20 U.S. Code § 7247 - Partnerships in character education program
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(a) Program authorized
(1) In general
The Secretary is authorized to award grants to eligible entities for the design and implementation of character education programs that—
(A) are able to be integrated into classroom instruction and to be consistent with State academic content standards; and
(2) Eligible entity
In this section, the term “eligible entity” means—
(A) a State educational agency in partnership with—
Each grant under this section shall be awarded for a period not to exceed 5 years, of which the eligible entity may not use more than 1 year for planning and program design.
(4) Amount of grants for State educational agencies
Subject to the availability of appropriations, the amount of a grant made by the Secretary to a State educational agency under this section shall not be less than $500,000 if the State educational agency—
(b) Contracts under program
Each eligible entity awarded a grant under this section may contract with outside sources, including institutions of higher education and private and nonprofit organizations, for the purposes of—
(B) measuring the integration of such program into the curriculum and teaching methods of schools where the program is carried out; and
(2) Materials and program development
Each eligible entity awarded a grant under this section may contract with outside sources, including institutions of higher education and private and nonprofit organizations, for assistance in—
(A) developing secular curricula, materials, teacher training, and other activities related to character education; and
(c) Elements of character
(A) In general
Each eligible entity awarded a grant under this section may select the elements of character that will be taught under the program for which the grant was awarded.
(2) Example elements
Elements of character selected under this subsection may include any of the following:
(d) Use of funds by State educational agency recipients
Of the total funds received in any fiscal year under this section by an eligible entity that is a State educational agency—
(2) the remainder of such funds may be used for—
(C) providing assistance to local educational agencies, schools, or institutions of higher education; and
(1) In general
Each eligible entity desiring a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require.
(2) Required information
Each application for a grant under this section shall include (together with any other information that the Secretary may require) information that—
(A) demonstrates that the program for which the grant is sought has clear objectives that are based on scientifically based research;
(B) describes any partnerships or collaborative efforts among the organizations and entities of the eligible entity;
(C) describes the activities that will be carried out with the grant funds and how such activities will meet the objectives described in subparagraph (A), including—
(i) how parents, students, students with disabilities (including those with mental or physical disabilities), and other members of the community, including members of private and nonprofit organizations, will be involved in the design and implementation of the program and how the eligible entity will work with the larger community to increase the reach and promise of the program;
(D) describes how the program for which the grant is sought will be linked to other efforts to improve academic achievement, including—
(i) broader educational reforms that are being instituted by the eligible entity or its partners; and
(E) in the case of an eligible entity that is a State educational agency, describes how the State educational agency—
(i) will provide technical and professional assistance to its local educational agency partners in the development and implementation of character education programs; and
(F) describes how the eligible entity will evaluate the success of its program—
(f) Selection of recipients
(1) Peer review
(A) In general
In selecting eligible entities to receive grants under this section from among the applicants for such grants, the Secretary shall use a peer review process that includes the participation of experts in the field of character education and development.
(2) Selection criteria
Each selection under paragraph (1) shall be made on the basis of the quality of the application submitted, taking into consideration such factors as—
(A) the extent to which the program fosters character in students and the potential for improved student academic achievement;
(3) Equitable distribution
In making selections under this subsection, the Secretary shall ensure, to the extent practicable under paragraph (2), that the programs assisted under this section are equitably distributed among the geographic regions of the United States, and among urban, suburban, and rural areas.
(g) Participation by private school children and teachers
Each eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall provide, to the extent feasible and appropriate, for the participation in programs and activities under this section of students and teachers in private elementary schools and secondary schools.
(h) Evaluation and program development
(1) State and local reporting and evaluation
Each eligible entity receiving a grant under this section shall submit to the Secretary a comprehensive evaluation of the program assisted under this section, including its impact on students, students with disabilities (including those with mental or physical disabilities), teachers, administrators, parents, and others—
(2) National research, dissemination, and evaluation
(A) In general
(i) Authorization The Secretary is authorized to award grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, State educational agencies or local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, tribal organizations, or other public or private agencies or organizations to carry out research, development, dissemination, technical assistance, and evaluation activities that support or inform State and local character education programs.
Funds made available under subparagraph (A) may be used for the following:
(i) Conducting research and development activities that focus on matters such as—
(II) the effectiveness of instructional models for all students, including students with disabilities (including those with mental or physical disabilities);
(V) the development of measures of effectiveness for character education programs (which may include the factors described in paragraph (3)); and
(ii) Providing technical assistance to State and local programs, particularly on matters of program evaluation.
(iii) Conducting evaluations of State and local programs receiving funding under this section, that may be conducted through a national clearinghouse under clause (iv).
(iv) Compiling and disseminating, through a national clearinghouse or other means—
In carrying out national activities under this paragraph, the Secretary may enter into partnerships with national nonprofit character education organizations and institutions of higher education with expertise and successful experience in implementing—
(i) character education programs that had an effective impact on schools, students, students with disabilities (including those with mental or physical disabilities), and teachers; or
(D) Partnership for activities under subparagraph (B)(iv)
In carrying out national activities under subparagraph (B)(iv), the Secretary may enter into a partnership with a national nonprofit character education organization that will disseminate information to educators, parents, administrators, and others nationwide, including information about the range of model character education programs, materials, and curricula.
Each entity awarded a grant or entering into a contract or cooperative agreement under this paragraph shall submit an annual report to the Secretary that—
(i) describes the entity’s progress in carrying out research, development, dissemination, evaluation, and technical assistance under this paragraph;
(iii) if applicable, describes the progress of the entity in carrying out the requirements of subparagraph (B)(iv), including a listing of—
(I) the number of requests for information received by the entity in the course of carrying out such requirements;
Factors that may be considered in evaluating the success of programs funded under this section include the following:
(i) Permissive match
(1) In general
The Secretary may require eligible entities to match funds awarded under this section with non-Federal funds, except that the amount of the match may not exceed the amount of the grant award.
(2) Sliding scale
The amount of a match under paragraph (1) shall be established based on a sliding scale that takes into account—
(3) In-kind contributions
The Secretary shall permit eligible entities to match funds in whole or in part with in-kind contributions.
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