Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

ABE Open and Competitive RFP Timeline

October 14, 2016

Dear ABE and ESOL program directors, teachers, and other stakeholders:

The Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education has granted Massachusetts a one-year conditional extension to rebid the ABE system under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) Title II of the Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This extension was granted in response to a request that we recently made to OCTAE. Our request indicated that eligible providers would not be able to demonstrate alignment of ABE services with local plans until July 1, 2017 when WIOA-aligned workforce development board local plans are in place.

Accordingly, ESE will be issuing a continuation RFP for FY18. The new target dates for the Open and Competitive RFP for FY19 are as follows:

  • July 2017: release of the RFP
  • December 2017: proposals due
  • March/ April 2018: announce awards
  • July 1, 2018: new ABE contracts begin

OCTAE granted this extension to the Department on the condition that a statement of assurance is recived by October 28, 2016 stating that ESE will fully implement and ensure that current eligible providers implement the WIOA performance accountability requirements and adult education and literacy activities authorized under WIOA. This includes:

  • Performance accountability provisions under WIOA1
  • Required local activities
  • Integrated Education and Civics Education under WIOA
  • Academic program for corrections education and the education of other institutionalized individuals

With the exception of the Transitions to Community College RFP which is scheduled to be released on December 1, 2016, and the RFRs for the Communication and Coordination of SABES PD, the extension will also postpone the release of statewide RFPs for: Distance Learning Hubs, Adult Basic Education in Correctional Institutions, Primary Instruction by Volunteers and the rebidding of the Professional Development System for Adult Basic Education (SABES).

This extension provides ESE with additional time to develop an O&C RFP that will result in a high performing system that delivers adult basic education services to prepare adult learners for further education, training, and employment.

We will be providing additional information later this fall via monthly mailings and at the Director's Sharing day. We look forward to working with you in developing a WIOA-aligned system that accelerates student outcomes. As always, thank you for your commitment to providing high quality education programs for adult learners in Massachusetts. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Jolanta Conway
Massachusetts ABE State Director


1 All ABE funded programs are expected to report on WIOA measures. Those measures will be used in the O&C RFP to determine eligibility.

Last Updated: October 14, 2016

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