Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2018

Early Childhood Special Education Discretionary Program Federal Improvement Grant
Fund Code: 298

Purpose: The purpose of this federal grant program is to support preschool 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 (ECSE) practices that align with priorities identified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).

Priorities: 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 as part of the Department's ECSE Strategic Plan. Districts must select one priority area.

All funded programs will be focused on one or more of the activities within the selected priority area 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:
  • Priority I. Instruction to increase children's educational outcomes
  • Priority II. Systems to engage effectively with families
Eligibility: Grant proposals must 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 and not on supporting individualized instruction or programming for specific children.

Funding Type: Federal CFDA: 84.173

Download Excel Document
FY18 298 District Funding List

The approximate amount to be awarded is $63,000. 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: 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, aged 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
  • advertising
  • maintenance/repairs
Fund Code 298 is a discretionary grant made available from federal IDEA-Part B, Section 619 funds, and is subject to fund availability. Proposed activities must target special education program improvement for children aged 3-5.

Project Duration: Upon approval - 8/31/2018
Program Unit: Special Education Planning and Policy Office
Contact: Bob Hanafin
Phone Number: (781) 338-3364
Date Due: Wednesday February 28, 2018

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)

Part II - Required Program Information (See information on required Activity Sheets for each Priority.)
Download Word Document
Priority #1 - Instruction to increase children's educational outcomes
Download Word Document
Priority #2 - Systems to engage effectively with families.

Additional Information:
Download PDF Document
Instructions for Completing an Application Submission in EdGrants
Download PDF Document
EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Requesting Grant Funds (payments)
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EdGrants: User Security Controls. {EdGrants user(s) must be established in order to utilize EdGrants}

View HTML Page
Budget Detail - Description of Line Item Information

Applications can legally claim expenses to the grant only as of the DESE approved start date.

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 298 [Applicant # District 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 an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director and Required Program Information.

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 the 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 Word Document  Download PDF Document.

If you have specific questions, please contact Bob Hanafin at or 781-338-3364.

Last Updated: January 16, 2018
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