The purpose of this state-funded competitive grant program is to assist regional school districts, school districts, municipalities and other entities (applicants) that are (1) considering formation or expansion of a regional school district, (2) considering regionalizing services, and/or (3) experiencing first year costs associated with the transition to a new or expanded regional school district.
Funds will be awarded to selected applicants on a competitive basis.
Applicants must apply under one or more of the three categories below, in the "Fund Use" section of this RFP. Priority may be given to applicants with demonstrated significant enrollment decline; applicants with demonstrated under-utilization of existing school space; and applicants with a regionalization proposal that demonstrates significant expansion of available academic resources and supports as a result of cost savings.
Additional consideration may also be given to applicants that can demonstrate that they have secured additional financial support for the project in this application.
Applicants that wish to demonstrate eligibility for one or more of the above priorities must ensure that complete answers are provided on Part III. B and Part III. F of the application. Applicants that seek additional consideration due to additional financial support must upload evidence of the commitment of other financial support to this project (see Part III. G).
Regional school districts, school districts, municipalities and other entities
- Funding Type:
Approximately $500,000 total funding is available for distribution to recipients, subject to appropriation, and distributed subject to the Department's discretion.
Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.
Depending on demand and based on the nature and timelines of this competitive grant, the Department may not be able to award the amounts requested by applicants. Applicants should be aware that, following initial review of applications, the Department may request modified documentation, including revised Parts I, II and III, and applicants must submit modified documentation within timelines requested by the Department.
- Fund Use:
- Applicants must apply for funds under one or more of the following categories:
Study and planning grants to allow for the creation of new regional school districts or the expansion of existing regional school districts. Funds awarded to applicants under this category may be used for the purpose of study and planning activities related to creating a new regional school district, adding new grade levels or new member town(s) to an existing regional school district, and/or merging regional school districts.
Grants to study, plan and implement innovative shared services plans in areas where regionalization is not appropriate, but where regionalizing services could provide significant savings. Funds awarded to applicants under this category may be used to study or plan the formation or expansion of an existing superintendency union, to study or plan agreements for other shared educational services plans, and/or to coordinate policies and procedures among elementary level school districts and an upper level regional school district that serves graduates of those elementary districts. Applicants that apply under this category must, in Part III - Required Information, provide an explanation as to why the applicant has determined that regionalization is not appropriate and provide an estimate of the potential cost savings expected from the proposed shared services project(s).
Implementation and start-up grants to a regional school district to cover first-year costs associated with the transition to a new or expanded regional school district. Funds awarded to applicants under this category may be used for the purpose of transition support or for other first-year costs that are experienced due to recent regionalization or expansion of a regional school district. Applicants that were previously eligible for Bonus Aid may apply for funds under this category.
- Project Duration:
Upon approval of the Commissioner to 6/30/2020*
*Pending approval, DESE will extend these grant awards to 12/31/2020. If approved, applicants will be notified with further instructions.
- Program Unit:
- Phone Number:
(781) 338-6515 or (781) 338-6520
- Date Due:
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Proposals for this competitive grant must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
- Required Forms:
All applicants must complete and submit:
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants),
Part II — Proposed FY20 Budget Template with Comments,
Part III — Required Program Information, and
All supplemental and supporting documentation requested in Part III.
- Additional Information:
Applicants that receive awards (recipients) under this Fund Code must provide a progress report on the use of grant funds, as it relates to the Part III Required Program Information and the Part II Proposed Budget, to the Office of Regional Governance. The due date for the progress report will be provided to recipients. School districts must submit this progress report via the Regional Governance dropbox in the Security Portal; other recipients must submit this progress report via email to and Michelle Griffin. Christine LynchRecipients that do not submit this progress report by the due date may experience a "stop payment" on their grant draw-down. Continued funding may be contingent upon meeting all grant requirements.
Q&A Document — updated 11/18/19
All Required Forms must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 12, 2019. School districts must submit all required forms to the Department via the Regional Governance dropbox in the Security Portal. All other applicants must submit all required forms via email to and Michelle Griffin. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The Department expects to select grant recipients by early January 2020. Christine Lynch
All documents should be saved and submitted with the fiscal year, fund code, LEA Code and District / Applicant name, and name of document. (For example, "FY20 FC 191 [LEA # District / Applicant name] Part I.pdf".)
Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and required forms including the Part I. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.