[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 77 (Friday, April 20, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 23690-23704]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-9595]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Promise Neighborhoods Program--
Planning Grant Competition

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

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

    Promise Neighborhoods Program--Planning Grant Competition Notice 
inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2012.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.215P 
(Planning grants).

    Dates:
    Applications Available: April 20, 2012.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: June 8, 2012.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinars: May 15, 2012, and June 12, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 27, 2012.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 25, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Promise Neighborhoods program is carried 
out under the legislative authority of the Fund for the Improvement of 
Education (FIE), title V, part D, subpart 1, sections 5411 through 5413 
of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as 
amended (20 U.S.C. 7243-7243b). FIE supports nationally significant 
programs to improve the quality of elementary and secondary education 
at the State and local levels and to help all children meet challenging 
State academic content and student academic achievement standards.
    The purpose of the Promise Neighborhoods program is to 
significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of 
children and youth in our most distressed communities, and to transform 
those communities by--
    (1) Identifying and increasing the capacity of eligible 
organizations (as defined in this notice) that are focused on achieving 
results for children and youth throughout an entire neighborhood;
    (2) Building a complete continuum of cradle-through-college-to-
career solutions (continuum of solutions) (as defined in this notice) 
of both education programs and family and community supports (both as 
defined in this notice), with great schools at the center. All 
solutions in the continuum of solutions must be accessible to children 
with disabilities (CWD) (as defined in this notice) and English 
learners (EL) (as defined in this notice);
    (3) Integrating programs and breaking down agency ``silos'' so that 
solutions are implemented effectively and efficiently across agencies;
    (4) Developing the local infrastructure of systems and resources 
needed to sustain and scale up proven, effective solutions across the 
broader region beyond the initial neighborhood; and
    (5) Learning about the overall impact of the Promise Neighborhoods 
program and about the relationship between particular strategies in 
Promise Neighborhoods and student outcomes, including through a 
rigorous evaluation of the program.
    Background: The vision for this program is that all children and 
youth growing up in Promise Neighborhoods have access to great schools 
and strong systems of family and community support that will prepare 
them to attain an excellent education and successfully transition to 
college and a career.
    A Promise Neighborhood is both a place and a strategy. A place 
eligible to become a Promise Neighborhood is a geographic area that is 
distressed, often facing inadequate access to high-quality early 
learning programs and services, with struggling schools, low high 
school and college graduation rates, high rates of unemployment, high 
rates of crime, and indicators of poor health. These conditions 
contribute to and intensify the negative outcomes associated with 
children and youth living in poverty. Children and youth who are from 
low-income families and grow up in neighborhoods of concentrated 
poverty face educational and life challenges above and beyond the 
challenges faced by children who are from low-income families who grow 
up in neighborhoods without a high concentration of poverty. A Federal 
evaluation of the reading and mathematics outcomes of elementary 
students in 71 schools in 18 districts and 7 States found that even 
when controlling for individual student poverty, there is a significant 
negative association between school-level poverty and student 
achievement.\1\ The evaluation found that students have lower academic 
outcomes when a higher percentage of their same-school peers qualify 
for free and reduced-priced lunch (FRPL) compared to when a lower 
percentage of their same-school peers qualify for FRPL. The compounding 
effects of neighborhood poverty continue later in life: Another study 
found that, for children with similar levels of family income, growing 
up in a neighborhood where the number of families in poverty was 
between 20 and 30 percent increased the chance of downward economic 
mobility--moving down the income ladder relative to their parents--by 
more than 50 percent compared with children who grew up in 
neighborhoods with under 10 percent of families in poverty.\2\
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    \1\ Westat and Policy Studies Associates. The longitudinal 
evaluation of school change and performance (LESCP) in title I 
schools. Prepared for the U.S. Department of Education. Available 
January 2010 online at http://www2.ed.gov/offices/OUS/PES/esed/lescp_vol1.pdf.
    \2\ Sharkey, Patrick. ``Neighborhoods and the Black-White 
Mobility Gap.'' Economic Mobility Project: An Initiative of The Pew 
Charitable Trusts, 2009.
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    A Promise Neighborhood is also a strategy for addressing the issues 
in distressed communities. Promise Neighborhoods are led by 
organizations that work to ensure that all children and youth in the 
target geographic area have access to the continuum of solutions needed 
to graduate from high school ready for college and a career. Within 
these geographic areas, Promise Neighborhoods create a high level of 
participation in cradle-through-college-to-career supports for children 
and youth, where over time a greater proportion of the neighborhood is 
served by programs and neighborhood indicators show significant 
progress. For this reason, each Promise Neighborhood grantee must have 
several core features: (1) Significant need in the neighborhood the 
grant serves; (2) a strategy to build

[[Page 23691]]

a continuum of solutions with strong schools at the center; and (3) the 
capacity to achieve results. As the proportion of neighborhood 
children, students, and families accessing services and attending great 
schools increases, the entire neighborhood will be positively affected.
    While there are a number of organizations and communities that are 
working on developing Promise Neighborhoods strategies, these entities 
are at different stages of readiness to create a Promise Neighborhood. 
We have established priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria for both planning and implementation grants in a 
notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria published in the Federal Register on July 6, 2011 (76 FR 
39590) (2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP). The priorities, requirements, 
and selection criteria are different for planning grant and 
implementation grant applicants, while the definitions apply to both 
groups of applicants. This current notice invites applications for FY 
2012 planning grants. Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, 
we have published a notice inviting applications for FY 2012 
implementation grants.
    Planning grants will support eligible organizations that seek to 
develop feasible plans to create a continuum of solutions with the 
potential to significantly improve the educational and developmental 
outcomes of children and youth in a neighborhood. These grants will 
support eligible organizations that demonstrate the need for creating a 
Promise Neighborhood in the geographic areas they are targeting, a 
sound strategy for developing a feasible plan to create a continuum of 
solutions, and the capacity to develop the plan.
    Under Absolute Priority 1 for planning grants, Promise 
Neighborhoods planning grantees generally must undertake the following 
activities during the planning year (the complete and exact 
requirements of the priority are specified elsewhere in the notice):
    (1) Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment and segmentation 
analysis (as defined in this notice) of children and youth in the 
neighborhood.
    (2) Develop a plan to deliver a continuum of solutions with the 
potential to drive results. This includes building community support 
for and involvement in the development of the plan.
    (3) Establish effective partnerships both to provide solutions 
along the continuum and to commit resources to sustain and scale up 
what works.
    (4) Plan, build, adapt, or expand a longitudinal data system that 
will provide information that the grantee will use for learning, 
continuous improvement, and accountability.
    (5) Participate in a community of practice (as defined in this 
notice).
    Implementation grants will support eligible organizations in 
carrying out their plans to create a continuum of solutions that will 
significantly improve the educational and developmental outcomes of 
children and youth in the target neighborhood. These grants will aid 
eligible organizations that have developed a plan that demonstrates the 
need for the creation of a Promise Neighborhood in the geographic area 
they are targeting, a sound strategy for implementing a plan to create 
a continuum of solutions, and the capacity to implement the plan. More 
specifically, grantees will use implementation grant funds to develop 
the administrative capacity necessary to successfully implement a 
continuum of solutions, such as managing partnerships, integrating 
multiple funding sources, and supporting the grantee's longitudinal 
data system. While implementation grantees will be best positioned to 
determine the allocation of grant funds given the results of their 
needs assessments and plans to build their organizational capacity, the 
Department expects that the majority of resources that provide 
solutions within the continuum of solutions will come from public and 
private funding sources that are integrated and aligned with the 
Promise Neighborhoods strategy.
    Under Absolute Priority 1 for implementation grants, Promise 
Neighborhoods implementation grantees generally will undertake the 
following activities during the implementation years (the complete and 
exact requirements of the priority are specified elsewhere in the 
notice):
    (1) Implement a continuum of solutions that addresses neighborhood 
challenges, as identified through a needs assessment and segmentation 
analysis, and that will improve results for children and youth in the 
neighborhood.
    (2) Continue to build and strengthen partnerships that will provide 
solutions along the continuum of solutions and that lead to additional 
commitments of resources to sustain and scale up what works.
    (3) Collect data on indicators at least annually, and use and 
improve a longitudinal data system for learning, continuous 
improvement, and accountability.
    (4) Demonstrate progress on goals for improving systems, such as by 
making changes in policies and organizations, and by leveraging 
resources to sustain and scale up what works.
    (5) Participate in a community of practice (as defined in this 
notice).
    Considering the time and urgency required to dramatically improve 
outcomes for children and youth in our most distressed neighborhoods 
and to transform those neighborhoods, implementation grantees will 
establish both short- and long-term goals to define success.
    Consistent with the overall vision for the Promise Neighborhoods 
program, we believe that it is important for communities to develop a 
comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy that addresses 
neighborhood assets (as defined in this notice) that are essential to 
transforming distressed neighborhoods into healthy and vibrant 
communities of opportunity. Although not a proposed requirement for 
planning or implementation applicants, we believe that a Promise 
Neighborhood will be most successful when it is part of, and 
contributing to, an area's broader neighborhood revitalization 
strategy. We believe that only through the development of such 
comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans that embrace the 
coordinated use of programs and resources in order to effectively 
address the interrelated needs within a community will the broader 
vision of neighborhood transformation occur.
    Because a diverse group of communities could benefit from Promise 
Neighborhoods, the Secretary has established an absolute priority for 
applicants that propose to serve one or more rural communities (as 
defined in this notice) only and an absolute priority for applicants 
that propose to serve one or more Indian tribes (as defined in this 
notice).

    Note:  In developing their strategies for planning or 
implementing a continuum of solutions, applicants should be mindful 
of the importance of ensuring that all children, including infants 
and toddlers in the neighborhood, have an opportunity to benefit. 
For example, individuals with disabilities and English Learners, 
particularly recent immigrants, may encounter unique challenges that 
prevent them from accessing the benefits of a Promise Neighborhoods 
project.

    Successful applicants under this competition must comply with 
Federal civil rights laws that apply to recipients and sub-recipients 
of Federal financial

[[Page 23692]]

assistance including: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as 
amended (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, or 
national origin); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as 
amended and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as 
amended (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability); Title 
IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (prohibiting 
discrimination on the basis of sex); and the Age Discrimination Act of 
1975, as amended (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age).
    Applicants, therefore, in designing their projects and preparing 
their required General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) section 427 
assurance, will need to address barriers to participation for 
individuals, including individuals with disabilities and limited 
English proficiency, and must consider the steps they will take to 
ensure equitable participation of all children and families in the 
project, in compliance with civil rights obligations. (Section 427 
requires each applicant to include in its application a description of 
the steps the applicant proposes to take to ensure equitable access to, 
and participation in, its federally assisted program for students, 
teachers, and other program beneficiaries with special needs.)
    Priorities: This competition includes three absolute priorities, 
four competitive preference priorities, and one invitational priority 
that are explained in the following paragraphs. These priorities are 
from the 2011 Promise Neighborhoods NFP.
    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2012 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one or more of 
these absolute priorities.

    Note:  Applicants must indicate in their application whether 
they are applying under Planning Grant Priority 1 (Absolute), 
Planning Grant Priority 2 (Absolute), or Planning Grant Priority 3 
(Absolute). An applicant that applies under Planning Grant Priority 
2 (Absolute) but is not eligible for funding under Planning Grant 
Priority 2 (Absolute), or applies under Planning Grant Priority 3 
(Absolute) but is not eligible for funding under Planning Grant 
Priority 3 (Absolute), may be considered for funding under Planning 
Grant Priority 1 (Absolute).

    These priorities are:

Planning Grant Priority 1 (Absolute)

Proposal To Develop a Promise Neighborhood Plan
    To meet this priority, an applicant must submit a proposal for how 
it will plan to create a Promise Neighborhood. This proposal must 
describe the need in the neighborhood, a strategy to build a continuum 
of solutions, and the applicant's capacity to achieve results. 
Specifically, an applicant must--
    (1) Describe the geographically defined area \3\ (neighborhood) to 
be served and the level of distress in that area based on indicators of 
need and other relevant indicators. Applicants may propose to serve 
multiple, non-contiguous geographically defined areas. In cases where 
target areas are not contiguous, the applicant must explain its 
rationale for including non-contiguous areas;
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    \3\ For the purposes of this notice, the Department uses the 
terms ``geographic area'' and ``neighborhood'' interchangeably.
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    (2) Describe how it will plan to build a continuum of solutions 
based on the best available evidence, including, where available, 
strong or moderate evidence (as defined in this notice) designed to 
significantly improve educational outcomes and to support the healthy 
development and well-being of children and youth in the neighborhood. 
The applicant must also describe how it will build community support 
for and involvement in the development of the plan. The plan must be 
designed to ensure that over time, children and youth in the 
neighborhood who attend the target school or schools have access to a 
complete continuum of solutions, and ensure, as appropriate, that 
children and youth in the neighborhood who do not attend the target 
school or schools have access to solutions within the continuum of 
solutions. The plan must also ensure that students not living in the 
neighborhood who attend the target school or schools have access to 
solutions within the continuum of solutions.
    The success of the applicant's strategy to build a continuum of 
solutions will be based on the results of the project, as measured 
against the project indicators defined in this notice and described in 
Table 1 and Table 2. In its strategy, the applicant must describe how 
it will determine which solutions within the continuum of solutions to 
implement, and must include--
    (a) High-quality early learning programs and services designed to 
improve outcomes across multiple domains of early learning (as defined 
in this notice) for children from birth through third grade;
    (b) Ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive education reforms that 
are linked to improved educational outcomes for children and youth in 
preschool through the 12th grade. Public schools served through the 
grant may include persistently lowest-achieving schools (as defined in 
this notice) or low-performing schools (as defined in this notice) that 
are not also persistently lowest-achieving schools. An applicant (or 
one or more of its partners) may serve an effective school or schools 
(as defined in this notice) but only if the applicant (or one or more 
of its partners) also serves at least one low-performing school (as 
defined in this notice) or persistently lowest-achieving school (as 
defined in this notice). An applicant must identify in its application 
the public school or schools that would be served and the current 
status of reforms in the school or schools, including, if applicable, 
the type of intervention model being implemented. In cases where an 
applicant operates a school or partners with a school that does not 
serve all students in the neighborhood, the applicant must partner with 
at least one additional school or schools that also serves students in 
the neighborhood. An applicant proposing to work with a persistently 
lowest-achieving school must include as part of its strategy one of the 
four school intervention models (turnaround model, restart model, 
school closure, or transformation model) described in Appendix C of the 
Race to the Top (RTT) notice inviting applications for new awards for 
FY 2010 that was published in the Federal Register on November 18, 2009 
(74 FR 59836, 59866).
    An applicant proposing to work with a low-performing school must 
include, as part of its strategy, ambitious, rigorous, and 
comprehensive interventions to assist, augment, or replace schools, 
which may include implementing one of the four school intervention 
models, or may include another model of sufficient ambition, rigor, and 
comprehensiveness to significantly improve academic and other outcomes 
for students. An applicant proposing to work with a low-performing 
school must include an intervention that addresses the effectiveness of 
teachers and leaders and the school's use of time and resources, which 
may include increased learning time (as defined in this notice);

    Note regarding school reform strategies:  So as not to penalize 
an applicant for proposing to work with an LEA that has implemented 
rigorous reform strategies prior to the publication of this notice, 
an applicant is not required to propose a new reform strategy in 
place of an existing reform strategy in order to be eligible for a 
Promise Neighborhoods planning grant. For example, an LEA might have 
begun to implement

[[Page 23693]]

improvement activities that meet many, but not all, of the elements 
of a transformation model of school intervention. In this case, the 
applicant could propose, as part of its Promise Neighborhood 
strategy, to work with the LEA as the LEA continues with its 
reforms.

    (c) Programs that prepare students to be college- and career-ready; 
and
    (d) Family and community supports (as defined in this notice).
    To the extent feasible and appropriate, the applicant must 
describe, in its plan, how the applicant and its partners will leverage 
and integrate high-quality programs, related public and private 
investments, and existing neighborhood assets into the continuum of 
solutions.
    An applicant must also describe in its plan how it will identify 
Federal, State, or local policies, regulations, or other requirements 
that would impede its ability to achieve its goals and how it will 
report on those impediments to the Department and other relevant 
agencies.
    As part of the description of how it will plan to build a continuum 
of solutions, the applicant must describe how it will participate in, 
organize, or facilitate, as appropriate, communities of practice (as 
defined in this notice) for Promise Neighborhoods.
    (3) Specify how it will conduct a comprehensive needs assessment 
and segmentation analysis of children and youth in the neighborhood 
during the planning grant project period and explain how it will use 
this needs assessment and segmentation analysis to determine the 
children with the highest needs and ensure that those children receive 
the appropriate services from the continuum of solutions. In this 
explanation of how it will use the needs assessment and segmentation 
analysis, the applicant must identify and describe in the application 
both the educational indicators and the family and community support 
indicators that the applicant will use in conducting the needs 
assessment during the planning year. During the planning year, the 
applicant must--
    (a) Collect data for the educational indicators listed in Table 1 
and use them as both program and project indicators;
    (b) Collect data for the family and community support indicators in 
Table 2 and use them as program indicators; and
    (c) Collect data for unique family and community support 
indicators, developed by the applicant, that align with the goals and 
objectives of projects and use them as project indicators or use the 
indicators in Table 2 as project indicators.

    Note:  Planning grant applicants are not required to propose 
solutions in their applications; however, they are required to 
describe how they will identify solutions, including the use of 
available evidence, during the planning year that will result in 
improvements on the project indicators.


 Table 1--Education Indicators and Results They Are Intended To Measure
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                  Indicator                              Result
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-- and % of children birth to         Children enter
 kindergarten entry who have a place where      kindergarten ready to
 they usually go, other than an emergency       succeed in school.
 room, when they are sick or in need of
 advice about their health.
-- and % of three-year-olds and
 children in kindergarten who demonstrate at
 the beginning of the program or school year
 age-appropriate functioning across multiple
 domains of early learning (as defined in
 this notice) as determined using
 developmentally appropriate early learning
 measures (as defined in this notice).
-- and % of children, from birth to
 kindergarten entry, participating in center-
 based or formal home-based early learning
 settings or programs, which may include
 Early Head Start, Head Start, child care, or
 preschool.
-- and % of students at or above      Students are proficient
 grade level according to State mathematics     in core academic
 and reading or language arts assessments in    subjects.
 at least the grades required by the ESEA
 (3rd through 8th and once in high school).
--Attendance rate of students in 6th, 7th,     Students successfully
 8th, and 9th grade.                            transition from middle
                                                school grades to high
                                                school.
--Graduation rate (as defined in this notice)  Youth graduate from high
                                                school.
-- and % of Promise Neighborhood      High school graduates
 students who graduate with a regular high      obtain a postsecondary
 school diploma, as defined in 34 CFR           degree, certification,
 200.19(b)(1)(iv), and obtain postsecondary     or credential.
 degrees, vocational certificates, or other
 industry-recognized certifications or
 credentials without the need for remediation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


  Table 2--Family and Community Support Indicators and Results They Are
                           Intended To Measure
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                  Indicator                              Result
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-- and % of children who participate  Students are healthy.
 in at least 60 minutes of moderate to
 vigorous physical activity daily; and--
  & % of children who consume five
 or more servings of fruits and vegetables
 daily; or
--possible third indicator, to be determined
 (TBD) by applicant.
-- and % of students who feel safe    Students feel safe at
 at school and traveling to and from school,    school and in their
 as measured by a school climate needs          community.
 assessment (as defined in this notice); or
--possible second indicator, TBD by
 applicant.
--Student mobility rate (as defined in this    Students live in stable
 notice); or                                    communities.
--possible second indicator, TBD by
 applicant.
--For children birth to kindergarten entry,    Families and community
 the  and % of parents or family       members support learning
 members who report that they read to their     in Promise Neighborhood
 child three or more times a week;              schools.
--For children in kindergarten through the
 eighth grade, the  and % of parents
 or family members who report encouraging
 their child to read books outside of school;
 and
--For children in the ninth through twelfth
 grades, the  and % of parents or
 family members who report talking with their
 child about the importance of college and
 career; or
--possible fourth indicator TBD by applicant.

[[Page 23694]]

 
-- and % of students who have school  Students have access to
 and home access (and % of the day they have    21st century learning
 access) to broadband Internet (as defined in   tools.
 this notice) and a connected computing
 device; or
--possible second indicator TBD by applicant.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note: The indicators in Table 1 and Table 2 are not intended to 
limit an applicant from collecting and using data for additional 
indicators. Examples of additional indicators are--
    (i) The  and % of children who participate in high-
quality learning activities during out-of-school hours or in the 
hours after the traditional school day ends;
    (ii) The  and % of children who are suspended or 
receive discipline referrals during the school year;
    (iii) The share of housing stock in the geographically defined 
area that is rent-protected, publicly assisted, or targeted for 
redevelopment with local, State, or Federal funds; and
    (iv) The  and % of children who are homeless or in 
foster care and who have an assigned adult advocate.


    Note: While the Department believes there are many programmatic 
benefits of collecting data on every child in the proposed 
neighborhood, the Department will consider requests to collect data 
on only a sample of the children in the neighborhood for some 
indicators so long as the applicant describes in its application how 
it would ensure the sample would be representative of the children 
in the neighborhood.

    (4) Describe the experience and lessons learned, and describe how 
the applicant will build the capacity of its management team and 
project director in all of the following areas:
    (a) Working with the neighborhood and its residents, including 
parents and families that have children or other family members with 
disabilities or ELs, as well as with the school(s) described in 
paragraph (2) of this priority; the LEA in which the school or schools 
are located; Federal, State, and local government leaders; and other 
service providers.
    (b) Collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, 
learning, continuous improvement, and accountability. The applicant 
must describe--
    (i) Its proposal to plan to build, adapt, or expand a longitudinal 
data system that integrates student-level data from multiple sources in 
order to measure progress on educational and family and community 
support indicators for all children in the neighborhood, disaggregated 
by the subgroups listed in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA;
    (ii) How the applicant will link the longitudinal data system to 
school-based, LEA, and State data systems; make the data accessible to 
parents, families, community residents, program partners, researchers, 
and evaluators while abiding by Federal, State, and other privacy laws 
and requirements; and manage and maintain the system;
    (iii) How the applicant will use rapid-time (as defined in this 
notice) data both in the planning year and, once the Promise 
Neighborhood strategy is implemented, for continuous program 
improvement; and
    (iv) How the applicant will document the planning process, 
including by describing lessons learned and best practices;
    (c) Creating formal and informal partnerships, for such purposes as 
providing solutions along the continuum of solutions and attaining 
resources to sustain and scale up what works. An applicant, as part of 
its application, must submit a preliminary memorandum of understanding, 
signed by each organization or agency with which it would partner in 
planning the proposed Promise Neighborhood. The preliminary memorandum 
of understanding must describe--
    (i) Each partner's financial and programmatic commitment; and
    (ii) How each partner's existing vision, theory of change (as 
defined in this notice), theory of action (as defined in this notice), 
and existing activities align with those of the proposed Promise 
Neighborhood strategy;
    (d) The governance structure proposed for the Promise Neighborhood, 
including a system for holding partners accountable, how the eligible 
entity's governing board or advisory board is representative of the 
geographic area proposed to be served (as defined in this notice), and 
how residents of the geographic area would have an active role in the 
organization's decision-making; and
    (e) Securing and integrating funding streams from multiple public 
and private sources from the Federal, State, and local level. Examples 
of public funds include Federal resources from the U.S. Department of 
Education, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program 
and title I of the ESEA, and from other Federal agencies, such as the 
U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban 
Development, Justice, Labor, and Treasury.
    (5) Describe the applicant's commitment to work with the 
Department, and with a national evaluator for Promise Neighborhoods or 
another entity designated by the Department, to ensure that data 
collection and program design are consistent with plans to conduct a 
rigorous national evaluation of the Promise Neighborhoods program and 
of specific solutions and strategies pursued by individual grantees. 
This commitment must include, but need not be limited to--
    (a) Ensuring that, through memoranda of understanding with 
appropriate entities, the national evaluator and the Department have 
access to relevant program and project data (e.g., administrative data 
and program and project indicator data), including data on a quarterly 
basis if requested by the Department;
    (b) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, an 
evaluation strategy, including identifying a credible comparison group; 
and
    (c) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, a plan 
for identifying and collecting reliable and valid baseline data for 
both program participants and a designated comparison group of non-
participants.

Planning Grant Priority 2 (Absolute)

Promise Neighborhoods in Rural Communities
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to develop a plan 
for implementing a Promise Neighborhood strategy that (1) meets all of 
the requirements in Absolute Priority 1; and (2) proposes to serve one 
or more rural communities only.

Planning Grant Priority 3 (Absolute)

Promise Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to develop a plan 
for implementing a Promise Neighborhood strategy that (1) meets all of 
the requirements in Absolute Priority 1; and (2) proposes to serve one 
or more Indian tribes (as defined in this notice).
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2012, these priorities 
are competitive

[[Page 23695]]

preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award additional 
points to an application depending on how well the application meets 
Planning Grant Priorities 4, 5, 6, or 7 (Competitive Preference). 
Applicants may address more than one of the competitive preference 
priorities; however, the Department will review and award points only 
for a maximum of two of the competitive preference priorities. 
Therefore, an applicant must identify in the project narrative section 
of its application the priority or the two priorities it wishes the 
Department to consider for purposes of earning the competitive 
preference priority points.

    Note: The Department will not review or award points under any 
competitive preference priority for an application that (1) fails to 
clearly identify the competitive preference priority or two 
priorities it wishes the Department to consider for purposes of 
earning the competitive preference priority points, or (2) 
identifies more than two competitive preference priorities.

    These priorities are:

Planning Grant Priority 4 (Competitive Preference)

Comprehensive Local Early Learning Network (Zero, One, or Two Points)
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to develop a plan 
to expand, enhance, or modify an existing network of early learning 
programs and services to ensure that they are high-quality and 
comprehensive for children from birth through the third grade. The plan 
must also ensure that the network establishes a high standard of 
quality across early learning settings and is designed to improve 
outcomes across multiple domains of early learning. Distinct from the 
early learning solutions described in paragraph (2) of Absolute 
Priority 1, this priority supports proposals to develop plans that 
integrate various early learning services and programs in the 
neighborhood in order to enhance the quality of such services and 
programs, i.e., school-based early learning programs; locally or State-
funded preschool programs; Early Head Start and Head Start; the local 
child care resource and referral agency, if applicable; Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) services and programs; services 
through private providers; home visiting programs; public and private 
child care providers that are licensed by the State, including public 
and private providers and center-based care; and family, friend, or 
neighbor care in the Promise Neighborhood.
    The local early learning network must address or incorporate 
ongoing State-level efforts regarding the major components of high-
quality early learning programs and services, such as State early 
learning and development standards, program quality standards, 
comprehensive assessment systems, workforce and professional 
development systems, health promotion, family and community engagement, 
a coordinated data infrastructure, and a method of measuring, 
monitoring, evaluating, and improving program quality. For example, an 
applicant might address how the Promise Neighborhoods project will use 
the State's early learning standards, as applicable, and the Head Start 
Child Development and Early Learning Framework (Framework), as 
applicable, to define the expectations of what children should know and 
be able to do before entering kindergarten. The Framework is available 
on the Office of Head Start's Web site at: http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/eecd/Assessment/Child%20Outcomes/HS_Revised_Child_Outcomes_Framework(rev-
Sept2011).pdf. Similarly, an applicant that addresses this priority 
must discuss, where applicable, how it would align with the State's 
Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS), as applicable, 
professional development and workforce infrastructure, and other 
appropriate State efforts. In addition, the proposal must describe how 
the project will provide, to the extent practicable, early learning 
opportunities on multiple platforms (e.g., public television, Web-
based) and in multiple locations (e.g., at home, at school, and at 
other community locations.)
    Note regarding accessibility of early learning programs and 
services: These early learning opportunities must be fully accessible 
to individuals with disabilities, including individuals who are blind 
or have low vision; otherwise, the plans must describe how 
accommodations or modifications will be provided to ensure that the 
benefits of the early learning opportunities are provided to children 
and youth with disabilities in an equally effective and equally 
integrated manner.
    The proposal to develop a plan for a high-quality and comprehensive 
local early learning network must describe the governance structure and 
how the applicant will use the planning year to plan solutions that 
address the major components of high-quality early learning programs 
and services as well as establish goals, strategies, and benchmarks to 
provide early learning programs and services that result in improved 
outcomes across multiple domains of early learning (as defined in this 
notice). An applicant addressing this priority must designate an 
individual responsible for overseeing and integrating the early 
learning initiatives and must include a resume or position description 
and other supporting documentation to demonstrate that the individual 
designated, or individual hired to carry out those responsibilities, 
possesses the appropriate State certification, and has experience and 
expertise in managing and administering high-quality early learning 
programs, including in coordinating across various high-quality early 
learning programs and services.

Planning Grant Priority 5 (Competitive Preference)

Quality Internet Connectivity (Zero or One Point)
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to develop a plan 
to ensure that almost all students in the geographic area proposed to 
be served have broadband internet access (as defined in this notice) at 
home and at school, the knowledge and skills to use broadband internet 
access effectively, and a connected computing device to support 
schoolwork.

Planning Grant Priority 6 (Competitive Preference)

Arts and Humanities (Zero or One Point)
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to develop a plan 
to include opportunities for children and youth to experience and 
participate actively in the arts and humanities in their community so 
as to broaden, enrich, and enliven the educational, cultural, and civic 
experiences available in the neighborhood. Applicants may propose to 
develop plans for offering these activities in school and in out-of-
school settings and at any time during the calendar year.

Planning Grant Priority 7 (Competitive Preference)

Quality Affordable Housing (Zero or One Point)
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to serve 
geographic areas that were the subject of an affordable housing 
transformation pursuant to a Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant 
awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during 
FY 2009 or later years. To be eligible under this priority, the 
applicant must either (1) be able to demonstrate that it has received a 
Choice Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant or (2) provide, in its 
application, a memorandum of

[[Page 23696]]

understanding between it and a partner that is a recipient of Choice 
Neighborhoods or HOPE VI grant. The memorandum must indicate a 
commitment on the part of the applicant and partner to coordinate 
planning and align resources to the greatest extent practicable.
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2012, 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:

Planning Grant Priority 8 (Invitational)

Family Engagement in Learning Through Adult Education
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to develop a plan 
that is coordinated with adult education providers serving neighborhood 
residents, such as those funded through the Adult Education and Family 
Literacy Act. Coordinated services may include adult basic and 
secondary education and programs that provide training and 
opportunities for family members and other members of the community to 
support student learning and establish high expectations for student 
educational achievement. Examples of services and programs include 
preparation for the General Education Development (GED) test; English 
literacy, family literacy, and work-based literacy training; or other 
training that prepares adults for postsecondary education and careers 
or supports adult engagement in the educational success of children and 
youth in the neighborhood.

Definitions

    The following definitions apply to this program: Broadband internet 
access means internet access sufficient to provide community members 
with the internet available when and where they need it and for the 
uses they require. Children with disabilities or CWD means individuals 
who meet the definition of child with a disability in 34 CFR 300.8, 
infant or toddler with a disability in 34 CFR 300.25, handicapped 
person in 34 CFR 104.3(j), or disability as it pertains to an 
individual in 42 U.S.C. 12102.
    Community of practice means a group of grantees that agrees to 
interact regularly to solve a persistent problem or improve practice in 
an area that is important to them and the success of their projects. 
Establishment of communities of practice under Promise Neighborhoods 
will enable grantees to meet, discuss, and collaborate with each other 
regarding grantee projects.
    Continuum of cradle-through-college-to-career solutions or 
continuum of solutions means solutions that--
    (1) Include programs, policies, practices, services, systems, and 
supports that result in improving educational and developmental 
outcomes for children from cradle through college to career;
    (2) Are based on the best available evidence, including, where 
available, strong or moderate evidence (as defined in this notice);
    (3) Are linked and integrated seamlessly (as defined in this 
notice); and
    (4) Include both education programs and family and community 
supports.
    Credible comparison group includes a comparison group formed by 
matching project participants with non-participants based on key 
characteristics that are thought to be related to outcomes. These 
characteristics include, but are not limited to: (1) Prior test scores 
and other measures of academic achievement (preferably the same 
measures that will be used to assess the outcomes of the project); (2) 
demographic characteristics, such as age, disability, gender, English 
proficiency, ethnicity, poverty level, parents' educational attainment, 
and single- or two-parent family background; (3) the time period in 
which the two groups are studied (e.g., the two groups are children 
entering kindergarten in the same year as opposed to sequential years); 
and (4) methods used to collect outcome data (e.g., the same test of 
reading skills administered in the same way to both groups).
    Developmentally appropriate early learning measures means a range 
of assessment instruments that are used in ways consistent with the 
purposes for which they were designed and validated; appropriate for 
the ages and other characteristics of the children being assessed; 
designed and validated for use with children whose ages, cultures, 
languages spoken at home, socioeconomic status, abilities and 
disabilities, and other characteristics are similar to those of the 
children with whom the assessments will be used; and used in compliance 
with the measurement standards set forth by the American Educational 
Research Association (AERA), the American Psychological Association 
(APA), and the National Council for Measurement in Education (NCME) in 
the 1999 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.
    Education programs means programs that include, but are not limited 
to--
    (1) High-quality early learning programs or services designed to 
improve outcomes across multiple domains of early learning for young 
children. Such programs must be specifically intended to align with 
appropriate State early learning and development standards, practices, 
strategies, or activities across as broad an age range as birth through 
third grade so as to ensure that young children enter kindergarten and 
progress through the early elementary school grades demonstrating age-
appropriate functioning across the multiple domains;
    (2) For children in preschool through the 12th grade, programs, 
inclusive of related policies and personnel, that are linked to 
improved educational outcomes. The programs--
    (a) Must include effective teachers and effective principals;
    (b) Must include strategies, practices, or programs that encourage 
and facilitate the evaluation, analysis, and use of student 
achievement, student growth (as defined in this notice), and other data 
by educators, families, and other stakeholders to inform decision-
making;
    (c) Must include college- and career-ready standards, assessments, 
and practices, including a well-rounded curriculum, instructional 
practices, strategies, or programs in, at a minimum, core academic 
subjects as defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA, that are aligned 
with high academic content and achievement standards and with high-
quality assessments based on those standards; and
    (d) May include creating multiple pathways for students to earn 
regular high school diplomas (e.g., using schools that serve the needs 
of over-aged, under-credited, or other students with an exceptional 
need for flexibility regarding when they attend school or the 
additional supports they require; awarding credit based on demonstrated 
evidence of student competency; or offering dual-enrollment options); 
and
    (3) Programs that prepare students for college and career success, 
which may include programs that--
    (a) Create and support partnerships with community colleges, four-
year colleges, or universities and that help instill a college-going 
culture in the neighborhood;
    (b) Provide dual-enrollment opportunities for secondary students to 
gain college credit while in high school;
    (c) Provide, through relationships with businesses and other 
organizations,

[[Page 23697]]

apprenticeship opportunities to students;
    (d) Align curricula in the core academic subjects with requirements 
for industry-recognized certifications or credentials, particularly in 
high-growth sectors;
    (e) Provide access to career and technical education programs so 
that individuals can attain the skills and industry-recognized 
certifications or credentials for success in their careers;
    (f) Help college students, including CWD and ELs from the 
neighborhood to transition to college, persist in their academic 
studies in college, graduate from college, and transition into the 
workforce; and
    (g) Provide opportunities for all youth (both in and out of school) 
to achieve academic and employment success by improving educational and 
skill competencies and providing connections to employers. Such 
activities may include opportunities for on-going mentoring, supportive 
services, incentives for recognition and achievement, and opportunities 
related to leadership, development, decision-making, citizenship, and 
community service.
    Effective school means a school that has--
    (1) Significantly closed the achievement gaps between subgroups of 
students (as identified in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA) 
within the school or district; or
    (2)(a) Demonstrated success in significantly increasing student 
academic achievement in the school for all subgroups of students (as 
identified in section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA) in the school; 
and (b) made significant improvements in other areas, such as 
graduation rates (as defined in this notice) or recruitment and 
placement of effective teachers and effective principals.
    Eligible organization means an organization that--
    (1) Is representative of the geographic area proposed to be served 
(as defined in this notice);
    (2) Is one of the following:
    (a) A nonprofit organization that meets the definition of a 
nonprofit under 34 CFR 77.1(c), which may include a faith-based 
nonprofit organization.
    (b) An institution of higher education as defined by section 101(a) 
of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
    (c) An Indian tribe (as defined in this notice);
    (3) Currently provides at least one of the solutions from the 
applicant's proposed continuum of solutions in the geographic area 
proposed to be served; and
    (4) Operates or proposes to work with and involve in carrying out 
its proposed project, in coordination with the school's LEA, at least 
one public elementary or secondary school that is located within the 
identified geographic area that the grant will serve.
    English learners or ELs means individuals who meet the definition 
of limited English proficient, as defined in section 9101(25) of the 
ESEA.
    Family and community supports means--
    (1) Child and youth health programs, such as physical, mental, 
behavioral, and emotional health programs (e.g., home visiting 
programs; Early Head Start; programs to improve nutrition and fitness, 
reduce childhood obesity, and create healthier communities);
    (2) Safety programs, such as programs in school and out of school 
to prevent, control, and reduce crime, violence, drug and alcohol use, 
and gang activity; programs that address classroom and school-wide 
behavior and conduct; programs to prevent child abuse and neglect; 
programs to prevent truancy and reduce and prevent bullying and 
harassment; and programs to improve the physical and emotional security 
of the school setting as perceived, experienced, and created by 
students, staff, and families;
    (3) Community stability programs, such as programs that--
    (a) Increase the stability of families in communities by expanding 
access to quality, affordable housing, providing legal support to help 
families secure clear legal title to their homes, and providing housing 
counseling or housing placement services;
    (b) Provide adult education and employment opportunities and 
training to improve educational levels, job skills and readiness in 
order to decrease unemployment, with a goal of increasing family 
stability;
    (c) Improve families' awareness of, access to, and use of a range 
of social services, if possible at a single location;
    (d) Provide unbiased, outcome-focused, and comprehensive financial 
education, inside and outside the classroom and at every life stage;
    (e) Increase access to traditional financial institutions (e.g., 
banks and credit unions) rather than alternative financial institutions 
(e.g., check cashers and payday lenders);
    (f) Help families increase their financial literacy, financial 
assets, and savings; and
    (g) Help families access transportation to education and employment 
opportunities;
    (4) Family and community engagement programs that are systemic, 
integrated, sustainable, and continue through a student's transition 
from K-12 school to college and career. These programs may include 
family literacy programs and programs that provide adult education and 
training and opportunities for family members and other members of the 
community to support student learning and establish high expectations 
for student educational achievement; mentorship programs that create 
positive relationships between children and adults; programs that 
provide for the use of such community resources as libraries, museums, 
television and radio stations, and local businesses to support improved 
student educational outcomes; programs that support the engagement of 
families in early learning programs and services; programs that provide 
guidance on how to navigate through a complex school system and how to 
advocate for more and improved learning opportunities; and programs 
that promote collaboration with educators and community organizations 
to improve opportunities for healthy development and learning; and
    (5) 21st century learning tools, such as technology (e.g., 
computers and mobile phones) used by students in the classroom and in 
the community to support their education. This includes programs that 
help students use the tools to develop knowledge and skills in such 
areas as reading and writing, mathematics, research, critical thinking, 
communication, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
    Graduation rate means the four-year or extended-year adjusted 
cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1).

    Note:  This definition is not meant to prevent a grantee from 
also collecting information about the reasons why students do not 
graduate from the target high school, e.g., dropping out or moving 
outside of the school district for non-academic or academic reasons.

    Increased learning time means using a longer school day, week, or 
year to significantly increase the total number of school hours. This 
strategy is used to redesign the school's program in a manner that 
includes additional time for (a) Instruction in core academic subjects 
as defined in section 9101(11) of the ESEA; (b) instruction in other 
subjects and enrichment activities that contribute to a well-rounded 
education, including, for example, physical education, service 
learning, and experiential and work-based learning opportunities that 
are provided by partnering, as appropriate, with other

[[Page 23698]]

organizations; and (c) teachers to collaborate, plan, and engage in 
professional development within and across grades and subjects.
    Indian tribe means any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, 
pueblo, village or community that the Secretary of the Interior 
acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe, 25 U.S.C. 479a and 479a-1 or 
any Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation as defined 
in or established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 
43 U.S.C. 1601, et seq., that is recognized as eligible for the special 
programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because 
of their status as Indians. The term ``Indian'' means a member of an 
Indian tribe.
    Indicators of need means currently available data that describe--
    (1) Education need, which means--
    (a) All or a portion of the neighborhood includes or is within the 
attendance zone of a low-performing school that is a high school, 
especially one in which the graduation rate (as defined in this notice) 
is less than 60 percent or a school that can be characterized as low-
performing based on another proxy indicator, such as students' on-time 
progression from grade to grade; and
    (b) Other indicators, such as significant
    achievement gaps between subgroups of students (as identified in 
section 1111(b)(3)(C)(xiii) of the ESEA) within a school or LEA, high 
teacher and principal turnover, or high student absenteeism; and
    (2) Family and community support need, which means--
    (a) Percentages of children with preventable chronic health 
conditions (e.g., asthma, poor nutrition, dental problems, obesity) or 
avoidable developmental delays;
    (b) Immunization rates;
    (c) Rates of crime, including violent crime;
    (d) Student mobility rates;
    (e) Teenage birth rates;
    (f) Percentage of children in single-parent or no-parent families;
    (g) Rates of vacant or substandard homes, including distressed 
public and assisted housing; or
    (h) Percentage of the residents living at or below the Federal 
poverty threshold.
    Linked and integrated seamlessly, with respect to the continuum of 
solutions, means solutions that have common outcomes, focus on similar 
milestones, support transitional time periods (e.g., the beginning of 
kindergarten, the middle grades, or graduation from high school) along 
the cradle-through-college-to-career continuum, and address time and 
resource gaps that create obstacles for students in making academic 
progress.
    Low-performing schools means schools receiving assistance through 
title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended (ESEA), that are in corrective action or restructuring in the 
State, as determined under section 1116 of the ESEA, and the secondary 
schools (both middle and high schools) in the State that are equally as 
low-achieving as these Title I schools and are eligible for, but do not 
receive, Title I funds.
    Moderate evidence means evidence from previous studies with designs 
that can support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal 
validity) but have limited generalizability (i.e., moderate external 
validity) or from studies with high external validity but moderate 
internal validity.
    Multiple domains of early learning means physical well-being and 
motor development; social-emotional development; approaches toward 
learning, which refers to the inclinations, dispositions, or styles, 
rather than skills, that reflect ways that children become involved in 
learning and develop their inclinations to pursue learning; language 
and literacy development, including emergent literacy; and cognition 
and general knowledge, which refers to thinking and problem-solving as 
well as knowledge about particular objects and the way the world works. 
Cognition and general knowledge include mathematical and scientific 
knowledge, abstract thought, and imagination.
    Neighborhood assets means--
    (1) Developmental assets that allow residents to attain the skills 
needed to be successful in all aspects of daily life (e.g., educational 
institutions, early learning centers, and health resources);
    (2) Commercial assets that are associated with production, 
employment, transactions, and sales (e.g., labor force and retail 
establishments);
    (3) Recreational assets that create value in a neighborhood beyond 
work and education (e.g., parks, open space, community gardens, and 
arts organizations);
    (4) Physical assets that are associated with the built environment 
and physical infrastructure (e.g., housing, commercial buildings, and 
roads); and
    (5) Social assets that establish well-functioning social 
interactions (e.g., public safety, community engagement, and 
partnerships with youth, parents, and families).
    Persistently lowest-achieving school \4\ means, as determined by 
the State--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The Department considers schools that are identified as Tier 
I or Tier II schools under the School Improvement Grants Program 
(see 75 FR 66363) as part of a State's approved FY 2009 or FY 2010 
applications to be persistently lowest-achieving schools. A list of 
these Tier I and Tier II schools can be found on the Department's 
Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) Any school receiving assistance through Title I that is in 
improvement, corrective action, or restructuring and that--
    (a) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools 
in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-
achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or
    (b) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate that is less 
than 60 percent over a number of years; and
    (2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not 
receive, Title I funds that--
    (a) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary schools 
or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State that are 
eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of 
schools is greater; or
    (b) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate that is less 
than 60 percent over a number of years.
    Program indicators are indicators that the Department will use only 
for research and evaluation purposes and for which an applicant is not 
required to propose solutions.
    Project indicators are indicators for which an applicant proposes 
solutions intended to result in progress on the indicators.
    Public officials means elected officials (e.g., council members, 
aldermen and women, commissioners, State legislators, Congressional 
representatives, members of the school board), appointed officials 
(e.g., members of a planning or zoning commission, or of any other 
regulatory or advisory board or commission), or individuals who are not 
necessarily public officials, but who have been appointed by a public 
official to serve on the Promise Neighborhoods governing board or 
advisory board.
    Rapid-time, in reference to reporting and availability of locally-
collected data, means that data are available quickly enough to inform 
current lessons, instruction, and related education programs and family 
and community supports.
    Representative of the geographic area proposed to be served means 
that

[[Page 23699]]

residents of the geographic area proposed to be served have an active 
role in decision-making and that at least one-third of the eligible 
entity's governing board or advisory board is made up of--
    (1) Residents who live in the geographic area proposed to be 
served, which may include residents who are representative of the 
ethnic and racial composition of the neighborhood's residents and the 
languages they speak;
    (2) Residents of the city or county in which the neighborhood is 
located but who live outside the geographic area proposed to be served, 
and who are low-income (which means earning less than 80 percent of the 
area's median income as published by the Department of Housing and 
Urban Development);
    (3) Public officials (as defined in this notice) who serve the 
geographic area proposed to be served (although not more than one-half 
of the governing board or advisory board may be made up of public 
officials); or
    (4) Some combination of individuals from the three groups listed in 
paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this definition.
    Rural community means a neighborhood that--
    (1) Is served by an LEA that is currently eligible under the Small 
Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-Income 
School (RLIS) program authorized under Title VI, Part B of the ESEA. 
Applicants may determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these 
programs by referring to information on the following Department Web 
sites. For the SRSA program: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligible10/index.html. For the RLIS program: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reaprlisp/eligible10/index.html; or
    (2) Includes only schools designated with a school locale code of 
42 or 43. Applicants may determine school locale codes by referring to 
the following Department Web site: http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/schoolsearch/.
    School climate needs assessment means an evaluation tool that 
measures the extent to which the school setting promotes or inhibits 
academic performance by collecting perception data from individuals, 
which could include students, staff, or families.
    Segmentation analysis means the process of grouping and analyzing 
data from children and families in the geographic area proposed to be 
served according to indicators of need (as defined in this notice) or 
other relevant indicators.

    Note:  The analysis is intended to allow grantees to 
differentiate and more effectively target interventions based on 
what they learn about the needs of different populations in the 
geographic area.

    Strong evidence means evidence from studies with designs that can 
support causal conclusions (i.e., studies with high internal validity), 
and studies that, in total, include enough of the range of participants 
and settings to support scaling up to the State, regional, or national 
level (i.e., studies with high external validity).
    Student achievement means--
    (1) For tested grades and subjects:
    (a) A student's score on the State's assessments under the ESEA; 
and, as appropriate,
    (b) Other measures of student learning, such as those described in 
paragraph (2) of this definition, provided they are rigorous and 
comparable across classrooms and programs.
    (2) For non-tested grades and subjects: alternative measures of 
student learning and performance, such as student scores on pre-tests 
and end-of-course tests; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that 
are rigorous and comparable across classrooms.
    Student growth means the change in achievement data for an 
individual student between two or more points in time. Growth may also 
include other measures that are rigorous and comparable across 
classrooms.
    Student mobility rate is calculated by dividing the total number of 
new student entries and withdrawals at a school, from the day after the 
first official enrollment number is collected through the end of the 
academic year, by the first official enrollment number of the academic 
year.

    Note:  This definition is not meant to limit a grantee from also 
collecting information about why students enter or withdraw from the 
school, e.g., transferring to charter schools, moving outside of the 
school district for non-academic or academic reasons.

    Theory of action means an organization's strategy regarding how, 
considering its capacity and resources, it will take the necessary 
steps and measures to accomplish its desired results.
    Theory of change means an organization's beliefs about how its 
inputs, and early and intermediate outcomes, relate to accomplishing 
its long-term desired results.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C.7243-7243b.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The notice of final priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria published in the 
Federal Register on July 6, 2011 (76 FR 39590).

    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: $7,000,000.
    These estimated available funds are only for Planning grants under 
the Promise Neighborhoods program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of the 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2013 or in subsequent 
years from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: Up to $500,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $467,000.
    Maximum Award: $500,000.
    The maximum award amount is $500,000 per 12-month budget period. We 
may choose not to further consider or review applications with budget 
requests for any 12-month budget period that exceed this amount, if we 
conclude, during our initial review of the application, that the 
proposed goals and objectives cannot be obtained with the specified 
maximum amount.
    Estimated Number of Awards: Up to 15.

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

    Project Period: Up to 12 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: To be eligible for a grant under this 
competition, an applicant must be an eligible organization (as defined 
in this notice). For purposes of Absolute Priority 3: Promise 
Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities, an eligible applicant is an 
eligible organization that partners with an Indian tribe or is an 
Indian tribe that meets the definition of an eligible organization.
    2. Cost-Sharing or Matching:
    To be eligible for a planning grant under this competition, an 
applicant must demonstrate that it has established a commitment from 
one or more entities in the public or private sector, which may include 
Federal, State, and local public agencies, philanthropic

[[Page 23700]]

organizations, private businesses, or individuals, to provide matching 
funds for the planning process. An applicant for a planning grant must 
obtain matching funds or in-kind donations for the planning process 
equal to at least 50 percent of its grant award, except that an 
applicant proposing a project that meets Absolute Priority 2: Promise 
Neighborhoods in Rural Communities or Absolute Priority 3: Promise 
Neighborhoods in Tribal Communities must obtain matching funds or in-
kind donations equal to at least 25 percent of the grant award.
    Both planning and implementation applicants must demonstrate a 
commitment of matching funds in the applications. The applicants must 
specify the source of the funds or contributions and, in the case of a 
third-party in-kind contribution, a description of how the value was 
determined for the donated or contributed goods or service. Applicants 
must demonstrate the match commitment by including letters in their 
applications explaining the type and quantity of the match commitment 
with original signatures from the executives of organizations or 
agencies providing the match. The Secretary may consider decreasing the 
matching requirement in the most exceptional circumstances, on a case-
by-case basis.
    An applicant that is unable to meet the matching requirement must 
include in its application a request to the Secretary to reduce the 
matching requirement, including the amount of the requested reduction, 
the total remaining match contribution, and a statement of the basis 
for the request. An applicant should review the Department's cost-
sharing and cost-matching regulations. These include specific 
limitations in 34 CFR 74.23, which is applicable to non-profit 
organizations and institutions of higher education, and 34 CFR 80.24, 
which is applicable to State, local, and Indian tribal governments. 
Applicants should also review the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
cost principles regarding donations, capital assets, depreciations and 
allowable costs. These circulars are available on OMB's Web site at 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/index.html.
    3. Other: Funding Categories: An applicant must state in its 
application whether it is applying for a Planning grant or an 
Implementation grant. An applicant will be considered for an award only 
for the type of grant for which it applies.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package

    Adrienne Hawkins, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue 
SW., room 4W256, LBJ, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-5638 
or by email: PromiseNeighborhoods@ed.gov. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the Federal Relay 
Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in 
this section.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    Requirements concerning the content of an application, together 
with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this 
competition.
    Notice of Intent to Apply: June 8, 2012.
    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 
Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of 
the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by 
completing a Web-based form. When completing this form, applicants will 
provide (1) the applicant organization's name and address, and (2) the 
type of grant for which the applicant intends to apply. Applicants may 
access this form online at http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/survey/survey.cfm?ID=5c306e04-40e0-4cb3-b6e7-4a8ea1d2012e. Applicants that do 
not complete this form may still apply for funding.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. You are strongly encouraged 
to limit the application narrative [Part III] for a planning 
application to no more than 40 pages, using the following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative. Text in charts, tables, figures, 
and graphs may be single-spaced.
     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 is strongly encouraged: 
Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.
     Include page numbers at the bottom of each page in your 
application narrative.
    The suggested page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; 
Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-
page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application 
narrative section [Part III].

3. Submission Dates and Times

    Applications Available: April 20, 2012.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: June 8, 2012.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinars: May 15, 2012, and June 12, 2012. 
Pre-application webinars are designed to provide technical assistance 
to interested applicants for Promise Neighborhoods grants. Detailed 
information regarding the pre-application webinar times will be 
available through the Department of Education Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/promiseneighborhoods/index.html.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 19, 2012.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
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.

[[Page 23701]]

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 25, 2012.

4. Intergovernmental Review

    This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the 
regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental 
Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the 
application package for this competition.

5. Funding Restrictions

    We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the 
Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry

    To do business with the Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.

7. Other Submission Requirements

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted 
electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement 
in accordance with the instructions in this section.
a. Electronic Submission of Applications
    Applications for grants under the Promise Neighborhoods Program 
(Implementation grants), CFDA Number 84.215N, 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 Promise 
Neighborhoods Planning Grant Competition at www.Grants.gov. You must 
search for the downloadable application package for this competition by 
the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your 
search (e.g., search for 84.215, not 84.215P).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this competition to ensure that 
you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov 
system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures 
pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 
system home page at 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

[[Page 23702]]

second notification to you by email. This second notification indicates 
that the Department has received your application and has assigned your 
application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number 
unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

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

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system;
    and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevents 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: Adrienne Hawkins, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W256, 
Washington, DC 20202. Fax: (202) 401-5638.
    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 84.215P), 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 84.215P), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 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 competition are from the 2011 
Promise Neighborhoods NFP and from 34 CFR 75.210. The points assigned 
to each criterion are indicated in the parenthesis next to the 
criterion. Applicants may earn up to a total of 100 points. The 
selection criteria for planning grants are as follows:
A. Need for Project (15 Points)
    The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project.
    In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary 
considers--
    (1) The magnitude or severity of the problems to be addressed by 
the proposed project as described by

[[Page 23703]]

indicators of need and other relevant indicators (10 points); and
    (2) The extent to which the geographically defined area has been 
described (5 points).
B. Quality of the Project Design (20 Points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed 
project.
    In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, 
the Secretary considers--
    (1) The extent to which the continuum of solutions will be aligned 
with an ambitious, rigorous, and comprehensive strategy for improvement 
of schools in the neighborhood (10 points);
    (2) The extent to which the applicant describes a proposal to plan 
to create a complete continuum of solutions, including early learning 
through grade 12, college- and career-readiness, and family and 
community supports, without time and resource gaps that will prepare 
all children in the neighborhood to attain an excellent education and 
successfully transition to college and a career (5 points); and
    (3) The extent to which solutions leverage existing neighborhood 
assets and coordinate with other efforts, including programs supported 
by Federal, State, local, and private funds (5 points).
C. Quality of Project Services (20 Points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided 
by the proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the project services, the Secretary 
considers--
    (1) The extent to which the applicant describes how the needs 
assessment and segmentation analysis, including identifying and 
describing indicators, will be used during the planning phase to 
determine each solution within the continuum (10 points); and
    (2) The extent to which the applicant describes how it will 
determine that solutions are based on the best available evidence 
including, where available, strong or moderate evidence, and ensure 
that solutions drive results and lead to changes on indicators (10 
points).
D. Quality of the Management Plan (45 Points)
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project.
    In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the experience, lessons learned, and 
proposal to build capacity of the applicant's management team and 
project director in all of the following areas--
    (1) Working with the neighborhood and its residents; the schools 
described in paragraph (2)(b) of Absolute Priority 1; the LEA in which 
those schools are located; Federal, State, and local government 
leaders; and other service providers (10 points);
    (2) Collecting, analyzing, and using data for decision-making, 
learning, continuous improvement, and accountability (15 points);
    (3) Creating formal and informal partnerships, including the 
alignment of the visions, theories of action, and theories of change 
described in its memorandum of understanding, and creating a system for 
holding partners accountable for performance in accordance with the 
memorandum of understanding (10 points); and
    (4) Integrating funding streams from multiple public and private 
sources, including its proposal to leverage and integrate high-quality 
programs in the neighborhood into the continuum of solutions (10 
points).

2. Review and Selection Process

    The Department will screen applications submitted in accordance 
with the requirements in this notice, and will determine which 
applications have met eligibility and other statutory requirements.
    The Department will use independent reviewers from various 
backgrounds and professions including: Pre-kindergarten--12 teachers 
and principals, college and university educators, researchers and 
evaluators, social entrepreneurs, strategy consultants, grant makers 
and managers, and others with education expertise. The Department will 
thoroughly screen all reviewers for conflicts of interest to ensure a 
fair and competitive review process.
    Reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation, and score the 
applications assigned to their panel, using the selection criteria 
provided in this notice.
    For applications addressing Absolute Priority 1, Absolute priority 
2, and Absolute Priority 3, the Secretary prepares a rank order of 
applications for each absolute priority based solely on the evaluation 
of their quality according to the selection criteria. The Department 
may use more than one tier of reviews in determining grantees. 
Additional information about the review process will be posted on the 
Department's Web site.
    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.

4. Transparency and Open Government Policy

    After awards are made under this competition, all of the submitted 
successful applications, together with reviewer scores and comments, 
will be posted on the Department's Web site.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must

[[Page 23704]]

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/appformshtml.
    4. Performance Measures: The Secretary has established one 
performance indicator for this program: The percentage of planning 
grantees that produce a high-quality plan as measured by their 
receiving at least 90 percent of the total possible points in the 
competition for FY 2013 implementation grants. All grantees will be 
required to submit a final performance report documenting their 
contribution in assisting the Department in measuring the performance 
of the program against this indicator, as well as other information 
requested by the Department.
    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: Adrienne Hawkins, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 4W256, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: (202) 453-5638 or by email: PromiseNeighborhoods@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: April 17, 2012.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2012-9595 Filed 4-19-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P