Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2019: Teacher Diversification Pilot Program

Fund Code: 216

Purpose: The competitive Teacher Diversification Pilot Program is designed to support local school district efforts to strengthen and diversify existing teacher recruitment and retention programs. Through the use of state funds, participating pilot school districts will engage in thoughtful approaches intended to increase the number of effective and diverse teachers in their schools.

Applicants may propose to use grant funds to strengthen existing teacher recruitment and retention programs in the following ways:

Option A: Financial Assistance
  • Paraprofessionals: School districts will identify currently employed paraprofessionals with a bachelor's degree and provide tuition assistance to support enrollment into, and completion of, an approved educator preparation program. In addition, school districts will provide these individuals with Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) preparation support through an approved Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) provider and pay for associated MTEL examination fees through the issuance of Department provided vouchers.

  • District Graduate or Other College Graduates: School districts will identify district graduate or other college graduates with a bachelor's degree and provide tuition assistance to support their enrollment into, and completion of, an approved educator preparation program. In addition, school districts will provide these individuals with MTEL preparation support through an approved Department provider and pay for associated MTEL examination fees through the issuance of Department provided vouchers. District graduate or other college graduates must commit to serving in the districts eligible for this grant opportunity and to supporting students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

  • Provisionally Licensed Teachers: School districts will identify currently employed teachers with a 'provisional' license and provide tuition assistance to support their enrollment into, and completion of, an approved educator preparation program.

Option B: Grow Your Own Initiatives
School districts will identify thoughtful, high-impact strategies to enhance existing 'grow your own' initiatives. Examples of high-impact strategies include, but are not limited to:
  • Financial incentives, such as loan payment reimbursement, for graduates of the district who return to teach and/or college graduates committed to serving in the districts eligible for this grant opportunity and to supporting students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
  • Financial support for paraprofessionals in the attainment of a bachelor's degree and enrollment into an approved educator preparation program.
  • Development or enhancement of an education-specific pathway for high school students.
  • Development of partnership(s) with approved educator preparation program(s) or other identified partners.
  • Enhancement of existing partnerships with external partners to diversify the teacher workforce.
  • Identification and use of research-based teacher retention strategies, such as induction and mentorship programs and support for effective classroom management practices.

In an effort to increase effective teacher recruitment and retention, participating pilot districts will be required to review district policies and procedures and identify the cultural proficiency and anti-bias training needs for district hiring managers, teachers, principals, and school committee members. Cultural proficiency and anti-bias training will be provided to school districts through an approved Department provider.

Priorities: Priorities for this grant will be given to:
  1. Districts with established teacher recruitment and retention programs, which include, but are not limited to: paraprofessional-to-teacher programs and Grow Your Own initiatives.

Eligibility:Districts identified as requiring assistance or intervention in the Massachusetts Accountability System are eligible to apply. Please reference the Department's District and School Accountability webpage to access accountability lists, materials, and tools.
Funding Type:State
Funding: Approximately $2,000,000 will be awarded to school districts with the possibility of additional funding in subsequent years.

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: Funds must be used to support local district efforts to strengthen and diversify existing teacher recruitment and retention efforts. Activities must be reasonable, appropriate, and consistent with all applicable state and federal requirements.

Option A: Grant funds must be used to provide financial assistance, including tuition payments to approved educator preparation programs, MTEL examination preparation support, and MTEL examination testing fees to support eligible paraprofessionals, district graduates or other college graduates, and provisionally licensed teachers and must be paid by August 31, 2019*. District graduate or other college graduates must commit to serving in the districts eligible for this grant opportunity and to supporting students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Option B: Grant funds must be used to support district staff to engage in the review process and to enhance existing teacher recruitment and retention programs, including, but not limited to 'grown your own' initiatives or to implement identified enhancements. Grant funded activities must conclude by August 31, 2019*.

Project Duration: Upon approval – 6/30/2019 and if applicable 7/1/2019 – 8/31/2019*

All grant funded activities must be paid by August 31, 2019*. A report on grant funded activities and outcomes will be required. Additional details will be provided to grant funded districts.

The Teacher Diversification Pilot Program concludes in FY2021 subject to funding availability.

Program Unit:Office of the Statewide System of Support
Contact: MA_Educator_Diversification@doe.mass.edu
Date Due:Friday, March 1, 2019

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
 
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Word Document
FY2019 Upon Approval through June 30, 2019
Download Word Document
FY2020 July 1, 2019 through August 31, 2019 (if applicable) *

 
Part II — Budget Workbook
Download Excel Document
FY2019 Upon Approval through June 30, 2019
Download Excel Document
FY2020 July 1, 2019 – August 31, 2019 (if applicable) *

Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information Form

Download Word Document
Part IV — Grant Assurances

 
Copies of district teacher recruitment and retention plans and accompanying documents.


Submission Instructions: Email all required forms in their original Word or Excel formats (e.g., not converted to a PDF; with the exception of the signed Part I documents which should be converted to PDF), to MA_Educator_Diversification@doe.mass.edu. Note: Electronic signatures are required on the emailed versions.

Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget in EdGrants and upload required documents. Grant recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.


* Since these are FY2019 state funds, if the applicant wishes to expend a portion of these funds in FY2020: 7/1/2019 – 8/31/2019, both FY2019 and FY2020 Part I and budget workbooks must be submitted.

 
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