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School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs

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Fequently Asked Questions

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  1. What is the goal of this grant competition?
  2. What steps can I take to maximize my chances of receiving a grant?
  3. Who is eligible to apply?
  4. May I submit an application on behalf of my local school?
  5. May private schools or non-profit organizations apply?
  6. What are some of the circumstances that might cause a grant application submitted for funding under this competition to be deemed ineligible for review?
  7. What is the project and budget period for these grants?
  8. What is the deadline date for transmittal of applications under this grant competition?
  9. May I get an extension of the deadline date?
  10. What is an indirect cost rate?
  11. How do I obtain a negotiated, restricted indirect cost rate?
  12. May I use the indirect cost rate assigned by my state department of education instead of a federal rate?
  13. Who in my organization may be able to provide information about our negotiated, restricted indirect cost rate?
  14. Is there a matching requirement?
  15. How does the Freedom of Information Act affect my application?
  16. Do I need to register with CCR (Central Contractor Registry) to submit my application using Grants.gov?
  17. If I am submitting electronically, how should I submit the signed face sheet (and other required forms)?
  18. Can we submit our application through the Department of Education web site (www.ed.gov )?
  19. How much money is available under this grant competition?
  20. How many new awards will be made?
  21. Can we hire an external evaluator?
  22. What is the role of a medical review officer?
  23. Am I required to keep students in the testing pool during the time they are not participating in a covered activity?
  24. Where can I find more information about student drug-testing programs?
  25. Can grant funds be used to pay for drug testing students who park on campus?
  26. If our State Supreme Court has authorized drug testing for students who park on campus, may we use ED funds to pay for tests for this population?
  27. May we test all of our students who participate in extra-curricular activities?
  28. Can our program use grant funds to hire staff to work with students who test positive?
  29. Can our program offer incentives to students who test negative for drugs?
  30. We want to have a volunteer student drug-testing program. Can we use grant funds to pay for student clubs or incentives?
  31. My district would like to implement a research-based program to help students stay drug free. May we use grant funds to purchase the program and train teachers in its implementation?
  32. My district would like to implement a research-based program to help students stay drug free. May we use grant funds to purchase the program and train teachers in its implementation?
  33. We want to have parent meetings several times throughout the year to provide information about the testing program. May we charge meeting supplies to the grant?
  34. Contact Information

1. What is the goal of this grant competition?

The goal of this grant competition is to provide funds to develop and implement or expand school-based, student drug testing programs as a means to deter student drug use.

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2. What steps can I take to maximize my chances of receiving a grant?
  1. Before preparing your application, read the application package carefully and completely.
  2. Follow all of the instructions exactly.
  3. The Absolute Priority and Other Application Requirements establish the parameters for applications under a grant competition. If your application does not meet the absolute priority and other application requirements for this grant competition, it will not be considered for funding.
  4. A panel of three non-federal independent reviewers from the drug abuse and violence prevention fields will review your application. Be sure to organize your application clearly, provide requested information in a comprehensive manner, and respond to each selection criterion thoroughly. Reviewers are not allowed to give you “the benefit of the doubt”; therefore, if information is not in your application, reviewers cannot award points for it.
  5. Be sure that your application includes a budget request (ED Form 524) and complete narrative justification for each project year.
  6. Be sure to transmit your application on or before the deadline date May 8, 2007.
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3. Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants for these grants are local educational agencies (LEAs) and public and private entities.

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4. May I submit an application on behalf of my local school?

An application submitted by an individual school will not be considered unless it meets the definition of a local educational agency.

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5. May private schools or non-profit organizations apply?

Yes.

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6. What are some of the circumstances that might cause a grant application submitted for funding under this competition to be deemed ineligible for review?

Some common reasons applications are rejected include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Failure to address the absolute priority.
  • Failure to address the other application requirements for this competition.
  • A preponderance of the activities proposed in the application is unallowable under the requirements of the competition.
  • The applicant is currently a U.S. Department of Education student drug-testing demonstration grantee.
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7. What is the project and budget period for these grants?

The project period will be for up to 36 months. Projects will be funded for one year with an option for two additional years, contingent upon substantial progress by the grantee and the availability of funds.

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8. What is the deadline date for transmittal of applications under this grant competition?

May 8, 2007.

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9. May I get an extension of the deadline date?

Waivers for individual applications failing to meet the deadline will not be granted, regardless of the circumstances. Under very extraordinary circumstances, the Department may change the closing date for this grant competition. When this occurs, the Department announces such a change in a notice published in the Federal Register.

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10. What is an indirect cost rate?

An indirect cost is an expense that you incur that is necessary to implementing the grant, but may be difficult to identify with your grant. For example, indirect costs may include money spent for heat, light, rent, telephone, security, accounting, and Internet use.

If your organization prefers to use all of its grant funds for direct project costs, you are not required to charge the grant for indirect costs. If you wish to charge indirect costs, however, you must use a negotiated restricted indirect cost rate for this competition. If you do not have a negotiated rate, you may request a provisional rate. You will then have 90 days to submit the necessary paperwork to the Department to receive a negotiated indirect cost. For more information, please see: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocfo/fipao/icgindex.html.

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11. How do I obtain a negotiated, restricted indirect cost rate?

Your organization may already have a negotiated, restricted indirect cost rate with a Federal government agency. If your organization has not negotiated this rate in the past, please contact Katrina McDonald with the Department of Education's Indirect Cost Group at 202-377-3838 or Katrina.Mcdonald@ed.gov.

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12. May I use the indirect cost rate assigned by my state department of education instead of a federal rate?

Yes, ED will accept either a state rate or a rate negotiated with another federal agency. You must include a copy of your current rate agreement in your application package.

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13. Who in my organization may be able to provide information about our negotiated, restricted indirect cost rate?

If you do not know your negotiated, restricted indirect cost rate, please contact your business office. Please note you will need to submit proof of this cost rate, such as a signed letter or a page from a state agency web site.

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14. Is there a matching requirement?

No.

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15. How does the Freedom of Information Act affect my application?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information. All agencies of the U.S. Government are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for those records that are protected from disclosure by the nine exemptions listed in the FOIA. All applications submitted for funding consideration under this grant competition are subject to the FOIA. To read the text of the Freedom of Information Act, visit www.usdoj.gov/04foia/foiastat.htm.

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16. Do I need to register with CCR (Central Contractor Registry) to submit my application using Grants.gov?

Yes. Before you can apply for a grant through Grants.gov, your organization must obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number and register with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR). Go to the CCR Website and select the "Start New Registration" option to begin the registration process. Please allow 1-2 business days for processing of your registration including the IRS validating your Employer Identification Number (Social Security Number - also known as your Taxpayer Identification Number). If you have the information ready, online registration will take about 30 minutes, depending on the complexity of your organization. Once you finish this process, you are able to move on to the next step of the Grants.gov registration the very next business day.

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17. If I am submitting electronically, how should I submit the signed face sheet (and other required forms)?

If you are submitting an electronic application, you are required to fax the signed face page and the required assurances to the Department of Education in accordance with the instructions listed elsewhere in this application package. After reviewing the instructions, please fax assurances to 202-205-5722.

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18. Can we submit our application through the Department of Education web site (www.ed.gov )?

No. All electronic applications must be submitted through www.grants.gov.

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19. How much money is available under this grant competition?

Approximately $1.6 million is available to fund new grants under this competition in fiscal year 2007. This figure is only an estimate and does not bind the Department to any specific level of funding.

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20. How many new awards will be made?

It is estimated that 11 new awards will be made.

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21. Can we hire an external evaluator?

Grant funds may be used to hire an external evaluator, although it is not required. There is a ten percent cap on the site based evaluation activities for this competition.

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22. What is the role of a medical review officer?

A medical review officer (MRO) is a licensed physician who is also an expert in drug and alcohol testing and the Federal regulations governing such testing. It is the job of the MRO to ensure the integrity of the drug test. If a test is positive, the medical review officer consults with the student and/or the student's family and gives them an opportunity to supply evidence that there was a justifiable reason for the positive test, such as a properly prescribed legal medication. If the MRO determines that the positive test was not the result of illegal drug use, the test is reported as negative. Having an MRO on board helps protect the rights of students and can have the added benefit of strengthening the school's position if the test results are ever challenged.

Most laboratories can provide a list of available MROs. To verify the certification status of MROs, see the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Web site at http://www.asam.org. For more information about certified labs, visit the Web site for SAMHSA's Division of Workplace Programs.

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23. Am I required to keep students in the testing pool during the time they are not participating in a covered activity?

Applicants have flexibility to propose drug-testing programs that take into consideration the special needs and circumstances in the LEA; are consistent with their adopted policies; and are in accordance with the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court in Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 515 U.S. 646 (1995), and Board of Education of Independent School District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls, 536 U.S. 822 (2002) and advice of the LEA's legal counsel. Therefore, we do not require that students remain in the testing pool when they are not participating in a covered activity, but leave the length of time students are subject to testing to the discretion and policies of each district.

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24. Where can I find more information about student drug-testing programs?

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy published two booklets providing information about student drug testing in schools. Those publications are titled, "What You Need to Know About Drug Testing in Schools" and "What You Need to Know about Starting a Student Drug-Testing Program" and can be found online at:
"What You Need to Know About Drug Testing In Schools"
- and -
"What You Need To Know About Starting A Student Drug Testing Program"

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25. Can grant funds be used to pay for drug testing students who park on campus?

No. This program has been carefully designed in accordance with decisions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. To date, the Court has not ruled on whether students who park on campus may be subject to drug testing.

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26. If our State Supreme Court has authorized drug testing for students who park on campus, may we use ED funds to pay for tests for this population?

No. ED funds may be used only to test students who participate in athletics, students who participate in competitive, extra-curricular, school-sponsored activities, or students who volunteer to be tested.

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27. May we test all of our students who participate in extra-curricular activities?

Only to the extent the extra-curricular activities are competitive. If the activities are not competitive, that is, students do not compete against students in another district, you may not use these funds to drug test those students.

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28. Can our program use grant funds to hire staff to work with students who test positive?

Grant funds may be used to pay for staff to implement and carry out the drug-testing program. When a student tests positive for alcohol or other drug use, staff may be paid for time spent counseling the student, conducting an alcohol/drug abuse assessment, and for referring a student to alcohol or other drug treatment services. Generally, however, the number of students who test positive does not warrant the addition of a full time staff person devoted exclusively to counseling. Funds may not be used for alcohol or other drug abuse treatment services.

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29. Can our program offer incentives to students who test negative for drugs?

No, grant funds may not be used to provide incentives for students to participate in the drug-testing program. We encourage programs to partner with businesses and other community organizations to obtain donations for incentives.

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30. We want to have a volunteer student drug-testing program. Can we use grant funds to pay for student clubs or incentives?

No. Funds may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Student drug tests administered under suspicion of drug use;
  • Incentives for students to participate in programs;
  • Drug treatment;
  • Drug prevention curricula or other prevention programs.
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31. My district would like to implement a research-based program to help students stay drug free. May we use grant funds to purchase the program and train teachers in its implementation?

My district would like to implement a research-based program to help students stay drug free.

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32. My district would like to implement a research-based program to help students stay drug free. May we use grant funds to purchase the program and train teachers in its implementation?

No, funds may not be used to purchase prevention curricula, materials, or training.

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33. We want to have parent meetings several times throughout the year to provide information about the testing program. May we charge meeting supplies to the grant?

Yes, activities that are directly related to implementing the drug-testing program, including parent and community outreach, may be charged to the grant.

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34. Contact Information

Who may I contact for more information about the Grants for School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs?

You may contact either Sigrid Melus at 202/260-2673 or Kandice.Kostic@ed.gov at 202/260-7836.

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Last Modified: 11/07/2011