[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 42 (Friday, March 2, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 8974-8983]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-04294]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Expanding Opportunity Through 
Quality Charter Schools Program (CSP)--Grants to Charter School 
Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the 
Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools

AGENCY: Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education is issuing a notice inviting 
applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for CSP--Grants 
to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and 
for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools, 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers 84.282B and 
84.282E.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: March 2, 2018.
    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: Thursday, March 8, 2018, 1:00 
p.m., Washington, DC time.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: April 16, 2018.
    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: June 15, 2018.
    Pre-Application Webinar Information: The Department will hold a 
pre-application meeting via webinar for prospective applicants on 
Thursday, March 8, 1:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. Individuals 
interested in attending this meeting are encouraged to pre-register by 
emailing their name, organization, and contact information with the 
subject heading ``DEVELOPER GRANTS PRE-APPLICATION MEETING'' to 
CharterSchools@ed.gov. There is no registration fee for attending this 
meeting.
    For further information about the pre-application meeting, contact 
Eddie Moat, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 
4W259, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 401-2266 or by 
email: eddie.moat@ed.gov.

ADDRESSES: The addresses pertinent to this competition--including the 
addresses for obtaining and submitting an application--can be found 
under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eddie Moat, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W259, Washington, DC 20202-
5970. Telephone: (202) 401-2266 or by email: eddie.moat@ed.gov.
    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: 

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The major purposes of the CSP are to expand 
opportunities for all students, particularly traditionally underserved 
students, to attend charter schools and meet challenging State academic 
standards; provide financial assistance for the planning, program 
design, and initial implementation of public charter schools; increase 
the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across 
the United States; evaluate the impact of charter schools on student 
achievement, families, and communities; share best practices between 
charter schools and other public schools; encourage States to provide 
facilities support to charter schools; and support efforts to 
strengthen the charter school authorizing process.
    CSP--Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New 
Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality 
Charter Schools (Developer Grants) are intended to support charter 
schools that serve early childhood, elementary school, or secondary 
school students by providing grant funds to eligible applicants for the 
opening of new charter schools (CFDA number 84.282B) and for the 
replication and expansion of high-quality charter schools (CFDA number 
84.282E). Eligibility for a grant under this competition is limited to 
charter school developers in States that do not currently have a CSP 
State Entity grant (CFDA number 84.282A) under the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student 
Succeeds Act (ESSA). Eligibility in a State with a CSP State 
Educational Agency (SEA) grant under the ESEA, as amended by the No 
Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) (CFDA number 84.282A) is limited 
to charter school developers applying for grants for the replication 
and expansion of high-quality charter schools (CFDA number 84.282E) and 
only if the Department has not approved an amendment to the SEA's 
approved grant application authorizing the SEA to make subgrants for 
replication and expansion. Charter schools that receive financial 
assistance through Developer Grants provide programs of elementary or 
secondary education, or both, and may also serve students in early 
childhood education programs or postsecondary students.
    Background: This notice invites applications from eligible 
applicants for two types of grants: (1) Grants to Charter School 
Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools (CFDA number 84.282B) 
and (2) Grants to Charter School Developers for the Replication and 
Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CFDA number 84.282E). Under 
this competition, each CFDA number, 84.282B and 84.282E, constitutes 
its own funding category. The Secretary intends to award grants under 
each CFDA number for applications that are of sufficient quality. 
Information pertaining to each type of grant is provided in subsequent 
sections of this notice.
    The ESSA, enacted in December 2015, reauthorized and amended the 
ESEA. The amendments included significant changes affecting the CSP, 
including the

[[Page 8975]]

Developer Grants competition.\1\ Consequently, this notice contains 
definitions, application requirements, and selection criteria from the 
ESEA, as amended by the ESSA,\2\ as well as priorities, definitions, 
application requirements, and selection criteria that we are 
establishing in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of the General 
Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
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    \1\ Prior to enactment of the ESSA, the ESEA, as amended by 
NCLB, authorized CSP Grants to Non-State Educational Agency Eligible 
Applicants for Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation 
and for Dissemination (Non-SEA Grants). Under the ESSA, this 
authority has been substantially revised and, as a result, the name 
of this competition differs from previous years.
    \2\ All references to the ESEA in this notice are to the ESEA, 
as amended by the ESSA, unless otherwise noted.
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    Eligible applicants are those that are qualified based on the 
requirements set forth in this notice. For more information on 
eligibility, please see section III.1. of this notice.
    All charter schools receiving CSP funds must meet the definition of 
a charter school in section 4310(2) of the ESEA, including the 
requirements that a charter school comply with various non-
discrimination laws, including the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, 
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education 
Amendments of 1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the 
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, section 444 of GEPA, and part 
B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (i.e., 
rights afforded to children with disabilities and their parents), and 
applicable State laws.
    Priorities: This notice includes three competitive preference 
priorities. We are establishing Competitive Preference Priorities 1, 2, 
and 3 for the FY 2018 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).
    Competitive Preference Priorities: These priorities are competitive 
preference priorities.
    For CFDA number 84.282B, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up 
to an additional four points to an application depending on how well 
the application addresses Competitive Preference Priority 1 and up to 
an additional four points to an application that meets Competitive 
Preference Priority 2. The maximum number of points an application for 
CFDA number 84.282B can receive under these priorities is eight.
    For CFDA number 84.282E, under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award up 
to an additional two points to an application depending on how well the 
application addresses Competitive Preference Priority 1, up to an 
additional two points to an application that meets Competitive 
Preference Priority 2, and an additional two points to an application 
that meets Competitive Preference Priority 3. The maximum number of 
points an application for CFDA number 84.282E can receive under these 
priorities is six.
    These priorities are:
    Competitive Preference Priority 1--Supporting High-Need Students by 
Increasing Access to High-Quality Educational Choice. (Up to four 
points under CFDA number 84.282B, and up to two points under CFDA 
number 84.282E).
    Background: This priority focuses on projects serving children with 
disabilities, English learners (ELs), students in federally recognized 
Indian Tribes, and students served by rural local educational agencies. 
With respect to children with disabilities, the priority is intended to 
support projects that would serve these students at rates that are 
equal to or greater than those of surrounding public schools. With 
respect to ELs, it is intended to promote projects that would similarly 
serve these students at rates that are equal to or greater than those 
of surrounding public schools in communities with high concentrations 
of these students. The Department encourages applicants addressing this 
priority to include surrounding public schools' rates of enrollment for 
children with disabilities and ELs in their applications.
    The Department believes that charter schools can provide critically 
needed options for both children with disabilities and ELs. Moreover, 
research indicates that charter schools show gains on State assessments 
for children with disabilities in mathematics, and for ELs in 
mathematics and reading that are higher than those for their 
counterparts in traditional public schools.\3\ In addition, a secondary 
study by the National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools 
analyzing data from the Department's Civil Rights Data Collection for 
2011-2012 found a narrowing, but still existing, gap in enrollment of 
children with disabilities in charter schools compared to traditional 
public schools.\4\
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    \3\ Center for Research on Education Outcomes (2013). ``National 
Charter School Study 2013,'' available online at http://credo.stanford.edu/documents/NCSS%202013%20Final%20Draft.pdf.
    \4\ National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools 
(2015). ``Key Trends in Special Education in Charter Schools,'' 
available online at www.ncsecs.org/resources//.
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    In addition, the Department understands that students who are 
members of federally recognized Indian Tribes and their communities 
face unique challenges. Therefore, through this priority the Department 
encourages applicants to use charter schools as part of the efforts to 
strengthen public education for Native American communities. 
Furthermore, the Department recognizes that rural schools confront a 
particular set of challenges and seeks to support rural education 
leaders in using charter schools, as appropriate, as part of their 
overall efforts to improve educational outcomes.
    Priority: This priority is for projects that are designed to 
increase access to educational choice and improve academic outcomes and 
learning environments for one or more of the following groups of 
students:
    (i) Students in communities served by rural local educational 
agencies
    (ii) Children with disabilities
    (iii) English learners
    (iv) Students who are members of federally recognized Indian 
Tribes.

    Note: Applicants may choose to respond to one or more of the 
priority areas and are not required to respond to each priority area 
in order to receive the maximum available points under this 
competitive preference priority.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2--Dual or Concurrent Enrollment 
Programs and Early College High Schools (Up to four points under CFDA 
number 84.282B, and up to two points under CFDA number 84.282E).
    Background: This priority is for projects that offer a program 
enabling secondary school students to begin earning credit toward a 
postsecondary degree or credential prior to high school graduation. 
Research has shown that dual or concurrent enrollment programs and 
early college high schools have positive effects including boosting 
college access and degree attainment, especially for students typically 
underrepresented in higher education.\5\
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    \5\ Please see the following link for a study from the Institute 
of Education Sciences (IES): https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/InterventionReport/671.
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    Priority: The extent to which the proposed project is designed to 
increase student access to, participation in, and completion of dual or 
concurrent enrollment programs or early college high schools.
    Competitive Preference Priority 3--Single School Operators. (Zero 
or two points under CFDA number 84.282E)
    Background: This priority is specifically for applications for 
Grants to Charter School Developers for the

[[Page 8976]]

Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CFDA number 
84.282E). Under this priority, we give preference to applicants that 
currently operate a single charter school. We are including this 
priority to encourage applications from developers that currently 
operate a single charter school but seek to replicate or expand it.
    Priority: Applications submitted under CFDA number 84.282E that 
provide evidence that the applicant currently operates one, and only 
one, charter school.
    Application Requirements: Applications for grants under CFDA 
numbers 84.282B and 84.282E must address the following application 
requirements. An applicant may choose to respond to these requirements 
in the context of its responses to the selection criteria in section 
V.1 of this notice. The source of each requirement is listed in 
parentheses. Where no source is provided, we establish the requirement, 
for FY 2018 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).
    Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter 
Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter 
schools (CFDA numbers 84.282B and 84.282E).
    Applicants for grants under CFDA number 84.282B or 84.282E must 
provide the following:
    (a) A description of the roles and responsibilities of the eligible 
applicant, partner organizations, and charter management organizations, 
including the administrative and contractual roles and responsibilities 
of such partners (Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(I) of the ESEA);
    (b) A description of the quality controls agreed to between the 
eligible applicant and the authorized public chartering agency 
involved, such as a contract or performance agreement, how a school's 
performance in the State's accountability system and impact on student 
achievement (which may include student academic growth) will be one of 
the most important factors for renewal or revocation of the school's 
charter, and how the SEA and the authorized public chartering agency 
involved will reserve the right to revoke or not renew a school's 
charter based on financial, structural, or operational factors 
involving the management of the school (Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(II) of 
the ESEA);
    (c) A description of how the eligible applicant will solicit and 
consider input from parents and other members of the community on the 
implementation and operation of each charter school that will receive 
funds (Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(IV) of the ESEA);
    (d) A description of the eligible applicant's planned activities 
and expenditures of funds to support the activities described in 
section 4303(b)(1) of the ESEA, and how the eligible applicant will 
maintain financial sustainability after the end of the grant period 
(Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(V) of the ESEA);
    (e) A description of how the eligible applicant will support the 
use of effective parent, family, and community engagement strategies to 
operate each charter school that will receive funds under this program 
(Section 4303(f)(1)(C)(i)(VI) of the ESEA);
    (f) A description of how the eligible applicant has considered and 
planned for the transportation needs of students for each school that 
will receive funds (Section 4303(f)(1)(E) of the ESEA);
    (g) A description of how each school that will receive funds will 
support all students once they are enrolled to promote retention, 
including by reducing the overuse of discipline practices that remove 
students from the classroom;
    (h) A description of how each school that will receive funds will 
have a high degree of autonomy over budget and operations, including 
autonomy over personnel decisions (Section 4303(f)(2)(A) of the ESEA);
    (i) A description of how the applicant will ensure that each 
charter school that will receive funds will recruit, enroll, and retain 
students, including children with disabilities, ELs, and other 
educationally disadvantaged students, including the lottery and 
enrollment procedures that will be used for each charter school if more 
students apply for admission than can be accommodated, and, if the 
applicant proposes to use a weighted lottery, how the weighted lottery 
complies with section 4303(c)(3)(A) of the ESEA;
    (j) A description of how the applicant will ensure that all 
eligible children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public 
education in accordance with part B of the IDEA;
    (k) A description of how each school that will receive funds meets 
the definition of charter school under section 4310(2) of the ESEA as 
well as how the autonomy and flexibility granted to each charter school 
that will receive funds is consistent with the definition of a charter 
school;
    (l) If an applicant proposes to open a new charter school (CFDA 
number 84.282B) or proposes to replicate or expand a charter school 
(CFDA number 84.282E) that provides a single-sex educational program, 
the applicant must demonstrate that the proposed single-sex educational 
programs are in compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 
1972 (20 U.S.C. 1681, et seq.) (``Title IX'') and its implementing 
regulations, including 34 CFR 106.34.
    (m) A request and justification for any waivers of Federal 
statutory or regulatory requirements over which the Secretary exercises 
administrative authority, except any such requirement relating to the 
elements of a charter school in section 4310(2) of the ESEA, that the 
applicant believes are necessary to implement its proposed project 
(Section 4303(d)(5));
    (n) A complete logic model for the grant project. The logic model 
must include the applicant's objectives for implementing a new charter 
school or replicating or expanding a high-quality charter school with 
funding under this competition; and
    (o) The applicant's most recent available independently audited 
financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted 
accounting principles.
    Grants for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter 
Schools (CFDA number 84.282E).
    In addition to the preceding application requirements, applicants 
for CFDA number 84.282E must address the following application 
requirements.
    (a) For each charter school currently operated or managed by the 
applicant, provide--
    (1) Information that demonstrates that the school is treated as a 
separate school by its authorized public chartering agency and the 
State, including for purposes of accountability and reporting under 
Title I, Part A of the ESEA;
    (2) Student assessment results for all students and for each 
subgroup of students described in section 1111(c)(2) of the ESEA;
    (3) Attendance and student retention rates for the most recently 
completed school year and, if applicable, the most recent available 
four-year adjusted cohort graduation rates and extended-year adjusted 
cohort graduation rates; and
    (4) Information on any significant compliance and management issues 
encountered within the last three school years by the existing charter 
school being operated or managed by the eligible entity, including in 
the areas of student safety and finance.
    Project Director's Meeting: Applicants approved for funding under 
either CFDA number 84.282B or 84.282E must attend a two-day meeting for 
project directors during each year of the project. An applicant may 
include the cost of

[[Page 8977]]

attending this meeting in its proposed budget.
    Definitions: The following definitions, where cited, are from 34 
CFR 75.225 and 77.1, and sections 4310 and 8101 of the ESEA. We 
establish the definition of educationally disadvantaged student and 
rural local educational agency for FY 2018 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).
    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, whether a performance target is ambitious depends 
upon the context of the relevant performance measure and the baseline 
for that measure. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Authorized public chartering agency means a State educational 
agency, local educational agency, or other public entity that has the 
authority pursuant to State law and approved by the Secretary to 
authorize or approve a charter school. (Section 4310(1) of the ESEA)
    Baseline means the starting point from which performance is 
measured and targets are set. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Charter management organization means a nonprofit organization that 
operates or manages a network of charter schools linked by centralized 
support, operations, and oversight. (Section 4310(3) of the ESEA)
    Charter school means a public school that--
    (a) In accordance with a specific State statute authorizing the 
granting of charters to schools, is exempt from significant State or 
local rules that inhibit the flexible operation and management of 
public schools, but not from any rules relating to the other 
requirements of this definition;
    (b) Is created by a developer as a public school, or is adapted by 
a developer from an existing public school, and is operated under 
public supervision and direction;
    (c) Operates in pursuit of a specific set of educational objectives 
determined by the school's developer and agreed to by the authorized 
public chartering agency;
    (d) Provides a program of elementary or secondary education, or 
both;
    (e) Is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, 
employment practices, and all other operations, and is not affiliated 
with a sectarian school or religious institution;
    (f) Does not charge tuition;
    (g) Complies with the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title VI of 
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 
1972, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), section 444 of GEPA 
(20 U.S.C. 1232g) (commonly referred to as the ``Family Educational 
Rights and Privacy Act of 1974'') and part B of the IDEA;
    (h) Is a school to which parents choose to send their children, and 
that--
    (1) Admits students on the basis of a lottery, consistent with 
section 4303(c)(3)(A) of the ESEA, if more students apply for admission 
than can be accommodated; or
    (2) In the case of a school that has an affiliated charter school 
(such as a school that is part of the same network of schools), 
automatically enrolls students who are enrolled in the immediate prior 
grade level of the affiliated charter school and, for any additional 
student openings or student openings created through regular attrition 
in student enrollment in the affiliated charter school and the 
enrolling school, admits students on the basis of a lottery as 
described in paragraph (1);
    (i) Agrees to comply with the same Federal and State audit 
requirements as do other elementary schools and secondary schools in 
the State, unless such State audit requirements are waived by the 
State;
    (j) Meets all applicable Federal, State, and local health and 
safety requirements;
    (k) Operates in accordance with State law;
    (l) Has a written performance contract with the authorized public 
chartering agency in the State that includes a description of how 
student performance will be measured in charter schools pursuant to 
State assessments that are required of other schools and pursuant to 
any other assessments mutually agreeable to the authorized public 
chartering agency and the charter school; and
    (m) May serve students in early childhood education programs or 
postsecondary students. (Section 4310(2) of the ESEA)
    Child with a disability has the same meaning given that term in 
section 602 of the IDEA. (Section 8101(4) of the ESEA)
    Developer means an individual or group of individuals (including a 
public or private nonprofit organization), which may include teachers, 
administrators and other school staff, parents, or other members of the 
local community in which a charter school project will be carried out. 
(Section 4310(5) of the ESEA)
    Dual or concurrent enrollment program means a program offered by a 
partnership between at least one institution of higher education and at 
least one local educational agency through which a secondary school 
student who has not graduated from high school with a regular high 
school diploma is able to enroll in one or more postsecondary courses 
and earn postsecondary credit that--
    (a) Is transferable to the institutions of higher education in the 
partnership; and
    (b) Applies toward completion of a degree or recognized educational 
credential as described in the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
1001 et seq.). (Section 8101(15) of the ESEA)
    Early childhood education program means (a) a Head Start program or 
an Early Head Start program carried out under the Head Start Act (42 
U.S.C. 9831 et seq.), including a migrant or seasonal Head Start 
program, an Indian Head Start program, or a Head Start program or an 
Early Head Start program that also receives State funding; (b) a State 
licensed or regulated child care program; or (c) a program that (i) 
serves children from birth through age six that addresses the 
children's cognitive (including language, early literacy, and early 
mathematics), social, emotional, and physical development; and (ii) is 
(I) a State prekindergarten program; (II) a program authorized under 
section 619 or part C of the IDEA; or (III) a program operated by a 
local educational agency. (Section 8101(16) of the ESEA)
    Early college high school means a partnership between at least one 
local educational agency and at least one institution of higher 
education that allows participants to simultaneously complete 
requirements toward earning a regular high school diploma and earn not 
less than 12 credits that are transferable to the institutions of 
higher education in the partnership as part of an organized course of 
study toward a postsecondary degree or credential at no cost to the 
participant or participant's family. (Section 8101(17) of the ESEA)
    Educationally disadvantaged students means students in the 
categories described in section 1115(c)(2) of the ESEA, which include 
economically disadvantaged children, children with disabilities, 
migrant children, ELs, neglected or delinquent children, and homeless 
children.
    English learner, when used with respect to an individual, means an 
individual--
    (a) Who is aged 3 through 21;

[[Page 8978]]

    (b) Who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school 
or secondary school;
    (c)(1) Who was not born in the United States or whose native 
language is a language other than English;
    (2)(i) Who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native 
resident of the outlying areas; and
    (ii) Who comes from an environment where a language other than 
English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of 
English language proficiency; or
    (3) Who is migratory, whose native language is a language other 
than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other 
than English is dominant; and
    (d) Whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or 
understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the 
individual--
    (1) The ability to meet the challenging State academic standards;
    (2) The ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the 
language of instruction is English; or
    (3) The opportunity to participate fully in society. (ESEA section 
8101(20))
    Expand, when used with respect to a high-quality charter school, 
means to significantly increase enrollment or add one or more grades to 
the high-quality charter school. (Section 4310(7) of the ESEA)
    High-quality charter school means a charter school that--
    (a) Shows evidence of strong academic results, which may include 
strong student academic growth, as determined by a State;
    (b) Has no significant issues in the areas of student safety, 
financial and operational management, or statutory or regulatory 
compliance;
    (c) Has demonstrated success in significantly increasing student 
academic achievement, including graduation rates, where applicable, for 
all students served by the charter school; and
    (d) Has demonstrated success in increasing student academic 
achievement, including graduation rates, where applicable, for each of 
the subgroups of students, as defined in section 1111(c)(2), except 
that such demonstration is not required in a case in which the number 
of students in a group is insufficient to yield statistically reliable 
information or the results would reveal personally identifiable 
information about an individual student. (Section 4310(8) of the ESEA)
    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 (34 CFR 77.1)
    Performance measure means any quantitative indicator, statistic, or 
metric used to gauge program or project performance. (34 CFR 77.1)
    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. (34 CFR 77.1)
    Replicate, when used with respect to a high-quality charter school, 
means to open a new charter school, or a new campus of a high-quality 
charter school, based on the educational model of an existing high-
quality charter school, under an existing charter or an additional 
charter, if permitted or required by State law. (Section 4310(9) of the 
ESEA)
    Rural local educational agency means a local educational agency 
(LEA) that is eligible under the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) 
program or the Rural and Low-Income School (RLIS) program authorized 
under Title V, Part B of the ESEA. Eligible applicants may determine 
whether a particular LEA is eligible for these programs by referring to 
information on the Department's website at www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html.
    Waiver of Proposed 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 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 4305(a)(2) of the ESEA, and, therefore, this 
competition qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely 
grant awards, the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment on 
certain priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, 
as specified in this notice, in accordance with section 437(d)(1) of 
GEPA. These priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection 
criteria will apply to the FY 2018 grant competition and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 
from this competition.
    Program Authority: Title IV, part C of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7221-
7221j).
    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 in 2 CFR part 3474.

    Note: The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants 
except federally recognized Indian Tribes.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: The Administration has requested 
$500,000,000 for the CSP program for FY 2018, of which we intend to use 
an estimated $15,000,000 for this competition. The actual level of 
funding, if any, depends on final congressional action. However, we are 
inviting applications to allow enough time to complete the grant 
process if Congress appropriates funds for this program.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in subsequent years from 
the list of unfunded applications from this competition.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $150,000-250,000 per school per year.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $200,000 per school per year.
    Maximum Award: See Reasonable and Necessary Costs in section III.4 
for information regarding the maximum amount of funds that may be 
awarded per new school.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 30-45.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice. The estimated range and average size of awards are based on 
a single 12-month budget period. We may use FY 2018 funds to support 
multiple 12-month budget periods for one or more grantees.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants are developers that 
have--
    (a) Applied to an authorized public chartering authority to operate 
a charter school; and
    (b) Provided adequate and timely notice to that authority. (Section 
4310(6) of the ESEA).
    Additionally, the charter school must be located in a State with a 
State statute

[[Page 8979]]

specifically authorizing the establishment of charter schools (section 
4310(2) of the ESEA) and in which a State entity currently does not 
have a CSP State Entity grant (CFDA number 84.282A) under section 4303 
of the ESEA.\6\ (Section 4305(a)(2) of the ESEA). In accordance with 
section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1), we further establish 
that eligibility in a State with a CSP SEA grant (CFDA 84.282A) under 
the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, is limited to grants for replication and 
expansion \7\ (CFDA 84.282E) and only if the Department has not 
approved an amendment to the SEA's approved grant application 
authorizing the SEA to make subgrants for replication and expansion.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ States in which a State entity currently has an approved CSP 
State Entity grant application under section 4303 of the ESEA are 
Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, 
Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin. We will not consider 
applications from applicants in these States under either CFDA 
84.282B or 84.282E.
    \7\ States in which the SEA currently has an approved CSP SEA 
grant application under the ESEA, as amended by NCLB (i.e., a grant 
award made in fiscal year 2016 or earlier), include Arizona, 
California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, 
Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, 
South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. We will not consider 
applications from applicants in these States for grants for the 
opening of new charter schools submitted under CFDA number 84.282B.
    \8\ The Department is currently reviewing amendment requests 
from SEAs with grants under the ESEA, as amended by NCLB, that would 
authorize the SEA to make subgrants for replication and expansion 
(for more information please see https://innovation.ed.gov/files/2017/12/CSP-ESSA-Flexibilities-FAQ-2017.pdf). The Department will 
post the names of SEAs receiving approval for this flexibility on 
its website at https://innovation.ed.gov/what-we-do/charter-schools/charter-schools-program-non-state-educational-agencies-non-sea-planning-program-design-and-initial-implementation-grant/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As a general matter, the Secretary considers charter schools that 
have been in operation for more than five years to be past the initial 
implementation phase and, therefore, ineligible to receive CSP funds 
under CFDA number 84.282B to support the opening of a new charter 
school or under CFDA number 84.282E for the replication of a high-
quality charter school; however, such schools may receive CSP funds 
under CFDA number 84.282E for the expansion of a high-quality charter 
school.

    Note: If an applicant has applied to an authorized public 
chartering agency to operate a new school and has not yet been 
approved, it should include information in its application 
addressing the plan and timeline to receive notification from the 
authorizer on the final decision. Additionally, an applicant should 
delineate any costs in its proposed budget that are projected to be 
incurred prior to the date the applicant's charter school 
application is approved by the authorized public chartering agency.

    2. Audits: All grantees must ensure that the charter schools they 
operate or manage conduct independent, annual audits of their financial 
statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting 
principles, and ensure that any such audits are publicly reported. 
(Section 4303(f)(2)(E)(ii) of the ESEA).
    3. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost 
sharing or matching.
    4. Subgrantees: A grantee under this competition may not award 
subgrants to entities to directly carry out project activities 
described in its application.
    5. Reasonable and Necessary Costs: The Secretary may elect to 
impose maximum limits on the amount of grant funds that may be awarded 
per new charter school created or replicated, per charter school 
expanded, or per new school seats created.
    For this competition, the maximum limit of grant funds that may be 
awarded per new, replicated, or expanded charter school is $1,250,000.
    In accordance with 2 CFR 200.404, applicants must ensure that all 
costs included in the proposed budget are reasonable and necessary in 
light of the goals and objectives of the proposed project. Any costs 
determined by the Secretary to be unreasonable or unnecessary will be 
removed from the final approved budget.
    A charter school that previously has received CSP funds for 
replication or expansion or for planning or initial implementation of a 
charter school under CFDA number 84.282A or 84.282M (as administered 
under the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 
(NCLB)) may not use funds under this grant for the same purpose. 
However, such charter school may be eligible to receive funds under 
this competition to expand the charter school beyond the existing grade 
levels or student count. Likewise, a charter school that receives funds 
under this competition is ineligible to receive funds for the same 
purpose under section 4303(b)(1) or 4305(b) of the ESEA, including 
opening and preparing for the operation of a new charter school, 
opening and preparing for the operation of a replicated high-quality 
charter school, or expanding a high-quality charter school (i.e., CFDA 
number 84.282A or 84.282M).

IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Application Submission Instructions: For information on how to 
submit an application please refer to our Common Instructions for 
Applicants to Department of Education Discretionary Grant Programs, 
published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003).
    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for this competition, an 
application may include business information that the applicant 
considers proprietary. The Department's regulations define ``business 
information'' in 34 CFR 5.11.
    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the 
public, you may wish to request confidentiality of business 
information.
    Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your 
application any information that you feel is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. In the appropriate 
Appendix section of your application, under ``Other Attachments Form,'' 
please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this 
information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).
    3. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to 
Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. 
Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under 
Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this program.
    4. Funding Restrictions: Grantees must use the grant funds to open 
and prepare for the operation of a new charter school; to open and 
prepare for the operation of a replicated high-quality charter school; 
or to expand a high-quality charter school, as applicable. Grant funds 
must be used to carry out allowable activities, described in section 
4303(h) of the ESEA, which include the following:
    (a) Preparing teachers, school leaders, and specialized 
instructional support personnel, including through paying costs 
associated with--
    (i) Providing professional development; and
    (ii) Hiring and compensating, during the applicant's planning 
period specified in the application for funds, one or more of the 
following:
    (A) Teachers.
    (B) School leaders.
    (C) Specialized instructional support personnel.
    (D) Acquiring supplies, training, equipment (including technology), 
and educational materials (including developing and acquiring 
instructional materials).
    (E) Carrying out necessary renovations to ensure that a new school 
building

[[Page 8980]]

complies with applicable statutes and regulations, and minor facilities 
repairs (excluding construction).
    (F) Providing one-time, startup costs associated with providing 
transportation to students to and from the charter school.
    (G) Carrying out community engagement activities, which may include 
paying the cost of student and staff recruitment.
    (H) Providing for other appropriate, non-sustained costs related to 
the opening of new charter schools, or the replication or expansion of 
high-quality charter schools, as applicable, when such costs cannot be 
met from other sources.
    A grant awarded by the Secretary under this competition may be for 
a period of not more than five years, of which the grantee may use not 
more than 18 months for planning and program design. (Section 
4303(d)(1)(B) of the ESEA). We establish that applicants may only 
propose to support one charter school per grant application, in 
accordance with section 437(d)(1) of GEPA, 20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
    We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions 
in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.
    5. Recommended Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of 
the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection 
criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We recommend 
that you (1) limit the narrative to no more than 50 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, as well as all text in 
charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
     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 bibliography, or the letters of 
support. However, the recommended page limit does apply to all of the 
application narrative.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for applicants 
submitting applications under CFDA numbers 84.282B and 84.282E are 
listed in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, respectively. These 
selection criteria, where cited, are based on section 4303 of the ESEA 
and 34 CFR 75.210. We are establishing the remaining selection criteria 
for the FY 2018 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 maximum possible score for addressing all of the 
criteria in each section is 100 points. The maximum possible score for 
addressing each criterion is indicated in parentheses following the 
criterion.
    In evaluating an application for a Developer Grant, the Secretary 
considers the following criteria:
    (a) Selection Criteria for Grants for the Opening of New Charter 
Schools (CFDA number 84.282B).
    (i) Contribution in Assisting Educationally Disadvantaged Students 
(up to 15 points).
    The significance of the contribution the proposed project will make 
in expanding educational opportunities for educationally disadvantaged 
students and enabling those students to meet challenging State academic 
standards. In determining the significance of the contribution the 
proposed project will make, the Secretary considers the quality of the 
plan to ensure that the charter school the applicant proposes to open 
will recruit and enroll educationally disadvantaged students and serve 
those students at rates comparable to surrounding public schools.
    (ii) Quality of the Project Design (34 CFR 75.210(c)(1)and 
(c)(2)(i) and (ii)) (up to 30 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed 
project. In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable 
(up to 15 points); and
    (2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is 
appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target 
population or other identified needs (up to 15 points).
    (iii) Quality of Project Personnel (34 CFR 75.210(e)(1), (e)(2), 
and (e)(3)(ii)) (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry 
out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project 
personnel, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The extent to which the applicant encourages applications for 
employment from persons who are members of groups that have 
traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability (up to 2 points); and
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel (up to 18 points).
    (iv) Quality of the Management Plan (34 CFR 75.210(g)(1) and 
(g)(2)(i)) (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers 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.
    (v) Continuation Plan (Section 4303(f)(1)(A)(vi)(II) of the ESEA) 
(up to 15 points).
    The extent to which the eligible applicant is prepared to continue 
to operate charter schools that would receive grant funds in a manner 
consistent with the eligible applicant's application once the grant 
funds under this program are no longer available.
    (b) Selection Criteria for Replication and Expansion Grants (CFDA 
number 84.282E).
    (i) Contribution in Assisting Educationally Disadvantaged Students 
(15 points).
    The significance of the contribution the proposed project will make 
in expanding educational opportunities for educationally disadvantaged 
students and enabling those students to meet challenging State academic 
standards. In determining the significance of the contribution the 
proposed project will make, the Secretary considers the quality of the 
plan to ensure that the charter school the applicant proposes to 
replicate or expand will recruit and enroll educationally disadvantaged 
students and serve those students at rates comparable to surrounding 
public schools.
    (ii) Quality of the Project Design (34 CFR 75.210(c)(1) and 
(c)(2)(i) and (ii)) (up to 30 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the proposed 
project. In determining the quality of the design of

[[Page 8981]]

the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be 
achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable 
(up to 15 points); and
    (2) The extent to which the design of the proposed project is 
appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target 
population or other identified needs (up to 15 points).
    (iii) Quality of Project Personnel (34 CFR 75.210(e)(1) and 
(e)(3)(ii)) (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the personnel who will carry 
out the proposed project. In determining the quality of project 
personnel, the Secretary considers:
    (1) The extent to which the applicant encourages applications for 
employment from persons who are members of groups that have 
traditionally been underrepresented based on race, color, national 
origin, gender, age, or disability (up to 1 point);
    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel (up to 9 points).
    (iv) Quality of the Management Plan (34 CFR 75.210(g)(1) and 
(g)(2)(i)) (up to 10 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project. In determining the quality of the management plan for 
the proposed project, the Secretary considers 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.
    (v) Quality of the Eligible Applicant (20 points).
    The extent to which the applicant demonstrates that the charter 
school to be replicated or expanded is a high-quality charter school, 
including:
    (1) The degree to which the applicant has demonstrated success in 
increasing academic achievement, including graduation rates where 
applicable, for all students and for each of the subgroups of students 
described in section 1111(c)(2) of the ESEA, attending the charter 
schools the applicant operates or manages. These subgroups of students 
include: Economically disadvantaged students, students from major 
racial and ethnic groups, children with disabilities, and students who 
are ELs.
    (2) The extent to which the academic achievement results (including 
annual student performance on statewide assessments and annual student 
attendance and retention rates, and where applicable and available, 
student academic growth, high school graduation rates, college 
attendance rates, and college persistence rates) for educationally 
disadvantaged students served by the charter schools operated or 
managed by the applicant have exceeded the average academic achievement 
results for such students in the State.
    (3) The extent to which charter schools operated or managed by the 
applicant have been closed; have had a charter revoked due to 
noncompliance with statutory or regulatory requirements; have had their 
affiliation with the applicant revoked or terminated, including through 
voluntary disaffiliation; have had any significant issues in the area 
of financial or operational management; have experienced significant 
problems with statutory or regulatory compliance that could lead to 
revocation of the school's charter; and have had any significant issues 
with respect to student safety.
    (vi) Continuation Plan (Section 4303(f)(1)(A)(vi)(II) of the ESEA) 
(up to 15 points).
    The extent to which the eligible applicant is prepared to continue 
to operate charter schools that would receive grant funds in a manner 
consistent with the eligible applicant's application once the grant 
funds under this program are no longer available.
    2. Review and Selection Process: 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 
of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    3. Risk Assessment and Special 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 special 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 
$150,000), 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.
    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

[[Page 8982]]

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. 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) 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.
    (c) 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:
    (a) Program Performance Measures. The goal of the CSP is to support 
the creation and development of a large number of high-quality charter 
schools that are free from State or local rules that inhibit flexible 
operation, are held accountable for enabling students to reach 
challenging State performance standards, and are open to all students. 
The Secretary has two performance indicators to measure progress toward 
this goal: (1) The number of charter schools in operation around the 
Nation, and (2) the percentage of fourth- and eighth-grade charter 
school students who are achieving at or above the proficient level on 
State assessments in mathematics and reading/language arts. 
Additionally, the Secretary has established a third measure to examine 
the efficiency of the CSP: Federal cost per student in implementing a 
successful school (defined as a school in operation for three or more 
consecutive years).
    These three measures constitute the Department's indicators of 
success for this program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a 
grant under this program to give careful consideration to these 
measures in conceptualizing the approach and evaluation for its 
proposed project. The evaluation must serve to determine whether the 
charter school is meeting the terms of the school's charter and meeting 
or exceeding the student academic achievement requirements and goals 
for the charter school. Each grantee will be required to provide, in 
its annual performance and final reports, data about its progress in 
meeting these measures.
    (b) Project-Specific Performance Measures. Applicants must propose 
project-specific performance measures and performance targets 
consistent with the objectives of the proposed project. Applications 
must provide the following information as required under 34 CFR 
75.110(b) and (c):
    (1) Performance measures. How each proposed performance measure 
would accurately measure the performance of the project and how the 
proposed performance measure would be consistent with the performance 
measures established for the program funding the competition.
    (2) 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.
    (3) Performance targets. Why each proposed performance target is 
ambitious yet achievable compared to the baseline for the performance 
measure and when, during the project period, the applicant would meet 
the performance target(s).

    Note:  The Secretary encourages the applicant to consider 
developing project-specific performance measures and targets tied to 
its grant activities (for instance, if grant funds will support 
professional development for teachers and other staff, the applicant 
should include measures related to the outcomes for the professional 
development), as well as to student academic achievement during the 
grant period. The project-specific performance measures should be 
sufficient to gauge the progress throughout the grant period and 
show results by the end of the grant period.

    For technical assistance in developing effective performance 
measures, applicants are encouraged to review information provided by 
the Department's Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs). The RELs 
seek to build the capacity of States and school districts to 
incorporate data and research into education decision-making. Each REL 
provides research support and technical assistance to its region but 
makes learning opportunities available to educators everywhere. For 
example, the REL Northeast and Islands has created the following 
resource on logic models: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/edlabs/regions/northeast/pdf/REL_2015057.pdf.
    (4) Data Collection and Reporting. The applicant must also describe 
in the application: (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.

    Note: If the applicant does not have experience with the 
collection and reporting of performance data through other projects 
or research, the applicant should provide other evidence of its 
capacity to successfully carry out data collection and reporting for 
the proposed project.

    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 
75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee 
has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of 
the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is 
consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the 
Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the 
performance targets in the grantee's approved application.
    In making a continuation grant, the Secretary also considers 
whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in 
its approved application, 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).

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

[[Page 8983]]

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 via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. 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.

    Dated: February 27, 2018.
Margo Anderson,
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2018-04294 Filed 3-1-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P