[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 125 (Thursday, June 28, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30430-30437]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-13913]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; Statewide Family Engagement Centers

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

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Education (Department) is issuing a notice 
inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the Statewide 
Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program, Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance (CFDA) number 84.310A.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: June 28, 2018.
    Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: July 13, 2018.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 30, 2018.
    Pre-Application Webinar Information: For information about the pre-
application webinar, visit the SFEC website at: https://innovation.ed.gov/statewide-family-engagement-centers-program/.

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 12, 2018 (83 FR 6003), and available at 
www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jane Hodgdon, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 4W248, Washington, DC 20202-
5970. Telephone: (202) 453-6620. Email: SFEC@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 SFEC program is authorized under title IV, 
part E of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as 
amended (ESEA). The purpose of the SFEC program is to provide financial 
support to organizations that provide technical assistance and training 
to State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies 
(LEAs) in the implementation and enhancement of systemic and effective 
family engagement policies, programs, and activities that lead to 
improvements in student development and academic achievement. The 
Secretary is authorized to award grants to statewide organizations (or 
consortia of such organizations) in partnership with an SEA to 
establish SFECs that (1) carry out parent education and family 
engagement in education programs, and (2) provide comprehensive 
training and technical assistance to SEAs, LEAs, schools identified by 
SEAs and LEAs, organizations that support family-school partnerships, 
and other such programs.
    Background: The SFEC program seeks to promote high-impact cradle-
to-career family, school, and community engagement by funding centers 
that build the capacity of all stakeholders--including families, SEAs, 
LEAs, school-level staff and personnel, and community based 
organizations--to engage in effective partnerships that support student 
achievement and school

[[Page 30431]]

improvement and increase the number of high-quality educational options 
available to families.
    Family, school, and community engagement must be viewed as a shared 
responsibility among all parties, in order to be effective. The 
engagement should be continuous from birth to young adulthood and 
should take place wherever children learn--at home, in school, and in 
their community.
    The Department's Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family-School 
Partnerships \1\ identifies several key conditions essential to the 
design of effective, high-impact activities and initiatives for 
building the capacity of families, SEAs, LEAs, and school staff to 
partner in ways that support student achievement and school 
improvement. These conditions highlight the fact that effective, high-
impact activities are purposefully designed and linked to school and 
LEA achievement goals (e.g., school readiness, student achievement, and 
school improvement).
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    \1\ See: www2.ed.gov/documents/family-community/partners-education.pdf.
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    The capacity building initiatives should be embedded into the 
support structures and processes at the SEA and LEA levels, including 
training, professional development, teaching and learning, curriculum, 
and community collaboration. These initiatives should also operate with 
adequate resources, including public-private partnerships, to ensure 
meaningful and effective strategies that have the power to impact 
student learning and achievement. Building on years of research and 
lessons learned from programs such as Parent Information Centers,\2\ 
the high-impact family engagement envisioned in SFEC requires a focus 
on State and local policy, as well as initiatives designed to promote 
parental involvement (as defined in this notice) and other direct 
support for parents, families, and the organizations that serve them.
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    \2\ Parent Information Centers program is one of the primary 
vehicles under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
(IDEA) for providing information and training to parents of children 
with disabilities.
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    In this year's SFEC competition, the Department also seeks to build 
an evidence base for the program by providing incentives to applicants 
that propose: (1) Projects that are supported by evidence and (2) 
robust evaluations. Such projects would, if well-implemented, yield 
promising evidence (as defined in this notice). To this end, we include 
a competitive preference priority encouraging projects that are based 
on evidence, with a specific interest in providing families with 
evidence-based strategies for promoting literacy, an application 
requirement that requires applicants to submit a logic model as part of 
their applications, and a selection criterion that encourages 
applicants to further explain the conceptual framework outlined in the 
logic model. In addition, through our competitive preference 
priorities, we seek applications that propose to support families in 
making informed decisions about educational opportunities that will 
meet the unique needs of each student.
    Priorities: This notice contains two competitive preference 
priorities. Under section 437(d)(1) of the General Education Provisions 
Act (GEPA), we are establishing Competitive Preference Priorities 1(a) 
and 2. Competitive Preference Priority 1(b) is from the Secretary's 
Final Supplemental Priorities and Definitions for Discretionary Grant 
Programs (Supplemental Priorities), published in the Federal Register 
on March 2, 2018 (83 FR 9096).
    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2018 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 
from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference 
priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i), we award an additional three 
points to an application that meets either Competitive Preference 
Priority 1(a) or Competitive Preference Priority 1(b), and we award up 
to an additional three points to an application depending on how well 
the application meets Competitive Preference Priority 2, for a maximum 
of six additional points under these priorities. The total possible 
points for each competitive preference priority are noted in 
parentheses.
    These priorities are:
    Competitive Preference Priority 1 (0 or 3 points).
    The Secretary gives priority to projects that are designed to--
    (a) Create SFECs that will provide direct services to parents and 
families through evidence-based (as defined in this notice) activities.
    (b) Provide families with evidence-based (as defined in this 
notice) strategies for promoting literacy. This may include providing 
families with access to books or other physical or digital materials or 
content about how to support their child's reading development, or 
providing family literacy activities (as defined in section 203(9) of 
the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act).

    Note: An application will not receive points for both (a) and 
(b) under Competitive Preference Priority 1.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2 (up to 3 points).
    The Secretary gives priority to projects that are designed to 
provide families with the information and tools they need to make 
important decisions regarding the educational choice (as defined in 
this notice) that is most appropriate for their children.
    Application Requirements: The following requirements (a) (b), and 
(d)-(g) are from section 4503 of the ESEA. Under section 437(d)(1) of 
GEPA, we are establishing application requirements (c), (h), (i), and 
(j). For FY 2018, and any subsequent year in which we make awards from 
the list of unfunded applications from this competition, the following 
application requirements apply. In order to receive funding, an 
applicant must include the following in its application:
    (a) A description of the applicant's approach to family engagement 
in education.
    (b) A description of how the SEA and any partner organization will 
support the SFEC that will be operated by the applicant including a 
description of the SEA's and any partner organization's commitment of 
such support.
    (c) A description of the applicant's plan for building a statewide 
infrastructure for family engagement in education, that includes--
    (1) Management and governance;
    (2) Statewide leadership, including the development and 
implementation, in partnership with the SEA(s), of statewide family 
engagement in education policy and systemic initiatives that will 
provide for a continuum of services to remove barriers for family 
engagement in education and support school reform efforts as well as 
parental involvement policies under the ESEA; and
    (3) Systemic services for family engagement in education, including 
assistance for effective participation by parents in their children's 
education in order to help their children meet challenging State 
academic standards, such as by assisting parents--
    (i) To engage in activities that will improve student academic 
achievement, including understanding how parents can support learning 
in the classroom with activities at home and in after-school and 
extracurricular programs;
    (ii) To communicate effectively with their children, teachers, 
school leaders, counselors, administrators, and other school personnel;
    (iii) To become active participants in the development, 
implementation, and review of school-parent compacts, family engagement 
in education

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policies, and school planning and improvement;
    (iv) To participate in the design and provision of assistance to 
students who are not making academic progress;
    (v) To participate in State and local decision making;
    (vi) To train other parents; and
    (vii) In learning and using technology applied in their children's 
education;
    (d) A description of the applicant's demonstrated experience in 
providing training, information, and support, to SEAs, LEAs, schools, 
educators, parents, and organizations on family engagement in education 
policies and practices that are effective for parents (including low-
income parents) and families, parents of English learners, minorities, 
students with disabilities, homeless children and youth, children and 
youth in foster care, and migrant students, including evaluation 
results, reporting, or other data exhibiting such demonstrated 
experience.
    (e) A description of the steps the applicant will take to target 
services to low-income students and parents.
    (f) An assurance that the applicant will--
    (1) Establish a special advisory committee, the membership of which 
includes--
    (i) Parents, who shall constitute a majority of the members of the 
special advisory committee;
    (ii) Representatives of education professionals with expertise in 
improving services for disadvantaged children;
    (iii) Representatives of local elementary schools and secondary 
schools, including students;
    (iv) Representatives of the business community; and
    (v) Representatives of SEAs and LEAs;
    (2) Use not less than 65 percent of the funds received under this 
part in each fiscal year to serve LEAs, schools, and community-based 
organizations that serve high concentrations of disadvantaged students, 
including students who are English language learners, minorities, 
students with disabilities, homeless children and youth, children and 
youth in foster care, and migrant students;
    (3) Operate a SFEC of sufficient size, scope, and quality to ensure 
that the center is adequate to serve the SEA, LEAs, and community-based 
organizations;
    (4) Ensure that the SFEC will retain staff with the requisite 
training and experience to serve parents in the State;
    (5) Serve urban, suburban, and rural LEAs and schools;
    (6) Work with--
    (i) Other SFECs assisted under this part; and
    (ii) Parent training and information centers and community parent 
resource centers assisted under sections 671 and 672 of the Individuals 
with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1471; 1472); and
    (7) Use not less than 30 percent of the funds received under this 
competition for each fiscal year to establish or expand technical 
assistance for evidence-based (as defined in this notice) parent 
education programs;
    (8) Provide assistance to SEAs, LEAs, and community-based 
organizations that support family members in supporting student 
achievement;
    (9) Work with SEAs, LEAs, schools, educators, and parents to 
determine parental needs and the best means for delivery of services to 
address such needs;
    (10) Conduct sufficient outreach to assist parents, including 
parents who the applicant may have a difficult time engaging with a 
school or LEA; and
    (11) Conduct outreach to low-income students and parents, including 
low-income students and parents who are not proficient in English.
    (g) An assurance that the applicant will conduct training programs 
in the community to improve adult literacy, including financial 
literacy.
    (h) A description of how the applicant will meet program 
requirement (a) to obtain a non-Federal matching contribution in each 
fiscal year after the first fiscal year in which the project is funded.
    (i) A preliminary memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed by each 
organization or agency with which it would partner in implementing the 
proposed SFEC, including the partner SEA(s), which details each 
partner's financial, programmatic, and long-term commitment with 
respect to the strategies described in the application.
    (j) A logic model that identifies the key project components, 
explains how the key project components will lead to relevant outcomes, 
and informs the applicant's performance measures and project evaluation 
design.
    Program Requirements: Program requirement (b) is from section 4504 
of the ESEA. In addition, under section 437(d)(1) of the GEPA, we are 
establishing program requirements for a final MOU and that no SEA may 
partner with more than one SFEC grantee. We also are establishing a 
requirement for a minimum match. We note that section 4502(c) of the 
ESEA already requires grantees to obtain matching funds after the first 
year of the grant; in this notice we are establishing the specific 
minimum percentage of non-Federal contributions, which may be in cash 
or in-kind, that each grantee must secure in years two through five of 
the grant. For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make awards 
from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, the 
following program requirements apply.
    (a) Matching funds for grant renewal.
    Each grantee must contribute non-Federal matching funds or in-kind 
donations equal to at least 15 percent of its SFEC grant award in 
project years two through five.
    (b) Uses of funds.
    Each grantee shall use the grant funds, based on the needs 
determined under Application Requirement (f)(9), to provide training 
and technical assistance to SEAs, LEAs, and organizations that support 
family-school partnerships; and activities, services, and training for 
LEAs, school leaders, educators, and parents--
    (1) To assist parents in participating effectively in their 
children's education and to help their children meet challenging State 
academic standards, such as by assisting parents--
    (i) To engage in activities that will improve student academic 
achievement, including understanding how parents can support learning 
in the classroom with activities at home and in after-school and 
extracurricular programs;
    (ii) To communicate effectively with their children, teachers, 
school leaders, counselors, administrators, and other school personnel;
    (iii) To become active participants in the development, 
implementation, and review of school-parent compacts, family engagement 
in education policies, and school planning and improvement;
    (iv) To participate in the design and provision of assistance to 
students who are not making academic progress;
    (v) To participate in State and local decision making;
    (vi) To train other parents; and
    (vii) In learning and using technology applied in their children's 
education;
    (2) To develop and implement, in partnership with the SEA, 
statewide family engagement in education policy and systemic 
initiatives that will provide a continuum of services to remove 
barriers for family engagement in education and support school reform 
efforts; and
    (3) To develop and implement parental involvement policies under 
the ESEA.
    (c) Final MOU.
    Within the first 12 months of the project, each grantee must submit 
a final MOU, signed by each organization or agency with which it is 
partnering to implement the SFEC, including the

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partner SEA(s), that details each partner's financial, programmatic, 
and long-term commitment.
    (d) SEA partnership.
    While each SFEC grantee must partner with at least one SEA, no SEA 
may partner with more than one SFEC grantee.
    Definitions: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we make 
awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, 
the following definitions apply. The definitions of ``Local educational 
agency,'' ``Parental involvement,'' and ``State educational agency'' 
are from section 8101 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7801). The definition of 
``Educational choice'' is from the Supplemental Priorities. The 
definition of ``Evidence-based'' is from sections 4503(c) and 8101(21) 
of the ESEA. The definitions of ``Experimental study,'' ``Logic 
model,'' ``Performance measure,'' ``Performance target,'' ``Project,'' 
``Project component,'' ``Promising evidence,'' ``Quasi-experimental 
design study,'' ``Relevant outcome,'' and ``What Works Clearinghouse 
Handbook'' are from 34 CFR 77.1. The definition of ``Family literacy 
activities'' is from section 203(9) of the Workforce Innovation and 
Opportunity Act. In addition, we are establishing a definition of 
``Statewide organization'' under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA.
    Educational choice means the opportunity for a child or student (or 
a family member on their behalf) to create a high-quality personalized 
path for learning that is consistent with applicable Federal, State, 
and local laws; is in an educational setting that best meets the 
child's or student's needs; and, where possible, incorporates evidence-
based activities, strategies, or interventions. Opportunities made 
available to a student through a grant program are those that 
supplement what is provided by a student's geographically assigned 
school or the institution in which he or she is currently enrolled and 
may include one or more of the options listed below:
    (1) Public educational programs or courses including those offered 
by traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet 
schools, public online education providers, or other public education 
providers.
    (2) Private or home-based educational programs or courses including 
those offered by private schools, private online providers, private 
tutoring providers, community or faith-based organizations, or other 
private education providers.
    (3) Internships, apprenticeships, or other programs offering access 
to learning in the workplace.
    (4) Part-time coursework or career preparation, offered by a public 
or private provider in person or through the internet or another form 
of distance learning, that serves as a supplement to full-time 
enrollment at an educational institution, as a stand-alone program 
leading to a credential, or as a supplement to education received in a 
homeschool setting.
    (5) Dual or concurrent enrollment programs or early college high 
schools (as defined in section 8101(15) and (17) of the ESEA), or other 
programs that enable secondary school students to begin earning credit 
toward a postsecondary degree or credential prior to high school 
graduation.
    (6) Other educational services including credit-recovery, 
accelerated learning, or tutoring.
    Evidence-based, for purposes of this notice, means an activity, 
strategy, or intervention that demonstrates a statistically significant 
effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based 
on promising evidence from at least one well-designed and well-
implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection 
bias.
    Experimental study means a study that is designed to compare 
outcomes between two groups of individuals (such as students) that are 
otherwise equivalent except for their assignment to either a treatment 
group receiving a project component or a control group that does not. 
Randomized controlled trials, regression discontinuity design studies, 
and single-case design studies are the specific types of experimental 
studies that, depending on their design and implementation (e.g., 
sample attrition in randomized controlled trials and regression 
discontinuity design studies), can meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) 
standards without reservations as described in the WWC Handbook:
    (i) A randomized controlled trial employs random assignment of, for 
example, students, teachers, classrooms, or schools to receive the 
project component being evaluated (the treatment group) or not to 
receive the project component (the control group).
    (ii) A regression discontinuity design study assigns the project 
component being evaluated using a measured variable (e.g., assigning 
students reading below a cutoff score to tutoring or developmental 
education classes) and controls for that variable in the analysis of 
outcomes.
    (iii) A single-case design study uses observations of a single case 
(e.g., a student eligible for a behavioral intervention) over time in 
the absence and presence of a controlled treatment manipulation to 
determine whether the outcome is systematically related to the 
treatment.
    Family literacy activities means activities that are of sufficient 
intensity and quality, to make sustainable improvements in the economic 
prospects for a family and that better enable parents or family members 
to support their children's learning needs, and that integrate all of 
the following activities:
    (a) Parent or family adult education and literacy activities that 
lead to readiness for postsecondary education or training, career 
advancement, and economic self-sufficiency.
    (b) Interactive literacy activities between parents or family 
members and their children.
    (c) Training for parents or family members regarding how to be the 
primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education 
of their children.
    (d) An age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in 
school and life experiences.
    Local educational agency (LEA) means:
    (a) In General. 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) Administrative Control and Direction. The term includes any 
other public institution or agency having administrative control and 
direction of a public elementary school or secondary school.
    (c) Bureau of Indian Education Schools. 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 receiving assistance under the ESEA with the 
smallest student population, except that

[[Page 30434]]

the school shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of any SEA other 
than the Bureau of Indian Education.
    (d) Educational Service Agencies. The term includes educational 
service agencies and consortia of those agencies.
    (e) State educational agency. 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 theory of action) means a 
reasonable conceptual framework that identifies key 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.
    Parental involvement means the participation of parents in regular, 
two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic 
learning and other school activities, including ensuring--
    (A) That parents play an integral role in assisting their child's 
learning;
    (B) That parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their 
child's education at school;
    (C) That parents are full partners in their child's education and 
are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory 
committees to assist in the education of their child; and
    (D) The carrying out of other activities, such as those described 
in section 1116 of the ESEA.
    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 means the activity described in the application.
    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).
    Promising evidence means that there is evidence of the 
effectiveness of a key project component in improving a relevant 
outcome, based on a relevant finding from one of the following:
    (a) A practice guide prepared by WWC reporting a ``strong evidence 
base'' or ``moderate evidence base'' for the corresponding practice 
guide recommendation;
    (b) An intervention report prepared by the WWC reporting a 
``positive effect'' or ``potentially positive effect'' on a relevant 
outcome with no reporting of a ``negative effect'' or ``potentially 
negative effect'' on a relevant outcome; or
    (c) A single study assessed by the Department, as appropriate, 
that--
    (i) Is an experimental study, a quasi-experimental design study, or 
a well-designed and well-implemented correlational study with 
statistical controls for selection bias (e.g., a study using regression 
methods to account for differences between a treatment group and a 
comparison group); and
    (ii) Includes at least one statistically significant and positive 
(i.e., favorable) effect on a relevant outcome.
    Quasi-experimental design study means a study using a design that 
attempts to approximate an experimental study by identifying a 
comparison group that is similar to the treatment group in important 
respects. This type of study, depending on design and implementation 
(e.g., establishment of baseline equivalence of the groups being 
compared), can meet WWC standards with reservations, but cannot meet 
WWC standards without reservations, as described in the WWC Handbook.
    Relevant outcome means the student outcome(s) or other outcomes(s) 
the key project component is designed to improve, consistent with the 
specific goals of the program.
    State educational agency (SEA) means the agency primarily 
responsible for the State supervision of public elementary schools and 
secondary schools.
    Statewide organization means a public or private organization 
that--
    (1) Provides family engagement support or services;
    (2) Demonstrates capacity to provide such support or services 
statewide to all States participating in its proposed project; and
    (3) Is not an SEA or LEA.
    What Works Clearinghouse Handbook (WWC Handbook) means the 
standards and procedures set forth in the WWC Procedures and Standards 
Handbook, Version 3.0 or Version 2.1 (incorporated by reference, see 34 
CFR 77.2). Study findings eligible for review under WWC standards can 
meet WWC standards without reservations, meet WWC standards with 
reservations, or not meet WWC standards. WWC practice guides and 
intervention reports include findings from systematic reviews of 
evidence as described in the Handbook documentation.
    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 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 
sections 4501-4506 of the ESEA, as amended by the Every Student 
Succeeds 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 and definitions under section 
437(d)(1) of GEPA. These definitions and requirements 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: Sections 4501-4506 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7241-
46).
    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 
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. (d) The Supplemental Priorities.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $9,700,000.
    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: $500,000-$1,000,000 per project year.
    Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $1,000,000 for a 
single project year.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 10.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 
notice.

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.
    Continued funding of a grant under this competition after the third 
year will

[[Page 30435]]

be contingent on the grantee's progress toward meeting the performance 
measures and targets identified in the application.

III. Eligibility Information

    1. Eligible Applicants: Statewide organizations (or consortia of 
such organizations) in partnership with at least one SEA.
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: ESEA section 4502(c) requires that 
each grantee contribute non-Federal resources, which may be in cash or 
in-kind, towards its project for each fiscal year after the first 
fiscal year in which the project is funded by the Department. We are 
establishing a program requirement under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA that 
a grantee must obtain matching funds or in-kind donations equal to at 
least 15 percent of its grant award in project years two through five. 
Applicants must include a budget showing their matching contributions 
on an annual basis relative to the annual budget amount of SFEC grant 
funds in years two through five.
    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: 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), 
and available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-02-12/pdf/2018-02558.pdf.
    2. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of 
projects that may be proposed in applications for SFEC, your 
application may include business information that you consider 
proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define ``business information'' and 
describe the process we use in determining whether any of that 
information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under 
Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as 
amended).
    Because we plan to make all 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 believe is exempt from disclosure 
under Exemption 4. 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 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 awards 
by the end of FY 2018.
    4. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of 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 application narrative to no more than 40 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, the preliminary MOU, the 
logic model, or the letters of support. However, the recommended page 
limit does apply to all of the application narrative.
    6. Notice of Intent to Apply: The Department will be able to 
develop a more efficient process for reviewing grant applications if it 
has a better understanding of the number of entities that intend to 
apply for funding under this competition. Therefore, the Secretary 
strongly encourages each potential applicant to notify the Department 
of the applicant's intent to submit an application for funding by 
sending a short email message indicating the applicant's intent to 
submit an application for funding. The email need not include 
information regarding the content of the proposed application, only the 
applicant's intent to submit it. This email notification should be sent 
to SFEC@ed.gov with ``INTENT TO APPLY'' in the subject line by July 13, 
2018. Applicants that do not notify us of their intent to apply may 
still apply for funding.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition 
are from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all of the selection 
criteria is 100 points. The maximum score for each criterion is 
included in parentheses following the title of the specific selection 
criterion. Each criterion also includes the factors that reviewers will 
consider in determining the extent to which an applicant meets the 
criterion.
    Points awarded under these selection criteria are in addition to 
any points an applicant earns under the competitive preference 
priorities in this notice.
    The selection criteria are as follows:
    A. Quality of the Project Design (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--
    (1) The extent to which there is a conceptual framework underlying 
the proposed research or demonstration activities and the quality of 
that framework.
    (2) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective 
practice.
    (3) The extent to which the proposed project is designed to build 
capacity and yield results that will extend beyond the period of 
Federal financial assistance.
    B. Quality of the Management Plan and Project Personnel (up to 20 
points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be provided 
by the proposed project. In determining the quality of project 
personnel, the Secretary considers 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.
    In addition, in determining the quality of the management plan and 
project personnel, the Secretary considers--
    (1) How the applicant will ensure that a diversity of perspectives 
are brought to bear in the operation of the proposed project, including 
those of parents, teachers, the business community, a variety of 
disciplinary and professional fields, recipients or beneficiaries of 
services, or others, as appropriate.

[[Page 30436]]

    (2) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project involve the collaboration of appropriate partners for 
maximizing the effectiveness of project services.
    (3) 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.
    (4) The qualifications, including relevant training and experience, 
of key project personnel.
    C. Adequacy of Resources (up to 20 points).
    The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project. In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers--
    (1) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project.
    (2) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
objectives, design, and potential significance of the proposed project.
    (3) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the 
number of persons to be served and the anticipated results and 
benefits.
    D. Quality of the Project Evaluation (up to 30 points).
    The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project. In determining the quality of the 
evaluation, the Secretary considers--
    (1) The extent to which the methods of evaluation include the use 
of objective performance measures that are clearly related to the 
intended outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and 
qualitative data to the extent possible.
    (2) The extent to which the evaluation will provide performance 
feedback and permit periodic assessment of progress toward achieving 
intended outcomes.
    (3) The extent to which methods of evaluation will, if well-
implemented, produce promising evidence (as defined in 34 CFR 77.1(c)) 
about the project's effectiveness.
    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 
(34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).
    Additionally, as stated in Program Requirement (d), no SEA may 
partner with more than one SFEC grantee. We will review applications 
scoring within the funding range to ensure that SEAs are represented on 
only one funded application. If changes are necessary to a highly 
ranked applicant's proposed SEA partners, such changes may constitute a 
change in the scope and objectives of the grant, which may result in an 
application not being selected for funding.
    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 
$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 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 or subgrantee 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.
    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).

[[Page 30437]]

    (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.
    5. Performance Measures: As outlined in title IV, part E, section 
4501 of the ESEA, SFEC is focused on using family engagement to improve 
student development and academic achievement. The program recognizes 
that in order to effectively and sustainably engage parents and 
families, grantees must use training and technical assistance to build 
capacity at the State and district levels to develop and implement 
policies, programs, and activities that are inclusive of families and 
lead to improvements in student development and academic achievement. 
SFECs must also provide direct support to parents, teachers, and others 
that strengthen the relationship between parents and their children's 
school, foster greater engagement, and assist them in meeting the 
educational needs of children. SFEC will coordinate its activities with 
activities conducted under section 1116 and other parts of the ESEA, as 
well as other Federal, State, and local services and programs.
    Annual performance measures: (1) The number of parents who are 
participating in SFEC activities designed to provide them with the 
information necessary to understand their annual school report cards 
and other opportunities for engagement under section 1116 and other 
related ESEA provisions; (2) the number of high-impact activities or 
services provided to build a statewide infrastructure for systemic 
family engagement that includes support for SEA- and LEA-level 
leadership and capacity-building; (3) the number of high-impact 
activities or services implemented to ensure that parents are trained 
and can effectively engage in activities that will improve student 
academic achievement, to include an understanding of how they can 
support learning in the classroom with activities at home or outside 
the school generally, as well as how they can participate in State and 
local decision-making processes; and (4) the percentage of parents and 
families receiving SFEC services who report having enhanced capacity to 
work with schools and service providers effectively in meeting the 
academic and developmental needs of their children.
    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 award, 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 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: June 25, 2018.
James Blew,
Acting Assistant Deputy, Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2018-13913 Filed 6-27-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4000-01-P