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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2018

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant
Fund Code: 240

Purpose: Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.

Priorities: The priorities of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004) are to:
  1. ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living;

  2. ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected;

  3. assist States, localities, educational service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities;

  4. assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to education children with disabilities.

(34 CFR § 300.1; authority: 20 U.S.C. § 1400(d).)

Funds available under this federal entitlement program are intended for use by districts in providing eligible students with special education services and activities deemed essential for students' success in school. Services and activities supported by this grant for students ages 3 through 21 must ensure compliance with state special education laws (M.G.L. c. 71B) and regulations (603 CMR 28.00), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004).

When considering fund use, each school district should review results from its most recent Coordinated Program Review or Mid-Cycle Review, review district performance in relation to the indicators specified in the Massachusetts State Performance Plan, and review the 2015 and 2016 district Determinations of Need for Special Education Technical Assistance or Intervention.

Additionally, to support effective planning and the strategic use of grant funds to support improved outcomes for students, districts with 2015 or 2016 Special education determination levels of Needs Technical Assistance (NTA), Needs Intervention (NI), or Needs Substantial Intervention (NSI) are directed to use a minimum of 2% - 4% of the entitlement amount made available under Fund Code 240 for the improvement of student performance. (34 CFR § 300.600)

Eligibility: Funds are awarded to public school districts with approved Special Education Program Plan Statements based on an allocation formula that takes into account total school enrollment in both public and private elementary and secondary schools, and the number children living in poverty, as determined by the State in those same groups.

Please note that the ESE reserves the right to require that these funds be used to correct areas of identified noncompliance.

Districts with 2015 or 2016 Special education determination levels of NTA, NI, or NSI are required to participate in Making Money Matter (M3) and must submit additional information in order for funds to be awarded. Further information regarding additional submission requirements for these districts is described below.

Funding Type: Federal CFDA: 84.027
Funding: FY18 IDEA Allocations

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding is to become available it will be distributed under the same guideline as listed in the initial RFP document.

Fund Use: General Fund Use - All Districts

Federal special education funds are given to school districts to assist them in providing appropriate special education services for eligible students and to address the priorities listed above. Districts are reminded of their responsibility to maintain state/local effort in special education. See Special Education Administrative Advisory SPED 2016-2: Requirements related to Maintenance of Effort and Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2011-1: Annual Fiscal Calculations.

IDEA also requires districts to designate federal funds to meet proportionate share obligations and expenditures for parentally placed private school students and home schooled students. Beginning in FY18, all districts must submit the required proportionate forms with the FY18 IDEA Part B (Fund Code 240) grant application. See the ESE web page for more information about Proportionate Share Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools. Review the Proportionate Share Calculation for School Year Expenditures memo from Russell Johnson, State Director of Special Education.

Additional Directed Fund Use - Districts with Special Education Determination of NTA, NI, or NSI

Districts with 2015 or 2016 special education determination levels of Needs Technical Assistance (NTA), Needs Intervention (NI), and Needs Substantial Intervention (NSI) are required to participate in Making Money Matter (M3). For additional information regarding special education determination of district need for technical assistance or intervention please review the 2016 Determination of Need for Special Education Technical Assistance or Intervention on the ESE Accountability Lists, Materials, and Tools webpage.

M3 Identification & FY18 Group Assignment - Districts with a 2015 special education determination level of NTA, NI, or NSI, were identified for M3 in FY17, and are assigned to M3 Group A.

Districts newly identified with a 2016 special education determination level of NTA, NI, or NSI, have also been newly identified for M3, and are assigned to M3 Group B.

All districts assigned to an M3 Group must submit an M3 SmartForm to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) when applying for the Fund Code 240 grant opportunity. The required forms are on two separate worksheets within this SmartForm and are differentiated by M3 identification year.

M3 Group A - Districts with a FY17 M3 identification year (2015 special education determination levels of NTA, NI, or NSI)continue to be required to re-direct for targeted use between 2% and 4% of the total special education entitlement allocation for FY18. This percent range may change in the future. Within this range, districts may choose the percentage of funds to re-direct toward appropriate activities selected to create meaningful and sustainable change and accelerate improvement in student outcomes. Additionally, districts may choose to re-direct up to 15% of the Fund Code 274 allocation to meet the 2% - 4% requirement. Please note: The FY18 Fund Code 274 Special Education: Program Improvement Grant will be released in the fall of 2017; however, the "M3- allowable" FY18 Fund Code 274 amount will auto-populate in the M3 SmartForm for each M3 district.

The directed fund use for Group A is to support the following program improvement activities in FY18:
  1. implementing the district M3 action plan (developed through FY17 240 funds) and making data-based midcourse corrections, and

  2. maintaining the M3 multi-year strategic plan (developed through FY17 240 funds) and updating it as needed, in consultation with ESE.

ESE will pursue opportunities for districts participating in this focused fund use initiative to engage in technical assistance, training, and networking throughout the year. More information about these opportunities will be forthcoming.

M3 Group B - Districts that are newly identified with 2016 special education determination levels of NTA, NI, or NSI are required to re-direct for targeted use between 2% and 4% of the total special education entitlement allocation for FY18. This percent range may change in the future. Within this range, districts may choose the percentage of funds to re-direct toward strategic planning to create meaningful and sustainable change and accelerate improvement in student outcomes. Additionally, districts may choose to re-direct up to 15% of the Fund Code 274 allocation to meet the 2% - 4% requirement. Please note: The FY18 Fund Code 274 Special Education: Program Improvement Grant will be released in the fall of 2017; however, the "M3- allowable" FY18 Fund Code 274 amount will auto-populate in the M3 SmartForm for each M3 district.

The directed fund use for Group B is to support the following program improvement activities in FY18:
  1. conducting a in-depth data-based analysis of contributing factors to current student performance outcomes,

  2. identifying specific area(s) of need based on the in-depth analysis, and

  3. creating a plan for action and intervention for FY19 and beyond, in consultation with ESE.

With ESE's approval, districts may also use funds for implementation of the action plan following completion of activities 1 through 3 above. ESE will pursue opportunities for districts participating in this focused fund use initiative to engage in technical assistance, training, and networking throughout the year. More information about these opportunities will be forthcoming.

All districts identified for M3 that are already partnering with the ESE Center for District Support through the District and School Assistance Centers (DSACs) or the Office of District & School Turnaround (ODST) are directed to propose activities that target outcomes for students with disabilities and complement the district's or school's existing improvement process, initiatives, and outcome measures.

Project Duration: Upon Approval* - 6/30/2018 (Year 1)**

* The start date of the grant cannot be until a substantially approvable grant has been submitted in EdGrants. Applicants requesting a 9/1 start date must submit a substantially approvable Application Submission in EdGrants by 9/1.

**The period of availability for this grant award can be extended beyond Year 1 based on utilizing the multi-year feature for this Funding Opportunity in EdGrants. Extended period as follows: 7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019 (Year 2); 7/1/2019 - 9/30/2019 (Year 3).

Program Unit: Special Education Planning and Policy Development
Contacts: Helen Skulski
Phone Number:(781) 338-3379
Date Due: Thursday, November 30, 2017

Required Forms: The budget is required to be filled out in EdGrants. There is no longer a supplemental requirement to fill out and submit an additional Excel budget workbook.

Required for all LEAs:
Download MS EXCEL Document
Cover Sheet with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director
Download MS EXCEL Document
Proportionate Share Calculation Form

Required if applicable:
Download MS WORD Document
Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) (previously known as Coordinated Instructional Support Services),or Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS)
Download MS EXCEL Document
M3 SmartForm for districts with special education determination levels of NTA, NI, and NSI
Download MS EXCEL Document
Schedule A Attachment

Additional Information:
Download MS WORD Document
Checklist and Instructions for Completing FY18 SPED 240 Grant Application

 
Instructions for Completing an Application Submission in EdGrants
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Application Submission
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Requesting Grant Funds (payments)
View HTML Page
View HTML Page

Applications submitted or approved after September 1, 2017 can legally claim expenses to the grant only from the date of final ESE approval.

Download PDF Document
FY18 Proportionate Share - Calculation Form Instructions

Download MS EXCEL Document
List of M3 districts with 2015 or 2016 special education determination levels of NTA, NI, or NSI
  1. Identified districts may have the opportunity to participate in training, technical assistance and networking meetings. More information about these opportunities will be forthcoming.

Download MS WORD Document
FY18 M3 Planning - SmartForm Instructions

Download MS WORD Document
M3 FAQs

Submission Instructions: Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants

In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:
FY18 240 SPED Applicant Name

All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature, Proportionate Share Calculation Form as well as all applicable forms. The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides and Information.

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 to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.

Amendments: Amendments are to be submitted through EdGrants. Refer to EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Application Submission Download MS WORD Document  Download PDF Document.

If you have specific questions, please contact Helen Skulski at hskulski@doe.mass.edu or 781-338-3379.



Last Updated: August 16, 2017
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