|U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION REQUIREMENT FOR APPLICATIONS
“GENERAL EDUCATION PROVISIONS ACT, SECTION 427”
USDE Grants Policy Bulletin #10
Issue Date: December 7, 1998
GEPA Requirements - Section 427
In 1994 Congress enacted a new provision in GEPA. According to Section 427, enacted as part of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-382), new applicants must provide a description of steps that they plan to take to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, their federally-assisted program. The statute highlights six types of barriers that can impede equitable access or participation: gender, race, national origin, color, disability, or age. Based on local circumstances, the applicant can determine whether or not these or other barriers may prevent participants from such access
and participation and how they intend to overcome them.
Section 427 is not intended to duplicate the requirements of civil rights statutes, but rather to ensure that, in designing their projects, applicants address equity concerns that might affect the ability of students, teachers, and other program beneficiaries with special needs to participate fully in the proposed project.
The revised Grants Policy Bulletin #10 replaces Grants Policy Bulletin #10 dated July 20, 1998.
Discretionary grant teams must ensure that information required by Section 427 of GEPA is included in each application. In addition, all application packages for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements include the "Notice To All Applicants" (attached) that explains the requirements of Section 427.
These descriptions may be provided in a single narrative, or, if appropriate, may be described in connection with other related topics in the application. Applicants should be asked to state in the Table of Contents where this requirement is met.
Discretionary grant teams are responsible for screening each application to ensure that the requirements of this section are met before making an award. If this condition is not met, the team may contact the applicant to find out why this information is missing. If an oversight occurred, the team may give the applicant another opportunity to satisfy this requirement.
All applicants for new awards must satisfy this provision in order to receive funding.
Blanca Rosa Rodriguez, Director
Grants Policy and Oversight Staff
Office of the Chief Financial &
Chief Information Officer
NOTICE TO ALL APPLICANTS
The purpose of this enclosure is to inform you about a new provision in the Department of Education's General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) that applies to applicants for new grant awards under Department programs. This provision is Section 427 of GEPA, enacted as part of the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-382).
To Whom Does This Provision Apply?
Section 427 of GEPA affects applicants for new grant awards under this program.
ALL APPLICANTS FOR NEW AWARDS MUST INCLUDE INFORMATION IN THEIR APPLICATIONS TO ADDRESS THIS NEW PROVISION IN ORDER TO RECEIVE FUNDING UNDER THIS PROGRAM.
(If this program is a State-formula grant program, a State needs to provide this description only for projects or activities that it carries out with funds reserved for State-level uses. In addition, local school districts or other eligible applicants that apply to the State for funding need to provide this description in their applications to the State for funding. The State would be responsible for ensuring that the school district or other local entity has submitted a sufficient section 427 statement as described below.)
What Does This Provision Require?
Section 427 requires each applicant for funds (other than an individual person) to include in its application a description of the steps the applicant proposes to take to ensure equitable access to, and participation in, its Federally-assisted program for students, teachers, and other program beneficiaries with special needs.
This provision allows applicants discretion in developing the required description. The statute highlights six types of barriers that can impede equitable access or participation: gender, race, national origin, color, disability, or age. Based on local circumstances, you should determine whether these or other barriers may prevent your students, teachers, etc. from such access or participation in, the Federally-funded project or activity. The description in your application of steps to be taken to overcome these barriers need not be lengthy; you may provide a clear and succinct description of how you plan to address those barriers that are applicable to your circumstances. In addition, the information may be provided in a single narrative,
or, if appropriate, may be discussed in connection with related topics in the application.
Section 427 is not intended to duplicate the requirements of civil rights statutes, but rather to ensure that, in designing their projects, applicants for Federal funds address equity concerns that may affect the ability of certain potential beneficiaries to fully participate in the project and to achieve to high standards. Consistent with program requirements and its approved application, an applicant may use the Federal funds awarded to it to eliminate barriers it identifies.
What are Examples of How an Applicant Might Satisfy the Requirement of This Provision?
The following examples may help illustrate how an applicant may comply with Section 427.
(1) An applicant that proposes to carry out an adult literacy project serving, among others, adults with limited English proficiency, might describe in its application how it intends to distribute a brochure about the proposed project to such potential participants in their native language.
(2) An applicant that proposes to develop instructional materials for classroom use might describe how it will make the materials available on audio tape or in braille for students who are blind.
(3) An applicant that proposes to carry out a model science program for secondary students and is concerned that girls may be less likely than boys to enroll in the course, might indicate how it intends to conduct "outreach" efforts to girls, to encourage their enrollment.
We recognize that many applicants may already be implementing effective steps to ensure equity of access and participation in their grant programs, and we appreciate your cooperation in responding to the requirements of this provision.
End of OMB Control No. 1801-0004 (Exp. 8/31/2001)
SAMPLE TEXT FOR UO APPLICATIONS:
Follow are examples of how you might respond to the Section 427 requirement in USDE applications. The language should be tailored to reflect specific project goals and activities.
This project is designed to give access to any of the proposed activities by students, teachers, school staff, and parents regardless of gender, age, race, color, national origin, or disability. The proposed project has the following aims and objectives: ….
For Project Participants:
Training programs are offered by the project staff for all participants and every effort will be made to eliminate unfair barriers to their participating, such as translating written materials from English to Spanish, or Braille. Specialized electronic equipment will be available for those who request it.
Special outreach efforts to bring in at-risk students and their parents or guardians are planned, including special programs and announcements on services available in the community, the school, and at the university.
For Project Personnel:
The project will follow stringent affirmative action procedures that are mandated by the university for hiring personnel, including active recruitment of members of traditionally under-represented groups, documentation of these procedures, and written justification for any hire decisions. The UO has a comprehensive Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) committed to creating a workforce that reflects the diversity of qualified individuals in the labor market. It is the policy of the university to recruit, hire, train, and promote persons in all job titles, without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, age, religion, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or other extraneous consideration not directly and substantively related to merit or performance. Employment decisions and personnel actions, including, but not limited to compensation, benefits, promotion, demotion, layoff/recall, transfer, termination, and training are based on the principle of ensuring equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.
The UO Office of Human Resources sends notices annually to agencies which refer affirmative action candidates, to inform them of our recruitment procedures and remind them of our Job Information Line and Web address for job postings. Additionally, positions that could be filled with student hires are posted in the university’s Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at least one month prior to opening the positions to other traditional employment sources. The positions may also be posted in the job placement office with Goodwill Industries of Eugene, Oregon, an excellent job referral service for individuals with disabilities.