspection system that covers all programs that 
are not otherwise regulated by the State and that regularly care for 
two or more unrelated children for a fee in a provider setting; 
provided that if the State exempts programs for reasons other than the 
number of children cared for, the State may exclude those entities and 
reviewers will determine whether an applicant has met this priority 
only on the basis of non-excluded entities; and
    (b) A Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System in which all 
licensed or State-regulated Early Learning and Development Programs 
participate.
    Priority 3: Understanding the Status of Children's Learning and 
Development at Kindergarten Entry.
    To meet this priority, the State must, in its application, address 
selection criterion (E)(1) and earn a score of at least 70 percent of 
the maximum points available for that criterion.

    Note: A State will earn all 10 competitive preference priority 
points if a majority of reviewers determines that the State has met 
the competitive preference priority. A State earns zero points if a 
majority of reviewers determines that the applicant has not met the 
competitive preference priority.

    Priority 4: Creating Preschool through Third Grade Approaches to 
Sustain Improved Early Learning Outcomes through the Early Elementary 
Grades.
    Priority 4 is designed to build upon the State's High-Quality Plan 
to improve birth through age five early learning outcomes, and to 
sustain and extend improved early learning outcomes through the early 
elementary school years, including by leveraging existing Federal, 
State, and local resources. The State will meet this priority based on 
the extent to which it describes a High-Quality Plan to improve the 
overall quality, alignment, and continuity of teaching and learning to 
serve children from preschool through third grade through such 
activities as--
    (a) Enhancing the State's kindergarten-through-third-grade 
standards to align them with the State's Early Learning and Development 
Standards across all Essential Domains of School Readiness;
    (b) Identifying and addressing the health, behavioral, and 
developmental needs of Children with High Needs from preschool through 
third grade, and building families' capacity to address these needs;
    (c) Implementing teacher preparation and professional development 
programs and strategies that emphasize developmental science and the 
importance of protective factors, pedagogy, and the delivery of 
developmentally appropriate content, strategies for identifying and 
addressing the needs of children experiencing social and emotional 
challenges, and effective family engagement strategies for educators, 
administrators, and related personnel serving children from preschool 
through third grade;
    (d) Implementing model systems of collaboration both within and 
between Early Learning and Development Programs and elementary schools 
to engage and support families and improve all transitions for children 
across the birth through third grade continuum;
    (e) Building or enhancing data systems to monitor the status of 
children's learning and development from preschool through third grade 
to inform families and support student progress in meeting critical 
educational benchmarks in the early elementary grades; and
    (f) Other efforts designed to increase the percentage of children 
who are able to read and do mathematics at grade level by the end of 
the third grade.
    Priority 5: Addressing the Needs of Children in Rural Areas.
    The State will meet this priority based on the extent to which it 
describes:
    (a) How it will implement approaches to address the unique needs 
(e.g., limited access to resources) of children in rural areas, 
including rural areas with small populations; and
    (b) How these approaches are designed to close educational and 
opportunity gaps for Children with High Needs, increase the number and 
percentage of Low-Income children who are enrolled in high-quality 
Early Learning and Development Programs; and enhance the State's 
integrated system of high-quality early learning programs and services.
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2013 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from 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:
    Priority 6: Encouraging Private-Sector Support.
    The State will meet this priority based on the extent to which it 
describes how the private sector will provide financial and other 
resources to support the State and its Participating State Agencies or 
Participating Programs in the implementation of the State Plan.
    Application Requirements: Each application must meet the following 
application requirements:
    (a) The State's application must be signed by the Governor or an 
authorized representative; an authorized representative from the Lead 
Agency; and an authorized representative from each Participating State 
Agency.

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    (b) The State must submit a certification from the State Attorney 
General or an authorized representative that the State's description 
of, and statements and conclusions in its application concerning, State 
law, statute, and regulation are complete and accurate and constitute a 
reasonable interpretation of State law, statute, and regulation.
    (c) The State must complete the budget spreadsheets that are 
provided in the application package and submit the completed 
spreadsheet as part of its application. These spreadsheets should be 
included on the CD or DVD that the State submits as its application.
    (d) The State must submit preliminary scopes of work for each 
Participating State Agency as part of the executed memorandum of 
understanding (MOU) or other binding agreement. Each preliminary scope 
of work must describe the portions of the State's proposed plans that 
the Participating State Agency is agreeing to implement. If a State is 
awarded an RTT-ELC grant, the State will have up to 90 days to complete 
final scopes of work for each Participating State Agency.
    (e) The State must include a budget that details how it will use 
grant funds awarded under this competition, and funds from other 
Federal, State, private, and local sources to achieve the outcomes of 
the State Plan (as described in selection criterion (A)(4)(a)), and how 
the State will use funds awarded under this program to--
    (1) Achieve its ambitious yet achievable targets for increasing the 
number and percentage of Early Learning and Development Programs that 
are participating in the State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement 
System (as described in selection criterion (B)(2)(c)); and
    (2) Achieve its ambitious yet achievable targets for increasing the 
number and percentage of Children with High Needs who are enrolled in 
Early Learning and Development Programs that are in the top tiers of 
the State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (as described 
in selection criterion (B)(4)(c)).
    (f) The State must provide an overall summary for the State Plan 
and a rationale for why it has chosen to address the selected criteria 
in each Focused Investment Area, including--
     How the State's choices build on its progress to date in 
each Focused Investment Area (as outlined in Tables (A)(1)6-13 and the 
narrative under (A)(1)); and
     Why these selected criteria will best achieve the State's 
ambitious yet achievable goals for improving program quality, improving 
outcomes for Children with High Needs statewide, and closing the 
educational gaps between Children with High Needs and their peers.
    (g) The State, within each Focused Investment Area, must select and 
address--
     Two or more selection criteria within Focused Investment 
Area (C) Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for 
Children; and
     One or more selection criteria within Focused Investment 
Areas (D) A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce and (E) Measuring 
Outcomes and Progress.
    (h) Where the State is submitting a High-Quality Plan, the State 
must include in its application a detailed plan that is feasible and 
includes, but need not be limited to--
    (1) The key goals;
    (2) The key activities to be undertaken; the rationale for the 
activities; and, if applicable, where in the State the activities will 
be initially implemented, and where and how they will be scaled up over 
time to eventually achieve statewide implementation;
    (3) A realistic timeline, including key milestones, for 
implementing each key activity;
    (4) The party or parties responsible for implementing each activity 
and other key personnel assigned to each activity;
    (5) Appropriate financial resources to support successful 
implementation of the plan;
    (6) The information requested as supporting evidence, if any, 
together with any additional information the State believes will be 
helpful to peer reviewers in judging the credibility of the plan;
    (7) The information requested or required in the performance 
measures, where applicable;
    (8) How the State will address the needs of the different types of 
Early Learning and Development Programs, if applicable; and
    (9) How the State will meet the unique needs of Children with High 
Needs.
    Program Requirements: If a State is awarded an RTT-ELC grant, it 
must meet the following requirements:
    (a) The State must have an operational State Advisory Council on 
Early Childhood Education and Care that meets the requirements 
described in section 642B(b) of the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9837(b)). 
In addition, the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education 
and Care must include the State's Child Care and Development Fund 
(CCDF) administrator, State agency coordinators from both Part B 
section 619 and Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education 
Act (IDEA), and State agency representatives responsible for health and 
mental health.
    (b) The State must continue to participate in the programs 
authorized under section 619 of Part B of IDEA and Part C of IDEA and 
in the CCDF program.
    (c) States must continue to have an active Maternal, Infant, and 
Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program (pursuant to section 511 
of Title V of the Social Security Act, as added by section 2951 of the 
Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-148)) for the duration of the 
grant, whether operated by the State or by an eligible non-profit 
organization.
    (d) The State is prohibited from spending funds from the grant on 
the direct delivery of health services.
    (e) The State must participate in RTT-ELC grantee technical 
assistance activities facilitated by ED or HHS, individually or in 
collaboration with other State grantees in order to share effective 
program practices and solutions and collaboratively solve problems, and 
must set aside $400,000 from its grant funds for this purpose.
    (f) The State must--
    (1) Comply with the requirements of any evaluation sponsored by ED 
or HHS of any of the State's activities carried out with the grant;
    (2) Comply with the requirements of any cross-State evaluation--as 
part of a consortium of States--of any of the State's proposed reforms, 
if that evaluation is coordinated or funded by ED or HHS, including by 
using common measures and data collection instruments and collecting 
data necessary to the evaluation;
    (3) Together with its independent evaluator, if any, cooperate with 
any technical assistance regarding evaluations provided by ED or HHS. 
The purpose of this technical assistance will be to ensure that the 
validation of the State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System 
and any other evaluations conducted by States or their independent 
evaluators, if any, are of the highest quality and to encourage 
commonality in approaches where such commonality is feasible and 
useful;
    (4) Submit to ED and HHS for review and comment its design for the 
validation of its Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (as 
described in selection criterion (B)(5)) and any other evaluations of 
activities included in the State Plan, including any activities that 
are part of the State's

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Focused Investment Areas, as applicable; and
    (5) Make widely available through formal (e.g., peer-reviewed 
journals) or informal (e.g., newsletters) mechanisms, and in print or 
electronically, the results of any evaluations it conducts of its 
funded activities.
    (g) The State must have a longitudinal data system that includes 
the 12 elements described in section 6401(e)(2)(D) of the America 
COMPETES Act by the date required under the State Fiscal Stabilization 
Fund (SFSF) grant and in accordance with Indicator (b)(1) of its 
approved SFSF plan.
    (h) The State must comply with the requirements of all applicable 
Federal, State, and local privacy laws, including the requirements of 
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the Health Insurance 
Portability Accountability Act, and the privacy requirements in IDEA, 
and their applicable regulations.
    (i) The State must ensure that the grant activities are implemented 
in accordance with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws.
    (j) The State must provide researchers with access, consistent with 
the requirements of all applicable Federal, State, and local privacy 
laws, to data from its Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System and 
from the Statewide Longitudinal Data System and the State's coordinated 
early learning data system (if applicable) so that they can analyze the 
State's quality improvement efforts and answer key policy and practice 
questions.
    (k) Unless otherwise protected as proprietary information by 
Federal or State law or a specific written agreement, the State must 
make any work (e.g., materials, tools, processes, systems) developed 
under its grant freely available to the public, including by posting 
the work on a Web site identified or sponsored by ED or HHS. Any Web 
sites developed under this grant must meet government or industry-
recognized standards for accessibility (www.section508.gov/).
    (l) Funds made available under an RTT-ELC grant must be used to 
supplement, not supplant, any Federal, State, or local funds that, in 
the absence of the funds awarded under this grant, would be available 
for increasing access to and improving the quality of Early Learning 
and Development Programs.
    (m) For a State that is awarded an RTT-ELC grant, the State will 
have up to 90 days from the grant award notification date to complete 
final scopes of work for each Participating State Agency. These final 
scopes of work must contain detailed work plans that are consistent 
with their corresponding preliminary scopes of work and with the 
State's grant application, and must include the Participating State 
Agency's specific goals, activities, timelines, budgets, key personnel, 
and annual targets for key performance measures for the portions of the 
State's proposed plans that the Participating State Agency is agreeing 
to implement.
    Program Definitions:
    Children with High Needs means children from birth through 
kindergarten entry who are from Low-Income families or otherwise in 
need of special assistance and support, including children who have 
disabilities or developmental delays; who are English learners; who 
reside on ``Indian lands'' as that term is defined by section 8013(7) 
of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended 
(ESEA); who are migrant, homeless, or in foster care; and other 
children as identified by the State.
    Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) means voluntary, common 
standards for a key set of education data elements (e.g., demographics, 
program participation, transition, course information) at the early 
learning, K-12, and postsecondary levels developed through a national 
collaborative effort being led by the National Center for Education 
Statistics. CEDS focus on standard definitions, code sets, and 
technical specifications of a subset of key data elements and are 
designed to increase data interoperability, portability, and 
comparability across Early Learning and Development Programs and 
agencies, States, local educational agencies, and postsecondary 
institutions.
    Comprehensive Assessment System means a coordinated and 
comprehensive system of multiple assessments, each of which is valid 
and reliable for its specified purpose and for the population with 
which it will be used, that organizes information about the process and 
context of young children's learning and development in order to help 
Early Childhood Educators make informed instructional and programmatic 
decisions and that conforms to the recommendations of the National 
Research Council reports on early childhood.
    A Comprehensive Assessment System includes, at a minimum--
    (a) Screening Measures;
    (b) Formative Assessments;
    (c) Measures of Environmental Quality; and
    (d) Measures of the Quality of Adult-Child Interactions.
    Data System Oversight Requirements means policies for ensuring the 
quality, privacy, and integrity of data contained in a data system, 
including--
    (a) A data governance policy that identifies the elements that are 
collected and maintained; provides for training on internal controls to 
system users; establishes who will have access to the data in the 
system and how the data may be used; sets appropriate internal controls 
to restrict access to only authorized users; sets criteria for 
determining the legitimacy of data requests; establishes processes that 
verify the accuracy, completeness, and age of the data elements 
maintained in the system; sets procedures for determining the 
sensitivity of each inventoried element and the risk of harm if those 
data were improperly disclosed; and establishes procedures for 
disclosure review and auditing; and
    (b) A transparency policy that informs the public, including 
families, Early Childhood Educators, and programs, of the existence of 
data systems that house personally identifiable information, explains 
what data elements are included in such a system, enables parental 
consent to disclose personally identifiable information as appropriate, 
and describes allowable and potential uses of the data.
    Early Childhood Educator means any professional working in an Early 
Learning and Development Program, including but not limited to center-
based and family child care providers; infant and toddler specialists; 
early intervention specialists and early childhood special educators; 
home visitors; related services providers; administrators such as 
directors, supervisors, and other early learning and development 
leaders; Head Start teachers; Early Head Start teachers; preschool and 
other teachers; teacher assistants; family service staff; and health 
coordinators.
    Early Learning and Development Program means any (a) State-licensed 
or State-regulated program or provider, regardless of setting or 
funding source, that provides early care and education for children 
from birth to kindergarten entry, including, but not limited to, any 
program operated by a child care center or in a family child care home; 
(b) preschool program funded by the Federal Government or State or 
local educational agencies (including any IDEA-funded program); (c) 
Early Head Start and Head Start program; and (d) a non-relative child 
care provider who is not otherwise regulated by the State and who 
regularly cares for two or more unrelated children for a fee in a 
provider setting. A State should include

[[Page 53996]]

in this definition other programs that may deliver early learning and 
development services in a child's home, such as the MIECHV; Early Head 
Start; and Part C of IDEA.\2\
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    \2\ Note: Such home-based programs and services will most likely 
not participate in the State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement 
System unless the State has developed a set of tiered Program 
Standards specifically for home-based programs and services.
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    Early Learning and Development Standards means a set of 
expectations, guidelines, or developmental milestones that--
    (a) Describe what all children from birth to kindergarten entry 
should know and be able to do and their disposition toward learning;
    (b) Are appropriate for each age group (e.g., infants, toddlers, 
and preschoolers); for English learners; and for children with 
disabilities or developmental delays;
    (c) Cover all Essential Domains of School Readiness; and
    (d) Are universally designed and developmentally, culturally, and 
linguistically appropriate.
    Early Learning Intermediary Organization means a national, 
statewide, regional, or community-based organization that represents 
one or more networks of Early Learning and Development Programs in the 
State and that has influence or authority over them. Such Early 
Learning Intermediary Organizations include, but are not limited to, 
Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies; State Head Start 
Associations; Family Child Care Associations; State affiliates of the 
National Association for the Education of Young Children; State 
affiliates of the Council for Exceptional Children's Division of Early 
Childhood; statewide or regional union affiliates that represent Early 
Childhood Educators; affiliates of the National Migrant and Seasonal 
Head Start Association; the National Tribal, American Indian, and 
Alaskan Native Head Start Association; and the National Indian Child 
Care Association.
    Essential Data Elements means the critical child, program, and 
workforce data elements of a coordinated early learning data system, 
including--
    (a) A unique statewide child identifier or another highly accurate, 
proven method to link data on that child, including Kindergarten Entry 
Assessment data, to and from the Statewide Longitudinal Data System and 
the coordinated early learning data system (if applicable);
    (b) A unique statewide Early Childhood Educator identifier;
    (c) A unique program site identifier;
    (d) Child and family demographic information, including indicators 
identifying the criteria that States use to determine whether a child 
is a Child with High Needs;
    (e) Early Childhood Educator demographic information, including 
data on educational attainment and State credential or licenses held, 
as well as professional development information;
    (f) Program-level data on the program's structure, quality, child 
suspension and expulsion rates, staff retention, staff compensation, 
work environment, and all applicable data reported as part of the 
State's Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System; and
    (g) Child-level program participation and attendance data.
    Essential Domains of School Readiness means the domains of language 
and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge (including 
early mathematics and early scientific development), approaches toward 
learning, physical well-being and motor development (including adaptive 
skills), and social and emotional development.
    Formative Assessment (also known as a classroom-based or ongoing 
assessment) means assessment questions, tools, and processes--
    (a) That are--
    (1) Specifically designed to monitor children's progress in meeting 
the Early Learning and Development Standards;
    (2) Valid and reliable for their intended purposes and their target 
populations; and
    (3) Linked directly to the curriculum; and
    (b) The results of which are used to guide and improve 
instructional practices.
    High-Quality Plan means any plan developed by the State to address 
a selection criterion or priority in this notice that is feasible and 
has a high probability of successful implementation and at a minimum 
includes--
    (a) The key goals;
    (b) The key activities to be undertaken; the rationale for the 
activities; and, if applicable, where in the State the activities will 
be initially implemented, and where and how they will be scaled up over 
time to eventually achieve statewide implementation;
    (c) A realistic timeline, including key milestones, for 
implementing each key activity;
    (d) The party or parties responsible for implementing each activity 
and other key personnel assigned to each activity;
    (e) Appropriate financial resources to support successful 
implementation of the plan;
    (f) The information requested as supporting evidence, if any, 
together with any additional information the State believes will be 
helpful to peer reviewers in judging the credibility of the plan;
    (g) The information requested in the performance measures, where 
applicable;
    (h) How the State will address the needs of the different types of 
Early Learning and Development Programs, if applicable; and
    (i) How the State will meet the needs of Children with High Needs.
    Kindergarten Entry Assessment means an assessment that--
    (a) Is administered to children during the first few months of 
their admission into kindergarten;
    (b) Covers all Essential Domains of School Readiness;
    (c) Is used in conformance with the recommendations of the National 
Research Council \3\ reports on early childhood; and
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    \3\ National Research Council. (2008). Early Childhood 
Assessment: Why, What, and How. Committee on Developmental Outcomes 
and Assessments for Young Children, C.E. Snow and S.B. Van Hemel, 
Editors. Board on Children, Youth, and Families, Board on Testing 
and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and 
Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. 
www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12446.
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    (d) Is valid and reliable for its intended purposes and for the 
target populations and aligned to the Early Learning and Development 
Standards.
    Results of the assessment should be used to inform efforts to close 
the school readiness gap at kindergarten entry, to inform instruction 
in the early elementary school grades, and to inform parents about 
their children's status and involve them in decisions about their 
children's education. This assessment must not be used to prevent 
children's entry into kindergarten or as a single measure for high-
stakes decisions.
    Lead Agency means the State-level agency designated by the Governor 
for the administration of the RTT-ELC grant; this agency is the fiscal 
agent for the grant. The Lead Agency must be one of the Participating 
State Agencies.
    Low-Income means having an income of up to 200 percent of the 
Federal poverty rate.
    Measures of Environmental Quality means valid and reliable 
indicators of the overall quality of the early learning environment.

[[Page 53997]]

    Measures of the Quality of Adult-Child Interactions means the 
measures obtained through valid and reliable processes for observing 
how teachers and caregivers interact with children, where such 
processes are designed to promote child learning and to identify 
strengths of and areas for improvement for early learning 
professionals.
    Participating Program means an Early Learning and Development 
Program that elects to carry out activities described in the State 
Plan.
    Participating State Agency means a State agency that administers 
public funds related to early learning and development and is 
participating in the State Plan. The following State agencies are 
required Participating State Agencies: The agencies that administer or 
supervise the administration of CCDF, the section 619 of Part B of IDEA 
and Part C of IDEA programs, State-funded preschool, home visiting, 
Title I of ESEA, the Head Start State Collaboration Grant, and the 
Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant, the State's 
Child Care Licensing Agency, and the State educational agency. Other 
State agencies, such as the agencies that administer or supervise the 
administration of Child Welfare, Mental Health, Temporary Assistance 
for Needy Families (TANF), Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention, the 
Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Adult Education and Family 
Literacy Act, may be Participating State Agencies if they elect to 
participate in the State Plan as well as the State Advisory Council on 
Early Childhood Education and Care.
    Program Standards means the standards that serve as the basis for a 
Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System and define differentiated 
levels of quality for Early Learning and Development Programs. Program 
Standards are expressed, at a minimum, by the extent to which--
    (a) Early Learning and Development Standards are implemented 
through evidence-based activities, interventions, or curricula that are 
appropriate for each age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers;
    (b) Comprehensive Assessment Systems are used routinely and 
appropriately to improve instruction and enhance program quality by 
providing robust and coherent evidence of--
    (1) Children's learning and development outcomes; and
    (2) Program performance;
    (c) A qualified workforce improves young children's health, social, 
emotional, and educational outcomes;
    (d) Culturally and linguistically responsive strategies are 
successfully used to engage families, help them build protective 
factors, and strengthen their capacity to support their children's 
development and learning. These strategies may include, but are not 
limited to, parent access to the program, ongoing two-way communication 
with families, parent education in child development, outreach to 
fathers and other family members, training and support for families as 
children move to preschool and kindergarten, social networks of 
support, intergenerational activities, linkages with community supports 
and adult and family literacy programs, parent involvement in decision 
making, and parent leadership development;
    (e) Health promotion practices include health and safety 
requirements; developmental, behavioral, and sensory screening, 
referral, and follow up; and the promotion of physical activity, 
healthy eating habits, oral health and behavioral health, and health 
literacy among parents; and
    (f) Effective data practices include gathering Essential Data 
Elements and entering them into the State's Statewide Longitudinal Data 
System or other early learning data system, using these data to guide 
instruction and program improvement, and making this information 
readily available to families.
    Screening Measures means age and developmentally appropriate, 
valid, and reliable instruments that are used to identify children who 
may need follow-up services to address developmental, learning, or 
health needs in, at a minimum, the areas of physical health, behavioral 
health, oral health, child development, vision, and hearing.
    State means any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and 
Puerto Rico.
    State Plan means the plan submitted as part of the State's RTT-ELC 
application.
    Statewide Longitudinal Data System means the State's longitudinal 
education data system that collects and maintains detailed, high-
quality, student- and staff-level data that are linked across entities 
and that over time provide a complete academic and performance history 
for each student. The Statewide Longitudinal Data System is typically 
housed within the State educational agency but includes or can be 
connected to early childhood, postsecondary, and labor data.
    Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System means the system 
through which the State uses a set of progressively higher Program 
Standards to evaluate the quality of an Early Learning and Development 
Program and to support program improvement. A Tiered Quality Rating and 
Improvement System consists of four components: (a) Tiered Program 
Standards with multiple rating categories that clearly and meaningfully 
differentiate program quality levels; (b) monitoring to evaluate 
program quality based on the Program Standards; (c) supports to help 
programs meet progressively higher standards (e.g., through training, 
technical assistance, financial support); and (d) program quality 
ratings that are publically available; and includes a process for 
validating the system.
    Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework means a set of 
expectations that describes what Early Childhood Educators (including 
those working with children with disabilities and English learners) 
should know and be able to do. The Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework, at a minimum, (a) Is evidence based; (b) incorporates 
knowledge and application of the State's Early Learning and Development 
Standards, the Comprehensive Assessment Systems, child development, 
health, and culturally and linguistically appropriate strategies for 
working with families; (c) includes knowledge of early mathematics and 
literacy development and effective instructional practices to support 
mathematics and literacy development in young children; (d) 
incorporates effective use of data to guide instruction and program 
improvement; (e) includes effective behavior management strategies that 
promote positive social and emotional development and reduce 
challenging behaviors; (f) incorporates feedback from experts at the 
State's postsecondary institutions and other early learning and 
development experts and Early Childhood Educators; and (g) includes 
knowledge of protective factors and effective approaches to partnering 
with families and building families' knowledge, skills, and capacity to 
promote children's health and development.
    Program Authority: Sections 14005 and 14006, of the American 
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) (Pub. L. 111-5), as 
amended by section 1832(b) of Division B of the Department of Defense 
and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 112-10), and 
the Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2012 (Title III of 
Division F of Pub. L. 112-74, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 
2012).
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82,

[[Page 53998]]

84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department suspension and 
debarment regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this 
program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $280 million.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2014 from the list of 
unfunded applicants from this competition.
    The Department of Education may use any unused funds from the FY 
2013 Race to the Top--District program in the FY 2013 RTT-ELC 
competition. The FY 2013 Race to the Top--District competition will be 
announced in a separate notice published in the Federal Register. 
Conversely, the Department of Education may use any unused FY 2013 
funds from the RTT-ELC competition in the FY 2013 Race to the Top--
District competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $37.5 million-$75 million.
    Budget Requirements: To support States in planning their budgets, 
the Departments have developed the following budget caps for each 
State. We will not consider for funding an application from a State 
that proposes a budget that exceeds the applicable cap set for that 
State. The Departments developed the following categories by ranking 
every State according to its share of the national population of 
children ages birth through five-years-old from Low-Income families and 
identifying the natural breaks in the rank order. Then, based on 
population, budget caps were developed for each category.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, 2011. 
American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year Public Use Microdata Sample 
(PUMS) data.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Category 1--Up to $75 million--Florida, New York, Texas.
    Category 2--Up to $52.5 million--Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, 
Pennsylvania.
    Category 3--Up to $45 million--Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, 
Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, 
Tennessee, Virginia.
    Category 4--Up to $37.5 million--Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, 
District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, 
Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, 
Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming.
    The State must include in its budget the amount of funds it intends 
to distribute through MOUs, interagency agreements, contracts, 
subgrants, or other mechanisms authorized by State procurement laws to 
localities, Early Learning Intermediary Organizations, Participating 
Programs, or other partners.
    The State must set aside $400,000 from its grant funds for the 
purpose of participating in RTT-ELC grantee technical assistance 
activities facilitated by ED or HHS.
    Estimated Number of Awards: From three to eight awards.

    Note: The Departments are not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Requirements

    States must meet the following requirements:
    (a) The State has not previously received an RTT-ELC grant.
    (b) The Lead Agency must have executed with each Participating 
State Agency a memorandum of understanding or other binding agreement 
that the State must attach to its application, describing the 
Participating State Agency's level of participation in the grant. At a 
minimum, the MOU or other binding agreement must include an assurance 
that the Participating State Agency agrees to use, to the extent 
applicable--
    (1) A set of statewide Early Learning and Development Standards;
    (2) A set of statewide Program Standards;
    (3) A statewide Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System; and
    (4) A statewide Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework and 
progression of credentials.
    (c) There must be an active MIECHV program in the State, either 
through the State under section 511(c) of Title V of the Social 
Security Act, as added by section 2951 of the Affordable Care Act of 
2010 (Pub. L. 111-148), or through an eligible non-profit organization 
under section 511(h)(2)(B).
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Supplement-Not-Supplant: This program involves supplement-not-
supplant funding requirements, as described in program requirement (l).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the Departments. To obtain 
a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge. To obtain a copy from the 
Departments, write, fax, call, or email: Miriam Lund, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3e330, Washington, DC 
20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 401-2871. FAX: (202) 260-8969. Email: RTT-ELC.P3.Competition@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.
    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 under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    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.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: September 30, 2013.
    We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing 
grant applications if we know the approximate number of applicants that 
intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the 
Departments strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify us of 
the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by emailing 
Miriam Lund at RTT-ELC.P3.Competition@ed.gov. This short email message 
should provide (1) The name of the State applying, (2) the contact 
person (name, phone number, and email), and (3) all competitive 
preference priorities the applicant intends to address. Applicants that 
do not submit an ``Intent to Apply'' email may still apply for funding.
    Page Limit: The application narrative is where the applicant 
addresses the selection criteria that reviewers will use to evaluate 
applications. We recommend that the applicant limit its narrative 
responses to no more than 150 pages and limit its appendices to no more 
than 150 pages. We strongly request that applicants follow the 
recommended page limits. The following standards are recommended:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Each page is numbered.
     Line spacing is set to 1.5 spacing, and the font used is 
12 point Times New Roman.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:

[[Page 53999]]

    Applications Available: August 30, 2013.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: September 30, 2013.
    Date of Technical Assistance Planning Workshop: September 10, 2013.
    To assist States in preparing the application and to respond to 
questions, ED and HHS intend to host a Technical Assistance Planning 
Workshop with potential applicants on September 10, 2013, to review the 
priorities, requirements, and selection criteria for this competition. 
To minimize travel burdens associated with this workshop and to 
maximize the number of potential applicants who can participate, the 
Departments will also broadcast this workshop live at edstream.ed.gov. 
The purpose of the workshop will be to allow teams of participants 
responsible for developing applications to review with Federal program 
staff the priorities, requirements, and selection criteria for this 
competition and to ask questions about the RTT-ELC competition. We 
strongly encourage all interested State applicants to participate in 
the workshop, either in Washington, DC. For those who cannot attend the 
workshop in person, a video recording of the workshop will be available 
on the RTT-ELC Web site at www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge. The Departments may host additional conference 
calls, workshops, or Webinars to answer applicant questions and will be 
posting Frequently Asked Questions and responses on the RTT-ELC Web 
site. The Departments will make available all registration information 
and additional details for the September 10, 2013, workshop and any 
other technical assistance events on the RTT-ELC Web site at 
www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-earlylearningchallenge.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: October 16, 2013.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted in 
electronic format on a CD or DVD, by mail or hand delivery. For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application by mail or hand delivery, please refer to section IV (7) 
Other Submission Requirements of this notice. We will not consider an 
application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.
    We will provide Congress with the names of the States that have 
submitted applications, and we will post the names of these States on 
ED's Web site. We will also post all applications submitted. Therefore, 
please ensure that your application does not include personally 
identifiable information, proprietary information, or other non-public 
information.
    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 Departments provide 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.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 
CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make awards 
by the end of the period of availability of these funds, December 31, 
2013.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We specify unallowable costs in section 
(b) of Program Requirements in this notice. 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 System for Award Management: 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 System for Award 
Management (SAM) (formerly 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 SAM registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Departments 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 SAM registration process may take seven or more business days 
to complete. If you are currently registered with the SAM, 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 registration annually. This may take three or more 
business days to complete. Information about SAM is available at 
SAM.gov.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applicants for a grant under this 
competition must submit: (1) An electronic copy of the application; and 
(2) signed originals of certain sections of the application. Applicants 
must submit their application in electronic format on a CD or DVD, with 
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM preferred. We strongly recommend that the applicant 
submit three CDs or DVDs. Each of these three CDs or DVDs should 
include the following four files:
    (1) A single file that contains the body of the application 
narrative, including required budget tables, that has been converted 
into a searchable .PDF document. Note that a .PDF created from a 
scanned document is not searchable;
    (2) A single file in a .PDF format that contains all application 
appendices;
    (3) A single file in a .PDF format that contains all of the 
required signature pages. The signature pages may be scanned and turned 
into a PDF. Applicants should also include all signed MOUs or other 
binding agreements for each Participating State Agency in the 
application; and
    (4) A single, separate file of the completed electronic budget 
spreadsheets (e.g., .XLS or .XLSX formats) that includes the required 
budget tables and budget justifications (the spreadsheets will be used 
by the Departments for budget reviews).

Each of these items must be clearly labeled with the applicant's name, 
city, state, and any other relevant identifying information. Applicants 
also must not password-protect these files. Additionally, please ensure 
that: (1) All three CDs or DVDs contain the same four files; (2) the 
files are not corrupted; and (3) all files print correctly. The 
Departments are not responsible for reviewing any information that is 
not able to be opened or printed from your application package.
    In addition to the electronic files, applicants must submit signed 
originals of section IV of the application and one copy of that signed 
original. The Departments will not review any paper submissions of the 
application narrative and appendices. All applications must be 
submitted by mail or hand delivery. Whether you submit an application 
by

[[Page 54000]]

mail or hand delivery, you must indicate on the envelope the CFDA 
number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which 
you are submitting your application. The instructions for each delivery 
method are provided below. The Departments must receive the application 
by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on October 16, 2013. If we 
receive an application after the application deadline, we will not 
consider that application.
    a. Submission of Applications by Mail:
    If you submit your application by mail (through the U.S. Postal 
Service or a commercial carrier), we must receive your three CDs or 
DVDs containing the four application files and the signed original of 
section IV on or before the application deadline date and time. 
Therefore to avoid delays, we strongly recommend sending the 
application via overnight mail. Mail the application to the Departments 
at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application 
Control Center, Attention: CFDA Number 84.412A, LBJ Basement Level 1, 
400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    If we receive an application after the application deadline, we 
will not consider that application.
    b. Submission of Applications by Hand Delivery:
    If you submit your application by hand delivery, you (or a courier 
service) must deliver the three CDs or DVDs containing the four 
application files and the signed originals of section IV on or before 
the application deadline date and time, to the Departments at the 
following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control 
Center, Attention: CFDA Number 84.412A, 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 p.m., Washington, DC, time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays. In accordance with EDGAR 
Sec.  75.216(b) and (c), an application will not be evaluated for 
funding if the applicant does not comply with all of the procedural 
rules that govern the submission of the application or the application 
does not contain the information required under the program.
    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Applications: When you mail or 
hand deliver your application to the Departments--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope 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. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are in the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria for this program, published elsewhere in this issue 
of the Federal Register. We will use the following selection criteria 
to evaluate applications submitted under the RTT-ELC competition. The 
maximum score for all the selection criteria and competitive preference 
priorities is 315 points. The maximum score for each selection 
criterion is indicated in parentheses. The reviewers will utilize the 
scoring rubric located in Appendix A of this notice when evaluating the 
following selection criteria:

Core Areas--Sections (A) (Successful State Systems) and (B) (High-
Quality, Accountable Programs)

    States must address in their application all of the selection 
criteria in the Core Areas--Sections (A) (Successful State Systems) and 
(B) (High-Quality, Accountable Programs).
A. Successful State Systems
    (A)(1) Demonstrating past commitment to early learning and 
development. (20 points)
    The extent to which the State has demonstrated past commitment to 
and investment in high-quality, accessible Early Learning and 
Development Programs and services for Children with High Needs, as 
evidenced by the State's--
    (a) Financial investment, from five years ago to the present, in 
Early Learning and Development Programs, including the amount of these 
investments in relation to the size of the State's population of 
Children with High Needs during this time period;
    (b) Increasing, from the previous five years to the present, the 
number of Children with High Needs participating in Early Learning and 
Development Programs;
    (c) Existing early learning and development legislation, policies, 
or practices; and
    (d) Current status in key areas that form the building blocks for a 
high-quality early learning and development system, including Early 
Learning and Development Standards, Comprehensive Assessment Systems, 
health promotion practices, family engagement strategies, the 
development of Early Childhood Educators, Kindergarten Entry 
Assessments, and effective data practices.
    Evidence for (A)(1):
     The number and percentage of children from Low-Income 
families in the State, by age.
     The number and percentage of Children with High Needs from 
special populations in the State.
     The number of Children with High Needs in the State who 
are enrolled in Early Learning and Development Programs, by age, race, 
and ethnicity.
     Data currently available, if any, on the status of 
children at kindergarten entry (across Essential Domains of School 
Readiness, if available), including data on the readiness gap between 
Children with High Needs and their peers.
     Data currently available, if any, on program quality 
across different types of Early Learning and Development Programs.
     The number of Children with High Needs participating in 
each type of Early Learning and Development Program for each of the 
previous five years to the present.
     The number of Children with High Needs participating in 
each type of Early Learning and Development Program for each of the 
previous five years to the present.
     The current status of the State's Early Learning and 
Development Standards, for each of the Essential Domains of School 
Readiness, by age group of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.
     The elements of a Comprehensive Assessment System 
currently required within the State by different types of Early 
Learning and Development Programs or systems.
     The elements of high-quality health promotion practices 
currently required within the State by different types of Early 
Learning and Development Programs or systems.
     The elements of a high-quality family engagement strategy 
currently required within the State by different types of Early 
Learning and Development Programs or systems.
     All early learning and development workforce credentials 
currently available in the State, including whether credentials are 
aligned with a State Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework and 
the number and percentage of Early Childhood

[[Page 54001]]

Educators who have each type of credential.
     The current status of postsecondary institutions and other 
professional development providers in the State that issue credentials 
or degrees to Early Childhood Educators.
     The current status of the State's Kindergarten Entry 
Assessment.
     All early learning and development data systems currently 
used in the State.
    Performance Measures for (A)(1):
     None required.
    (A)(2) Articulating the State's rationale for its early learning 
and development reform agenda and goals. (20 points)
    The extent to which the State clearly articulates a comprehensive 
early learning and development reform agenda that is ambitious yet 
achievable, builds on the State's progress to date (as demonstrated in 
selection criterion (A)(1)), is likely to result in improved school 
readiness for Children with High Needs, and includes--
    (a) Ambitious yet achievable goals for improving program quality, 
improving outcomes for Children with High Needs statewide, and closing 
the educational gaps between Children with High Needs and their peers;
    (b) An overall summary of the State Plan that clearly articulates 
how the High-Quality Plans proposed under each selection criterion, 
when taken together, constitute an effective reform agenda that 
establishes a clear and credible path toward achieving these goals; and
    (c) A specific rationale that justifies the State's choice to 
address the selected criteria in each Focused Investment Area (C), (D), 
and (E), including why these selected criteria will best achieve these 
goals.
    Evidence for (A)(2):
     The State's goals for improving program quality statewide 
over the period of this grant.
     The State's goals for improving child outcomes statewide 
over the period of this grant.
     The State's goals for closing the readiness gap between 
Children with High Needs and their peers at kindergarten entry.
     Identification of the two or more selection criteria that 
the State has chosen to address in Focused Investment Area (C).
     Identification of the one or more selection criteria that 
the State has chosen to address in Focused Investment Area (D).
     Identification of the one or more selection criteria that 
the State has chosen to address in Focused Investment Area (E).
     For each Focused Investment Area (C), (D), and (E), a 
description of the State's rationale for choosing to address the 
selected criteria in that Focused Investment Area, including how the 
State's choices build on its progress to date in each Focused 
Investment Area (as outlined in the narrative under (A)(1) in the 
application) and why these selected criteria will best achieve the 
State's ambitious yet achievable goals for improving program quality, 
improving outcomes for Children with High Needs statewide, and closing 
the educational gap between Children with High Needs and their peers.
    Performance Measures for (A)(2):
     None required.
    (A)(3) Aligning and coordinating early learning and development 
across the State. (10 points)
    The extent to which the State has established, or has a High-
Quality Plan to establish, strong participation in and commitment to 
the State Plan by Participating State Agencies and other early learning 
and development stakeholders by--
    (a) Demonstrating how the Participating State Agencies and other 
partners, if any, will identify a governance structure for working 
together that will facilitate interagency coordination, streamline 
decision making, effectively allocate resources, and create long-term 
sustainability, and describing--
    (1) The organizational structure for managing the grant and how it 
builds upon existing interagency governance structures such as 
children's cabinets, councils, and commissions, if any already exist 
and are effective;
    (2) The governance-related roles and responsibilities of the Lead 
Agency, the State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and 
Care, each Participating State Agency, and the State's Interagency 
Coordinating Council for Part C of IDEA, and other partners, if any;
    (3) The method and process for making different types of decisions 
(e.g., policy, operational) and resolving disputes; and
    (4) The plan for when and how the State will involve 
representatives from Participating Programs, Early Childhood Educators 
or their representatives, parents and families, including parents and 
families of Children with High Needs, and other key stakeholders in the 
planning and implementation of the activities carried out under the 
grant;
    (b) Demonstrating that the Participating State Agencies are 
strongly committed to the State Plan, to the governance structure of 
the grant, and to effective implementation of the State Plan, by 
including in the MOUs or other binding agreements between the State and 
each Participating State Agency--
    (1) Terms and conditions that reflect a strong commitment to the 
State Plan by each Participating State Agency, including terms and 
conditions designed to align and leverage the Participating State 
Agencies' existing funding to support the State Plan;
    (2) ``Scope-of-work'' descriptions that require each Participating 
State Agency to implement all applicable portions of the State Plan and 
a description of efforts to maximize the number of Early Learning and 
Development Programs that become Participating Programs; and
    (3) A signature from an authorized representative of each 
Participating State Agency; and
    (c) Demonstrating commitment to the State Plan from a broad group 
of stakeholders that will assist the State in reaching the ambitious 
yet achievable goals outlined in response to selection criterion 
(A)(2)(a), including by obtaining--
    (1) Detailed and persuasive letters of intent or support from Early 
Learning Intermediary Organizations, and, if applicable, local early 
learning councils; and
    (2) Letters of intent or support from such other stakeholders as 
Early Childhood Educators or their representatives; the State's 
legislators; local community leaders; State or local school boards; 
representatives of private and faith-based early learning programs; 
other State and local leaders (e.g., business, community, tribal, civil 
rights, education association leaders); adult education and family 
literacy State and local leaders; family and community organizations; 
representatives from the disability community, the English learner 
community, and entities representing other Children with High Needs 
(e.g., parent councils, nonprofit organizations, local foundations, 
tribal organizations, and community-based organizations); libraries and 
children's museums; health providers; public television stations; and 
postsecondary institutions.
    Evidence for (A)(3)(a) and (b):
     For (A)(3)(a)(1): An organizational chart that shows how 
the grant will be governed and managed.
     Governance-related roles and responsibilities.
     A copy of all fully executed MOUs or other binding 
agreements that cover each Participating State Agency. (MOUs or other 
binding agreements should be referenced in the narrative but must be 
included in the Appendix to the application).
    Evidence for (A)(3)(c)(1):

[[Page 54002]]

     A list of every Early Learning Intermediary Organization 
and local early learning council (if applicable) in the State that 
indicates which organizations and councils have submitted letters of 
intent or support.
     A copy of every letter of intent or support from Early 
Learning Intermediary Organizations and local early learning councils.
    Evidence for (A)(3)(c)(2):
     A copy of every letter of intent or support from other 
stakeholders.
    Performance Measures for (A)(3):
     None required.
    (A)(4) Developing a budget to implement and sustain the work of 
this grant. (15 points)
    The extent to which the State Plan--
    (a) Demonstrates how the State will use existing funds that support 
early learning and development from Federal, State, private, and local 
sources (e.g., CCDF; Title I and II of ESEA; IDEA; Striving Readers 
Comprehensive Literacy Program; State preschool; Head Start 
Collaboration funding; MIECHV program; Title V MCH Block Grant; TANF; 
Medicaid; child welfare services under Title IV (B) and (E) of the 
Social Security Act; Statewide Longitudinal Data System; foundation; 
other private funding sources) for activities and services that help 
achieve the outcomes in the State Plan, including how the quality set-
asides in CCDF will be used;
    (b) Describes, in both the budget tables and budget narratives, how 
the State will effectively and efficiently use funding from this grant 
to achieve the outcomes in the State Plan, in a manner that--
    (1) Is adequate to support the activities described in the State 
Plan;
    (2) Includes costs that are reasonable and necessary in relation to 
the objectives, design, and significance of the activities described in 
the State Plan and the number of children to be served; and
    (3) Details the amount of funds budgeted for Participating State 
Agencies, localities, Early Learning Intermediary Organizations, 
Participating Programs, or other partners, and the specific activities 
to be implemented with these funds consistent with the State Plan, and 
demonstrates that a significant amount of funding will be devoted to 
the local implementation of the State Plan; and
    (c) Demonstrates that it can be sustained after the grant period 
ends to ensure that the number and percentage of Children with High 
Needs served by Early Learning and Development Programs in the State 
will be maintained or expanded.
    Evidence for (A)(4)(a):
     The existing funds to be used to achieve the outcomes in 
the State Plan.
     Description of how these existing funds will be used for 
activities and services that help achieve the outcomes in the State 
Plan.
    Evidence for (A)(4)(b):
     The State's budget.
     The narratives that accompany and explain the budget and 
describe how it connects to the State Plan.
    Performance Measures for (A)(4):
     None required.
B. High-Quality, Accountable Programs
    (B)(1) Developing and adopting a common, statewide Tiered Quality 
Rating and Improvement System. (10 points)
    The extent to which the State and its Participating State Agencies 
have developed and adopted, or have a High-Quality Plan to develop and 
adopt, a Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System that--
    (a) Is based on a statewide set of tiered Program Standards that 
include--
    (1) Early Learning and Development Standards;
    (2) A Comprehensive Assessment System;
    (3) Early Childhood Educator qualifications;
    (4) Family engagement strategies;
    (5) Health promotion practices; and
    (6) Effective data practices;
    (b) Is clear and has standards that are measurable, meaningfully 
differentiate program quality levels, and reflect high expectations of 
program excellence commensurate with nationally recognized standards 
that lead to improved learning outcomes for children; and
    (c) Is linked to the State licensing system for Early Learning and 
Development Programs.
    Evidence for (B)(1):
     Each set of existing Program Standards currently used in 
the State and the elements that are included in those Program Standards 
(Early Learning and Development Standards, Comprehensive Assessment 
Systems, Qualified Workforce, Family Engagement, Health Promotion, 
Effective Data Practices, and Other).
     To the extent the State has developed and adopted a Tiered 
Quality Rating and Improvement System based on a common set of tiered 
Program Standards that meet the elements in selection criterion 
(B)(1)(a), submit--
    [cir] A copy of the tiered Program Standards;
    [cir] Documentation that the Program Standards address all areas 
outlined in the definition of Program Standards, demonstrate high 
expectations of program excellence commensurate with nationally 
recognized standards, and are linked to the States licensing system; 
and
    [cir] Documentation of how the tiers meaningfully differentiate 
levels of quality.
    Performance Measures for (B)(1):
     None required.
    (B)(2) Promoting participation in the State's Tiered Quality Rating 
and Improvement System. (15 points)
    The extent to which the State has maximized, or has a High-Quality 
Plan to maximize, program participation in the State's Tiered Quality 
Rating and Improvement System by--
    (a) Implementing effective policies and practices to reach the goal 
of having all publicly funded Early Learning and Development Programs 
participate in such a system, including programs in each of the 
following categories--
    (1) State-funded preschool programs;
    (2) Early Head Start and Head Start programs;
    (3) Early Learning and Development Programs funded under section 
619 of Part B of IDEA and Part C of IDEA;
    (4) Early Learning and Development Programs funded under Title I of 
ESEA; and
    (5) Early Learning and Development Programs receiving funds from 
the State's CCDF program;
    (b) Implementing effective policies and practices designed to help 
more families afford high-quality child care and maintain the supply of 
high-quality child care in areas with high concentrations of Children 
with High Needs (e.g., maintaining or increasing subsidy reimbursement 
rates, taking actions to ensure affordable co-payments, providing 
incentives to high-quality providers to participate in the subsidy 
program); and
    (c) Setting ambitious yet achievable targets for the numbers and 
percentages of Early Learning and Development Programs that will 
participate in the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System by type 
of Early Learning and Development Program (as listed in (B)(2)(a)(1) 
through (5) above).
    Evidence for (B)(2):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (B)(2)(c):
    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Number and percentage of Early Learning and Development 
Programs participating in the statewide Tiered Quality Rating and 
Improvement System, by type of Early Learning and Development Program.

[[Page 54003]]

    (B)(3) Rating and monitoring Early Learning and Development 
Programs. (15 points)
    The extent to which the State and its Participating State Agencies 
have developed and implemented, or have a High-Quality Plan to develop 
and implement, a system for rating and monitoring the quality of Early 
Learning and Development Programs participating in the Tiered Quality 
Rating and Improvement System by--
    (a) Using a valid and reliable tool for monitoring such programs, 
having trained monitors whose ratings have an acceptable level of 
inter-rater reliability, and monitoring and rating the Early Learning 
and Development Programs with appropriate frequency; and
    (b) Providing quality rating and licensing information to parents 
with children enrolled in Early Learning and Development Programs 
(e.g., displaying quality rating information at the program site) and 
making program quality rating data, information, and licensing history 
(including any health and safety violations) publicly available in 
formats that are written in plain language, and are easy to understand 
and use for decision making by families selecting Early Learning and 
Development Programs and families whose children are enrolled in such 
programs.
    Evidence for (B)(3):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (B)(3):
     None required.
    (B)(4) Promoting access to high-quality Early Learning and 
Development Programs for Children with High Needs. (20 points)
    The extent to which the State and its Participating State Agencies 
have developed and implemented, or have a High-Quality Plan to develop 
and implement, a system for improving the quality of the Early Learning 
and Development Programs participating in the Tiered Quality Rating and 
Improvement System by--
    (a) Developing and implementing policies and practices that provide 
support and incentives for Early Learning and Development Programs to 
continuously improve (e.g., through training, technical assistance, 
financial rewards or incentives, higher subsidy reimbursement rates, 
compensation);
    (b) Providing supports to help working families who have Children 
with High Needs access high-quality Early Learning and Development 
Programs that meet those needs (e.g., providing full-day, full-year 
programs; transportation; meals; family support services); and
    (c) Setting ambitious yet achievable targets for increasing--
    (1) The number of Early Learning and Development Programs in the 
top tiers of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System; and
    (2) The number and percentage of Children with High Needs who are 
enrolled in Early Learning and Development Programs that are in the top 
tiers of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System.
    Evidence for (B)(4):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (B)(4)(c):
    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Number of Early Learning and Development Programs in the 
top tiers of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System, by type 
of Early Learning and Development Program.
     Number and Percentage of Children with High Needs who are 
enrolled in Early Learning and Development Programs that are in the top 
tiers of the Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System, by type of 
Early Learning and Development Program.
    (B)(5) Validating the effectiveness of State Tiered Quality Rating 
and Improvement Systems. (15 points)
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to design and 
implement evaluations--working with an independent evaluator and, when 
warranted, as part of a cross-State evaluation consortium--of the 
relationship between the ratings generated by the State's Tiered 
Quality Rating and Improvement System and the learning outcomes of 
children served by the State's Early Learning and Development Programs 
by--
    (a) Validating, using research-based measures, as described in the 
State Plan (which also describes the criteria that the State used or 
will use to determine those measures), that the tiers in the State's 
Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System accurately reflect 
differential levels of program quality; and
    (b) Assessing, using appropriate research designs and measures of 
progress (as identified in the State Plan), the extent to which changes 
in quality ratings are related to progress in children's learning, 
development, and school readiness.
    Evidence for (B)(5):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (B)(5):
     None required.
    Focused Investment Areas--Sections (C), (D), and (E)
    Each State must address in its application--
    (1) Two or more of the selection criteria in Focused Investment 
Area (C);
    (2) One or more of the selection criteria in Focused Investment 
Area (D); and
    (3) One or more of the selection criteria in Focused Investment 
Area (E).

C. Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children

    The total available points that an applicant may receive for 
selection criteria (C)(1) through (C)(4) is 60. The 60 points will be 
divided by the number of selection criteria that the applicant chooses 
to address so that each selection criterion is worth the same number of 
points. For example, if the applicant chooses to address all four 
selection criteria under this Focused Investment Area, each criterion 
will be worth up to 15 points. If the applicant chooses to address two 
selection criteria, each criterion will be worth up to 30 points.
    The applicant must address at least two of the selection criteria 
within Focused Investment Area (C), which are as follows:
    (C)(1) Developing and using statewide, high-quality Early Learning 
and Development Standards.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to put in 
place high-quality Early Learning and Development Standards that are 
used statewide by Early Learning and Development Programs and that--
    (a) Includes evidence that the Early Learning and Development 
Standards are developmentally, culturally, and linguistically 
appropriate across each age group of infants, toddlers, and 
preschoolers, and that they cover all Essential Domains of School 
Readiness;
    (b) Includes evidence that the Early Learning and Development 
Standards are aligned with the State's K-3 academic standards in, at a 
minimum, early literacy and mathematics;
    (c) Includes evidence that the Early Learning and Development 
Standards are incorporated in Program Standards, curricula and 
activities, Comprehensive Assessment Systems, the State's Workforce 
Knowledge and Competency Framework, and professional development 
activities; and that they are shared with parents and families along 
with suggestions for appropriate strategies they can use at home to 
support their children's learning and development; and

[[Page 54004]]

    (d) Includes evidence that the State has supports in place to 
promote understanding of and commitment to the Early Learning and 
Development Standards across Early Learning and Development Programs.
    Evidence for (C)(1)(a) and (b):
     To the extent the State has implemented Early Learning and 
Development Standards that meet the elements in selection criteria 
(C)(1)(a) and (b), submit--
    [cir] Proof of use by all types of Early Learning and Development 
Programs in the State;
    [cir] The State's Early Learning and Development Standards for:
    --Infants and toddlers
    --Preschoolers
    [cir] Documentation that the standards are developmentally, 
linguistically, and culturally appropriate for all children, including 
children with disabilities and developmental delays and English 
learners;
    [cir] Documentation that the standards address all Essential 
Domains of School Readiness and that they are of high quality; and
    [cir] Documentation of the alignment between the State's Early 
Learning and Development Standards and the State's K-3 standards.
    Performance Measures for (C)(1):
     None required.
    (C)(2) Supporting effective uses of Comprehensive Assessment 
Systems.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to support 
the effective implementation of developmentally appropriate 
Comprehensive Assessment Systems by--
    (a) Working with Early Learning and Development Programs to select 
assessment instruments and approaches that are appropriate for the 
target populations and purposes;
    (b) Working with Early Learning and Development Programs to 
strengthen Early Childhood Educators' understanding of the purposes and 
uses of each type of assessment included in the Comprehensive 
Assessment Systems;
    (c) Articulating an approach for aligning and integrating 
assessments and sharing assessment results, as appropriate, in order to 
avoid duplication of assessments and to coordinate services for 
Children with High Needs who are served by multiple Early Learning and 
Development Programs;
    (d) Training Early Childhood Educators to appropriately administer 
assessments and interpret and use assessment data in order to inform 
and improve instruction, programs, and services, and to effectively 
solicit and use family input on children's development and needs; and
    (e) Articulating guidelines and procedures for sharing assessment 
data and results with parents, involving them in decisions about their 
children's care and education, and helping them identify concrete 
actions they can take to address developmental issues identified 
through the assessment process.
    Evidence for (C)(2):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (C)(2):
     None required.
    (C)(3) Identifying and addressing the health, behavioral, and 
developmental needs of Children with High Needs to improve school 
readiness.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to identify 
and address the health, behavioral, and developmental needs of Children 
with High Needs by--
    (a) Establishing a progression of standards for ensuring children's 
health and safety; ensuring that health and behavioral screening and 
follow-up occur; promoting children's physical, social, and emotional 
development across the levels of its Program Standards; and involving 
families as partners and building parents' capacity to promote their 
children's physical, social, and emotional health;
    (b) Increasing the number of Early Childhood Educators who are 
trained and supported on an ongoing basis in meeting the health 
standards;
    (c) Promoting healthy eating habits, improving nutrition, expanding 
physical activity, and providing information and guidance to families 
to promote healthy habits at home;
    (d) Leveraging existing resources to meet ambitious yet achievable 
annual targets to increase the number of Children with High Needs who--
    (1) Are screened using Screening Measures that align with the 
Medicaid Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment benefit 
(see section 1905(r)(5) of the Social Security Act) or the well-baby 
and well-child services available through the Children's Health 
Insurance Program (42 CFR 457.520), and that, as appropriate, are 
consistent with the Child Find provisions in IDEA (see sections 
612(a)(3) and 635(a)(5) of IDEA);
    (2) Are referred for services based on the results of those 
screenings and, where appropriate, received follow-up; and
    (3) Participate in ongoing health care as part of a schedule of 
well-child care, including the number of children who are up to date in 
a schedule of well-child care; and
    (e) Developing a comprehensive approach to increase the capacity 
and improve the overall quality of Early Learning and Development 
Programs to support and address the social and emotional development 
(including infant-early childhood mental health) of children from birth 
to age five.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(a):
     To the extent the State has established a progression of 
health standards across the levels of Program Standards that meet the 
elements in selection criterion (C)(3)(a), submit--
    [cir] The progression of health standards used in the Program 
Standards and the State's plans for improvement over time, including 
documentation demonstrating that this progression of standards 
appropriately addresses health and safety standards; developmental, 
behavioral, and sensory screening, referral, and follow-up; health 
promotion including healthy eating habits, improved nutrition, and 
increased physical activity; oral health; social and emotional 
development; family involvement and capacity-building; and health 
literacy among parents and children.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(b):
     To the extent the State has existing and projected numbers 
and percentages of Early Childhood Educators who receive training and 
support in meeting the health standards, the State must submit 
documentation of these data. If the State does not have these data, the 
State must outline its plan for deriving them.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(c):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(d):
     Documentation of the State's existing and future resources 
that are or will be used to address the health, behavioral, and 
developmental needs of Children with High Needs. At a minimum, 
documentation must address the screening and referral of and follow-up 
for all Children with High Needs, and how families will be engaged in 
the process; how the State will promote the participation of Children 
with High Needs in ongoing health care as part of a schedule of well-
child care; how the State will promote healthy eating habits and 
improved nutrition as well as increased physical activity for Children 
with High Needs; and how the State will promote health literacy for 
children and parents.
    Performance Measures for (C)(3)(d):

[[Page 54005]]

    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     Number of Children with High Needs screened.
     Number of Children with High Needs referred for services 
and who received follow-up/treatment.
     Number of Children with High Needs who participate in 
ongoing health care as part of a schedule of well-child care.
     Of these participating Children with High Needs, the 
number or percentage of children who are up-to-date in receiving 
services as part of a schedule of well-child care.
    Evidence for (C)(3)(e):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    (C)(4) Engaging and supporting families.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to provide 
culturally and linguistically appropriate information and support to 
families of Children with High Needs in order to promote school 
readiness for their children by--
    (a) Establishing a progression of culturally and linguistically 
appropriate standards for family engagement across the levels of its 
Program Standards, including activities that enhance the capacity of 
families to support their children's education and development and help 
families build protective factors;
    (b) Increasing the number and percentage of Early Childhood 
Educators trained and supported on an ongoing basis to implement the 
family engagement strategies included in the Program Standards; and
    (c) Promoting family support and engagement statewide, including by 
leveraging other existing resources, such as home visiting programs, 
family resource centers, family support networks, and other family-
serving agencies and organizations, and through outreach to family, 
friend, and neighbor caregivers.
    Evidence for (C)(4)(a):
     To the extent the State has established a progression of 
family engagement standards across the levels of Program Standards that 
meet the elements in selection criterion (C)(4)(a), submit--
    [cir] The progression of culturally and linguistically appropriate 
family engagement standards used in the Program Standards that includes 
strategies successfully used to engage families in supporting their 
children's development and learning. A State's family engagement 
standards must address, but need not be limited to: Parent access to 
the program, ongoing two-way communication with families, parent 
education in child development, outreach to fathers and other family 
members, training and support for families as children move to 
preschool and kindergarten, social networks of support, 
intergenerational activities, linkages with community supports and 
adult and family literacy programs, parent involvement in decision 
making, and parent leadership development; and
    [cir] Documentation that this progression of standards includes 
activities that enhance the capacity of families to support their 
children's education and development.
    Evidence for (C)(4)(b):
     To the extent the State has existing and projected numbers 
and percentages of Early Childhood Educators who receive training and 
support on the family engagement strategies included in the Program 
Standards, the State must submit documentation of these data. If the 
State does not have these data, the State must outline its plan for 
deriving them.
    Evidence for (C)(4)(c):
     Documentation of the State's existing resources that are 
or will be used to promote family support and engagement statewide, 
including through home visiting programs and other family-serving 
agencies and the identification of new resources that will be used to 
promote family support and engagement statewide.
    Performance Measures for (C)(4)
     None required.

D. A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce

    The total available points that a State may receive for selection 
criteria (D)(1) and (D)(2) is 40. The 40 points will be divided by the 
number of selection criteria that the applicant chooses to address so 
that each selection criterion is worth the same number of points. For 
example, if the applicant chooses to address both selection criteria 
under this Focused Investment Area, each criterion will be worth up to 
20 points. If the applicant chooses to address one selection criterion, 
the criterion will be worth up to 40 points.
    The applicant must address at least one of the selection criteria 
within Focused Investment Area (D), which are as follows:
    (D)(1) Developing a Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework 
and a progression of credentials.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to--
    (a) Develop a common, statewide Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework designed to promote children's learning and development and 
improve child outcomes;
    (b) Develop a common, statewide progression of credentials and 
degrees aligned with the Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework; 
and
    (c) Engage postsecondary institutions and other professional 
development providers in aligning professional development 
opportunities with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework.
    Evidence for (D)(1):
     To the extent the State has developed a common, statewide 
Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework that meets the elements in 
selection criterion (D)(1), submit:
    [cir] The Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework;
    [cir] Documentation that the State's Workforce Knowledge and 
Competency Framework addresses the elements outlined in the definition 
of Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework in the Program 
Definitions section of this notice and is designed to promote 
children's learning and development and improve outcomes.
    Performance Measures for (D)(1)
     None required.
    (D)(2) Supporting Early Childhood Educators in improving their 
knowledge, skills, and abilities.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to improve 
the effectiveness and retention of Early Childhood Educators who work 
with Children with High Needs, with the goal of improving child 
outcomes by--
    (a) Providing and expanding access to effective professional 
development opportunities that--
    (1) Are aligned with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework;
    (2) Tightly link training with professional development approaches, 
such as coaching and mentoring; and
    (3) Are supported by strong evidence (e.g., available evaluations, 
developmental theory, or data or information) as to why these policies 
and incentives will be effective in improving outcomes for Children 
with High Needs;
    (b) Implementing effective policies and incentives (e.g., 
scholarships, compensation and wage supplements, tiered reimbursement 
rates, other financial incentives, management opportunities) to promote 
professional improvement and career advancement along an articulated 
career pathway that--
    (1) Are aligned with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency 
Framework;

[[Page 54006]]

    (2) Tightly link training with professional development approaches, 
such as coaching and mentoring; and
    (3) Are supported by strong evidence (e.g., available evaluations, 
developmental theory, or data or information) as to why these policies 
and incentives will be effective in improving outcomes for Children 
with High Needs;
    (c) Publicly reporting aggregated data on Early Childhood Educator 
development, advancement, and retention; and
    (d) Setting ambitious yet achievable targets for--
    (1) Increasing the number of postsecondary institutions and 
professional development providers with programs that are aligned to 
the Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework and the number of 
Early Childhood Educators who receive credentials from postsecondary 
institutions and professional development providers with programs that 
are aligned to the Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework; and
    (2) Increasing the number and percentage of Early Childhood 
Educators who are progressing to higher levels of credentials that 
align with the Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework.
    Evidence for (D)(2):
     Evidence to support why the proposed professional 
development opportunities, policies, and incentives will be effective 
in improving outcomes for Children with High Needs (e.g., available 
evaluations, developmental theory, or data or information about the 
population of Children with High Needs in the State).
    Performance Measures for (D)(2)(d):
    General goals to be provided at time of application, including 
baseline data and annual targets:
     (D)(2)(d)(1): Number of postsecondary institutions and 
professional development providers with programs that are aligned to 
the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework, and the 
number of Early Childhood Educators receiving credentials from those 
aligned postsecondary institutions or professional development 
providers.
     (D)(2)(d)(2): Number and percentage of Early Childhood 
Educators who are progressing to higher levels of credentials that 
align with the State's Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework.

E. Measuring Outcomes and Progress

    The total available points an applicant may receive for selection 
criteria (E)(1) and (E)(2) is 40. The 40 points will be divided by the 
number of selection criteria that the applicant chooses to address so 
that each selection criterion is worth the same number of points. For 
example, if the applicant chooses to address both selection criteria 
under this Focused Investment Area, each criterion will be worth up to 
20 points. If the applicant chooses to address one selection criterion, 
the criterion will be worth up to 40 points.
    The applicant must address at least one of the selection criteria 
within Focused Investment Area (E), which are as follows:
    (E)(1) Understanding the status of children's learning and 
development at kindergarten entry.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to implement, 
independently or as part of a cross-State consortium, a common, 
statewide Kindergarten Entry Assessment that informs instruction and 
services in the early elementary grades and that--
    (a) Is aligned with the State's Early Learning and Development 
Standards and covers all Essential Domains of School Readiness;
    (b) Is valid, reliable, and appropriate for the target population 
and for the purpose for which it will be used, including for English 
learners and children with disabilities;
    (c) Is administered beginning no later than the start of the school 
year ending during the fourth year of the grant to children entering a 
public school kindergarten; States may propose a phased implementation 
plan that forms the basis for broader statewide implementation;
    (d) Is reported to the Statewide Longitudinal Data System, and to 
the early learning data system, if it is separate from the Statewide 
Longitudinal Data System, as permitted under and consistent with the 
requirements of Federal, State, and local privacy laws; and
    (e) Is funded, in significant part, with Federal or State resources 
other than those available under this grant (e.g., with funds available 
under section 6111 or 6112 of ESEA).
    Evidence for (E)(1):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (E)(1):
     None required.
    (E)(2) Building or enhancing an early learning data system to 
improve instruction, practices, services, and policies.
    The extent to which the State has a High-Quality Plan to enhance 
the State's existing Statewide Longitudinal Data System or to build or 
enhance a separate, coordinated, early learning data system that aligns 
and is interoperable with the Statewide Longitudinal Data System, and 
that either data system--
    (a) Has all of the Essential Data Elements;
    (b) Enables uniform data collection and easy entry of the Essential 
Data Elements by Participating State Agencies and Participating 
Programs;
    (c) Facilitates the exchange of data among Participating State 
Agencies by using standard data structures, data formats, and data 
definitions such as Common Education Data Standards to ensure 
interoperability among the various levels and types of data;
    (d) Generates information that is timely, relevant, accessible, and 
easy for Early Learning and Development Programs and Early Childhood 
Educators to use for continuous improvement and decision making and to 
share with parents and other community stakeholders; and
    (e) Meets the Data System Oversight Requirements and complies with 
the requirements of Federal, State, and local privacy laws.
    Evidence for (E)(2):
     Any supporting evidence the State believes will be helpful 
to peer reviewers.
    Performance Measures for (E)(2):
     None required.
    2. Review and Selection Process:
    The Departments will screen applications that are received by the 
deadline listed in this notice and will determine which States are 
eligible based on whether they have met the eligibility requirements in 
paragraphs (1)(a), (1)(b), and (1)(c) of section III (Eligibility 
Information) of this notice; the Departments will not consider further 
those applicants deemed ineligible under eligibility requirements in 
paragraphs (1)(a), (1)(b), and (1)(c) of that section.
    The Departments intend to use a peer review process with panels of 
three reviewers per application. Review panels will be created based on 
the number of applications received.
    After the review process is complete, the selection of grantees 
will take into account, consistent with 34 CFR 75.217, the rank order 
of applications; each applicant's status with respect to the Absolute 
Priority and the eligibility requirements (1)(a), (1)(b), and (1)(c) of 
section III (Eligibility Information) of this notice; and any other 
relevant information. In addition, we remind potential applicants that 
in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the 
Secretary of Education

[[Page 54007]]

may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the applicant's past 
performance in carrying out a previous reward, such as the applicant's 
use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with 
grant conditions, as well as the applicant's prior record in submitting 
timely and adequate performance reports. All applicants will receive 
their reviewers' comments and scores.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, various 
assurances are required from grantees, 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).
    In addition to considering other relevant factors (see 34 CFR 
75.217(d)(3)), the selection of grantees may consider the need to 
ensure that high-quality early learning and development systems are 
developed in States addressing the needs of children in rural areas. 
Awards may be granted to high-quality applications out of rank order to 
meet this need.
    We will post all submitted applications (both successful and 
unsuccessful) on ED's Web site, together with the final scores each 
application received. We will post each reviewer's final scores and 
comments on reviewed applications, with the names of reviewers 
redacted.
    3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
of Education 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); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
ED will notify the State.
    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) Any State that applies for a grant under this competition must 
ensure that it has in place the necessary processes and systems to 
comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should it 
receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if the State 
has an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) A State receiving funds under an RTT-ELC grant must submit an 
annual report that must include, in addition to the standard elements, 
a description of the State's progress to date on its goals, timelines, 
and budgets, as well as actual performance compared to the annual 
targets the State established in its application with respect to each 
performance measure. Further, a State receiving funds under this 
program is accountable for meeting the goals, timelines, budget, and 
annual targets established in the application; adhering to an annual 
fund drawdown schedule that is tied to meeting these goals, timelines, 
budget, and annual targets; and fulfilling and maintaining all other 
conditions for the conduct of the project. The Departments will monitor 
a State's progress in meeting the State's goals, timelines, budget, and 
annual targets and in fulfilling other applicable requirements. In 
addition, we may collect additional data as part of a State's annual 
reporting requirements.
    To support a collaborative process with the State, we may require 
that applicants who are selected to receive an award enter into a 
written performance or cooperative agreement. If we determine that a 
State is not meeting its goals, timelines, budget, or annual targets or 
is not fulfilling other applicable requirements, we will take 
appropriate action, which could include establishing a collaborative 
process or taking enforcement measures with respect to this grant, such 
as placing the State in high-risk status, putting the State on 
reimbursement payment status, or delaying or withholding funds.
    4. Evidence and Performance Measures: Evidence and performance 
measures for this notice follow directly after each selection criteria.

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Miriam Lund, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW., room 3E330, Washington, DC 20202-
6200. Telephone: 202-401-2871 or by email: RTT-ELC.P3.Competition@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-
8339.

VIII. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. 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 these Departments 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 these Departments 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 these Departments.

    Dated: August 26, 2013.
Deborah S. Delisle,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. 
Department of Education.
George H. Sheldon,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, U.S. Department 
of Health and Human Services.

Appendix A. Scoring Rubric

I. Introduction

    To help ensure inter-reviewer reliability and transparency for 
the RTT-ELC applicants, ED and HHS have created and are publishing a 
rubric for scoring State applications. The pages that follow detail 
the rubric and allocation of point values that reviewers will be 
using. The rubric will be used by reviewers to ensure consistency 
across and within review panels.
    The rubric allocates points to each selection criterion. In all, 
the RTT-ELC scoring rubric includes 17 selection criteria and four 
competitive preference priorities. These collectively add up to 315 
points. The

[[Page 54008]]

selection criteria are divided into two sections: Core Areas and 
Focused Investment Areas.
     Applicants must respond to all of the selection 
criteria within each of the two Core Areas: (A) Successful State 
Systems and (B) High-Quality, Accountable Programs.
     Applicants have more flexibility within each of the 
Focused Investment Areas: (C) Promoting Early Learning and 
Development Outcomes for Children; (D) A Great Early Childhood 
Education Workforce; and (E) Measuring Outcomes and Progress. In 
these sections, applicants may select which selection criteria to 
address, focusing on those that the State believes will have the 
most impact on school readiness for its Children with High Needs, 
given that State's context and the current status of its early 
learning and development activities. The Focused Investment Areas 
must be addressed as follows.

Focused Investment Areas

     The applicant must select and address--
     At least two selection criteria from Focused Investment Area 
(C) Promoting Early Learning and Development Outcomes for Children; 
and
     At least one selection criterion from each of Focused 
Investment Areas (D) A Great Early Childhood Education Workforce and 
(E) Measuring Outcomes and Progress.
     Each Focused Investment Area (C), (D), and (E) is worth 
a specific number of points; these points will be evenly divided 
across the selection criteria that the applicant chooses to address 
in that section.

Priorities

    Applicants must address the absolute priority throughout their 
applications; they do not write separately to this priority. The 
absolute priority must be met in order for an applicant to receive 
funding.
    Applications that choose to address a competitive preference 
priority will earn extra points under that priority if the reviewers 
determine that the response is of high quality. Applicants may 
choose to write to the invitational priority to extend the scope of 
the application; applicants are invited to address this and may 
apply funds from this grant to implement activities under it, but do 
not earn additional points for doing so.
    Reviewers will be required to make thoughtful judgments about 
the quality of the State's application and will be assessing, based 
on the criteria, the comprehensiveness, feasibility, and likely 
impact of the State's application. Reviewers will also be asked to 
evaluate, for example, the extent to which the State has set 
ambitious but achievable annual targets in its application. 
Reviewers will also need to make informed judgments about the 
State's goals, the rationales for the Focused Investment Areas, the 
activities the State has chosen to undertake, and the timelines and 
credibility of the State's plans.
    This appendix includes information about the point values for 
each criterion and priority, guidance on scoring, and the rubric 
that we will provide to reviewers.

II. Points Overview

    The chart below shows the maximum number of points that are 
assigned to each criterion.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Race to the Top-Early Learning
    Challenge: Points Overview       Points available       Percent
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A. Successful State Systems
(A)(1) Demonstrating past                          20
 commitment to early learning and
 development......................
(A)(2) Articulating the State's                    20
 rationale for its early learning
 and development reform agenda and
 goals............................
(A)(3) Aligning and coordinating                   10
 work across the State............
(A)(4) Developing a budget to                      15
 implement and sustain the work...
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Core Area A Subtotal..........                 65                 23
------------------------------------------------------------------------
B. High-Quality, Accountable
 Programs
(B)(1) Developing and adopting a                   10
 common, statewide Tiered Quality
 Rating and Improvement System....
(B)(2) Promoting participation in                  15
 the State's Tiered Quality Rating
 and Improvement System...........
(B)(3) Rating and monitoring Early                 15
 Learning and Development Programs
(B)(4) Promoting access to high-                   20
 quality Early Learning and
 Development Programs.............
(B)(5) Validating the State's                      15
 Tiered Quality Rating and
 Improvement System...............
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Core Area B Subtotal..........                 75                 27
------------------------------------------------------------------------
C. Promoting Early Learning and
 Development Outcomes for Children
(C)(1) Developing and using               60 (divided
 statewide, high-quality Early      evenly across the
 Learning and Development                    criteria
 Standards........................         addressed)
(C)(2) Supporting effective uses
 of Comprehensive Assessment
 Systems..........................
(C)(3) Identifying and addressing
 health, behavioral, and
 developmental needs..............
(C)(4) Engaging and supporting
 families.........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Focused Investment Area C                      60                 21
     Subtotal.....................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
D. A Great Early Childhood
 Education Workforce
(D)(1) Developing a Workforce             40 (divided
 Knowledge and Competency           evenly across the
 Framework and a progression of              criteria
 credentials......................         addressed)
(D)(2) Supporting Early Childhood
 Educators........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Focused Investment Area D                      40                 14
     Subtotal.....................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
E. Measuring Outcomes and Progress
(E)(1) Understanding the status of        40 (divided
 children at kindergarten entry...  evenly across the
                                             criteria
                                           addressed)
(E)(2) Building or enhancing an
 early learning data system.......
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Focused Investment Area E                      40                 14
     Subtotal.....................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total Points Available for                    280
     Selection Criteria...........
Competitive Priority 2: Including                  10
 all Early Learning and
 Development Programs in the TQRIS
Competitive Priority 3:                            10
 Understanding status of learning
 and development at kindergarten
 entry............................

[[Page 54009]]

 
Competitive Priority 4: Creating                   10
 preschool through third grade
 approaches to sustain improved
 early learning outcomes through
 the early elementary grades......
Competitive Priority 5: Addressing                  5
 the needs of children in rural
 areas............................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Grand Total...................                315
------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. About Scoring

General Notes about Scoring

    There are two terms that we use repeatedly in the notice: High-
Quality Plan and ``ambitious yet achievable'' goals or targets. 
These are anchor terms for both applicants to understand and 
reviewers to use in guiding their scoring. We discuss each below.
     A High-Quality Plan. In determining the quality of a 
State's plan for a given selection criterion or competitive 
preference priority, reviewers will assess the extent to which the 
plan meets the definition (as provided in the notice) of a High-
Quality Plan, including whether it is feasible and has a high 
probability of successful implementation and contains the following 
components--
    (a) The key goals;
    (b) The key activities to be undertaken; the rationale for the 
activities; and, if applicable, where in the State the activities 
will be initially implemented, and where and how they will be scaled 
up to achieve statewide implementation;
    (c) A realistic timeline, including key milestones, for 
implementing each key activity;
    (d) The party or parties responsible for implementing each 
activity and other key personnel assigned to each activity;
    (e) Appropriate financial resources to support successful 
implementation of the plan;
    (f) The information requested as supporting evidence, if any, 
together with any additional information the State believes will be 
helpful to peer reviewers in judging the credibility of the plan;
    (g) The information requested in the performance measures, where 
applicable;
    (h) How the State will address the needs of the different types 
of Early Learning and Development Programs, if applicable; and
    (i) How the State will meet the needs of Children with High 
Needs, as well as the unique needs of special populations of 
Children with High Needs.
    Using the information provided to them in the application, 
reviewers will assess the extent to which the proposed plan in a 
specific selection criterion is a High-Quality Plan that is 
credible, feasible to implement, and likely to result in the 
outcomes the State has put forward.
     Ambitious yet achievable. In determining whether a 
State has ambitious yet achievable goals or targets for a given 
selection criterion, reviewers will examine the State's goals or 
targets in the context of the State's plan and the evidence 
submitted (if any) in support of the plan. Reviewers will not be 
looking for any specific targets nor will they necessarily reward 
higher targets above lower ones with higher scores. Rather, 
reviewers will reward States for developing goals and targets that, 
in light of each State's plan and the current context and status of 
the work in that State, are shown to be ``ambitious yet 
achievable.''

About Assigning Points

    Reviewers will assign points to an application for each 
selection criterion in Core Areas (A) and (B) and for each selection 
criterion that the State has chosen to address within Focused 
Investment Areas (C), (D), and (E). Reviewers will also assign 
points to the competitive preference priorities. Points for a 
selection criterion or priority (e.g., (B)(4) or Priority 2) are 
assigned by reviewers for the totality of the applicant's response; 
that is, reviewers need not divide the total available points 
equally across the sub-criteria.

Rubric

    The following scoring rubric will be used to guide the reviewers 
in scoring selection criteria and priorities. (See ``General Notes 
about Scoring'' for more information about how reviewers will assess 
High-Quality Plans and ``ambitious yet achievable'' targets and 
goals.)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Percentage of available
                                              points awarded (percent)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
High-quality response....................  80-100
Medium/high-quality response.............  50-80
Medium/low-quality response..............  20-50
Low-quality response.....................  0-20
------------------------------------------------------------------------

About Priorities

    There are three types of priorities in the RTT-ELC competition.
     Applicants should address the absolute priority across 
the entire application and should not address it separately. It will 
be assessed by reviewers after they have fully reviewed and 
evaluated the entire application, to ensure that the application has 
met the priority. If an application has not met the priority, it 
will be eliminated from the competition. A State meets the absolute 
priority if a majority of reviewers determines that the State has 
met the absolute priority.
     Applicants earn points under the competitive preference 
priorities in a manner similar to how they earn points under the 
selection criteria.
    [cir] Priority 2 is worth up to 10 points.
    [cir] Priority 3 is worth 10 points; all 10 points are earned if 
the competitive preference priority is met. A State will earn 
competitive preference priority points if a majority of reviewers 
determines that the State has met the competitive preference 
priority. No points are earned if a majority of reviewers determine 
that the applicant has not met the competitive preference priority. 
A State meets the competitive preference priority by addressing 
selection criterion (E)(1) and earning a score of at least 70 
percent of the maximum points available for that criterion.
    [cir] Priority 4 is worth up to 10 points.
    [cir] Priority 5 is worth up to 5 points.
     The invitational priority is addressed in its own 
separate section. While applicants are invited to write to the 
invitational priority, they will not earn points under the 
invitational priority.

In the Event of a Tie

    If two or more applications have the same score and there is not 
sufficient funding to support all of the tied applicants, the 
applicants' overall scores on Core Area (B) will be used to break 
the tie.

Appendix B. Participating State Agency Memorandum of Understanding

Background for Memorandum of Understanding

    Each Participating State Agency identified in a State's Race to 
the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC) State Plan is required to 
enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) or other binding 
agreement with the State's Lead Agency that specifies the scope of 
the work that will be implemented by the Participating State Agency. 
The purpose of the MOU or other binding agreement is to define a 
relationship between the Lead Agency and the Participating State 
Agency that is specific to the RTT-ELC competition; the MOU or other 
binding agreement is not meant to detail all typical aspects of 
grant coordination or administration.
    To support States in working efficiently with their 
Participating State Agencies to affirm each Participating State 
Agency's participation in the State Plan, ED and HHS have produced a 
model MOU, which is attached. This model MOU may serve as a template 
for States; however, States are not required to use it. States may 
use a document other than the model MOU, as long as it includes the 
key features noted below and in the model MOU. States should consult 
with their State attorneys on what is most appropriate. States may 
allow multiple Participating State Agencies to sign a single MOU or 
other binding agreement, with customized exhibits for each 
Participating State Agency, if the State so chooses.
    At a minimum, an RTT-ELC MOU or other binding agreement should 
include the following key features, each of which is described in 
detail below and exemplified in the attached model MOU: (i) Terms 
and conditions; (ii) a scope of work; and (iii) authorized 
signatures.
    (i) Terms and conditions: Each Participating State Agency must 
sign a standard set of terms and conditions that

[[Page 54010]]

includes, at a minimum, key roles and responsibilities of the Lead 
Agency and the Participating State Agency; State recourse for non-
performance by the Participating State Agency; and assurances that 
make clear what the Participating State Agency is agreeing to do.
    (ii) Scope of work: RTT-ELC MOUs or other binding agreements 
must include a preliminary scope of work (included in the model RTT-
ELC MOU as Exhibit I) that is completed by each Participating State 
Agency. The scope of work must be signed and dated by an authorized 
Participating State Agency official and an authorized Lead Agency 
official. In the interest of time and in consideration of the effort 
it will take for the Lead Agency and Participating State Agencies to 
develop detailed work plans for RTT-ELC, the scope of work submitted 
by Participating State Agencies and Lead Agencies as part of a 
State's application may be preliminary. Preliminary scopes of work 
must, at a minimum, identify all applicable portions of the State 
Plan that the Participating State Agency is agreeing to implement 
and include the required assurances. (Note that in order for a State 
to be eligible for the RTT-ELC competition, the Lead Agency must 
have executed with each Participating State Agency an MOU or other 
binding agreement, which the State must attach to its application 
and which must describe the Participating State Agency's level of 
participation in the grant and must include the required 
assurances.)
    If a State is awarded an RTT-ELC grant, Participating State 
Agencies will have up to 90 days to complete final scopes of work, 
which must contain detailed work plans that are consistent with each 
Participating State Agency's preliminary scope of work and with the 
State's grant application, and must include the Participating State 
Agencies' specific goals, activities, timelines, budgets, and key 
personnel.
    (iii) Authorized Signatures: The signatures on the MOU or other 
binding agreement demonstrate an acknowledgement of the relationship 
between the Participating State Agency and the Lead Agency. With 
respect to the relationship between the Participating State Agency 
and the Lead Agency, the Lead Agency's counter-signature on the MOU 
or other binding agreement indicates that the Participating State 
Agency's commitment is consistent with the requirement that a 
Participating State Agency implement all applicable portions of the 
State Plan.

Model Participating State Agency Memorandum of Understanding

    This Memorandum of Understanding (``MOU'') is entered into by 
and between -------- (``Lead Agency'') and -------- (``Participating 
State Agency''). The purpose of this agreement is to establish a 
framework of collaboration, as well as articulate specific roles and 
responsibilities in support of the State in its implementation of an 
approved Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant project.

I. ASSURANCES

    The Participating State Agency hereby certifies and represents 
that it:
    (1) Agrees to be a Participating State Agency and will implement 
those portions of the State Plan indicated in Exhibit I, if the 
State application is funded;
    (2) Agrees to use, to the extent applicable and consistent with 
the State Plan and Exhibit I:
    (a) A set of statewide Early Learning and Development Standards;
    (b) A set of statewide Program Standards;
    (c) A statewide Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System; 
and
    (d) A statewide Workforce Knowledge and Competency Framework and 
progression of credentials.
    (Please note that Participating State Agencies must provide 
these assurances in order for the State to be eligible for a Race to 
the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant.)
    (3) Has all requisite power and authority to execute and fulfill 
the terms of this MOU;
    (4) Is familiar with the State's Race to the Top-Early Learning 
Challenge grant application and is supportive of and committed to 
working on all applicable portions of the State Plan;
    (5) Will provide a Final Scope of Work only if the State's 
application is funded and will do so in a timely fashion but no 
later than 90 days after a grant is awarded; and will describe the 
Participating State Agency's specific goals, activities, timelines, 
budgets, and key personnel (``Participating State Agency Plan'') in 
a manner that is consistent with the Preliminary Scope of Work 
(Exhibit I), with the Budget included in section VIII of the State 
Plan (including existing funds, if any, that the Participating State 
Agency is using for activities and services that help achieve the 
outcomes of the State Plan); and
    (6) Will comply with all of the terms of the Race to the Top-
Early Learning Challenge Grant, this agreement, and all applicable 
Federal and State laws and regulations, including laws and 
regulations applicable to the Race to the Top-Early Learning 
Challenge program, and the applicable provisions of EDGAR (34 CFR 
Parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99), and the 
suspension and debarment regulations in 2 CFR Part 3485.

II. PROJECT ADMINISTRATION

A. PARTICIPATING STATE AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES

    In assisting the Lead Agency in implementing the tasks and 
activities described in the State's Race to the Top-Early Learning 
Challenge grant application, the Participating State Agency will:
    (1) Implement the Participating State Agency Scope of Work as 
identified in Exhibit I of this agreement;
    (2) Abide by the governance structure outlined in the State 
Plan;
    (3) Abide by the Participating State Agency's Budget included in 
section VIII of the State Plan (including the existing funds from 
Federal, State, private, and local sources, if any, that the 
Participating State Agency is using to achieve the outcomes in the 
RTT-ELC State Plan);
    (4) Actively participate in all relevant meetings or other 
events that are organized or sponsored by the State, by the U.S. 
Department of Education (``ED''), or by the U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services (``HHS'');
    (5) Post to any Web site specified by the State, ED, or HHS, in 
a timely manner, all non-proprietary products and lessons learned 
developed using Federal funds awarded under the RTT-ELC grant;
    (6) Participate, as requested, in any evaluations of this grant 
conducted by the State, ED, or HHS;
    (7) Be responsive to State, ED, or HHS requests for project 
information including on the status of the project, project 
implementation, outcomes, and any problems anticipated or 
encountered, consistent with applicable local, State, and Federal 
privacy laws.

B. LEAD AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES

    In assisting the Participating State Agencies in implementing 
their tasks and activities described in the State's Race to the Top-
Early Learning Challenge application, the Lead Agency will:
    (1) Work collaboratively with the Participating State Agency and 
support the Participating State Agency in carrying out the 
Participating State Agency Scope of Work, as identified in Exhibit I 
of this agreement;
    (2) Timely award the portion of Race to the Top-Early Learning 
Challenge grant funds designated for the Participating State Agency 
in the State Plan during the course of the project period and in 
accordance with the Participating State Agency's Scope of Work, as 
identified in Exhibit I, and in accordance with the Participating 
State Agency's Budget, as identified in section VIII of the State's 
application;
    (3) Provide feedback on the Participating State Agency's status 
updates, any interim reports, and project plans and products;
    (4) Keep the Participating State Agency informed of the status 
of the State's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant 
project and seek input from the Participating State Agency, where 
applicable, through the governance structure outlined in the State 
Plan;
    (5) Facilitate coordination across Participating State Agencies 
necessary to implement the State Plan; and
    (6) Identify sources of technical assistance for the project.

C. JOINT RESPONSIBILITIES

    (1) The Lead Agency and the Participating State Agency will each 
appoint a key contact person for the Race to the Top-Early Learning 
Challenge grant.
    (2) These key contacts from the Lead Agency and the 
Participating State Agency will maintain frequent communication to 
facilitate cooperation under this MOU, consistent with the State 
Plan and governance structure.
    (3) Lead Agency and Participating State Agency personnel will 
work together to determine appropriate timelines for project updates 
and status reports throughout the grant period.
    (4) Lead Agency and Participating State Agency personnel will 
negotiate in good faith toward achieving the overall goals of the 
State's Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant, including 
when the State

[[Page 54011]]

Plan requires modifications that affect the Participating State 
Agency, or when the Participating State Agency's Scope of Work 
requires modifications.

D. STATE RECOURSE IN THE EVENT OF PARTICIPATING STATE AGENCY'S 
FAILURE TO PERFORM

    If the Lead Agency determines that the Participating State 
Agency is not meeting its goals, timelines, budget, or annual 
targets, or is in some other way not fulfilling applicable 
requirements, the Lead Agency will take appropriate enforcement 
action, which could include initiating a collaborative process to 
attempt to resolve the disagreements between the Lead Agency and the 
Participating State Agency, or initiating such enforcement measures 
as are available to the Lead Agency, under applicable State or 
Federal law.

III. MODIFICATIONS

    This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended only by written 
agreement signed by each of the parties involved, in consultation 
with ED and HHS.

IV. DURATION

    This Memorandum of Understanding shall be effective beginning on 
the date of the last signature hereon and, if a Race to the Top-
Early Learning Challenge grant is received by the State, ending upon 
the expiration of the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant 
project period.

V. SIGNATURES

Authorized Representative of Lead Agency:

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Signature Date
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Print Name Title

Authorized Representative of Participating State Agency

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Signature Date
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Print Name Title

Exhibit I--Participating State Agency Scope of Work

    The Participating State Agency hereby agrees to participate in 
the State Plan, as described in the State's application, and more 
specifically commits to undertake the tasks and activities described 
in detail below.

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                  Selection criterion                              Participating party                            Type of participation
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Example Row--shows an example of criterion (B)(1) for     State-funded preschool         Representatives from each program are sitting on the
 the State agency that oversees state-funded preschool,   IDEA preschool special ed       state committee to define statewide QRIS program
 IDEA, and Head Start Collab Office                       Head Start Collab Office        standards
                                                        ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Head Start Collab Office       Responsible for cross-walking Head Start performance
                                                                                                  standards with the new program standards
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(B)(1)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(B)(2)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(B)(3)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(B)(4)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(B)(5)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(C)(1)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(C)(2)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(C)(3)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(C)(4)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(D)(1)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(D)(2)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(E)(1)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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(E)(2)                                                   ......................................  .......................................................
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                                                                                                            .....................  .....................
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Signature (Authorized Representative of Lead Agency)                                                        .....................  Date
 
                                                                                                            .....................  .....................
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Signature (Authorized Representative of Participating State Agency)                                         .....................  Date
 

[FR Doc. 2013-21139 Filed 8-29-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P