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Writing a Winning Grant Proposal
Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
84.358 Rural Education

AUTHORIZATION:

Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended, Title VI, Part B.
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To provide financial assistance to rural districts to carry out activities to help improve the quality of teaching and learning in their schools.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Formula Grants
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

Grantees under the Small, Rural School Achievement Program component may use program funds to carry out activities authorized under: Title I-Part A (Grants to LEAs); Title II- Part A (Improving Teacher Quality State Grants); Title II-Part D (Educational Technology State Grants); Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students); Title IV-Part A (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants); Title IV-Part B (21st Century Community Learning Centers); and Title V-Part A (State Grants for Innovative Programs). Grantees under the Rural and Low- Income School Program component may use program funds for: teacher recruitment and retention; teacher professional development; educational technology; parental involvement activities; activities authorized under ESEA Title IV-Part A (Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities); activities authorized under ESEA Title I-Part A (Grants to LEAs); and activities authorized under ESEA Title III (Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students). This program is subject to non-supplanting requirements and must use a restricted indirect cost rate that is referenced under 34 CFR 75-564-76.569. For assistance call the Office of the Chief Financial Officer/Indirect Cost Group on 202-708-7770.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:   For the Small, Rural School Achievement Program eligible recipients are local educational agencies (LEAs) in which (1) the total number of students in average daily attendance at all of the schools served by the LEA is less than 600 or where each school in the LEA is located in a county with a total population density of less than 10 persons per square mile; and (2) all of the schools served by the LEA are designated as rural under the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) using the NCES school locale mathodology in place at the time of NCLB's enactment or the LEA is located in an area of the State defined as a rural by a State governmental agency. For the Rural and Low-Income School Program eligible recipients are State educational agencies. States then must distribute funds to local educational agencies (LEAs) through a formula or competitive basis. An LEA is eligible to receive a grant under this program only if (1) it is not eligible for funds under the Small, Rural School Achievement Program; (2) at least 20% of the school children ages 5-17 in the LEA come from families with incomes below the poverty line; and (3) all of the schools served by the LEA are designated with a School Locale Code of 6, 7 or 8 under the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) locator system using the NCES school locale mathodology in place at the time of NCLB's enactment. If an SEA chooses not to participate in the program, the Secretary uses the State's allocation to make direct grants to eligible LEAs in the State.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Elementary and secondary schools, students, and teachers in rural schools will benefit.

Credentials/Documentation:   No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Pre-application Coordination:   Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. For the Small, Rural School Achievement Program component, the Department considers the application requirement to be met though, if the LEA submitted an application in any prior year and has drawn down funds from the third preceeding fiscal year award if the LEA received an award that year (eg. FY 2006 grantees that drew down none of those funds are required to reapply in FY 2009 to receive such an award). LEAs annually submit applications to the Department of Education. The Department considers the application requirement to be met through, if the LEA submitted an application in any prior year and has drawn down payments from the Department's Grant Administration and Payment System in subequent years. Application forms are available from the headquarters office. For the program component, an SEA must submit an application that includes specific, measurable goals and objectives for the activities to be carried out through the grant. If an SEA does not participate in the program, eligible LEAs in the State may submit an application directly to the Department.

Award Procedure:   For the Small, Rural School Achievement program component, awards are issued annually directly to eligible LEAs on a formula basis. Awards are made to all that apply and meet the applicable requirements of the Act. Contact the program office for more information. For the Rural and Low-Income School Program component, awards are issued annually to SEAs, which make subgrants to LEAs. Awards are made to all SEAs that apply and meet the applicable requirements of the Act. If an SEA does not participate, awards are issued to eligible LEAs in the State either competitively or by formula.

Deadlines:   Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   

120 days.

Appeals:   

Not Applicable.

Renewals:   

Not Applicable.

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ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:   

Statutory Formula: Title VI, Part B. Matching Requirements: For the Small, Rural School Achievement program, the Department calculates the amount of a grant that an eligible LEA receives by multiplying the number of students in average daily attendance in excess of 50 by $100, adding this product to $20,000, and subtracting the amounts the LEA received the previous year for Parts A and D of Title II, Part A of Title IV, and Part A of Title V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. The maximum award is limited to $60,000. To make the total award amounts sum to the appropriation, a ratable increase or decrease is applied to each award. For the Rural and Low-Income School program, the Department reserves one-half of one percent of the half of the appropriation for this subprogram for each of the Outlying Areas and the Bureau of Indian Education at the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Education allocates the remaining funds to State proportionally to the sum of the average daily attendance of the eligible LEAs within the respective States. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   

Grants are awarded for one year. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Electronic transfer.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:   Annual financial and performance reports are due within 90 days of the termination of the project period. Cash reports are not applicable. Progress reports are not applicable. Expenditure reports are not applicable. Performance monitoring is not applicable.

Audits:   In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records:   Records must be maintained three years after the completion of the activity for which grant funds were used.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:  

91-1000-0-1-501.

Obligations:   (Formula Grants) FY 08 $171,854,322; FY 09 est $173,382,000; FY 10 est $173,382,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:  

Range of new awards for SRSA: $2 - $60,000; Average new award for SRSA: $21,000 Range of new subgrants for RLIS: $2,000 - $633,000; Average new subgrants for RLIS: $58,000.

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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
Fiscal Year 2009: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2010: Approximately 4,084 LEAs are expected to receive Small, Rural School Achievement grants and 1,486 LEAs are expected to receive Rural and Low-Income Schools grants. Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

34 CFR 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, 97, 98 and 99.

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:   None.

Headquarters Office:   Eric Schulz, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20202 Email: reap@ed.gov Phone: (202) 260-7349.

Web Site Address:  
http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/freedom/local/reap.html

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Fiscal Year 2009: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2010: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

Contact the program office for information.

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