Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships (LAAP)

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Guide to Proposal Development
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Information and Application Materials
Fiscal Year 2001
Deadline for Submission: March 15, 2001

This section is intended to help you develop and write a stronger proposal by making you aware of the ways it will be reviewed and assessed.1 The LAAP program, by virtue of its emphasis on partnerships and the development of innovative programs of national and regional significance, has a very broad perspective. Proposals can focus on a variety of issues and strategies involving the innovative application of distance learning technology and practices.

THE REVIEW PROCESS

In order to effectively evaluate a large number of proposals addressing a variety of technology-based education strategies, the LAAP program's review process consists of two stages: the preliminary proposal (a seven page, double-spaced narrative with a summary budget) and the final proposal (a twenty-five page, double-spaced narrative with a detailed budget and budget narrative).

The review schedule will be as follows. Preliminary proposals will be due March 15, 2001. By April 25, the preliminary proposal review will be completed and a smaller number of applicants will be invited to submit a final proposal. Final proposals will be due June 15, 2001. It is anticipated that awards will be announced by the end of July 2001.

PRELIMINARY PROPOSALS

Preliminary proposals are first examined by a group of external reviewers, identified and selected each year from among national experts in the area of distance learning and technology-based education (faculty, administrators, business and industry experts, or other distance learning professionals across the country). Preliminary proposals are also examined by an internal staff reviewer. A new group of readers will be selected each year.

Your preliminary proposal should give external reviewers and staff a concrete understanding of the problem your partnership is addressing and the solutions and strategies it proposes, including a brief description of how you will evaluate the results. As noted above, it should be clear how your project strategy differs from and improves upon current practice at the partner institutions, and as compared to educational practice across the country.

It is important to write the proposal narrative in clear, direct language, avoiding jargon, cliches, and acronyms whenever possible. Given the volume of submissions, the preliminary proposal narrative must be limited to seven double-spaced pages, or approximately 1,750 words. We recommend that no resumes or appendices be submitted at this stage.

FINAL PROPOSALS

If you are invited to submit a final proposal, a FIPSE program officer will discuss with you by telephone both the external readers' and the staff's reviews of your preliminary proposal and will remain available to answer questions and offer suggestions to assist you in strengthening the final proposal.

Final proposals will be read carefully by two outside reviewers and one internal staff reviewer, and these reviewers will meet for a panel discussion of the proposal. Additionally, project directors of the most competitive proposals may be telephoned to clarify information about their projects. Staff may also contact others who know the applicant's work and plans or who will be affected by the project.

Again at the final proposal stage, it is important to present your ideas in clear language that will help readers to understand precisely what you intend to do and how you will do it. Your final proposal narrative should not exceed 25 double-spaced pages, or approximately 7,500 words.

To ensure that all applicants enjoy the same opportunity to present their ideas, please conform to the page limitations noted above, maintain 1" margins, and avoid font sizes smaller than 11 point.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Our intent in this section is to identify the selection criteria and help applicants understand how they will be applied during the preliminary and final review processes. Earlier in these guidelines, we have identified a number of ways American students may be assisted in learning anytime anywhere. Note, however, that the LAAP review does not separate proposals rigidly by types of activities, sectors of postsecondary education, or other discrete categories, nor does it assign specific amounts of its budget to specific types of activities. Instead, each proposal competes with all others, using the criteria identified below.

Preliminary proposals and final proposals will be judged on the basis of criteria selected from the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR). Preliminary proposals will be judged on the basis of four selection criteria: the need for the project, the significance of the proposed project, the quality of the design of the proposed project, and the quality of the evaluation to be conducted of the proposed project. Final proposals will be judged on the basis of these four criteria as well as on the basis of three additional ones: the quality of the management plan, the quality of the personnel for the proposed project, and the adequacy of resources for the proposed project.

Each selection criterion is presented in bold type below and followed by a discussion of how it applies to the competition. The external and staff readers of your proposal use these criteria to guide their reviews at both stages of the LAAP competition, so it is in your interest to be familiar with them. Final proposals provide much more detail and description. The final decision on a proposal is based on an overall assessment of the extent to which it satisfactorily addresses all of the selection criteria, weighted equally.

Preliminary proposals will be considered according to the following criteria, weighted equally:

    1) The need for the project, as determined by the following factors:

      a) the magnitude or severity of the problem addressed by the project; and

      b) the magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the project.

You should specifically describe the nature and magnitude of the issue or problem you wish to address, in the context of each individual partner, the entire partnership, and the scope and scale you wish to reach nationwide. These guidelines have identified areas of emphasis. You may choose to address more than one topic in a single project.

How central is the problem you have identified to the future of postsecondary education? What will be the consequences of a successful completion of the project? How will others benefit or learn from your experience?

Note that the intent of the LAAP program is not to support basic research; rather, its focus is on establishing viable partnerships to develop, test, and foster new approaches to learning anytime anywhere.

    2) The significance of the project, as determined by the following factors:

      a) the national significance of the proposed project;

      b) the extent to which the proposed project involves the development or demonstration of promising new strategies that build on, or are alternatives to, existing strategies; and

      c) the importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in teaching and student achievement.

You should describe the nature and scope of the proposed project, the key elements and reasons for the proposed partnership, and the national context of the outcomes. What strategies are being employed? How central is the program to the vitality or the effectiveness of developing learning anytime anywhere? How important is the partnership to the success of the program? What will be the national or regional consequences of a successful completion of your project? How are other educational providers likely to benefit or learn from your experience in ways that would enable them to provide learning anytime anywhere?

Reviewers will appreciate any evidence you can include to illustrate how your project differs from and improves upon previous efforts. Describe the potential contribution of your project to increasing the postsecondary community's knowledge about distance learning and technology-based education, and the likely utility of the products and processes that will result from it. It is the applicant's responsibility to set a context within which reviewers can assess the project's importance to establishing the appropriate national context for learning anytime anywhere.

    3) The quality of the project's design, as determined by the extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs.

Your narrative should offer reviewers a clear description of the roles to be played by each of the partners, who will do what, when, and where, to what ends, and with what anticipated results. Your strategies should be carefully designed to address the central causes of the problem you are addressing, based on your own research and experience, and based on previous experiments by others. Scattershot approaches to vaguely-defined problems make poor prospects for funding. The project's goals and objectives should be clearly identified and measurable.

    4) The quality of the project evaluation, as determined by the extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project.

Evaluation should be an important part of your project planning, and your preliminary proposal should include a brief description of how you intend to document the activities and results of your project. In the final proposal, we ask for a specific section on evaluation in which you state your objectives clearly and present the details of your evaluation design.

Final proposals will be considered according to the following criteria, weighted equally:

    1) The need for the project, as determined by the following factors:

      a) the magnitude or severity of the problem addressed by the project; and

      b) the magnitude of the need for the services to be provided or the activities to be carried out by the project.

You should specifically describe the nature and magnitude of the issue or problem you wish to address, in the context of each individual partner, the entire partnership, and the national scope you wish to reach. These guidelines have identified areas of emphasis. You may choose to address more than one topic in a single project.

How central is the problem you have identified to the future of postsecondary education? What will be the consequences of a successful completion of the project? How will others benefit or learn from your experience?

Note that the intent of the LAAP program is not to support basic research; rather, its focus is on establishing viable partnerships to develop, test, and foster new approaches to learning anytime anywhere.

    2) The significance of the project, as determined by the following factors:

      a) the national significance of the proposed project;

      b) the extent to which the proposed project involves the development or demonstration of promising new strategies that build on, or are alternatives to existing strategies; and

      c) the importance or magnitude of the results or outcomes likely to be attained by the proposed project, especially improvements in teaching and student achievement.

You should describe the nature and scope of the proposed project, the key elements and reasons for the proposed partnership, and the national context of the outcomes. What strategies are being employed? How central is the program to the vitality or the effectiveness of developing learning anytime anywhere? How important is the partnership to the success of the program? What will be the national or regional consequences of a successful completion of your project? How are other educational providers likely to benefit or learn from your experience in ways that would enable them to provide learning anytime anywhere?

Reviewers will appreciate any evidence you can include to illustrate how your project differs from and improves upon previous efforts. Describe the potential contribution of your project to increasing the postsecondary community's knowledge about distance learning and technology-based education, and the likely utility of the products and processes that will result from it. It is the applicant's responsibility to set a context within which reviewers can assess the project's national importance.

    3) The quality of the project's design, as determined by:

      a) the extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs; and

      b) the extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable.

Your narrative should offer reviewers a clear description of the role of each of the partners: who will do what, when, and where, to what ends, and with what anticipated results? Your strategies should be carefully designed to address the central causes of the problem targeted by your project, based on your own research and experience, and based on previous experiments by others. Scattershot approaches to vaguely-defined problems make poor prospects for funding. The project's goals and objectives should be clearly identified and measurable.

An important element of your design is the level of commitment from all of the partners. Partners should not be selected only because of name recognition or size. Partners should be selected for their demonstrated level of interest in being part of the project as well as for providing evidence for making a substantial commitment to the success of the project.

Commitment includes strong support from the highest levels of administration, and is marked by adequate staff resources and financial contributions to successfully meet the goals of the project. It also includes the participation by all of the partners as active players devoting both the time and resources to implement the innovation and providing the sustained involvement of management, administrators, faculty, and staff within the partnership.

All proposed projects should plan for disseminating their findings and scaling up their activities. Reviewers will be seeking evidence that your project will eventually advance beyond pilot testing to reach significant numbers of students and become economically sustainable. Also, reviewers will be interested in your plans to inform others of your project results and your strategies to encourage adaptation or replication of model practices or products. In reviewing plans for dissemination and scale up, we ask whether the methods proposed are appropriate for the project in question and whether they improve upon methods used elsewhere.

    4) The quality of the project evaluation, as determined by the following factors:

      a) the extent to which the methods of evaluation are thorough, feasible, and appropriate to the goals, objectives, and outcomes of the proposed project; and

      b) the extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative data to the extent possible.

Formative evaluation can help you manage your project more effectively, and a strong summative evaluation, especially if it documents the project's effects on learning outcomes, can turn a successful project into a national model for improvement in postsecondary education. As you develop your evaluation plan, place yourself in the position of the recipient of your final evaluation report. What would count as solid quantitative and qualitative evidence that your project had succeeded or failed to achieve its goals? It may be difficult, within the term of the grant, to assess accomplishment of long-range objectives, but you should be able to identify some short-term indicators. Bear in mind that the goals of project sustainability and national impact may well elude you unless you can provide solid evidence that your project is achieving its aims. Developing such evidence should not be put off until the last stages of a project. It must be a consideration from the design stage onward.

FIPSE provides a short bibliography of books and articles on program evaluation to assist you with evaluation design. These references clarify formative and summative evaluation. They address evidence, measurement, and sampling questions, and discuss the immediate and long- range outcomes you can expect, based on your project objectives. This bibliography is available on the FIPSE/LAAP website, or by telephone or mail request to the FIPSE office.

    5) The quality of the management plan, as determined by the plan's adequacy to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and with budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks.

Charts and timetables are particularly helpful in describing the structure of your project and the procedures for conducting it to a successful conclusion. Objectives, actors, events, beneficiaries, and anticipated results should be clearly spelled out.

    6) The quality of project personnel, as determined by:

      a) the qualifications, including training and experience, of key project personnel; and

      b) the extent to which the applicant encourages applications for employment from persons who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability.

The qualifications of key personnel, including the project director and any consultants or subcontractors, should be briefly outlined in an appendix to the final proposal. Please note that a standard curriculum vitae is usually not appropriate for this purpose. What is needed is a short form resume and a brief narrative summary of each individual's background, with a special focus on those experiences related to the topic of your proposal.

    7) The adequacy of resources for the proposed project, as determined by the following factors:

      a) the extent to which the budget is adequate to support the proposed project;

      b) the extent to which costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project;

      c) the demonstrated commitment of each partner in the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project;

      d) the adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, supplies, and other resources from the applicant organization; and

      e) the potential for continued support of the project after Federal funding ends, including the demonstrated commitment of appropriate entities to such support.

It should be clear that you have carefully allocated appropriate resources and personnel for the tasks and activities described in your proposal. Even at the preliminary proposal stage, it is in the applicant's best interest to prepare an estimated budget carefully. There is no point in jeopardizing the success of the project through insufficient allocation of funds; nor is it helpful to overestimate its costs to the partnership or to LAAP. A detailed budget justification attached to your final proposal should itemize the support you request from LAAP and those resources you expect to obtain from other sources. Remember that LAAP will provide not more than fifty percent of the total cost of a LAAP project. LAAP cannot purchase facilities or support construction and it rarely supports equipment purchase or student financial aid, but these costs may be included in your institutional contribution to the project.

Because LAAP partnerships should promote economies of scale in program development and delivery and because LAAP believes cost-effectiveness increases the likelihood that successful efforts will be continued beyond the period of the grant, and be replicated by others, budgets will be carefully scrutinized. But cost-effectiveness should not imply insufficient resources to accomplish the project's goals and objectives. Costs should be allocated, and will be judged, in comparison to the scope of the project and its anticipated benefits.

It is important to provide evidence that the plans you propose have the support of those who will authorize them, those who will carry them out, and those who will be affected by them. At the preliminary proposal stage, it is enough to note such support in your narrative. Final proposals should include, in an appendix, letters of commitment and support from senior administrators of members of the partnership, and, if desired, national experts on the issues addressed in the proposal. Applicants are advised that the quality of letters of support is important, not their quantity.

The lead applicant and all partners must support the project both philosophically and financially. LAAP funds cannot cover more than fifty percent of total project costs (i.e. there must be at least a one to one match). We expect applicants to share indirect as well as direct costs. We do not specify a particular indirect cost rate. As a reference point, FIPSE/LAAP staff generally use the U.S. Department of Education training rate of eight percent of total direct costs as a basis for judgments about reasonable indirect costs.

LAAP grants will generally be used to support the start-up of new programs or activities that are intended to continue after the grant ends. Your final proposal should have a clear and continuing plan for long-term continuation of your project that includes explicit commitments from those who will be responsible for sustaining the activity.

SELECTION OF PROPOSALS

The order in which the proposals will be ranked for selection will be determined by the evaluation of their quality according to the selection criteria. Final decisions for funding will be made by:

  • the information in each application;

  • the rank ordering of the applications; and

  • any other information relevant to a criterion, priority, or other requirement that applies to the selection of applications for new grants, including information concerning the applicant's use of funds under a previous award under the same Federal program.

SUBMITTING YOUR PROPOSAL

The LAAP program has a two-stage submission and review process. To be eligible to submit a final proposal and to qualify for funding consideration, all applicants must submit a preliminary proposal on or before March 15, 2001.

By April 25, 2001, all preliminary proposals will be reviewed, and FIPSE will mail notifications to applicants invited to submit final proposals. Final proposals must be submitted on or before June 15, 2001.

The announced closing dates and procedures for guaranteeing timely submission will be strictly observed.

Applicants should also note that the closing date applies to both the date the proposal is mailed and the hand delivery date. A mailed application meets the requirements if it is mailed on or before the pertinent closing date and the required proof of mailing is provided. Proof of mailing may consist of one of the following: (a) a legible dated U.S. Postal Service postmark; (b) a legible receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service; (c) a dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier, or (d) any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of Education.

If an application is sent through the U.S. Postal Service, the Secretary will not accept either of the following as proof of mailing: (1) a private metered postmark, or (2) a mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service. Please use first class mail. All applicants will receive acknowledgment notices upon receipts of preliminary proposals and final proposals. If you do not receive an acknowledgment notice within six weeks of the closing date, please contact FIPSE using the address or phone number in the introduction to these guidelines. Please wait the full six weeks before contacting us for an acknowledgment.

MAILING ADDRESS FOR PRELIMINARY AND FINAL PROPOSALS

LAAP PROGRAM
ATTN: 84. 339A
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
APPLICATION CONTROL CENTER
ROOM 3633
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20202-4725

SUBMISSION PROCEDURES FOR PRELIMINARY PROPOSALS

Mailed Proposals: Proposals sent by mail must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2001. First class mail should be used. Use the above address.

Hand Delivered Proposals: Preliminary proposals will be accepted daily between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, D.C. time except Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal holidays, at the Application Control Center, General Services Administration Building, 7th & D Streets, SW, Washington, D.C. Preliminary proposals will not be accepted after 4:30 p.m. on March 15, 2001.

Number of Copies: All applicants must submit one (1) signed original and two (2) complete copies of the preliminary proposal. Each copy must be covered with Title Page, ED 40-504 (included with these guidelines) or a reasonable facsimile. Applicants are also requested to submit three (3) additional copies of the Title page itself.

Content: Preliminary proposals should be written clearly and concisely, and should include the following:

    Title Page: Use Form ED 40-736 or a suitable facsimile to cover each copy of the proposal. At the preliminary stage, you need not complete items 1 and 2. Be sure your proposal abstract (item 8) is clear and concrete, as it will be used at several points in the review. See the instructions on the back of the enclosed title page for additional information. Please list every member of the partnership in item 4.

    Narrative: It should consist of no more than seven double-spaced, numbered pages with standard 1" margins, or approximately 1,750 words, and in a font size no smaller than 11 point. Please review the selection criteria in the Guide to Proposal Development above. Although no standard outline is required, you should:

    • briefly describe the partnership, the problem you intend to address, and the objectives of your project;

    • state how your partnership addresses the problem;

    • explain how your partnership would improve upon present practice in distance and technology-based education nationally; and

    • state how you plan to evaluate whether you have achieved your goals.

    Budget: No detailed breakdowns or justifications are required at the preliminary stage, but you should carefully estimate major expenditures in each of the categories indicated on the enclosed budget page. Proposals that request equipment funds, student financial assistance monies, or high indirect costs are rarely competitive. LAAP cannot support construction costs, nor can it purchase facilities. Applicants must share at least fifty (50) percent of total LAAP project costs (i.e., a one to one match). On the bottom of the enclosed budget page, please total the estimated cost share provided by all of the project partners.

    Partner Identification Forms: You should include a lead partner identification form for the lead applicant/fiscal agent and one partner form for each of the other project partners. These partner forms should include a careful estimate by category of the cost share provided by each respective partner. However, at the preliminary proposal stage, no detailed breakdown of these cost share categories is necessary.

    Appendices: We generally recommend that no appendices be included with preliminary proposals; however, it is occasionally essential to include a small amount (one or two pages) of information about the partners, problem, or strategy as an appendix. Unless this appendix is short, it will not be included in the review process. Please do not submit resumes at this stage.

Upon receiving your preliminary proposal the Application Control Center will mail you an acknowledgment that will include the reference number (PR/Award Number) that has been assigned to your proposal. It will begin with P339A01, followed by a four-digit number. Always mention the complete PR/Award number in your communications with FIPSE/LAAP.

SUBMISSION PROCEDURES FOR FINAL PROPOSALS

Mailed Proposals: Final proposals sent by mail must be postmarked no later than June 15, 2001.

Hand Delivered Proposals: Hand delivered final proposals will be accepted daily between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, D.C. time except Saturdays, Sundays, or Federal holidays, at the Application Control Center, 7th & D Streets, SW, Room 3633, General Services Administration Building, Washington, D.C. Final proposals will not be accepted after 4:30 p.m. on June 15, 2001.

Number of Copies: All applicants must submit one (1) signed original and two (2) complete copies of the final proposal. Each proposal copy must be covered with a Title Page, Form ED-40-514, or a reasonable facsimile. Applicants are also requested to submit three (3) additional copies of the Title Page itself.

Content: Proposals should be concise and clearly written, and should include the following:

    Title Page: Use Form ED 40-736 or a suitable facsimile to cover each proposal copy. Please include a brief abstract of your project in the space provided. Additional instructions are printed on the reverse side of the Title Page. Please list all members of the partnership in item 4.

    Abstract: Attach a one-page double-spaced abstract following the Title Page (this is in addition to the abstract requested on the Title Page itself). The abstract should identify the problem or opportunity being addressed, the proposed project activities, and their intended outcomes. It should also include a concise summary of what is innovative about the project.

    Proposal Narrative: Please review the Selection Criteria described in these guidelines. While FIPSE does not prescribe a standard outline for all applicants, in no more than 25 double-spaced, numbered page with standard 1" margins, or approximately 7,500 words, and in a font size no small than 11 point, you should: (1) identify the issue or problem you are addressing and the project's objectives; (2) describe the proposed strategies and how they improve existing practice; (3) describe your partnership's capacity and commitment to the project; (4) indicate the name of the institution or organization who will be the partnership's lead fiscal agent and what role this lead organization will play in relation to the other partners; and (5) discuss your plans for evaluation and dissemination. If someone other than the named project director was the principal writer of the proposal, please include his or her name, title and affiliation at the end of the narrative.

    Budget Form: The top of the budget form should include the total requested funds in each of the categories indicated. On the bottom of the form, please identify the total cost share committed by all of the project partners, again using the categories indicated on the budget form.

    Partner Identification Forms: You should include a lead partner identification form for the lead applicant/fiscal agent and one partner form for each of the other project partners. On each partner form, you should identify the total cost sharing commitment from that partner, using the budget categories indicated.

    Budget Narrative: For both the budget request and the cost share, you should include a detailed spreadsheet breaking down and itemizing the categories represented on the budget form and partner forms. And there should be an accompanying budget narrative that explains how you calculated costs for each item and how these costs relate to project activities. Remember, the non-federal support for the project must total 50 percent of the total project costs - i.e., the partners collectively must match the amount requested from LAAP dollar for dollar.

    Appendices: Please provide a brief summary of the background and experience of key project staff as they relate to the specific project activities you are proposing. Letters of support and commitment from appropriate officials at the sponsoring partnership and project partners are also necessary. Do not attach any other appendices or information unless they are directly relevant to your project. Appendices must be attached to all copies of the final proposal to be included in the review.

    Assurances and Certifications: When your partnership representative signs the Title Page and Certifications form, the partnership certifies that it will comply with the assurances and certifications contained in these guidelines.

    Additional Requirements (see below): The final proposal contents should also include some additional materials indicating compliance with federal regulations. These requirements are explained below.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FINAL PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS

If you are invited to submit a final proposal, you will receive additional instructions about complying with the following regulations when submitting your application.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL REVIEW OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS (EXECUTIVE ORDER 12372)

This competition is subject to the requirements of Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs, and the regulations in 34 CFR 79. The objective is to foster a Federal and State intergovernmental coordination and review of proposed Federal financial assistance. Applicants are directed to the appropriate State single point of contact to comply with the State's procedures under this Executive Order. A list of these contacts is available at:

If you are invited to submit a final proposal, you receive further directions later about submitting a copy of your proposal to the appropriate contact in your State.

THE GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE AND RESULTS ACT (GPRA)

The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 is a straightforward statute that requires all Federal agencies to manage their activities with attention to the consequences of those activities. Each agency is to clearly state what intends to accomplish, identify the resources required, and periodically report their progress to the Congress. In doing so, it is expected that GPRA will contribute to improvements in accountability for the expenditures of public funds, improve Congressional decision-making through more objective information on the effectiveness of Federal programs, and promote a new government focus on results, service delivery, and customer satisfaction. If you are invited to submit a final proposal, we will provide you a list of the performance indicators that have been developed for the LAAP program (they will also be posted on the LAAP website), and, if funded, you will be asked to collect and report data from your project on these indicators.

SECTION 427 OF GEPA

Section 427 of the Department of Education's General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) requires each applicant for funds (other than an individual person) to include in its application a description of the steps the applicant proposes to take to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, its Federally-assisted program for students, teachers, and other program beneficiaries with special needs. This provision allows applicants discretion in developing the required description. The statute highlights six types of barriers that can impede equitable access or participation: gender, race, national origin, color, disability, or age. Based on local circumstances, you should determine whether these or other barriers may prevent your students, teachers, etc. from such access or participation in, the Federally-funded project or activity.

If you are invited to submit a final proposal, you will be required to provide a description of steps to be taken to overcome these barriers. It need not be lengthy, and you need only to address those barriers that are applicable to your circumstances. In addition, the information may be provided in a single narrative, or, if appropriate, may be discussed in connection with related topics in the application.

PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS IN RESEARCH

The Department of Education's regulations for the protection of human subjects, 34 CFR, Part 97, require that each institution engaged in the conduct of covered research activities have an approved Assurance of Compliance on file and provide Certification that the Institutional Review Board (IRB) designated in the Assurance has reviewed and approved the proposed research activities before they are initiated. If you are invited to submit a final proposal, you will be asked to provide assurances of compliance or information about your exemptions from applicable regulations. Further information about the U.S. Department of Education's Protection of Human Subjects in Research may be found on the web at:

http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocfo/humansub.html

Y2K REQUIREMENTS

Y2K and Accessibility for the Disabled: Systems that are being purchased, upgraded or modified to meet Y2K requirements must also be accessible to people with disabilities in order to meet existing obligations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Grantees may also be covered by the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 or the Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988. The Department of Education has a set of requirements for Accessible Software Design and other resources that can be used to evaluate system accessibility. Accessibility needs to be a deciding factor whenever systems improvements are being made; the pressure of remediating the Y2K problem should not lead grantees to neglect this requirement.

Additional Y2K Information: The General Services Administration's Office of Information Technology maintains an Internet site http://www.itpolicy.gsa.gov which includes valuable information on Y2K requirements. Check under the heading "Year 2000 Directories." The Education Department's Requirements for Accessible Software Design are at:

http://www.ed.gov/fund/contract/apply/clibrary/software.html

You may also want to visit the Department's Y2K web site at:

http://www.y2k.gov

PAPERWORK BURDEN STATEMENT

According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. The valid OMB control number for this information collection is 1840-0736. The time required to complete this information collection is estimated to average 15 hours for the preliminary proposal and 30 hours for the final proposal per response, including the time to review instructions, search existing data resources, gather the data needed, and complete and review the information collection. If you have any comments concerning the accuracy of the time estimate(s) or suggestions for improving this form, please write to: Patrick J. Sherrill, U.S. Department of Education, ROB-3, Room 5624, 7th and D Streets S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4651. If you have comments or concerns regarding the status of your individual submission of this form, write directly to: LAAP Coordinator, FIPSE, 8th floor, 1990 K St NW, Washington, DC 20006-8544.

1 This program information is intended to aid applicants in applying for assistance under this competition. Nothing in this application package is intended to impose any paperwork, application content, reporting, or grantee performance requirement beyond those specifically imposed under the statute and regulations governing the competition.

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Last Modified: 05/17/2005