Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Student Opportunity Act Evidence Based Programs

Fund Code: 117

Purpose:

The purpose of this competitive grant program is to improve educational opportunities for all students, with an emphasis on improving racial equity, by supporting district Student Opportunity Act (SOA) Plans for development or enhancement of Acceleration Academy Summer programs, summer learning, educator diversification, early college, and early literacy. This grant is intended to:

"Address persistent disparities in achievement among student subgroups, improve educational opportunities for all students, share best practices for improving classroom learning and support efficiencies within and across school districts." (Student Opportunity Act, 21st Century Education Program, Section 16A)
Priorities:

Priority will be given to: A) districts that prioritize addressing gaps in racial equity in their FY2021 SOA Plan and B) districts building evidence-based programs described in their FY2021 SOA Plan that coincide with one or more of the focus areas listed below.

  1. Acceleration Academies Summer and/or summer learning to support skill development and accelerate advanced learners

  2. Diversifying the educator workforce through recruitment and retention

  3. Early College programs focused primarily on students under-represented in higher education

  4. Research-based early literacy programs in pre-kindergarten and early elementary

See Appendix A for components and examples of these evidence-based programs.

Priority will be given to applicants who clearly articulate plans to: improve racial equity, enhance culturally responsive instruction, eliminate systemic racial biases, and reimagine teaching and learning, creating 2-way partnerships with families and students. All programs should emphasize services intended to lead directly to improvements in equity, particularly racial equity.

Eligibility:

This grant opportunity is open to any district that has submitted an FY2021 SOA Plan that addresses at least one of the 4 focus areas. Districts may apply for any or all of these focus areas that were selected in their FY2021 SOA Plan. District SOA plans must have been approved by their local school board prior to grant submission. Please see a list of eligible districts in Additional Information, Appendix B.

Districts with Early College programs that already have Designation as well as districts with Early College programs that applied for, but have not yet received, Designation and that demonstrate a commitment to the continued development of their Early College programs are eligible to apply for this grant.

Funding Type:

Trust

Funding:

Districts can apply for program planning and/or implementation funds in any or all of the specified 4 focus areas as long as they were addressed in the district's FY2021 SOA Plan. A district's submitted SOA Plan must identify the evidence-based practice as a priority in order to be eligible to apply for grant funding in that focus area. See Appendix C for a description of allowable fund use in each focus area.

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

The total allocation per grant will be determined by financial needs articulated by eligible districts and may be modified by the Department. The requested amount should be appropriate and reasonable for the size and scope of the proposed program. For guidance purposes only, the anticipated grant range for each focus area is listed below.

  • Acceleration Academy Summer Program/Summer Learning Program Anticipated Grant Range: Approximately $10,000 for program planning, approximately $20,000–$40,000 for program implementation.

  • Workforce Diversification Anticipated Grant Range: Approximately $10,000–$15,000 for program planning, approximately $20,000–$25,000 for planning with the support of a vendor, approximately $20,000–$25,000 for providing financial supports.

  • Early College Anticipated Grant Range: Approximately $10,000–$15,000 for program planning, approximately $20,000–$40,000 for program implementation

  • Early Literacy Anticipated Grant Range: Approximately $10,000–$100,000. Early literacy grants may not exceed $100,000, nor exceed $182/student.

Fund Use:

Fund use must be consistent with applicable state and federal requirements. Funding will only be approved after programmatic and budgetary reviews by Department staff and upon review by the Office of the Governor. All expenditures will be closely reviewed as they relate to the priorities of this grant opportunity.

Funds for these programs may not be used for capital expenses.

Funds must be used for one or more of the 4 focus areas. See Appendix C for more information about allowable fund use. Funds may be used in FY2021 through June 30, 2021 and/or in FY2022 from July 1 – August 31, 2021.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 6/30/2021 and/or these funds can PAC into FY2022 (7/1/2021 – 8/31/2021). FY2022 signature page and summer budget (7/1/2021 – 8/31/2021) will be required if any funds will be used after June 30, 2021, and the narrative description will need to distinguish Spring (FY2021) from Summer (FY2022) activities.

Program Unit:

Statewide System of Support

Contact:

Abigail T. Slayton

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3517

Date Due:

Friday March 26, 2021. Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
FY2021 FC 117 School Year Part I — Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants (Upon Approval – June 30, 2021)
Download Word Document
FY2022 FC 117 Summer PAC Part I — Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants (July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021) if applicable
Download Excel Document
FY2021 FC 117 School Year Part II — Budget (Upon Approval – June 30, 2021). If applying for more than one focus area, note the relevant focus area in the comments for each line item.
Download Excel Document
FY2022 FC 117 Summer PAC Part II — Summer Budget (July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021) if applicable. If applying for more than one focus area, note the relevant focus area in the comments for each line item.
 
FC 117 Part III — Project Information. Complete a separate description for each focus area for which funds are being requested. Districts may use their SOA Plan application as the core of the project description. Specify, where indicated, which activities and funds will be applied to the Spring (FY2021) and which to the Summer (FY2022).
Download Word Document
Part III — Acceleration Academies Summer Program
Download Word Document
Part III — Summer Learning
Download Word Document
Part III — Educator Workforce Diversification
Download Word Document
Part III — Early College
Download Word Document
Part III — Early Literacy

Additional Information:

See Appendix A Download Word Document for fuller descriptions of evidence-based program components and examples.

See Appendix B Download Word Document for list of eligible districts.

See Appendix C Download Word Document for descriptions of fund use for the 4 focus areas.

See DESE's CURATE webpage for more information about evidence-based curriculum and instructional materials.

See DESE's Promising Recruitment, Retention, and Selection Strategies for a Diverse Massachusetts Teacher Workforce (Guidebook) for workforce diversity resources.

See the Designation Criteria Download PDF Document approved by the Early College Joint Committee.

Submission Instructions:

Please email the required documents as listed above, attached to a single email, to SSoS@mass.gov, using the subject line FC117 Proposal [District name].

Please use the following file formats:

  • Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants) - Word document
  • Part II — Budget Details Pages Workbook — Excel spreadsheet
  • Part III — Required Program Information — Word document

Please do not submit PDFs, JPEGs or other file formats.

Applicants will receive a confirmation when the required forms are received. Early submission is strongly encouraged in order to ensure the complete application is received and confirmed by 5pm on the due date.

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: March 4, 2021

 
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