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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

Primary Instruction by Volunteers RFP Q&A

Primary Instruction by Volunteers FY19-FY22 Competitive Request for Proposals
Fund Code: 287

Updated November 17, 2017

Because our agency is under the revenue threshold set by the IRS and MA Attorney General to require an audit, we file a financial review conducted by an independent certified accountant. Would a copy of our latest IRS annual 990 form and/or a financial review by an independent certified account suffice in lieu of an audit?
Yes, programs can submit a financial review conducted by an independent certified accountant if an audit review is not available.

The submission requirements state that the narrative cannot exceed 10 pages, single spaced, 12 Times New Roman font. Please confirm that the page limit is only 10 pages since there are a lot of questions under Part III and 10 pages seems unusually short.
The page limit for part III-required program information is 10 pages, single spaced Times New Roman font.

Proposals must be emailed in PDF format to the Department via email, do the budgets need to be in PDF format as well?
Yes, the budgets, attachments, required forms must be submitted in PDF format.

May the program add any optional, additional appendices? I was thinking specifically about the Table for Past Performance. For example, could I submit an Appendix G?
Any additional appendices would count towards the overall 10 page limit.

In the chart for Past Performance for the column listing the service type, for each year there is only one line. Is the number in this column meant to be an aggregate number?
Applicants must enter the service type (s) delivered in the "service type" row for each fiscal year.

My organization doesn't qualify because we don't have any past performance. It seems that if you don't have past performance, you can never be eligible. How does an organization enter into this proposal process? It almost seems more like a continuation RFP.
Programs without the required past performance data in serving students through primary instruction by volunteers are not eligible to receive a grant award.

Is the primary instruction by volunteer program required to use the American Community Survey data? In the last RFP, ACLS looked at these data and ascribed needs points.
No, programs are not required to use the American Community Survey data.

Regarding the organizational chart and the roster of board officers, should a program submit an organizational chart and a roster of board officers for the agency or one for each affiliate they contract with (in our program, there are 12 affiliates)?
Applicants can submit the organizational chart and the roster of board officers for the applying agency.

In question III.B.2 of Part III-Required Program Information, what is meant by program leadership? Is that the agency, or the program director, or managers, or coordinators, or tutors?
The applicant is free to define their own organization's leadership.

In question III.B.1 of Part III-Required Program Information, should the program submit resumes for everyone?
This question requires that only job descriptions and minimum qualifications be submitted. No resumes are required.

In question II.1 of Part III-Required Program Information, regarding the Local Plan Packages, what does that mean? Does the program need to do an alignment MOU with 16 local Workforce Development Boards? Or could the program do an MOU at a higher level, with the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development?
With each local workforce development area in which services are to be delivered, applicants must identify areas of alignment with the Local Plan Packages. No MOU is required.

Some ESOL students have high school diplomas and college degrees from their own country; do we need to explain this in Table 1 under Past Performance (question 1, Part III-Required Program Information)? Should we address it in a footnote? Or leave it alone?
High school and postsecondary credentials obtained in students' native countries prior to students' enrollment in primary instruction by volunteers programs do not count towards past performance. Column F of the performance table is intended to capture the high school equivalency credentials students obtained during or after attending primary instruction by volunteer services.

Is question IV.B.3 referring to the CALC's waitlist? Should the program prioritize this waitlist over its own waitlist?
Question IV.B.3 refers to the CALC's waitlist. The question is not about prioritizing the waitlist. It is up to the applicant to determine the relationship with CALCs and how the waitlist will be addressed.

For question IV.B.3, Part III-Required Program Information: Should we submit the memoranda of agreement between our affiliates and the CALCs operating in each affiliate's region? Does the CALC grant have the same instructions for CALCs to get an MOA with the Primary Instruction by Volunteer programs?
The stand-alone primary instruction by volunteer applicants must submit memoranda of agreement with each affiliate and the CALCs proposing AE services in the affiliate's region. CALCs do not have the same instructions to submit an MOA with the Primary Instruction by Volunteer programs.

When the narrative section of the CALC RFP was addressed earlier today, participants were told to address both the question and bulleted prompts holistically. Is it the same for the PIV RFP?
The questions in the PIV RFP are designed differently than in the CALC RFP. Each question must be addressed separately.

The Volunteer RFP has no Excel workbook, correct?

Under the contractual line item of the budget form, should the program put trainers, training corps, contractors, summer interns, etc.? The affiliate staff never counted towards admin in the past, like teachers in the classroom. Is that still the way to respond?
Yes, affiliates can go under the contractual line item.

Regarding match, applicants need 20% match or maintenance of effort, whichever is greater. In this new grant RFP, if our program were awarded $400,000, our maintenance of effort would increase a lot. Can we use the in-kind contributions of tutors' time? Can the program use Independent Sector rate of $27.00 per hour as in-kind match?
The program may use the Independent Sector recommended rate of $27.00 per hour for in-kind match.

The margins in the CALC proposal are limited to 1 inch; is that the same requirement for applicants in the PIV RFP?
Yes, 1 inch is requirement for the PIV proposals as well.

I am very concerned about ACLS ending the Q&A on November 17. If questions come up late, applicants will not be able to receive an answer. Can the Q&A be extended past November 17?
The deadline for the PIV RFP Q&A is November 17, 2017.

I had previously read the Q&A for Fund Code 287 and it seems it was on the ACLS web site; however, all I can find now is the Q&A for the other fund codes on the home page. Did the 287 Q&A get moved somewhere else or am just missing it?
The Q&A for the PIV RFP has not moved and it can be found at Community Adult Learning Centers RFP.

Who determines the calculation for admin cost?
The admin cap of 25% includes 70% of line item 1-administrator salaries (including fringe benefits), 100% of line item 3-support staff salaries (including fringe benefits), 100% of line item 9-other costs and 100% of line item 10-indirect cost.

There is no admin cost worksheet or summary plan for the PIV RFP, correct? Just the basic budget forms?

For required Appendix C:
  • Is there a required format?

    Answer: As stated in the instructions, applicants must use the template provided for appendix C.

  • I know we are not using any of the planning documents from SMARTT, but are we expected to use the format of the Volunteer Plan from SMARTT for Appendix C?

    Answer: Applicants must complete the sections in the provided appendix C as per the instructions in this appendix.

  • Are we required to provide the information from the Volunteer Plan or are we only required to provide the "planned number of active volunteer tutors and active volunteer-student matches that the applicant will be maintained at all times"?

    Answer: Applicants must enter the planned number of active volunteer tutors and active volunteer-student matches that they will maintain at all times.

  • Are you asking for statewide numbers in this question or numbers for each location even though numbers per location are asked for in question IV.B.2.?

    Answer: Statewide numbers should be entered in Appendix C.

For required Appendix D:
  • What do you mean by "participating CALCs" since the requirement for Appendix F (see below) is to only submit a sample MOA, not signed MOAs with every participating CALC.

    Answer: As per the instructions in part III-section IV. B, applicants must provide a list of participating CALCs in appendix D. Project the number of students for each location

  • Does "participating" mean CALCs with whom we already have a collaborative relationship and who will be asked to sign an MOA if the grant is awarded?

    Answer: Yes.

For required Appendix F: We want to confirm that we are required to provide an "example" of an MOA to be used with collaborating CALCs as stated in the RFP question, and we are not required to include in the appendix a signed MOA for each collaborating CALC with which we expect to work.
Yes, this is correct.

Last Updated: November 22, 2017
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