Announcement of Request for Proposals – Anticipated Release: October, 2011- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Announcement of Request for Proposals – Anticipated Release: October, 2011

Announcement of Competitive Request for Proposals (RFP)

Grant funding opportunity for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Anticipated Release: October, 2011

ACLS is preparing to release competitive requests for proposals (RFPs) for the following grant programs, for fiscal year 2013 implementation: Community Adult Learning Centers, ESL/Civics, Adult Basic Education for Incarcerated Adults, Primary Instruction by Volunteers, and ABE Transition to Community College. The combined funding currently allocated for these five grant programs totals approximately $30 million; however, the total amount available in FY 2013 will be determined by FY 2013 state and federal allocations.

Interested potential applicants for all grants are advised to familiarize themselves with Facing the Future: Massachusetts Strategic Framework for Adult Basic Education 2010-2015 to develop an understanding of both Massachusetts' goals for ABE, and the broader state policy goals that adult education supports.

The requests for proposals may be issued in a consolidated format covering several of the grant programs listed above or as single RFPs for each grant program, and they may be for continuation of a program funded in the previous competition or startup grants. The RFP package will contain a comprehensive description of the project being funded, including the funding source (state or federal), a description of how funds may be used, eligibility requirements, and required program information that must be provided to meet federal and state requirements.

Applications will be due in late December, 2011 or very early January, 2012. When the RFPs are released, they will be posted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Grants Information webpage, and an announcement will be posted to the Department's Adult and Community Learning Services webpage Bidders' conferences will be held around the state in October and November, as well in-depth trainings that cover the technical aspects of submitting a complete application.

The initial performance period for state grants will be from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013, and, for federal grants, from September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2013. It is anticipated that annual options to renew will be available for up to an additional four years, contingent on demonstration of satisfactory performance and timely submission of up-to-date statistical and financial reports, allocation of state and federal funds, and the continuation of the federal authorizing legislation, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Should WIA be re-authorized, options to renew would end and another competitive RFP would be issued.

Eligible applicants for most grant programs are public and private non-profit entities that include local educational authorities (LEAs), community-based organizations, volunteer literacy organizations, institutions of higher education, public or private nonprofit agencies, libraries, public housing authorities, other nonprofit institutions that have the ability to provide literacy services to adults and families, and consortia of the types of organizations listed above. Not all grant programs are open to all eligible applicants however; for example, eligible applicants for Adult Basic Education for Incarcerated Adults grants are agencies that operate state and county jails and correctional facilities; eligible applicants for ABE Transition to Community College may be limited to community colleges.

In awarding grants or contracts under this section, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) evaluates the applicant's demonstrated past performance and the community's demonstrated need for ABE and ESOL programs; it is anticipated that these factors will account for 50% of each applicant's final score. The remaining 50% of the score will be based on additional factors required under federal legislation (see the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Title II of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998) and other considerations.

Questions about the RFPs may be sent by email to a mailbox that will be set up for that purpose when the RFP is released. In order to ensure open and equitable access to all information, answers to all questions received will be posted to the ACLS webpage; Department staff will not answer questions individually.

Last Updated: February 15, 2011

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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