FR Doc 03-5284
[Federal Register: March 6, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 44)]
[Page 10710-10712]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

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[CFDA No. 84.364A]

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Improving Literacy 
Through School Libraries Program (LSL); Notice Inviting Applications 
for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to improve 
student literacy skills and academic achievement by providing students 
with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; a well-
equipped, technologically advanced school library media center; and 
well-trained, professionally certified school library media 
    Eligible Applicants: Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in which at 
least 20 percent of the students served by the LEA are from families 
with incomes below the poverty line. (20 U.S.C. 6383). A list of LEAs 
with their family poverty rates is posted on the web at:
    Deadline for Notification of Intent to Apply for Funding: We 

strongly encourage each potential applicant to notify us by March 28, 
2003, of your intent to submit an application for funding. We will be 
able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant 
applications if we have an estimate of the number of entities that 
intend to apply for funding under this competition. Notifications 
should be sent by e-mail to the following Internet address:
    Please put ``Notice of Intent'' in the subject line. Applicants 
that fail to provide this e-mail notification may still apply for 
    Applications Available: March 6, 2003.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 28, 2003.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 27, 2003.
    Estimated Available Funds: $12,000,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $20,000 to $350,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $75,000.

    Note: The size of the awards will be commensurate with the 
nature and scope of the work proposed and the number of schools to 
be served.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 75-100.

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

    Project Period: 12 months.
    Page Limit: The application must include the following sections: 
title page form (ED 424), one-page abstract, program narrative, budget 
summary form (ED 524) with budget narrative, individual resumes (up to 
3 pages each) for project directors and other key personnel, statement 
of equitable access (GEPA 427), and other required forms and assurances 
as described in the application package. Please note that this program 
is a competitive discretionary grant program, so it is essential that 
your program narrative address the selection criteria that

[[Page 10711]]

reviewers use to evaluate your application.
    Applicants are strongly encouraged to limit the program narrative 
(text plus all figures, charts, tables, and diagrams) to the equivalent 
of 15 pages, using the following standards:
    [sbull] A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
    [sbull] Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) 
all text in the program narrative.
    [sbull] Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller 
than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
    [sbull] Include all critical information in the program narrative, 
eliminating the need for appendices.
    [sbull] The page limit does not apply to the title page form (ED 
424), the one-page abstract, the budget summary form and narrative 
budget justification, the resumes, or the assurances and 
    We have found that reviewers are able to conduct the highest-
quality review when applications are concise and easy to read, with 
pages consecutively numbered.
    Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 
82, 85, 97, 98 and 99.
    Description of Program: The Improving Literacy Through School 
Libraries (LSL) program, Subpart 4 of Part B of Title I of the 
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the No 
Child Left Behind Act promotes comprehensive local strategies to 
improve student reading achievement by improving school library 
services and resources. The LSL program is one component of the 
Department's commitment to dramatically improving student reading 
achievement by focusing available resources, including those of school 
library media centers, on ensuring that no child is left behind. School 
library media centers contribute to the improvement of student reading 
achievement when there is increased collaboration among instructional 
and school library media center staff, provision of additional 
instructional materials and resources, and the extension of hours of 
operation to include non-school hours.

Invitational Priority

    We are particularly interested in applications that meet the 
following invitational priority.
    The Secretary strongly encourages applicants to focus on 
comprehensive and collaborative reading efforts that maximize the 
impact of the project on improving student reading achievement. 
Applicants are encouraged to demonstrate the direct link between the 
proposed activities and improved reading achievement.
    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets 
the invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over 
other applications.

Selection Criteria

    We use the following selection criteria to evaluate applications 
for new grants under this competition. The maximum score for all of 
these criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is 
indicated in parentheses.
    We evaluate an application by determining how well the proposed 
project meets the following provisions:
    (a) Meeting the purpose of the statute (10 points).
    How well the proposed project addresses the intended outcome of the 
statute to improve student literacy skills and academic achievement by 
providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library 
materials; a well-equipped, technologically advanced school library 
media center; and well-trained, professionally certified school library 
media specialists.
    (b) Need for school library resources (10 points). How well the 
applicant demonstrates the need for school library media improvement, 
based on the age and condition of school library media resources, 
including: Book collections; access of school library media centers to 
advanced technology; and the availability of well-trained, 
professionally certified school library media specialists, in schools 
served by the applicant.
    (c) Use of funds (35 points). How well the applicant will use the 
funds made available through the grant to carry out those of the 
following activities that meet its demonstrated needs--
    (1) Acquiring up-to-date school library media resources, including 
    (2) Acquiring and using advanced technology, incorporated into the 
curricula of the school, to develop and enhance the information 
literacy, information retrieval, and critical thinking skills of 
    (3) Facilitating Internet links and other resource-sharing networks 
among schools and school library media centers, and public and academic 
libraries, where possible.
    (4) Providing professional development, as described in section 
1222(d)(2) of the ESEA, for school library media specialists, and 
providing activities that foster increased collaboration between school 
library media specialists, teachers, and administrators.
    (5) Providing students with access to school libraries during non-
school hours, including the hours before and after school, during 
weekends, and during summer vacation periods.
    (d) Use of scientifically based research (10 points). How well the 
applicant will use programs and materials that are grounded in 
scientifically based research, as defined in section 9101(37) of the 
ESEA, in carrying out one or more of the activities described under 
criterion(c) above.
    (e) Broad-based involvement and coordination (15 points). How well 
the applicant will extensively involve school library media 
specialists, teachers, administrators, and parents in the proposed 
project activities and effectively coordinate the funds and activities 
provided under this program with other literacy, library, technology, 
and professional development funds and activities.
    (f) Evaluation of quality and impact (20 points). How well the 
applicant will collect and analyze data on the quality and impact of 
the proposed project activities, including the extent to which the 
availability of, the access to, and the use of up-to-date school 
library media resources in the elementary schools and secondary schools 
served by the applicant were increased; and the impact on improving the 
reading skills of students.

Geographic Distribution

    In making funding decisions we will also consider the equitable 
distribution of grants across geographic regions and among local 
educational agencies serving urban and rural areas.

Application Procedures

    Note: Some of the procedures in these instructions for 
transmitting applications differ from those in the Education 
Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 
75.102). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the 
Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on proposed regulations. However, these amendments make 
procedural changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. 
Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), the Secretary has determined 
that proposed rulemaking is not required.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

    In FY 2003, the U.S. Department of Education is continuing to 
expand its pilot project for electronic submission of

[[Page 10712]]

applications to include additional formula grant programs and 
additional discretionary grant competitions. The Improving Literacy 
Through School Libraries Program, CFDA 84.364A, is one of the 
programs included in the pilot project. If you are an applicant under 
the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program you may submit 
your application to us in either electronic or paper format.
    The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant 
Application System (e-Application) portion of the Grant Administration 
and Payment System (GAPS). Users of e-Application will be entering data 
on-line while completing their applications. You may not e-mail a soft 
copy of a grant application to us. If you participate in this voluntary 
pilot project by submitting an application electronically, the data you 
enter on-line will be saved into a database. We request your 
participation in e-Application. We shall continue to evaluate its 
success and solicit suggestions for improvement.
    If you participate in e-Application, please note the following:
    [sbull] Your participation is voluntary.
    [sbull] You will not receive any additional point value because you 
submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize 
you if you submit an application in paper format. When you enter the e-
Application system, you will find information about its hours of 
    [sbull] You may submit all documents electronically, including the 
Application for Federal Assistance (ED 424), Budget InformationNon-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
    [sbull] After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award 
number (an identifying number unique to your application).
    [sbull] Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal 
Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following 
these steps:
    (1) Print ED 424 from the e-Application system.
    (2) The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign this 
    (3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard copy signature page of the ED 424.
    (4) Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at 
(202) 260-1349.
    [sbull] We may request that you give us original signatures on all 
other forms at a later date.
    [sbull] Closing Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If 
you elect to participate in the e-Application pilot for the Improving 
Literacy Through School Libraries Program and you are prevented from 
submitting your application on the closing date because the e-
Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of 
one business day in order to transmit your application electronically, 
by mail, or by hand delivery. For us to grant this extension--
    (1) You must be a registered user of e-Application, and have 
initiated an e-Application for this competition; and (2)(a) The e-
Application system must be unavailable for 60 minutes or more between 
the hours of 8:30 and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the deadline 
date; or
    (b) The e-Application system must be unavailable for any period of 
time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time 
between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time) on the deadline date. 
The Department must acknowledge and confirm these periods of 
unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this 
extension you must contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in 
this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or (2) the e-GRANTS 
help desk at 1-888-336-8930.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Improving 
Literacy Through School Libraries Program at:
    FOR APPLICATIONS CONTACT: Applications will be available on the 

World Wide Web at the following sites:

LSL; http://
    Hard Copies will be available after March 6, 2003, from the 

Education Publications Center (ED Pubs), P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 
20794-1398. Telephone (toll free) 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. 
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may call 
(toll free): 1-877-576-7734.
    You may also contact ED Pubs at its Web site:
 or you may contact ED Pubs at its e-mail address:
    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify 
this competition as follows: 84.364A.

Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5C130, FOB-6, 
Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 260-1335 (Margaret McNeely) 
or (202) 260-1091 (Beth Fine) or via Internet:
    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 

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:
    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://

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 6383.

    Dated: March 3, 2003.
Eugene W. Hickok,
Under Secretary of Education.
[FR Doc. 03-5284 Filed 3-5-03; 8:45 am]