Update: July 12, 2013
The Year 2 budget and carry-over form are now available. This form must be postmarked to the Department by July 29, 2013.
Purpose of the Program
|The purpose of the 2012-2015 School District Performance Improvement competitive grant program is to provide grants to public school districts that have demonstrated the most success in increasing student performance, narrowing the achievement gap, and increasing academic performance among students with the greatest educational needs, and have submitted a high quality plan that shows the most promise of building upon this success. For purposes of this RFP, students with the greatest educational needs are defined as African American students; Hispanic students; students with disabilities, including students who have been declassified in the previous two years; English Language Learners, including students who have been deemed to have achieved proficiency during the previous two years; and economically disadvantaged students, including students that receive free or reduced-priced lunch.|
|Three years, from May 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015. Funding for Years Two and Three is contingent upon availability of funding and satisfactory performance.|
|Public School Districts|
|$75 million during the three-year project period with a maximum payout of $25 million in each year. Payments in Years 2 and 3 are contingent upon availability of funding and satisfactory performance. Districts will be divided into eight tiers according to ranges of enrollment. Districts in each range will be eligible to apply for a different maximum award amount according to the chart on page 4. See Appendix 1 in the application for a list of the districts and their enrollment.|
|Applications must be postmarked by Friday, February 10, 2012 and mailed to:
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Grants Management, Room 674 EBA
Albany, New York 12234
|Questions and Answers are now posted.|
October 20, 2011
The purpose of the 2012-2015 School District Performance Improvement competitive grant program is to provide grants to public school districts that have demonstrated the most success in increasing student performance, narrowing the achievement gap, and increasing academic performance among students with the greatest educational needs, and have submitted a high quality plan that shows the most promise of building upon this success. For purpose of this RFP, students with the greatest education needs are defined as African American students; Hispanic students; students with disabilities, including students who have been declassified during the previous two school years; English Language Learners, including students who have been deemed to have achieved proficiency during the previous two school years; and economically disadvantaged students, those receiving a free or reduced priced lunch.
To be eligible for this grant, a Public School District must:
- Have a Race to the Top Final Scope of Work that was approved by the Commissioner by February 15, 2011 (See http://eservices.nysed.gov/rtttlea/showAll.html for a list of participating districts) or
- Demonstrate satisfactory progress towards the implementation of:
- High quality student assessments,
- The use of data to improve instruction and student performance, and
- The provision of professional development to improve teacher performance; and
- Demonstrate the greatest gains in student performance in the prior school year as measured by increases in student outcomes.
For purposes of this RFP:
- “High quality student assessments” are defined as assessments that improve and support learning, are fair to all students, and are regularly reviewed and improved.
- “Using data to improve instruction and student performance” is defined as educators' use of tools and practices to access, analyze, and use the data of student learning and achievement to identify, implement, monitor, and refine changes in instruction.
- “Professional development to improve teacher performance” is defined as intensive, on-going professional development opportunities to improve instructional practice and educator effectiveness to foster student achievement and growth.
Note: A District selected to receive a grant will only be eligible to receive an award upon submitting proof, no later than the end of the 2011-2012 school year, that it has fully implemented the provisions of Education Law §3012-c (APPR) and section 100.2(o) of the Commissioner’s Regulations.
Districts and applications will be scored as follows, out of a potential total of 115 points:
Academic Performance (50 points)
The gains districts have made between the 2009-10 and 2010-11 schools years in increasing performance of elementary and middle school students in English language arts, mathematics and science and in increasing the percentage of students who graduate with a local or Regents diploma within four years of their first entry into Grade 9. (See Appendix 2 for an explanation of how the scores for Academic Performance are computed).
For purposes of this RFP, the metrics for measuring student performance are:
- Elementary and Middle Level English Language Arts Performance Index
- Elementary and Middle Level Mathematics Performance Index
- Elementary and Middle Level Science Performance Index
- Four Year High School Graduation Rate, defined as the percentage of the annual graduation rate cohort that earns a high school diploma (with or without a Regents endorsement) by August 31st of the fourth calendar year after first entering grade 9.
Priority Area Programs (35 points)
Districts must submit a program narrative containing a high quality plan in one or more of the following priority area(s) based upon practices that have been demonstrated to be effective in, or show the most promise for, increasing student performance, narrowing the student achievement gap, and increasing academic performance among students with the greatest educational needs.
The priority areas are:
- Middle School Programs
- College Level or Early College Programs
- Increased College Admission Rates, Measured by Graduation with Regents Diplomas with Advanced Designation
- Career and Technical Education Programs
For purposes of this RFP, a high-quality plan is defined as one that describes in detail how the funds received will be expended to support activities and strategies to improve student achievement, demonstrates how these activities will enhance teaching and learning for all students enhance teaching and learning for all students, especially those with the greatest educational needs, and provides evidence that the district has the capacity to fully and effectively implement the activities in the plan.
Districts may apply for funding for any one or combination of the above programs. A separate program narrative must be completed for each priority area addressed. An applicant’s score for this section will be based upon the average of the scores for the programs for which the applicant applies. Applicants submitting a well-developed comprehensive proposal for one priority area will receive a higher score than an applicant submitting less developed proposals for several areas.
District Need (10 Bonus Points)
The district’s need as measured by its Need Resource Capacity Category and the Percentage of Students in the district who are free or reduced lunch eligible. See Appendix 3 for how bonus points are computed.
FS-10 Budget Form and Budget Narrative (20 Points)
The applicant must complete the FS-10 budget form, including the original signature of the Superintendent. In addition, a budget narrative explaining the relationship between the proposed expenditures and project activities and goals must be submitted. Please include a description of how the funds will be expended in each Priority Area for which the applicant applies. The budget narrative and FS-10 budget will be reviewed and scored.
The FS-10 Budget Form and information about the categories of expenditures, general information on allowable costs and applicable federal costs principles and administrative regulations are available in the Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State Aided Grants (http://www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/guidance/guidelines.html)
Grant Award Period and Grant Amounts
The grant award period will be for three years from May 1, 2012 to June 30, 2015. Funding for years two and three is contingent upon availability of funding and satisfactory performance. Districts may apply for funds based on their enrollment according to the chart below.
Maximum Size of Annual Award for Each Individual District
Total Three Year Maximum Award Per Individual District
17,500 – 99,999
Less than 750
Note: New York City may choose to apply as one district or individual New York City community school districts may apply. Under either option, the maximum aggregate amount that may be awarded to New York City and/or its component community school districts is $10 million annually. In the event that New York City community school districts apply individually, grant awards will be based upon tier according to the community school district’s pupil enrollment.
Review and Rating of Applications
Only complete applications received by the due date that meet the eligibility requirements will be reviewed. The Proposal Narrative, including the budget narrative, must not exceed twenty-five (25) pages in font size of 12 point, single-spaced, with one-inch margins, and page numbers. Proposals will not be read past page twenty-five.
The Department will administer a peer review process of proposals that includes the following components:
- Screening of all proposals to verify eligibility for the School District Performance Improvement Award funding.
- Recruitment, selection and assignment of peer reviewers to ensure geographic diversity, confidentiality, and the avoidance of conflicts of interest.
- Review and rating of each application by two reviewers using the point scales indicated in the Program Narrative and Evaluation Rubric. Scores from the two reviewers will be added to compute the final average score. If there is a difference of 15 points or more between their two scores, a third review will be performed and the two closest scores will be added to compute the final average score. If the third reviewer’s score is equal to the average of the two original scores, the third reviewer’s score will become the final score.
- Review and scoring of budgets. If the budget includes items that are inconsistent with the requirements of this grant proposal, it will be scored accordingly and the items will be eliminated. Funds may not be expended on salary increases or bonuses for staff or capital construction.
In the event of a tie score, the applicant with the higher score on the Priority Area Program will be ranked higher. Applications which do not receive a final score of at least 75 points out of the 115 possible total points will not be eligible to receive an award.
Districts must apply for funds based on their enrollment and tier according to the chart. Applications will be ranked according to score from highest to lowest. Awards will be made to applicants scoring 75 or above (out of 115 points) in order of score until funds are insufficient to fund the next ranking applicant in full. Remaining funds will be offered to that applicant to run a smaller program.
Projects must operate under the jurisdiction of the local board of education or board of trustees. The local board of education or board of trustees is responsible for the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, project funds. Written agency policy concerning wages, mileage and travel allowances, overtime compensation and fringe benefits, as well as State rules pertaining to competitive bidding, safety regulations, and inventory control must be followed. Supporting or source documents are required for all grant related transactions entered into the school district's recordkeeping system. Source documents that authorize the disbursement of grant funds consist of purchase orders, contracts, time & effort records, delivery receipts, vendor invoices, travel documentation and payment documents, including check stubs.
Supporting documentation for grants and grant contracts must be kept for at least six years after the last payment was made unless otherwise specified by program requirements. Additionally, audit or litigation will "freeze the clock" for records retention purposes until the issue is resolved. All records and documentation must be available for inspection by State Education Department officials or its representatives.
For additional information about grants, please refer to the Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State Aided Grants at http://www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/