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July 13 -- The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Department of Education (ED), invites comments by September 11, 2023 regarding the proposed content of the Stronger Connections Grant Program Annual Performance Report.

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) provides $1 billion in funding to State educational agencies (SEAs) to be distributed under Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The BSCA specifies that SEAs must make competitive subgrants to high-need local educational agencies (LEAs), as determined by the SEA, for activities to support safe and healthy students under section 4108 of the ESEA. The Department of Education has designated BSCA section 4108 funds as the Stronger Connections grant program.

This is a new information collection request for the Stronger Connections grant program annual performance reporting. Under the Education Department's General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR, Section 75.720), grantees shall submit annual performance reports. In addition, in order to receive a Stronger Connections grant award, SEAs were required to submit an assurance that the SEA will submit such other information as the Secretary may later require, such as (1) the identification of the LEAs awarded Stronger Connections grant funds, (2) how the SEA and its LEAs are using Stronger Connections grant funds, and (3) whether the SEA will evaluate the effectiveness of the Stronger Connections grant program, including the effectiveness of LEA use of Stronger Connections grant funds and, if so, how it will do so.

In general, the Department will use the information collection to (1) assess and report individual program performance; (3) monitor States’ implementation of and compliance with the program requirements; (4) identify areas for technical assistance to States and overall program improvement; (5) inform policy and program improvement; (6) provide information to Congress on the uses of funds and performance of the program; and (7) inform other reporting and program evaluation requirements, including the Institutes of Education Sciences’ planned evaluation of the program.  

Stronger Connections Grant Program: https://oese.ed.gov/bipartisan-safer-communities-act/
Draft information collection instrument and technical documentation: https://www.regulations.gov/docket/ED-2023-SCC-0130/document
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-14841

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