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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-90



Availability of Program Year 2003-04 Federal Even Start Grants for Renewal and New Family Literacy Programs

[33 Pa.B. 365]

   The Federal Even Start Family Literacy Program (program), renamed the William F. Goodling Even Start Family Literacy Programs, is authorized by Title I, Part B, Subpart 3 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. This program is administered by the Department of Education (Department) for family literacy programs that will:

   1.  Target families living in areas of high concentration of poverty who are receiving welfare benefits and who have educational needs.

   2.  Enable communities to foster cooperative partnerships that build on existing community resources to create a new range of services.

   3.  Provide services that are of sufficient intensity in terms of hours, and of sufficient duration, to make sustainable changes in a family and that integrate all of the following:

   a.  Interactive literacy activities between parents and their children.

   b.  Training for parents regarding how to be the primary teacher for their children and full partners in the education of their children.

   c.  Parent literacy training that leads to economic self-sufficiency.

   d.  An age-appropriate education to prepare children for success in school and life experiences.

   Organizations eligible to apply for an Even Start grant are local educational agencies (LEA) or community-based organizations (CBO). Eligible entities are required to establish a formal partnership between one or more LEAs and one or more CBOs. Priority consideration will be given to applications that reflect the family focus of Even Start; locate new sites in areas designated by the Federal government as empowerment zones or enterprise communities; submit a total budget which contains a local match beyond the required Even Start statutory percentages; and target services to families most in need (that is, educationally disadvantaged adults who are receiving public assistance; do not have high school diplomas; are members of minority groups; are single parents; are victims of domestic violence; have children with developmental delays; reside in a Title I school attendance area; and, if in primary grades, are receiving Title I services). Priority also will be given to programs that are coordinated with adult education and literacy programs; county assistance offices; social service agencies; public libraries; Team PA CareerLink One-Stop Centers; Workforce Investment Act programs; elementary schools; family centers; preschool programs such as Head Start; licensed child care centers; and other community groups or agencies that provide services and assistance to persons in need of basic literacy skills and/or support services.

   Special consideration will be given to programs in the following order of priority:

   1.  Applications for renewal of grants to currently funded programs, providing sufficient progress is made toward meeting program objectives in relation to the Pennsylvania Family Literacy Program Performance Standards. (Even Start projects applying for their 4th or 8th year of operation should consult the Application Guidelines for special provisions pertaining to the duration of projects.)

   2.  Applications for new programs by school districts or charter schools receiving Title I, Part A, ESEA funds in unserved areas of counties not served by a current Even Start or State Act 143 Family Literacy grant.

   3.  Applications for new programs by community-based organizations, in partnership with school districts and/or charter schools receiving Title I, Part A, ESEA funds in unserved areas of counties not served by a current Even Start or State Act 143 Family Literacy grant.

   The grant period (or duration of an Even Start grant) will be for a term of 4 years, provided that sufficient progress is made towards meeting program objectives in relation to the Pennsylvania Family Literacy Program Performance Standards. The Commonwealth will not, however, issue a 4-year grant. Each year, or grant year, grantees will be required to apply for continuation funding. At the end of the grant period, grantees will be authorized to reapply and compete with other applicants for another 4-year term. Upon the completion of 8 years, special provisions apply to the continuation of program operations. Refer to the Application Guidelines for details.

   Restrictions placed upon the Department for the administration of the Even Start grant are:

   1.  The Federal program requires a local contribution/matching funds in addition to the requested grant amount. The total cost of the program is to be supported by grant funds and a local share. The Even Start statute requires a graduated increase in the local share, which ranges from 10% (in the first year) to 65% depending upon the year of operation (see Application Guidelines for details)

   2.  Section 1234 of the Even Start statute prohibits a local program from using grant funds for indirect costs. This restriction includes the project's matching funds (local share).

   Even Start renewal and new applications must be completed on-line and submitted from the e-grant website at to the Department's Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (ABLE) by March 24, 2003.

   Instructions and the Application Guidelines are available from the ABLE website at and via the e-grant website.

   Grants will be funded by Rider W to a Master Agreement executed between the Department and the funded agency. Both current and new Even Start grant recipients will have to execute new Master Agreements in 2002-03 since current Master Agreements expire June 30, 2003. The Department will mail out said Master Agreements in the coming months. Funded agencies must execute a 2003-04 Program Year Rider W to include a budget and the application narrative to receive funding. Agencies not currently funded will be given instructions on execution of the Master Agreement once grant applications are accepted for approval.

   Potential applicants are urged to attend the proposal development workshop to learn the latest changes to program guidelines and new requirements for submitting e-grant applications for adult education and family literacy programs funded through: (1) the Federal Workforce Investment Act, Section 231; (2) State Adult and Family Literacy Education Act 143 of 1986; and (3) the program. This workshop will be conducted by teleconference on January 31, 2003, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. For the nearest downlink site and to ensure that space, materials and handouts are available, attendees must register to attend by visiting the Distance Learning, PaTTAN website at Interested parties who are unable to register online may register by completing a registration form and faxing it to (412) 826-6872 or mailing it to Marty Rist, Distance Learning, PaTTAN--Pittsburgh, 3190 William Pitt Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15238. For answers to questions regarding downlink sites, registration or satellite coordinates, e-mail PaTTAN Distance Learning at For individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Pennsylvania Relay Service, (800) 654-5984 (TTY), can be used to call the Distance Learning Center. To ensure timely administration and processing of e-grant applications, both the grant writer and the fiscal officer should attend the workshop.

Acting Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-90. Filed for public inspection January 17, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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