DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Availability of Grant Funds
[50 Pa.B. 1397]
[Saturday, March 7, 2020]
The Department of Education (Department) announces the availability of approximately $1.7 million for Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) Program grants under section 243 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (29 U.S.C.A. § 3333).
The purpose of this funding is to create a partnership among the Federal government, states and localities to provide, on a voluntary basis, integrated English literacy and civics education activities, in combination with integrated education and training activities. Each program that receives this funding must be designed to prepare adults who are English language learners for, and place such adults in, unsubsidized employment in in-demand industries and occupations that lead to economic self-sufficiency; and integrate with the local workforce development system and its functions to carry out the activities of the program.
As defined in WIOA, an eligible provider is an organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities that may include:
1. A local education agency.
2. A community-based organization or faith-based organization.
3. A volunteer literacy organization.
4. An institution of higher education.
5. A public or private nonprofit agency.
6. A library.
7. A public housing authority.
8. A nonprofit institution that is not previously described and has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals.
9. A consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries or authorities previously described.
10. A partnership between an employer and an entity previously described.
11. Other organizations not previously listed.
For the purposes of the competition in this Commonwealth, a consortium or coalition of agencies will be defined as a main grantee with one or more subgrantees. The main grantee will serve as both the fiscal agent for the grant and a provider of some of the services proposed in the grant application. The main grantee is responsible for ensuring that all activities provided are completed as proposed and is responsible for monitoring and compliance of the subgrantees. Applicants cannot subcontract with another applicant for a portion of the proposed services. Agencies can only be a main grantee or a subgrantee. Answers in the Narrative and Agency Information sections of the grant application should reflect the work of the consortium/coalition rather than treat each entity separately.
Establishing Demonstrated Effectiveness
For the purposes of establishing demonstrated effectiveness to qualify as an eligible provider for section 243 funding, an applicant must provide performance data on its record of improving the skills of eligible individuals, particularly eligible individuals who have low levels of literacy, information regarding its outcomes for participants related to employment, attainment of a secondary school diploma or its equivalent and transition to postsecondary education and training. An applicant that has been previously funded under Title II of WIOA (29 U.S.C.A. §§ 3271—3333) must submit performance data required under section 116 of WIOA (29 U.S.C.A. § 3141). An applicant that has not been previously funded under Title II of WIOA must provide performance data to demonstrate its past effectiveness. Each individual agency in a consortium or coalition of agencies must be an eligible provider by itself (that is, must be an organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities) and must individually provide all of the data required to establish demonstrated effectiveness.
The Department will require applicants to provide quantitative data for the immediate preceding 2 program years. The data provided by the applicant to establish demonstrated effectiveness must include the following:
1. The number of individuals in the outcome cohort (that is, the denominator).
2. The number of individuals who achieved the outcomes (that is, the numerator).
3. The resulting percentage of individuals who achieved the outcome.
The Department has established the following thresholds for an applicant to be determined to be an eligible provider for the purposes of this section 243 IELCE 061 grant competition:
1. A total number of individuals in ESL levels greater than 30 in each of the 2 years.
2. A denominator greater than 5 for each of the following outcomes, Attain a high school diploma or its equivalent, Transition to employment, and Transition to postsecondary education or training in each of the 2 years.
3. The overall percentage of individuals in the six ESL levels combined who improved English language proficiency must be greater than 30% in each of the 2 years.
Prior to reviewing and scoring submitted applications, the Department will review the information provided by each applicant, including each agency in a consortium or coalition of agencies, to establish demonstrated effectiveness to determine if that applicant is an eligible provider. Only applications that are determined to be from eligible providers will be reviewed, scored and considered for funding. In the case of a consortium or coalition of agencies, all agencies in the consortium or coalition must be determined to be eligible providers. Applicants that are not able to establish demonstrated effectiveness under the previous criteria are not eligible providers and their applications will not be reviewed, scored and considered for funding. Any applicants that are determined not to be eligible providers will be notified of that decision.
The Department reserves the right to require successful applicants to submit documentation in support of the information provided to establish demonstrated effectiveness.
Successful grant applications for the IELCE Program will be approved for a 3-year grant cycle. Grant funds will be awarded through annual 1-year notifications of funding contingent upon availability of funds. Each year, grantees will be required to submit budgets and program year specific information by means of the eGrants system to receive funding. Each year's renewal option, grant conditions and grant amounts will be based on the following criteria:
1. Contract compliance, including success in meeting contracted enrollment and providing the contracted services.
2. Evidence of sufficient progress in meeting the targets proposed in the grant application and finalized through negotiation with the Department.
3. Evidence of continuous program improvement.
4. Compliance with fiscal and programmatic policies and guidelines.
5. The amount of the appropriation.
Programs that fail to sufficiently address the previous criteria or any additional conditions imposed on individual grants may be terminated prior to the end of the grant cycle.
Title II of WIOA establishes requirements for the grant competition process, including items that must be addressed in the grant applications and items that the Department must take into consideration when awarding grants. This Request for Grant Application Guidelines and the questions in the grant narrative are designed to ensure that all necessary information is included. The Division of Adult Education strongly encourages applicants to refer to the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act at 34 CFR Part 463 (relating to Adult Education and Family Literacy Act) when completing the grant application.
Applications must be submitted through the Department's eGrants system. For access to the eGrants system and the related grant opportunities, prospective applicants should send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line of ''Division of Adult Education grant competition.'' In the body of the e-mail, prospective applicants should state the agency name and the agency's intent to apply for an IELCE Program grant. Prior to sending the e-mail, the applicant should search for the agency record in the Department's Educational Names and Addresses (EdNA) database.
1. Agencies found in EdNA should include in their e-mail their Administrative Unit Number (AUN) and contact information for the individual at the agency who will create and complete the grant applications.
2. Agencies not listed in EdNA should indicate in their e-mail that they are not found in the State database and provide contact information for the agency administrator who will work with the Division of Adult Education to establish a listing and be assigned an AUN.
Further details regarding this funding opportunity will be posted to the Division of Adult Education Grant Competitions webpage as they become available at https://www.education.pa.gov/Postsecondary-Adult/Adult%20and%20Family%20Literacy%20Education/Grants/Pages/GrantCompetitions.aspx.
PEDRO A. RIVERA,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 20-337. Filed for public inspection March 6, 2020, 9:00 a.m.]
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