Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2020: Adult Education: Primary Instruction By Volunteers

Fund Code: 287


The purpose of this continuation grant program is to provide access to highly effective adult education services to eligible adults who cannot or will not enroll in class-based instructional services at a Community Adult Learning Center.


The priority is to support one statewide standalone program that offers volunteer tutoring services annually to approximately 1,000–1,100 eligible adult students in cities and town in the Commonwealth including Gateway cities and that:

  1. provides one-on-one adult education instruction through the use of well-trained and well-supported volunteer tutors;

  2. for ABE services, uses the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE) to guide its curriculum and instruction;

  3. for ESOL services, uses the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (MA ELPS) to guide its curriculum and instruction;

  4. provides services that are effective in assisting adults to develop the college and career readiness skills needed to successfully transition to higher education and stable jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage; and

  5. provides services that are aligned with the strategies and goals identified in the Local Plan Packages.


FY2020 is the first continuation year of the funding cycle. The recipient awarded funding in the FY2019 open and competitive funding process is eligible to apply.

Funding Type:


Download Excel Document
Table 1

Funding is contingent upon satisfactory performance, the appropriation of state and federal funds, and the continuance of federal authorizing legislation. All dollar amounts listed in Table 1 are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If additional funding becomes available, it will be distributed in accordance with the initial RFP.

Fund Use:

Funds must be used in accordance with the FY20-22 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education in Community Adult Learning Centers and Correctional Institutions to provide adult education to eligible students; eligible students are:

  1. at least 16 years of age; and
  2. not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law, and
  3. do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and have not an equivalent level of education or are basic skills deficient or are English language learners.

Not less than 95 percent of funds must be spent on adult education direct services and literacy activities; not more than 5 percent may be spent on administrative costs (related to planning, administration, (including carrying out performance accountability requirements), professional development, providing adult education and literacy services in alignment with local workforce plans, carrying out one-stop partner responsibilities, and state approved indirect costs charged to the grant.

Programs may negotiate a higher administrative cost percentage by submitting a written request and rationale with application. The state will not grant administrative cost requests that exceed 25% of grant funds (state requirement).

The Adult Education Services is a restricted rate program that is subject to a statutory "supplement not supplant" restriction. Grantees are required to use a restricted indirect cost rate of 8%, unless your calculated indirect cost rate is less than 8%, than you must use the lower rate for your budget. If you have an approved negotiated federal indirect cost rate, it must be submitted to DESE. If you do not have an approved indirect cost rate agreement, you must apply annually to DESE for an approved indirect cost rate. The indirect cost rate is calculated using costs specified in the grantee's indirect cost plan. Those specified costs may not be charged as direct costs to the grant or to any other grant under any circumstances.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval (No earlier than 7/1/2019) through 6/30/2020

Program Unit:

Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

Joan LeMarbre
Phone Number:

(781) 338-3842

Date Due:

Friday, June 7, 2019 by 3:00 p.m.*

*Applicants who are state agencies (i.e., state and community colleges, County Houses of Correction) require an ISA process to issue these funds. The ISA process can take 4 – 6 weeks as it flows through DESE as well as other state financial offices before it is final. To avoid disruptions in spending, Applicants who require an ISA should expect to submit their grant by May 17, 2019 to avoid delays in receiving funds.

Required Forms:
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Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Detailed, line item budget narrative (designed by applicant)
Detailed, line item match narrative (designed by applicant)
Download Excel Document
Schedule B — Cost Sharing or Matching Schedule
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Part III — Required Program Information
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Planned Volunteer Tutors and Tutor-Student Matches form
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FY2020 Fund Code 287 Statement of Assurances
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General Education Protection Act (GEPA) form
Download Excel Document
ISA Budget / EdGrants Budget Crosswalk (only for entities who require ISAs).

Additional Information:
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Letter from AE Director
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Negotiation Admin Cost Form (if needed)

This information is intended for state entities who require ISAs as part of their grant award process. Not intended for Private or Community Based Organizations.

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ISA process timeline
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MA Expenditure Classification Handbook
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MA Comptroller's Office Fringe Information
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ISA and EdGrants Amendment Requirements


Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants.

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

FY20 FC287 (full legal name of program)

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 CEO/Superintendent/Executive Director signature. 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, Information and Trainings.

Please note: It is up to the applicant 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.

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.