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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2017

Title II, Part A: Improving Educator Quality State Grants
Fund Code: 140

Purpose: The purpose of this federal grant program is to increase student achievement through comprehensive district initiatives that focus on the preparation, training, recruitment, and retention of effective educators. The goal is to support initiatives to improve educator effectiveness.

Statewide goal and priorities: This grant program supports the state's overarching goal to prepare all students for success after high school. Grant funds will contribute to this goal by supporting the following state priorities:

  • Strengthen curriculum and instruction
  • Improve educator effectiveness
  • Use data effectively to support student achievement

District standards and indicators: Activities funded under this grant may support the following standards and indicators identified by DESE's District Standards and Indicators:

  • Human Resources and Professional Development
    • Staff Recruitment, Selection and Assignment
    • Professional Development
    • Supervision and Evaluation
  • Curriculum and Instruction
    • Aligned, consistently delivered, and continuously Improving Curriculum
    • Strong Instructional Leadership and Effective Instruction
  • Leadership and Governance
    • Effective District and School Leadership
    • District and School Improvement Planning

Priorities: After conducting a needs assessment, districts may implement activities that have been based on a review of scientifically based research and address their needs in the areas of professional development, recruitment, preparation, and support. Educator evaluation and professional development (PD) Download Word Document are mutually reinforcing. They serve to improve educator practice and student outcomes. The evaluation process highlights educators' PD needs and should be leveraged to identify patterns in PD needs within a school and across a district. Educator evaluation data should inform the school and district PD offerings, making them more meaningful and timely for educators. Likewise, educators should consider district and school priorities and PD opportunities when crafting their goals and educator plans at the beginning of the 5-Step evaluation cycle. Examples of IIA funded initiatives may include:
  1. Providing high-quality professional development activities that are aligned with the federal definition and that improve the content knowledge and instructional practices of teachers, principals, and, where appropriate, paraprofessionals. These activities should be a part of the district's professional development plan. Allowable activities may include:

    1. developing and providing professional development about the educator evaluation framework;
    2. professional development related to the development of common measures by offering professional development related to developing common assessments or building assessment literacy;
    3. offering professional development activities to help teachers, administrators, and/or paraprofessionals improve pedagogy, content knowledge, their understanding and implementation of the state curriculum frameworks (Common Core Standards), and their skills in working with diverse student populations, including English language learners;
    4. developing and implementing innovative professional development programs/activities that help teachers and administrators integrate technology into curricula and instruction to improve teaching, learning and technology literacy;
    5. offering professional development for administrators, including principals and superintendents, as part of the larger district professional development plan.

  2. Developing and implementing initiatives to assist in the recruitment and retention of effective teachers and administrators, particularly in schools with a high percentage of students at risk for not meeting academic standards. Activities may include:

    1. developing and implementing induction programs, including mentoring programs for teachers and administrators, that are aligned with the Massachusetts Guidelines for Induction Programs;
    2. offering monetary incentives such as scholarships, signing bonuses, or differential pay for educators in high need schools or core educator shortage areas such as mathematics, science, special foreign languages, and English language learners education (Establishing training and preparation initiatives that increase the number of effective teachers and administrators who are outstanding instructional leaders and managers);
    3. implementing and supporting programs and activities related to the recognition of exemplary teachers, such as supporting individuals who are seeking National Board for Teaching Standards certification to help subsidize the application costs;
    4. hiring highly qualified teachers - including retired teachers in accordance with Massachusetts statute - to reduce class size. Federal guidance has stated that districts can use funds only to pay teacher salaries for new teachers or teachers hired under the former federal Class-Size Reduction program who meet the highly qualified teacher requirements for class-size reduction purposes. Funds may not be used for tutors/aides or salaries and stipends of paraprofessionals.

  3. Establishing training and preparation initiatives that increase the number of effective teachers and administrators. * Activities may include:

    1. supporting aspiring administrators through approved, district-based administrator preparation programs that are aligned with the Massachusetts licensure regulations;
    2. developing district-based teacher preparation programs for the Initial and Professional licenses that meet the Massachusetts licensure regulations;
    3. recruiting and selecting qualified individuals, including paraprofessionals, to participate in approved district-based preparation programs.

Eligibility: Funds are awarded by formula to each school district. Subject to appropriation, districts will receive the amount they received for the 2001-2002 school year for the Eisenhower and federal Class-Size Reduction programs. Remaining funds are allocated based 20% on population (ages 5 to 17) and 80$ on poverty. Census data is the source of this information. Grants are awarded to local school districts after state review and approval of application.
Funding: Title II, Part A allocations will be posted on the Grants Management website when they become available.
Fund Use: A school district may use funds for training, recruiting, and retaining high-quality educators, including teachers, administrators, and paraprofessionals. Funds must supplement, and not supplant, non-federal funds that would otherwise be used for activities authorized under this subpart. We have developed a non exhaustive list of allowable and non-allowable expenditures Download PDF Document  Download Word Document to assist in your planning.

All expenditures will be closely reviewed as they relate to the priorities of this grant opportunity and according to the degree of educator evaluation implementation that has taken place in the district.
Project Duration: Upon approval - 6/30/2017
Program Unit: Center for Instructional Support
Phone Number: (781) 338-3292
Date Due: Monday, October 31, 2016
Required Forms:
Download Excel Document
FY17 Title II, Part A Application Workbook. Schedule A (if applicable)
General Information:
Download PDF Document  Download Excel Document
FY17 Title II, Part A District Allocations
Additional Information:
  1. Use the EdGrants: User Security Controls document to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.
  2. Budget detail and description of line item information
  3. Note: Districts can legally claim expenses to the grant only from the date of final Department approval. Therefore, it is important to identify a district Title IIA contact staff who can be reached in July and August to respond to questions in a timely manner, as needed.
  4. The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires the equitable participation of students and educators in non-public non-profit schools for federally funded programs and services. The public school district is required to have "timely and meaningful consultation" with non-public school officials regarding the participating of non-public school students and educators in ESEA funded programs and services. Please see the Federal Non-Regulatory Guidance on Equitable Services for Private Schools.
  5. Quick Reference Guide: Educator Evaluation and Professional Development Download Word Document
  6. Professional development is the single most accessible method by which educators can grow and learn as professionals. The DESE professional development website is a resource to both educators and other professional development leaders aiming to support high quality professional development, including case studies of 3 Massachusetts districts and one school transforming professional development and tools to support professional development planning and assessment.
  7. Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development
  8. Planning for Success in Massachusetts- Planning for Success spotlights behaviors, characteristics, and practices that support effective planning and implementation. It also promotes the many connections we can make between existing district and school systems to increase our focus and collective impact.
  9. EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Application Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
  10. EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Requesting Funds Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Submission Instructions: EdGrants is the new online grants information system for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE). EdGrants allows you to apply online for grants as well as request and view grant payment information.

Submit all required grant materials through the EdGrants website.

In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

FY17 140 Title IIA District Name

All required forms should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature and Schedule A form, if applicable to your district.

Please note: It is up to the district to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls document provided in the Additional Information section to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.

Last Updated: July 27, 2016
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