[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 108 (Tuesday, June 5, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26041-26048]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-12068]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Expanding Opportunity Through 
Quality Charter Schools Program (CSP)--National Dissemination Grants

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting 
applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for CSP-- National Dissemination 
Grants, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.282T.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: June 5, 2018.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: Thursday, June 7, 2018, 1:00 p.m., 
Washington, DC time.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 9, 2018.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 4, 2018.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and available at 
www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Hans Neseth, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W224, Washington, DC 20202-
5970. Telephone: (202) 401-4125. Email: [email protected].
    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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The major purposes of the CSP are to expand 
opportunities for all students, particularly traditionally underserved 
students, to attend public charter schools (as defined in this notice) 
and meet challenging State academic standards; provide financial 
assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation 
of charter schools; increase the number of high-quality charter schools 
(as defined in this notice) available to students across the United 
States; evaluate the impact of charter schools on student achievement, 
families, and communities; share best practices between charter schools 
and other public schools; encourage States to provide facilities 
support to charter schools; and support efforts to strengthen the 
charter school authorizing process. Through CSP National Dissemination 
Grants (CFDA number 84.282T), the Department provides funds on a 
competitive basis to support efforts by eligible entities to support 
the charter school sector and increase the number of high-quality 
charter schools available to our Nation's students by disseminating 
best practices regarding charter schools.
    Background: This notice invites applications from eligible 
applicants to disseminate best practices regarding charter schools 
consistent with the authority in section 4305(a)(3)(B) of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education of 1965, as amended by the Every 
Student Succeeds Act (ESEA). This notice contains a priority, 
definitions, and selection criteria from the ESEA and Department 
regulations, as well as priorities and application requirements that we 
are establishing in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General 
Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
    The priorities included in this notice are consistent with the 
statutory purposes of the CSP and are intended to ensure that projects 
funded under CSP National Dissemination Grants address key national 
policy issues.
    Specifically, the priorities require eligible applicants to propose 
to disseminate best practices for strengthening charter school 
authorizing and oversight or for improving charter school access to 
facilities and facility financing, and target funds on projects 
designed to help increase educational choice (as defined in this 
notice) for students with disabilities (as defined in this notice), 
English learners (as defined in this notice), and other traditionally 
underserved student groups. We encourage applicants to propose projects 
that enhance collaboration among charter schools, traditional public 
schools, and other stakeholders.
    Priorities: This notice includes two absolute priorities and two 
competitive preference priorities--one that is within Absolute Priority 
1 and one that applies to both Absolute Priority 1 and Absolute 
Priority 2. We are establishing the two absolute priorities and the 
competitive preference priority within Absolute Priority 1 for the FY 
2018 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards 
from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, in 
accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). The 
competitive preference priority applicable to both Absolute Priority 1 
and Absolute Priority 2 is from the Department's notice of final 
supplemental priorities and definitions for discretionary grant 
programs, published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 
9096) (Supplemental Priorities).
    Absolute Priorities: These priorities are absolute priorities. 
Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet one 
of these priorities. An application must clearly identify the specific 
absolute priority that the proposed project addresses. An application 
must address either Absolute Priority 1 or Absolute Priority 2, but not 
both, in order to be considered for funding.
    These priorities are:

Absolute Priority 1--Strengthening Charter School Authorizing and 
Oversight

Background

    One of the primary statutory purposes of the CSP is to support 
efforts to strengthen the charter school authorizing process to improve 
performance management, including transparency, oversight and 
monitoring (including financial audits) and evaluation of charter 
schools. In addition, the CSP State Entities program has a strong focus 
on authorizing, including a requirement that grantees

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reserve a portion of funds to provide technical assistance to charter 
school authorizers and developers (as defined in this notice) and work 
with authorizers to improve authorizing quality. This priority supports 
that emphasis by prioritizing projects that propose to develop, 
identify, or expand, and disseminate information on, best practices in 
authorizing and the oversight of charter schools by public chartering 
agencies.
    Authorizers are responsible for conducting rigorous application 
reviews to ensure new charter schools can be of high quality and for 
establishing clear and consistent policies to hold schools accountable 
for meeting their academic, financial, and operational performance 
goals and for complying with all applicable laws, including civil 
rights laws requiring equal access. Through this priority, the 
Department expects the implementation of strong authorizing practices 
will spread and improve the quality of the charter school sector.
    Through a competitive preference priority for applications that 
address this absolute priority, we encourage applicants to focus their 
efforts on authorized public chartering agencies or States in which 
there is a need to build capacity in the authorizing process, including 
States that have recently enacted charter school laws, authorized 
public chartering agencies with relatively small portfolios of schools, 
and authorized public chartering agencies whose chartered school or 
schools are failing to meet performance or compliance requirements.

Priority

    Projects that are designed to develop, identify, or expand, and 
disseminate information on, best practices in authorizing and the 
oversight of charter schools by public chartering agencies, including 
in one or more of the following areas:
    (i) Conducting charter school application reviews;
    (ii) Establishing governance standards and practices for charter 
schools;
    (iii) Promoting and monitoring the compliance of charter schools 
and authorized public chartering agencies (as defined in this notice) 
with Federal, State, or local, academic, financial, operational 
(including school safety), or other applicable requirements;
    (iv) Evaluating the performance of charter schools or authorized 
public chartering agencies;
    (v) Facilitating the replication and expansion of high-quality 
charter schools;
    (vi) Improving the academic, financial, or operational performance 
of charter schools; or
    (vii) Closing persistently underperforming charter schools.
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to disseminate 
best-practices information widely in more than one State with a charter 
school law.
    Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to 
applications that address the following priority.
    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 
from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 
five points to an application, depending on how well the application 
meets this priority.
    In order to receive points under this priority, an applicant must 
identify its response to the priority in the project narrative section 
of its application and provide documentation supporting its response. 
If the applicant fails to clearly identify its response to the 
priority, the Department will not award points under the competitive 
preference priority.
    This priority is:
    Building Capacity in the Authorizing Process for Educational 
Agencies with the Most Need (Up to 5 points).
    Projects that propose to target one or more of the following: 
States that have enacted laws in the last five years allowing charter 
schools to open; authorized public chartering agencies (as defined in 
this notice) with fewer than ten charter schools; and authorized public 
chartering agencies that authorize a significant number of charter 
schools experiencing significant low performance or non-compliance with 
academic, financial, governance, or operational (including school 
safety) requirements.

Absolute Priority 2--Improving Charter School Access to Facilities and 
Facility Financing

Background

    Limited access to adequate facilities and to funding for 
facilities, including per-pupil facilities aid, remains a significant 
issue impacting growth in the number of charter schools available to 
our Nation's students. To help address this issue, this priority 
supports projects that develop, identify, or expand, and disseminate 
information on, best practices in supporting charter schools in 
accessing and financing facilities.

Priority

    Projects that are designed to develop, identify, or expand, and 
disseminate information on, best practices in supporting charter 
schools in accessing and financing facilities, including in one or more 
of the following areas:
    (i) Access to public and private (including philanthropic) funding 
for facilities;
    (ii) Access to public facilities, including the right of first 
refusal;
    (iii) Access to per-pupil facilities aid to charter schools to 
provide the schools with funding that is dedicated solely to charter 
school facilities;
    (iv) Access to credit enhancements and other subsidies;
    (v) Access to bonds or mill levies by charter schools, or by other 
public entities for the benefit of charter schools;
    (vi) Access to interest in a facility by purchase, lease, donation, 
or otherwise, including an interest held by a third party, for the 
benefit of a charter school; or
    (vii) Planning for facility acquisition by charter schools, 
including comprehensive analysis of facility needs.
    To meet this priority, an applicant must propose to disseminate 
best-practices information widely in more than one State with a charter 
school law.
    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 
from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 
five points to an application, depending on how well the application 
meets this priority.
    In order to receive points under this priority, an applicant must 
identify its response to the priority in the project narrative section 
of its application and provide documentation supporting its response. 
If the applicant fails to clearly identify its response to the 
priority, the Department will not award points under the competitive 
preference priority.
    This priority is:
    Competitive Preference Priority--Empowering Families and 
Individuals To Choose a High-Quality Education That Meets Their Unique 
Needs (Up to 5 points).

Background

    One of the statutory purposes of the CSP is to expand opportunities 
for children with disabilities (as defined in this notice), English 
learners, and other traditionally underserved students to

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attend charter schools and meet challenging State academic standards. 
This priority is intended to target funding on projects that help 
provide educational choice to these underserved student groups, which 
include students who are Indians and students served by rural local 
educational agencies (as defined in this notice).
    An applicant addressing this priority is invited to discuss how its 
proposed project is designed to increase access to educational choice 
for one or more of these groups. An applicant might address this 
priority, for instance, through its plan to develop, identify, or 
expand best practices related to serving students in one or more of 
these underserved groups, through disseminating best practices in areas 
with high concentrations of one or more of these student groups, or by 
targeting its project work in areas in which students in one or more of 
the student groups are at risk of educational failure or otherwise in 
need of special assistance or support.
    Priority:
    Projects that are designed to address increasing access to 
educational choice for one or more of the following groups of children 
or students:
    (i) Children or students with disabilities.
    (ii) English learners.
    (iii) Students who are Indians, as defined in section 6151 of the 
ESEA.
    (iv) Children or students in communities served by rural local 
educational agencies.

Definitions

    The following definitions, as indicated in a parenthetical 
following the definitions, are from 34 CFR 75.225 and 77.1, the ESEA, 
and the Supplemental Priorities.
    Ambitious means promoting continued, meaningful improvement for 
program participants or for other individuals or entities affected by 
the grant, or representing a significant advancement in the field of 
education research, practices, or methodologies. When used to describe 
a performance target (as defined in this notice), whether a performance 
target is ambitious depends upon the context of the relevant 
performance measure (as defined in this notice) and the baseline (as 
defined in this notice) for that measure. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Authorized public chartering agency means a State educational 
agency (SEA), local educational agency (LEA), or other public entity 
that has the authority pursuant to State law and approved by the 
Secretary to authorize or approve a charter school. (ESEA section 
4310(1))
    Baseline means the starting point from which performance is 
measured and targets are set. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Charter school means a public school that--
    (a) In accordance with a specific State statute authorizing the 
granting of charters to schools, is exempt from significant State or 
local rules that inhibit the flexible operation and management of 
public schools, but not from any rules relating to the other 
requirements of this definition;
    (b) Is created by a developer as a public school, or is adapted by 
a developer from an existing public school, and is operated under 
public supervision and direction;
    (c) Operates in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives 
determined by the school's developer and agreed to by the authorized 
public chartering agency;
    (d) Provides a program of elementary or secondary education, or 
both;
    (e) Is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, 
employment practices, and all other operations, and is not affiliated 
with a sectarian school or religious institution;
    (f) Does not charge tuition;
    (g) Complies with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, title VI of 
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, title IX of the Education Amendments of 
1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), section 444 of GEPA 
(20 U.S.C. 1232g) (commonly referred to as the ``Family Educational 
Rights and Privacy Act of 1974''), and part B of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
    (h) Is a school to which parents choose to send their children, and 
that--
    (1) Admits students on the basis of a lottery, consistent with 
section 4303(c)(3)(A) of the ESEA, if more students apply for admission 
than can be accommodated; or
    (2) In the case of a school that has an affiliated charter school 
(such as a school that is part of the same network of schools), 
automatically enrolls students who are enrolled in the immediate prior 
grade level of the affiliated charter school and, for any additional 
student openings or student openings created through regular attrition 
in student enrollment in the affiliated charter school and the 
enrolling school, admits students on the basis of a lottery as 
described in paragraph (1);
    (i) Agrees to comply with the same Federal and State audit 
requirements as do other elementary schools and secondary schools in 
the State, unless such State audit requirements are waived by the 
State;
    (j) Meets all applicable Federal, State, and local health and 
safety requirements;
    (k) Operates in accordance with State law;
    (l) Has a written performance contract with the authorized public 
chartering agency in the State that includes a description of how 
student performance will be measured in charter schools pursuant to 
State assessments that are required of other schools and pursuant to 
any other assessments mutually agreeable to the authorized public 
chartering agency and the charter school; and
    (m) May serve students in early childhood educational programs or 
postsecondary students. (ESEA section 4310(2))
    Charter school support organization means a nonprofit, 
nongovernmental entity that is not an authorized public chartering 
agency and provides, on a statewide basis--
    (a) Assistance to developers during the planning, program design, 
and initial implementation of a charter school; and
    (b) Technical assistance to operating charter schools. (ESEA 
section 4310(4))
    Children or students with disabilities means children with 
disabilities as defined in IDEA or individuals defined as having a 
disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 
504) (or children or students who are eligible under both laws). 
(Supplemental Priorities)
    Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component (as defined 
in this notice) included in the project's logic model (as defined in 
this notice) is informed by research or evaluation findings that 
suggest the project component is likely to improve relevant outcomes 
(as defined in this notice). (34 CFR 77.1)
    Developer means an individual or group of individuals (including a 
public or private nonprofit organization), which may include teachers, 
administrators and other school staff, parents, or other members of the 
local community in which a charter school project will be carried out. 
(ESEA section 4310(5))
    Early childhood education program means (A) a Head Start program or 
an Early Head Start program carried out under the Head Start Act (42 
U.S.C. 9831 et seq.), including a migrant or seasonal Head Start 
program, an Indian Head Start program, or a Head Start program or an 
Early Head Start program that also receives State funding; (B) a State 
licensed or regulated child care

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program; or (C) a program that (i) serves children from birth through 
age six that addresses the children's cognitive (including language, 
early literacy, and early mathematics), social, emotional, and physical 
development; and (ii) is (I) a State prekindergarten program; (II) a 
program authorized under section 619 or part C of the IDEA; or (III) a 
program operated by an LEA. (ESEA section 8101(16))
    Educational choice means the opportunity for a child or student (or 
a family member on their behalf) to create a high-quality personalized 
path for learning that is consistent with applicable Federal, State, 
and local laws; is in an educational setting that best meets the 
child's or student's needs; and, where possible, incorporates evidence-
based activities, strategies, or interventions. Opportunities made 
available to a student through a grant program are those that 
supplement what is provided by a child's or student's geographically 
assigned school or the institution in which he or she is currently 
enrolled and may include: Public educational programs or courses 
including those offered by traditional public schools, public charter 
schools, public magnet schools, public online education providers, or 
other public education providers. (Supplemental Priorities)
    English learners means individuals who are English learners as 
defined in section 8101(20) of the ESEA, or individuals who are English 
language learners as defined in section 203(7) of the Workforce 
Innovation and Opportunity Act. (Supplemental Priorities)
    High-quality charter school means a charter school that--
    (a) Shows evidence of strong academic results, which may include 
strong student academic growth, as determined by a State;
    (b) Has no significant issues in the areas of student safety, 
financial and operational management, or statutory or regulatory 
compliance;
    (c) Has demonstrated success in significantly increasing student 
academic achievement, including graduation rates where applicable, for 
all students served by the charter school; and
    (d) Has demonstrated success in increasing student academic 
achievement, including graduation rates where applicable, for each of 
the subgroups of students, as defined in section 1111(c)(2) of the 
ESEA, except that such demonstration is not required in a case in which 
the number of students in a group is insufficient to yield 
statistically reliable information or the results would reveal 
personally identifiable information about an individual student. (ESEA 
section 4310(8))
    Indian means an individual who is--
    (a) A member of an Indian Tribe or band, as membership is defined 
by the Tribe or band, including--
    (i) Any Tribe or band terminated since 1940; and
    (ii) Any Tribe or band recognized by the State in which the Tribe 
or band resides;
    (b) A descendant, in the first or second degree, of an individual 
described in subparagraph (a);
    (c) Considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for 
any purpose;
    (d) An Eskimo, Aleut, or other Alaska Native; or
    (e) A member of an organized Indian group that received a grant 
under the Indian Education Act of 1988 as in effect the day preceding 
the date of enactment of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994. 
(ESEA section 6151)
    Logic model (also referred to as theory of action) means a 
framework that identifies key project components of the proposed 
project (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are hypothesized to be 
critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the 
theoretical and operational relationships among the key project 
components and relevant outcomes. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Performance measure means any quantitative indicator, statistic, or 
metric used to gauge program or project performance. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Performance target means a level of performance that an applicant 
would seek to meet during the course of a project or as a result of a 
project. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Project component means an activity, strategy, intervention, 
process, product, practice, or policy included in a project. Evidence 
may pertain to an individual project component or to a combination of 
project components (e.g., training teachers on instructional practices 
for English learners and follow-on coaching for these teachers). (34 
CFR 77.1)
    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcome(s) 
the key project component is designed to improve, consistent with the 
specific goals of the program. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Rural local educational agency means an LEA that is eligible under 
the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program or the Rural and Low-
Income School (RLIS) program authorized under Title V, 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 website at www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html. 
(Supplemental Priorities)
    Application Requirements: Applications for CSP National 
Dissemination Grants funds must address the following application 
requirements, which we establish for FY 2018 and any subsequent year in 
which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 
1232(d)(1). An applicant may choose to respond to these requirements in 
the context of its responses to the selection criteria in section V.1 
of this notice.
    (a) Provide a project plan, which includes a logic model, that 
describes the purpose of the project based on the absolute priority 
(e.g., ``to strengthen charter school authorizing''); includes clearly 
specified, measurable project objectives that are aligned with the 
project purpose; and includes the specific strategies and initiatives 
that will be implemented to accomplish project objectives. For each 
project objective, the project plan must include--
    (i) Inputs and Resources: Identification of the specific costs that 
will be allocated to the proposed project. These costs must represent 
the inputs and resources (e.g., personnel, contracted services, 
supplies, and equipment) that are necessary to generate and support 
grant project activities, and are necessary to produce project outputs. 
Applicants must ensure that the total project costs, as identified in 
this section, are consistent with the budget form 524 B and response to 
selection criterion (c);
    (ii) Project Activities: Identification of the specific activities 
proposed to be funded under the grant; the estimated cost of those 
activities under the grant project; and how these activities are linked 
to the target grant project outputs and outcomes;
    (iii) Project Outputs: Identification of the specific project 
deliverables, work products, and other outputs of the proposed project, 
including the cost of those outputs. Examples of outputs include--
    (1) Best practice publications and products;
    (2) Evaluation reports; and
    (3) Presentation of a session at a conference delivering best 
practices for stakeholders.
    (iv) Project Outcomes: Identification of the anticipated project 
outcomes or effects as a result of the proposed project.
    (b) Provide a management plan that describes clearly defined

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responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for executing the project 
and achieving project outcomes.
    (c) Provide a dissemination plan that includes the number and 
description of States, charter schools, or authorized public chartering 
agencies to which best-practices information will be disseminated, as 
well as a description of the mechanisms the applicant will use to 
disseminate information on its proposed projects.
    (d) Provide an evaluation plan that includes performance measures 
that are aligned to the project purpose, project objectives, and 
project outcomes as well as to the intended outcomes of the proposed 
project.
    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, selection criteria, 
definitions, and requirements. 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 under section 4305(a)(3) of the ESEA, and, therefore, this 
competition qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely 
grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment on the 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria in this 
notice in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. These priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria will apply to grants 
awarded under this competition in FY 2018 and any subsequent year in 
which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition.
    Program Authority: Section 4305(a)(3)(B) of the ESEA, 20 U.S.C. 
7221d.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to 
Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 
2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department 
in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The Supplemental 
Priorities.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $4,500,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2019 from the list of 
unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $500,000-$800,000 per year.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $650,000 per year.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 5-9.

     Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice. The estimated range and average size of awards are based on 
a single 12-month budget period. We may use FY 2018 funds to support 
multiple 12-month budget periods for one or more grantees.

    Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: We are establishing the eligible entities 
for this competition in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 
U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). Eligible applicants include: SEAs; State charter 
school boards; State Governors; charter school support organizations 
(as defined in this notice); authorized public chartering agencies; and 
public and private nonprofit organizations that operate, manage, or 
support charter schools.
    Eligible applicants may apply as a partnership or consortium and, 
if so applying, must comply with the requirements for group 
applications set forth in 34 CFR 75.127-129.
    Public and private nonprofit organizations that operate, manage, or 
support charter schools must apply in partnership with one or more 
SEAs, State charter school boards, State Governors, charter school 
support organizations, or authorized public chartering agencies.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This competition does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Subgrants: A grantee under this competition may not award 
subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities 
described in its application.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to 
submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for 
Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, 
published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003) and 
available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.
    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for the National 
Dissemination Grants competition, your application may include business 
information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define 
``business information'' and describe the process we use in determining 
whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected 
from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 
U.S.C. 552, as amended).
    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the 
public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business 
information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your 
application, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' please list the page 
number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional 
information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about 
Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 
12372 is in the application package for this competition.
    4. Funding Restrictions: Grant funds may be used only for 
activities that are related to the development, identification, 
expansion, and dissemination of information on best practices regarding 
the absolute priority to which the applicant is responding and that are 
included in the grantee's approved application. Grantees are expected 
to identify the specific costs associated with each included activity.
    Grantees may not use grant funds to conduct charter school 
authorizing activities, or to open new charter schools.
    Grantees may not use grant funds to acquire or finance the 
acquisition of a charter school facility, including through credit 
enhancement, direct lending, or subgrants.
    Grantees may not use grant funds for general organizational 
operating support beyond the costs associated with this grant project.
    In accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1), 
we establish that no more than 5 percent of grant funds may be used for 
direct administration of the grant project.
    Costs for Evaluation: In accordance with 34 CFR 75.590, CSP 
National Dissemination Grants funds may be used to cover post-award 
costs associated with an evaluation described

[[Page 26046]]

in response to Selection Criterion (e) of this notice, provided that 
such costs are reasonable and necessary to meet the objectives of the 
approved project.
    We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions 
in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.
    5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of 
the application) is where you, the applicant, address the priorities, 
selection criteria, and application requirements that reviewers use to 
evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the 
application narrative to no more than 60 pages and (2) use the 
following standards:
     A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
     Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, 
footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
     Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover 
sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-
page abstract, the resumes, the bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the 
application narrative.
    6. Pre-Application Webinar: The Department will hold a pre-
application meeting via webinar for prospective applicants on Thursday, 
June 7, at 1:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. Individuals interested in 
attending this meeting are encouraged to pre-register by emailing their 
name, organization, and contact information with the subject heading 
``PRE-APPLICATION MEETING'' to [email protected]. There is no 
registration fee for attending this meeting.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum possible score for addressing all 
of the criteria in this section is 100 points. The maximum possible 
score for addressing each criterion is indicated in parentheses 
following the criterion.
    In evaluating an application, the Secretary considers the following 
criteria:
    (a) Significance of the proposed project (35 points). The Secretary 
considers the significance of the proposed project. In determining the 
significance of the proposed project, the Secretary considers the 
following factors:
    (1) The potential for generalizing from the findings or results of 
the proposed project;
    (2) The extent to which the results of the proposed project are to 
be disseminated in ways that will enable others to use the information 
or strategies;
    (3) The likelihood that the proposed project will result in system 
change or improvement; and
    (4) The extent to which the proposed project is likely to build 
local capacity to provide, improve, or expand services that address the 
needs of the target population.
    (b) Quality of the project design (30 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed 
project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project demonstrates a 
rationale (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c));
    (2) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable;
    (3) The extent to which the proposed project represents an 
exceptional approach to the priority or priorities established for the 
competition; and
    (4) The mechanisms the applicant will use to broadly disseminate 
information on its project so as to support further development or 
replication.
    (c) Quality of the management plan and adequacy of resources (15 
points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
adequacy of resources for the proposed project. In determining the 
quality of the management plan and adequacy of resources for the 
proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks;
    (2) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project; 
and
    (3) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.
    (d) Quality of the project personnel (10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry 
out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project 
personnel, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the applicant encourages applications for 
employment from persons who are members of groups that have 
traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability;
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of the project director or principal investigator; and
    (3) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel.
    (e) Quality of the project evaluation (10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the 
evaluation, the Secretary considers the extent to which the methods of 
evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are 
clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will 
produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.
    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants 
that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, 
the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past 
performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as 
the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and 
compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider 
whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or 
submitted a report of unacceptable quality.
    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary 
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 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by

[[Page 26047]]

applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific 
conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk 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 2 CFR part 200, 
subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is 
otherwise not responsible.
    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$150,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about 
your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under 
Federal awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before 
we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about 
you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred 
to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.
    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal 
funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your 
U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award 
Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, 
also.
    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, 
we notify you.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify 
administrative and national policy requirements in the application 
package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable 
Regulations section of this notice.
    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of 
an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and 
include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also 
incorporates your approved application as part of your binding 
commitments under the grant.
    3. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee under this competition must have a plan to 
disseminate these public grant deliverables. For additional information 
on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20(c).
    4. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, 
you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and 
systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 
should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply 
if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).
    (b) All grantees must provide to the Department their most recent 
available independent audits of their organization's financial 
statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting 
principles, and all grantees must continue to provide available 
independent, annual audits of their financial statements prepared in 
accordance with generally accepted accounting principles each year of 
the grant. (GEPA exemption)
    (c) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    (d) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee 
with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In 
this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.
    5. Performance Measures:
    Project-Specific Performance Measures. Applicants must propose 
project-specific performance measures and performance targets 
consistent with the objectives of the proposed project and the project 
outcomes identified in the logic model. The project-specific 
performance measures should be sufficient to gauge progress throughout 
the grant period, at least on an annual basis, and to show results by 
the end of the grant period. Applicants must provide the following 
information as directed under 34 CFR 75.110(b) and (c):
    (1) Performance measures. How each proposed performance measure 
would accurately measure the performance of the project and how the 
proposed performance measure would be consistent with the performance 
measures established for the program funding the competition.
    (2) Baseline data. (i) Why each proposed baseline is valid; or (ii) 
If the applicant has determined that there are no established baseline 
data for a particular performance measure, an explanation of why there 
is no established baseline and of how and when, during the project 
period, the applicant would establish a valid baseline for the 
performance measure.
    (3) Performance targets. Why each proposed performance target is 
ambitious (as defined in this notice) yet achievable compared to the 
baseline for the performance measure and when, during the project 
period, the applicant would meet the performance target(s).
    (4) Data collection and reporting. (i) The data collection and 
reporting methods the applicant would use and why those methods are 
likely to yield reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data; and 
(ii) The applicant's capacity to collect and report reliable, valid, 
and meaningful performance data, as evidenced by high-quality data 
collection, analysis, and reporting in other projects or research.
    All grantees must submit an annual performance report with 
information that is responsive to these performance measures.
    For technical assistance in developing effective performance 
measures, applicants are encouraged to review information provided by 
the Department's Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs). The RELs 
seek to build the capacity of States and school districts to 
incorporate data and research into education decision-making. Each REL 
provides research support and technical assistance to its region but 
makes learning opportunities available to educators everywhere. For 
example, the REL Northeast and Islands has created the following 
resource on

[[Page 26048]]

logic models: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/pdf/REL_2015057.pdf.
    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 
75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee 
has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of 
the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is 
consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the 
Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the 
performance targets in the grantee's approved application.
    In making a continuation award, 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).
    7. Project Director's Meeting: Applicants approved for funding 
under this competition must attend a two-day meeting for project 
directors at a location to be determined in the continental United 
States during each year of the project. Applicants may include the cost 
of attending this meeting in their proposed budgets.

VII. 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.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations 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 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: May 31, 2018.
Margo Anderson,
Acting Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2018-12068 Filed 6-4-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P