[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 10 (Wednesday, January 15, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 2640-2646]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00648]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Credit Enhancement for Charter 
School Facilities Program

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

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information: Credit Enhancement for Charter School 
Facilities Program. Notice inviting applications for new awards for 
fiscal year (FY) 2014.
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.354A.

DATES: Applications Available: January 15, 2014.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar (all times are Washington, DC 
time): Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 2:00 p.m., Washington, DC time.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 3, 2014.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 30, 2014.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: This program provides grants to eligible 
entities to permit them to enhance the credit of charter schools so 
that they can access private-sector and other non-Federal capital in 
order to acquire, construct, and renovate facilities at a reasonable 
cost. Grant projects awarded under this program will be of sufficient 
size, scope, and quality to enable the grantees to implement effective 
strategies for reaching that objective.
    Priorities: This competition includes one competitive preference 
priority and one invitational priority.
    Competitive Preference Priority: In accordance with 34 CFR 
75.105(b)(2)(ii), this priority is from the regulations for this 
program (34 CFR 225.12).
    For FY 2014 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from 
the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is 
a competitive preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we 
award up to an additional 15 points to an application, depending on how 
well the application meets this priority.
    This priority is:
    The capacity of charter schools to offer public school choice in 
those communities with the greatest need for school choice based on--
    (1) The extent to which the applicant would target services to 
geographic areas in which a large proportion or number of public 
schools have been identified for improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended.

    Note: In order to receive competitive preference points under 
this priority, applicants serving charter schools in States 
operating under ESEA Flexibility that have opted to waive the 
requirement in ESEA section 1116(b) for local educational agencies 
(LEAs) to identify for improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring, as appropriate, their Title I schools that fail to 
make adequate yearly progress (AYP) for two or more consecutive 
years should target services to geographic areas in which a large 
proportion or number of public schools have been identified as 
priority or focus schools, or belonging to a subset of other Title I 
schools specifically identified as low-achieving under the State's 
approved ESEA flexibility request (see the June 7, 2012, ``ESEA 
Flexibility'' document at http://www.ed.gov/esea/flexibility).

    (2) The extent to which the applicant would target services to 
geographic areas in which a large proportion of students perform below 
proficient on State academic assessments; and
    (3) The extent to which the applicant would target services to 
communities with large proportions of students from low-income 
families.
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2014 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: The applicant proposes a grant project that 
demonstrates its ability to partner with new actors and/or leverage new 
sources of capital and untapped non-Federal programs in order to 
finance charter school facilities.
    Definitions: The following definitions are from 34 CFR 77.1(c):
    Ambitious means promoting continued, meaningful improvement for 
program participants or for other individuals or entities affected by 
the grant, or representing a significant advancement in the field of 
education research, practices, or methodologies. When used to describe 
a performance target, whether a performance target is ambitious depends 
upon the context of the relevant performance measure and the baseline 
for that measure.
    Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a well-
specified conceptual framework that identifies key components of the 
proposed process, product, strategy, or practice (i.e., the active 
``ingredients'' that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the 
relevant outcomes) and describes the relationships among the key 
components and outcomes, theoretically and operationally.
    Performance measure means any quantitative indicator, statistic, or 
metric used to gauge program or project performance.
    Performance target means a level of performance that an applicant 
would seek to meet during the course of a project or as a result of a 
project.
    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) (or the ultimate 
outcome if not related to students) the proposed process, product, 
strategy, or practice is designed to improve; consistent with the 
specific goals of a program.
    Strong theory means a rationale for the proposed process, product, 
strategy, or practice that includes a logic model.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7223-7223j.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department debarment 
and suspension regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The regulations for 
this program in 34 CFR part 225.

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


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

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration's budget request for 
FY 2014 does not include funds for this program. However, we are 
inviting applications at this time to allow enough time to complete the 
grant process if Congress appropriates funds for the program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY

[[Page 2641]]

2015 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $5,000,000 to $8,000,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $7,500,000.
    Maximum Award: We will not award a grant for more than $8,000,000 
for a grant project. The Assistant Secretary for the Office of 
Innovation and Improvement may change the maximum amount through a 
notice published in the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 3.

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

    Project Period: From the start date indicated on the grant award 
document until the Federal funds and earnings on those funds have been 
expended for the grant purposes or until financing facilitated by the 
grant has been retired, whichever is later.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: (a) A public entity, such as a State or 
local governmental entity; (b) A private, nonprofit entity; or (c) A 
consortium of entities described in (a) and (b).

    Note: Under 20 U.S.C. 7223a(b)(2), the Secretary will make, if 
possible, at least one award in each of the three categories of 
eligible applicants.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: The charter schools that a grantee selects to benefit 
from this program must meet the definition of a ``charter school,'' in 
section 5210(1) of the ESEA, as amended.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: Kristin Lundholm, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W221, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-4352 or by email: 
Kristin.Lundholm@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 in 
this section.
    2. a. Content and Form of Application Submission: Each Credit 
Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program application must 
include the following specific elements:
    (a) A statement identifying the activities proposed to be 
undertaken with grant funds (the ``grant project''), including a 
description of how the applicant will determine which charter schools 
will receive assistance and how much and what types of assistance these 
schools will receive.
    (b) A description of the involvement of charter schools in the 
application's development and in the design of the proposed grant 
project.
    (c) A description of the applicant's expertise in capital markets 
financing. (Consortium applicants must provide this information for 
each of the participating organizations.)
    (d) A description of how the proposed grant project will leverage 
the maximum amount of private-sector and other non-Federal capital 
relative to the amount of funding used from the Credit Enhancement for 
Charter School Facilities program and how the proposed grant project 
will otherwise enhance credit available to charter schools.
    (e) A description of how the eligible entity possesses sufficient 
expertise in education to evaluate the likelihood of success of a 
charter school program for which facilities financing is sought.
    (f) In the case of an application submitted by a State governmental 
entity, a description of current and planned State funding actions, 
including other forms of financial assistance that ensure that charter 
schools within the State receive the funding they need to have adequate 
facilities.
    Additional requirements concerning the content of an application, 
together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package 
for this program.
    Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, 
address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your 
application. Applicants are encouraged to limit their application 
narrative to no more than 40 pages (not including the required forms 
and tables), using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5 x 11, on one side 
only, with 1 margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    Furthermore, applicants are strongly encouraged to include a table 
of contents that specifies where each required part of the application 
is located.

    Note: The applicant should review the Performance Measures 
section of this notice for information on the requirements for 
developing project-specific performance measures and targets 
consistent with the objectives of the program.

    b. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for the Credit 
Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program, an application may 
include business information that the applicant considers proprietary. 
The Department's regulations define ``business information'' in 34 CFR 
5.11.
    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the 
public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business 
information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate 
Appendix section of your application, under ``Other Attachment Form,'' 
please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this 
information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: January 15, 2014.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: The Department will hold a pre-
application Webinar for prospective applicants on the following date 
(all times are Washington, DC time): Wednesday, January 29, 2014, at 
2:00PM, Washington, DC time.
    Individuals interested in attending the Webinar are encouraged to 
pre-register by emailing their name, organization, contact information, 
and preferred Webinar date and time with the subject heading CREDIT 
ENHANCEMENT PRE-APPLICATION MEETING to Charterschools@ed.gov. There is 
no registration fee for attending this Webinar.
    For further information about the pre-application Webinar, contact 
Kristin Lundholm, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue 
SW., Room 4W221, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-4352 
or by email: Kristin.Lundholm@ed.gov.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 3, 2014.

[[Page 2642]]

    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.Gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, please refer to section IV. 7 Other 
Submission Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: April 30, 2014.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this program.
    5. Funding Restrictions: (a) Reserve accounts. Grant recipients, in 
accordance with State and local law, must deposit the grant funds they 
receive under this program (other than funds used for administrative 
costs) in a reserve account established and maintained by the grantee 
for this purpose. Amounts deposited in such account shall be used by 
the grantee for one or more of the following purposes in order to 
assist charter schools in accessing private-sector and other non-
Federal capital:
    (1) Guaranteeing, insuring, and reinsuring bonds, notes, evidences 
of debt, loans, and interests therein.
    (2) Guaranteeing and insuring leases of personal and real property.
    (3) Facilitating financing by identifying potential lending 
sources, encouraging private lending, and other similar activities that 
directly promote lending to, or for the benefit of, charter schools.
    (4) Facilitating the issuance of bonds by charter schools or by 
other public entities for the benefit of charter schools, by providing 
technical, administrative, and other appropriate assistance (such as 
the recruitment of bond counsel, underwriters, and potential investors 
and the consolidation of multiple charter school projects within a 
single bond issue).
    Funds received under this program and deposited in the reserve 
account must be invested in obligations issued or guaranteed by the 
United States or a State, or in other similarly low-risk securities. 
Any earnings on funds, including fees, received under this program must 
be deposited in the reserve account and be used in accordance with the 
requirements of this program.
    (b) Charter school objectives. An eligible entity receiving a grant 
under this program must use the funds deposited in the reserve account 
to assist charter schools in accessing capital to accomplish one or 
both of the following objectives:
    (1) The acquisition (by purchase, lease, donation, or otherwise) of 
an interest (which may be an interest held by a third party for the 
benefit of a charter school) in improved or unimproved real property 
that is necessary to commence or continue the operation of a charter 
school.
    (2) The construction of new facilities, or the renovation, repair, 
or alteration of existing facilities, necessary to commence or continue 
the operation of a charter school.
    (c) Other. Grantees must ensure that all costs incurred using funds 
from the reserve account are reasonable. The full faith and credit of 
the United States are not pledged to the payment of funds under such 
obligation. In the event of a default on any debt or other obligation, 
the United States has no liability to cover the cost of the default.
    Applicants that are selected to receive an award must enter into a 
written Performance Agreement with the Department prior to drawing down 
funds, unless the grantee receives written permission from the 
Department in the interim to draw down a specific limited amount of 
funds. Grantees must maintain and enforce standards of conduct 
governing the performance of their employees, officers, directors, 
trustees, and agents engaged in the selection, award, and 
administration of contracts or agreements related to this grant. The 
standards of conduct must mandate disinterested decision-making.
    A grantee may use not more than 0.25 percent (one quarter of one 
percent) of the grant funds for the administrative costs of the grant.
    The Secretary, in accordance with chapter 37 of title 31, United 
States Code, will collect all or a portion of the funds in the reserve 
account established with grant funds (including any earnings on those 
funds) if the Secretary determines that the grantee has permanently 
ceased to use all or a portion of the funds in such account to 
accomplish the purposes described in the authorizing statute and the 
Performance Agreement or, if not earlier than two years after the date 
on which the entity first receives these funds, the entity has failed 
to make substantial progress in undertaking the grant project.
    (d) We specify some unallowable costs in 34 CFR 225.21. We 
reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the 
Applicable Regulations section in 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 Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one-to-two business days.
    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 can take approximately seven business 
days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the 
completeness and accuracy of the data entered into the SAM database by 
an entity. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal 
financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, 
please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number 
and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note: Once your SAM registration is active, you will need to 
allow 24 to 48 hours for the information to be available in 
Grants.gov and before you can submit an application through 
Grants.gov.


[[Page 2643]]


    If you are currently registered with 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.
    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further 
assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in 
SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov 
Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an 
exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in 
this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications. Applications for grants 
under the Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program, 
CFDA number 84.354A, must be submitted electronically using the 
Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this 
site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, 
complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You 
may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Credit 
Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program at www.Grants.gov. 
You must search for the downloadable application package for this 
program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha 
suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.326, not 84.326A).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this program to ensure that you 
submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. 
You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to 
Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home 
page at www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: The 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must upload any narrative sections and all other 
attachments to your application as files in a PDF (Portable Document) 
read-only, non-modifiable format. Do not upload an interactive or 
fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, 
non-modifiable PDF or submit a password-protected file, we will not 
review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by email. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m.,

[[Page 2644]]

Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department 
will contact you after a determination is made on whether your 
application will be accepted.

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

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Kristin Lundholm, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W221, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970.
    FAX: (202) 250-5630.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.354A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

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

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery. If you 
qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you 
(or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the 
Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of 
your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, 
to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of 
Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 
84.354A), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

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

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
in 34 CFR 225.11 and are listed in following paragraphs. The maximum 
score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points. The maximum 
score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. Each criterion 
also includes the factors that the reviewers will consider to determine 
how well an application meets the criterion. We encourage applicants to 
make explicit connections to the selection criteria and factors in 
their applications.
    A. Quality of project design and significance. (35 points)
    In determining the quality of project design and significance, the 
Secretary considers--
    (1) The extent to which the grant proposal would provide financing 
to charter schools at better rates and terms than they can receive 
absent assistance through the program;
    (2) The extent to which the project goals, objectives, and timeline 
are clearly specified, measurable, and appropriate for the purpose of 
the program;
    (3) The extent to which the project implementation plan and 
activities, including the partnerships established, are likely to 
achieve measurable objectives that further the purposes of the program;
    (4) The extent to which the project is likely to produce results 
that are replicable;
    (5) The extent to which the project will use appropriate criteria 
for selecting charter schools for assistance and for determining the 
type and amount of assistance to be given;
    (6) The extent to which the proposed activities will leverage 
private or public-sector funding and increase the number and variety of 
charter schools assisted in meeting their facilities needs more than 
would be accomplished absent the program;
    (7) The extent to which the project will serve charter schools in 
States with strong charter laws, consistent with the criteria for such 
laws in section 5202(e)(3) of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act of 1965;
    (8) The extent to which the requested grant amount and the project 
costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and 
potential significance of the project; and
    (9) The extent to which the proposed project is supported by strong 
theory (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)).

    Note: The applicant should review the Performance Measures 
section of this notice for information on the requirements for 
developing project-specific performance measures and targets 
consistent with the objectives of the program.


[[Page 2645]]


    B. Quality of project services. (15 points)
    In determining the quality of the project services, the Secretary 
considers--
    (1) The extent to which the services to be provided by the project 
reflect the identified needs of the charter schools to be served;
    (2) The extent to which charter schools and chartering agencies 
were involved in the design of, and demonstrate support for, the 
project;
    (3) The extent to which the technical assistance and other services 
to be provided by the proposed grant project involve the use of cost-
effective strategies for increasing charter schools' access to 
facilities financing, including the reasonableness of fees and lending 
terms; and
    (4) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
grant project are focused on assisting charter schools with a 
likelihood of success and the greatest demonstrated need for assistance 
under the program.
    C. Capacity. (35 points)
    In determining an applicant's business and organizational capacity 
to carry out the project, the Secretary considers--
    (1) The amount and quality of experience of the applicant in 
carrying out the activities it proposes to undertake in its 
application, such as enhancing the credit on debt issuances, 
guaranteeing leases, and facilitating financing;
    (2) The applicant's financial stability;
    (3) The ability of the applicant to protect against unwarranted 
risk in its loan underwriting, portfolio monitoring, and financial 
management;
    (4) The applicant's expertise in education to evaluate the 
likelihood of success of a charter school;
    (5) The ability of the applicant to prevent conflicts of interest, 
including conflicts of interest by employees and members of the board 
of directors in a decision-making role;
    (6) If the applicant has co-applicants (consortium members), 
partners, or other grant project participants, the specific resources 
to be contributed by each co-applicant (consortium member), partner, or 
other grant project participant to the implementation and success of 
the grant project;
    (7) For State governmental entities, the extent to which steps have 
been or will be taken to ensure that charter schools within the State 
receive the funding needed to obtain adequate facilities; and
    (8) For previous grantees under the charter school facilities 
programs, their performance in implementing these grants.
    D. Quality of project personnel. (15 points)
    In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary 
considers--
    (1) The qualifications of project personnel, including relevant 
training and experience, of the project manager and other members of 
the project team, including consultants or subcontractors; and
    (2) The staffing plan for the grant project.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is 
not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; 
has a financial or other management system that does not meet the 
standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures:
    (a) Program Performance Measures. The performance measures for this 
program are: (1) The amount of funding grantees leverage for charter 
schools to acquire, construct, and renovate school facilities and (2) 
the number of charter schools served. Grantees must provide this 
information as part of their annual performance reports.
    (b) Project-Specific Performance Measures. Applicants must propose 
project-specific performance measures and performance targets 
consistent with the objectives of the project and program. Applications 
must provide the following information as directed under 34 CFR 
75.110(b):
    (1) Project Performance Measures. How each proposed project-
specific performance measure would accurately measure the performance 
of the project and how the proposed project-specific performance 
measure would be consistent with the performance measures established 
for the program funding the competition.
    (2) Project Performance Targets. Why each proposed performance 
target is ambitious yet achievable compared to the baseline for the 
performance measure and when, during the project period, the applicant 
would meet the performance target(s).

    Note: The Secretary encourages the applicant to consider 
measures and targets

[[Page 2646]]

tied to their grant activities (for instance, if applicants are 
using eligibility for free and reduced price lunch to measure the 
number of low-income families served by the project, the applicant 
could provide a percentage for students qualifying for free and 
reduce lunch), during the grant period. The measures should be 
sufficient to gauge the progress throughout the grant period, and 
show results by the end of the grant period.

    (3) The applicant must also describe in the application:
    (i) The data collection and reporting methods the applicant would 
use and why those methods are likely to yield reliable, valid, and 
meaningful performance data, and
    (ii) The applicant's capacity to collect and report reliable, 
valid, and meaningful performance data, as evidenced by high-quality 
data collection, analysis, and reporting in other projects or research.

    Note: If the applicant does not have experience with collection 
and reporting of performance data through other projects or 
research, they should provide other evidence of their capacity to 
successfully carry out data collection and reporting for their 
proposed project.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which a 
grantee has made ``substantial progress toward meeting the objectives 
in its approved application.'' This consideration includes the review 
of a grantee's progress in meeting the targets and projected outcomes 
in its approved application, and whether the grantee has expended funds 
in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and 
budget. In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil 
rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities 
receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 
100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

VII. Agency Contact

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristin Lundholm, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W221, Washington, DC 20202-
5970. Telephone: (202) 205-4352 or by email: Kristin.Lundholm@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 and a copy of the application package in an accessible format 
(e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
in section VII of this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free 
Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the 
Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System 
at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well 
as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF 
you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the 
site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at: 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

    Dated: January 10, 2014.
Nadya Chinoy Dabby,
Associate Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Innovation and 
Improvement, delegated the authority to perform the functions and 
duties of the Assistant Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2014-00648 Filed 1-14-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P