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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2012

Program and Staff Development Regional Support Centers for Adult Basic Education
Fund Code: 667/343

Purpose & Introduction: The purpose of this grant program is to improve teaching, strengthen programs, and improve student outcomes in the Commonwealth's Adult Learning Centers, which are located in public schools, community-based organizations, community colleges, libraries, correctional institutions and other organizations, through the provision of coordinated opportunities for high quality program development, staff development, and other supports.

Each successful applicant to this grant program will receive support to operate one (or more) of five Program and Staff Development Regional Support Centers in the statewide System of Adult Basic Education Support (SABES) for the following sub-state regions: Greater Boston, Central, Northeast, Southeast, and Western Massachusetts. Each Regional Support Center (RSC) will work with and under the guidance and direction of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), as well as with other Regional Centers, educational institutions, and state-funded adult education programs. The system of RSCs will receive capacity-building and coordination services from a separate Central Resource Center (CRC).
Priorities: ESE intends for professional development providers to offer a more streamlined and in-depth set of services than in the past. With that goal, the following priorities have been set for this grant program:
  1. Deliver professional development to cohorts of ABE/ESOL teachers in the content areas that adult learners need to become college and career ready: i.e., mathematics, ESOL, and reading/writing. Evaluate the professional development with measures that include teachers' pre- and post- self-assessments of content knowledge.
  2. Strengthen educational leadership, student advising, and other program support needed for effective ABE/ESOL instruction by providing self-assessment tools, training, technical assistance, and other deliverables.
  3. Deliver ongoing training and technical assistance in each region that will a) orient new practitioners to the ABE field as well as to their specific job roles, and b) help teachers meet the state'sProfessional Standards for Adult Basic Education Teachers.
  4. Provide onsite, customized technical assistance to underperforming programs identified by ESE.
Given how resource and time intensive in-depth knowledge development can be, all trainings related to strengthening teaching skills and abilities must also be conducted within the context of a subject area. In order for resources to be used efficiently to meet these priorities, each Regional Support Center will be assigned responsibility for statewide leadership in one content area and one or two additional areas of program support beginning in FY2012.
Eligibility: Eligible applicants are not-for-profit public and private (incorporated) institutions or organizations that are experienced in Adult Basic Education and in program and staff development. These include community colleges or other postsecondary institutions; educational collaboratives; agencies and associations; local education agencies; vocational/technical schools; Adult Learning Centers; libraries; and other agencies (e.g., community-based organizations).
Funding: The funding available for the Program and Staff Development Regional Support Centers for ABE programs is up to $1.8 million in state (667) and federal (343) grants in FY2012; and it may be renewed in FY2013 and FY2014, subject to performance and negotiation as well as appropriation of state and federal funds. Applicants are advised to submit a state budget of $328,400 and a federal budget of $21,600, for a total combined budget of $350,000 per region for FY2012. The amount of funding awarded to each center may vary according to activities negotiated in a work plan.

Applicants proposing to operate a Program and Staff Development Regional Support Center are eligible to apply for up to an additional $130,000 to provide a Statewide Research and Resource Collection for Adult Basic Education programs and practitioners. The Department will revisit the amount and duration of this component during FY2012 which may result in changes in FY2013 and/or 2014.
Fund Use:
  1. Personnel
    Each Regional Support Center (RSC) will be required to hire qualified staff members or consultants to fulfill the following responsibilities, at a minimum:
    1. Regional Support Center Director.
    2. Curriculum and Assessment Support. Responsibilities include curriculum, instruction, and assessment-related training, technical assistance, and other support.
    3. ABE Content Specialization. This role involves assisting field practitioners to develop skills and knowledge needed in one of the following content areas: mathematics, ESOL and reading/writing. Individuals providing courses and other professional development to increase ABE teachers' knowledge in one of these content areas must themselves have demonstrated mastery of that subject. Each RSC will assume responsibility for assisting practitioners statewide in one of the three content areas, beginning FY2012. ESE may assign an area of content specialization to a region in order to ensure that all three subjects are covered statewide.
    4. Additional Program Support. This responsibility entails each RSC helping practitioners in one or two of the following areas related to college and career readiness for adult learners:
      • Educational Leadership:Increase the capacity of ABE/ESOL program directors to support teaching, advising, effective working conditions, and other program supports.
      • Counseling/Advising: assist advisors with duties such as offering college and career readiness advising for students at all program levels and facilitating students' authentic goal setting, among other duties.
      • Workforce Development: assist program directors and other practitioners to collaborate effectively with workforce development and community partners, such as career centers, local Workforce Investment Boards, local employers, schools, and family support services.
      • Distance Learning:Coordinate activities for and provide technical assistance to ESE-funded distance learning programs.
      • Technology Support:Provide training and technical assistance in the System for Managing Accountability and Results through Technology (SMARTT), the state's ABE online database, and Cognos, its complementary reporting system. Assist practitioners with integrating technology into classroom instruction and with coordinating logistics of distance learning for students and/or staff.
    Each staff member should be prepared to help field practitioners use professional standards and content standards for ABE teachers. Each of the responsibilities listed above may be combined with others to create a full-time position. Support staff and other positions needed to fulfill the purposes of the grant are allowable.

  2. Flexible Consulting Funds
    The Massachusetts ABE professional development system is intended to build upon state-of-the-art expertise and subject matter mastery among researchers, content specialists, teacher trainers/professional developers, and current practitioners in the field. It is designed to balance two aims: to provide subject matter and teaching expertise by using researchers and content specialists, and to develop practitioner leadership by using practitioners as trainers when they have mastery of the content. In addition, ESE seeks to increase racial, ethnic, and other cultural diversity in the pool of training consultants.

    Each RSC will be required to reserve a minimum of 6% of its total FY2012 award in a consulting line item to be used to support such trainers, coaches, and facilitators, and may reserve more in this line. If an applicant does not have staff with the requisite subject matter mastery, and is not able to provide content expertise in-kind from qualified in-house faculty, the applicant will need to reserve well beyond minimum 6% in order to address effectively the priorities of this RFP. The specific allocation of the consulting budget will be negotiated in an annual work plan development and approval process. Costs for consultants who perform an identifiable ongoing staff position function in the Regional Support Center (e.g., curriculum and assessment, content specialty, technology, or workforce development) are not included in the 6%. Costs related to the Statewide Research and Resource Collection are not included in the total award for calculating the 6% flexible consulting requirement.

  3. Other Non-Personnel Items
    Allowed are other non-personnel items necessary to implement the annual work plan and to document outcomes: e.g., supplies for training and office operations, including postage; hardware and software; staff travel in-state and out-of-state; printing; telephone and Internet access; memberships and subscriptions; advertising; equipment maintenance; etc. Grant funds may not be used, however, to cover costs of office, classroom, or other space.

    Applicants with a current approved federal indirect cost rate will be required to submit a copy of their current approval letter. Please note that the maximum allowable indirect cost rate that may be charged to this grant is 8% of the subtotal of direct costs. Any entity that does not have a current federal rate may apply to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for a maximum 5% indirect cost rate using the Department's currentIndirect Cost Rate Application available.

    Note that final indirect costs for FY2012 will not be approved before July, 2011.

    All budgets and staffing of the Program and Staff Development Regional Support Centers are subject to negotiation and appropriation of state and federal funds.
Institutional Commitment: Applicants for Program and Staff Development Regional Support Centers for ABE are required to provide, at no cost to the grant, quality, fully accessible space for trainings, office space for Regional Support Center staff, and other in-kind institutional support, such as administrative and technology support. Please note that "accessible space" includes the ease with which adult educators can access the locations where trainings are held.

Applicants are required to provide specialists with mastery in at least one key content area of reading/writing, mathematics, or ESOL, either at a reasonable contractual rate or in-kind, from qualified in-house faculty.
Additional Information: The program and staff development system for Adult Basic Education in Massachusetts is based on a set of clearly defined parameters; and demonstrated knowledge of its structure is crucial to successful proposals. The following information is offered to provide important details about the context and requirements of the system.

The five Regional Support Centers (RSCs) in the professional development system work closely with a Central Resource Center (CRC) whose purpose is to develop the capacity of the RSCs and their staff, coordinate their work, and provide resources needed to strengthen the effectiveness of the system. CRC responsibilities include developing new training activities and resources in key content areas; assisting the RSCs as needed in recruiting trainers of diverse backgrounds; and helping the RSCs support new and developing trainers, recruited primarily from ABE practitioners. Most professional development is provided by the Regional Support Centers, but the CRC may provide some training and/or technical assistance directly to ABE providers, as resources allow.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires that Adult Learning Centers (ALCs) compensate staff for their participation in certain minimum levels of engagement in program and staff development. All Massachusetts grants to ALCs include funding to support these requirements. A minimum of 2.5% of each salaried staff person's annual paid hours (or 12 hours/year, whichever is greater) must be allocated to professional development activities. Fifteen (15) additional paid hours are required for new direct service staff to complete a New Staff Orientation. Further, Department-funded ALCs must assign and compensate staff to conduct program development activities for at least 3.5% of total paid staff hours, and they must use a process that integrates program and staff development. Note:During FY2012, ESE will work with SABES and ABE Program Directors to discuss strategies that will increase opportunities for collegial exchange among new teachers-including a more intensive year long program of teacher induction-and that will promote program conditions that support teacher effectiveness.

Every Department-funded ALC grant includes dedicated funding to pay for the required release time for staff and program development, as well as additional funds to hire substitute teachers. Every ALC grant also includes funding to support a Program and Staff Development Facilitator (approximately 6 hours/month) who works to ensure that the program uses a planning process that links program development and staff development activities.

These requirements and the funding that supports them are explained further in the first document listed below. The additional documents provide helpful information for developing and implementing proposals.
  • Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD document Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Adult Basic Education (FY 2015)
  • View HTML Page Massachusetts Professional Standards for Adult Basic Education Teachers
  • View HTML Page Massachusetts Subject Matter Knowledge Requirements for ABE Teachers
  • View HTML Page Massachusetts ABE Curriculum Frameworks
  • Massachusetts Indicators of Adult Basic Education Program Quality
  • Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD document Massachusetts Performance Standards for Community Adult Learning Centers
  • Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD document Facing the Future: Massachusetts Strategic Framework for Adult Basic Education
  • View HTML Page Massachusetts System for Managing Accountability and Results Through Technology (SMARTT). Note: For context, see Massachusetts Guidelines for Effective Adult Basic Education above.
  • Definition of Massachusetts ABE Regions
  • Download PDF Document Massachusetts Guidelines for Professional Development Providers
  • View HTML Page Grants for Schools: Getting Them and Using Them - A Procedural Manual
  • View HTML Page The Adult and Community Learning Services web site
Project Duration: 7/1/2011 - 06/30/2012 (State Funds - Fund Code: 667)
9/1/2011 - 08/31/2012 (Federal Funds - Fund Code: 343)

Grant awards for Regional Support Centers are renewable for the duration of a maximum of three (3) years, subject to satisfactory performance and the appropriation of state and federal funds. ESE will revisit the amount and duration of the Statewide Research and Resource Collection during FY2012, and the review may result in changes in FY2013 and/or 2014.
Program Unit: Adult and Community Learning Services
Contact: Sharon Artis-Jacksonsartisjackson@doe.mass.edu
Phone Number: (781) 338-3823
Date Due: Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Bidders' Conference Prospective applicants are invited to a Bidders' Conference scheduled for:

Friday, February 25, 2011
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Central Massachusetts Workforce Investment Board
44 Front Street, Suite 300
Worcester, MA 01689

In case of inclement weather, please call 781-338-3823 after 7:30 a.m. to learn whether the Bidders' Conference will be held or rescheduled for Tuesday, March 1, 2011in Malden.

Letter of Intent Due:
March 8, 2011
The Letter of Intent to Apply Form must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. The Letter should be sent by Certified, Registered, or Return Receipt Requested mail to:
Sharon Artis-Jackson
Adult and Community Learning Services
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906
Required Forms:
  1. Download PDF Document Download MS WORD document  Letter of Intent to Apply Form
  2. Download PDF Document Download MS WORD document   Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  3. Download MS EXCEL file     Part II - Budget Detail Pages, one set for each fund code (Include both pages with each set.). Note:Due to pending changes in the ESE Grants Management system, applicants may have to resubmit these and other pages in a new online form. In that case, ESE will provide training to successful applicants on the resubmission process.
  4. A Budget Narrative for FY2012 for the total amount requested, federal and state funding combined. See note under #3 above.
  5. Download PDF Document Download MS WORD document  Part III - Required Program Information
  6. Download PDF Document Download MS WORD document  Statement of Assurances for Program and Staff Development Regional Support Centers for Adult Basic Education
  7. Applicants who intend to apply for indirect cost coverage must also submit an Indirect Cost Rate Application, available at the following links:
    Download MS WORD document  Download PDF Document
  8. Download PDF Document Download MS WORD document  Federal Debarment Form
Required Appendices:
  • Appendix A: Description of eligible agency structure, bulleted list of programs, organizational chart, budget, and other material requested in Required Program Information - Part III, Section I
  • Appendix B: Description of Institutional Commitment requested in Section I
  • Appendix C: Floor Plan requested in Section I
  • Appendix D: Sample professional development activity requested in Section I
  • Appendix E: Job descriptions & résumés requested in Section I
  • Appendix F: Description of videoconferencing facilities
Proposal Submission Instructions: Submit five (5) sets. Include in ONE set an original signature in blue ink of the Superintendent/Executive Director/President on the federal budget and the state budget and original signatures in blueink of three signatories for the Statement of Assurances.

Proposals are due Thursday, April 7, 2011 by 5:00 p.m. Mail proposals to:
Attention: Lorraine Domigan
Adult and Community Learning Services
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

All submissions must be in hard copy. Please do not submit them by email. Applicants who deliver proposals in person or by courier should request a receipt. Mailed proposals should be sent by Certified, Registered, or Return Receipt Requested mail.
Required Narrative Responses: All applicants requesting funding to operate a Program and Staff Development Regional Support Center must respond to Sections I through IV of Part III - Required Program Information.
Statewide Research & Resource Collection Option: Applicants proposing to operate a Program and Staff Development Regional Support Center are eligible to apply for additional funding to provide a Statewide Research and Resource Collection, or SRRC (up to $130,000).

This option requires submission of additional information. The description of the proposed SRRC will be scored separately and have a separate page limit. (See Section V of Part III - Required Program Information for further detail.)
Page Limits: All applicants requesting funding to operate a Program and Staff Development Regional Support Center must limit their response to no more than twenty (20) pages, single-spaced with 11-point font.

Applicants requesting funding to provide an ABE Statewide Research and Resource Collection must limit their description of this service to no more than five additional pages.

Part II - Budget Detail pages, budget narratives, and appendices do not count toward the page limit.
Inquiries: All questions regarding this request for proposals may be emailed to the following address no later than March 24, 2011:FY12ProgramandStaffRFP@doe.mass.edu. Answers will be posted to the ACLS website under "Hot Topics" on or aroundMarch 31, 2011. No telephone inquiries will be accepted.


Last Updated: Feburary 17, 2011
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