Comprehensive Centers

This program supports 21 comprehensive centers that provide training and technical assistance, and professional development in reading, mathematics, and technology, particularly to school districts and schools that fail to meet their state's definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP).

By statute,
the Department is required to establish at least one center in each of the 10 geographic regions served by the Department's regional education laboratories.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

One comprehensive regional assistance center has set as its goal the implementation of a system of sustained and comprehensive support that improves teaching and learning in schools in the region, resulting in high academic achievement for all students, particularly those at risk of educational failure.

The center provides support and professional development and assistance to schools; operates a coordinated system of technical assistance with partners at the local, State and national levels; and provides technical assistance and research-based information supported by technology.

In working with client educational agencies, the center uses awareness of the need for change, greater responsibility for student achievement, requirements of recent legislation and the promise of technology as openings to help move clients from token or tentative reform measures to more comprehensive ones.

Consistent with statutory priorities, the center concentrates on assisting school-wide programs and those who serve children from high-poverty schools.

Agency - Department of Education

The Department of Education ensures equal access to education and promotes educational excellence through coordination, management and accountability in Federal education programs. The Department works to supplement and complement educational efforts on all levels, encouraging increased involvement by the public, parents and students.

Program Accomplishments

Awards were made to 21 centers.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Comprehensive Centers consist of 21 centers, including 16 regional centers and 5 content centers.

Grantees are required to develop five-year plans for carrying out authorized activities that address state and regional needs.

The 16 regional centers provide services primarily to State educational agencies to enable them to assist school districts, regional education agencies, and schools, especially low-performing schools.

Each regional center provides training and technical assistance in: the implementation and administration of programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the use of scientifically valid teaching methods and assessment tools in mathematics, science, reading and language arts.

The 5 content centers focus on specific areas, with one center in each of five areas: accountability, instruction, teacher quality, innovation and improvement, and high schools.

These centers supply much of the research-based information and products in the specific area that regional centers use when working with states.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Research organizations, institutions, agencies, institutions of higher education (IHEs), or partnerships among such entities, or individuals that have the expertise to provide training to States, school districts, and schools may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Agencies supporting or providing elementary and secondary education will benefit, including state and local educational agencies, schools, Indian tribes, community-based organizations, and other recipients of funds under ESEA.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Applications or proposals must be prepared and submitted in accordance with applicable program announcements.

Award Procedures

After completion of competitive review of applications, the Department makes the final decision on the approval and funding of applications.


Contact the headquarters for application deadlines.


Education Technical Assistance Act of 2002, Section 203.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 60 to 120 days.




Awards are made for up to five years, subject to the availablity of appropriations.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants may be awarded for up to five years subject to the availability of funds and performance by the grantee.

Post Assistance Requirements


Specified reporting requirements are included in the grant or cooperative agreement document.


As required by EDGAR, 34 CFR 74.


Records must be kept for three years after the completion of the activity that grant funds were used.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $56,257,000; FY 08 est $57,114,000; and FY 09 est $57,114,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

For fiscal year 2007, the average award was $2,678,893. Range $860,000 - $6,039,909.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Regulations applicable to this program are in The Department of Education's General Administrative Regulations (34 CFR Parts 74, 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 85, and 86).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Department of Education, OESE, School Support and Technology Programs, 400 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington DC 20202-6140. Contact: Fran Walter. E-mail: Telephone: (202) 205-9198.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Criteria include: (1) Meeting the purpose of the authorizing statue; (2) extent of need for the center; (3) plan of operation; (4) quality of key personnel; (5) budget and cost-effectiveness; (6) evaluation plan; and (7) adequacy of resources.

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