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[Federal Register: March 29, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 61)]
[Page 17214-17217]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

[[Page 17214]]



[Public Notice 3623]

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Request for Grant 
Proposals: Teaching Excellence Awards Program and Secondary School 
Excellence Program

SUMMARY: The Youth Programs Division, Office of Citizen Exchanges, of 
the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces an open 
competition for the Teaching Excellence Award (TEA) program and the 
Secondary School Excellence Program (SSEP). Public and private non-
profit organizations meeting the provisions described in IRS regulation 
26 CFR 1.501(c) may submit proposals to conduct the sixth year of the 
TEA program of recognition for excellence in the fields of English and 
American studies at the primary and secondary levels of education in 
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, 
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan and to conduct the 
fourth year of the SSEP, which facilitates institutional partnerships 
between schools in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, 
and Uzbekistan and the United States. The total amount of funding 
available for this two-component program is $5,290,800.


Component I: Teaching Excellence Awards Program


    The objective of the program is to select exemplary teachers in the 
ten participating countries through a merit-based competition and 
provide modest awards to them and their schools. The top national 
winners participate in a summer enrichment program in the United 
    The goals are (1) to give recognition to excellence in the teaching 
of English and American studies, (2) to promote innovation in teaching 
methodology in the New Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet 
Union, and (3) to foster mutual understanding about the societies and 
educational systems of the U.S. and the ten participating NIS 


    The program was established in 1996. For the 1996-1997 program 
year, the teacher competition was conducted in Russia and Ukraine, and 
900 educators were nominated, for which their schools received plaques. 
The competition culminated in the selection of 225 Russian and 75 
Ukrainian regional winners of awards--$200 worth of education materials 
for the teachers and $2,000 worth of education equipment for their 
schools. Thirty Russian and 15 Ukrainian educators were selected as 
national winners and participated in a seven-week enrichment program in 
the U.S. Twenty American teachers were also selected from national 
excellence competitions who interacted with the NIS teachers and 
traveled to their countries for two-week programs. The program was 
repeated in 1997-1998 and expanded in the next two years to Kazakhstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In 2000-2001, Armenia, 
Georgia, and Tajikistan are included, and Azerbaijan is added under the 
current solicitation.


    Administration of the TEA program entails implementing the 
following activities:
    (1) conducting a competition for selecting exemplary, innovative 
teachers of English and American Studies in Armenia, Azerbaijan, 
Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, 
Ukraine, and Uzbekistan;
    (2) providing publicity and awards of educational equipment and 
materials to them and their schools;
    (3) selecting a portion of these educators as finalists to 
participate in a U.S.-based professional enrichment program;
    (4) arranging a six- to eight-week summer professional enrichment 
program in the United States;
    (5) recruiting and selecting American educators by merit, who will 
participate in the U.S. summer professional development program and in 
a two- to three-week program with counterparts in the NIS;
    (6) supporting TEA alumni in follow-on activities; and
    (7) evaluating and reporting on the program's process and results.
    The organization that is awarded the grant to administer this 
program must have an infrastructure in the region under the close 
supervision of American nationals. The organization must have the 
ability to work closely with ministries of education and local 
educational and governmental authorities. It is essential that the 
competition be conducted as a high profile, merit-based process that 
encompasses all regions where it is feasible to elicit nominations. The 
competition should be broadly advertised to ensure that the maximum 
number possible of teachers and schools are made aware of it. A 
rigorous screening and selection process should be conducted; certain 
countries may have special conditions that affect the process. The 
awards for regional winners should include a range of books and other 
educational materials and equipment such as copiers, fax machines and 
computers, which will be for use by the winner's school. The grantee 
should arrange for a six- to eight-week enrichment program in the U.S. 
for the national winners designed to enhance teaching methodologies in 
English as a foreign language and American studies. The grantee must 
recruit American secondary school educators to participate in aspects 
of the summer enrichment program and travel to the NIS for two- to 
three-week programs based in the schools of the NIS national winners. 
Close collaboration with Public Affairs Section (PAS) officers at U.S. 
embassies and American English teaching specialists is required.

Component II: Secondary School Excellence Program


    The Secondary School Excellence Program (SSEP) is designed to: (1) 
develop institutional linkages that serve the needs and interests of 
the participating schools and communities;
    (2) support democracy and educational reform in the NIS; and
    (3) advance mutual understanding between the youth and teachers of 
the U.S. and the NIS. This program is designed to offer continuity in 
the relationships developed between educators in the Teaching 
Excellence Awards program.
    The program is designed to foster interaction and long lasting 
relationships between secondary schools in the United States and 
Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. All 
projects must have both student and educator exchange components and 
must have planned project activity between the partner schools.


    The SSEP was started in 1998 to provide follow-on activities for 
the schools of the teachers who participated in the TEA program by 
linking their institutions in the U.S. and NIS. Through these school 
linkages, both students and educators at each school could work 
together on joint projects, participate in reciprocal exchange and 
hosting programs, and help deepen the relationships and reforms started 
under TEA. The incumbent has recruited, screened, and selected schools 
in all of

[[Page 17215]]

the participating countries, provided orientations for school 
coordinators, and supported both the logistical and programmatic 
components of each school partnership. Each year, the program has 
supported 20 to 24 partnerships and between 440 and 520 participants. 
The SSEP has been expanded to follow the growth of the TEA program 
where funding has been available for each country. With this grant, the 
program will be available in the countries of Armenia and Turkmenistan 
for the first time.


    Administration of the SSEP entails implementing the following 
    (1) conducting a competition for the schools of TEA winners in the 
United States, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and 
Uzbekistan to participate in one-to-one school partnerships;
    (2) arranging workshops, preparing briefing materials, and 
providing advice to guide coordinators at each school in their 
preparations for and implementation of the school partnership project 
and exchanges;
    (3) providing logistical support for each delegation's travel to 
its partner school;
    (4) overseeing merit-based selection processes for all participants 
and ensuring transparency and credibility;
    (5) supporting the schools in their academic activities and joint 
project as needed; and
    (6) evaluating and reporting on the partnerships.
    Another component of the SSEP, new this year, is the establishment 
of a fund of $50,000 for special projects developed by TEA alumni. The 
grant recipient, in partnership with ECA, will invite and consider 
proposals from TEA alumni to conduct special projects that serve as 
follow-on to their TEA experience, but do not fit the school 
partnership model. Please refer to the POGI for further guidance.
    The organization that is awarded the grant to administer this 
program must be able to select the participating schools through a 
merit-based process, inviting all eligible TEA schools to apply. In the 
event that there is not a sufficient number of TEA schools in the 
United States prepared to participate, the grantee organization may 
draw on secondary schools known to the organization through other 
networks. A screening committee will be assembled to review 
applications and select as many schools as can be supported with the 
available funding for each country. Preference will be given to schools 
that have continuing partnerships, not to exceed three years of support 
under this program. Some schools' applications may express preference 
for a specific partner school; those that do not will be matched with 
an appropriate partner through a rationale to be declared by the 
    The grantee is responsible for conducting all activities directly 
or under sub-contracts. Programs must comply with J-1 visa regulations. 
Please refer to the Solicitation Package for further information.

Dates of Grant Activity

    Grants should begin on or about July 1, 2001, and conclude about 
two years later, or as needed to complete activity. The exact starting 
date of the grant will be dependent on the availability of funds.
    For TEA, the competition should be conducted in the fall of 2001; 
awards should be made in the spring of 2002; the enrichment program 
should take place in the summer of 2002; the American participants 
should travel to the NIS in the fall of 2002.
    For SSEP, participating schools should conduct their exchanges in 
either a Spring 2002/Fall 2002 cycle or the Fall 2002/Spring 2003 
school year.

Budget Guidelines

    The Bureau anticipates awarding one grant for an amount not to 
exceed $5,290,800 to support the program and administrative costs 
required to implement this program. The Bureau encourages applicants to 
provide maximum levels of cost-sharing and funding from private sources 
in support of its programs. Organizations with less than four years of 
experience in conducting international exchange programs are not 
eligible for this competition.
    Applicants must submit a comprehensive budget for the entire 
program. There must be a summary budget as well as breakdowns 
reflecting both administrative and program budgets. Applicants should 
provide separate sub-budgets for each program component, phase, 
location, or activity to provide clarification.
    Funding levels for the two program components must adhere to the 
following maximum amounts and to the country allocations provided in 
the POGI.


    The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase 
proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the program and 
availability of funds. The participating countries may be subject to 
change pending final allocations and applicants may be requested to 
include more or fewer countries in the NIS region.
    Please refer to the Solicitation Package for complete budget 
guidelines and formatting instructions.

Announcement Title and Number

    All correspondence with the Bureau concerning this RFGP should 
reference the above title and number ECA/PE/C/PY-01-42.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The Youth Programs Division, Office of 
Citizen Exchanges, ECA/PE/C/PY, Room 568, U.S. Department of State, 301 
4th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20547, (202) 619-6299, Fax (202) 
619-5311, E-mail: or to 
request a Solicitation Package. The Solicitation Package contains 
detailed award criteria, required application forms, specific budget 
instructions, and standard guidelines for proposal preparation. Please 
specify Bureau program officer Jocelyn Greene (TEA) or Carolyn Lantz 
(SSEP) on all other inquiries and correspondence.
    Please read the complete Federal Register announcement before 
sending inquiries or submitting proposals. Once the RFGP deadline has 
passed, Bureau staff may not discuss this competition with applicants 
until the proposal review process has been completed.

To Download a Solicitation Package Via Internet

    The entire Solicitation Package may be downloaded from the Bureau's 
website at Please read all 
information before downloading.

Deadline for Proposals

    All proposal copies must be received at the Bureau of Educational 
and Cultural Affairs by 5:00 p.m. Washington, D.C. time on Friday, May 
11, 2001. Faxed documents will not be accepted at any time. Documents 
postmarked the due date but received on a later date will not be 
accepted. Each applicant must ensure that the proposals are received by 
the above deadline.
    Applicants must follow all instructions in the Solicitation 
Package. The original and seven copies of the application should be 
sent to: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural 
Affairs, Ref.: ECA/PE/C/PY-01-42, Program Management, ECA/EX/PM, Room 
534, 301 4th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20547.

[[Page 17216]]

    Applicants must also submit the ``Executive Summary'' and 
``Proposal Narrative'' sections of the proposal on a 3.5'' diskette, 
formatted for DOS. These documents must be provided in ASCII text (DOS) 
format with a maximum line length of 65 characters. The Bureau will 
transmit these files electronically to the Public Affairs section at 
the US Embassy for its review, with the goal of reducing the time it 
takes to get embassy comments for the Bureau's grants review process.

Diversity, Freedom and Democracy Guidelines

    Pursuant to the Bureau's authorizing legislation, programs must 
maintain a non-political character and should be balanced and 
representative of the diversity of American political, social, and 
cultural life. ``Diversity'' should be interpreted in the broadest 
sense and encompass differences including, but not limited to 
ethnicity, race, gender, religion, geographic location, socio-economic 
status, and physical challenges. Applicants are strongly encouraged to 
adhere to the advancement of this principle both in program 
administration and in program content. Please refer to the review 
criteria under the ``Support for Diversity'' section for specific 
suggestions on incorporating diversity into the total proposal. Public 
Law 104-319 provides that ``in carrying out programs of educational and 
cultural exchange in countries whose people do not fully enjoy freedom 
and democracy,'' the Bureau ``shall take appropriate steps to provide 
opportunities for participation in such programs to human rights and 
democracy leaders of such countries.'' Public Law 106-113 requires that 
the governments of the countries described above do not have 
inappropriate influence in the selection process. Proposals should 
reflect advancement of these goals in their program contents, to the 
full extent deemed feasible.

Review Process

    The Bureau will acknowledge receipt of all proposals and will 
review them for technical eligibility. Proposals will be deemed 
ineligible if they do not fully adhere to the guidelines stated herein 
and in the Solicitation Package. All eligible proposals will be 
reviewed by the program office, as well as the Public Diplomacy section 
overseas, where appropriate. Eligible proposals will be subject to 
compliance with Federal and Bureau regulations and guidelines and 
forwarded to Bureau grant panels for advisory review. Proposals may 
also be reviewed by the Office of the Legal Adviser or by other 
Department elements. Final funding decisions are at the discretion of 
the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for Educational and 
Cultural Affairs. Final technical authority for assistance awards 
resides with the Bureau's Grants Officer.

Review Criteria

    Technically eligible applications will be competitively reviewed 
according to the criteria stated below. These criteria are not rank 
ordered and all carry equal weight in the proposal evaluation:
    1. Quality of the program idea: Proposals should exhibit 
originality, substance, precision, and relevance to the Bureau's 
    2. Program planning: Detailed agenda and relevant work plan should 
demonstrate substantive undertakings and logistical capacity. Agenda 
and plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines described 
    3. Ability to achieve program objectives: Objectives should be 
reasonable, feasible, and flexible. Proposals should clearly 
demonstrate how the institution will meet the program's objectives and 
    4. Multiplier effect/impact: Proposed programs should strengthen 
long-term mutual understanding, including maximum sharing of 
information and establishment of long-term institutional and individual 
    5. Support of Diversity: Proposals should demonstrate substantive 
support of the Bureau's policy on diversity. Achievable and relevant 
features should be cited in both program administration (selection of 
participants, program venue and program evaluation) and program content 
(orientation and wrap-up sessions, program meetings, resource materials 
and follow-up activities).
    6. Institutional Capacity: Proposed personnel and institutional 
resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the program or 
project's goals.
    7. Institution's Record/Ability: Proposals should demonstrate an 
institutional record of successful exchange programs, including 
responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting 
requirements for past Bureau grants as determined by Bureau Grant 
Staff. The Bureau will consider the past performance of prior 
recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants.
    8. Follow-on Activities: Proposals should provide a plan for 
continued follow-on activity (without Bureau support) ensuring that 
Bureau supported programs are not isolated events.
    9. Project Evaluation: Proposals should include a plan to evaluate 
the activity's success, both as the activities unfold and at the end of 
the program. A draft survey questionnaire or other technique plus 
description of a methodology to use to link outcomes to original 
project objectives are recommended. Successful applicants will be 
expected to submit intermediate reports after each project component is 
    10. Cost-effectiveness: The overhead and administrative components 
of the proposal, including salaries and honoraria, should be kept as 
low as possible. All other items should be necessary and appropriate.
    11. Cost-sharing: Proposals should maximize cost-sharing through 
other private sector support as well as institutional direct funding 


    Overall grant making authority for this program is contained in the 
Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, Public Law 87-
256, as amended, also known as the Fulbright-Hays Act. The purpose of 
the Act is ``to enable the Government of the United States to increase 
mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the 
people of other countries * * *; to strengthen the ties which unite us 
with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural 
interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United 
States and other nations. * * * and thus to assist in the development 
of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations between the United 
States and the other countries of the world.'' The funding authority 
for the program above is provided through the FREEDOM Support Act of 


    The terms and conditions published in this RFGP are binding and may 
not be modified by any Bureau representative. Explanatory information 
provided by the Bureau that contradicts published language will not be 
binding. Issuance of the RFGP does not constitute an award commitment 
on the part of the Government. The Bureau reserves the right to reduce, 
revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of 
the program and the availability of funds. Awards made will be subject 
to periodic reporting and evaluation requirements.


Final awards cannot be made until funds have been appropriated by

[[Page 17217]]

Congress, allocated and committed through internal Bureau procedures.

Dated: March 21, 2001.
Helena Kane Finn,
Acting Assistant Secretary For Educational and Cultural Affairs, 
Department of State.
[FR Doc. 01-7795 Filed 3-28-01; 8:45 am]

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