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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2013

Race to the Top (RTTT)
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 3 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
Originally, 258 LEAs signed MOUs in May 2010 committing to implement these reforms. Since then, through a combination of withdrawals (18) and regional mergers (4), that number has been reduced to 236. The remaining LEAs that signed the MOU are eligible to apply for RTTT funding through this RFP; no additional LEAs may join the program at this time. An updated list of participating LEAs and final allocations is available at Information for Participating Districts and Charter Schools webpage.

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); and
  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.
Eligibility: The 236 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.
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 two remaining fiscal years (July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 and July 1, 2013 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: Since LEAs have already submitted their FY13 budgets for review and approval in response to the Years 2 - 4 RFP, ESE will be using these plans to approve grants in FY13. FY13 budget workbooks have been posted to each LEA's RTTT Outbox on the Security Portal. LEAs should review their plans and, assuming that no changes are required, submit the required signature pages as soon as possible.

LEAs that need to make changes to their FY13 grants should contact ESE immediately to make any necessary adjustments prior to the grant being approved.
Required Forms: FY13 budget workbooks have been posted to each LEA's RTTT Outbox on the Security Portal.

ESE is in the process of transitioning to a new online grants management system. For the time being, ESE will continue to manage these grants using the budget workbook that has been developed and will notify LEAs once the new system is available.
Additional Information:
  • Download PDF document Download MS WORD Document  Part III - Required Program Information
  • Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Race to the Top in Massachusetts: Guidelines for responses to the Years 2-4 Request for Proposals
  • Download MS EXCEL Document Race to the Top (RTTT) LEA allocations and MOU commitments as of 05-21-12

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 (ED) requires extensive programmatic reporting to document the use of all ARRA funds. In order to comply with this requirement, ESE has adopted a set of performance measures that it is using to track RTTT implementation. Most of this data will be collected at the state level, but LEAs will be responsible for reporting directly on some measures. LEAs receiving an RTTT grant are required to report on the progress that they are making toward meeting their goals for these performance measure using the required reporting format twice a year in December and June.

LEAs will also be expected to participate in any program evaluation and monitoring activities associated with this grant.
Submission Instructions: Mail two (2) copies of the Signature Page, each with the superintendent's or charter school leader's original signature,

Mail 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: July 23, 2012
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