Comprehensive Centers

This program supports no fewer than 20 comprehensive centers that provide training, professional development, and technical assistance primarily to State educational agencies.

By statute, the Department is required to establish at least 1 center in each of the 10 geographic regions served by the
Department's regional educational laboratories (RELs).

Information on the REL regions is available at

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.

Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
South East Regional Resource Center Inc $ 13,119,952   2019-10-012023-10-02
Pacific Resources For Education & Learning $ 4,000,000   2019-10-012023-10-02
Wested $ 9,352,494   2019-10-012023-10-02
University Of North Carolina At Greensboro $ 12,897,923   2019-10-012023-10-02
Wested $ 25,643,647   2019-10-012023-10-02
Pacific Resources For Education & Learning $ 4,000,000   2019-10-012023-10-02
University Of Wisconsin System $ 5,161,664   2019-10-012023-10-02
Policy Studies Associates, Inc. $ 10,131,405   2019-10-012023-10-02
Mcrel International $ 7,778,766   2019-10-012023-10-02
Education Northwest $ 4,000,000   2019-10-012023-10-02

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available. Fiscal Year 2017: Information on an evaluation of the program, which was begun in 2013, is available at A report describing findings is expected in 2018. It will be announced and available on Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

The comprehensive centers consist of 22 centers, including 15 regional centers and 7 content centers, funded in FY 2012 plus one additional content center funded in response to 2016 appropriations language and a new authority in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that focuses on students at risk of not attaining full literacy skills due to a disability.

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

The 15 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, professional development, and technical assistance regarding the administration and implementation of programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the use of scientifically valid teaching methods and assessment tools in mathematics, science, reading or language arts, English language acquisition, and education technology.

The eight content centers focus on specific areas, with one center in each of eight areas: standards and assessment implementation; great teachers and leaders; school turnaround; enhancing early learning outcomes; college- and career-readiness and success; building State capacity and productivity; innovations in learning, and students at risk of not attaining full literacy skills due to a disability.

These centers supply much of the research-based information including products and tools 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 with the ability or capacity to carry out the required activities, including providing 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, the Bureau of Indian Education, Indian tribes, community-based organizations, and other recipients of funds under the ESEA.


2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements applies to this program. 34 CFR 75 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-102 does not apply to this program. Applications or proposals must be prepared and submitted in accordance with applicable program announcements.

Award Procedures

After completion of competitive peer review of applications, the Department makes the final decision on the approval and funding of applications. If an applicant is successful, the Department of Education will notify the applicant's U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and will send the successful applicant a Grant Award Notification (GAN). The Department of Education may also notify successful applicants informally.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Educational Technical Assistance Act of 2002, Section 203.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 60 to 120 days.


Not Applicable.


Yes: Awards are made for up to five years, subject to the availability of appropriations.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

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. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Electronic transfer.

Post Assistance Requirements


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

Cash reports are not applicable.

As required by the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) for direct grant programs (34 CFR 75), annual performance reports (ED 524B) are required of all grantees; additional report requirements will be included in grant award documents.

Expenditure reports are not applicable.

Performance measures are established for the program and grantee.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. As required by EDGAR, 34 CFR 74.


Records must be retained for a period of 3 years from the date of submission of the final expenditure report.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants) FY 16 $51,445,000; FY 17 est $50,000,000; and FY 18 est $51,347,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The Department made 22 new awards in FY 2012, 15 for regional centers and 7 for content centers. The range of awards over the entire 5 year grant period was $4.0 to $23.5 million for the regional centers (median award of $14.2 million) and $6.3 to $12.1 million for the content centers (median award of $6.9 million). One additional award was made in FY 2016, for $7.5 million over the entire 5 year grant period. In FY 2017, the Department made the decision to extend the FY 2012 awards for an additional 2 years, in order to provide time to better align the next competition with the implementation of the reauthorized ESEA. The Department anticipates making new awards in FY 2019; the estimated award sizes will be listed in the notice inviting applications.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

(a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The OMB Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. Contact the program office for additional information.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

David Cantrell School Support and Rural Programs, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W. LBJ Bldg., Room 3E206, Washington, District of Columbia 20202 Email: Phone: (202) 453-5990

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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