FR Doc 2011-5702[Federal Register: March 11, 2011 (Volume 76, Number 48)]
[Notices]               
[Page 13365-13371]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr11mr11-47]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities Program; Office 
of Innovation and Improvement; Overview Information; Credit Enhancement 
for Charter School Facilities Program; Notice Inviting Applications for 
New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.354A.

    Dates:
    Applications Available: March 11, 2011.
    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: April 4, 2011 at 9:00 a.m., 
Washington, DC time.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 10, 2011.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 9, 2011.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: This program provides grants to eligible 
entities to permit them to enhance the credit of charter schools so 
that the charter schools can access private-sector and other non-
Federal capital in order to acquire, construct, and renovate facilities 
at a reasonable cost. Grants awarded under this program will be of 
sufficient size, scope, and quality to enable the grantees to implement 
effective strategies for reaching this objective.
    Priorities: This competition includes one competitive preference 
priority and one invitational priority that are explained in the 
following paragraphs. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), the 
competitive preference priority is from the regulations for this 
program (34 CFR 225.12).
    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2011 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from 
this competition, this priority is a competitive preference priority. 
Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award up to an additional 15 points to 
an application, depending on how well the application meets this 
priority.
    This priority is:
    The capacity of charter schools to offer public school choice in 
those communities with the greatest need for school choice based on--
    (1) The extent to which the applicant would target services to 
geographic areas in which a large proportion or number of public 
schools have been identified for improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education 
Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA);
    (2) The extent to which the applicant would target services to 
geographic areas in which a large proportion of students perform below 
proficient on State academic assessments; and
    (3) The extent to which the applicant would target services to 
communities with large proportions of students from low-income 
families.
    Invitational Priority: For FY 2011 and any subsequent year in which 
we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this 
competition, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets this priority a 
competitive or absolute preference over other applications.
    This priority is:
    Applications that propose a grant project that uses competitive 
market forces to obtain the best rates and terms on financing for 
charter schools in order for the charter schools to acquire, construct, 
and renovate facilities while using the least amount of grant funds.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7223-7223j.
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 
81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The regulations for this 
program in 34 CFR part 225.

    Note:  The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian tribes.


    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of 
higher education only.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration's budget request for 
FY 2011 does not include funds for this

[[Page 13366]]

program. In place of this and several other, sometimes narrowly 
targeted, programs that seek to expand educational options for students 
and families, the Administration has proposed to create, through the 
reauthorization of the ESEA, a broader initiative, Expanding 
Educational Options, that would address the need to increase the supply 
of high-quality public educational options available to students. Funds 
under this proposed program would be available for competitive grants 
to help ensure that charter schools have access to adequate facilities. 
However, we are inviting applications at this time under the current 
Credit Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program to allow 
enough time to complete the grant process if Congress appropriates 
funds for the program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards later in FY 2011 and in FY 
2012 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 1.

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

    Project Period: From the start date indicated on the grant award 
document until the Federal funds and earnings on those funds have been 
expended for the grant purposes or until financing facilitated by the 
grant has been retired, whichever is later.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: (a) A public entity, such as a State or 
local governmental entity; (b) A private, nonprofit entity; or (c) A 
consortium of entities described in (a) and (b).

    Note:  Under 20 U.S.C. 7223a(b)(2), the Secretary makes, if 
possible, at least one award in each of the three categories of 
eligible applicants.

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Other: The charter schools that a grantee selects to benefit 
from this program must meet the definition of a charter school in 
section 5210(1) of the ESEA.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for the Credit 
Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program, some applications 
may include proprietary financial or confidential commercial 
information whose disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause 
substantial competitive harm. Upon submission of an application, 
applicants should identify any information contained in their 
application that they consider to be confidential commercial 
information or financial information. Doing so will assist the 
Department in making any future determination regarding public release 
of the application. Applicants are encouraged to identify only the 
specific information that the applicant considers to be proprietary and 
list the page numbers on which this information can be found in the 
appropriate Appendix section of their application. In addition to 
identifying the page number on which that information can be found, 
eligible applicants will assist the Department in making determinations 
on public release of the application by being as specific as possible 
in identifying the information they consider proprietary. Please note 
that, in many instances, identification of entire pages of 
documentation would not be appropriate.
    2. Address To Request Application Package: Ann Margaret Galiatsos, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W259, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-9765 or by e-mail: 
ann.galiatsos@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application 
package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, 
or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under 
Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.
    3. Content and Form of Application Submission: Each Credit 
Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program application must 
include the following specific elements:
    (a) A statement identifying the activities proposed to be 
undertaken with grant funds (the ``grant project''), including a 
description of how the applicant will determine which charter schools 
will receive assistance and how much and what types of assistance these 
schools will receive.
    (b) A description of the involvement of charter schools in the 
application's development and in the design of the proposed grant 
project.
    (c) A description of the applicant's expertise in capital markets 
financing. (Consortium applicants must provide this information for 
each of the participating organizations.)
    (d) A description of how the proposed grant project will leverage 
the maximum amount of private-sector financing capital relative to the 
amount of government funding used and otherwise enhance credit 
available to charter schools.
    (e) A description of how the applicant possesses sufficient 
expertise in education to evaluate the likelihood of success of a 
charter school for which facilities financing is sought.
    (f) In the case of an application submitted by a State governmental 
entity, a description of past, current, and planned State funding 
actions, including obtaining other forms of financial assistance, that 
ensure that charter schools within the State receive the funding they 
need to have adequate facilities.
    Additional requirements concerning the content of an application, 
together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package 
for this program.
    Page Limit: We have found that reviewers are able to conduct the 
highest-quality review when applications are concise and easy to read. 
Applicants are encouraged to limit their applications to no more than 
40 double-spaced pages (not including the required forms and tables), 
using 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.
    Furthermore, applicants are strongly encouraged to include a table 
of contents that specifies where each required part of the application 
is located.
    4. Submission Dates and Times:
    Applications Available: March 11, 2011.
    Date of Pre-Application Meeting: The Department will hold a pre-
application meeting for prospective applicants on April 4, 2011 at 9:00 
a.m., Washington, DC time, at the U.S. Department of Education, room 
1W128, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Interested parties are 
invited to participate in this meeting to discuss the purpose of the 
program, priorities,

[[Page 13367]]

selection criteria, application requirements, submission requirements, 
and reporting requirements. Interested parties may participate in this 
meeting either by conference call or in person. This site is accessible 
by Metro on the Blue, Orange, Green, and Yellow lines at the Seventh 
Street and Maryland Avenue exit of the L'Enfant Plaza station. After 
the meeting, program staff will be available from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 
p.m. on that same day to provide information and technical assistance 
through individual consultation.
    Individuals interested in attending this meeting are encouraged to 
pre-register by e-mailing their name, organization, and contact 
information with the subject heading PRE-APPLICATION MEETING to 
ann.galiatsos@ed.gov. There is no registration fee for attending this 
meeting.
    For further information about the pre-application meeting, contact 
Ann Margaret Galiatsos, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland 
Avenue, SW., room 4W259, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 
205-9765 or by e-mail: ann.galiatsos@ed.gov.

Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities at the Pre-Application 
Meeting

    The meeting site is accessible to individuals with disabilities. If 
you will need an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the meeting 
(e.g., interpreting service, assistive listening device, or materials 
in an alternate format), notify the contact person listed in this 
notice at least two weeks before the scheduled meeting date. Although 
we will attempt to meet a request we receive after that date, we may 
not be able to make available the requested auxiliary aid or service 
because of insufficient time to arrange it.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 10, 2011.
    Applications for grants under this program must be submitted 
electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For 
information (including dates and times) about how to submit your 
application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, please refer to section IV.8. Other Submission 
Requirements of this notice.
    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the 
deadline requirements.
    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact 
the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII 
of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or 
auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the 
application process, the individual's application remains subject to 
all other requirements and limitations in this notice.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: July 9, 2011.
    5. 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 program.
    6. Funding Restrictions: (a) Reserve accounts. Grant recipients, in 
accordance with State and local laws, must deposit the grant funds they 
receive under this program (other than funds used for administrative 
costs) in a reserve account established and maintained by the grantee 
for this purpose. Amounts deposited in such account shall be used by 
the grantee for one or more of the following purposes in order to 
assist charter schools in accessing private-sector and other non-
Federal capital:
    (1) Guaranteeing, insuring, and reinsuring bonds, notes, evidences 
of debt, loans, and interests therein.
    (2) Guaranteeing and insuring leases of personal and real property.
    (3) Facilitating financing by identifying potential lending 
sources, encouraging private lending, and other similar activities that 
directly promote lending to, or for the benefit of, charter schools.
    (4) Facilitating the issuance of bonds by charter schools or by 
other public entities for the benefit of charter schools, by providing 
technical, administrative, and other appropriate assistance (including 
the recruitment of bond counsel, underwriters, and potential investors 
and the consolidation of multiple charter school projects within a 
single bond issue).
    Funds received under this program and deposited in the reserve 
account must be invested in obligations issued or guaranteed by the 
United States or a State, or in other similarly low-risk securities. 
Any earnings on funds, including fees, received under this program must 
be deposited in the reserve account and used in accordance with the 
requirements of this program.
    (b) Charter school objectives. An eligible entity receiving a grant 
under this program must use the funds deposited in the reserve account 
to assist charter schools in accessing capital to accomplish one or 
both of the following objectives:
    (1) The acquisition (by purchase, lease, donation, or otherwise) of 
an interest (which may be an interest held by a third party for the 
benefit of a charter school) in improved or unimproved real property 
that is necessary to commence or continue the operation of a charter 
school.
    (2) The construction of new facilities, or the renovation, repair, 
or alteration of existing facilities, necessary to commence or continue 
the operation of a charter school.
    (c) Other. Grantees must ensure that all costs incurred using funds 
from the reserve account are reasonable. The full faith and credit of 
the United States are not pledged to the payment of funds under such 
obligation. In the event of a default on any debt or other obligation, 
the United States has no liability to cover the cost of the default.
    Applicants that are selected to receive an award must enter into a 
written Performance Agreement with the Department prior to drawing down 
funds, unless the grantee receives written permission from the 
Department in the interim to draw down a specific limited amount of 
funds.
    In accordance with 34 CFR 80.36(b)(3), grantees must maintain and 
enforce standards of conduct governing the performance of their 
employees, officers, directors, trustees, and agents engaged in the 
selection, award, and administration of contracts or agreements related 
to this grant. The standards of conduct must mandate disinterested 
decision-making.
    A grantee may use not more than 0.25 percent (one quarter of one 
percent) of the grant funds for the administrative costs of the grant.
    The Secretary, in accordance with chapter 37 of title 31, United 
States Code, will collect all or a portion of the funds in the reserve 
account established with grant funds (including any earnings on those 
funds) if the Secretary determines that (a) the grantee has permanently 
ceased to use all or a portion of the funds in such account to 
accomplish the purposes described in the authorizing statute and the 
Performance Agreement or, (b) if not earlier than two years after the 
date on which the entity first receives these funds, the entity has 
failed to make substantial progress in undertaking the grant project.
    (d) Unallowable costs. We specify some unallowable costs in 34 CFR 
225.21.
    We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions 
in the

[[Page 13368]]

Applicable Regulations section in this notice.
    7. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification 
Number, and Central Contractor Registry: To do business with the 
Department of Education, you must--
    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a 
Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);
    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the Central 
Contractor Registry (CCR), the Government's primary registrant 
database;
    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and
    d. Maintain an active CCR registration with current information 
while your application is under review by the Department and, if you 
are awarded a grant, during the project period.
    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet. A DUNS number 
can be created within one business day.
    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or 
organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. 
If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal 
Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a 
new TIN, please allow 2-5 weeks for your TIN to become active.
    The CCR registration process may take five or more business days to 
complete. If you are currently registered with the CCR, you may not 
need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN 
associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will 
need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take 
three or more business days to complete.
    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, 
you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized 
Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with 
Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined in the 
Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see 
http://www.grants.gov/section910/Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf).
    8. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under 
this program must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an 
exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in 
this section.
    a. Electronic Submission of Applications.
    Applications for grants under the Credit Enhancement for Charter 
School Facilities program, CFDA number 84.354A, must be submitted 
electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at 
www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy 
of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and 
submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a 
grant application to us.
    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format 
unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of 
the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no 
later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written 
statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these 
exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that 
is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in 
this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.
    You may access the electronic grant application for the Credit 
Enhancement for Charter School Facilities program at www.Grants.gov. 
You must search for the downloadable application package for this 
program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha 
suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.354, not 84.354A).
    Please note the following:
     When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find 
information about submitting an application electronically through the 
site, as well as the hours of operation.
     Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time 
stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must 
be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as 
otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if 
it is received--that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov 
system--after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application 
deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply 
with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from 
Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application 
because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 
4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
     The amount of time it can take to upload an application 
will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the 
application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we 
strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline 
date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
     You should review and follow the Education Submission 
Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are 
included in the application package for this program to ensure that you 
submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. 
You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to 
Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home 
page at http://www.G5.gov.
     You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you 
if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your 
application in paper format.
     You must submit all documents electronically, including 
all information you typically provide on the following forms: The 
Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of 
Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information--Non-
Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and 
certifications.
     You must attach any narrative sections of your application 
as files in a .PDF (Portable Document) format only. If you upload a 
file type other than a .PDF or submit a password-protected file, we 
will not review that material.
     Your electronic application must comply with any page-
limit requirements described in this notice.
     After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that 
contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates 
receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The 
Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send 
a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification 
indicates that the Department has received your application and has 
assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified 
identifying number unique to your application).
     We may request that you provide us original signatures on 
forms at a later date.
    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues 
with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting 
your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov 
Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a 
Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.
    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your 
application on the application deadline

[[Page 13369]]

date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will 
grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the 
following business day to enable you to transmit your application 
electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application 
by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this 
notice.
    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person 
listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this 
notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you 
experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk 
Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a 
technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that 
problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The 
Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether 
your application will be accepted.

    Note: The extensions to which we refer in this section apply 
only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the 
Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed 
to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before 
the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem 
you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an 
exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your 
application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application 
through the Grants.gov system because--
     You do not have access to the Internet; or
     You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to 
the Grants.gov system; and
     No later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the 
application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business 
day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement 
to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception 
prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.
    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be 
postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline 
date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must 
receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the 
application deadline date.
    Address and mail or fax your statement to: Ann Margaret Galiatsos, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W259, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970. FAX: (202) 205-5630.
    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the 
mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.
    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a 
commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail 
the original and two copies of your application, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.354A), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., 
Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:
    (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 of the 
U.S. Department of Education.
    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do 
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.
    If your application is postmarked after the application deadline 
date, we will not consider your application.

    Note: The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated 
postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your 
local post office.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.
    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission 
requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper 
application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original 
and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the 
application deadline date, to the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: 
(CFDA Number 84.354A) 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center 
Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily 
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except 
Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you 
mail or hand deliver your application to the Department--
    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and--if not provided by 
the Department--in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including 
suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are 
submitting your application; and
    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a 
notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not 
receive this notification within 15 business days from the 
application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of 
Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 225.11 and are listed in the following paragraphs. The 
maximum score for all of the selection criteria is 100 points. The 
maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses. Each 
criterion also includes the factors that the reviewers will consider to 
determine how well an application meets the criterion. We encourage 
applicants to make explicit connections to the selection criteria and 
factors in their applications.
    A. Quality of project design and significance. (35 points)
    In determining the quality of project design and significance, the 
Secretary considers--
    (1) The extent to which the grant proposal would provide financing 
to charter schools at better rates and terms than they can receive 
absent assistance through the program;
    (2) The extent to which the project goals, objectives, and timeline 
are clearly specified, measurable, and appropriate for the purpose of 
the program;
    (3) The extent to which the project implementation plan and 
activities, including the partnerships established, are likely to 
achieve measurable objectives that further the purposes of the program;
    (4) The extent to which the project is likely to produce results 
that are replicable;
    (5) The extent to which the project will use appropriate criteria 
for selecting charter schools for assistance

[[Page 13370]]

and for determining the type and amount of assistance to be given;
    (6) The extent to which the proposed activities will leverage 
private or public-sector funding and increase the number and variety of 
charter schools assisted in meeting their facilities needs beyond what 
would be accomplished absent the program;
    (7) The extent to which the project will serve charter schools in 
States with strong charter laws, consistent with the criteria for such 
laws in section 5202(e)(3) of the ESEA; and
    (8) The extent to which the requested grant amount and the project 
costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and 
potential significance of the project.
    B. Quality of project services. (15 points)
    In determining the quality of the project services, the Secretary 
considers--
    (1) The extent to which the services to be provided by the project 
reflect the identified needs of the charter schools to be served;
    (2) The extent to which charter schools and chartering agencies 
were involved in the design of, and demonstrate support for, the 
project;
    (3) The extent to which the technical assistance and other services 
to be provided by the proposed grant project involve the use of cost-
effective strategies for increasing charter schools' access to 
facilities financing, including the reasonableness of fees and lending 
terms; and
    (4) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
grant project are focused on assisting charter schools with a 
likelihood of success and the greatest demonstrated need for assistance 
under the program.
    C. Capacity. (35 points).
    In determining an applicant's business and organizational capacity 
to carry out the project, the Secretary considers--
    (1) The amount and quality of experience of the applicant in 
carrying out the activities it proposes to undertake in its 
application, such as enhancing the credit on debt issuances, 
guaranteeing leases, and facilitating financing;
    (2) The applicant's financial stability;
    (3) The ability of the applicant to protect against unwarranted 
risk in its loan underwriting, portfolio monitoring, and financial 
management;
    (4) The applicant's expertise in education to evaluate the 
likelihood of success of a charter school;
    (5) The ability of the applicant to prevent conflicts of interest, 
including conflicts of interest by employees and members of the board 
of directors in a decision-making role;
    (6) If the applicant has co-applicants (consortium members), 
partners, or other grant project participants, the specific resources 
to be contributed by each co-applicant (consortium member), partner, or 
other grant project participant to the implementation and success of 
the grant project;
    (7) For State governmental entities, the extent to which steps have 
been or will be taken to ensure that charter schools within the State 
receive the funding needed to obtain adequate facilities; and
    (8) For previous grantees under the charter school facilities 
programs, their performance in implementing these grants.
    D. Quality of project personnel. (15 points)
    In determining the quality of project personnel, the Secretary 
considers--
    (1) The qualifications of project personnel, including relevant 
training and experience, of the project manager and other members of 
the project team, including consultants or subcontractors; and
    (2) The staffing plan for the grant project.
    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 
also 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 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Special Conditions: Under 34 CFR 74.14 and 80.12, the Secretary 
may impose special 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 34 CFR parts 74 or 80, as applicable; has not fulfilled 
the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

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). 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. Reporting: (a) Applicants selected for funding will be required 
to submit to the Department an annual report that includes the 
information from section 5227(b) of the ESEA and any other information 
the Secretary may require.
    Grantees must also cooperate and assist the Department with any 
periodic financial and compliance audits of the grantee, as determined 
necessary by the Department. The specific Performance Agreement between 
the grantee and the Department may contain additional reporting 
requirements. At the end of your project period, you must submit a 
final performance report, including financial information, as directed 
by the Secretary. The Secretary may also require more frequent 
performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c).
    (b) 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).
    4. Performance Measures: The performance measures for this program 
are: (1) The amount of funding grantees leverage for charter schools to 
acquire, construct, and renovate school facilities and (2) the number 
of charter schools served. Grantees must provide this information as 
part of their annual performance reports.

VII. Agency Contact

    For Further Information Contact: Ann Margaret Galiatsos, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W259, 
Washington, DC 20202-

[[Page 13371]]

5970. Telephone: (202) 205-9765 or by e-mail: ann.galiatsos@ed.gov.
    If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. 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 computer diskette) on 
request to the program contact person listed under For Further 
Information Contact in section VII of this notice.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.

    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 via the Federal Digital System at 
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys.


    Dated: March 2011.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2011-5702 Filed 3-10-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P