Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2018

Digital Connections Partnership Schools Grant (Wi-Fi)
Fund Code: EOTSS

Purpose:To assist public school districts in improving student instruction and assessment through the use of information technology, including, but not limited to, enhanced information technology infrastructure (Wi-Fi).

Priorities: Priority shall be given to applications that:
  • Maximize the access of broadband and improve the efficiency and productivity of education through the use of technology;
  • Provide student access to individualized and rigorous digital learning experiences;
  • Ensure that educators and administrators have the knowledge and skills to develop and implement digital learning curricula; and
  • Maximize taxpayer value, student access to information technology and information technology preparedness.
Eligibility: Districts or schools receiving first, second, and third priority are classified into Groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, as indicated in Attachment A.

Educational Collaboratives and charter schools are eligible if they are located on publicly-owned real property maintained for the benefit of the district.

Within each group, applications may be further prioritized based on the extent to which the overall applicant pool reflects the geographic diversity of the Commonwealth (e.g., suburban, urban, rural); number of students served; district accountability level; and whether the applicant applied for grant funds in the past, but was not funded, provided that a facility that received funding in prior years is not eligible.

Note: Priority group designations subject to change based on additional data.

Funding Type:State funded by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS)
Funding:Approximately $1.7 million in matching state funds are available to help districts upgrade their digital infrastructure. Applicants will be required to contribute between 30% and 70% on a sliding scale based on their city or town's contribution to the Chapter 70 formula. Applicants may contribute matching funds from either a public or private source.

Fund Use: The state will fund up to 100% of the up-front costs of the infrastructure.
  • Applicants must agree that the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS) will fund infrastructure costs directly, EOTSS will file an E-rate application on the applicant's behalf, and the applicant will cancel any outstanding FCC Form 470s if awarded funding.
The local match (between 30% and 70% of the total project cost, on a sliding scale) may fund any combination of devices, assistive technology, professional development, or managed services.
  • Devices for students purchased with the local match must, at a minimum, meet the recommended technology specifications for computer-based MCAS tests.
Applicants must agree to document all expenditures toward the local match and provide verification of these expenditures by June 30, 2019.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that the local match expenditure supplements, and not supplants, any costs it would have incurred if it were not receiving state resources for infrastructure.
  • Applicants are encouraged to provide documentation of local match expenditures to EOTSS on a rolling basis.
  • Examples of valid documentation include copies of executed work orders and invoices and receipts for products or services, typically from a third party.
Funds cannot be used to upgrade digital infrastructure in buildings that are scheduled for decommissioning or razing within 10 years from the completion of the project.
  • Data from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) will be used to verify eligibility.
No budget is required because the state match for infrastructure will be funded by EOTSS and the local match (any combination of devices, assistive technology, professional development, or managed services) will be funded by the applicant.
  • The amount of the local match will be calculated based on the project cost for the state-funded portion. EOTSS will provide applicants with the local match estimate based on the quote provided by the apparent winning bidder for the project, in January or February.
  • Applicants may opt out at any time prior to the filing of the E-rate application.
Project Duration:Upon Award - 6/30/2018 (verification of local match expenditures due by June 30, 2019)

Program Unit:Office of Digital Learning
Contacts: Kenneth Klau
Phone Number:781-338-3505
Date Due: Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Proposals must be submitted online by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:Online application

Submission Instructions:Submit online

Additional Information:
Download Excel Document
Attachment A: List of communities and match requirements
Download Excel Document
Attachment B: List of schools and documented Wi-Fi/Fiber needs
Slides from the FY18 Digital Connections Partnership Schools Grant Webinars
View External Link
2017 E-rate Eligible Services List
FY2017 Application
Download Excel Document