Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)
Letter to the Field Announcing Policy Shifts
Dear Program Directors:
This letter is to inform you of changes at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: first, the reorganization at the Department; second, policy shifts that increase flexibility and reduce requirements; and third, our preparation for the Open and Competitive (O&C) rebid of the ABE system.
As a result of the reorganization at the Department, the Adult and Community Learning Services Unit is now directly reporting to the Senior Associate Commissioner for Educational Options, Cliff W. Chuang. Cliff attended the Directors' Meeting in May and met with the Directors' Council in June to discuss the changes highlighted in this letter.
In preparation for WIOA implementation and to support the shift from compliance to outcomes, the Department relaxes current curriculum policy submission requirements (see attached curriculum policy update) along with goal-setting policy requirements (see attached goal-setting policy update). In addition, the approval process for the FY17 continuation application was streamlined. Program specialists used the prototype as a guide rather than a compliance tool to review staff plans submitted in SMARTT which should have resulted in a faster approval process. The Department also responded to questions from the Directors' Council gathered during the network conference which have been shared with the Directors' Council and are included here as an attachment.
The Department is currently working with the Executive Office of Education (EOE) to inform the O&C process and align the ABE system with Governor Baker's priorities. EOE, in partnership with the Department, convened cross agency ABE planning team that will provide input into the rebid of the ABE system. The target dates for the O&C RFP are:
- November 15, 2016 release of the RFP
- February 15, 2017 proposals due to the Department
- April, 2017 funding recommendations are finalized
- April 28, 2017 award announcements
The Department strives to develop an O&C RFP that is streamlined, reflects the direction outlined in the combined state plan, responds to Governor Baker's priorities, and results in a high performing system that offers high quality programming to adults.
Thank you for your commitment to providing high quality education programs for adult learners in Massachusetts.
ABE State Director, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
c: Cliff W. Chuang, Senior Associate Commissioner for Educational Options
Curriculum Policy Update
Goal-Setting Policy Requirement Update
ESE Responses to Questions Submitted by the Directors' Council