[Federal Register: January 25, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 15)]
[Page 3803-3805]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 3803]]


Part VI

Department of Education

Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), Star School
Program; Notice Inviting Applications and Application Review Procedures 
for New Awards for Fiscal Year 1999; Notice

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[CFDA No.: 84.203F]

Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), Star 
Schools Program; Notice Inviting Applications and Application Review 
Procedures for New Awards for Fiscal Year 1999

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Star Schools 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 persons, and 
individuals with disabilities through the use of distance learning 
    Eligible Applicants: Only eligible applicants that include at least 
one local educational agency in the proposed project may apply under 
this competition. Eligible telecommunications partnerships must be 
organized on a statewide or multistate basis. Eligible entities 
    (1) 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 shall represent 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 Pub. L. 103-352 (ESEA); or
    (2) A partnership that will provide telecommunications services and 
includes three or more of the following entities. At least one of the 
agencies must be a local educational agency, as described in paragraph 
(A) below, or a State educational agency:
    (A) 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;
    (B) A State educational agency;
    (C) Adult and family education programs;
    (D) An institution of higher education or a State higher education 
    (E) A teacher training center or academy which provides teacher 
preservice and inservice training, and receives Federal financial 
assistance or has been approved by a State agency;
    (F) 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 a public broadcasting entity with experience 
of this type; or
    (G) A public or private elementary or secondary school.
    Application Available: January 26, 1999.
    Deadline for Receipt of Applications: March 26, 1999.

    Note: All applications must be received on or before this date. 
Applications not received by the deadline date will not be 
considered for funding unless the applicant can show proof that the 
application was (1) sent by registered or certified mail no later 
than five days before the deadline date; or (2) sent by commercial 
carrier not later than two days before the deadline date. The 
following are acceptable 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, or 
(4) any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary. This 
requirement takes exception to the Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), 34 CFR 75.102.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: May 25, 1999.
    Available Funds: $9,850,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $1,000,000-$2,000,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $2,000,000.
    Maximum Award: The Secretary will not consider an application that 
proposes a budget exceeding $2 million per year or amounts exceeding 
$10 million for five years.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 4-5.
    Project Period: Up to 60 months. Please note that all applicants 
for multi-year awards are required to provide detailed budget 
information for the total grant period requested. The Department will 
negotiate at the time of the initial award the funding levels for each 
year of the grant award.

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

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75 (except 34 
CFR 75.102(a) and (b)(1)), 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, and (b) 34 CFR 
    Supplementary Information: The Star Schools program is authorized 
by the ESEA, Title III, Part B (20 U.S.C. 6891-6900). The Star Schools 
program provides quality, cost-effective instruction through distance 
education technologies to more than 2,000,000 learners annually in 50 
states and U.S. territories. Although the program began with small 
rural schools, it is now equally valuable to schools in large urban 
areas. To ensure that learners are prepared for the 21st century, it is 
imperative that the traditional instructional model is transformed to 
an active-learner, more collaborative-based model. Star Schools 
projects have harnessed the power of emerging technologies such as the 
Internet, CD-ROM, videoconferencing, virtual environments and 
interactive software to achieve this transformation. Consequently, the 
Star Schools program reaches a diverse group of students to create an 
inclusive, effective learning experience for the 21st century learner.

Application Review Procedures

    The Secretary will use a two-tier process for reviewing 
applications in this competition. In the first tier, all applications 
submitted will be reviewed. The ten applications with the highest 
scores in the first tier will be reviewed in the second tier. In the 
event of a tie for tenth in the rank order in the first tier, the top 
nine applications plus all those applications tied for tenth will be 
considered in the second tier. The same evaluation criteria will be 
used in each tier. The Secretary will select applications for funding 
on the basis of the rank ordering of applications in the second tier. 
In all other respects, the Secretary will follow the procedures set out 
in the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR), 
34 CFR Part 75, in reviewing applications. This process takes 
exception, in part, to EDGAR, 34 CFR 75.217.

Waiver of Proposed Rulemaking

    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, these 
modifications to EDGAR, concerning the deadline for receipt of 
applications and the application review process, make procedural 
changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. Therefore, 
under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), proposed rulemaking is not required.

(The valid OMB control number for this collection of information is 

    For Further Information Contact: Joseph Wilkes or Tawanna Coles, 
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and 
Improvement, 555 New Jersey Avenue NW.,

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Washington, DC 20208-5544. Telephone 202-208-3882. 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.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request by contacting either contact person listed in the 
preceding paragraph.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application 
package in an alternate format, also, by contacting either contact 
person identified in this notice. However, the Department is not able 
to reproduce in an alternate format the standard forms included in the 
application package.

Electronic Access to This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) via the Internet at either of the 
following sites:


To use the pdf you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you 
have questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government Printing 
Office at (202) 512-1530 or, toll free, at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone may also view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511 
or, toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under Option 
G-Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.

    Note: The official version of a document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

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

    Dated: January 19, 1999.
C. Kent McGuire,
Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 99-1618 Filed 1-22-99; 8:45 am]