[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 109 (Wednesday, June 6, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33563-33571]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13735]



[[Page 33563]]

Vol. 77

Wednesday,

No. 109

June 6, 2012

Part II





Department of Education





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Applications for New Awards; Comprehensive Centers Program; Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 109 / Wednesday, June 6, 2012 / 
Notices

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Comprehensive Centers Program

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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    Overview Information: Com pre hen sive Centers Program; Notice 
inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2012.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number 84.283B.


DATES: Applications Available: June 6, 2012.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 26, 2012.
    Dates of Pre-Application Briefings:
    Applicants for Regional Centers: June 19, 2012 and June 22, 2012.
    Applicants for Content Centers: June 20, 2012 and June 22, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 6, 2012.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: October 4, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The Comprehensive Centers program supports the 
establishment of no fewer than 20 comprehensive technical assistance 
centers to provide technical assistance to State educational agencies 
(SEAs) that builds their capacity to support local educational agencies 
(LEAs or districts) and schools, especially low-performing districts 
and schools; improve educational outcomes for all students; close 
achievement gaps; and improve the quality of instruction.
    Regional Advisory Committees: To help inform the Secretary's 
priorities for the centers funded under this program, the Secretary (in 
accordance with section 206 of the Education Technical Assistance Act 
of 2002 (ETAA)) established Regional Advisory Committees (RACs) and 
charged them with conducting educational needs assessments within the 
geographic regions served by the 10 Regional Educational Laboratories 
(RELs) and making recommendations for how those needs might be 
addressed. The RACs conducted their needs assessments from June 2011 to 
August 2011 and submitted their reports on regional needs and 
recommendations for how to address those needs to the Secretary on 
November 15, 2011. The full RAC reports are available at: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/newccp/resources.html.
    Potential applicants for the centers are encouraged to consider the 
results of these needs assessments and the recommendations contained in 
the RAC reports when preparing their applications.
    Priorities: These priorities are from the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, and selection criteria for this program, 
published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.
    Absolute Priorities: This competition contains two sets of absolute 
priorities: Absolute Priority for Regional Centers (priority one) and 
Absolute Priorities for Content Centers (priorities two through eight). 
Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one 
of these priorities.

    Note:  If an eligible entity wants to apply for funding for more 
than one center, it must submit separate applications for each 
center.

    These priorities are:

Priority for Regional Centers

    Priority 1: Regional Centers.
    Each Regional Center must provide high-quality technical assistance 
that focuses on key initiatives, aligns with the work of the Content 
Centers (see Priorities 2-8), and builds the capacity of SEAs to 
implement, support, scale up, and sustain initiatives statewide and to 
lead and support their LEAs and schools in improving student outcomes. 
Key initiatives include: (1) Implementing college- and career-ready 
standards and aligned, high-quality assessments for all students; (2) 
identifying, recruiting, developing, and retaining highly effective 
teachers and leaders; (3) turning around the lowest-performing schools; 
(4) ensuring the school readiness and success of preschool-age children 
and their successful transition to kindergarten; (5) building rigorous 
instructional pathways that support the successful transition of all 
students from secondary education to college without the need for 
remediation, and careers; (6) identifying and scaling up innovative 
approaches to teaching and learning that significantly improve student 
outcomes; and (7) using data-based decision-making to improve 
instructional practices, policies, and student outcomes.

Priorities for Content Centers

    Priority 2: Center on Standards and Assessments Implementation.
    The Center on Standards and Assessments Implementation must provide 
technical assistance and identify, synthesize, and disseminate 
research-based practices and emerging promising practices that will 
lead to the increased capacity of SEAs to support their districts and 
schools in implementing rigorous college- and career-ready standards 
and aligned high-quality assessments.
    Priority 3: Center on Great Teachers and Leaders.
    The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders must provide technical 
assistance and identify, synthesize, and disseminate research-based 
practices and emerging promising practices that will lead to the 
increased capacity of SEAs to support their districts and schools in 
improving student outcomes by supporting effective instruction and 
leadership.
    Priority 4: Center on School Turnaround.
    The Center on School Turnaround must provide technical assistance 
and identify, synthesize, and disseminate research-based practices and 
emerging promising practices that will lead to the increased capacity 
of SEAs to support their districts and schools in turning around their 
lowest-performing schools.
    Priority 5: Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes.
    The Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes must provide 
technical assistance and identify, synthesize, and disseminate 
research-based practices and emerging promising practices that will 
lead to the increased capacity of SEAs to implement comprehensive and 
aligned early learning systems in order to increase the number of 
children from birth through third grade who are prepared to succeed in 
school.
    Priority 6: Center on College and Career Readiness and Success.
    The Center on College and Career Readiness and Success must provide 
technical assistance and identify, synthesize, and disseminate 
research-based practices and emerging promising practices that will 
lead to the increased capacity of SEAs to support districts and schools 
in implementing comprehensive strategies that promote college- and 
career-readiness for students in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) 
and ensure the successful transition of all students from high school 
graduation to postsecondary education and the workforce.
    Priority 7: Center on Building State Capacity and Productivity.
    The Center on Building State Capacity and Productivity must provide 
technical assistance and identify, synthesize, and disseminate 
research-based practices and emerging promising practices that will 
increase the capacity of SEAs to implement their key initiatives 
statewide and support district- and

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school-level implementation of effective practices to improve student 
outcomes.
    Priority 8: Center on Innovations in Learning.
    The Center on Innovations in Learning must provide technical 
assistance and identify, synthesize, and disseminate research-based 
practices and emerging promising practices that will lead to the 
increased capacity of SEAs to identify and scale up innovative 
approaches that significantly improve, or have the potential to 
significantly improve, student outcomes.
    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:
    Cost-Sharing or Matching.
    The Secretary is particularly interested in applications that 
provide evidence in the application of a commitment from a partner or 
partners from one or more entities or organizations in the public or 
private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations, of non-
Federal funds or an in-kind match, or both, that totals at least 15 
percent of the total grant budget. The Secretary's interest is in 
applications in which evidence of the commitment of the financial or 
in-kind matching contribution includes the full amount and source of 
the matching contribution, and the date that the funds or in-kind 
contributions will be received. Examples of such evidence include 
funding agreements with a public or private-sector entity, or other 
signed documents such as commitment letters. The evidence should not 
include contingencies that raise concerns about the funding commitment 
other than that the applicant must be awarded a Comprehensive Centers 
grant award.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 9602 through 9606.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administration Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department suspension 
and debarment regulations in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The notice of final 
priorities, requirements, and selection criteria published elsewhere in 
this issue of the Federal Register.

    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: Cooperative agreements.
    Estimated Available Funds: Eighteen of the 22 Centers proposed for 
funding under this competition will be supported entirely with funds 
from the Comprehensive Centers program, authorized under the ETAA. One 
Content Center, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, will be 
supported with funds appropriated for the Comprehensive Centers 
program; the Special Education Technical Assistance and Dissemination 
(TA&D) program, which is authorized under section 663 of the 
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended; and the Career 
and Technical Education (CTE) National Activities program, which is 
authorized under section 114 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and 
Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins Act).
    Three Regional Centers--South-Central, Northwest, and West--will be 
supported with funds appropriated for the Comprehensive Centers program 
and funds appropriated for the Indian Education National Activities 
program, which is authorized under section 7131 of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA).
    The estimated total amount of funds available from the 
Comprehensive Centers program for FY 2012 is $50 million. Of that 
amount, an estimated $40 million will be used to fund Regional Centers 
and an estimated $10 million will be used to fund the Content Centers. 
FY 2012 funds will support awards for the first budget period of the 
project, which is the first 12 months of the project period. Funding 
for the subsequent budget periods for years two through five (FY 2013 
through FY 2017) is contingent on appropriation levels.
    The estimated total amount of funds available from the Special 
Education TA&D program for FY 2012 is $750,000 to provide partial 
support for the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders for the first 
budget period of the project. Depending on appropriation levels, up to 
$750,000 from the TA&D program may be awarded to this center in each 
subsequent budget period. Because a proportion of the funding for the 
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders comes from the Special Education 
TA&D program, an applicant's plan of activities must provide for an 
amount of technical assistance benefitting students with disabilities 
that is consistent with this proportion of funding. Applicants must 
propose a proportionate amount of technical assistance services to SEAs 
and Regional Centers that will lead to the increased capacity of SEAs 
to support their districts and schools in improving outcomes of 
students with disabilities (e.g., developing the knowledge and skills 
of special education teachers; strategies to ensure the equitable 
distribution of effective special education teachers; strategies to 
recruit, reward, retain, and support effective special education 
teachers; and developing and implementing human capital management 
systems, including the evaluation of special education teachers).
    The estimated total amount of funds available from the CTE program 
for FY 2012 is $300,000 to provide partial support for the Center on 
Great Teachers and Leaders for the first budget period of the project. 
Depending on appropriation levels, up to $300,000 from the CTE program 
may be awarded to this center in each subsequent budget period. Because 
a proportion of funding for the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders 
comes from the CTE program, an applicant's plan of activities must 
provide for an amount of technical assistance benefitting career and 
technical education students that is consistent with this proportion of 
funding. Applicants must propose a proportionate amount of technical 
assistance services to SEAs and Regional Centers that will lead to the 
increased capacity of SEAs to support their districts and schools in 
improving student outcomes by supporting effective instruction and 
leadership in career and technical education, particularly in 
developing the knowledge and skills of career and technical education 
teachers to help all students meet college-and career-ready standards.
    The Department anticipates that the Comprehensive Centers program 
will provide an estimated 60 percent, the TA&D program will provide an 
estimated 30 percent, and the CTE program will provide an estimated 10 
percent of the annual funding for the Center on Great Teachers and 
Leaders.
    The estimated total amount of funds available from the Indian 
Education National Activities program for FY 2012 is $993,000 to 
provide partial support ($331,000) to each of three Regional Centers--
Northwest, SouthCentral, and West--that serve States with the largest 
populations of American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students. 
Depending on appropriation levels, up to $331,000 may be made available 
to each of these Regional Centers from the Indian Education National 
Activities program

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for awards in each subsequent budget period.
    Because a proportion of the funding for these centers comes from 
the Indian Education National Activities program, an applicant's plan 
of activities must provide for an amount of technical assistance 
benefitting AI/AN students that is consistent with this proportion of 
funding. Applicants for each of these Regional Centers must propose a 
proportionate amount of technical assistance services to SEAs and 
Regional Centers that will lead to the increased capacity of SEAs to 
lead and support their districts and schools in improving outcomes for 
AI/AN students.
    The Department anticipates that the Comprehensive Centers program 
will provide an estimated 85 percent of the annual funding for the 
Northwest, South Central and West Regional Centers, and that the Indian 
Education National Activities program will provide an estimated 15 
percent.
    Estimated Range of Awards: For Regional Centers:
    $825,000 to $4,895,053. Estimated awards for each Regional Center:

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Appalachia.................................................   $2,418,862
California.................................................    4,895,053
Central....................................................    1,586,384
Florida and Islands........................................    3,091,817
Great Lakes................................................    3,541,077
Mid-Atlantic...............................................    2,979,430
Midwest....................................................    3,064,970
North Central..............................................      825,000
Northeast..................................................    3,612,181
Northwest..................................................    1,888,091
Pacific....................................................      825,000
South Central..............................................    2,189,099
Southeast..................................................    4,371,361
Texas......................................................    3,875,556
West.......................................................    1,931,332
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For Content Centers: $1,428,571 to $2,478,571. Estimated awards for 
each Content Center:

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------------------------------------------------------------------------
Center on Standards and Assessments Implementation.........   $1,428,571
Center on Great Teachers and Leaders.......................    2,478,571
Center on School Turnaround................................    1,428,571
Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes................    1,428,571
Center on College and Career Readiness and Success.........    1,428,571
Center on Building State Capacity and Productivity.........    1,428,571
Center on Innovations in Learning..........................    1,428,571
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Number of Awards: The Secretary intends to make 22 awards 
under this competition. Fifteen awards will support Regional Centers to 
serve States within defined geographic boundaries that align with the 
REL regions. One or two Regional Centers will be located in each of the 
10 REL regions. The States and territories to be served by each 
Regional Center are as follows:
    Appalachia: Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
    California: California.
    Central: Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri.
    Florida and Islands: Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
    Great Lakes: Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
    Mid-Atlantic: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, 
and Pennsylvania.
    Midwest: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
    North Central: Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
    Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New 
York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
    Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
    Pacific: American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana 
Islands, Guam, Hawaii, and the Republic of Palau.
    South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
    Southeast: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi, and South 
Carolina.
    Texas: Texas.
    West: Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.
    Seven awards will support Content Centers, each having a specific 
content expertise and focus. These seven Content Centers are: The 
Center on Standards and Assessments Implementation, the Center on Great 
Teachers and Leaders, the Center on School Turnaround, the Center on 
Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes, the Center on College and Career 
Readiness and Success, the Center on Building State Capacity and 
Productivity, and the Center on Innovations in Learning. The functions 
and activities for each of the seven Content Centers are described in 
the notice of final priorities, requirements, and selection criteria 
published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Research organizations, institutions, 
agencies, institutions of higher education, or partnerships among such 
entities, or individuals, with the demonstrated ability or capacity to 
carry out the activities described in this notice.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching. However, as indicated in the invitational priority 
in this notice, the Secretary is particularly interested in 
applications that provide evidence of a commitment from a partner or 
partners from one or more entities or organizations in the public or 
private sector, which may include philanthropic organizations, of funds 
or an in-kind match, or both, that totals at least 15 percent of the 
total grant budget.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications 
Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following 
address: www.Grants.gov. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or 
call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 
22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: 
(703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.
    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at 
its email address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.283B.
    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 person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements 
concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you 
must submit, are in the application package for this program. 
Requirements governing each of the priorities in this notice are in the 
notice of final priorities, requirements, and selection criteria for 
this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register 
and in the application package for this notice.
    Notice of Intent to Apply: We will be able to develop a more 
efficient process for reviewing grant applications if we have an 
understanding of the number of applications we are likely to receive. 
Therefore, we strongly encourage each potential applicant to send an 
email notice of its intent to apply for funding to the following 
address: OESE.compcenters@ed.gov. The notice of intent to apply is 
optional and should

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not include information about the potential applicant's proposal. 
Applicants that do not provide us with the notice of intent to apply 
may still submit an application.
    Pre-application briefings: We will conduct briefings on this 
competition via conference calls to clarify the purposes of the program 
and the selection criteria and application process. Please email Fran 
Walter at fran.walter@ed.gov to register for a call date and time and 
to obtain the conference call number.
    Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, 
address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your 
application. We strongly suggest that you limit the narrative portion 
of your application to 150 pages and suggest that you use the following 
standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    The page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget 
section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances 
and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the 
bibliography, or the letters of support. However, the suggested page 
limit does apply to all of the application narrative section.
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: June 6, 2012.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 26, 2012.
    Dates of Pre-Application Briefings:
    Applicants for Regional Centers: June 19, 2012 and June 22, 2012.
    Applicants for Content Centers: June 20, 2012 and June 22, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 6, 2012.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: October 4, 2012.
    4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this program.
    5. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the 
following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
    7. Other Submission Requirements.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement 
in accordance with the instructions in this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the Comprehensive Centers program, 
CFDA number 84.283B, must be submitted electronically using the 
Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this 
site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, 
complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You 
may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the 
Comprehensive Centers program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for 
the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA 
number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search 
(e.g., search for 84.283, not 84.383B).
    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

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submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no 
later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not 
accept your application if it is received--that is, date and time 
stamped by the Grants.gov system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an 
application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When 
we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we 
are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by 
the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the 
application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this program to ensure that you 
submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. 
You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to 
Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home 
page at http://www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: The 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must 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. Additional, detailed information on how to attach 
files is in the application instructions.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by email. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline date because of technical 
problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension 
until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to 
enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand 
delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing 
instructions described elsewhere in this notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

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

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system;
    and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Fran Walter, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W115, 
Washington, DC 20202. FAX: (202)205-5870.
    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 84.283B) 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.

[[Page 33569]]

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

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

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: 
U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.283B) 550 12th Street, SW, Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

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

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The section criteria for this competition 
are from the notice of final priorities, requirements, and selection 
criteria published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register. The 
selection criteria for this program are as follows:

A. Technical Assistance Plan

    1. Overall quality of the technical assistance plan (15 points). In 
determining the overall quality of the technical assistance plan for 
the proposed center and the likelihood of the center contributing to 
improved State outcomes, the Secretary considers--
    a. The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan 
presents an exceptional approach that will likely result in building 
SEA capacity to implement State-level initiatives and support district- 
and school-level initiatives that improve educational outcomes for all 
students, close achievement gaps, and improve the quality of 
instruction;
    b. The potential contribution of the center to increasing the 
knowledge and understanding of effective strategies in the center's 
area of expertise; and
    c. The extent to which the proposed technical assistance plan 
presents an approach that will result in the sharing of high-quality, 
relevant, useful information, materials, and other applicable resources 
across SEAs, districts, and schools, within and outside of a region.
    d. In the case of an applicant for a Regional Center, the extent to 
which the proposed technical assistance plan presents an approach that 
is likely to secure an SEA's commitment to devote the time, leadership, 
and personnel needed to implement the work plan and achieve the 
specific goals, which may include a memorandum of understanding or 
similar agreement that contains timelines and benchmarks to ensure that 
the work stays on track to achieve these goals.
    2. Quality of the Project Design (25 points). In determining the 
quality of the project design of the proposed center for which the 
applicant is applying, the Secretary considers--
    a. The extent to which the applicant's technical assistance plan 
proposes an exceptional approach to meeting the requirements for all 
centers, which includes--
    i. Providing high-quality technical assistance that is based on up-
to-date knowledge and understanding of research-based practices and 
emerging promising practices; is highly relevant and useful to SEAs, 
LEAs, and school policymakers and practitioners; and is delivered in a 
timely, cost-efficient manner;
    ii. Focusing technical assistance on helping SEAs build capacity to 
implement State-level initiatives and support district- and school-
level initiatives that improve educational outcomes for all students, 
close achievement gaps, and improve the quality of instruction; and
    iii. Coordinating and collaborating with national experts and 
technical assistance providers to ensure that the technical assistance 
is informed by leading-edge research and innovative approaches and 
avoids duplicating efforts;
    b. In the case of an applicant for a Regional Center, the extent to 
which the applicant's technical assistance plan proposes an exceptional 
approach to meeting the requirements for all Regional Centers; and
    c. In the case of an applicant for a Content Center, the extent to 
which the applicant's technical assistance plan proposes an exceptional 
approach to meeting the requirements for all Content Centers, as well 
as the requirements for the specific Content Center for which the 
applicant is applying.
    3. Knowledge of State Technical Assistance Needs (10 points). In 
determining the applicant's ability to meet State technical assistance 
needs, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed 
technical assistance plan provides strategies that address the 
technical assistance needs of States in key areas, as evidenced by in-
depth knowledge and understanding of--
    a. In the case of an applicant for a Regional Center, the specific 
educational goals and priorities of the States to be served by the 
applicant, including emerging priorities based on State-led reform 
efforts;
    b. In the case of an applicant for a Regional Center, the 
applicable State and regional demographics, policy contexts, and other 
factors and their relevance to improving student outcomes, closing 
achievement gaps, and improving instruction; and
    c. In the case of an applicant for a Content Center, State 
technical assistance needs, and research-based practices and emerging 
promising practices related to the Content Center for which the 
applicant is applying.

B. Subject-Matter and Technical Expertise

    Quality of Key Project Personnel (25 points). In determining the 
subject-matter and technical expertise of key project personnel, the 
Secretary considers the extent to which the applicant encourages 
applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that 
have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability. In addition, the Secretary 
considers--
    1. The knowledge, understanding, and experience of key project 
personnel as outlined under the subject-matter and

[[Page 33570]]

technical expertise requirements for all centers;
    2. In the case of an applicant for a Regional Center, in addition 
to the knowledge, understanding, and experience outlined under subject-
matter and technical expertise requirements for all centers, the 
subject-matter and technical expertise of key personnel outlined under 
the requirements for Regional Centers;
    3. In the case of an applicant for a Content Center, in addition to 
the knowledge, understanding, and experience outlined under subject-
matter and technical expertise requirements for all centers, the 
subject-matter and technical expertise of key personnel outlined under 
the requirements for the specific Content Center for which the 
applicant is applying;
    4. The extent to which the applicant has demonstrated experience 
providing high-quality technical assistance to SEAs or multiple 
districts;
    5. The extent to which the applicant has demonstrated the ability 
to develop ongoing partnerships with leading experts and organizations 
nationwide that inform high-quality technical assistance and subject-
matter expertise; and
    6. The extent to which the applicant has prior relevant experience 
operating a project of the scope required for the purposes of the 
center being proposed.

C. Management and Evaluation Plans

    1. Quality of the Management Plan (15 points). In determining the 
quality of the management plan for the proposed center, the Secretary 
considers--
    a. The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of 
the project on time and within budget, including clearly defined 
responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project 
tasks;
    b. The extent to which the time commitments of the project director 
and other key project personnel, including any partners or consultants, 
are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project;
    c. The extent to which resources are allocated within a region for 
Regional Centers, and across regions for Content Centers, in a manner 
that reflects the need for technical assistance; and
    d. The adequacy of the resources for the proposed project, 
including whether the applicant proposes facilities and equipment to 
successfully carry out the purposes and activities of the proposed 
center.
    2. Quality of the Project Evaluation Plan (10 points). In 
determining the quality of the evaluation plan, the Secretary 
considers--
    a. The extent to which the applicant demonstrates a strong capacity 
to provide reliable formative and summative data on performance 
measures;
    b. The extent to which the performance goals and objectives for the 
project are clearly specified and measurable in terms of the project 
activities to be accomplished and their stated outcomes;
    c. The extent to which the methods for monitoring performance and 
evaluating the effectiveness of project strategies in terms of outcomes 
for SEAs, districts, and schools are thorough, feasible, and 
appropriate to the objectives and outcomes of the proposed project;
    d. The extent to which the methods of evaluation will provide 
continuous performance feedback and encourage the continuous assessment 
of progress toward achieving intended outcomes; and
    e. The extent to which the applicant has a high-quality plan to use 
both formative and summative data from evaluations to inform and 
improve service delivery over the course of the grant.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    Additional factors we consider in selecting an application for an 
award are as follows:
    Geographic distribution: The ETAA requires that the Secretary 
ensure that not less than one Comprehensive Center is established in 
each of the 10 geographic regions served by the RELs. Elsewhere in this 
notice we identify the 15 regions in which we intend to establish 
Regional Centers. One to two Regional Centers will be established in 
each of the 10 REL regions. Applications for Regional Centers will be 
scored and ranked against other applications from the same region.
    3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is 
not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; 
has a financial or other management system that does not meet the 
standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    4. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of the 
Comprehensive Center program, the Department will use three performance

[[Page 33571]]

measures to assess the quality, relevance, and usefulness of center 
activities funded under this competition. These measures, adapted from 
a set of common measures developed to help assess performance across 
the Department's technical assistance programs, are: (1) The percentage 
of all Comprehensive Centers' products and services that are deemed to 
be of high quality by qualified experts or individuals with appropriate 
expertise to review the substantive content of the products and 
services; (2) the percentage of all Comprehensive Centers' products and 
services that are deemed to be of high relevance to educational policy 
or practice by target audiences; and (3) the percentage of all 
Comprehensive Centers' products and services that are deemed to be of 
high usefulness to educational policy or practice by target audiences.
    All grantees will be expected to submit, as part of their 
performance reports, quantitative data documenting their progress with 
regard to these performance measures.
    5. Advisory Board: Under section 203(g) of the ETAA, each 
Comprehensive Center must establish an advisory board that supports the 
priorities of the center. In the first year of the grant, each center 
will be expected to submit information demonstrating that it has met 
the statutory requirement to establish the advisory board.
    6. 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: Fran Walter, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 3W115, Washington, DC 20202-
0001 or by email: fran.walter@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 computer diskette) 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: June 1, 2012.
Deborah S. Delisle,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2012-13735 Filed 6-5-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P