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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2012

Race To The Top
Fund Code: 201

Purpose: Race to the Top (RTTT), funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, is a four-year U.S. Department of Education (ED) grant awarded to state education agencies that won a national competition for committing to a set of education reforms. Massachusetts was awarded this federal funding, and is issuing this year 2 continuation grant for eligible entities.
Priorities: Massachusetts prioritized LEA activities in six reform areas:
  1. Improve teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance
  2. Ensure effective teachers and leaders in every classroom
  3. Use data to inform instruction
  4. Increase college and career readiness
  5. Develop and implement the teaching and learning system
  6. Turn around the lowest achieving schools
LEAs signed MOUs in May 2010 committing to implementing these reforms. The 258 LEAs that signed these MOUs are eligible to apply for RTTT funding through this RFP; no additional LEAs may join the program at this time. A list of participating LEAs and final allocations is included in Appendix I of this Request For Proposals (RFP).

All participating LEAs must participate in the following six projects directly related to the MOU commitments:
  1. Program Overview.
  2. Project 1A: Implement the statewide evaluation framework.
  3. Project 2A: Align curriculum to Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
  4. Project 2B.1: Strengthen climate, conditions, and school culture: Use data and results from school surveys for decision-making and change.
  5. Project 3A: Create near-real-time access to data in the Education Data Warehouse by implementing the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF).
  6. One additional activity from a specific list of projects (projects 2B.2-2D.2) related to ensuring effective educators in every school and classroom, the selection of which is at the discretion of the LEA.
In addition, all LEAs that selected the optional MOU element of helping to develop and use the teaching and learning system must implement at least one element of that system (projects 5B.-D.) during the four years of the grant, and all LEAs that selected college and career readiness (project 4A.) must develop and implement a plan for increasing the percentage of their graduates who have completed the MassCore curriculum. Finally, LEAs with Level 4 schools must choose at least one project from those in the school turnaround category (projects 6A.-6D.).

Beyond these requirements, there are 32 available projects that support the state's goals and performance measures. We expect that LEAs will choose projects aligned with their LEA improvement plan priorities and that LEAs will continue the collaboration of superintendent or charter school leader, school committee or governing board, and union leadership, when applicable, in developing these plans.

LEAs should carefully review their MOU commitments, as well as the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) list of projects, and include in their plans all required projects plus those optional projects that best support the LEA and state goals.

Additional information about the RTTT program, including frequently asked questions, LEA-level goals and performance measures, materials from presentations, etc..
Eligibility: The 258 LEAs that signed MOUs committing to participation in the state's RTTT plan are eligible to apply for continuation funding through this RFP.
Funding: Funding for this program is awarded based on each participating LEA's share of the total state Title I allocation for FY09, including both regular and ARRA Title I. Updated allocations can be found at the Race to the Top (RTTT) webpage.
Fund Use: Funds may be used only to cover the costs associated with participation in the specific projects listed in the state's RTTT plan.
Project Duration: Upon approval - June 30, 2014*

*Race to the Top is a four-year grant program. Participating LEAs are asked to budget for all 3 remaining fiscal years (September 1, 2011 through June 30, 2014). Each year, LEAs will be asked to review and, if necessary, amend their budgets to reflect any carry-over funds from one fiscal year to the next, and/or for changes in their scope of work that affects individual project budgets.
Program Unit: Office of Strategic Planning and Research
Phone Number: (781) 338-3125
Date Due: LEAs may choose from one of two proposal due dates:

Friday, July 29, 2011 or
Friday, September 30, 2011.*

Please note partial applications will not be accepted.

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on either of the dates due.

*Funds will be released only after approval of the LEA's plan. Once their plans are approved, LEAs will be able to charge expenses back to the date of state approval of the plan. This means that districts submitting on the July deadline should expect to be able to charge expenses back to approximately October 1, 2011 while those submitting on the September deadline should be able to charge back to approximately December 1, 2011. LEAs should plan accordingly.
Required Forms:   Download Excel Document RTTT Workbook
  Download Word Document RTTT WorkbookRTTT Project 2D.3 Letter of Intent
  Download Excel Document RTTT Project 6D Wraparound Zone Implementation Plan
Download PDF Document Download Word Document Part III - Required Program Information
Additional Information: Download PDF Document Download Word Document Race to the Top in Massachusetts: Guidelines for responses to the Years 2-4 Request for Proposals which includes:
  • Appendix I - Race to the Top (RTTT) Final LEA allocations and MOU commitments as of 05-09-11
  • Appendix II - RTTT Performance Measures
  • Appendix III - Allowable Costs
LEAs will be asked to ensure transparency and accountability and report publicly on the use of funds. In addition to the standard federal financial reports required for all federal grants, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) will require extensive programmatic reporting to document the use of all ARRA funds. USED is still determining the specific data to be collected, but all RTTT recipients will be expected to comply with the finalized data reporting requirements. LEAs receiving a RTTT grant should anticipate that they will be required to report separately and in detail regarding the use and impact of these funds on at least a quarterly basis.

LEAs will be expected to participate in any program evaluation and monitoring activities associated with this grant and will be expected to report on progress against performance measures at least twice a year.
Submission Instructions: Complete and submit the Project Details and Budget workbook (including the project selection form), any additional required materials, and Schedule As (if relevant) through the Security Portal.

Mail two copies of the Signature Page, each with the superintendent's or charter school leader's original signature, to:

Cheryl Clinch
Office of Strategic Planning and Research
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

Last Updated: January 31, 2013
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