[Federal Register: May 30, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 104)]
[Page 29300-29301]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



[CFDA No.: 84.282A]

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Public Charter 
Schools Program--Field-Initiated National Activities Projects Notice 
Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2001

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the Public Charter Schools 
Program (PCSP) is to increase national understanding of the charter 
schools model by providing financial assistance for the planning, 
program design, and initial implementation of charter schools; 
evaluating the effects of charter schools; and disseminating 
information about charter schools and successful practices in charter 
    Eligible Applicants: State and local educational agencies, public 
and private nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, 
authorized public chartering agencies, charter school developers, and 
public schools, including public charter schools. Eligible applicants 
may also apply as a group, or consortium.
    Applications Available: May 30, 2001.
    Application packages will be available by mail and electronically 
on the World Wide Web at the following sites:

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 16, 2001.
    Estimated Available Funds: $4 million.
    Estimated Range of Awards: The size of awards will be commensurate 
with the nature and scope of the work proposed.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $200,000-$400,000 per year.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 10-20.

    Note: These estimates are projections for the guidance of 
potential applicants. The Department is not bound by any estimates 
in this notice.

    Budget Period: 12 months.
    Project Period: Up to 24 months.
    Page Limit: The application narrative may not exceed the equivalent 
of 20 double-spaced pages, with printing on only one side of 8\1/2\ x 
11-inch paper. Our reviewers will not read any pages of your 
application that --
     Exceed the page limit if you apply these standards; or
     Exceed the equivalent of the page limit if you apply other 

Thus, we will remove all pages in excess of the 20-page narrative 
maximum or its equivalent.

    Note: We have found that reviewers are able to conduct the 
highest quality review when applications are concise and easy to 
read. We strongly encourage applicants to use a 12-point or larger 
size font, one-inch margins at the top, bottom, and both sides, and 
pages numbered consecutively.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 10305 of the ESEA (National 
Activities) authorizes the Secretary to award grants under the PCSP to 
carry out national activities. For FY 2001, the Department is holding a 
grant competition for field-initiated national activities projects. 
Grants for national activities projects under the PCSP are highly 
competitive. Strong applications for national activities grants clearly 
address each of the applicable selection criteria. They make a well-
reasoned and compelling case for the national significance of the 
problems or issues that will be the subject of the proposed project, 
and present a project design that is complete, clearly delineated, and 
incorporates sound implementation methods. In addition, the personnel 
descriptions included in strong applications make it apparent that the 
project director, principal investigator, and other key personnel 
possess training and experience commensurate with their duties.
    The project period of the grant may be from one to two years. In 
the application, the project period should be divided into 12-month 
budget periods. Each 12-month budget should be clearly delineated and 
justified in terms of the proposed activities.
    Allowable Activities: The following are examples of the types of 
projects that could be supported with a national activities grant under 
the PCSP (for the specific national activities authorized under the 
PCSP, see section 10305(a) of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 8065(a)):
    (1) Access to Federal Funds. Disseminate information to charter 
schools about federal programs in which they may be eligible to 
participate and provide technical assistance to charter schools in 
applying for federal funds.
    (2) Research. Conduct evaluations or studies on various issues 
concerning charter schools, such as student achievement, teacher 
qualifications and retention, and the demographic makeup (e.g., age, 
race, gender, disability, limited-English proficiency, and previous 
public or private school enrollment) of charter school students.
    (3) Technical Assistance and Planning. Assist charter school 
developers with all aspects of planning, designing, and implementing a 
charter school. Some areas in which newly created charter schools face 
challenges include program design, curriculum development, defining the 
school's mission, hiring staff, drafting charter applications, student 
recruitment and admissions, public relations and community involvement, 
governance, acquiring equipment and services, budget and finances, 
facilities, assessment and accountability, parental involvement, 
serving students with disabilities, and collaborating with other 
entities to provide quality instruction and services.
    (4) Best or Promising Practices. Disseminate information on best or 
promising practices in charter schools to other public schools, 
including charter schools.
    (5) Facilities. Disseminate information about programs and 
financial resources available to charter schools for facilities, 
including information about successful programs and how charter schools 
can access private capital.

[[Page 29301]]

    Collaboration: We encourage collaboration in the development of 
these projects. For example, charter school resource centers may 
collaborate with successful charter schools to disseminate information 
about the charter school's program; authorized institutions of higher 
education may collaborate with authorized public chartering agencies to 
develop methods for assessing student achievement in charter schools; 
and charter schools may collaborate with each other to establish 
networks to address some of the implementation issues facing newly 
created charter schools.
    Selection Criteria: The Secretary uses the selection criteria 
published in 34 CFR 75.210 to evaluate applications for grants under 
the field-initiated national activities competition for FY 2001. The 
application package includes the specific SELECTION CRITERIA and the 
points assigned to each criterion.
    Applicable Regulations and Statute: The Education Department 
General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 76, 77, 
79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 86, 97, and 99. Title X, part C, Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended, 20 U.S.C. 8061-
    The following definitions are taken from the PCSP authorizing 
statute, in title X, part C of the ESEA. They are being repeated in 
this application notice for the convenience of the applicant.


    The following definitions apply to this program:
    (a) Charter school means a public school that
    (1) In accordance with a specific State statute authorizing the 
granting of charters to schools, is exempted from significant State or 
local rules that inhibit the flexible operation and management of 
public schools, but not from any rules relating to the other 
requirements of this definition;
    (2) Is created by a developer as a public school, or is adapted by 
a developer from an existing public school, and is operated under 
public supervision and direction;
    (3) Operates in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives 
determined by the school's developer and agreed to by the authorized 
public chartering agency;
    (4) Provides a program of elementary or secondary education, or 
    (5) Is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, 
employment practices, and all other operations, and is not affiliated 
with a sectarian school or religious institution;
    (6) Does not charge tuition;
    (7) Complies with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, title VI of 
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, title IX of the Education Amendments of 
1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and part B of the 
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act;
    (8) Is a school to which parents choose to send their children, and 
that admits students on the basis of a lottery, if more students apply 
for admission than can be accommodated;
    (9) Agrees to comply with the same Federal and State audit 
requirements as do other elementary and secondary schools in the State, 
unless the requirements are specifically waived for the purposes of 
this program;
    (10) Meets all applicable Federal, State, and local health and 
safety requirements;
    (11) Operates in accordance with State law; and
    (12) Has a written performance contract with the authorized public 
chartering agency in the State that includes a description of how 
student performance will be measured in charter schools pursuant to 
State assessments that are required of other schools and pursuant to 
any other assessments mutually agreeable to the authorized public 
chartering agency and the charter school.
    (b) Developer means an individual or group of individuals 
(including a public or private nonprofit organization), which may 
include teachers, administrators and other school staff, parents, or 
other members of the local community in which a charter school project 
will be carried out.
    (c) Eligible applicant means an authorized public chartering agency 
participating in a partnership with a developer to establish a charter 
school in accordance with title X, part C of the ESEA.
    (d) Authorized public chartering agency means a State educational 
agency, local educational agency, or other public entity that has the 
authority under State law and is approved by the Secretary to authorize 
or approve a charter school.
    For Applications and Further Information Contact: Donna M. Hoblit, 
U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Room 3C148, 
Washington, DC 20202-6140. Telephone (202) 205-9178. Internet address: 
    Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) 
may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) upon request to the contact person listed under For 
Applications and Further Information Contact. Individuals with 
disabilities may obtain a copy of the application package in an 
alternative format, also, by contacting that person. However, the 
Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the 
standard forms included in the application package.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: 
    To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at the previous site. If you have questions about using PDF, call 
the U.S. Government Printing Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC area at (202) 512-1530.

    Note: The official version of a document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 8061-8067.

    Dated: May 24, 2001.
Thomas M. Corwin,
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary 
[FR Doc. 01-13551 Filed 5-29-01; 8:45 am]