[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 159 (Thursday, August 16, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49653-49677]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-20037]



[[Page 49653]]

Vol. 77

Thursday,

No. 159

August 16, 2012

Part IV





Department of Education





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Applications for New Awards; Race to the Top--District; Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No. 159 / Thursday, August 16, 2012 / 
Notices

[[Page 49654]]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Race to the Top--District

AGENCY: Office of the Deputy Secretary, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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Overview Information

Race to the Top--District

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

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.416.


DATES: Applications Available: August 16, 2012.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: August 30, 2012.

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

    Date of Application Webinar: August 16 and 21, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: October 30, 2012.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program

    The purpose of the Race to the Top--District competition is to 
build on the lessons learned from the State competitions conducted 
under the Race to the Top program and to support bold, locally directed 
improvements in learning and teaching that will directly improve 
student achievement and educator effectiveness.

Background

Race to the Top
    The Race to the Top program, authorized under the American Recovery 
and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (Pub. L. 111-5), is centered on four core 
educational reform areas:
    (a) Adopting standards and assessments that prepare students to 
succeed in college and the workplace and to compete in the global 
economy;
    (b) Building data systems that measure student growth and success 
and inform teachers and principals about how they can improve 
instruction;
    (c) Recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining effective 
teachers and principals, especially where they are needed most; and
    (d) Turning around the Nation's lowest-achieving schools.
    In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) conducted 
Race to the Top State competitions, which provided incentives to States 
to adopt bold and comprehensive reforms in elementary and secondary 
education and laid the foundation for unprecedented innovation. A total 
of 46 States and the District of Columbia put together plans to 
implement college- and career-ready standards, use data systems to 
guide teaching and learning, evaluate and support teachers and school 
leaders, and turn around their lowest-performing schools. The Race to 
the Top State competitions provided States with incentives to implement 
large-scale, system-changing reforms designed to improve student 
achievement, narrow achievement gaps, and increase graduation and 
college enrollment rates.
    Through the Race to the Top Assessment program, also authorized 
under ARRA, the Department is supporting consortia of States in the 
development of new and better assessments aligned with high standards.
    In 2011, the ARRA was amended by section 1832(b) of the Department 
of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Pub. L. 
112-10), which added an additional education reform area: Strengthening 
the quality of early learning and development programs and increasing 
access to high-quality early learning programs for all children, 
including those with high needs. As a result, the Department had the 
authority to use a portion of the FY 2011 appropriation for Race to the 
Top on the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge program, which is 
jointly administered by the Departments of Education and Health and 
Human Services. The Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge supports 
nine States' efforts to strengthen the quality of their early learning 
programs.
Race to the Top--District Competition
    On May 22, 2012, the Secretary announced the Race to the Top--
District competition, which is designed to build on the momentum of 
other Race to the Top competitions by encouraging bold, innovative 
reform at the local level. This district-level FY 2012 competition is 
authorized under sections 14005 and 14006 of the ARRA, as amended by 
section 1832(b) of the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing 
Appropriations Act, 2011 and the Department of Education Appropriations 
Act, 2012 (Title III of Division F of Pub. L. 112-74, the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2012). Congress appropriated approximately $550 
million for Race to the Top in FY 2012. Of these funds, the Department 
expects to use approximately $383 million for this competition, which 
will fund about 15-25 grants in the range of $5 to $40 million. The 
amount of an award for which an applicant is eligible to apply depends 
upon the number of students who would be served under the application.
    The Race to the Top--District competition is aimed squarely at 
classrooms and the all-important relationship between educators and 
students. This notice invites applicants to demonstrate how they can 
personalize education for all students in their schools.
    In that regard, the Race to the Top--District competition will 
encourage and reward those local educational agencies (LEAs) or 
consortia of LEAs that have the leadership and vision to implement the 
strategies, structures, and systems needed to implement personalized, 
student-focused approaches to learning and teaching that will produce 
excellence and ensure equity for all students. The priorities, 
definitions, requirements, and selection criteria in this notice are 
designed to help LEAs meet these goals.
    Under Absolute Priority 1, applicants must design a personalized 
learning environment that will use collaborative, data-based strategies 
and 21st century tools such as online learning platforms, computers, 
mobile devices, and learning algorithms, to deliver instruction and 
supports tailored to the needs and goals of each student, with the aim 
of enabling all students to graduate college- and career-ready. 
Implementation of a personalized learning environment is not achieved 
through a single solution or product but rather requires a multi-
faceted approach that addresses the individual and collective needs of 
students, educators, and families and that dramatically transforms the 
learning environment in order to improve student outcomes.
    The Secretary believes that teacher and student classroom 
interaction, supported by strong principals and engaged families, is 
crucial to educating students. Teacher and student interactions are 
strengthened when an effective teacher has useful information about 
students' particular needs, support from his or her principal or 
leadership team, a quality curriculum aligned with college- and career-
ready standards, and the other tools needed to do the job.
    Too often, however, these supportive conditions have not existed in 
our schools or districts, and the results are painfully predictable: 
students fall behind or drop out, achievement gaps remain or widen, 
teachers get frustrated and leave the field, and stakeholders

[[Page 49655]]

become polarized and divided under pressure to perform.
    That is why--for more than three years--the Department has 
supported bold reforms at the State and local levels that have reduced 
barriers to good teaching and helped create better conditions for 
learning.
    There is no single approach or boutique solution to implementation 
of personalized learning environments. An LEA or consortia of LEAs 
receiving an award under this competition will build on the lessons 
learned from and the progress of States and districts in implementing 
reforms in the four core educational assurance areas (as defined in 
this notice) through Race to the Top and other key programs. A 
successful applicant will provide teachers the information, tools, and 
supports that enable them to meet the needs of each student and 
substantially accelerate and deepen each student's learning. These LEAs 
will have the policies, systems, infrastructure, capacity, and culture 
to enable teachers, teacher teams, and school leaders to continuously 
focus on improving individual student achievement and closing 
achievement gaps. These LEAs will also make equity and access a 
priority and aim to prepare each student to master the content and 
skills required for college- and career-readiness, provide each student 
the opportunity to pursue a rigorous course of study, and accelerate 
and deepen students' learning through attention to their individual 
needs. As important, they will create opportunities for students to 
identify and pursue areas of personal academic interest--all while 
ensuring that each student masters critical areas identified in 
college- and career-ready standards or college- and career-ready high 
school graduation requirements.
    Educators want a way to inspire and challenge those students who 
are furthest ahead, provide targeted help and assistance to those 
furthest behind, and engage fully and effectively with the students in 
the middle. To accomplish this objective, educators across the country 
have created personalized learning environments and used strategies 
that involve such elements as technology, virtual and blended learning, 
individual and group tasks, partnering with parents, and aligning non-
school hours with the educational needs of students.
    Personalized learning environments allow students to: understand 
their individual learning goals and needs; access deep learning 
experiences that include individual and group tasks; and develop such 
skills and traits as goal setting, teamwork, perseverance, critical 
thinking, communications, creativity, and problem solving across 
multiple academic domains. If students are to do this successfully, 
both students and educators need opportunities to build their 
individual and collective capacity to support the implementation of 
personalized learning environments and strategies.
    The Race to the Top--District competition does not create new 
stand-alone programs, or support niche programs or interventions. 
Neither is it a vehicle for maintenance of the status quo. Rather, the 
Race to the Top--District competition will support LEAs that 
demonstrate their commitment to identifying teachers, principals, and 
schools who have a vision and the expertise to personalize education 
and extend their reach to all of their students. LEAs successfully 
implementing an approach to learning and teaching that includes 
personalized learning environments will lay a foundation for raising 
student achievement, decreasing the achievement gap across student 
groups, and increasing the rates at which students graduate from high 
school prepared for college and careers.
    Through Race to the Top--District, the Department plans to support 
high-quality proposals from applicants across a varied set of LEAs to 
create diverse models of personalized learning environments for use by 
LEAs across the Nation. For this reason, in addition to an absolute 
priority on personalized learning environments, the Department is 
establishing four additional absolute priorities in this notice; each 
applicant will meet one of Absolute Priorities 2 through 5. These 
absolute priorities will support efforts to expand the types of reform 
efforts being implemented in LEAs in States that have received a Race 
to the Top award and to LEAs in other States. Moreover, these absolute 
priorities will help ensure that LEAs of varying sizes, both rural and 
non-rural, and with different local contexts are able to implement 
innovative personalized learning environments for their students that 
can serve as models for other LEAs and help improve student achievement 
widely.
    The competitive preference priority we are establishing will reward 
applicants that propose to extend their reforms beyond the classroom 
and partner with public or private entities in order to address the 
social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students, particularly 
students who attend a high-need school.
    As explained more fully elsewhere in this notice, given the tight 
timeline for obligating funds and in order to provide districts maximum 
time to prepare their applications for this competition, the Department 
is waiving notice-and-comment rulemaking for this competition. 
Specifically, we are waiving rulemaking for the priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for this new 
competition under section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions 
Act (GEPA).
    However, we solicited public participation as we developed our 
approach to this competition. From May 22 to June 8, 2012, we posted on 
the Department's Web site and blog a draft Executive Summary of the 
competition, which included draft competition priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria, and we invited public input on 
each. We received approximately 475 responses reflecting the viewpoints 
of a variety of individuals and organizations, which we considered in 
our development of this notice. That Executive Summary and the comments 
we received are posted at www.ed.gov/race-top/district-competition.
    Priorities: We are establishing these priorities for the FY 2012 
grant competition only and any subsequent year in which we make awards 
from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, in 
accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions 
Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
    Absolute Priorities: These priorities are absolute priorities. 
Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet 
Absolute Priority 1 and one of Absolute Priorities 2 through 5.
    These priorities are:
    Absolute Priority 1: Personalized Learning Environments. To meet 
this priority, an applicant must coherently and comprehensively address 
how it will build on the core educational assurance areas (as defined 
in this notice) to create learning environments that are designed to 
significantly improve learning and teaching through the personalization 
of strategies, tools, and supports for students and educators that are 
aligned with college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this 
notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as 
defined in this notice); accelerate student achievement and deepen 
student learning by meeting the academic needs of each student; 
increase the effectiveness of educators; expand student access to the 
most effective educators; decrease achievement gaps across student 
groups; and increase the rates at which students graduate from

[[Page 49656]]

high school prepared for college and careers.
    Absolute Priority 2: Non-Rural LEAs in Race to the Top States. To 
meet this priority, an applicant must be an LEA or a consortium of LEAs 
in which more than 50 percent of participating students (as defined in 
this notice) are in non-rural LEAs in States that received awards under 
the Race to the Top Phase 1, Phase 2, or Phase 3 competition.
    Absolute Priority 3: Rural LEAs in Race to the Top States. To meet 
this priority, an applicant must be an LEA or a consortium of LEAs in 
which more than 50 percent of participating students (as defined in 
this notice) are in rural LEAs (as defined in this notice) in States 
that received awards under the Race to the Top Phase 1, Phase 2, or 
Phase 3 competition.
    Absolute Priority 4: Non-Rural LEAs in non-Race to the Top States. 
To meet this priority, an applicant must be an LEA or a consortium of 
LEAs in which more than 50 percent of participating students (as 
defined in this notice) are in non-rural LEAs in States that did not 
receive awards under the Race to the Top Phase 1, Phase 2, or Phase 3 
competition.
    Absolute Priority 5: Rural LEAs in non-Race to the Top States. To 
meet this priority, an applicant must be an LEA or a consortium of LEAs 
in which more than 50 percent of participating students (as defined in 
this notice) are in rural LEAs (as defined in this notice) in States 
that did not receive awards under the Race to the Top Phase 1, Phase 2, 
or Phase 3 competition.
    Competitive Preference Priority: This priority is a competitive 
preference priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up to an 
additional 10 points to an application, depending on how well the 
application meets this priority.
    This priority is:
    Competitive Preference Priority: Results, Resource Alignment, and 
Integrated Services. The Department will give priority to an applicant 
based on the extent to which the applicant proposes to integrate public 
or private resources in a partnership designed to augment the schools' 
resources by providing additional student and family supports to 
schools that address the social, emotional, or behavioral needs of the 
participating students (as defined in this notice), giving highest 
priority to students in participating schools with high-need students 
(as defined in this notice). To meet this priority, an applicant's 
proposal does not need to be comprehensive and may provide student and 
family supports that focus on a subset of these needs.
    To meet this priority, an applicant must--
    (1) Provide a description of the coherent and sustainable 
partnership that it has formed with public or private organizations, 
such as public health, before-school, after-school, and social service 
providers; integrated student service providers; businesses, 
philanthropies, civic groups, and other community-based organizations; 
early learning programs; and postsecondary institutions to support the 
plan described in Absolute Priority 1;
    (2) Identify not more than 10 population-level desired results for 
students in the LEA or consortium of LEAs that align with and support 
the applicant's broader Race to the Top--District proposal. These 
results must include both educational results and other education 
outcomes (e.g., children enter kindergarten prepared to succeed in 
school, children exit third grade reading at grade level, and students 
graduate from high school college- and career-ready) and family and 
community supports (as defined in this notice) results;
    (3) Describe how the partnership would--
    (a) Track the selected indicators that measure each result at the 
aggregate level for all children within the LEA or consortium and at 
the student level for the participating students (as defined in this 
notice);
    (b) Use the data to target its resources in order to improve 
results for participating students (as defined in this notice), with 
special emphasis on students facing significant challenges, such as 
students with disabilities, English learners, and students affected by 
poverty (including highly mobile students), family instability, or 
other child welfare issues;
    (c) Develop a strategy to scale the model beyond the participating 
students (as defined in this notice) to at least other high-need 
students (as defined in this notice) and communities in the LEA or 
consortium over time; and
    (d) Improve results over time;
    (4) Describe how the partnership would, within participating 
schools (as defined in this notice), integrate education and other 
services (e.g., services that address social-emotional, and behavioral 
needs, acculturation for immigrants and refugees) for participating 
students (as defined in this notice);
    (5) Describe how the partnership and LEA or consortium would build 
the capacity of staff in participating schools (as defined in this 
notice) by providing them with tools and supports to--
    (a) Assess the needs and assets of participating students (as 
defined in this notice) that are aligned with the partnership's goals 
for improving the education and family and community supports (as 
defined in this notice) identified by the partnership;
    (b) Identify and inventory the needs and assets of the school and 
community that are aligned with those goals for improving the education 
and family and community supports (as defined in this notice) 
identified by the applicant;
    (c) Create a decision-making process and infrastructure to select, 
implement, and evaluate supports that address the individual needs of 
participating students (as defined in this notice) and support improved 
results;
    (d) Engage parents and families of participating students (as 
defined in this notice) in both decision-making about solutions to 
improve results over time and in addressing student, family, and school 
needs; and
    (e) Routinely assess the applicant's progress in implementing its 
plan to maximize impact and resolve challenges and problems; and
    (6) Identify its annual ambitious yet achievable performance 
measures for the proposed population-level and describe desired results 
for students.
    Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure 
Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties 
the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities, definitions, 
requirements, and selection criteria. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 
however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements 
regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or 
substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant 
competition for this program. The competition therefore qualifies for 
this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, the Secretary 
has decided to forgo public comment on the priorities, definitions, 
requirements, and selection criteria in this notice.
    These priorities, definitions, requirements, and selection criteria 
will apply to the FY 2012 competition and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition.

Definitions

    The definitions are:
    Achievement gap means the difference in the performance between 
each subgroup (as defined in this notice) within a participating LEA or 
school and the statewide average performance of the LEA's or State's 
highest-achieving subgroups in reading or language arts

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and in mathematics as measured by the assessments required under the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended.
    College- and career-ready graduation requirements means minimum 
high school graduation expectations (e.g., completion of a minimum 
course of study, content mastery, proficiency on college- and career-
ready assessments) that are aligned with a rigorous, robust, and well-
rounded curriculum and that cover a wide range of academic and 
technical knowledge and skills to ensure that by the time students 
graduate high school, they satisfy requirements for admission into 
credit-bearing courses commonly required by the State's public four-
year degree-granting institutions.
    College- and career-ready standards means content standards for 
kindergarten through 12th grade that build towards college- and career-
ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice). A State's 
college- and career-ready standards must be either (1) standards that 
are common to a significant number of States; or (2) standards that are 
approved by a State network of institutions of higher education, which 
must certify that students who meet the standards will not need 
remedial course work at the postsecondary level.
    College enrollment means the enrollment of students who graduate 
from high school consistent with 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1)(i) and who enroll 
in a public institution of higher education in the State (as defined in 
section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, 20 
U.S.C. 1001) within 16 months of graduation.
    Consortium governance structure means the consortium's structure 
for carrying out its operations, including--
    (1) The organizational structure of the consortium and the 
differentiated roles that a member LEA may hold (e.g., lead LEA, member 
LEA);
    (2) For each differentiated role, the associated rights and 
responsibilities, including rights and responsibilities for adopting 
and implementing the consortium's proposal for a grant;
    (3) The consortium's method and process (e.g., consensus, majority) 
for making different types of decisions (e.g., policy, operational);
    (4) The protocols by which the consortium will operate, including 
the protocols for member LEAs to change roles or leave the consortium;
    (5) The consortium's procedures for managing funds received under 
this grant;
    (6) The terms and conditions of the memorandum of understanding or 
other binding agreement executed by each member LEA; and
    (7) The consortium's procurement process, and evidence of each 
member LEA's commitment to that process.
    Core educational assurance areas means the four key areas 
originally identified in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act 
(ARRA) to support comprehensive education reform: (1) Adopting 
standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college 
and the workplace and to compete in the global economy; (2) building 
data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform 
teachers and principals with data about how they can improve 
instruction; (3) recruiting, developing, rewarding, and retaining 
effective teachers and principals, especially where they are needed 
most; and (4) turning around lowest-achieving schools.
    Digital learning content means learning materials and resources 
that can be displayed on an electronic device and shared electronically 
with other users. Digital learning content includes both open source 
and commercial content. In order to comply with the requirements of the 
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, any digital learning content 
used by grantees must be accessible to individuals with disabilities, 
including individuals who use screen readers. For additional 
information regarding the application of these laws to technology, 
please refer to www.ed.gov/ocr/letters/colleague-201105-ese.pdf and 
www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/dcl-ebook-faq-201105.pdf.
    Discipline means any disciplinary measure collected by the 2009-
2010 or 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection (see http://ocrdata.ed.gov).
    Educators means all education professionals and education 
paraprofessionals working in participating schools (as defined in this 
notice), including principals or other heads of a school, teachers, 
other professional instructional staff (e.g., staff involved in 
curriculum development, staff development, bilingual/English as a 
Second Language (ESL) specialists, or instructional staff who operate 
library, media, and computer centers), pupil support services staff 
(e.g., guidance counselors, nurses, speech pathologists), other 
administrators (e.g., assistant principals, discipline specialists), 
and education paraprofessionals (e.g., assistant teachers, bilingual/
ESL instructional aides).
    Effective principal means a principal whose students, overall and 
for each subgroup, achieve acceptable rates (e.g., at least one grade 
level in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in this 
notice) as defined in the LEA's principal evaluation system (as defined 
in this notice).
    Effective teacher means a teacher whose students achieve acceptable 
rates (e.g., at least one grade level in an academic year) of student 
growth (as defined in this notice) as defined in the LEA's teacher 
evaluation system (as defined in this notice).
    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; Head Start; 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) 
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; (b) 
improve families' awareness of, access to, and use of a range of social 
services, if possible at a single location; (c) provide unbiased, 
outcome-focused, and comprehensive financial education, inside and 
outside the classroom and at every life stage; (d) increase access to 
traditional financial institutions (e.g., banks and credit unions) 
rather than alternative financial institutions (e.g., check cashers and 
payday lenders); (e) help families increase their financial literacy, 
financial assets, and savings; and (f) help families access 
transportation to education and employment opportunities; (g) provides 
supports and services to students who are homeless, in foster care, 
migrant, or highly mobile; and
    (4) Family and community engagement programs that are systemic, 
integrated, sustainable, and continue through a student's transition 
from K-12 schooling to college and career. These programs may include 
family literacy

[[Page 49658]]

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.
    Four intervention models means the turnaround model, restart model, 
school closure, and transformational model as defined by the final 
requirements for the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, published 
in the Federal Register on October 28, 2010 (75 FR 66363).
    Graduation rate means the four-year or extended-year adjusted 
cohort graduation rate as defined by 34 CFR 200.19(b)(1).
    High-need students means students at risk of educational failure or 
otherwise in need of special assistance and support, such as students 
who are living in poverty, who attend high-minority schools (as defined 
in this notice), who are far below grade level, who have left school 
before receiving a regular high school diploma, who are at risk of not 
graduating with a diploma on time, who are homeless, who are in foster 
care, who have been incarcerated, who have disabilities, or who are 
English learners.
    High-minority school is defined by the LEA in a manner consistent 
with its State's Teacher Equity Plan, as required by section 
1111(b)(8)(C) of the ESEA. The LEA must provide, in its Race to the 
Top--District application, the definition used.
    Highly effective principal means a principal whose students, 
overall and for each subgroup, achieve high rates (e.g., one and one-
half grade levels in an academic year) of student growth (as defined in 
this notice) as defined under the LEAs principal evaluation system (as 
defined in this notice).
    Highly effective teacher means a teacher whose students achieve 
high rates (e.g., one and one-half grade levels in an academic year) of 
student growth (as defined in this notice) as defined under the LEAs 
teacher evaluation system (as defined in this notice).
    Interoperable data system means a system that uses a common, 
established structure such that data can easily flow from one system to 
another and in which data are in a non-proprietary, open format.
    Local educational agency is an entity as defined in section 
9101(26) of the ESEA, except that an entity described under section 
9101(26)(D) must be recognized under applicable State law as a local 
educational agency.
    Low-performing school means a school that is in the bottom 10 
percent of performance in the State, or that has significant 
achievement gaps, based on student academic performance in reading/
language arts and mathematics on the assessments required under the 
ESEA, or that has a graduation rate (as defined in this notice) below 
60 percent.
    Metadata means information about digital learning content such as 
the grade or age for which it is intended, the topic or standard to 
which it is aligned, or the type of resource it is (e.g., video, 
image).
    On-track indicator means a measure, available at a time 
sufficiently early to allow for intervention, of a single student 
characteristic (e.g., number of days absent, number of discipline 
referrals, number of credits earned), or a composite of multiple 
characteristics, that is both predictive of student success (e.g., 
students demonstrating the measure graduate at an 80 percent rate) and 
comprehensive of students who succeed (e.g., of all graduates, 90 
percent demonstrated the indicator). Using multiple indicators that are 
collectively comprehensive but vary by student characteristics may be 
an appropriate alternative to a single indicator that applies to all 
students.
    Open data format means data that are available in a non-
proprietary, machine-readable format (e.g., Extensible Markup Language 
(XML) and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)) such that they can be 
understood by a computer. Digital formats that require extraction, data 
translation such as optical character recognition, or other 
manipulation in order to be used in electronic systems are not machine-
readable formats.
    Open-standard registry means a digital platform, such as the 
Learning Registry, that facilitates the exchange of information about 
digital learning content (as defined in this notice), including (1) 
alignment of content with college- and career-ready standards (as 
defined in this notice) and (2) usage information about learning 
content used by educators (as defined in this notice). This digital 
platform must have the capability to share content information with 
other LEAs and with State educational agencies.
    Participating school means a school that is identified by the 
applicant and chooses to work with the applicant to implement the plan 
under Absolute Priority 1, either in one or more specific grade spans 
or subject areas or throughout the entire school and affecting a 
significant number of its students.
    Participating student means a student enrolled in a participating 
school (as defined in this notice) and who is directly served by an 
applicant's plan under Absolute Priority 1.
    Persistently lowest-achieving school means, as determined by the 
State, consistent with the requirements of the SIG program authorized 
by section 1003(g) of the ESEA,\1\ (1) any Title I school in 
improvement, corrective action, or restructuring 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 as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) 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 as defined in 34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a 
number of years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 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
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To identify the lowest-achieving schools, a State must take into 
account both (1) the academic achievement of the ``all students'' group 
in a school in terms of proficiency on the State's assessments under 
section 1111(b)(3) of the ESEA in reading or language arts and in 
mathematics combined; and (2) the school's lack of progress on those 
assessments over a number of years in the ``all students'' group.
    Principal evaluation system means a system that: (1) Is used for 
continual improvement of instructional

[[Page 49659]]

leadership; (2) meaningfully differentiates performance using at least 
three performance levels; (3) uses multiple valid measures in 
determining performance levels, including, as a significant factor, 
data on student growth (as defined in this notice) for all students 
(including English learners and students with disabilities), as well as 
other measures of professional practice (which may be gathered through 
multiple formats and sources, such as observations based on rigorous 
leadership performance standards, teacher evaluation data, and student 
and parent surveys); (4) evaluates principals on a regular basis; (5) 
provides clear, timely, and useful feedback, including feedback that 
identifies and guides professional development needs; and (6) is used 
to inform personnel decisions.
    Rural local educational agency means an LEA, at the time of the 
application, that is 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. Eligible applicants may 
determine whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by 
referring to information on the Department's Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/reapsrsa/eligible12/index.html.
    School leadership team means a team that leads the implementation 
of improvement and other initiatives at the school and is composed of 
the principal or other head of a school, teachers, and other educators 
(as defined in this notice), and, as applicable, other school 
employees, parents, students, and other community members. In cases 
where statute or local policy, including collective bargaining 
agreements, establishes a school leadership team, that body shall serve 
as the school leadership team for the purpose of this program.
    Student growth means the change in student achievement for an 
individual student between two or more points in time, defined as--
    (1) For grades and subjects in which assessments are required under 
ESEA section 1111(b)(3): (a) A student's score on such assessments; and 
(b) may include other measures of student learning, such as those 
described in (2) below, provided they are rigorous and comparable 
across schools within an LEA.
    (2) For grades and subjects in which assessments are not required 
under ESEA section 1111(b)(3): Alternative measures of student learning 
and performance, such as student results on pre-tests, end-of-course 
tests, and objective performance-based assessments; performance against 
student learning objectives; student performance on English language 
proficiency assessments; and other measures of student achievement that 
are rigorous and comparable across schools within an LEA.
    Student-level data means demographic, performance, and other 
information that pertains to a single student.
    Student performance data means information about the academic 
progress of a single student, such as formative and summative 
assessment data, information on completion of coursework, instructor 
observations, information about student engagement and time on task, 
and similar information.
    Subgroup means each category of students identified under section 
1111(b)(2)(C)(v)(II) of the ESEA, as well as any combined subgroup used 
in the State accountability system and approved by the Department in a 
State's request for ESEA flexibility.
    Superintendent evaluation means a rigorous, transparent, and fair 
annual evaluation of an LEA superintendent that provides an assessment 
of performance and encourages professional growth. This evaluation must 
reflect: (1) The feedback of many stakeholders, including but not 
limited to educators, principals, and parents; and (2) student 
outcomes.
    Teacher evaluation system means a system that: (1) Is used for 
continual improvement of instruction; (2) meaningfully differentiates 
performance using at least three performance levels; (3) uses multiple 
valid measures in determining performance levels, including, as a 
significant factor, data on student growth (as defined in this notice) 
for all students (including English learners and students with 
disabilities), as well as other measures of professional practice 
(which may be gathered through multiple formats and sources, such as 
observations based on rigorous teacher performance standards, teacher 
portfolios, and student and parent surveys); (4) evaluates teachers on 
a regular basis; (5) provides clear, timely, and useful feedback, 
including feedback that identifies and guides professional development 
needs; and (6) is used to inform personnel decisions.
    Teacher of record means an individual (or individuals in a co-
teaching assignment) who has been assigned the lead responsibility for 
a student's learning in a subject or course.

Application Requirements

    The application requirements are:
    (1) State comment period. Each LEA included in an application must 
provide its State at least 10 business days to comment on the LEA's 
application and submit as part of its application package-
    (a) The State's comments or, if the State declined to comment, 
evidence that the LEA offered the State 10 business days to comment; 
and
    (b) The LEA's response to the State's comments (optional).
    (2) Mayor (or city or town administrator) comment period. Each LEA 
included in an application must provide its mayor or other comparable 
official at least 10 business days to comment on the LEA's application 
and submit as part of its application package--
    (a) The mayor or city or town administrator's comments or, if that 
individual declines to comment, evidence that the LEA offered such 
official 10 business days to comment; and
    (b) The LEA's response to the mayor or city or town administrator 
comments (optional).
    (3) Consortium. For LEAs applying as a consortium, the application 
must-
    (a) Indicate, consistent with 34 CFR 75.128, whether--
    (i) One member of the consortium is applying for a grant on behalf 
of the consortium; or
    (ii) The consortium has established itself as a separate, eligible 
legal entity and is applying for a grant on its own behalf;
    (b) Be signed by-
    (i) If one member of the consortium is applying for a grant on 
behalf of the consortium, the superintendent or chief executive officer 
(CEO), local school board president, and local teacher union or 
association president (where applicable) of that LEA; or
    (ii) If the consortium has established itself as a separate 
eligible legal entity and is applying for a grant on its own behalf, a 
legal representative of the consortium; and
    (c) Include, consistent with 34 CFR 75.128, for each LEA in the 
consortium, copies of all memoranda of understanding or other binding 
agreements related to the consortium. These binding agreements must--
    (i) Detail the activities that each member of the consortium plans 
to perform;
    (ii) Describe the consortium governance structure (as defined in 
this notice);
    (iii) Bind each member of the consortium to every statement and 
assurance made in the application; and
    (iv) Include an assurance signed by the LEA's superintendent or CEO 
that--

[[Page 49660]]

    (A) The LEA, at a minimum, will implement no later than the 2014-
2015 school year--
    (1) A teacher evaluation system (as defined in this notice);
    (2) A principal evaluation system (as defined in this notice); and
    (3) A superintendent evaluation (as defined in this notice);
    (B) The LEA is committed to preparing students for college or 
career, as demonstrated by--
    (1) Being located in a State that has adopted college- and career-
ready standards (as defined in this notice); or
    (2) Measuring all student progress and performance against college- 
and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice);
    (C) The LEA has a robust data system that has, at a minimum--
    (1) An individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match; 
and
    (2) The capability to provide timely data back to educators and 
their supervisors on student growth (as defined in this notice);
    (D) The LEA has the capability to receive or match student-level 
preschool through 12th grade and higher education data; and
    (E) The LEA ensures that any disclosure of or access to personally 
identifiable information in students' education records complies with 
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and
    (iv) Be signed by the superintendent or CEO, local school board 
president, and local teacher union or association president (where 
applicable).

Program Requirements

    The program requirements are:
    (1) An applicant's budget request for all years of its project must 
fall within the applicable budget range as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Award range in
            Number of participating  students               (millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2,000-5,000 or Fewer than 2,000, provided those students           $5-10
 are served by a consortium of at least 10 LEAs and at
 least 75 percent of the students served by each LEA are
 participating students (as defined in this notice).....
5,001-10,000............................................          $10-20
10,001-25,000...........................................           20-30
25,001+.................................................           30-40
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Department will not consider an application that requests a 
budget outside the applicable range of awards, not including any 
optional budget supplements included in the application.
    (2) A grantee must work with the Department and with a national 
evaluator 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 program and of specific solutions 
and strategies pursued by individual grantees. This commitment must 
include, but need not be limited to--
    (i) Consistent with 34 CFR 80.36 and State and local procurement 
procedures, grantees must include in contracts with external vendors 
provisions that allow contractors to provide implementation data to the 
LEA, the Department, the national evaluator, or other appropriate 
entities in ways consistent with all privacy laws and regulations.
    (ii) Developing, in consultation with the national evaluator, a 
plan for identifying and collecting reliable and valid baseline data 
for program participants.
    (3) LEAs must share metadata about content alignment with college- 
and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) and use through 
open-standard registries.
    (4) LEAs in which minority students or students with disabilities 
are disproportionately subject to discipline (as defined in this 
notice) and expulsion (according to data submitted through the 
Department's Civil Rights Data Collection, which is available at http://ocrdata.ed.gov/), must conduct a district assessment of the root 
causes of the disproportionate discipline and expulsions. These LEAs 
must also develop a detailed plan over the grant period to address 
these root causes and to reduce disproportionate discipline (as defined 
in this notice) and expulsions.
    (5) Each grantee must make all project implementation and student 
data available to the Department and its authorized representatives in 
compliance with FERPA, as applicable.
    (6) Grantees must ensure that requests for information (RFIs) and 
requests for proposal (RFPs) developed as part of this grant are made 
public, and are consistent with the requirements of State and local 
law.
    (7) Within 100 days of award, each grantee must submit to the 
Department--
    (i) A scope of work that is consistent with its grant application 
and includes specific goals, activities, deliverables, timelines, 
budgets, key personnel, and annual targets for key performance 
measures; and
    (ii) An individual school implementation plan for participating 
schools (as defined in this notice).
    (8) Within 100 days of award, each grantee must demonstrate that at 
least 40 percent of participating students (as defined in this notice) 
in participating schools (as defined in this notice) are from low-
income families, based on eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch 
subsidies under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, or 
other poverty measures that LEAs use to make awards under section 
1113(a) of the ESEA.

    Program Authority: Sections 14005 and 14006 of the ARRA (Pub. L. 
111-5), as amended by section 1832(b) of Division B of the 
Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 
2011 (Pub. L. 112-10), and the Department of Education 
Appropriations Act, 2012 (Title III of Division F of Pub. L. 112-74, 
the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Education Department suspension 
and debarment regulations in 2 CFR part 3485.

    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.


    Note: Nothing in this notice shall be construed to alter or 
otherwise affect the rights, remedies, and procedures afforded 
school or school district employees under Federal, State, or local 
laws (including applicable regulations or court orders) or under the 
terms of collective bargaining agreements, memoranda of 
understanding, or other agreements between such employees and their 
employers.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $383,000,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2013 or subsequent 
fiscal years from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition.
    The Department may use any unused funds from Phase 2 of the Race to 
the Top Early Learning Challenge program in the Race to the Top--
District competition. Phase 2 of the Race to the Top Early Learning 
Challenge competition will be announced in a separate notice published 
in the Federal Register. Conversely, the Department of Education may 
use any unused FY 2012 funds from the Race to the Top--District 
competition under Phase 2 of the Race

[[Page 49661]]

to the Top Early Learning Challenge competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $5,000,000--$40,000,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards and Maximum Awards: The following chart 
illustrates the range for awards by the number of participating 
students:

 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Award range in
            Number of participating students                (millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2,000-5,000 or Fewer than 2,000, provided those students           $5-10
 are served by a consortium of at least 10 LEAs and at
 least 75 percent of the students served by each LEA are
 participating students (as defined in this notice).....
5,001-10,000............................................           10-20
10,001-25,000...........................................           20-30
25,001+.................................................           30-40
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We will not consider an application that requests a budget outside 
the applicable range of awards, not including any optional budget 
supplements included in the application. The Department may change the 
maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 15-25.

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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    (1) Eligible applicants: To be eligible for a grant under this 
competition:
    (a) An applicant must be an individual LEA (as defined in this 
notice) or a consortium of LEAs from the 50 States, the District of 
Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
    (i) LEAs may apply for all or a portion of their schools, for 
specific grades, or for subject-area bands (e.g., lowest-performing 
schools, secondary schools, schools connected by a feeder pattern, 
middle school math, or preschool through third grade).
    (ii) Consortia may include LEAs from multiple States.
    (iii) Each LEA may participate in only one Race to the Top--
District application.
    (b) An applicant must serve a minimum of 2,000 participating 
students (as defined in this notice) or may serve fewer than 2,000 
participating students (as defined in this notice) provided those 
students are served by a consortium of at least 10 LEAs and at least 75 
percent of the students served by each LEA are participating students 
(as defined in this notice).
    (c) At least 40 percent of participating students (as defined in 
this notice) across all participating schools (as defined in this 
notice) must be students from low-income families, based on eligibility 
for free or reduced-price lunch subsidies under the Richard B. Russell 
National School Lunch Act, or other poverty measures that LEAs use to 
make awards under section 1113(a) of the ESEA. If an applicant has not 
identified all participating schools (as defined in this notice) at the 
time of application, it must provide an assurance that within 100 days 
of the grant award it will meet this requirement.
    (d) An applicant must demonstrate its commitment to the core 
educational assurance areas (as defined in this notice), including, for 
each LEA included in an application, an assurance signed by the LEA's 
superintendent or CEO that--
    (i) The LEA, at a minimum, will implement no later than the 2014-
2015 school year--
    (A) A teacher evaluation system (as defined in this notice);
    (B) A principal evaluation system (as defined in this notice); and
    (C) A superintendent evaluation (as defined in this notice);
    (ii) The LEA is committed to preparing all students for college or 
career, as demonstrated by--
    (A) Being located in a State that has adopted college- and career-
ready standards (as defined in this notice); or
    (B) Measuring all student progress and performance against college- 
and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice);
    (iii) The LEA has a robust data system that has, at a minimum--
    (A) An individual teacher identifier with a teacher-student match; 
and
    (B) The capability to provide timely data back to educators and 
their supervisors on student growth (as defined in this notice);
    (iv) The LEA has the capability to receive or match student-level 
preschool-through-12th grade and higher education data; and
    (v) The LEA ensures that any disclosure of or access to personally 
identifiable information in students' education records complies with 
FERPA.
    (e) Required signatures for the LEA or lead LEA in a consortium are 
those of the superintendent or CEO, local school board president, and 
local teacher union or association president (where applicable).
    (2) Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require 
cost sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address To Request Application Package: You can obtain an 
application package via the Internet or from the Department of 
Education. To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following 
address: www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-district. To obtain a copy 
from the Department of Education, write, fax, or call the following: 
Meredith Farace, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
room 7e208, Washington, DC 20202-4260. Telephone: (202) 453-6800. FAX: 
(202) 401-1557.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or compact disc) by contacting the program contact person listed in 
this section.
    2.a. Content and Form of Application Submission: 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: August 30, 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's name and address; (2) whether the applicant is applying as 
an individual LEA or as a consortium of LEAs; (3) expected budget 
request; and (4) contact person (and phone number and email). 
Applicants may access this form online at http://www2.ed.gov/surveys/intent-rttd.html. Applicants that do not complete this form may still 
apply for funding.
    Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, 
address the selection criteria and the competitive preference priority 
that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend you limit 
the application narrative to no more than 70 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.
     Each page has a page number.

[[Page 49662]]

     Line spacing for the narrative is set to 1.5 spacing, and 
the font used is 12 point Times New Roman.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; Parts 
X and XI, the budget sections, including the narrative budget 
justification; Parts IV-VII, the assurances and certifications; the 
resumes, the letters of support, or other appendices. However, the 
recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative 
section.
    b. Submission of Proprietary Information:
    Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications 
for the Race to the Top--District, an application may include business 
information that the applicant considers proprietary. The Department's 
regulations define ``business information'' in 34 CFR 5.11.
    Following the process used with our previous Race to the Top 
competitions, we plan to post funded applications on our Web site and 
you may wish to request confidentiality of business information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In an attachment 
in the Appendix, titled ``Disclosure Exemption,'' please list the page 
number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional 
information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: August 16, 2012.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent To Apply: August 31, 2012. Submission 
of a notice of intent to apply is optional.
    Date of Application Webinar: August 16 and 21, 2012.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: October 30, 2012.
    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted in 
electronic format on a CD or DVD, with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM preferred, by 
mail or hand delivery. For information (including dates and times) 
about how to submit your application by mail or hand delivery, please 
refer to section IV. 7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.
    We 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.
    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 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.
    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this competition must be submitted in electronic format on a CD or DVD, 
with CD-ROM or DVD-ROM preferred, by mail or hand delivery. Individual 
LEA applicants must submit signed originals of Parts IV, V, and VII of 
the application and the applicant LEAs for a consortium application 
must submit signed originals of Parts IV, VI, VII of the application 
and a signed memorandum of understanding from each member LEA of the 
consortia (as described in Part XIII of the application).
    All electronic application files must be in a .DOC (document), 
.DOCX (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. 
Each file name should clearly identify the part of the application it 
contains. If an applicant submits a file type other than the four file 
types specified in this paragraph, the Department will not review that 
material. Applicants should not password-protect these files. The CD or 
DVD containing the application should be clearly labeled with the 
applicant's name, city, State, and any other relevant information.
    We strongly recommend the applicant to submit a CD or DVD of its 
application that includes the following files: (1) A single file that 
contains the body of the application, including required budget tables, 
that has been converted into a .PDF format so that the .PDF is 
searchable. Note that a .PDF created from a scanned document will not 
be searchable. (2) A single file in a .PDF format that contains all of 
the required signature pages. The signature pages may be scanned and 
turned into a PDF. (3) Copies of the completed electronic budget 
spreadsheets with the required budget tables, which should be in a 
separate file from the body of the application. The spreadsheets will 
be used by the Department for budget reviews. Each of these items must 
be clearly labeled with the LEA's name, city, state, and any other 
relevant identifying information. Applicants also should not password-
protect these files.
    The Department must receive the application by 4:30:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time, on or before the application deadline date.

a. Submission of Applications by Mail

    If you submit your application by mail (through the U.S. Postal 
Service or a commercial carrier), we must receive your application 
(i.e., the CD or DVD, and the signed originals of Parts IV-VII and 
memoranda of understanding, as applicable) on or before the application 
deadline date. Therefore to avoid delays, we strongly recommend sending 
the application via overnight mail. Mail the original and two copies of 
the application to the Department at the following address: U.S. 
Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: CFDA 
Number 84.416, LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.

[[Page 49663]]

    If we receive an application after the application deadline, we 
will not consider that application.

b. Submission of Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you submit your application by hand delivery, you (or a courier 
service) must deliver the 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 84.416, 550 12th Street SW., 
Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.
    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, 
Sundays, and Federal holidays.

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

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
as follows:

A. Vision

    (1) The extent to which the applicant has set forth a comprehensive 
and coherent reform vision that builds on its work in four core 
educational assurance areas (as defined in this notice) and articulates 
a clear and credible approach to the goals of accelerating student 
achievement, deepening student learning, and increasing equity through 
personalized student support grounded in common and individual tasks 
that are based on student academic interests.
    (2) The extent to which the applicant's approach to implementing 
its reform proposal (e.g., schools, grade bands, or subject areas) will 
support high-quality LEA-level and school-level implementation of that 
proposal, including--
    (a) A description of the process that the applicant used or will 
use to select schools to participate. The process must ensure that the 
participating schools (as defined in this notice) collectively meet the 
competition's eligibility requirements;
    (b) A list of the schools that will participate in grant activities 
(as available); and
    (c) The total number of participating students (as defined in this 
notice), participating students (as defined in this notice) from low-
income families, participating students (as defined in this notice) who 
are high-need students (as defined in this notice), and participating 
educators (as defined in this notice). If participating schools (as 
defined in this notice) have yet to be selected, the applicant may 
provide approximate numbers.
    (3) The extent to which the application includes a high-quality 
plan describing how the reform proposal will be scaled up and 
translated into meaningful reform to support district-wide change 
beyond the participating schools (as defined in this notice), and will 
help the applicant reach its outcome goals (e.g., the applicant's logic 
model or theory of change of how its plan will improve student learning 
outcomes for all students who would be served by the applicant).
    (4) The extent to which the applicant's vision is likely to result 
in improved student learning and performance and increased equity as 
demonstrated by ambitious yet achievable annual goals that are equal to 
or exceed State ESEA targets for the LEA(s), overall and by student 
subgroup (as defined in this notice), for each participating LEA in the 
following areas:
    (a) Performance on summative assessments (proficiency status and 
growth).
    (b) Decreasing achievement gaps (as defined in this notice).
    (c) Graduation rates (as defined in this notice).
    (d) College enrollment (as defined in this notice) rates.
    Optional: The extent to which the applicant's vision is likely to 
result in improved student learning and performance and increased 
equity as demonstrated by ambitious yet achievable annual goals for 
each participating LEA in the following area:
    (e) Postsecondary degree attainment.

B. Prior Record of Success and Conditions for Reform

    The extent to which each LEA has demonstrated evidence of--
    (1) A clear record of success in the past four years in advancing 
student learning and achievement and increasing equity in learning and 
teaching, including a description, charts or graphs, raw student data, 
and other evidence that demonstrates the applicant's ability to--
    (a) Improve student learning outcomes and close achievement gaps 
(as defined in this notice), including by raising student achievement, 
high school graduation rates (as defined in this notice), and college 
enrollment (as defined in this notice) rates;
    (b) Achieve ambitious and significant reforms in its persistently 
lowest-achieving schools (as defined in this notice) or in its low-
performing schools (as defined in this notice); and
    (c) Make student performance data (as defined in this notice) 
available to students, educators (as defined in this notice), and 
parents in ways that inform and improve participation, instruction, and 
services.
    (2) A high level of transparency in LEA processes, practices, and 
investments, including by making public, by school, actual school-level 
expenditures for regular K-12 instruction, instructional support, pupil 
support, and school administration. At a minimum, this information must 
include a description of the extent to which the applicant already 
makes available the following four categories of school-level 
expenditures from State and local funds:
    (a) Actual personnel salaries at the school level for all school-
level instructional and support staff, based on the U.S. Census 
Bureau's classification used in the F-33 survey of local government 
finances (information on the survey can be found at http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/f33agency.asp);
    (b) Actual personnel salaries at the school level for instructional 
staff only;
    (c) Actual personnel salaries at the school level for teachers 
only; and
    (d) Actual non-personnel expenditures at the school level (if 
available).
    (3) Successful conditions and sufficient autonomy under State 
legal, statutory, and regulatory requirements to implement the 
personalized learning environments described in the applicant's 
proposal;
    (4) Meaningful stakeholder engagement in the development of the 
proposal and meaningful stakeholder support for the proposal, 
including--
    (a) A description of how students, families, teachers, and 
principals in participating schools (as defined in this notice) were 
engaged in the development of the proposal and, as appropriate, how the 
proposal was revised based on their engagement and feedback, 
including--
    (i) For LEAs with collective bargaining representation, evidence of 
direct engagement and support for the proposals from teachers in 
participating schools (as defined in this notice); or

[[Page 49664]]

    (ii) For LEAs without collective bargaining representation, at a 
minimum, evidence that at least 70 percent of teachers from 
participating schools (as defined in this notice) support the proposal; 
and
    (b) Letters of support from such key stakeholders as parents and 
parent organizations, student organizations, early learning programs, 
tribes, the business community, civil rights organizations, advocacy 
groups, local civic and community-based organizations, and institutions 
of higher education; and
    (5) A high-quality plan for an analysis of the applicant's current 
status in implementing personalized learning environments and the logic 
behind the reform proposal contained within the applicant's proposal, 
including identified needs and gaps that the plan will address.

C. Preparing Students for College and Careers

    The extent to which the applicant has a high-quality plan for 
improving learning and teaching by personalizing the learning 
environment in order to provide all students the support to graduate 
college- and career-ready. This plan must include an approach to 
implementing instructional strategies for all participating students 
(as defined in this notice) that enable participating students to 
pursue a rigorous course of study aligned to college- and career-ready 
standards (as defined in this notice) and college- and career-ready 
graduation requirements (as defined in this notice) and accelerate his 
or her learning through support of his or her needs. The quality of the 
plan will be assessed based on the extent to which the applicant 
proposes an approach that includes the following:
    (1) Learning: An approach to learning that engages and empowers all 
learners, in particular high-need students, in an age-appropriate 
manner such that:
    (a) With the support of parents and educators, all students--
    (i) Understand that what they are learning is key to their success 
in accomplishing their goals;
    (ii) Identify and pursue learning and development goals linked to 
college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or 
college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this 
notice), understand how to structure their learning to achieve their 
goals, and measure progress toward those goals;
    (iii) Are able to be involved in deep learning experiences in areas 
of academic interest;
    (iv) Have access and exposure to diverse cultures, contexts, and 
perspectives that motivate and deepen individual student learning; and
    (v) Master critical academic content and develop skills and traits 
such as goal-setting, teamwork, perseverance, critical thinking, 
communication, creativity, and problem-solving;
    (b) With the support of parents and educators, there is a strategy 
to ensure that each student has access to--
    (i) A personalized sequence of instructional content and skill 
development designed to enable the student to achieve his or her 
individual learning goals and ensure he or she can graduate on time and 
college- and career-ready;
    (ii) A variety of high-quality instructional approaches and 
environments;
    (iii) High-quality content, including digital learning content (as 
defined in this notice) as appropriate, aligned with college- and 
career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or college- and 
career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice);
    (iv) Ongoing and regular feedback, including, at a minimum---
    (A) Frequently updated individual student data that can be used to 
determine progress toward mastery of college- and career-ready 
standards (as defined in this notice), or college- and career-ready 
graduation requirements; and
    (B) Personalized learning recommendations based on the student's 
current knowledge and skills, college- and career-ready standards (as 
defined in this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation 
requirements (as defined in this notice), and available content, 
instructional approaches, and supports; and
    (v) Accommodations and high-quality strategies for high-need 
students (as defined in this notice) to help ensure that they are on 
track toward meeting college- and career-ready standards (as defined in 
this notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as 
defined in this notice); and
    (c) Mechanisms are in place to provide training and support to 
students that will ensure that they understand how to use the tools and 
resources provided to them in order to track and manage their learning.
    (2) Teaching and Leading: An approach to teaching and leading that 
helps educators (as defined in this notice) to improve instruction and 
increase their capacity to support student progress toward meeting 
college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) or 
college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this 
notice) by enabling the full implementation of personalized learning 
and teaching for all students such that:
    (a) All participating educators (as defined in this notice) engage 
in training, and in professional teams or communities, that supports 
their individual and collective capacity to--
    (i) Support the effective implementation of personalized learning 
environments and strategies that meet each student's academic needs and 
help ensure all students can graduate on time and college- and career-
ready;
    (ii) Adapt content and instruction, providing opportunities for 
students to engage in common and individual tasks, in response to their 
academic needs, academic interests, and optimal learning approaches 
(e.g., discussion and collaborative work, project-based learning, 
videos, audio, manipulatives);
    (iii) Frequently measure student progress toward meeting college- 
and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice), or college- and 
career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in this notice) and 
use data to inform both the acceleration of student progress and the 
improvement of the individual and collective practice of educators; and
    (iv) Improve teachers' and principals' practice and effectiveness 
by using feedback provided by the LEA's teacher and principal 
evaluation systems (as defined in this notice), including frequent 
feedback on individual and collective effectiveness, as well as by 
providing recommendations, supports and interventions as needed for 
improvement.
    (b) All participating educators (as defined in this notice) have 
access to, and know how to use, tools, data, and resources to 
accelerate student progress toward meeting college- and career-ready 
graduation requirements (as defined in this notice). Those resources 
must include--
    (i) Actionable information that helps educators (as defined in this 
notice) identify optimal learning approaches that respond to individual 
student academic needs and interests;
    (ii) High-quality learning resources (e.g., instructional content 
and assessments), including digital resources, as appropriate, that are 
aligned with college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this 
notice) or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as 
defined in this notice), and the tools to create and share new 
resources; and
    (iii) Processes and tools to match student needs (see Selection 
Criterion

[[Page 49665]]

(C)(2)(b)(i)) with specific resources and approaches (see Selection 
Criterion (C)(2)(b)(ii)) to provide continuously improving feedback 
about the effectiveness of the resources in meeting student needs.
    (c) All participating school leaders and school leadership teams 
(as defined in this notice) have training, policies, tools, data, and 
resources that enable them to structure an effective learning 
environment that meets individual student academic needs and 
accelerates student progress through common and individual tasks toward 
meeting college- and career-ready standards (as defined in this notice) 
or college- and career-ready graduation requirements (as defined in 
this notice). The training, policies, tools, data, and resources must 
include:
    (i) Information, from such sources as the district's teacher 
evaluation system (as defined in this notice), that helps school 
leaders and school leadership teams (as defined in this notice) assess, 
and take steps to improve, individual and collective educator 
effectiveness and school culture and climate, for the purpose of 
continuous school improvement; and
    (ii) Training, systems, and practices to continuously improve 
school progress toward the goals of increasing student performance and 
closing achievement gaps (as defined in this notice).
    (d) The applicant has a high-quality plan for increasing the number 
of students who receive instruction from effective and highly effective 
teachers and principals (as defined in this notice), including in hard-
to-staff schools, subjects (such as mathematics and science), and 
specialty areas (such as special education).

D. LEA Policy and Infrastructure

    The extent to which the applicant has a high-quality plan to 
support project implementation through comprehensive policies and 
infrastructure that provide every student, educator (as defined in this 
notice), and level of the education system (classroom, school, and LEA) 
with the support and resources they need, when and where they are 
needed. The quality of the plan will be determined based on the extent 
to which--
    (1) The applicant has practices, policies, and rules that 
facilitate personalized learning by--
    (a) Organizing the LEA central office, or the consortium governance 
structure (as defined in this notice), to provide support and services 
to all participating schools (as defined in this notice);
    (b) Providing school leadership teams in participating schools (as 
defined in this notice) with sufficient flexibility and autonomy over 
factors such as school schedules and calendars, school personnel 
decisions and staffing models, roles and responsibilities for educators 
and noneducators, and school-level budgets;
    (c) Giving students the opportunity to progress and earn credit 
based on demonstrated mastery, not the amount of time spent on a topic;
    (d) Giving students the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of 
standards at multiple times and in multiple comparable ways; and
    (e) Providing learning resources and instructional practices that 
are adaptable and fully accessible to all students, including students 
with disabilities and English learners; and
    (2) The LEA and school infrastructure supports personalized 
learning by--
    (a) Ensuring that all participating students(as defined in this 
notice), parents, educators (as defined in this notice), and other 
stakeholders (as appropriate and relevant to student learning), 
regardless of income, have access to necessary content, tools, and 
other learning resources both in and out of school to support the 
implementation of the applicant's proposal;
    (b) Ensuring that students, parents, educators, and other 
stakeholders (as appropriate and relevant to student learning) have 
appropriate levels of technical support, which may be provided through 
a range of strategies (e.g., peer support, online support, or local 
support);
    (c) Using information technology systems that allow parents and 
students to export their information in an open data format (as defined 
in this notice) and to use the data in other electronic learning 
systems (e.g., electronic tutors, tools that make recommendations for 
additional learning supports, or software that securely stores personal 
records); and
    (d) Ensuring that LEAs and schools use interoperable data systems 
(as defined in this notice) (e.g., systems that include human resources 
data, student information data, budget data, and instructional 
improvement system data).

E. Continuous Improvement

    Because the applicant's high-quality plan represents the best 
thinking at a point in time, and may require adjustments and revisions 
during implementation, it is vital that the applicant have a clear and 
high-quality approach to continuously improve its plan. This will be 
determined by the extent to which the applicant has--
    (1) A strategy for implementing a rigorous continuous improvement 
process that provides timely and regular feedback on progress toward 
project goals and opportunities for ongoing corrections and 
improvements during and after the term of the grant. The strategy must 
address how the applicant will monitor, measure, and publicly share 
information on the quality of its investments funded by Race to the 
Top--District, such as investments in professional development, 
technology, and staff;
    (2) Strategies for ongoing communication and engagement with 
internal and external stakeholders; and
    (3) Ambitious yet achievable performance measures, overall and by 
subgroup, with annual targets for required and applicant-proposed 
performance measures. For each applicant-proposed measure, the 
applicant must describe--
    (a) Its rationale for selecting that measure;
    (b) How the measure will provide rigorous, timely, and formative 
leading information tailored to its proposed plan and theory of action 
regarding the applicant's implementation success or areas of concern; 
and
    (c) How it will review and improve the measure over time if it is 
insufficient to gauge implementation progress.
    The applicant must have a total of approximately 12 to 14 
performance measures.
    The chart below outlines the required and applicant-proposed 
performance measures based on an applicant's applicable population.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Applicable population                 Performance measure
------------------------------------------------------------------------
All....................................  (a) The number and percentage
                                          of participating students, by
                                          subgroup (as defined in this
                                          notice), whose teacher of
                                          record (as defined in this
                                          notice) and principal are a
                                          highly effective teacher (as
                                          defined in this notice) and a
                                          highly effective principal (as
                                          defined in this notice); and
                                         (b) The number and percentage
                                          of participating students, by
                                          subgroup (as defined in this
                                          notice), whose teacher of
                                          record (as defined in this
                                          notice) and principal are an
                                          effective teacher (as defined
                                          in this notice) and an
                                          effective principal (as
                                          defined in this notice).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 49666]]

 
PreK-3.................................  (a) Applicant must propose at
                                          least one age- appropriate
                                          measure of students' academic
                                          growth (e.g., language and
                                          literacy development or
                                          cognition and general
                                          learning, including early
                                          mathematics and early
                                          scientific development); and
                                         (b) Applicant must propose at
                                          least one age-appropriate non-
                                          cognitive indicator of growth
                                          (e.g., physical well-being and
                                          motor development, or social-
                                          emotional development).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4-8....................................  (a) The number and percentage
                                          of participating students, by
                                          subgroup, who are on track to
                                          college- and career-readiness
                                          based on the applicant's on-
                                          track indicator (as defined in
                                          this notice);
                                         (b) Applicant must propose at
                                          least one grade-appropriate
                                          academic leading indicator of
                                          successful implementation of
                                          its plan; and
                                         (c) Applicant must propose at
                                          least one grade-appropriate
                                          health or social-emotional
                                          leading indicator of
                                          successful implementation of
                                          its plan.
9-12...................................  (a) The number and percentage
                                          of participating students who
                                          complete and submit the Free
                                          Application for Federal
                                          Student Aid (FAFSA) form;
                                         (b) The number and percentage
                                          of participating students, by
                                          subgroup, who are on track to
                                          college- and career-readiness
                                          based on the applicant's on-
                                          track indicator (as defined in
                                          this notice);
                                         (c) Applicant must propose at
                                          least one measure of career-
                                          readiness in order to assess
                                          the number and percentage of
                                          participating students who are
                                          or are on track to being
                                          career-ready;
                                         (d) Applicant must propose at
                                          least one grade-appropriate
                                          academic leading indicator of
                                          successful implementation of
                                          its plan; and
                                         (e) Applicant must propose at
                                          least one grade-appropriate
                                          health or social-emotional
                                          leading indicator of
                                          successful implementation of
                                          its plan.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (4) Plans to evaluate the effectiveness of Race to the Top--
District funded activities, such as professional development and 
activities that employ technology, and to more productively use time, 
staff, money, or other resources in order to improve results, through 
such strategies as improved use of technology, working with community 
partners, compensation reform, and modification of school schedules and 
structures (e.g., service delivery, school leadership teams (as defined 
in this notice), and decision-making structures).

F. Budget and Sustainability

    The extent to which--
    (1) The applicant's budget, including the budget narrative and 
tables--
    (a) Identifies all funds that will support the project (e.g., Race 
to the Top--District grant; external foundation support; LEA, State, 
and other Federal funds); and
    (b) Is reasonable and sufficient to support the development and 
implementation of the applicant's proposal; and
    (c) Clearly provides a thoughtful rationale for investments and 
priorities, including--
    (i) A description of all of the funds (e.g., Race to the Top--
District grant; external foundation support; LEA, State, and other 
Federal funds) that the applicant will use to support the 
implementation of the proposal, including total revenue from these 
sources; and
    (ii) Identification of the funds that will be used for one-time 
investments versus those that will be used for ongoing operational 
costs that will be incurred during and after the grant period, as 
described in the proposed budget and budget narrative, with a focus on 
strategies that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the 
personalized learning environments; and
    (2) The applicant has a high-quality plan for sustainability of the 
project's goals after the term of the grant. The plan should include 
support from State and local government leaders and financial support. 
Such a plan may include a budget for the three years after the term of 
the grant that includes budget assumptions, potential sources, and uses 
of funds.

G. Optional Budget Supplement

    An eligible applicant may apply for additional funding (beyond the 
applicable maximum level provided) up to a maximum of $2 million for 
each optional budget supplement to address a specific area that is 
supplemental to the plan for addressing Absolute Priority 1. The 
request for additional funding must be designed as a separate project 
that, if not funded, will not adversely affect the applicant's ability 
to implement its proposal and meet Absolute Priority 1.
    Applications for this funding will be judged on the extent to which 
the applicant has a clear, discrete, and innovative solution that can 
be replicated in schools across the Nation. In determining the extent 
to which the request for an optional budget supplement meets this 
standard, the Department will consider--
    (1) The rationale for the specific area or population that the 
applicant will address (e.g., strategies to assess hard to measure 
skills and traits such as perseverance, critical thinking, and 
communication; strategies for increasing diversity across schools and 
LEAs and within schools and classrooms; data systems; predictive 
algorithms; content-tagging schemes; new curriculum and online supports 
for students re-entering school from the juvenile justice system; or a 
credit recovery program design to support English learners newly 
entering into secondary school and the quality and feasibility of the 
proposal for addressing that area);
    (2) A high-quality plan for how the applicant would carry out 
activities that would be co-developed and implemented across two or 
more LEAs (either participating in the full Race to the Top--District 
application, or not participating in the full Race to the Top--District 
application); and
    (3) The proposed budget (up to $2 million) for each budget 
supplement, and the extent to which the proposed budget will be 
adequate to support the development and implementation of activities 
that meet the requirements of this notice, including the reasonableness 
of the costs in relation to the objectives, design, and significance of 
the proposed project activities and the number of students to be 
served.
    Note, an optional budget supplement may include a proposal to 
utilize, across two or more districts, robust measures of student 
status and growth that assess hard to measure skills and traits such as 
goal-setting, teamwork, perseverance, critical thinking, communication,

[[Page 49667]]

creativity, and problem-solving across multiple academic domains and 
enable evaluation of group and individual learning experiences. The 
Department believes that utilizing these measures will contribute to 
the continuous improvement of personalized learning experiences and the 
tools and resources that support their implementation.
    Peer reviewers will use the scoring rubric that can be found in 
Appendix A of this notice when scoring the selection criteria.
    2. Review and Selection Process: In selecting grantees, the 
Secretary may consider high-ranking applications meeting Absolute 
Priorities 2 through 5 separately to ensure that there is a diversity 
of winning LEA applications from within States that have and have not 
previously received awards under Race to the Top, and from both non-
rural and rural LEAs (as defined in this notice).
    We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in 
any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 
34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying 
out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement 
of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The 
Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a 
timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable 
quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
also requires various assurances including those applicable to Federal 
civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or 
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is 
not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; 
has a financial or other management system that does not meet the 
standards in 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN). We also may notify you informally.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we will 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: Each grantee receiving Race to the Top--District 
funds must submit to the Department an annual report that must include 
a description of its progress to date on its goals, timelines, 
activities, deliverables, and budgets, and a comparison of actual 
performance to the annual targets the grantee established in its 
application for each performance measure. Further, a grantee receiving 
funds under this program is accountable for meeting the goals, 
timelines, activities, deliverables, budget, and annual targets 
established in the application; adhering to an annual fund drawdown 
schedule that is tied to meeting these goals, timelines, activities, 
deliverables, budget, and annual targets; and fulfilling and 
maintaining all other conditions for the conduct of the project. The 
Department will monitor a grantee's progress in meeting its goals, 
timelines, activities, deliverables, budget, and annual targets and in 
fulfilling other applicable requirements. In addition, the Department 
may collect additional data as part of a grantee's annual reporting 
requirements.
    To support a collaborative process between the grantee and the 
Department, the Department may require that applicants that are 
selected to receive an award enter into a written performance agreement 
or cooperative agreement with, or complete a scope of work to be 
approved by, the Department. If the Department determines that a 
grantee is not meeting its goals, timelines, activities, deliverables, 
budget, or annual targets or is not fulfilling other applicable 
requirements, the Department will take appropriate action, which could 
include a collaborative process between the Department and the grantee, 
or enforcement measures with respect to this grant, such as placing the 
grantee in high-risk status, putting it on reimbursement payment 
status, or delaying or withholding funds.
    An LEA that receives a Race to the Top--District grant must also 
meet the reporting requirements for the Federal Funding Accountability 
and Transparency Act (FFATA) for subaward and executive compensation 
data. Grantees, referred to as ``prime awardees,'' must report using 
the FFATA Subaward Reporting System (FSRS), and must, therefore, 
register in FSRS. More specific information regarding the FFATA 
reporting requirements will be provided after the grants are awarded.
    4. Continuation Awards: The Department may provide full funding for 
the entire project period to successful applicants from the FY 2012 
funds currently available or may provide funding for an initial budget 
period from the FY 2012 funds. Depending upon the amount of funding 
provided in the initial awards and the availability of funds, the 
Department may make continuation awards for subsequent fiscal years in 
accordance with 34 CFR 75.253. In making such continuation awards, 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: Meredith Farace, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., room 7e280, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: (202) 453-6800 or by email: racetothetop.district@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

[[Page 49668]]

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: August 10, 2012.
Arne Duncan,
Secretary of Education.
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
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[FR Doc. 2012-20037 Filed 8-15-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-C