[Federal Register: May 21, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 98)]
[Notices]               
[Page 35887-35890]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr21my02-98]                         


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Part III





Department of Education





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Office of Educational Research and Improvement; Fund for the 
Improvement of Education (FIE) Program-Partnerships in Character 
Education; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year 
(FY) 2002; Notice


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

[CFDA No. 84.215V-State Educational Agencies; CFDA No. 
84.215S-Local Educational Agencies]

 
Office of Educational Research and Improvement; Fund for the 
Improvement of Education (FIE) Program-Partnerships in Character 
Education; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year 
(FY) 2002

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to provide 
grants to eligible entities to assist them in designing and 
implementing character education programs that teach students any of 
the following elements of character: caring, civic virtue and 
citizenship, justice and fairness, respect, responsibility, 
trustworthiness, giving, or any other elements deemed appropriate by 
the eligible entity, having taken into consideration the views of 
parents and students. The character education programs supported must 
be programs that can be integrated into classroom instruction, are 
consistent with State academic content standards, and can be carried 
out in conjunction with other educational reform efforts.
    Eligible Applicants: An eligible applicant under the 84.215V 
competition is:
    (a) A State educational agency (SEA) in partnership with one or 
more local educational agencies (LEAs); or
    (b) An SEA in partnership with one or more (LEAs) and nonprofit 
organizations or entities, including an institution of higher 
education.
    An eligible applicant under the 84.215S competition is:
    (a) An LEA or consortium of LEAs; or
    (b) An LEA or LEAs in partnership with one or more nonprofit 
organizations or entities, including an institution of higher 
education.
    In making selections for funding, the Secretary will ensure, to the 
extent practicable, that the projects are equitably distributed among 
the geographic regions of the United States, and among urban, suburban 
and rural areas.
    Applications Available: May 23, 2002.
    The application package for this competition is available on line 
at: http://ed.gov/GrantApps/. At this site, you may download and print 
a paper copy of the application package. Using these paper forms, you 
may submit a paper copy of your application to the Department.
    If you want to submit an application electronically, please refer 
to the instructions, "Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of 
Applications" later on in this notice. You must use the "e-
APPLICATION" process described in these instructions to submit an 
application electronically.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 11, 2002.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 9, 2002.
    Estimated Available Funds: $16,000,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000-$500,000 per year.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: The size of an award will be 
commensurate with the scope of the activities to be carried out.
    Minimum Award: We will reject any application from an SEA that 
proposes a total budget for the entire project period that is less than 
$500,000. There is no such restriction on applications from LEAs.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 40 to 45.

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

    Project Period: Up to 48 months, of which no more than 12 months 
may be used for planning and program design.
    Budget Period: 12 months.
    Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) 
is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that 
reviewers use to evaluate your application. It is strongly suggested 
that you limit Part III to the equivalent of no more than 25 pages 
using the following standards:
    -A page is 8.5  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.
    -Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or not 
smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 80, 81, 
82, 85, 86, 97, 98 and 99.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Eligible entities awarded grants under this program may contract 
with outside sources, including institutions of higher education and 
private and nonprofit organizations, for the purposes of: (1) 
Evaluating the program for which the assistance is made available; (2) 
measuring the integration of such program into the curriculum and 
teaching methods of schools where the program is carried out; and (3) 
measuring the success of the program in fostering the elements of 
character selected by the recipient.
    Entities receiving grants may also contract with the same types of 
outside sources, for assistance in: (1) Developing secular curricula, 
materials, teacher training, and other activities related to character 
education; and (2) integrating secular character education into the 
curricula and teaching methods of schools where the program is carried 
out.
    An SEA receiving a grant may use no more than 3 percent of the 
grant funds, each year, for administrative purposes. The remainder may 
be used for: (1) Collaborative initiatives with and between LEAs and 
schools; (2) the preparation or purchase of materials, and teacher 
training; (3) providing assistance to LEAs, schools, or institutions of 
higher education; and (4) technical assistance and evaluation.
    Each application for a grant under this program must include 
information that: (1) Demonstrates that the program for which the grant 
is sought has clear objectives that are based on scientifically based 
research; (2) describes any partnerships or collaborative efforts among 
the organizations and entities comprising the eligible entity; (3) 
describes the activities that will be carried out with the grant funds 
and how such activities will meet the project objectives, including: 
(a) How parents, students, students with disabilities (including those 
with mental or physical disabilities), and other members of the 
community, including members of private and nonprofit organizations, 
will be involved in the design and implementation of the program and 
how the eligible entity will work with the larger community to increase 
the reach and promise of the program; (b) curriculum and instructional 
practices that will be used or developed; and (c) methods of teacher 
training and parent education that will be used or developed; (4) 
describes how the program for which the grant is sought will be linked 
to other efforts to improve academic achievement, including: (a) 
Broader educational reforms that are being instituted by the eligible 
entity or its partners; and (b) State academic content standards; and 
(5) describes how the eligible entity will evaluate the success of its 
program based on the project objectives.
    In addition, any application from an SEA must also include 
information that describes how the SEA: (1) Will provide technical and 
professional assistance to its LEA partners in the development and 
implementation of character education programs; and (2) will assist 
other

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interested LEAs that are not members of the original partnership in 
designing and establishing character education programs.
    Each eligible entity receiving a grant must provide, to the extent 
feasible and appropriate, for the participation in the funded programs 
and activities of students and teachers in private elementary and 
secondary schools.
    Factors that may be considered in evaluating the success of 
programs funded include the following: Discipline issues, student 
academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, 
parental and community involvement, faculty and administration 
involvement, student and staff morale, and overall improvements in 
school climate for all students, including students with disabilities.
    Selection Criteria: In selecting eligible entities to receive 
grants, the Secretary will use a peer review process that includes the 
participation of experts in the field of character education and 
development. Peer reviewers will use the criteria listed below in 
evaluating applications. The criteria will receive the points 
indicated.
    (1) The extent to which project objectives are significant, clearly 
identified, measurable, and likely to be achieved. (20 points)
    (2) The extent to which the applicant utilizes scientifically based 
research to select character education program components that are 
likely to foster character in students and achieve project objectives. 
(20 points)
    (3) The extent to which the character education program activities 
are integrated into teacher professional development, curricula, 
materials, and classroom instruction. (20 points)
    (4) The extent and ongoing nature of the involvement of students, 
parents, and community, such as faith-based organizations, in the 
design, implementation, and evaluation of the project. (20 points)
    (5) The extent to which the factors to be considered in evaluating 
the success of the project will be clearly identified and the quality 
of the plan for evaluating the project. (20 points)

Priority

    This competition focuses on projects designed to meet the following 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), applications will receive up to 
20 additional points depending on how well they meet the priority. 
These points are in addition to any points the application earns under 
the selection criteria.

Competitive Preference Priority

    The project is designed to determine whether the character 
education program implemented produces meaningful effects on students. 
In order to do this, the project preferably employs an experimental 
design with random assignment. If random assignment is not feasible, 
the project may employ a quasi-experimental design with carefully 
matched comparison conditions. For experimental designs, random 
assignment to the character education program being evaluated versus 
one or more comparison conditions may occur at the level of students, 
or classrooms, or schools. Alternatively, in a quasi-experimental 
design, schools or students or classrooms that are receiving the 
character education program are matched with comparable schools or 
students or classrooms that are not receiving a character education 
program. Data from reliable and valid measures of the elements of 
character that the character education program intends to teach and any 
other characteristics of school climate that the program intends to 
influence should be collected before and after participation in the 
character education program or the comparison condition.

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 selection criteria, competitive preference priority, and 
special application requirements. Section 437(d)(1) of the General 
Education Provisions Act, however, exempts from this requirement rules 
that apply to the first competition under a new or substantially 
revised program authority. This is the first competition under the Fund 
for the Improvement of Education: Character Education Program, which 
was substantially revised by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. 
These selection criteria, competitive preference priority, and 
application requirements will apply to the FY 2002 grant competition 
only.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

    In FY 2002, the U.S. Department of Education is continuing to 
expand its pilot project of electronic submission of applications to 
include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary 
grant competitions. The Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE): 
Partnerships in Character Education Program (84.215V for SEAs and 
84.215S for LEAs) is one of the programs included in the pilot project. 
If you are an applicant under either the SEA competition or the LEA 
competition for the FIE: Partnerships in Character Education Program, 
you may submit your application to the Department in either electronic 
or paper format.
    The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant 
Application System (e-APPLICATION, formerly e-GAPS) portion of the 
Grant Administration and Payment System (GAPS). The Department requests 
your participation in this pilot project. We shall continue to evaluate 
its success and solicit suggestions for improvement.
    If you participate in this e-APPLICATION pilot, please note the 
following:
    -Your participation is voluntary but strongly 
encouraged.
    -You will not receive any additional point value or 
penalty because you submit a grant application in electronic or paper 
format.
    -On the deadline date, the deadline time for 
transmitting applications is 4:30 p.m. Washington, DC Time.
    -If you wait until the deadline date to submit your 
application electronically and you are unable to access the e-
Application system, you must contact the Help Desk by 4:30 p.m. 
Washington DC time on the deadline date.
    -Keep in mind that e-Application is not operational 24 
hours a day every day of the week. Click on Hours of Web Site Operation 
for specific hours of access during the week.
    -You will have access to the e-Application Help Desk 
for technical support: 1-888-336-8930 (TTY: 
1-866-697-2696, local 202-401-8363). The 
Help Desk hours of operation are limited to: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. 
Washington, DC time Monday-Friday.
    -If you submit your application electronically by the 
transmittal date but also wish to submit a paper copy of your 
application, then you must mail the paper copy of the application on or 
before the deadline date to: U.S. Department of Education, Application 
Control Center, Attention: CFDA # 84.305G, 7th and D Streets, SW., 
Room 3671, Regional Office Building 3, Washington, DC 20202-4725.
    -You can submit all documents electronically, including 
the Application for Federal Assistance (ED 424), Budget 
Information-Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary 
assurances and certifications.
    -Within three working days of submitting your 
electronic application fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal 
Assistance (ED 424) to the

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Application Control Center after following these steps:
    1. Print ED 424 from the e-APPLICATION system.
    2. Make sure that the institution's Authorizing Representative 
signs this form.
    3. Before faxing this form, submit your electronic application via 
the e-APPLICATION system. You will receive an automatic 
acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award number (an identifying 
number unique to your application).
    4. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of ED 
424.
    5. Fax ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 
260-1349.
    -We may request that you give us original signatures on 
all other forms at a later date.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the FIE: 
Partnerships in Character Education Program: 84.215V for SEAs or 
84.215S for LEAs at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.
    We have included additional information about the e-APPLICATION 
pilot project (see Parity Guidelines between Paper and Electronic 
Applications) in the application package.

FOR APPLICATIONS AND FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Beverly A. Farrar, 
U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW., room 502J, 
Washington, DC 20208-5645. FAX: (202) 219-2053 or via the 
Internet: beverly.a.farrar@ed.gov. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal 
Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format, e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR 
APPLICATIONS AND FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Individuals with disabilities also may obtain a copy of the 
application package in an alternative format by contacting that person. 
However, the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative 
format the standard forms included in the application package.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister.
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO) toll free, at 
1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at 
(202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.access/
gpo.gov/nara/index.html.


    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7247.

    Dated: May 16, 2002.
Grover J. Whitehurst,
Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 02-12693 Filed 5-20-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P