ACERs, for those of you who are trying to meet the deadline, don't give up!
Here are some Questions and Answers for the logistics areas.
CONSORTIUM FOR EDUCATION PROPOSALS, Due May 19.
If you have questions, contact:
Glynis Long, 202-205-4803
[log in to unmask],
Proposals for the Consortium for Education, not already sent:
(You do NOT need to send a second time)
ATTN: CONSORTIUM FOR EDUCATION
Joyce Mays, Supervisor
in the mailing address.
BELOW ARE Qs & As we've just finalized with GSA.
If you're submitting a proposal,
you may have noticed in the "Applications Delivered by Mail"
section that there is a blank after "CFDA Number _____."
Please do not fill this in. Our grants office will fill in
the CFDA number when it receives your application. We
apologize for not making this clear in the application.
Questions & Answers for Federal Agencies Selected to Receive
an Award Under the "Invitation to Federal Agencies and
Federal Organizations to Submit Proposals to Develop
Internet-Based Learning Modules and Internet-Based Learning
Communities" (May 14, 1998)
NOTE: These questions and answers were developed by the
Department of Education (ED) in consulation with the General
Services Administration (GSA) to describe how the seven
selected teams will receive funding and manage compensation.
ED and GSA are working to make these processes as simple as
possible and to keep paperwork for the seven teams to a
1. If our team is selected for a $50,000 award, how will we
receive the funds?
General Services Administration (GSA) manages the fund from
which the awards will be made, the Information Technology
For costs incurred directly by a federal agency in
developing its online learning module and community, the
agency will submit an On-Line Payment and Collection (OPAC)
document to GSA. GSA will then reimburse the agency via
OPAC, assuming that the agency has reimbursable authority,
which most do.
To compensate teachers and other team members for their
participation and contributions to developing the online
learning module and community, the lead federal agency will
prepare invoices for work as soon as work or services are
completed. The agency will authorize those invoices, making
sure that the work has been completed satisfactorily and in
accordance with its own plan and budget for this project.
The agency will then submit the invoices and/or a "receiving
report," indicating that the work or product is acceptable,
to GSA. These invoices and receiving reports will need to
be submitted to GSA as soon as possible after work has been
completed in order to ensure prompt payment.
Blank ordering documents and receiving reports for teams to
use, along with guidance and other information, will be
provided at the kickoff meeting for teams in July. At that
time, ED and GSA will walk selected teams through the
invoice and payment process. We are working to make these
processes as streamlined as possible. And we will be "on
call" to assist team leaders after the meeting.
2. How will a team know "when work is finished"?
Each team may want to perpare, collect, authorize, and
submit its invoices and receiving reports to GSA as each
"phase" of its work is completed. These phases may include:
* Completion of the initial learning module. When the
initial module is finalized (for pilot testing), approved by
the agency and other team members, and placed on a server
(and thereby made available on the web), the agency may want
to submit invoices and receiving reports at that time. It
is estimated that, for many teams, this might happen some
time between July and September 1998.
* Completion of refinement learning module based on pilot
testing. When feedback has been gathered from a first
round of pilot testing the module with students in
classrooms and when team members agree that the module has
been satisfactorily revised and improved based on that
feedback, the agency may want to submit invoices and
receiving reports at that time. It is estimated that, for
many teams, this might happen some time between September
and November 1998.
* Community building. As particular community building
activities are completed, the agency may want to submit
invoices and receiving reports as each is completed.
Community building is essential to each team's success;
however, ED will assist teams in disseminating their work
and in building their communities through an array of robust
ED-supported networks. Consequently, it is anticipated
that, for most teams, only modest amounts of funds under
this award will be used for community building activities.
* Creation of metadata records. When metadata records have
been created using the Gateway for Educational Materials
(GEM), so that the team's module and components of the
module are found (using GEM) to the satisfaction of the
team, the agency will want to submit invoices and receiving
reports at that time if any costs were incurred in creating
these metadata records. It is estimated that, for many
teams, this might happen some time between September and
* Submission of quarterly reports. When a team submits each
of its quarterly reports to the Consortium for Education
(CE), if the writing or production of that report requires
compensation for teachers or other team members, the agency
will want to submit invoices and receiving reports at the
time the report is submitted. (Quarterly reports, which
articulate lessons learned by the team and share
documentation of the team's work, are to be submitted to CE
in September 1998, January 1999, and April 1999, with the
final report submitted July 1999.)
3. What about travel?
Teams may use funds from their awards for three kinds of
travel for teachers, regional federal employees, and other
* Consortium for Education (CE) meetings. Teams may want
1-2 teachers and/or other team members from outside
Washington, D.C., to attend the July kickoff meeting in
Washington, D.C. There may be 1-2 other face-to-face
meetings -- if determined necessary by teams and the CE --
that teams want 1-2 team members outside Washington to
* Team meetings or work. Developing or refining the module
may necessitate teachers and/or other team members meeting
face-to-face or visiting agency facilities.
* Community building. Community building is indispensable
to the success of each team and to CE. ED will help
disseminate teams' work and assist in community building by
bringing to teams a range of powerful, growing, and diverse
networks. Modest funds under this award may be used for
travel necessary for community building.
Rather than each team booking and processing travel and
accommodations through its own agency, GSA has agreed to do
this for all teams. When travel is needed, only the team
leader will initiate and authorize travel for specific
members of the team. Each teacher and other team member who
is to travel will fill out GSA's standard form TDY-87 prior
to traveling. The agency will submit the original to GSA
and a copy to SATO, GSA's travel agency. The agency will
coordinate travel for team members, but individual teachers
and team members will be able to talk directly to SATO if
they wish. After the trip, the agency will collect,
authorize, and submit to GSA receipts for the airline (or
other) tickets, taxis, hotel, meals, parking, and telephone
calls related to team work and standard form 1012 travel
GSA has arrangements with several hotels that will bill GSA
directly for visiting teachers and other team members.
Teachers will not have to use their own money "up front" for
rooms or meals in the GSA-designated hotel (Washington, D.C.
only), or for their airline (or train or bus) tickets. All
funds for travel, however, will come out of the team's
CE will provide necessary GSA forms, guidance in filling
them out, and guidance on teacher and team travel. We will
also be "on call" to help make this process as simple as
possible for teams.
4. How will teams determine the level at which teachers or
other team members will be compensated for their
At least 70 percent of each team's award must be used to
compensate teachers for their participation and
contributions to the team's work. Compensation should be
provided at the time products are delivered or as work is
completed (see Question 2).
The terms of compensation -- how much each team member will
be paid for completing what specific tasks -- should be
agreed on in advance. The team leader should have on file a
written and signed agreement for each teacher and team
member (or team member organization) that spells out tasks
to be completed by each teacher or team member and how much
that teacher or team member will receive in compensation for
each task, product, or phase of work. These agreements
should also state any purchases of goods and services.
One way each team may determine the level of compensation
for each task, product, or phase of work for each teacher is
to estimate the time it will take to complete. Suggested
compensation for teachers is $30.00 per hour (based on the
average salary of teachers in the U.S.).
5. What is the role of the agency's team leader?
The team leader is responsible for coordinating, managing,
and leading the work of the team. S/he...
* makes sure that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
accepting the award is signed by an individual in the agency
who has authority to accept the award on behalf of the
* creates and maintains written (and signed) agreements with
teachers and other team members that spell out tasks to be
completed by each teacher or team member and how much that
teacher or team member will receive in compensation for each
task, product, or phase of work.
* informs teachers and other team members about the
guidelines for invitational government travel, following the
Federal Travel Regulation (FTR).
* coordinates his/her agency's participation and support of
* is responsible for the preparation of the invoices for
the project, submission to GSA within 5 workdays and any
follow-up activities on behalf of the teachers or other team
* is responsible for meeting all CE deadlines (such as
quarterly reports) and for managing the work of team
members, making sure tasks and work are being completed
satisfactorily and in accordance with the team's plan and
* is the point of contact for communicating with CE.
6. Can a teacher purchase an item (such as a software
product) for work on the learning module? If so, how will
teachers be reimbursed?
Teachers may purchase software, hardware, or other items
necessary for completing tasks on the team's module and
products; however, any item that costs $400 or more must be
ordered via GSA form 300 purchase order and approved by the
federal agency's team leader.
Teachers may purchase software, hardware, or other necessary
items costing under $400 by receiving approval from the team
leader and then submitting the invoice to their team leader
immediately after the purchase. The team leader must then
send the approved invoices and receiving reports immediately
to GSA, and the teacher will be reimbursed.
7. What about planning awards?
A federal agency that receives a planning award will follow
the same general procedures; however, because the team is
creating not an actual module and community but only a
written description of module and community and a plan for
how the module and community could be developed, many of the
procedures do not apply.
An agency receiving a planning award will prepare and
authorize invoices for work as that work is completed and
will submit the invoices and receiving reports to GSA as
soon as possible. If an agency wishes to use some of its
award to support travel by teachers, in order to help
develop its description or plan, the travel procedures in
Question 3 apply. The level at which to compensate teachers
can be determined using Question 4. The role of the agency
leader is similar to the role described in Question 5.
A separate kickoff meeting for planning award leaders is
anticipated for July 1998.