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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2015

Early Childhood Special Education Program Improvement
Fund Code: 298

Purpose:The purpose of this federal grant program is to support school district activities to ensure that eligible children with disabilities, ages 3-5, receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs, and that is provided in natural/least restrictive environments. This grant is intended to further district-level early childhood special education practices that align with priorities identified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

The priorities of this grant align with the following Department-wide goals:

  • Strengthening curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Improving educator effectiveness
  • Using data and technology to support student performance

The following priority areas, aligned with the above referenced goals, have been identified by the Department as integral to school districts' efforts to build systems that strengthen and improve Early Childhood Special Education practices and outcomes.

Successful grant proposals will be focused on one or more of following activities that target training and technical assistance by supporting systematic use of data analysis, program planning and evaluation, and continuous improvement at the individual, classroom, building and/or district level to improve:

  1. Instruction to increase educational outcomes in:
    1. Social/Emotional Skills and Social Relationships;
    2. Acquiring and Using Knowledge and Skills; and
    3. Taking Appropriate Action to Meet Needs
  2. Systems to assist children's transition from early intervention to prekindergarten and from prekindergarten to kindergarten
  3. Systems to engage effectively with families, including but not limited to home visiting programs
  4. The integration of technology to support data collection and analysis, and progress monitoring to support instruction

Successful grant proposals will articulate how proposed activities contribute to systemic improvement in the identified priority area. Proposals should focus on early childhood special education program improvement and the sustainability of best practices rather than supporting individualized instruction or programming for specific children.

Eligibility:See attached list Download MS EXCEL Document. Please note districts without preschool students ages 3-5 receiving special education services are not eligible for this grant.
Funding:Federal, the total amount to be awarded is $1,795,200.00
Fund Use:

The following are allowable costs:

  • stipends
  • MTRS/Fringe (related to stipends only)
  • tuition costs for college/university courses
  • conference registration costs
  • supplies, materials, and books specifically for program improvement for children with IEPs, ages 3 - 5
  • printing and reproduction of training materials
  • consultant fees (e.g. professional development and program evaluation)
  • substitutes
  • travel for professional development activities
  • computer hardware or software, including site licenses

The following are not allowable costs:

  • food and refreshments
  • indirect costs
  • staff salaries
Project Duration:Upon approval - 6 /30/2015
Program Unit:Special Education Planning and Policy
Contact:Helen Skulski
Phone Number:(781) 338-3379
Date Due:The suggested due date is on or before Friday, October 31, 2014
Proposals should be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
Download MS EXCEL Document
Budget Workbook (which includes the Part I--Standard Contract and Application for Program Grants [signature required], Part II--Budget Detail Pages and Part III--Required Program Information)
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Part III--Required Program Information Narrative
Additional Information:
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Budget Workbook Instructions
Submission Instructions:

The Special Education grant program application (Budget Workbook - EXCEL) will be submitted electronically via the security portal to the Department by the school district staff person appointed by the Superintendent.

Submit two (2) copies of the Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants) with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director.

Mail to:
Helen Skulski
Special Education Planning and Policy
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

Last Updated: June 24, 2014
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