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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2020: School District Regionalization

Fund Code: 191


The purpose of this state-funded competitive grant program is to assist regional school districts and school districts (districts) 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 districts 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 districts with demonstrated significant enrollment decline; districts with demonstrated under-utilization of existing school space; and districts 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. Districts 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).


School districts and regional school districts

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:

Regional school districts and school districts must apply for funds under one or more of the following categories:

Category 1:
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 districts 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.

Category 2:
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 districts 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 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. Districts that apply under this category must, in Part III - Required Information, provide an explanation as to why the district has determined that regionalization is not appropriate and provide an estimate of the potential cost savings expected from the proposed shared services project(s).

Category 3:
Implementation and start-up grants to cover first-year costs associated with the transition to a new or expanded regional school district. Funds awarded to districts 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. Districts 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:

Regional Governance

Michelle Griffin
Phone Number:

(781) 338-6515

Date Due:

Monday, November 4, 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:

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

Download Excel Document
Part II — Proposed FY20 Budget Template with Comments,

Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information, and

All supplemental and supporting documentation requested in Part III.

Additional Information:

Districts 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. This progress report must be submitted via the Regional Governance dropbox in the Security Portal. Recipients 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.

Download Word Document
Q&A Document — added 10/24/2019


All Required Forms must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 4, 2019 to the Department via the Regional Governance dropbox in the Security Portal. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The Department expects to select grant recipients by early December 2019.

All documents should be saved and submitted with the fiscal year, fund code, LEA Code and District name, and name of document. (For example, "FY20 FC 191 [LEA # District Name] Part I.doc".)

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.

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.