DESE provides financial resources to Broad/Comprehensive and Focused/Targeted Schools through a series of competitive and allocation grants.
School Redesign Grants
School Redesign Grants (SRG) are federally-funded, competitive grants that help districts improve their lowest performing schools. Grants are awarded to help districts and schools meet students' needs through funding improvement strategies such as increased time for student learning, professional development for educators, and academic enrichment programs for students. Each year eligibility is determined by the lowest performing schools in the Commonwealth based on our state's accountability system. To apply, the school needs to demonstrate certain elements are in place to ensure the flexibilities needed for rapid school improvement are accessible. Then the school and district coordinate to submit an application in the spring. In addition to the written application, the school and district leaders will also participate in an interview process to determine which schools will be awarded funds. Those schools that are awarded funds are notified before the end of the school year for funds available in the upcoming school year. Schools will then have three years to spend the SRG funds.
An integral component of SRG involves schools developing, implementing, and revising a turnaround plan, which guides the approach to rapid school improvement. The turnaround plan is to be updated each year the school receives the grant. The turnaround plan is couched in the research-based best practices for effective school turnaround efforts. Our state has learned a lot since SRG was first implemented in 2010. A majority of the schools that have been identified as underperforming have been exited from underperforming status. Many of the lessons learned from what successful school turnaround looks like can be found here.
Eligible schools applying for SRG should reference the following resources:
2019-2020 New SRG Funding Opportunity
2019-2020 Renewal SRG Funding Opportunity
2019-2020 New SRG Directions and Scoring Rubric
2019-2020 Renewal SRG Directions and Scoring Rubric
Turnaround Sustainability Toolkit
2019-2020 SRG Process and Applications
Summary of the Review Process, Overall Scoring, and Results
2019-2020 SRG Written Applications
Turnaround Assistance Grant
The Turnaround Assistance Grant (TAG) represents the merger of two previous grant programs, the DSAC and District MOU grants, that reflects the new era of accountability and assistance ushered in by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the new Massachusetts Accountability System. The TAG combines funds for state targeted assistance as well as federal school improvement funding. It will distribute funds for over 100 schools identified as “Requiring Assistance or Intervention” in the Massachusetts Accountability System.
Districts with one or more schools identified under the Massachusetts District and School Accountability System for focused/targeted and broad/comprehensive support are eligible for this grant opportunity. There are four TAG categories within which schools are eligible: Planning Grants, Implementation Grants, School Redesign Planning Grants, and Subgroup Performance Only Grants. Across all four grant categories, the grant-funded activities that districts and schools engage in are expected to fall into two broad categories:
- Planning and Pre-Implementation activities
- Activities supporting the implementation of turnaround plans (or subgroup improvement plans).
The TAG focuses on the development and implementation of school turnaround plans, in alignment with ESSA mandates and Massachusetts’ best practices. Funding allocations are tiered, based upon school percentiles and whether or not schools have an existing turnaround plan. Schools without a turnaround plan will receive funding and support to develop a high-quality turnaround plan. Schools with an existing turnaround plan will receive funding and support for plan implementation.
Statewide System of Support Regional Assistance Directors can discuss TAG options and assist efforts toward the development of grant proposals if needed. For more information on the TAG, including everything needed to apply for a TAG, please go here.