Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  

Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

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 4 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, though since then through a combination of withdrawals (19) and mergers (5) that number has been reduced to 234. 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.

There are a total of 32 projects that LEAs can support with their RTTT funds. 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, LEAs can choose from among the remaining 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 234 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 here: Information for Participating Districts and Charter Schools 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 - September 23, 2014*

*Race to the Top is a four-year grant program. Participating LEAs are asked to budget for the last full remaining fiscal year (July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014) and to begin to plan for the final fiscal year, which right now is slated to run for just the first few months of FY15 (July 1, 2014 through September 23, 2014). ESE is currently in the process of applying to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for a no cost extension for RTTT that could extend the program period by an additional nine months, through June 30, 2015. ESE expects to have a response to its no cost extension request early in the 2013-2014 school year. 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 already submitted their FY14 budgets for review and approval in response to the Years 2 - 4 RFP and in some cases revised them in the course of amending their FY13 grants, ESE will be using these plans to approve grants in FY14. FY14 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 FY14 grants should contact ESE immediately to make any necessary adjustments prior to the grant being approved.
Required Forms:
  1. FY14 budget workbooks have been posted to each LEA's RTTT Outbox on the Security Portal.
  2. Download PDF document Download MS WORD Document  Part III - Required Program Information
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  Race to the Top in Massachusetts: Revised guidelines for responses to the Years 2 - 4 Request for Proposals
  •  Download MS EXCEL file  Race to the Top (RTTT) Participating districts updated grant allocations as of 11-21-12
  • Download PDF document Download PPS Document  RTTT Year 4 Webinar
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 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 January and July.

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, to:

Cheryl Clinch
Office of Strategic Planning and Research
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant St.
Malden, MA 02148

Last Updated: July 9, 2013
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search·Public Records Requests · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact ESE