[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 144 (Thursday, July 26, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35465-35469]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-16005]


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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


Applications for New Awards; School Climate Transformation Grant 
Program--State Educational Agency Grants

AGENCY: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, 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 School Climate 
Transformation Grant Program--State Educational Agency Grants, Catalog 
of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 84.184F.

DATES: 
    Applications Available: July 26, 2018.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: August 27, 2018.

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: Carlette KyserPegram, U.S. Department 
of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Room 3E257, Washington, DC 20202-
6450. Telephone: (202) 453-6732. Email: Carlette.KyserPegram@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 School Climate Transformation Grant 
Program--State Educational Agency Grants provides competitive grants to 
State educational agencies (SEAs) to develop, enhance, or expand 
statewide systems of support for, and technical

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assistance to, local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools 
implementing an evidence-based (as defined in this notice), multitiered 
behavioral framework for improving behavioral outcomes and learning 
conditions for all students.
    Background: Research demonstrates that the implementation of an 
evidence-based, multitiered behavioral framework, such as positive 
behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), can help improve overall 
school climate and safety.\1\ A key aspect of this multitiered approach 
is providing differing levels of support and interventions to students 
based on their needs. Certain supports involve the whole school (e.g., 
consistent rules, consequences, and reinforcement of appropriate 
behavior), with more intensive supports for groups of students 
exhibiting at-risk behavior and individualized services for students 
who continue to exhibit troubling behavior.
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    \1\ Bradshaw, C.P., Koth, C.W., Thornton, L.A., & Leaf, P.J. 
(2009). Altering School Climate through School-Wide Positive 
Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Findings from a Group-
Randomized Effectiveness Trial. Prevention Science.
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    When a multitiered behavioral framework has been implemented with 
fidelity, studies have found the following statistically significant 
results: An increase in perceived school safety, reductions in overall 
problem behaviors, reductions in bullying behaviors,\2\ and reductions 
in office discipline referrals and suspensions.\3\ Studies have also 
found a correlation between the use of multitiered behavioral 
frameworks and improved social skills.\4\ Emerging evidence also links 
implementing a multitiered behavioral framework with improved academic 
achievement.\5\
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    \2\ Bradshaw, C., Goldweber, A., Leaf, P., Pasa, E., & 
Rosenberg, M. (2012). Integrating school-wide Positive Behavioral 
Interventions and Supports with tier 2 coaching to student support 
teams: The PBISplus model. Advances in School Mental Health 
Promotion.
    \3\ Bradshaw, C., Leaf, P., & Mitchell, M. (2009). Examining the 
effects of schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports 
on student outcomes: Results from a randomized controlled 
effectiveness trial in elementary schools. Journal of Positive 
Behavior Interventions.
    \4\ Barrett, S.B., Bradshaw, C.P., & Lewis-Palmer, T. (2008). 
Maryland statewide PBIS initiative: Systems, evaluation, and next 
steps. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.
    \5\ McIntosh, K., Bennett, J.L., & Price, K. (2011). Evaluation 
of social and academic effects of school-wide positive behaviour 
support in a Canadian school district. Exceptionality Education 
International.
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    Under this program, grant funds will help build SEA capacity to 
assist LEAs develop, enhance, or expand their systems of support for, 
and technical assistance to, schools implementing evidence-based 
multitiered behavior frameworks for improving behavioral outcomes and 
learning conditions for all students.
    Priorities: We are establishing these priorities 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 the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA), 
20 U.S.C. 1232(d)(1).
    Absolute Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent year in which we 
make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this 
competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.
    This priority is:
    Grants to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) to Implement Statewide 
Systems of Support for Multitiered Behavioral Frameworks to Improve 
School Climate.
    Under this priority, we provide grants to SEAs to develop, enhance, 
or expand statewide systems of support for, and provide technical 
assistance to, LEAs implementing a multitiered behavioral framework to 
improve school climate and behavioral outcomes for all students.
    Competitive Preference Priority: For FY 2018 and any subsequent 
year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications 
from this competition, this priority is a competitive preference 
priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(1) we award an additional 5 points 
to an application that meets this priority. An applicant must clearly 
indicate in the abstract section of its application that it is applying 
for the competitive preference priority. The Department may not review 
or award points under this competitive preference priority for any 
application that fails to do so.
    This priority is:
    Technical Assistance Related to Opioid Abuse and Prevention (5 
points).
    Under this priority, we will provide additional points to an 
applicant that proposes a high-quality plan to incorporate opioid abuse 
prevention and mitigation strategies into the menu of evidence-based 
strategies available to LEAs implementing multitiered behavioral 
frameworks. The plan should describe how the SEA will incorporate 
outreach to LEAs with high levels of opioid use to promote adoption of 
these strategies, as well as how the SEA will track the adoption and 
effectiveness of these strategies. The plan may also include providing 
technical assistance to or support for LEAs that implement or plan to 
implement other relevant, high-quality approaches such as the 
Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) student 
assessment approach referenced in the 2018 President's Commission on 
Combatting Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis report. The report can 
be found be found at: www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/Final_Report_Draft_11-15-2017.pdf. The plan could also address 
the mental health needs of students who are negatively impacted by 
family members who are (or have been) abusers. Applicants that receive 
competitive preference points under this priority and are ultimately 
awarded a School Climate Transformation Grant will finalize and 
implement the high-quality plan described in response to this priority 
post-award.
    Requirements: We are establishing these program requirements and 
application requirements 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).
    Program Requirements: Each grantee must implement a plan that--
    (a) Builds SEA capacity for supporting the sustained and broad-
scale implementation with fidelity of a multitiered behavioral 
framework by LEAs by--
    (1) Improving the skills of SEA personnel to assist LEA 
implementation of the components of a multitiered behavioral framework, 
such as policies, funding, professional development, coaching, and 
interagency coordination for providing services;
    (2) Developing a cadre of trained and experienced SEA staff to 
provide training and ongoing coaching to LEA leadership teams on the 
multitiered behavioral framework; and
    (3) Improving the quality, accessibility, and usefulness of 
statewide data collection and analysis for the purposes related to the 
State's strategies for improving school climate;
    (b) Enhances LEA capacity for implementing with fidelity and 
sustaining a multitiered behavioral framework by providing training and 
technical assistance to LEAs on--
    (1) Developing or improving the quality, accessibility, and 
usefulness of LEA data collection and data-based decision making 
related to improving school climate;
    (2) Improving the skills and expertise of LEA personnel to develop, 
implement with fidelity, and sustain a multitiered behavioral 
framework; and

[[Page 35467]]

    (3) Using evidence-based practices and reliable and valid tools and 
processes for evaluating the fidelity of implementation of the 
multitiered behavioral framework, and for measuring its outcomes, 
including reductions in discipline referrals, suspensions, expulsions, 
and the use of restraints and seclusion; improvements in school 
climate; increases in instructional time; and improvements in overall 
academic achievement; and
    (c) Coordinates SEA efforts with appropriate Federal, State, and 
local resources, including the PBIS Technical Assistance Center funded 
by the Department.
    Application Requirements: Applications that fail to meet any one of 
these requirements will not be read or scored. The applicant must--
    (a) Describe the current efforts by the SEA to support 
implementation of a multitiered behavioral framework in its LEAs and 
schools, as well as the need to implement, scale-up, and sustain such a 
framework in additional LEAs and schools. The applicant must present 
State and local data demonstrating this need, including, but not 
limited to, the number and types of LEAs and schools that are currently 
implementing a multitiered behavioral framework;
    (b) Describe its plan to build, improve, or enhance SEA capacity to 
provide effective training, technical assistance, and support to LEAs 
and their schools on implementing a school-wide multitiered behavioral 
framework, including: When and where to conduct technical assistance 
activities; how to garner buy-in from participants and other 
stakeholders; how to balance the time needed to deliver technical 
assistance related to this grant with the time needed to deliver other 
technical assistance and professional development activities; the 
estimated number of LEAs that will be assisted; and how the SEA will 
help build capacity for implementation at the local level;
    (c) Describe how the proposed project will address the needs of 
high-need LEAs (as defined in this notice), including those with 
schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement under 
section 1111(d)(1) of the ESEA and schools identified for targeted 
support and improvement under section 1111(d)(2) of the ESEA; and
    (d) Explain how the SEA's efforts to build LEA and school capacity 
to implement, expand, and sustain a multitiered behavioral framework 
will be coordinated with other SEA and LEA school safety and school 
improvement efforts such as expanding access to mental health care or 
reducing cyberbullying.
    Definitions: We are establishing the definitions of ``high-need 
LEA'' and ``multitiered behavioral framework'' in this notice 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 
definition of ``evidence-based'' is from section 8101 of the ESEA.
    Evidence-based, when used with respect to a State, LEA, or school 
activity, means an activity, strategy, or intervention that--
    (i) Demonstrates a statistically significant effect on improving 
student outcomes or other relevant outcomes based on--
    (I) Strong evidence from at least one well-designed and well-
implemented experimental study;
    (II) Moderate evidence from at least one well-designed and well-
implemented quasi-experimental study; or
    (III) Promising evidence from at least one well-designed and well-
implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection 
bias; or
    (ii)(I) Demonstrates a rationale based on high-quality research 
findings or positive evaluation that such activity, strategy, or 
intervention is likely to improve student outcomes or other relevant 
outcomes; and
    (II) Includes ongoing efforts to examine the effects of such 
activity, strategy, or intervention.
    High-need LEA means an LEA (a) that serves not fewer than 10,000 
children from families with incomes below the poverty line; or (b) for 
which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the LEA are 
from families with incomes below the poverty line.
    Multitiered behavioral framework means a school-wide structure used 
to improve the integration and implementation of behavioral practices, 
data-driven decision-making systems, professional development 
opportunities, school leadership, supportive SEA and LEA policies, and 
evidence-based instructional strategies.
    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, 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 
Title IV, Part F, Subpart 3 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. 7281) and therefore 
qualifies for this exemption. In order to ensure timely grant awards, 
the Secretary has decided to forgo public comment on the priorities, 
definitions, and requirements under section 437(d)(1) of GEPA. These 
priorities, 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: Subpart 3 of Title IV, Part F of the ESEA (20 
U.S.C. 7281).

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General 
Administrative Regulations in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 97, 
98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to 
Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 
2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department 
in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost 
Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 
200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR 
part 3474.

II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.
    Estimated Available Funds: $8,000,000.
    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of 
applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2019 and subsequent 
years from the list of unfunded applications from the competition 
announced in this notice.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $250,000 to $750,000 per year for up to 
5 years.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $500,000.
    Maximum Award: We will not make an award exceeding $750,000 for a 
single budget period of 12 months.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 16.

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

    Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

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

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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. 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.
    3. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding 
restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this program are 
from 34 CFR 75.210. The maximum score for all selection criteria is 100 
points. The points or weights assigned to each criterion are indicated 
in parentheses. Non-Federal peer reviewers will evaluate and score each 
application program narrative against the following selection criteria:
    (a) Need for Project (20 points).
    The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In 
determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers 
the following factors:
    (i) The magnitude or severity of the problem to be addressed by the 
proposed project. (10 points)
    (ii) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be 
addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude 
of those gaps or weaknesses. (10 points)
    (b) Significance (10 points).
    The Secretary considers the significance of the proposed project. 
In determining the significance of the proposed project, the Secretary 
considers the potential contribution of the proposed project to 
increased knowledge or understanding of educational problems, issues, 
or effective strategies. (10 points)
    (c) Quality of the Project Design (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:
    (i) 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. (15 points)
    (ii) The extent to which the design of the proposed project 
reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice. (15 
points)
    (d) Quality of the Management Plan (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 
procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the 
operation of the proposed project. (20 points)
    (e) Quality of the Project Evaluation (20 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 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. (20 
points).
    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 
also 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).
    3. Risk Assessment and Specific Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 
200.205, before awarding grants under this program 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

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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).
    (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: The Department has established the 
following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 performance 
measures for the School Climate Transformation Grant Program--State 
Educational Agency Grants:
    (a) The number of training and technical assistance events provided 
by the SEA School Climate Transformation Grant Program to assist LEAs 
in implementing a multitiered behavioral framework.
    (b) The number and percentage of schools in LEAs provided training 
or technical assistance by the SEA School Climate Transformation Grant 
Program that implement a multitiered behavioral framework.
    (c) The number and percentage of LEAs provided training or 
technical assistance by the SEA School Climate Transformation Grant 
Program that implement a multitiered behavioral framework with 
fidelity.
    These 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. 
Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance and 
final reports, data about its progress in meeting these measures. This 
data will be considered by the Department in making continuation 
awards.
    Consistent with 34 CFR 75.591, grantees funded under this program 
shall comply with the requirements of any evaluation of the program 
conducted by the Department or an evaluator selected by the Department.
    6. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award, the 
Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.253, the extent to which 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 Adobe 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: July 23, 2018.
Frank T. Brogan,
Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
[FR Doc. 2018-16005 Filed 7-25-18; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P