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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

Q&A for FY20 Integrated English Literacy & Civics Education/Integrated Education & Training

As of July 24, 2019

Q1. In regards to the IELCE/IET grant opportunity, it is stated in the RFP that partnerships with one or more partnerships with local employers are required. Is a partnership with the local workforce development board also required? It is not listed in the priorities but the narrative section (Part III) requires a description of how the program will be carried out in collaboration with the local workforce development board. Do we need a letter of support from the WDB as well as from the employer partner?

A1. While technically not a requirement, partnership with the local workforce development board is an expectation (per the narrative and Overview). A formal letter is not a requirement; however, a letter from the board would document the partnership (and it would count toward the page limit).

Q2. In reviewing the online announcement for the IET/IELCE funding opportunity I've found 2 difference references to page limits for the Part III Required Program Information: the website makes reference to a 12-page limit while the actual document we are linked to for Part III A and/or B makes reference to a 10-page limit which is correct.

A2. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Twelve pages is the correct limit.

Q3. The instructions do no indicate a line spacing requirement. Is single spacing acceptable?

A3. Yes, single spacing is acceptable.

Q4. In reviewing the online announcement for the IET/IELCE funding opportunity I see no mention of a match requirement, however, the Part II Budget & Class Plan template provided for downloading does indicate that a 20% match is required. Is match required for this submission/proposal?

A4. Yes, a minimum of 20% is required.

Q5. The summary page takes any manually entered indirect figure on Line 10 of the budget, sub budgets and the match tabs and ADDS IT TO the maximum about that can be used. This, in turn rolls into the Administrative Cost Analysis and increases the Administrative Cost percentage. How should this be addressed?

A5. Thank you for identifying this error in the Summary sheet. Cell J56 should have been included in the Total Indirect formula (J60). Total Indirect. We will post a corrected version of the workbook.

Questions and Answers from the Bidder's Conference, July 12, 2019

Q6. Do students in IET have to already be enrolled in an ABE program?

A6. No but there must be an ABE component in the IET program.

Q7. Can we submit multiple IET grants?

A7. Yes.

Q8. How do you explain a maximum indirect cost of 8% which is greater than the Admin cap of 5% when indirect is considered an administrative cost?

A8. As with our basic adult education grants, with sufficient justification, a grant recipient may negotiate a higher admin cost not to exceed 25%.

Q9. What is the grant period/duration for the IELCE?

A9. Because IELCE is federally funded, it is 9/1/19 through 8/31/20.

Q10. What is the calendar differences between IET and IELCE?

A10. It depends. Some IET programs may be state funded in which case the calendar year for the grant is July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020.

Q11. For an IET request with more than one career focus do we submit two separate proposals or combine in one proposal?

A11. A proposal must be submitted for each proposed IET/IELCE that prepares students for a different career pathway.

Q12. Can the IET funding be used to supplement an existing program - to expand it?

A12. Yes, if funds for the program would not supplant how an existing program is funded. For example, if the current program is not offered to ESOL learners, an IELCE program would require significant changes in staffing and curriculum.

Q13. If IET funds follow the state calendar year, would the program start July next year or would we have less than 1 year for the program?

A13. The first year of funding would need to be prorated but future years would be 7/1 to 6/30.

Q14. Is it possible to get a copy of this powerpoint?

A14. Yes. Please email Karen DeCoster and she will send you copy:

Q15. The workbook template states a 20% match is required but the RFP does not mention match; which is correct?

A15. The workbook—a 20% match is required.

Q16. If we are submitting 2 proposals should we send two separate emails?

A16. No. You may submit all the required docs for both in one email.

Q17. What are the minimum/maximum number of students to be served overall? In a cohort?

A17. There are no minimums or maximums.

Q18. Would it beneficial to have a letter of support from the MassHire Workforce Board as well?

A18. Yes, as it may document the partnership with the MassHire Workforce Board but it is not required.

Q19. Is the last section on the Overview about additional funding the same as match?

A19. No, although it may count toward match.

Q20. Where on the DESE website can we find the industry recognized credentials by framework?

A20. The link to the frameworks can be found here: Industry-Recognized Credentials.

Q21. Can the Accuplacer be used to show skills deficient?

A21. While the Accuplacer may be used to determine placement or need, the test cannot be used to document academic gains as the Accuplacer is not designed to do that.

Q22. Are there required assessments for students?

A22. Yes, for reporting academic gains: TABE or MAPT for ABE students; Best Plus or TABE Class E for ESOL students. Assessments used to document technical skill gains should be determined by industry experts and/or employers. Please refer to the Massachusetts Adult Education Assessment Policies Download Word Document.

Q23. Are there guidelines/expectations/references for civic education?

A23. Not at this time but footnote 2 in Part III: Required Information provides a definition:
An educational program that emphasizes contextualized instruction on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, naturalization procedures, civic participation, and U.S. history and government to help students acquire the skills and knowledge to become active and informed parents, workers, and community members. Civics education classes introduce students to civics-related content and provide them with opportunities to apply that knowledge in their daily lives while building their English language and literacy skills. (Note: Civics education is a required component of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Integrated English Language and Civics Education (IELCE) services.)

Q24. Are there specific required number of hours for training vs. education?

A24. Only those required for the industry credential.

Q25. If we are not an ABE funded CALC can we get access to MAPT for this grant?

A25. Yes, if funded.

Q26. Do we have to use TABE 11/12? Or can we use an earlier version.

A26. It must be TABE 11/12 if funded. See the Assessment Policies in A17 for more information.

Q27. With the TABE can we choose to use ELA vs. Math as the way to measure gain?

A27. For measuring academic gains, only applicants from Corrections will use the TABE. Other applicants must use the MAPT test to measure academic gains. In both cases, applicants should be guided by the assessment policies (see A17). Input from the MassHire Workforce Board and employers should be used in determining the right assessment(s) for technical skill gains.

Q28. How will approved programs be asked to report on successes and track day to day things like attendance and test scores?

A28. If funded, awardees will report student enrollment, attendance, and assessment outcomes in the LACES system. Data must be entered at least bi-weekly.

Questions and Answers for the week of July 15–19

Q29. It was mentioned in the Bidders' Conference that the IELCE option would be federally funded and that IET option would be state funded. Project Duration at the website indicates "upon approval through … " either June 30, 2020 (State funding) or August 31, 2020 (Federal funding). Does that mean we should be creating a prorated proposal for either/or both options?

A29. No. But first let me correct what was said. Either IELCE or IET may be supported by federal or state funds. That said, for the competition, an applicant should submit a proposal for a 12-month grant period as the grant may be renewed for 2 additional years. If awarded, and if necessary, ACLS will work with the grantee to pro-rate the budget for Year-One accordingly.

Q30. In the Bidders' Webinar on Friday, in going over the Overview, it was stated that "workforce training providers" must be on the approved list. Where can the approved list of training providers be found?

Q30. Here is the link to that list: Locate Training.

Last Updated: July 24, 2019

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