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Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program

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Application Process Frequently Asked Quesions

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  1. How do I submit a letter of intent to apply?
  2. How will applications be selected for funding?
  3. When should we anticipate that grant awards will be made?
  4. Will an applicant have an advantage (or disadvantage) if it applies under BOTH Absolute Priority 1 and Absolute Priority 2?
  5. Must applicants describe their proposed multiyear project activities and provide a multiyear budget?
  6. May an applicant apply for just a partial waiver of TQP’s dollar-for-dollar match requirement?
  7. If applicants do not have sufficient time prior to submitting their project applications to get firm commitments on the non-Federal match, should their applications still identify organizations as contributing match even if there is no firm agreement?
  8. Considering the projected October 1, 2014 start date, do prospective applicants need to start reforming courses/beginning the residency program immediately? Can they take some time to plan?
  9. May projects propose to support new teachers in induction programs for more than the two years that the law requires?
  10. May an entity be a partner in more than one application?
  11. Do I have to address one of the Competitive Preference Priority (CPPs)?
  12. Should I address the CPPs in the application narrative, or in some other part of the application?
  13. In addressing CPP1 (focus on STEM subjects), do I have to address only high school?
  14. Does my state have to have adopted the Common Core State Standards to receive points for CPP2?
  15. To receive points for CPP1, does my project only reform teacher preparation programs in teaching STEM subjects?
  16. Section 202(b)(7) requires that applications include information about two-year induction program for new teachers. If participants complete the prep program in year 4 or 5, must applications describe the induction activities after the project period?
  17. What type of information to confirm the status of participating high-need LEAs should applicants include in their TQP applications?
  18. Is a focus on ECE a required component?
  19. How is high-need early childhood defined for those projects focused only on ECE?
  20. If a State does not have an early childhood education (ECE) credential, may an applicant nevertheless include a focus on preparing ECE teachers?

1. How do I submit a letter of intent to apply?

An actual letter is not needed. Just fill out the intent to apply form (http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/CFAPPS/survey/survey.cfm?ID=85f0f728-f17e-489a-91c7-be47e4358a4e). Although this step is not required, it is helpful to the Department staff in planning for the competition.

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2. How will applications be selected for funding?

Applications will be evaluated by a three-person review panel and scored according to the program’s selection criteria announced in the Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, as published in the Federal Register on May 28, 2014.

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3. When should we anticipate that grant awards will be made?

We estimate awarding grants the last week of September 2014, with an October 1st start date.

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4. Will an applicant have an advantage (or disadvantage) if it applies under BOTH Absolute Priority 1 and Absolute Priority 2?

No. Applications will be scored solely on how well they meet the TQP program’s selection criteria. However, if an applicant chooses to address both Absolute Priorities, its application must address all requirements of both Priorities. Peer reviewers will decide on how well each applicant addresses the Absolute Priority or Priorities it has chosen relative to the Selection Criteria. Note that if an applicant provides a strong response to one absolute priority, but a weak response to the other absolute priority, this may impact the peer reviewers’ score for the application.

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5. Must applicants describe their proposed multiyear project activities and provide a multiyear budget?

Yes. Section 75.112(b) of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) requires that applications include “a narrative that describes how and when, in each budget period of the project, the applicant plans to meet each objective of the project.” Applicants must also propose multi-year matching budgets. For funded projects, the Department will use this information both for purposes of monitoring and providing assistance, and for determining, if on the basis of its annual performance report and other information, a grantee has made substantial progress toward meeting the approved application goals and objectives and thereby, under section 75.253 of EDGAR, may receive a continuation award.

Applicants for new awards also must provide a proposed budget using form ED 524 and a detailed budget justification or narrative for all budget years of the proposed project, not just the first year. Before awarding a grant for the initial budget year, the Department will determine the size of award a grant recipient will receive for each year of the project (assuming availability of appropriations and that the grantee’s receipt of a continuation award for future years is warranted). See sections 75.117, 75.232, and 75.253 of EDGAR.

In their proposed budgets, applicants should include costs for two or three people to attend an annual project directors meeting in Washington, DC.

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6. May an applicant apply for just a partial waiver of TQP’s dollar-for-dollar match requirement?

Yes, we encourage applicants to secure the full match from their partners and other organization. If they can secure part, but not all, of the 100% match, applicants may apply for a partial waiver.

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7. If applicants do not have sufficient time prior to submitting their project applications to get firm commitments on the non-Federal match, should their applications still identify organizations as contributing match even if there is no firm agreement?

We understand that proposed budgets are applicants’ best estimates at the time of application, and circumstances will change over the 5 years of the grant. We recommend that applicants do their best to confirm and document their expected match, but we will work with you grantees after award to finalize their match responsibilities and review waiver requests, if needed.

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8. Considering the projected October 1, 2014 start date, do prospective applicants need to start reforming courses/beginning the residency program immediately? Can they take some time to plan?

Yes, applicants awarded TQP funds may continue to plan activities after award before beginning their implementation stage. The proposed budget submitted with the application should indicate its intent to do so.

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9. May projects propose to support new teachers in induction programs for more than the two years that the law requires?

Yes. The statute requires that projects implement induction programs for at least two years. Grant funds may be used to support induction programs that are longer than two years if such programs are described in the approved application.

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10. May an entity be a partner in more than one application?

Yes. Partners within an eligible partnership may apply for or participate in more than one grant, but the same partnership may receive no more than one grant during a project’s five-year period.

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11. Do I have to address one of the Competitive Preference Priority (CPPs)?

No. The CPPs are optional, but reflect priorities that the Department of Education believes are important. However, by addressing them your application may receive additional points.

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12. Should I address the CPPs in the application narrative, or in some other part of the application?

CPPs that you intend to address should be clearly stated at the front of your application. If you do not explicitly state that you are addressing these priorities, you may not receive points.

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13. In addressing CPP1 (focus on STEM subjects), do I have to address only high school?

No. You may address STEM preparation for any students in K-12.

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14. Does my state have to have adopted the Common Core State Standards to receive points for CPP2?

No. But under CPP2, points are awarded only for projects that support the implementation of internationally benchmarked, college- and career-ready academic standards held in common by multiple States and to improve instruction and learning.

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15. To receive points for CPP1, does my project only reform teacher preparation programs in teaching STEM subjects?

No. If you are addressing AP1, recall that you must make the required reforms to each of the IHE’s teacher preparation programs. If you are addressing AP2, you are permitted to prepare non-STEM teachers as well. Peer reviewers will be instructed to award points only to applicants that are found to be rated sufficiently high in the way they address one or both of the absolute priorities.

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16. Section 202(b)(7) requires that applications include information about two-year induction program for new teachers. If participants complete the prep program in year 4 or 5, must applications describe the induction activities after the project period?

In order to provide the required induction programs to all teacher residents, grantees will be expected to describe how they plan to provide induction support to those teacher candidates beyond the life of the grant. In both the case of the pre-baccalaureate/5th year program and the teaching residency program, induction occurs after the candidate completes the program and becomes the teacher of record. The induction program must encompass at least the first two years of teaching.

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17. What type of information to confirm the status of participating high-need LEAs should applicants include in their TQP applications?

Applicants need to include information that confirms the high-need status of these LEAs in any format they wish, but we invite them to consider using the optional form included in the application package. The information may be included in the appendix. At the very least, applicants should provide the data for each element of the definition of high-need LEA they use, and cite the sources of their information and provide any websites links so that Department staff can also confirm the status of the partnership’s high-need LEAs.

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18. Is a focus on ECE a required component?

No, early childhood education is not a required component of the program.

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19. How is high-need early childhood defined for those projects focused only on ECE?

If a project would focus on ECE, the definition of eligible partnership would include an ECE program rather than a high-need school. For that purpose, please see the definition for “high-need early childhood education program” in Section 200(9) of the HEA, as amended, which defines the term as “an early childhood education program serving children from low-income families that is located within the geographic area served by a high-need LEA.” The statute does not define a particular age group for “early childhood, so age ranges would be determined by State and local policies or laws.”

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20. If a State does not have an early childhood education (ECE) credential, may an applicant nevertheless include a focus on preparing ECE teachers?

Yes.

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Last Modified: 07/07/2014