[Federal Register: March 20, 1997 (Volume 62, Number 54)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13469-13487]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr20mr97-153]

[[Page 13469]]
_______________________________________________________________________

Part III

Department of Education
_______________________________________________________________________

Star Schools Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for 
Fiscal Years 1997 and 1998


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

[CFDA Nos.: 84.203A and C]

 
Star Schools Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards 
for Fiscal Years 1997 and 1998

    Note to Applicants: This notice is a complete application package. 
Together with the statute authorizing the program and the Education 
Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), this notice 
contains all of the information, application forms, and instructions 
needed to apply for a grant under the Star Schools Program 
competitions.
    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to encourage 
improved instruction in mathematics, science, foreign languages, and 
other subjects, such as literacy skills and vocational education, and 
to serve underserved populations, including the disadvantaged, 
illiterate, limited-English proficient, and individuals with 
disabilities through the use of distance learning technologies. Under 
this competition, the Secretary intends to support two separate grant 
competitions: General Projects and a Dissemination Project. General 
Projects are designed to, among other things:
    (1) Develop, construct, acquire, maintain and operate 
telecommunications audio and visual facilities and equipment;
    (2) Develop and acquire live interactive educational and 
instructional programming; and
    (3) Obtain technical assistance for the use of such facilities and 
instructional programming.
    The Dissemination Project is designed to provide dissemination and 
technical assistance to State and local educational agencies to assist 
them to plan and implement technology-based distance learning systems.

Eligible Applicants--General Projects

    Only eligible entities, if at least one local educational agency is 
participating in the proposed project, may receive grants under the 
General Projects Competition. Eligible telecommunications partnerships 
must be organized on a statewide or multistate basis. Eligible entities 
include:
    (a) A public agency or corporation established for the purpose of 
developing and operating telecommunications networks to enhance 
educational opportunities provided by educational institutions, teacher 
training centers, and other entities, except that any such agency or 
corporation represents the interests of elementary and secondary 
schools that are eligible to participate in the program under part A of 
title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended by P.L. 103-352 (ESEA); or
    (b) A partnership that will provide telecommunications services and 
which includes three or more of the following entities, at least one of 
which shall be an agency described in (1) or (2):
    (1) A local educational agency that serves a significant number of 
elementary and secondary schools that are eligible for assistance under 
part A of title I of the ESEA or elementary and secondary schools 
operated or funded for Indian children by the Department of the 
Interior eligible under section 1121(c) of the ESEA;
    (2) A State educational agency;
    (3) Adult and family education programs;
    (4) An institution of higher education or a State higher education 
agency;
    (5) A teacher training center or academy which--
    (i) Provides teacher preservice and inservice training; and
    (ii) Receives Federal financial assistance or has been approved by 
a State agency;
    (6)(i) A public or private entity with experience and expertise in 
the planning and operation of a telecommunications network, including 
entities involved in telecommunications through satellite, cable, 
telephone, or computer; or
    (ii) A public broadcasting entity with such experience; or
    (7) A public or private elementary or secondary school.

Eligible Applicants--Dissemination Projects

    The statute places no restrictions on what parties are eligible to 
apply for Dissemination Projects under the Star Schools Program.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 9, 1997.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 23, 1997.
    Available Funds: $15,000,000.
    Estimated Size of Awards:
    $2,000,000 (General Projects).
    $500,000 (Dissemination Project).
    Estimated Number of Awards:
    7 (General projects).
    1 (Dissemination project).
    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

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

    Supplementary Information: It is the Department's intent to fund 
two cycles of General Projects awards from this competition. The first 
cycle of awards will be made from fiscal year 1997 funds. If General 
Projects applications of high quality remain unfunded, additional 
awards will be made in the second cycle in 1998, pending availability 
of fiscal year 1998 funds. This section does not apply to the 
Dissemination Project competition.

Applicable Regulations

    The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) 
in 34 CFR Parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, and 86.

Description of Program

    The Star Schools program is authorized by the ESEA, Title III, Part 
B (20 U.S.C. 6891-6900). Section 3204 of the ESEA authorizes the 
Secretary to award General Projects grants, on a competitive basis, to 
eligible entities to carry out the following:
    (1) The development, construction, acquisition, maintenance and 
operation of telecommunications facilities and equipment;
    (2) The development and acquisition of live, interactive 
instructional programming;
    (3) The development and acquisition of preservice and inservice 
teacher training programs based on established research regarding 
teacher-to-teacher mentoring, effective skill transfer, and ongoing, 
in-class instruction;
    (4) The establishment of teleconferencing facilities and resources 
for making interactive training available to teachers;
    (5) Obtaining technical assistance; and
    (6) The coordination of the design and connectivity of 
telecommunications networks to reach the greatest number of schools.
    The Star Schools program supports Goals 2000, the President's 
strategy for moving the Nation toward the National Education Goals. 
Furthermore, the Star Schools program addresses the President's 
technology initiative to help students achieve high content standards.
    The Star Schools program is also authorized, by section 3207(c) of 
the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 6897(c)), to support activities that disseminate 
information, including lists and descriptions of services available 
from grant recipients under this program and carry out other activities 
designed to enhance the quality of long distance learning.

Geographic Distribution

    In determining which applications under the General Projects 
competition are to be funded, the Secretary shall, to the extent 
feasible, ensure an equitable geographic distribution of services.

[[Page 13471]]

Definitions

    The following definitions apply to the terms used in this notice:
    ``Educational institution'' means an institution of higher 
education, a local educational agency, or a State educational agency.
    ``Institution of higher education'' has the same meaning given that 
term under 20 U.S.C. 1141(a) (section 1201(a) of the Higher Education 
Act of 1965, as amended) (20 U.S.C. 8801(17)).
    ``Instructional programming'' means courses of instruction and 
training courses for elementary and secondary students, teachers, and 
others, and materials used in such instruction and training which have 
been prepared in audio and visual form on tape, disc, film, or live 
interactive presentations, and presented by means of telecommunications 
devices.
    ``Local educational agency'' has the same meaning given the term 
under section 14101(18) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 8801(18)).
    ``Public broadcasting entity'' has the same meaning given that term 
in section 397 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 397).
    ``State'' has the same meaning given that term under section 
14101(27) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 8801(27)).
    ``State educational agency'' has the same meaning given that term 
under section 14101(28) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 8801(28)) and includes 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs for purposes of serving schools funded by 
the BIA in accordance with Title III of the ESEA of 1965, as amended.
    ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Education.

Priorities

Invitational Priorities--General Projects (84.203A)

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), the Secretary is particularly interested 
in General Projects applications that meet one or more of the following 
invitational priorities. However, an application that meets one or more 
of these invitational priorities does not receive competitive or 
absolute preference over other applications. Applicants that propose 
to:
    Invitational Priority 1--Deliver live, interactive instructional 
programming that integrates reading throughout the curriculum at all 
grade levels for all children and their families;
    Invitational Priority 2--Deliver challenging content and advanced 
placement courses in mathematics, science, and foreign languages for 
elementary and secondary students;
    Invitational Priority 3--Offer professional development 
opportunities for teachers to focus on early reading and elementary and 
middle school mathematics instruction to help students achieve to high 
standards; or
    Invitational Priority 4--Employ multiple technologies which advance 
the role of distance learning in supporting school reform at the local 
level such as broadcast television coupled with computer networking or 
other technologies.

Competitive Priorities--General Projects (84.203A)

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(iv) and (c)(2) and 20 U.S.C. 6896(c), the 
Secretary gives preference to General Projects applications that meet 
the following five competitive priorities. The Secretary awards up to 
two points for each competitive priorities met by the applicant in a 
particularly effective way. These points are in addition to any points 
the application earns under the selection criteria. An applicant can 
receive no more than ten competitive preference points. Competitive 
preference points will be awarded to an applicant that:
    Competitive Priority 1--Proposes high-quality plans to assist in 
achieving one or more of the National Education Goals, will provide 
instruction consistent with State content standards, or will otherwise 
provide significant and specific assistance to States and local 
educational agencies undertaking systemic education reform;
    Competitive Priority 2--Will provide services to programs serving 
adults, especially parents, with low levels of literacy or limited 
English proficiency;
    Competitive Priority 3--Will serve schools with significant numbers 
of children counted for the purposes of part A of title I of the ESEA;
    Competitive Priority 4--Will ensure that its proposed project 
will--
    (A) Serve the broadest range of institutions, programs providing 
instruction outside of the school setting, programs serving adults, 
especially parents, with low levels of literacy, institutions of higher 
education, teacher training centers, research institutes, and private 
industry;
    (B) Have substantial academic and teaching capabilities, including 
the capability of training, retraining, and inservice upgrading of 
teaching skills and the capability to provide professional development;
    (C) Provide a comprehensive range of courses for educators to teach 
instructional strategies for students with different skill levels;
    (D) Provide training to participating educators in ways to 
integrate telecommunications courses into existing school curriculum;
    (E) Provide instruction for students, teachers, and parents;
    (F) Serve a multistate area; and
    (G) Give priority to the provision of equipment and linkages to 
isolated areas; and
    Competitive Priority 5--Involve a telecommunications entity (such 
as a satellite, cable, telephone, computer organization, or public or 
private television stations) participating in the eligible entity and 
donating equipment or in-kind services for telecommunications linkages.

Absolute Priority--Dissemination Project (84.203C)

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3), the Secretary gives an absolute 
preference to applications that meet the following priority. The 
Secretary funds under this competition only an application that meets 
this absolute priority.
    A project that will disseminate information, including lists and 
descriptions of services available from grant recipients under the Star 
Schools program, and conduct other activities designed to enhance the 
quality of distance learning activities nationwide.

Invitational Priority--Dissemination Project (84.203C)

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), the Secretary is particularly interested 
in Dissemination Project applications that meet the following 
invitational priorities. However, an application that meets these 
invitational priorities does not receive competitive or absolute 
preference over other applications.
    Applications that propose to--
    Invitational Priority 1--Use a variety of technologies and 
dissemination strategies to provide information and technical 
assistance services about distance education nationwide; and
    Invitational Priority 2--Produce and disseminate information in 
print, electronic, media and other formats about instructional 
programming, promising and exemplary practices, policies, resources, 
and research involving distance education including Department-
sponsored distance education projects and technology initiatives.

Application Requirements--General Projects

    Each eligible entity desiring a General Project grant under this 
program shall submit an application to the Secretary that responds to 
the selection criteria. In addition, each application shall--
    (1) Describe how the proposed project will assist in achieving the 
National

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Education Goals, how the project will assist all students to have an 
opportunity to learn to challenging State standards, how the project 
will assist State and local educational reform efforts, and how the 
project will contribute to creating a high quality system of lifelong 
learning;
    (2) Describe the telecommunications facilities and equipment and 
technical assistance for which assistance is sought, which may 
include--
    (A) The design, development, construction, acquisition, maintenance 
and operation of State or multistate educational telecommunications 
networks and technology resource centers;
    (B) Microwave, fiber optics, cable, and satellite transmission 
equipment or any combination thereof;
    (C) Reception facilities;
    (D) Satellite time;
    (E) Production facilities;
    (F) Other telecommunications equipment capable of serving a wide 
geographic area;
    (G) The provision of training services to instructors who will be 
using the facilities and equipment for which assistance is sought, 
including training in using these facilities and equipment and training 
in integrating programs into the classroom curriculum; and
    (H) The development of educational and related programming for use 
on a telecommunications network;
    (3) In the case of an application for assistance for instructional 
programming, describe the types of programming which will be developed 
to enhance instruction and training and provide assurances that the 
programming will be designed in consultation with professionals 
(including classroom teachers) who are experts in the applicable 
subject matter and grade level;
    (4) Describe how the eligible entity has engaged in sufficient 
survey and analysis of the area to be served to ensure that the 
services offered by the eligible entity will increase the availability 
of courses of instruction in English, mathematics, science, foreign 
languages, arts, history, geography, or other disciplines;
    (5) Describe the professional development policies for teachers and 
other school personnel to be implemented to ensure the effective use of 
the telecommunications facilities and equipment for which assistance is 
sought;
    (6) Describe the manner in which historically underserved students 
(such as students from low-income families, limited English proficient 
students, students with disabilities, or students who have low literacy 
skills) and their families, will participate in the benefits of the 
telecommunications facilities, equipment, technical assistance, and 
programming assisted under this program;
    (7) Describe how existing telecommunications equipment, facilities, 
and services, where available, will be used;
    (8) Provide assurances that the financial interest of the United 
States in the telecommunications facilities and equipment will be 
protected for the useful life of these facilities and equipment;
    (9) Provide assurances that a significant portion of any facilities 
and equipment, technical assistance, and programming for which 
assistance is sought for elementary and secondary schools will be made 
available to schools or local educational agencies that have a high 
number or percentage of children eligible to be counted under part A of 
title I of the ESEA;
    (10) Provide assurances that the applicant will use the funds 
provided under this part to supplement and not supplant funds otherwise 
available for the purposes of this part;
    (11) If any member of the consortia receives assistance under 
subpart 3 of part A of title III of the ESEA (''Regional Technical 
Support and Professional Development'') (20 U.S.C. 6861), describe how 
funds received under this part will be coordinated with funds received 
for educational technology in the classroom under such section;
    (12) Describe the activities or services for which assistance is 
sought such as--
    (A) Providing facilities, equipment, training services, and 
technical assistance;
    (B) Making programs accessible to students with disabilities 
through mechanisms such as closed captioning and descriptive video 
services;
    (C) Linking networks around issues of national importance (such as 
elections) or to provide information about employment opportunities, 
job training, or student and other social service programs;
    (D) Sharing curriculum resources between networks and development 
of program guides which demonstrate cooperative, cross-network listing 
of programs for specific curriculum areas;
    (E) Providing teacher and student support services including 
classroom and training support materials which permit student and 
teacher involvement in the live interactive distance learning 
telecasts;
    (F) Incorporating community resources such as libraries and museums 
into instructional programs;
    (G) Providing professional development for teachers, including, as 
appropriate, training to early childhood development and Head Start 
teachers and staff and vocational education teachers and staff, and 
adult and family educators;
    (H) Providing programs for adults to maximize the use of 
telecommunications facilities and equipment;
    (I) Providing teacher training on proposed or established voluntary 
national content standards in mathematics and science and other 
disciplines as such standards are developed; and
    (J) Providing parent education programs during and after the 
regular school day which reinforce a student's course of study and 
actively involve parents in the learning process;
    (13) Describe how the proposed project as a whole will be financed 
and how arrangements for future financing will be developed before the 
project expires;
    (14) Provide an assurance that a significant portion of any 
facilities, equipment, technical assistance, and programming for which 
assistance is sought for elementary and secondary schools will be made 
available to schools in local educational agencies that have a high 
percentage of children counted for the purpose of part A of title I of 
the ESEA; and
    (15) Provide an assurance that the applicant will provide this 
information and cooperate in any evaluation that the Secretary may 
conduct under this program.

Funding Requirement--General Projects

    The Federal share for the first and second years of a General 
Project funded under this program shall not exceed 75 percent of the 
cost of the project. The Federal share for the third and fourth years 
of a General Project funded under this program shall not exceed 60 
percent of the cost of the project. The Federal share for the fifth 
year of a General Project funded under this program shall not exceed 50 
percent of the cost of the project. The recipient of a General Project 
grant under this program shall provide the remainder of the funds from 
non-Federal sources. The matching funds for the project may be in cash 
or in-kind support, fairly evaluated. In the case of financial 
hardship, an applicant may request that the Secretary reduce or waive 
the matching requirement. (This requirement does not apply to the 
dissemination projects.)

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Application Requirements--Dissemination Projects

    Each applicant for a Dissemination Project shall submit an 
application that responds to the selection criteria.

Selection Criteria

    (a)(1) The Secretary uses the following selection criteria to 
evaluate applications for new General Projects and Dissemination 
Project grants under this competition.
    (2) The maximum score for all of these criteria is 100 points.
    (3) The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in 
parentheses.
    (b) The criteria. (1) Meeting the purposes of the authorizing 
statute. (30 points) The Secretary reviews each application to 
determine how well the project will meet the purpose of the Star 
Schools Program, including consideration of--
    (i) The objectives of the project; and
    (ii) How the objectives of the project further the purposes of the 
Star Schools Program.
    (2) Extent of need for the project. (20 points) The Secretary 
reviews each application to determine the extent to which the project 
meets specific needs recognized in the Star Schools Program, including 
consideration of--
    (i) The needs addressed by the project;
    (ii) How the applicant identified those needs;
    (iii) How those needs will be met by the project; and
    (iv) The benefits to be gained by meeting those needs.
    (3) Plan of operation. (15 points) The Secretary reviews each 
application to determine the quality of the plan of operation for the 
project, including--
    (i) The quality of the design of the project;
    (ii) The extent to which the plan of management is effective and 
ensures proper and efficient administration of the project;
    (iii) How well the objectives of the project relate to the purpose 
of the program;
    (iv) The quality of the applicant's plan to use its resources and 
personnel to achieve each objective; and
    (v) How the applicant will ensure that project participants who are 
otherwise eligible to participate are selected without regard to race, 
color, national origin, gender, age, or handicapping condition.
    (4) Quality of key personnel. (10 points)
    (i) The Secretary reviews each application to determine the quality 
of key personnel the applicant plans to use on the project, including--
    (A) The qualifications of the project director (if one is to be 
used);
    (B) The qualifications of each of the other key personnel to be 
used in the project;
    (C) The time that each person referred to in paragraphs (b)(4)(i)A 
and (B) will commit to the project; and
    (D) How the applicant, as part of its nondiscriminatory employment 
practices, will ensure that its personnel are selected for employment 
without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, or 
handicapping condition.
    (ii) To determine personnel qualifications under paragraphs 
(b)(4)(i)(A) and (B), the Secretary considers--
    (A) Experience and training in fields related to the objectives of 
the project; and
    (B) Any other qualifications that pertain to the quality of the 
project.
    (5) Budget and cost effectiveness. (5 points) The Secretary reviews 
each application to determine the extent to which--
    (i) The budget is adequate to support the project; and
    (ii) Costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives of the 
project.
    (6) Evaluation plan. (15 points) The Secretary reviews each 
application to determine the quality of the evaluation plan for the 
project, including the extent to which the applicant's methods of 
evaluation--
    (i) Are appropriate to the project; and
    (ii) To the extent possible, are objective and produce data that 
are quantifiable.
    (Cross-reference: See 34 CFR 75.590 Evaluation by the grantee.)
    (7) Adequacy of resources. (5 points) The Secretary reviews each 
application to determine the adequacy of the resources that the 
applicant plans to devote to the project, including facilities, 
equipment, and supplies.

Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

    This program is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 
12372 (Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs) and the 
regulations in 34 CFR Part 79.
    The objective of the Executive Order is to foster an 
intergovernmental partnership and to strengthen federalism by relying 
on State and local processes for State and local government 
coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    Applicants must contact the appropriate State Single Point of 
Contact to find out about, and to comply with, the State's process 
under Executive Order 12372. Applicants proposing to perform activities 
in more than one State should immediately contact the Single Point of 
Contact for each of those States and follow the procedure established 
in each State under the Executive order. If you want to know the name 
and address of any State Single Point of Contact, see the list 
published in the Federal Register on August 20, 1996 (61 FR 43133-
43135).
    In States that have not established a process or chosen a program 
for review, State, areawide, regional, and local entities may submit 
comments directly to the Department.
    Any State Process Recommendation and other comments submitted by a 
State Single Point of Contact and any comments from State, areawide, 
regional, and local entities must be mailed or hand-delivered by the 
date indicated in this notice to the following address: The Secretary, 
E.O. 12372--CFDA# 84.203, U.S. Department of Education, Room 6213, 600 
Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20202-0124.
    In those States that require review for this program, applications 
are to be submitted simultaneously to the State Review Process and the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    Proof of mailing will be determined on the same basis for 
applications (see 34 CFR 75.102). Recommendations or comments may be 
hand-delivered until 4:30 p.m. (Washington, D.C. time) on the date 
indicated in this notice.
    PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE ADDRESS IS NOT THE SAME ADDRESS AS THE 
ONE TO WHICH THE APPLICANT SUBMITS ITS COMPLETED APPLICATION. DO NOT 
SEND APPLICATIONS TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. INSTRUCTIONS FOR TRANSMITTAL OF 
APPLICATIONS:

    Note: The deadline for receipt of applications is May 9, 1997. 
All applications must be received on or before that date. This 
requirement takes exception to EDGAR, 34 CFR 75.102. In accordance 
with the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553), it is the 
practice of the Secretary to offer interested parties the 
opportunity to comment on proposed regulations. However, this 
amendment makes procedural changes only and does not establish new 
substantive policy. Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), proposed 
rulemaking is not required.

    This closing date and procedures for guaranteeing timely submission 
will be strictly observed.
    (a) If an applicant wants to apply for a grant, the applicant 
shall--
    (1) Mail the original and two copies of the application to: U.S. 
Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA 
#84.203 A and C), Washington, D.C. 20202-4725 or

[[Page 13474]]

    (2) Hand deliver the original and two copies of the complete 
application by 4:30 p.m. (Washington, D.C. time) on or before the 
deadline date to: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control 
Center, Attention: (CFDA #84.203 A or C), Room #3633, Regional Office 
Building #3, 7th and D Streets, S.W., Washington, D.C.
    The Application Control Center will accept deliveries between 8:00 
a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard time) daily, except Saturdays, 
Sundays and Federal holidays.
    Individuals delivering applications must use the D Street entrance. 
Proper identification is necessary to enter the building.
    In order for an application sent through a Courier Service to be 
considered timely, the Courier Service must be in receipt of the 
application on or before the closing date.

    Note: Although applicants are not obligated to do so, it would 
be helpful if an additional two copies of the application were 
submitted (an original and four copies). The additional copies would 
be used during the review process.

    (b) An applicant must show one of the following as proof of 
mailing:
    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.
    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the 
U.S. Postal Service.
    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial 
carrier.
    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary.
    (c) If an application is mailed through the U.S. Postal Service, 
the Secretary does not accept either of the following as proof of 
mailing:
    (1) A private metered postmark.
    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Notes: (1) The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a 
dated postmark. Before relying on this method, an applicant should 
check with its local post office.

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail a Grant Application 
Receipt Acknowledgment to each applicant. If an applicant fails to 
receive the notification of application receipt within 15 days from the 
date of mailing the application, the applicant should call the U.S. 
Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 708-9495.
    (3) The applicant must indicate on the envelope and--if not 
provided by the Department--in Item 10 of the Application for Federal 
Assistance (Standard Form 424) the CFDA number--and suffix letter, if 
any--of the competition under which the application is being submitted.

Application Instructions and Forms

    The appendix to this notice contains forms and instructions plus a 
statement regarding estimated public reporting burden, a notice to 
applicants regarding compliance with section 427 of the General 
Education Provisions Act, and various assurances and certifications. In 
preparing your application for submission to the Department, please 
organize your submitted application as follows:
    1. Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424 (Rev. 4-
88)).
    2. Budget Information--Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 
524).

Special Budget Instructions

    The Department is participating in the Administration's Reinventing 
Government Initiative. As part of that initiative, the National 
Performance Review urged the Department to ``eliminate the continuation 
application process for budget years within the project period'' and 
replace it with ``yearly program progress reports focusing on program 
outcomes and problems related to program implementation and service 
delivery.'' The Department implemented this recommendation for programs 
beginning in fiscal year 1995. This policy requires all applicants for 
multi-year awards to provide detailed budget information for the total 
grant period requested. The Department will review at the time of the 
initial award the funding levels for each year of the grant award. A 
new generic budget form, included in this package, requests the 
relevant information in accordance with this initiative.
    By requesting detailed budget information in the initial 
application for the total project period, the need for formal 
noncompeting continuation applications in the remaining years will be 
eliminated. An annual report will be used in place of the continuation 
application to determine progress, thereby relieving grantees of the 
burden to resubmit assurances, certifications, etc.
    3. Application Narrative.
    4. Estimated Public Reporting Burden.
    5. Assurances--Non-Construction Programs (Standard Form 424B).
    6. Certification Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension, and 
Other Responsibility Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements (ED 
80-0013, 6/90).
    7. Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and 
Voluntary Exclusion: Lower Tier Covered Transactions (ED 80-0014, 9/90) 
and instructions. (NOTE: ED 80-0014 is intended for the use of grantees 
and should not be transmitted to the Department.)
    8. Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (Standard Form LLL) (if 
applicable) and instructions. The document has been marked to reflect 
statutory changes. See the notice published by the Office of Management 
and Budget at 61 FR 1413 (January 19, 1996).
    9. Notice to Applicants.
    An applicant may submit a photostatic copy of the application and 
budget forms, the assurances, and the certifications. However, the 
application form, the assurances, and the certifications must each have 
an original signature. No grant may be awarded unless a completed 
application form has been received.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Joseph Wilkes or Deborah Williams, 
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and 
Improvement, 555 New Jersey Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20208-5645. 
Telephone 202-219-2116. Individuals who use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service 
(FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Eastern time, 
Monday through Friday.
    Information about the Department's funding opportunities, including 
copies of application notices for discretionary grant competitions, can 
be viewed on the Department's electronic bulletin board (ED Board), 
telephone (202) 260-9950, on the Internet Gopher Server at (gopher://
gcs.ed.gov); on the World Wide Web (http://gcs.ed.gov). However, the 
official application notice for a discretionary grant competition is 
the notice published in the Federal Register.

    Note: Some of the forms in the Appendix to this notice may not 
be available from these electronic sources.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6891-6900.

    Dated: March 14, 1997.
Marshall S. Smith,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.

Appendix

Instructions for Application Narrative

    Before preparing the Application Narrative, an applicant should 
read carefully the description of the program, the information 
regarding the priority, and the selection criteria the Secretary uses 
to evaluate applications.
    1. The applicant may include other pertinent information that may 
assist the Secretary in reviewing the application, including the scope 
and degree of services to be provided, who

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will render the telecommunications service, and when it will be 
delivered.
    2. Justifications and specifications for equipment purchases should 
be clearly related to existing facilities and resources as well as to 
distance learning services to be delivered.
    3. Applicants that apply for the production of instructional 
programming should be specific in the scope and sequence of the content 
and the tasks required to produce the proposed courses of instruction.
    4. The application should enable reviewers to make clear linkages 
between the proposed budget and the specific tasks, operations, and 
service delivery.
    The Secretary strongly requests the applicant to limit the 
Application Narrative to no more than 45 double-spaced, typed 8\1/2\'' 
x  11'' pages (on one side only), although the Secretary will consider 
applications of greater length.
    The applicant may include an appendix, also on 8\1/2\'' x 11'' 
paper or any other pertinent information (e.g., letters of support, 
footnotes, resumes, etc.) that might assist the Secretary in reviewing 
the application.
    The applicant may provide a VHS \1/2\ inch videotape, however such 
a tape should be limited to no more than 12 minutes.

Estimated Public Reporting Burden

    According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are 
required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a 
valid OMB control number. The valid OMB control number for this 
information collection is 1850-0623. The time required to complete this 
information collection is estimated to average 80 hours per response, 
including the time to review instructions, search existing data 
resources, gather and maintain the data needed, and complete and review 
the information collection. If you have any comments concerning the 
accuracy of the time estimate(s) or suggestions for improving this 
form, please write to: U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 
20202-4651. If you have comments or concerns regarding the status of 
your individual submission of this form, write directly to: Star 
Schools Program, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, 
SW, Washington, DC 20202-5645. Information collection approved under 
OMB control number 1850-0623. Expiration date: 4/30/98.

Notice to All Applicants

    Thank you for your interest in this program. The purpose of this 
section is to inform you about a new provision in the Department of 
Education's General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) that applies to 
applicants for new grant awards under Department programs. This 
provision is section 427 of GEPA, enacted as part of the Improving 
America's Schools Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-382).

To Whom Does This Provision Apply?

    Section 427 of GEPA affects applicants for new discretionary grant 
awards under this program. ALL APPLICANTS FOR NEW AWARDS MUST INCLUDE 
INFORMATION IN THEIR APPLICATIONS TO ADDRESS THIS NEW PROVISION IN 
ORDER TO RECEIVE FUNDING UNDER THIS PROGRAM.

What Does This Provision Require?

    Section 427 requires each applicant for funds (other than an 
individual person) to include in its application a description of the 
steps the applicant proposes to take to ensure equitable access to, and 
participation in, its federally-assisted program for students, 
teachers, and other program beneficiaries with special needs.
    This section allows applicants discretion in developing the 
required description. The statute highlights six types of barriers that 
can impede equitable access or participation that you may address: 
gender, race, national origin, color, disability, or age. Based on 
local circumstances, you can determine whether these or other barriers 
may prevent your students, teachers, etc. from equitable access or 
participation. Your description need not be lengthy; you may provide a 
clear and succinct description of how you plan to address those 
barriers that are applicable to your circumstances. In addition, the 
information may be provided in a single narrative, or, if appropriate, 
may be discussed in connection with related topics in the application.
    Section 427 is not intended to duplicate the requirements of civil 
rights statutes, but rather to ensure that, in designing their 
projects, applicants for Federal funds address equity concerns that may 
affect the ability of certain potential beneficiaries to fully 
participate in the project and to achieve to high standards. Consistent 
with program requirements and its approved application, an applicant 
may use the Federal funds awarded to it to eliminate barriers it 
identifies.

What Are Examples of How an Applicant Might Satisfy the Requirement of 
This Provision?

    The following examples may help illustrate how an applicant may 
comply with section 427.
    (1) An applicant that proposes to carry out an adult literacy 
project serving, among others, adults with limited English proficiency, 
might describe in its application how it intends to distribute a 
brochure about the proposed project to such potential participants in 
their native language.
    (2) An applicant that proposes to develop instructional materials 
for classroom use might describe how it will make the materials 
available on audio tape or in braille for students who are blind.
    (3) An applicant that proposes to carry out a model science program 
for secondary students and is concerned that girls may be less likely 
than boys to enroll in the course, might indicate how it tends to 
conduct ``outreach'' efforts to girls, to encourage their enrollment.
    We recognize that many applicants may already be implementing 
effective steps to ensure equity of access and participation in their 
grant programs, and we appreciate your cooperation in responding to the 
requirements of this provision.

Estimated Burden Statement

    According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are 
required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a 
valid OMB control number. The valid OMB control number for this 
information collection is 1801-0004 (Exp. 8/31/98). The time required 
to complete this information collection is estimated to vary from 1 to 
3 hours per response, with an average of 1.5 hours, including the time 
to review instructions, search existing data resources, gather and 
maintain the data needed, and complete and review the information 
collection. If you have any comments concerning the accuracy of the 
time estimate(s) or suggestions for improving this form, please write 
to: U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202-4651.

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[FR Doc. 97-6952 Filed 3-19-97; 8:45 am]
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