Competitive Grant Funding Available
November 8, 2013
TO THE ELIGIBLE APPLICANT ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: 2014-2015 Texas Mathematics and Science Partnership (TxMSP) Professional Development Network, Cycle 2 (Request for Application #701-13-108)
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is requesting applications under Request for Application (RFA) #701-13-108, 2014-2015 Texas Mathematics and Science Partnership (TxMSP) Professional Development Network, Cycle 2.
Texas public institutions of higher education (IHEs) serving as the fiscal agent for an “eligible partnership” are eligible to apply for the TxMSP Professional Development Network, Cycle 2 grant program. Eligible applicants may only submit one application for the partnership and must have in place a statewide professional development network or demonstrate the ability to establish a statewide network within the transition timeframe. The network will be focused on providing sustained professional development in math and science to teachers across the state.
An eligible partnership consists of the IHE serving as the fiscal agent; an engineering, mathematics or science department of an IHE; and one or more high-need local education agencies (LEAs). (“High-need” is defined as an LEA in which at least 40% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.)
Purpose of Program
The TxMSP Professional Development Network, Cycle 2 grant program is intended to improve teachers’ content knowledge through scientifically researched, sustained, and high intensity professional development and mentoring.
TEA is seeking applications from IHEs as fiscal agents of eligible partnerships that demonstrate the ability to establish a statewide educator network that provides high quality professional development to math and science teachers in Texas PK-12 schools in order to improve students’ academic performance in math and science. The partnership will accomplish this by encouraging State educational agencies, IHEs, LEAs, elementary schools, and secondary schools to participate in programs that do the following: (1) improve and upgrade the status and stature of mathematics and science teaching by encouraging IHEs to assume greater responsibility for improving mathematics and science teacher education through the establishment of a comprehensive, integrated system of recruiting, training, and advising mathematics and science teachers; (2) focus on the education of mathematics and science teachers as a career-long process that continuously stimulates teachers’ intellectual growth and upgrades teachers’ knowledge and skills; (3) bring mathematics and science teachers in elementary school and secondary schools together with scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to increase the subject matter knowledge of mathematics and science teachers and improve such teachers’ teaching skills through the use of sophisticated laboratory equipment and work space, computing facilities, libraries, and other resources that IHEs are better able to provide than the elementary and secondary schools; (4) develop more rigorous mathematics and science curricula that are aligned with challenging State and local academic content standards and with the standard expected for postsecondary study in engineering, mathematics, and science; and (5) improve and expand training of mathematics and science teachers, including training such teachers in the effective integration of technology into curricula and instruction. Additionally, the statewide professional development network will provide additional capacity and assist with the implementation of statewide initiatives, such as the Teacher Evaluation and Support System and the Principal Evaluation and Support System, by providing high-quality training for mathematics and science educators in their pursuit of instructional growth.
Funding will be provided for one project in the amount of $10,000,000. This project is funded 100 percent from Public Law 107-110, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Title II, Part B.
The project will begin on February 14, 2014, and continue through August 31, 2015. The project will be implemented in two phases: Phase I: Planning/Transition (February 14, 2014, through May 31, 2014) and Phase II: Program Implementation (June 1, 2014, through August 31, 2015).
Applications will be selected based on the independent reviewers’ assessment of each applicant’s ability to carry out all requirements contained in the RFA. Reviewers will evaluate applications based on the overall quality and validity of the proposed grant programs and the extent to which the applications address the need for the proposed project; the quality of the project design, management plan, project services, and project evaluation; and the appropriateness of the budget. Applications must address each requirement as specified in the RFA to be considered for funding.
Priority points will be given to applicants who have current network capacity to deliver professional development statewide and those who have current data systems for collecting and analyzing teacher and student performance data.
TEA reserves the right to select from the highest-ranking applications those that address all requirements in the RFA and that are most advantageous to the project. TEA is not obligated to approve an application, provide funds, or endorse any application submitted in response to this RFA. This RFA does not commit TEA to pay any costs before an application is approved. The issuance of this RFA does not obligate TEA to award a grant or pay any costs incurred in preparing a response.
How to apply
This RFA is in paper format. It must be downloaded, completed on the applicant’s computer desktop, printed, and submitted by mail or hand delivery. The complete RFA is posted on the TEA Grant Opportunities page at http://burleson.tea.state.tx.us/GrantOpportunities/forms/GrantProgramSearch.aspx for viewing and downloading. In the “Select Search Options” box, select the name of the RFA from the drop-down list. Scroll down to the “Application and Support Information” section to view all documents that pertain to this RFA.
An applicants’ conference will be held via webinar on Thursday, November 14, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The conference will be open to all potential applicants and will provide prospective applicants an opportunity to receive general and clarifying information about the program and RFA. Register for the webinar at https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/821056554. The system requirements for PC-based attendees are Windows 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, or Vista. The requirements for Macintosh-based attendees are Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or later. The entire applicants’ conference will be digitally recorded. Prospective applicants who are not able to attend the conference may download the presentation at http://burleson.tea.state.tx.us/GrantOpportunities/forms.
Applicants who want specific questions relevant to the RFA answered during the webinar must submit them to Sara Grunberger at Sara.Grunberger@tea.texas.gov by November 12, 2013.
The IHE awarded the grant is responsible for meeting all required deadlines. The reporting requirements for this grant are posted on the TEA Grant Opportunities website at http://burleson.tea.state.tx.us/GrantOpportunities/forms/GrantProgramSearch.aspx. In the “Select Search Options” box, select the name of the RFA from the drop-down list. Scroll down to the “Critical Events” section to view the reporting requirements.
For Further Information
In order to assure that no prospective applicant may obtain a competitive advantage because of acquisition of information unknown to other prospective applicants, any and all questions pertaining to the RFA must be submitted in writing to the TEA contact person listed on the TEA Grant Opportunities website. In the “Select Search Options” box, select the name of the RFA from the drop-down list. Scroll down to the “Application and Support Information” and select the name of the program/RFA from the drop-down list. Scroll down to “Contact Information.”
Copies of the questions and the written answers thereto will be posted on the TEA Grant Opportunities website in the format of frequently asked questions (FAQs) at http://burleson.tea.state.tx.us/GrantOpportunities/forms. In the “Select Search Options” box, select the name of the program/RFA from the drop-down list. Scroll down to “Application and Support Information” to view all documents that pertain to this RFA.
Deadline for Receipt of Applications
Four copies of the application, with an original signature on Schedule #1 - General Information on at least three copies (blue ink preferred), must be received by 5:00 p.m. Central Time, Thursday, December 19, 2013, to be considered for funding. Send the application to the following address:
Document Control Center
Division of Grants Administration
Texas Education Agency, William B. Travis Building
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701-1494
Interim Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs