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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 04-96



Availability of Program Year 2004-05 Federal Even Start Grants for Renewal and New Family Literacy Programs

[34 Pa.B. 395]

   The Federal Even Start Family Literacy 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 (NCLB Act). The Even Start Family Literacy 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 a local educational agency (LEA) or community-based organization (CBO). Eligible entities are required to establish a formal partnership between one or more LEA and one or more CBO. A private nonprofit entity, including a faith-based organization, as part of a partnership may serve as the fiscal agent, since school-age children who are enrolled in private elementary and secondary schools are eligible for Even Start services under the equitable participation provisions of the NCLB Act. Under these circumstances, a public agency, particularly an LEA, is required to control and administer program funds used to provide equitable services to private school students.

   Federal priority consideration will be given to applications that meet the following conditions:

   1.  Reflect the family focus of Even Start.

   2.  Locate new sites in areas designated by the Federal government as empowerment zones or enterprise communities.

   3.  Submit a total budget which contains a local match beyond the required Even Start statutory percentages.

   4.  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).

   5.  Coordinate 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 Commonwealth consideration will be given to Even Start Family Literacy Programs in the following order of priority:

   1.  Applications for renewal of grants to currently funded Even Start Family Literacy Programs, providing sufficient progress is made toward meeting program objectives in relation to the Pennsylvania Family Literacy Program Performance Standards and the Pennsylvania Family Literacy Summer Reading Program policy. Note: Even Start projects applying for their fourth or eighth year of operation should consult the application guidelines for special provisions pertaining to the duration of projects.

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

   3.  Applications for new Even Start Family Literacy Programs by community-based organizations, in partnership with school districts and/or charter schools receiving Title I, Part A, ESEA funds in 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 and the Pennsylvania Family Literacy Summer Reading Program policy. 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 online and submitted on or before March 26, 2004, to the Bureau of Adult Basic and Literacy Education (Bureau) through the e-grant website at

   Instructions and the application guidelines are available from the Bureau website at and from the e-grant website.

   Potential applicants are urged to attend the annual 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 Act 143 of 1986--Adult and Family Literacy Education Act; and (3) the Federal Even Start Family Literacy Program. These workshops will be conducted by teleconference from the Department site on February 12, 2004, from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration information will be sent through the Bureau website. If unable to access the online information, interested parties may contact the Bureau at (717) 787-6344. To ensure timely administration and processing of e-grant applications, both the grant writer and the fiscal officer should attend the workshop.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 04-96. Filed for public inspection January 16, 2004, 9:00 a.m.]

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