Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the FY 2020; Education Stabilization Fund-Rethink K-12 Education Models (ESF-REM) Discretionary Grant Program, 25411-25417 [2020-09274]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 85 / Friday, May 1, 2020 / Notices the criteria established in Section 7001 of WRRDA 2014, as amended. Please contact the appropriate district office or use the contact information above for assistance in researching and identifying existing authorizations and existing USACE decision documents. Those proposals that do not meet the criteria will be included in an appendix table included in the Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development. Proposals in the appendix table will include a description of why those proposals did not meet the criteria. R.D. James, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). [FR Doc. 2020–09338 Filed 4–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED–2020–SCC–0036] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission to the Office of Management and Budget for Review and Approval; Comment Request; Grant Reallotment Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), Department of Education (ED). ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before June 1, 2020. ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for proposed information collection requests should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/ do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection request by selecting ‘‘Department of Education’’ under ‘‘Currently Under Review,’’ then check ‘‘Only Show ICR for Public Comment’’ checkbox. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact David Steele, 202–245–6520. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 08:07 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department’s information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records. Title of Collection: Grant Reallotment. OMB Control Number: 1820–0692. Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection. Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 323. Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 11. Abstract: The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (the Act), authorizes the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Commissioner to reallot to other grant recipients that portion of a recipient’s annual grant that cannot be used. To maximize the use of appropriated funds under the formula grant programs, RSA has established a reallotment process for the State Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VR); State Supported Employment Services (Supported Employment); Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind (OIB); Client Assistance Program (CAP); and Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights (PAIR) programs. The authority for RSA to reallot formula grant funds is found at sections 110(b)(2) (VR), 603(b) (Supported Employment), 752(i)(4) (OIB), 112(e)(2) (CAP), and 509(e) (PAIR) of the Act. This request is to extend the use of the form for an additional 3 years. The information will be used by the RSA State Monitoring and Program Improvement Division (SMPID) to reallot formula grant funds for the awards mentioned above. This permits RSA to maximize the use of Federal funds to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 25411 Dated: April 28, 2020. Kate Mullan, PRA Coordinator,Strategic Collections and Clearance Governance and Strategy Division, Office of Chief Data Officer. [FR Doc. 2020–09303 Filed 4–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the FY 2020; Education Stabilization Fund-Rethink K–12 Education Models (ESF–REM) Discretionary Grant Program Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice. The Department of Education (Department) is issuing an NIA for eligible applicants for the FY 2020 ESF– REM Grants program under section 18001(a)(3) of Division B of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.425B. This notice relates to the approved information collection under OMB control number 1894–0006. SUMMARY: DATES: Applications Available: April 30, 2020. Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 19, 2020. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2020. For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-201902-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf. ADDRESSES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Todd, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, room 3E303, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453–6984. Email: ESFREM@ed.gov. Website: https:// oese.ed.gov/offices/educationstabilization-fund/states-highestcoronavirus-burden/. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1–800–877– 8339. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\01MYN1.SGM 01MYN1 25412 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 85 / Friday, May 1, 2020 / Notices Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description Purpose of Program: The purpose of the ESF–REM Grants program is to provide support through discretionary grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) (as defined in this notice) in States with the highest coronavirus burden (as defined in this notice) to address specific educational needs of students, their parents, and teachers in public and non-public elementary and secondary schools in accordance with section 18001(a)(3) of the CARES Act. Background: The Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) is a new appropriation of approximately $30.75 billion that creates funding streams for several distinct education programs that address the impact of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) on educational services across the Nation. Under all of these Department programs including the ESF–REM grants, the Department will make awards to States for a variety of activities to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to the devastating effects of COVID–19. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in not only a public health crisis, but school closures across the country impacting over 40 million students. For that reason, responding effectively to coronavirus must include addressing remote learning (as defined in this notice) needs of students throughout the United States. In addition to this NIA, the Department is also publishing a notice elsewhere in the Federal Register for Education Stabilization Fund—Reimagining Workforce Preparation (ESF–RWP) Discretionary Grant program, which will help States and communities respond to coronavirus by creating new opportunities for unemployed individuals to regain their economic security through small business creation and career pathways that lead to a recognized postsecondary credential. The ESF–REM Grants competition includes three absolute priorities of which the applicant addresses one priority. An SEA may only submit one application to the ESF–REM Grants competition. Under Absolute Priority 1, applicants must provide funding through microgrants (as defined in this notice) to allow parents (as defined in this notice) to meet the educational needs of their school-age children, through increased access to high-quality remote learning to support their educational needs, as these terms are defined in this notice. This priority is intended to address the individual needs of students and promote continuity of learning. In their VerDate Sep<11>2014 08:07 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 applications, States would identify proposed uses of funds including the types of education and related services, expenses, and providers that would be available through microgrants. Absolute Priority 2 encourages the development and/or expansion of a high-quality course-access program (as these terms are defined in this notice) or statewide virtual school (as defined in this notice). Course-access programs enable students to select from different courses offered by any public school in the State or by third-party providers, regardless of a student’s assigned school. Research has shown that expanding online access to advanced coursework not otherwise available is an effective way to broaden access and may increase the likelihood of these students taking other advanced courses. (Heppen, J.B., Walters, K., Clements, M., Faria, A., Tobey, C., Sorensen, N., & Culp, K. (2012)) Virtual schools can offer flexibility to students who may have difficulty accessing or attending brick-and-mortar schools, especially given school closures. One study of a statewide virtual school in the southern U.S. suggested a virtual school may produce similar outcomes at a lower overall cost than traditional schooling and that students may in fact be more productive in a virtual school environment. (Chingos, M. and Schwert, G. (2014)) Absolute Priority 3 allows applicants to propose their own educational strategies that demonstrate a rationale (as defined in this notice) to address the specific educational needs of their States, as related to remote learning. Priorities: This notice contains three absolute priorities. We are establishing these priorities for the FY 2020 grant competition, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). Absolute Priorities: These priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one of these absolute priorities. The Secretary intends to award grants under each of the absolute priorities for which applications of sufficient quality are submitted. Because applications will be placed in rank order separately by absolute priority, applicants must clearly identify the specific absolute priority that the proposed project addresses. Each State may submit only one application under this competition that addresses one absolute priority. In selecting grantees across Absolute PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Priorities 1–3, the Department may fund applications from one absolute priority with a higher or lower score than an application from another absolute priority and may also reallocate among these priorities based on the quality of applications. These priorities are: Absolute Priority 1—Continued Learning Parent Microgrants. Applications that propose microgrants to allow a parent to access high-quality remote learning options from a list of education and related services, expenses, and providers, which may include any needed connectivity and devices, that meets the student’s educational needs. A State must— (a) Provide the parents and students with a list of service providers from which the parents and students may select. (b) Include more than one education service for remote learning that parents and students may choose, which may include— (1) Tuition and fees for a public or private course or program, especially online; (2) Concurrent and dual enrollment at a postsecondary institution particularly for career and technical education experiences; (3) Special education and related services including therapies; Note: Any services provided do not alter a local educational agency’s (LEA’s) obligation to provide supports and services to a child with a disability under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. (4) Contracted educational services provided by a public or nonpublic school; (5) Tutoring; (6) Summer or afterschool education programs; (7) Testing preparation and examination fees, including Advanced Placement examinations, industry certification exams, state licensure exams, and any examinations related to college or university admission; (8) Academic, college, and career counseling services; (9) Application fees, including for public and non-public school students; (10) Textbooks, curriculum, or other instructional materials; and (11) Other education-related services and materials that are reasonable and necessary, which may include, but cannot be the only microgrant account use— (i) Computer hardware, software, or other technological devices including adaptive devices; (ii) internet access or hotspots; E:\FR\FM\01MYN1.SGM 01MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 85 / Friday, May 1, 2020 / Notices (iii) Textbooks, curriculum, or other instructional materials; and (c) Provide an online and other method to enable parents and students to select services and ensure that the parent’s microgrant account is established within the project period of the grant and the parent is aware of how much funds are available. Such a method must— (1) Reach out to the most disadvantaged students and parents; (2) Ensure that funds will be transferred directly from the State to the selected service provider; (3) Include multiple service providers including non-government service providers; and (4) Provide tools to help parents choose the most appropriate and effective services for their children. (d) Include a parent involvement and feedback process that— (1) Describes a way for parents to request services or providers that are not currently offered and provide input on services provided in the creation of the list and through the project, and describes how the grantee will provide parents with written responses to requests within 30 days; and (2) Support the grantee in outreach to parents and to assist parents, which may include a parent liaison, and the grantee with the process by which a parent can request services or providers, including services or providers not already specified by the State; (3) Include a fair and documented process to choose students to be served, such as a lottery or other transparent criteria (e.g., based on particular types of need such as disability status or family income), in the event that the number of requests from parents of public and non-public school students for services under the project exceeds the available capacity, with regard to the number or intensity of services offered; and (4) Ensure that at least 80 percent of grant funds are used for services directly utilized by public and non-public school students under the microgrants, and no more than five percent of grant funds are used for administrative costs (as defined in this notice). Absolute Priority 2—Statewide Virtual Learning and Course Access Programs. Applications that propose projects to— (a) Develop a statewide virtual learning or course access program, such as by— (1) Designing and assembling highquality educational content; and (2) Creating and launching the platform of a statewide virtual learning or course-access program; or VerDate Sep<11>2014 08:07 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 (b) Expand an existing statewide virtual learning or high-quality course access program, such as by— (1) Serving more students; (2) Adding new courses based on student and parent interest or alignment with workforce development needs; and (3) Implementing new instructional strategies (e.g. competency-based instruction). In addition to addressing (a) or (b), an application must propose to— (c) Implement a statewide courseaccess program or virtual school; (d) Widely disseminate information on the availability of course-access programs or virtual school programs; and (e) Include a parent involvement and feedback process that— (1) Describes a way for parents to request courses or programming that are not currently offered and provide input on services provided through the project, and how the State will carefully consider such comments; (2) May include a parent liaison to support the grantee in outreach to parents and to assist parents and the grantee with the process by which a parent can request courses and programming; and (3) Include a fair and documented process to choose students to be served, such as a lottery or other transparent criteria (e.g., based on particular types of need such as disability status or family income), in the event that the number of requests from parents of public and non-public school students for services under the project exceeds the available capacity, with regard to the number or intensity of services offered. To meet this absolute priority, the applicant must describe how its courseaccess program as a whole would make a broad range of courses widely available and free for all students in the State, though a particular course need not be available to every student in the State, or how a statewide virtual school would be established or significantly expanded providing both a full-time education program or supplemental education available to all students in the State. Applicants should describe how they will determine which courses or programming to develop or expand, based on students’ needs and how it will ensure the courses it offers are high-quality. Applicants are encouraged to design programs using common schema and linked data standards compatible with interoperable learning records, as defined in the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, ‘‘White Paper on Interoperable Learning Records,’’ September 2019, available at: PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 25413 www.commerce.gov/sites/default/files/ 2019-09/ILR_White_Paper_FINAL_ EBOOK.pdf. Absolute Priority 3—Field-Initiated Projects for Educational Models for Remote Learning to Improve Student Outcomes. Applications that propose projects that demonstrate a rationale and that are designed to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale field-initiated educational models for remote learning. Projects should address specific needs pertaining to accessing high-quality remote learning opportunities. Note: An applicant addressing any one of absolute priorities must ensure equitable access (as defined in this notice) for nonpublic school students. Definitions: The definitions of ‘‘local educational agency,’’ ‘‘parent,’’ and ‘‘State educational agency’’ are from section 8101 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7801). The definitions for ‘‘ambitious,’’ ‘‘baseline,’’ ‘‘demonstrates a rationale,’’ ‘‘logic model,’’ ‘‘performance measure,’’ ‘‘performance target,’’ ‘‘project component,’’ and ‘‘relevant outcome’’ are from 34 CFR 77.1. We are establishing the definitions for ‘‘administrative costs,’’ ‘‘coronavirus burden,’’ ‘‘course-access program,’’ ‘‘equitable access,’’ ‘‘high-quality,’’ ‘‘microgrant,’’ ‘‘remote learning,’’ and ‘‘statewide virtual school’’ for the FY 2020 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). Administrative costs mean expenses that include costs (direct and indirect) involved in the proper and efficient performance and administration of this Federal grant. Ambitious means promoting continued, meaningful improvement for program participants or for other individuals or entities affected by the grant or representing a significant advancement in the field of education research, practices, or methodologies. When used to describe a performance target (as defined in this notice), whether a performance target is ambitious depends upon the context of the relevant performance measure (as defined in this notice) and the baseline (as defined in this notice) for that measure. Baseline means the starting point from which performance is measured and targets are set. Coronavirus burden means burden on a State from coronavirus based on the measures in the application package and any measures identified by the E:\FR\FM\01MYN1.SGM 01MYN1 25414 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 85 / Friday, May 1, 2020 / Notices applicant in response to Application Requirement 3. Course-access program means a program that— (1) Provides students the option to enroll in one or more courses that are not currently offered virtually or otherwise available in the student’s school; (2) Includes courses offered by multiple providers, from which students, or parents on behalf of students, may choose; (3) Makes available courses for remote learning; (4) Ensures that coursework materials and the formats and technologies by which they are made available are accessible to students with disabilities; and (5) Is available to all students in the State, including non-public school students on an equitable basis. Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in the project’s logic model (as defined in this notice) is informed by research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is likely to improve relevant outcomes. Equitable access means a grantee must provide students enrolled in nonpublic schools with the same opportunity to access program benefits as students attending public schools, which may include proportional provision of services to both public and non-public school students. High-quality means the project described in the grant application should consider available research in the design of the project and collect and disseminate information about the results of the project, such as student outcomes, student participation and parental satisfaction. Local educational agency (LEA) means— (a) A public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or of or for a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools. (b) The term includes any other public institution or agency having administrative control and direction of a public elementary school or secondary school. (c) The term includes an elementary school or secondary school funded by VerDate Sep<11>2014 08:07 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 the Bureau of Indian Education but only to the extent that including the school makes the school eligible for programs for which specific eligibility is not provided to the school in another provision of law and the school does not have a student population that is smaller than the student population of the LEA (as defined in this notice) receiving assistance under the ESEA with the smallest student population, except that the school shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of any SEA other than the Bureau of Indian Education. (d) The term includes educational service agencies and consortia of those agencies. (e) The term includes the SEA in a State in which the SEA is the sole educational agency for all public schools. Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a framework that identifies key project components of the proposed project (i.e., the active ‘‘ingredients’’ that are hypothesized to be critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the theoretical and operational relationships among the key project components and relevant outcomes. Microgrant means an account established for a parent that provides funds directly to service providers to expand educational choice. The parent must have easy access to and visibility into the account and it must allow the parent to select particular education services, expenses, or materials, to expand the ability to choose highquality educational opportunities to meet their needs. Parent—The term ‘‘parent’’ includes a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare). Performance measure means any quantitative indicator, statistic, or metric used to gauge program or project performance. Performance target means a level of performance that an applicant would seek to meet during the course of a project or as a result of a project. Project component means an activity, strategy, intervention, process, product, practice, or policy included in a project. Evidence may pertain to an individual project component or to a combination of project components (e.g., training teachers on instructional practices for English learners and follow-on coaching for these teachers). Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcome(s) the key project component is designed to PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 improve, consistent with the specific goals of the program. Remote learning means educational or instructional programming that mostly occurs away from the physical school building and is delivered in a studentfocused manner that addresses a student’s educational needs. This includes both non-technology-based learning (e.g., paper packets, in-person tutoring) and ‘‘distance education’’ as defined in section 103(7) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and ‘‘distance learning’’ as defined in ESEA section 8101(14). State educational agency (SEA) means the agency primarily responsible for the State supervision of public elementary or secondary schools. Statewide virtual school means an online education program available to public and non-public school students that provides full-time education and supplemental coursework to students in other full-time education programs. Application Requirements: The following application requirements are established for the FY 2020 ESF–REM Grants competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). Applicants must address the following application requirements: (1) Describe the applicant’s approach to addressing one of the three absolute priorities contained in this notice. This description should include an implementation plan and timeline for key grant activities and a plan for how the applicant will assess the number of students served, and, if applying for Absolute Priority 1, how the grantee will select parents to receive microgrants; how the applicant will assess parent satisfaction with the State’s grant-related remote learning offerings; and the number and different types, as defined by the grantee, of new remote learning options provided in order to address the performance measures for the grant. (2) Provide an analysis of the immediate needs in the State to support remote learning and describe how the proposed project will address those needs. (3) Include a description of the State’s coronavirus burden based on indicators and information factors other than those provided in the application package that demonstrate the significance of the impact of COVID–19 on students, parents, and schools in the State. This description may include additional data, including other public health measures such as coronavirus-related E:\FR\FM\01MYN1.SGM 01MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 85 / Friday, May 1, 2020 / Notices deaths per capita, or any other relevant education, labor or demographic data. (4) Provide an analysis of State assets and collaborative efforts made by the State (including supports already provided from Federal and non-Federal sources) to improve outcomes for students during this national emergency, including, at a minimum, parent and student supports and collaborations with nonprofits, local businesses, LEAs, institutions of higher education, and other relevant stakeholders. At a minimum this analysis should also include the following: (a) A description of the steps the State is taking at the time of the application to address the State’s immediate education needs. (b) A description of the barriers the State has faced in meeting such needs. (5) Provide an assurance that the applicant will provide information to the Secretary, as requested, for evaluations that the Secretary may carry out. This may include, but is not limited to, working with grantees at the outset of the grant to establish common performance measures. This may include, but is not limited to, working with grantees at the outset of the grant to establish common performance measures, data elements, or data definitions. (6) Demonstrate support for the proposed project by the Governor of the State, such as through a letter signed by the Governor. Exemption from Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to comment on proposed priorities, selection criteria, definitions, and other requirements. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant competition for this program under section 18001(a)(3) of the CARES Act, and therefore qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment on the priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. Program Authority: Section 18001(a)(3) of Title VIII of Division B of the CARES Act, Public Law 116–36 (enacted March 27, 2020). Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 97, 98, and VerDate Sep<11>2014 08:07 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. II. Award Information Estimated Available Funds: $180,000,000. These estimated available funds are the amount available for ESF–REM grants under the FY 2020 CARES Act. The Department will determine the number of awards to be made under each absolute priority based on the quality of applications received consistent with the selection criteria and priorities. It will also determine the size of an award made to an eligible applicant based on a review of the eligible applicant’s budget. The Department may use any unused funds designated for this competition to make awards under the ESF–REM program. Estimated Range of Awards: $5,000,000–$20,000,000. Estimated Average Size of Awards: $15,000,000. Estimated Number of Awards: 13–14; 4 awards under each absolute priority, dependent on sufficient quality. Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice. Project Period: Up to 36 months. III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching. 3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities described in its application. IV. Application and Submission Information 1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at www.govinfo.gov/content/ pkg/FR–2019-02-13/pdf/201902206.pdf, which contain requirements and information on how to submit an application. Grants.gov has relaxed the requirement for applicants to have an active registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 25415 apply for funding. In the event a registration expires before an award is issued, the Department will relax the active registration requirement and not delay funds due to the COVID–19 crisis. 2. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make timely awards. 3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. Each eligible entity may charge an amount of administrative costs that is reasonable and necessary to effectively administer the program consistent with cost principles in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E of the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance). Administrative costs include costs (direct and indirect) involved in the proper and efficient performance and administration of this Federal grant. However, to maximize the funds available for services to students and the public, the Department encourages each eligible entity to minimize the amount of administrative costs charged to the program. 4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria and priority that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more than 25 pages and (2) use 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. • 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. The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the resumes, the letters of support, or the appendices. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the application narrative. 5. Notice of Intent to Apply: We will be able to develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications E:\FR\FM\01MYN1.SGM 01MYN1 25416 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 85 / Friday, May 1, 2020 / Notices if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify us of the applicant’s intent to submit an application by sending an email to ESF-REM@ed.gov with ESF– REM Intent to Apply in the subject line. Applicants that do not send a notice of intent to apply may still apply for funding. V. Application Review Information 1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are either from 34 CFR 75.210, or are being established for the FY 2020 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). The points assigned to each criterion are indicated in the parentheses next to the criterion. An applicant may earn up to a total of 100 points based on the selection criteria for the application. A. Highest Coronavirus Burden (up to 40 points). In determining the States with the highest coronavirus burden, the Secretary considers the extent to which the State has a high coronavirus burden as follows: (1) The extent to which the applicant, based on the factors listed in the application package, when weighted equally, is in the— (i) Up to 20th percentile of coronavirus burden (4 points); (ii) 21st to 40th percentile of coronavirus burden (8 points); (iii) 41st to 60th percentile of coronavirus burden (12 points); (iv) 61st to 80th percentile of coronavirus burden (16 points); or (v) 81st to 100th percentile of coronavirus burden. (20 points) (GEPA Waiver) (2) The extent to which the applicant has a high coronavirus burden based on indicators and information factors identified by the applicant in response to Application Requirement 3. (20 points) (GEPA Waiver) B. Quality of Project Services and Project Plan (up to 35 points). The Secretary considers the quality of project services and project plan. In determining the quality of the project services and project plan, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, VerDate Sep<11>2014 08:07 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 national origin, gender, age, or disability. (up to 5 points) In addition, the Secretary considers— (1) The extent to which the proposed project is an exceptional approach to absolute priority being addressed and includes a detailed project plan for addressing the absolute priority. (up to 10 points) (GEPA waiver) (2) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project to respond to the needs of students. (up to 10 points) (GEPA waiver) (3) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed project will expand access to remote learning options and lead to improvements in student outcomes. (up to 5 points) (GEPA waiver) (4) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice. (up to 5 points) (GEPA waiver) C. Quality of the Management Plan and Adequacy of Resources (up to 25 points). The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and adequacy of resources. In determining the quality of the management plan and adequacy of resources, the Secretary considers— (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing project tasks. (up to 5 points) (34 CFR 75.210) (2) The extent to which the proposed use of funds will adequately support the proposed project. (up to 5 points) (GEPA waiver) (3) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project. (up to 5 points) (34 CFR 75.210) (4) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits. (up to 10 points) (34 CFR 75.210) 2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will announce awards within 30 days of the deadline for transmittal of applications of this competition. 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 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 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 (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23). Before making awards, we will screen applications submitted in accordance with the requirements in this notice to determine whether applications have met eligibility and other requirements. This screening process may occur at various stages of the process; applicants that are determined to be ineligible will not receive a grant, regardless of peer reviewer scores or comments. Peer reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation of, and score the assigned applications, using the selection criteria provided in this notice. 3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk 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 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible. 4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this competition to receive an award that over the course of the project period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently $250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards—that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant—before we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS. E:\FR\FM\01MYN1.SGM 01MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 85 / Friday, May 1, 2020 / Notices Please note that, if the total value of your currently active grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal funds you receive exceed $10,000,000. 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); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your 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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. Additionally, a grantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 3474.20(c). 4. Reporting: (a) 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 VerDate Sep<11>2014 08:07 May 01, 2020 Jkt 250001 funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b). (b) In addition to annual performance reporting, a grantee must submit to the Department a quarterly report that provides data and information meeting the requirements of section 15011 of the CARES Act. (c) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/ fund/grant/apply/appforms/ appforms.html. (d) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period. 5. Performance Measures: We have established the following performance measures for the ESF–REM Grants program: (1) The number of students served by the project; (2) the percentage of parents who reported satisfaction with the remote learning options available; and (3) the number and different types, as defined by the grantee, of new remote learning options provided. In addition, applicants must propose project-specific performance measures and performance targets consistent with the objectives of the proposed project, which must include at least one student-based educational outcome measure. Applicants must provide the following information as directed under 34 CFR 75.110(b) and (c): (a) Performance Measures. How each proposed performance measure would accurately measure the performance of the project and how the proposed performance measures would be consistent with the performance measures established for the program funding the competition. (b) Baseline Data. (i) Why each proposed baseline is valid; or (ii) If the applicant has determined that there are no established baseline data for a particular performance measure, an explanation of why there is no established baseline and of how and when, during the project period, the PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 25417 applicant would establish a valid baseline for the performance measure. (c) Performance Targets. Why each proposed performance target is ambitious (as defined in this notice) yet achievable compared to the baseline for the performance measure and when, during the project period, the applicant would meet the performance target(s). (d) Data Collection and Reporting. (i) The data collection and reporting methods the applicant would use and why those methods are likely to yield reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data; and (ii) The applicant’s capacity to collect and report reliable, valid, and meaningful performance data, as evidenced by high-quality data collection, analysis, and reporting in other projects or research. All grantees must submit an annual performance report with information that is responsive to these performance measures. VII. 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 compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site. You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department. Frank Brogan, Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. [FR Doc. 2020–09274 Filed 4–30–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000–01–P E:\FR\FM\01MYN1.SGM 01MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 85 (Friday, May 1, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 25411-25417]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-09274]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the FY 2020; Education 
Stabilization Fund-Rethink K-12 Education Models (ESF-REM) 
Discretionary Grant Program

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing an NIA for 
eligible applicants for the FY 2020 ESF-REM Grants program under 
section 18001(a)(3) of Division B of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and 
Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) number 84.425B. This notice relates to the approved 
information collection under OMB control number 1894-0006.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: April 30, 2020.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 19, 2020.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 29, 2020.

ADDRESSES: For the addresses for obtaining and submitting an 
application, please refer to our Common Instructions for Applicants to 
Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the 
Federal Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Todd, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, room 3E303, Washington, DC 20202. 
Telephone: (202) 453-6984. Email: [email protected]. Website: https://oese.ed.gov/offices/education-stabilization-fund/states-highest-coronavirus-burden/.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text 
telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service (FRS), toll free, at 1-
800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 25412]]

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purpose of the ESF-REM Grants program is to 
provide support through discretionary grants to State educational 
agencies (SEAs) (as defined in this notice) in States with the highest 
coronavirus burden (as defined in this notice) to address specific 
educational needs of students, their parents, and teachers in public 
and non-public elementary and secondary schools in accordance with 
section 18001(a)(3) of the CARES Act.
    Background: The Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) is a new 
appropriation of approximately $30.75 billion that creates funding 
streams for several distinct education programs that address the impact 
of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on educational 
services across the Nation. Under all of these Department programs 
including the ESF-REM grants, the Department will make awards to States 
for a variety of activities to help prevent, prepare for, and respond 
to the devastating effects of COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has 
resulted in not only a public health crisis, but school closures across 
the country impacting over 40 million students. For that reason, 
responding effectively to coronavirus must include addressing remote 
learning (as defined in this notice) needs of students throughout the 
United States. In addition to this NIA, the Department is also 
publishing a notice elsewhere in the Federal Register for Education 
Stabilization Fund--Reimagining Workforce Preparation (ESF-RWP) 
Discretionary Grant program, which will help States and communities 
respond to coronavirus by creating new opportunities for unemployed 
individuals to regain their economic security through small business 
creation and career pathways that lead to a recognized postsecondary 
credential.
    The ESF-REM Grants competition includes three absolute priorities 
of which the applicant addresses one priority. An SEA may only submit 
one application to the ESF-REM Grants competition.
    Under Absolute Priority 1, applicants must provide funding through 
microgrants (as defined in this notice) to allow parents (as defined in 
this notice) to meet the educational needs of their school-age 
children, through increased access to high-quality remote learning to 
support their educational needs, as these terms are defined in this 
notice. This priority is intended to address the individual needs of 
students and promote continuity of learning. In their applications, 
States would identify proposed uses of funds including the types of 
education and related services, expenses, and providers that would be 
available through microgrants.
    Absolute Priority 2 encourages the development and/or expansion of 
a high-quality course-access program (as these terms are defined in 
this notice) or statewide virtual school (as defined in this notice). 
Course-access programs enable students to select from different courses 
offered by any public school in the State or by third-party providers, 
regardless of a student's assigned school. Research has shown that 
expanding online access to advanced coursework not otherwise available 
is an effective way to broaden access and may increase the likelihood 
of these students taking other advanced courses. (Heppen, J.B., 
Walters, K., Clements, M., Faria, A., Tobey, C., Sorensen, N., & Culp, 
K. (2012)) Virtual schools can offer flexibility to students who may 
have difficulty accessing or attending brick-and-mortar schools, 
especially given school closures. One study of a statewide virtual 
school in the southern U.S. suggested a virtual school may produce 
similar outcomes at a lower overall cost than traditional schooling and 
that students may in fact be more productive in a virtual school 
environment. (Chingos, M. and Schwert, G. (2014))
    Absolute Priority 3 allows applicants to propose their own 
educational strategies that demonstrate a rationale (as defined in this 
notice) to address the specific educational needs of their States, as 
related to remote learning.
    Priorities: This notice contains three absolute priorities. We are 
establishing these priorities for the FY 2020 grant competition, and 
any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded 
applications from this competition, in accordance with section 
437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 
1232(d)(1).
    Absolute Priorities: These priorities are absolute priorities. 
Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one 
of these absolute priorities. The Secretary intends to award grants 
under each of the absolute priorities for which applications of 
sufficient quality are submitted. Because applications will be placed 
in rank order separately by absolute priority, applicants must clearly 
identify the specific absolute priority that the proposed project 
addresses. Each State may submit only one application under this 
competition that addresses one absolute priority. In selecting grantees 
across Absolute Priorities 1-3, the Department may fund applications 
from one absolute priority with a higher or lower score than an 
application from another absolute priority and may also reallocate 
among these priorities based on the quality of applications.
    These priorities are:
    Absolute Priority 1--Continued Learning Parent Microgrants.
    Applications that propose microgrants to allow a parent to access 
high-quality remote learning options from a list of education and 
related services, expenses, and providers, which may include any needed 
connectivity and devices, that meets the student's educational needs. A 
State must--
    (a) Provide the parents and students with a list of service 
providers from which the parents and students may select.
    (b) Include more than one education service for remote learning 
that parents and students may choose, which may include--
    (1) Tuition and fees for a public or private course or program, 
especially online;
    (2) Concurrent and dual enrollment at a postsecondary institution 
particularly for career and technical education experiences;
    (3) Special education and related services including therapies;

    Note: Any services provided do not alter a local educational 
agency's (LEA's) obligation to provide supports and services to a 
child with a disability under Part B of the Individuals with 
Disabilities Act (IDEA) and under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation 
Act of 1973.

    (4) Contracted educational services provided by a public or 
nonpublic school;
    (5) Tutoring;
    (6) Summer or afterschool education programs;
    (7) Testing preparation and examination fees, including Advanced 
Placement examinations, industry certification exams, state licensure 
exams, and any examinations related to college or university admission;
    (8) Academic, college, and career counseling services;
    (9) Application fees, including for public and non-public school 
students;
    (10) Textbooks, curriculum, or other instructional materials; and
    (11) Other education-related services and materials that are 
reasonable and necessary, which may include, but cannot be the only 
microgrant account use--
    (i) Computer hardware, software, or other technological devices 
including adaptive devices;
    (ii) internet access or hotspots;

[[Page 25413]]

    (iii) Textbooks, curriculum, or other instructional materials; and
    (c) Provide an online and other method to enable parents and 
students to select services and ensure that the parent's microgrant 
account is established within the project period of the grant and the 
parent is aware of how much funds are available. Such a method must--
    (1) Reach out to the most disadvantaged students and parents;
    (2) Ensure that funds will be transferred directly from the State 
to the selected service provider;
    (3) Include multiple service providers including non-government 
service providers; and
    (4) Provide tools to help parents choose the most appropriate and 
effective services for their children.
    (d) Include a parent involvement and feedback process that--
    (1) Describes a way for parents to request services or providers 
that are not currently offered and provide input on services provided 
in the creation of the list and through the project, and describes how 
the grantee will provide parents with written responses to requests 
within 30 days; and
    (2) Support the grantee in outreach to parents and to assist 
parents, which may include a parent liaison, and the grantee with the 
process by which a parent can request services or providers, including 
services or providers not already specified by the State;
    (3) Include a fair and documented process to choose students to be 
served, such as a lottery or other transparent criteria (e.g., based on 
particular types of need such as disability status or family income), 
in the event that the number of requests from parents of public and 
non-public school students for services under the project exceeds the 
available capacity, with regard to the number or intensity of services 
offered; and
    (4) Ensure that at least 80 percent of grant funds are used for 
services directly utilized by public and non-public school students 
under the microgrants, and no more than five percent of grant funds are 
used for administrative costs (as defined in this notice).
    Absolute Priority 2--Statewide Virtual Learning and Course Access 
Programs.
    Applications that propose projects to--
    (a) Develop a statewide virtual learning or course access program, 
such as by--
    (1) Designing and assembling high-quality educational content; and
    (2) Creating and launching the platform of a statewide virtual 
learning or course-access program; or
    (b) Expand an existing statewide virtual learning or high-quality 
course access program, such as by--
    (1) Serving more students;
    (2) Adding new courses based on student and parent interest or 
alignment with workforce development needs; and
    (3) Implementing new instructional strategies (e.g. competency-
based instruction).
    In addition to addressing (a) or (b), an application must propose 
to--
    (c) Implement a statewide course-access program or virtual school;
    (d) Widely disseminate information on the availability of course-
access programs or virtual school programs; and
    (e) Include a parent involvement and feedback process that--
    (1) Describes a way for parents to request courses or programming 
that are not currently offered and provide input on services provided 
through the project, and how the State will carefully consider such 
comments;
    (2) May include a parent liaison to support the grantee in outreach 
to parents and to assist parents and the grantee with the process by 
which a parent can request courses and programming; and (3) Include a 
fair and documented process to choose students to be served, such as a 
lottery or other transparent criteria (e.g., based on particular types 
of need such as disability status or family income), in the event that 
the number of requests from parents of public and non-public school 
students for services under the project exceeds the available capacity, 
with regard to the number or intensity of services offered.
    To meet this absolute priority, the applicant must describe how its 
course-access program as a whole would make a broad range of courses 
widely available and free for all students in the State, though a 
particular course need not be available to every student in the State, 
or how a statewide virtual school would be established or significantly 
expanded providing both a full-time education program or supplemental 
education available to all students in the State. Applicants should 
describe how they will determine which courses or programming to 
develop or expand, based on students' needs and how it will ensure the 
courses it offers are high-quality.
    Applicants are encouraged to design programs using common schema 
and linked data standards compatible with interoperable learning 
records, as defined in the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, 
``White Paper on Interoperable Learning Records,'' September 2019, 
available at: www.commerce.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/ILR_White_Paper_FINAL_EBOOK.pdf.
    Absolute Priority 3--Field-Initiated Projects for Educational 
Models for Remote Learning to Improve Student Outcomes.
    Applications that propose projects that demonstrate a rationale and 
that are designed to create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to 
scale field-initiated educational models for remote learning. Projects 
should address specific needs pertaining to accessing high-quality 
remote learning opportunities.

    Note: An applicant addressing any one of absolute priorities 
must ensure equitable access (as defined in this notice) for non-
public school students.

    Definitions: The definitions of ``local educational agency,'' 
``parent,'' and ``State educational agency'' are from section 8101 of 
the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7801). The definitions for ``ambitious,'' 
``baseline,'' ``demonstrates a rationale,'' ``logic model,'' 
``performance measure,'' ``performance target,'' ``project component,'' 
and ``relevant outcome'' are from 34 CFR 77.1. We are establishing the 
definitions for ``administrative costs,'' ``coronavirus burden,'' 
``course-access program,'' ``equitable access,'' ``high-quality,'' 
``microgrant,'' ``remote learning,'' and ``statewide virtual school'' 
for the FY 2020 grant competition and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 
1232(d)(1).
    Administrative costs mean expenses that include costs (direct and 
indirect) involved in the proper and efficient performance and 
administration of this Federal grant.
    Ambitious means promoting continued, meaningful improvement for 
program participants or for other individuals or entities affected by 
the grant or representing a significant advancement in the field of 
education research, practices, or methodologies. When used to describe 
a performance target (as defined in this notice), whether a performance 
target is ambitious depends upon the context of the relevant 
performance measure (as defined in this notice) and the baseline (as 
defined in this notice) for that measure.
    Baseline means the starting point from which performance is 
measured and targets are set.
    Coronavirus burden means burden on a State from coronavirus based 
on the measures in the application package and any measures identified 
by the

[[Page 25414]]

applicant in response to Application Requirement 3.
    Course-access program means a program that--
    (1) Provides students the option to enroll in one or more courses 
that are not currently offered virtually or otherwise available in the 
student's school;
    (2) Includes courses offered by multiple providers, from which 
students, or parents on behalf of students, may choose;
    (3) Makes available courses for remote learning;
    (4) Ensures that coursework materials and the formats and 
technologies by which they are made available are accessible to 
students with disabilities; and
    (5) Is available to all students in the State, including non-public 
school students on an equitable basis.
    Demonstrates a rationale means a key project component included in 
the project's logic model (as defined in this notice) is informed by 
research or evaluation findings that suggest the project component is 
likely to improve relevant outcomes.
    Equitable access means a grantee must provide students enrolled in 
non-public schools with the same opportunity to access program benefits 
as students attending public schools, which may include proportional 
provision of services to both public and non-public school students.
    High-quality means the project described in the grant application 
should consider available research in the design of the project and 
collect and disseminate information about the results of the project, 
such as student outcomes, student participation and parental 
satisfaction.
    Local educational agency (LEA) means--
    (a) A public board of education or other public authority legally 
constituted within a State for either administrative control or 
direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary 
schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school 
district, or other political subdivision of a State, or of or for a 
combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a 
State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or 
secondary schools.
    (b) The term includes any other public institution or agency having 
administrative control and direction of a public elementary school or 
secondary school.
    (c) The term includes an elementary school or secondary school 
funded by the Bureau of Indian Education but only to the extent that 
including the school makes the school eligible for programs for which 
specific eligibility is not provided to the school in another provision 
of law and the school does not have a student population that is 
smaller than the student population of the LEA (as defined in this 
notice) receiving assistance under the ESEA with the smallest student 
population, except that the school shall not be subject to the 
jurisdiction of any SEA other than the Bureau of Indian Education.
    (d) The term includes educational service agencies and consortia of 
those agencies.
    (e) The term includes the SEA in a State in which the SEA is the 
sole educational agency for all public schools.
    Logic model (also referred to as a theory of action) means a 
framework that identifies key project components of the proposed 
project (i.e., the active ``ingredients'' that are hypothesized to be 
critical to achieving the relevant outcomes) and describes the 
theoretical and operational relationships among the key project 
components and relevant outcomes.
    Microgrant means an account established for a parent that provides 
funds directly to service providers to expand educational choice. The 
parent must have easy access to and visibility into the account and it 
must allow the parent to select particular education services, 
expenses, or materials, to expand the ability to choose high-quality 
educational opportunities to meet their needs.
    Parent--The term ``parent'' includes a legal guardian or other 
person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent 
with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for 
the child's welfare).
    Performance measure means any quantitative indicator, statistic, or 
metric used to gauge program or project performance.
    Performance target means a level of performance that an applicant 
would seek to meet during the course of a project or as a result of a 
project.
    Project component means an activity, strategy, intervention, 
process, product, practice, or policy included in a project. Evidence 
may pertain to an individual project component or to a combination of 
project components (e.g., training teachers on instructional practices 
for English learners and follow-on coaching for these teachers).
    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcome(s) 
the key project component is designed to improve, consistent with the 
specific goals of the program.
    Remote learning means educational or instructional programming that 
mostly occurs away from the physical school building and is delivered 
in a student-focused manner that addresses a student's educational 
needs. This includes both non-technology-based learning (e.g., paper 
packets, in-person tutoring) and ``distance education'' as defined in 
section 103(7) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and 
``distance learning'' as defined in ESEA section 8101(14).
    State educational agency (SEA) means the agency primarily 
responsible for the State supervision of public elementary or secondary 
schools.
    Statewide virtual school means an online education program 
available to public and non-public school students that provides full-
time education and supplemental coursework to students in other full-
time education programs.
    Application Requirements: The following application requirements 
are established for the FY 2020 ESF-REM Grants competition and any 
subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded 
applications from this competition in accordance with section 437(d)(1) 
of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). Applicants must address the following 
application requirements:
    (1) Describe the applicant's approach to addressing one of the 
three absolute priorities contained in this notice. This description 
should include an implementation plan and timeline for key grant 
activities and a plan for how the applicant will assess the number of 
students served, and, if applying for Absolute Priority 1, how the 
grantee will select parents to receive microgrants; how the applicant 
will assess parent satisfaction with the State's grant-related remote 
learning offerings; and the number and different types, as defined by 
the grantee, of new remote learning options provided in order to 
address the performance measures for the grant.
    (2) Provide an analysis of the immediate needs in the State to 
support remote learning and describe how the proposed project will 
address those needs.
    (3) Include a description of the State's coronavirus burden based 
on indicators and information factors other than those provided in the 
application package that demonstrate the significance of the impact of 
COVID-19 on students, parents, and schools in the State. This 
description may include additional data, including other public health 
measures such as coronavirus-related

[[Page 25415]]

deaths per capita, or any other relevant education, labor or 
demographic data.
    (4) Provide an analysis of State assets and collaborative efforts 
made by the State (including supports already provided from Federal and 
non-Federal sources) to improve outcomes for students during this 
national emergency, including, at a minimum, parent and student 
supports and collaborations with nonprofits, local businesses, LEAs, 
institutions of higher education, and other relevant stakeholders. At a 
minimum this analysis should also include the following:
    (a) A description of the steps the State is taking at the time of 
the application to address the State's immediate education needs.
    (b) A description of the barriers the State has faced in meeting 
such needs.
    (5) Provide an assurance that the applicant will provide 
information to the Secretary, as requested, for evaluations that the 
Secretary may carry out. This may include, but is not limited to, 
working with grantees at the outset of the grant to establish common 
performance measures.
    This may include, but is not limited to, working with grantees at 
the outset of the grant to establish common performance measures, data 
elements, or data definitions.
    (6) Demonstrate support for the proposed project by the Governor of 
the State, such as through a letter signed by the Governor.
    Exemption from Rulemaking: Under the Administrative Procedure Act 
(5 U.S.C. 553) the Department generally offers interested parties the 
opportunity to comment on proposed priorities, selection criteria, 
definitions, and other requirements. Section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 
however, allows the Secretary to exempt from rulemaking requirements 
regulations governing the first grant competition under a new or 
substantially revised program authority. This is the first grant 
competition for this program under section 18001(a)(3) of the CARES 
Act, and therefore qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure 
timely grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment 
on the priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria 
under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA.
    Program Authority: Section 18001(a)(3) of Title VIII of Division B 
of the CARES Act, Public Law 116-36 (enacted March 27, 2020).
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 97, 
98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to 
Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 
2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department 
in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3474.

II. Award Information

    Estimated Available Funds: $180,000,000.
    These estimated available funds are the amount available for ESF-
REM grants under the FY 2020 CARES Act. The Department will determine 
the number of awards to be made under each absolute priority based on 
the quality of applications received consistent with the selection 
criteria and priorities. It will also determine the size of an award 
made to an eligible applicant based on a review of the eligible 
applicant's budget. The Department may use any unused funds designated 
for this competition to make awards under the ESF-REM program.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $5,000,000-$20,000,000.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $15,000,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 13-14; 4 awards under each absolute 
priority, dependent on sufficient quality.
    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.
    Project Period: Up to 36 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: SEAs.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    3. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award 
subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities 
described in its application.

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: Applicants are required to 
follow the Common Instructions for Applicants to Department of 
Education Discretionary Grant Programs, published in the Federal 
Register on February 13, 2019 (84 FR 3768) and available at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-13/pdf/2019-02206.pdf, which 
contain requirements and information on how to submit an application. 
Grants.gov has relaxed the requirement for applicants to have an active 
registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to apply 
for funding. In the event a registration expires before an award is 
issued, the Department will relax the active registration requirement 
and not delay funds due to the COVID-19 crisis.
    2. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. However, under 34 
CFR 79.8(a), we waive intergovernmental review in order to make timely 
awards.
    3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice. Each 
eligible entity may charge an amount of administrative costs that is 
reasonable and necessary to effectively administer the program 
consistent with cost principles in 2 CFR part 200, subpart E of the 
Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit 
Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance). Administrative 
costs include costs (direct and indirect) involved in the proper and 
efficient performance and administration of this Federal grant. 
However, to maximize the funds available for services to students and 
the public, the Department encourages each eligible entity to minimize 
the amount of administrative costs charged to the program.
    4. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of 
the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection 
criteria and priority that reviewers use to evaluate your application. 
We recommend that you (1) limit the application narrative to no more 
than 25 pages and (2) use 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.
     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.
    The recommended page limit does not apply to Part I, the cover 
sheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget 
justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-
page abstract, the resumes, the letters of support, or the appendices. 
However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the 
application narrative.
    5. Notice of Intent to Apply: We will be able to develop a more 
efficient process for reviewing grant applications

[[Page 25416]]

if we know the approximate number of applicants that intend to apply 
for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary strongly 
encourages each potential applicant to notify us of the applicant's 
intent to submit an application by sending an email to [email protected] 
with ESF-REM Intent to Apply in the subject line. Applicants that do 
not send a notice of intent to apply may still apply for funding.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are either from 34 CFR 75.210, or are being established for the FY 2020 
grant competition and any subsequent year in which we make awards from 
the list of unfunded applications from this competition in accordance 
with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1). The points 
assigned to each criterion are indicated in the parentheses next to the 
criterion. An applicant may earn up to a total of 100 points based on 
the selection criteria for the application.
    A. Highest Coronavirus Burden (up to 40 points).
    In determining the States with the highest coronavirus burden, the 
Secretary considers the extent to which the State has a high 
coronavirus burden as follows:
    (1) The extent to which the applicant, based on the factors listed 
in the application package, when weighted equally, is in the--
    (i) Up to 20th percentile of coronavirus burden (4 points);
    (ii) 21st to 40th percentile of coronavirus burden (8 points);
    (iii) 41st to 60th percentile of coronavirus burden (12 points);
    (iv) 61st to 80th percentile of coronavirus burden (16 points); or
    (v) 81st to 100th percentile of coronavirus burden. (20 points) 
(GEPA Waiver)
    (2) The extent to which the applicant has a high coronavirus burden 
based on indicators and information factors identified by the applicant 
in response to Application Requirement 3. (20 points) (GEPA Waiver)
    B. Quality of Project Services and Project Plan (up to 35 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of project services and project 
plan.
    In determining the quality of the project services and project 
plan, the Secretary considers the quality and sufficiency of strategies 
for ensuring equal access and treatment for eligible project 
participants who are members of groups that have traditionally been 
underrepresented based on race, color, national origin, gender, age, or 
disability. (up to 5 points)
    In addition, the Secretary considers--
    (1) The extent to which the proposed project is an exceptional 
approach to absolute priority being addressed and includes a detailed 
project plan for addressing the absolute priority. (up to 10 points) 
(GEPA waiver)
    (2) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be 
addressed by the proposed project to respond to the needs of students. 
(up to 10 points) (GEPA waiver)
    (3) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the proposed 
project will expand access to remote learning options and lead to 
improvements in student outcomes. (up to 5 points) (GEPA waiver)
    (4) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective 
practice. (up to 5 points) (GEPA waiver)
    C. Quality of the Management Plan and Adequacy of Resources (up to 
25 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan and 
adequacy of resources. In determining the quality of the management 
plan and adequacy of resources, the Secretary considers--
    (1) The adequacy of the management plan to achieve the objectives 
of the proposed project on time and within budget, including clearly 
defined responsibilities, timelines, and milestones for accomplishing 
project tasks. (up to 5 points) (34 CFR 75.210)
    (2) The extent to which the proposed use of funds will adequately 
support the proposed project. (up to 5 points) (GEPA waiver)
    (3) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project. 
(up to 5 points) (34 CFR 75.210)
    (4) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and 
benefits. (up to 10 points) (34 CFR 75.210)
    2. Review and Selection Process: The Department will announce 
awards within 30 days of the deadline for transmittal of applications 
of this competition. 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 
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 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    Before making awards, we will screen applications submitted in 
accordance with the requirements in this notice to determine whether 
applications have met eligibility and other requirements. This 
screening process may occur at various stages of the process; 
applicants that are determined to be ineligible will not receive a 
grant, regardless of peer reviewer scores or comments.
    Peer reviewers will read, prepare a written evaluation of, and 
score the assigned applications, using the selection criteria provided 
in this notice.
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department 
conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 
3474.10, the Secretary may impose specific conditions and, in 
appropriate circumstances, high-risk 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 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not 
fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not 
responsible.
    4. Integrity and Performance System: If you are selected under this 
competition to receive an award that over the course of the project 
period may exceed the simplified acquisition threshold (currently 
$250,000), under 2 CFR 200.205(a)(2), we must make a judgment about 
your integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under 
Federal awards--that is, the risk posed by you as an applicant--before 
we make an award. In doing so, we must consider any information about 
you that is in the integrity and performance system (currently referred 
to as the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System 
(FAPIIS)), accessible through the System for Award Management. You may 
review and comment on any information about yourself that a Federal 
agency previously entered and that is currently in FAPIIS.

[[Page 25417]]

    Please note that, if the total value of your currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from the 
Federal Government exceeds $10,000,000, the reporting requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, require you to report certain integrity 
information to FAPIIS semiannually. Please review the requirements in 2 
CFR part 200, Appendix XII, if this grant plus all the other Federal 
funds you receive exceed $10,000,000.

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); or we may send you an email containing a link to 
access an electronic version of your 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. Open Licensing Requirements: Unless an exception applies, if you 
are awarded a grant under this competition, you will be required to 
openly license to the public grant deliverables created in whole, or in 
part, with Department grant funds. When the deliverable consists of 
modifications to pre-existing works, the license extends only to those 
modifications that can be separately identified and only to the extent 
that open licensing is permitted under the terms of any licenses or 
other legal restrictions on the use of pre-existing works. 
Additionally, a grantee that is awarded competitive grant funds must 
have a plan to disseminate these public grant deliverables. This 
dissemination plan can be developed and submitted after your 
application has been reviewed and selected for funding. For additional 
information on the open licensing requirements please refer to 2 CFR 
3474.20(c).
    4. Reporting: (a) 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).
    (b) In addition to annual performance reporting, a grantee must 
submit to the Department a quarterly report that provides data and 
information meeting the requirements of section 15011 of the CARES Act.
    (c) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final 
performance report, including financial information, as directed by the 
Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual 
performance report that provides the most current performance and 
financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 
CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance 
reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, 
please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.
    (d) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee 
with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In 
this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.
    5. Performance Measures: We have established the following 
performance measures for the ESF-REM Grants program: (1) The number of 
students served by the project; (2) the percentage of parents who 
reported satisfaction with the remote learning options available; and 
(3) the number and different types, as defined by the grantee, of new 
remote learning options provided.
    In addition, applicants must propose project-specific performance 
measures and performance targets consistent with the objectives of the 
proposed project, which must include at least one student-based 
educational outcome measure.
    Applicants must provide the following information as directed under 
34 CFR 75.110(b) and (c):
    (a) Performance Measures. How each proposed performance measure 
would accurately measure the performance of the project and how the 
proposed performance measures would be consistent with the performance 
measures established for the program funding the competition.
    (b) Baseline Data.
    (i) Why each proposed baseline is valid; or
    (ii) If the applicant has determined that there are no established 
baseline data for a particular performance measure, an explanation of 
why there is no established baseline and of how and when, during the 
project period, the applicant would establish a valid baseline for the 
performance measure.
    (c) Performance Targets. Why each proposed performance target is 
ambitious (as defined in this notice) yet achievable compared to the 
baseline for the performance measure and when, during the project 
period, the applicant would meet the performance target(s).
    (d) Data Collection and Reporting.
    (i) The data collection and reporting methods the applicant would 
use and why those methods are likely to yield reliable, valid, and 
meaningful performance data; and
    (ii) The applicant's capacity to collect and report reliable, 
valid, and meaningful performance data, as evidenced by high-quality 
data collection, analysis, and reporting in other projects or research.
    All grantees must submit an annual performance report with 
information that is responsive to these performance measures.

VII. 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 compact disc) on request to 
the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this 
document is the document published in the Federal Register. You may 
access the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of 
Federal Regulations at www.govinfo.gov. At this site you can view this 
document, as well as all other documents of this Department published 
in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
the site.
    You may also access documents of the Department published in the 
Federal Register by using the article search feature at 
www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search 
feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published 
by the Department.

Frank Brogan,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2020-09274 Filed 4-30-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P