Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2020: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant

Fund Code: 240


Within the articulated priority of Results-Driven Accountability by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, the purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs.


The priorities of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004) are to:

  1. ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living;
  2. ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected;
  3. assist States, localities, educational service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities;
  4. assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.

(34 CFR § 300.1; authority: 20 U.S.C. § 1400(d).)

Funds available under this federal entitlement program are intended for use by districts in providing eligible students with special education services and activities deemed essential for students' success in school. Services and activities supported by this grant for students ages 3 through 21 must ensure compliance with state special education laws (M.G.L. c. 71B) and regulations (603 CMR 28.00), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004).

When considering fund use, each district should review results from its most recent Coordinated Program Review or Mid-Cycle Review, review district performance in relation to the indicators specified in the Massachusetts State Performance Plan, and review the 2018 Special Education Determination levels.

Additionally, to support effective planning and the strategic use of grant funds to support improved outcomes for students with disabilities, in FY20 some districts are required to participate in the Making Money Matter (M3) initiative:


Funds are awarded to public school districts with approved Special Education Program Plan Statements based on an allocation formula that takes into account total school enrollment in both public and private elementary and secondary schools, and the number children living in poverty, as determined by the State in those same groups.

Please note that the DESE reserves the right to require that these funds be used to correct areas of identified special education noncompliance.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) requires each local education agency district receiving IDEA grant funding (either Fund Code 240 or 262 or both) to meet two standards of maintenance of effort (MOE) to ensure that each maintains at least the same amount of local or state and local funds for the education of students with disabilities from year to year. MOE is one method of ensuring that IDEA funds are supplementing rather than supplanting state and local funds that would be used for educational services to students with disabilities. Districts are only being asked to demonstrate one of the two standards, the eligibility standard for MOE, as part of the grant application process.

Eligibility Standard: This standard is a forward-looking measure of MOE. Meeting this standard ensures that a district has budgeted the same amount of local or state and local funds for educational services to students with disabilities as it did in the last year it met MOE using the same method. If a district fails to meet the eligibility standard for MOE (after taking into any applicable exception or adjustment), the district will not be eligible to receive IDEA funds for that fiscal year.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA: 84.027


FY20 Fund Code 240 IDEA Allocations will be posted on the Grants Management website when they become available.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available for allocation, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

Fund Use:

General Fund Use — All Districts

Federal special education funds are awarded to school districts to assist them in providing appropriate special education services for eligible students and to address the priorities listed above. Districts are reminded of their responsibility to maintain state/local effort in special education, as well as to use these funds for the excess costs of special education. See Special Education Administrative Advisory SPED 2016-2: Requirements related to Maintenance of Effort and Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2011-1: Annual Fiscal Calculations.

IDEA also requires districts to designate federal funds to meet proportionate share obligations and expenditures for parentally placed private school and home-schooled students. All districts must complete the required proportionate share form within the FY20 IDEA Part B (Fund Code 240) grant application. See the DESE web page, IDEA Equitable Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools, for more information about Proportionate Share Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools.

Additional Directed Fund Use —

Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)
A district may voluntarily use up to 15% of its special education entitlement grant to develop and implement Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) to support students without disabilities who need additional academic and behavioral support to succeed in a general education environment. See 34 CFR § 300.226. Allowable uses for CEIS include:

  • Providing professional development for teachers and other school staff for the delivery of scientifically-based academic instruction and behavioral intervention, including scientifically-based literacy instruction and instruction in the use of adaptive and instructional software, and
  • Providing educational and behavioral evaluations and supports.

Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (Comprehensive CEIS)
Any district identified with significant disproportionality is required to reserve 15 percent of its IDEA Part B funds (Fund Code 240 and Fund Code 262) to provide comprehensive CEIS to address factors contributing to the significant disproportionality. See 34 CFR § 300.646. CCEIS activities:

  • May include Professional development and educational and behavioral evaluations, services, and support; and
  • Must identify and address the factors contributing to the significant disproportionality, which may include,
    • a lack of access to scientifically based instruction; economic cultural, or linguistic barriers to appropriate identification or placement in particular educational setting;
    • inappropriate use of disciplinary removals;
    • lack of access to appropriate diagnostic screenings;
    • difference in academic achievement levels; and
    • policies, practices, or procedures that contribute to the significant disproportionality.

Any questions related to CCEIS, contact Brian Coonley at or 781-338-3374.

Making Money Matter (M3)
In FY20, districts required to participate in M3 are those with:

  1. A 2018 special education determination level of Needs Assistance (NA), Needs Intervention (NI), or Needs Substantial Intervention (NSI); AND
  2. One or more schools with 2018 MA accountability percentiles 1–10

For additional information regarding special education determination of district need for technical assistance or intervention, please review the 2018 Determination of Need for Special Education Technical Assistance or Intervention on the ESE Accountability Lists, Materials, and Tools webpage.

M3 districts are required to direct at least 2% of their FY20 total special education entitlement allocation toward targeted district improvement of performance outcomes for students with disabilities.

M3 funds should be used to:

  • Uncover system gaps,
  • Identify high impact, evidence-based interventions to fill those gaps, that
  • Emphasize Tier 1 inclusive instructional practices, services, and supports, and
  • Build capacity and systems to implement and sustain identified practices with fidelity and at scale.

As part of the Fund Code 240 application, identified districts must complete the M3 tab. Districts must identify the amount of funds (at least 2%) being directed toward the M3 initiative, complete a program description, and reflect the district's FY20 M3 Spending Plan in the grant application.

Note: All FY20 M3 funds must be identified from the districts' Fund Code 240 allocation. Any questions related to M3, contact Abigail T. Slayton or 781-338-3517.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 6/30/2020 (Year 1) *

*The period of availability for this grant award can be extended beyond Year 1 based on utilizing the multi-year feature for this Funding Opportunity in EdGrants. Extended period as follows: 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021 (Year 2); 7/1/2021 – 9/30/2021 (Year 3)

Program Unit:

Resource Allocation Strategy and Planning

Federal Grant Programs
Phone Number:

(781) 338-6230

Date Due:

Friday, October 4, 2019

Required Forms:
Download Excel Document
FY20 Consolidated IDEA Application Workbook (Note: Please sign and date your cover page and ensure the amount matches the amount budgeted)

Download Excel Document
Schedule A Form (if applicable)

Download Excel Document
Schedule A Member Supplement (If applicable. Each member of a Schedule A consortium, applying for FC 240 must complete tabs calculating the proportionate share for equitable services, as applicable and a Maintenance of Effort tab if the member district is not submitting a FY20 IDEA Consolidated application)

Download Word Document
FY20 Federal Grant Assurances Signature Page (Page 1) completed and signed by the Superintendent/Executive Director. Upload a signed PDF copy of the signature page only with your district's FY20 ESSA Consolidated Application.

Additional Information:
Download Word Document
Fund Code 240 Quick Reference Guide on allowable and unallowable costs

Download Word Document
Allowable Costs for IDEA Entitlement Grants

Download Word Document
IDEA Proportionate Share Quick Reference Guide

Download Word Document
FY20 M3 District List

Note: Applicants may only legally claim expenses to the grant starting from the date of final DESE approval. The start date for the grant is the date on which the district submits substantially approvable budget and information for the grant. Therefore, to expedite approval, it is essential to have district staff that can be reached in July and August to respond to questions, as needed.

Submission Instructions:

Resource Allocation Strategy and Planning (RASP) will notify applicants when the Funding Opportunities are available for applicants to Submit the Application Submission and required grant materials in EdGrants.

In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

FY20 FC 240 IDEA Applicant Number
For example, Abington (0001) would name the file as FY20 FC 240 IDEA 0001

In EdGrants, district staff assigned the role of "control user" should enter the grant budget and attach the FY20 Consolidated IDEA Application workbook along with a PDF of the Signature Page with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director and any other form applicable to your districts FY20 FC 240 Grants submission (e.g., Schedule A). The entire Consolidation Application Workbook must be uploaded with your FC 240 budget in EdGrants.

Note: This is the only place your entire FY20 Consolidated Application workbook will be uploaded. See Required Forms above for additional forms that may be required from some applicants.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides and Information.

Please note: It is up to the district to determine who it wants to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.

Last Updated: July 2, 2019

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