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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

Massachusetts Charter School Dissemination Program
Fund Code: 537

Purpose: The purpose of the federal Massachusetts Charter School Dissemination Grant Program is to provide funds to support the dissemination of effective practices and programs that have been developed, tested, and proven successful in Massachusetts charter schools.
Priorities: Competitive Priority

Competitive priority will be given to applications that propose to:
  • include collaboration between two or more charter schools (up to three)
  • design their dissemination activity to be carried out in repeated interventions over the course of the grant
  • hire at least 1.5 FTE staff who will oversee all of the activities
  • partner with Level 3 and 4 district public schools located in Gateway Cities
  • support the development of instructional leadership capacity in partner school personnel (including school leaders, instructional coaches, and teacher-leaders)
  • support the implementation of effective early literacy strategies for pre-kindergarten through third grade students
  • support the academic achievement of students with disabilities through the dissemination of effective service delivery models
Federal legislation states that dissemination funds shall be used to:

"assist other schools in adapting the charter school's program (or certain aspects of the charter school's program), or to disseminate information about the charter school, through such activities as:
  1. assisting other individuals with the planning and startup of one or more new public schools, including charter schools, that are independent of the assisting charter school and the assisting charter school's developers, and that agree to be held to at least as high a level of accountability as the assisting charter school;
  2. developing partnerships with other public schools, including charter schools, designed to improve student performance in each of the schools participating in the partnership;
  3. developing curriculum materials, assessments, and other materials that promote increased student achievement and are based on successful practices within the assisting charter school; and
  4. conducting evaluations and developing materials that document the successful practices of the assisting charter school and that are designed to improve student achievement."
Eligibility: Minimum Eligibility Requirements: A charter school must meet minimum eligibility requirements to apply for funds under this program:
  1. Age/Status: The school must have been renewed at least once and are not currently operating under any conditions.
  2. Recommended Academic Performance Standard: A lead applicant charter school should be a Level 1 school with a school percentile above the 50th percentile. A charter school applying to serve as a partner applicant to a lead school in a collaborative application can be a Level 2 school with a school percentile above the 50th percentile. If a charter school does not meet this standard, it is highly unlikely that such a school would be awarded funds unless it can provide compelling evidence that it is an overall success, and is particularly qualified and has the capacity to successfully conduct the proposed project. Please see attached spreadsheet for eligibility status by school.
  3. Demonstrates Connection Between Project and ESE Priorities: Charter school applicants should be able to explain in their letters of intent how the proposed project connects to at least one of the following Department of Elementary and Secondary Education priorities:
    • Prepare students for college and careers
    • Strengthen curriculum, instruction, and assessment
    • Improve educator effectiveness
    • Turn around the lowest performing districts and schools
    • Use technology and data effectively to support student achievement
  4. Federal Requirements: Federal rules require that to be eligible for funding, a charter school must have demonstrated overall success, including substantial progress in improving student achievement, high levels of parent satisfaction, and the management and leadership necessary to establish a thriving, viable charter school. These factors will be evaluated as part of the grant review process. *
* According to current federal regulations, schools that have received two prior years of federal dissemination grant funds are not eligible for new dissemination funds, but waivers are available for schools that are proposing different and high quality projects. Schools that have received prior federal dissemination grant funds and that express interest in this competition via a letter of intent will have an eligibility waiver filed by the Department to USED on their behalf. The Department will communicate waiver status to affected schools as soon as possible (and prior to the awarding of funds).

 Download Excel Document  Eligibility Attachment
Funding: $1,200,000 is currently available for grant awards. Each proposal is evaluated by a review panel and funding is awarded on a competitive basis. The minimum award is $400,000 and the maximum award is $600,000.
Fund Use: Dissemination funds are made available to assist charter schools in disseminating their successful innovations to other charter and district schools. Grant funds may not supplant the regular operating budget of the charter school and may not be used for marketing or recruitment activities designed to promote itself or its programs to parents or the community.

Examples of Acceptable Expenditures
  1. Salary Costs, Stipends, or Contractual Services for direct project work (Budget Lines 1, 2, or 5)
    • Salary/Contractual Services for a project coordinator devoted directly to conducting the dissemination project.
    • Stipends for work beyond regular duties for teachers at the charter school or the partner school(s) to participate in dissemination activities.
    • Stipends for business office staff for specific additional work related to grant tracking.
    • Rates and number of hours for consultants and stipends for employees must be reasonable, justifiable, and accompanied by a clear scope of services and or description of specific duties/activities.
  2. Travel costs to conduct dissemination activities. (Budget Line 7)
  3. Consumable office supplies/printing/postage related directly to the dissemination project. (Budget Line 8)
Project Duration: 7/1/14 - 6/30/15

For projects that extend beyond this date, a second award can be allocated, subject to approval, July 1, 2015 - February 28, 2016.
Program Unit: Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign
Contact: Sara Schnitzer
Phone Number: (781) 338-3210
Date Due: Letter of intent: Friday, March 28, 2014 Full application: Tuesday, April 28, 2014 (see submission instructions for details)

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

Please note: As part of this review process, applicants may be requested to participate in an interview (to be conducted the second week of May 2014) to answer questions regarding project proposals.
  1.  Download Excel Document  Part I and II- General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants and Budget Detail Pages. (Include both pages.)
  2. Download PDF Document Download Word Document  Part III - Required Program Information (Letter of Intent and Project Proposal)
  3. Final applicants will be asked to complete an interview as noted above.
Submission Instructions:
  1. Electronic Submission- Letter of Intent
    Submit via email to, one (1) set of electronic copies of the letter of intent by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 28, 2014; no signature required. Instructions for what content should be included in the letter of intent can be found in Part III Required Program Information

  2. Electronic Submission- Full Proposal
    If invited to submit a full proposal, please submit via email to, one (1) set of electronic copies of the full application package by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, 2014.

    Use an email subject line of "LEA Code 04XX: Fund Code 537 Dissemination Grant Application" (where 04XX represents the school's LEA code) and ensure that each of the two (2) attachments is named as indicated below.
    DocumentElectronic File Name
    Part I and II - Signature Page and Budget Details 04XX_FY14_537_Part1
    Part III - Required Program Information 04XX_FY14_537_Part3

Last Updated: February 28, 2014
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