To be eligible to receive a designation as a center of excellence under subsection (b), except as provided in clause (ii), a Head Start agency in a State shall be nominated by the Governor of the State, after selection for nomination by such Governor through a competitive process, and shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.
In the case of an Indian Head Start agency or a migrant or seasonal Head Start agency, to be eligible to receive a designation as a center of excellence under subsection (b), such an agency shall be nominated by the head of the appropriate regional office of the Department of Health and Human Services and shall submit an application to the Secretary in accordance with clause (i).
In making bonus grant determinations under this section, the Secretary shall give priority to agencies that, through their applications, demonstrate that their programs are of exceptional quality and would serve as exemplary models for programs in the same geographic region. The Secretary may also consider the populations served by the applicants, such as agencies that serve large proportions of families of limited English proficient children or other underserved populations, and may make bonus grants to agencies that do an exceptional job meeting the needs of children in such populations.
The Secretary shall base the amount of funding provided through a bonus grant made under subsection (b) to a center of excellence on the number of children eligible for Head Start services in the community involved. The Secretary shall, subject to the availability of funding, make such a bonus grant in an amount of not less than $200,000 per year.
The Secretary shall, subject to the availability of funds to carry out this subsection, award a grant or contract to an independent organization to conduct research on the ability of the centers of excellence to use the funds received under this section to improve the school readiness of children receiving Head Start services, and to positively impact school results in the earliest grades. The organization shall also conduct research to measure the success of the centers of excellence at encouraging the center’s delegate agencies, additional Head Start agencies, and other providers of early childhood education and development programs in the communities involved to meet measurable improvement goals, particularly in the area of school readiness.
Not later than 48 months after December 12, 2007, the organization shall prepare and submit to the Secretary and Congress a report containing the results of the research described in paragraph (1).
Each center of excellence shall submit an annual report to the Secretary, at such time and in such manner as the Secretary may require, that contains a description of the activities the center carried out with funds received under this section, including a description of how such funds improved services for children and families.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012 to make bonus grants to centers of excellence under subsection (b) to carry out activities described in subsection (d) and research and report activities described in subsection (e).