Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Title III: English Language Acquisition and Academic Achievement Program for English Learners and Immigrant Children and Youth

Fund Code: 180


Title III of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides supplemental resources to local school districts to help ensure that English learners (ELs) and immigrant children and youth attain English proficiency and develop high levels of academic achievement in English, assist teachers and administrators to enhance their capacity to provide effective instructional programs designed to prepare ELs and immigrant children and youth to enter all-English instructional settings, and promote parental, family, and community participation in language instruction programs for parents, families, and communities.

Title III, Part A is one of four principal programs that are available to districts through formula grants under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the current reauthorization of ESEA. The other programs are Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A; and Title IV, Part A.


The priorities of Title III are to:

  1. Increase the English language proficiency of ELs by providing effective language instruction programs that meet the needs of ELs and increase student academic achievement

  2. Provide effective professional development designed to improve the instruction and assessment of ELs, to enhance the ability of teachers and school leaders to understand and implement curricula and assessment practices and measures, and to increase children's English language proficiency or substantially increase the subject matter knowledge, teaching knowledge, and teaching skills of teachers

  3. Provide and implement other effective activities and strategies that enhance or supplement language instruction programs for ELs which shall include parent, family, and community engagement activities

In addition to the above priorities, the Title III program supports Massachusetts' goals and strategies (listed below) for increasing student achievement by enhancing grant recipients' capacity to increase students' English language proficiency and academic achievement.

State Goal, Core Strategies, and ESSA Priorities and Our Way Forward in Massachusetts Initiatives

The goal of Massachusetts' public K-12 education system is to prepare all students for success after high school. Our five core strategies to accelerate the pace of school improvement are:

  1. Strengthening standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  2. Promoting educator development
  3. Supporting social-emotional learning, health, and safety
  4. Turning around the state's lowest performing districts and schools
  5. Enhancing resource allocation and data use

Additionally, Massachusetts has identified four priority focus areas under its plan for implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act:

  • Early grades literacy
  • Middle grades math
  • High-quality college and career pathways for high school students
  • Supporting historically disadvantaged subgroups of students

Additionally, districts may explore the use of these funds to support the "Our Way Forward" initiatives. This includes:

  • Deeper Learning for All
  • Holistic Support and Enrichment
  • Innovation and Evidence-Based Practices


Funds are awarded to districts or consortia of districts with more than 100 students identified as English learners (ELs) in the March 2020 student data transmission (SIMS). Districts interested in forming a consortium for Title III purposes were required to submit letters of intent by June 15, 2020.

Grants are awarded to local school districts after the state reviews and approves a district's grant application.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA 84.365A


FY21 Fund Code 180 Title III, Part A District Allocations

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available for allocations, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document. Unclaimed funds (funds not budgeted for in EdGrants) will be redistributed to eligible districts via the Title III, Part A Immigrant grant.

Fund Use:

Title III formula subgrants are to be used to fund supplemental instruction for ELs, professional development for teachers and administrators of ELs, and EL family and parent engagement. Title III funds must be used to supplement the level of local, state, and federal funds that, in the absence of Title III funds, would otherwise be expended for programs for ELs and in no case supplant such federal, state, and local funds. There is a maximum 2% cap on direct administrative costs.

Important: Please note that Title III funds may not be used to support or provide either the SEI Teacher or SEI Administrator Endorsement course or to meet the requirements under the LOOK Act.

Project Duration:

Upon approval through 6/30/2021 (Year 1) *

*The period of availability for this grant award can be extended 15 months beyond Year 1 by utilizing the multi-year feature for this Funding Opportunity in EdGrants. The extended period is broken up by fiscal year, as follows: 7/1/2021 – 6/30/2022 (Year 2); 7/1/2022 – 9/30/2022 (Year 3).

Program Unit:

Resource Allocation Strategy and Planning


Federal Grants

Date Due:

Monday, September 14, 2020

Required Forms:
Download Excel Document
FY21 Consolidated ESSA Application Workbook
The consolidated workbook excel file is to be uploaded with the Title I grant submission only. Do not upload to the 180 submission in EdGrants. If you do not receive Title I funding, please contact your grant liaison Download Excel Document or the federal grants programs office at
  • Signature Page — Standard Contract Form (Tab 1 of Consolidated Application) with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director Note: Please sign and date your cover page and ensure the amount matches the amount budgeted. We cannot approve any grant without a signed, properly dated and uploaded signature page. Electronic signatures cannot be accepted.

  • Title III Budget must be entered both on the consolidated workbook tab as well as in EdGrants in the Budget Entry formlet. The budget tab in the workbook and the EdGrants budget should match.

  • For Consortia Only: Complete the Schedule A tab to reflect all districts participating in the consortia

Download Word Document
FY21 Federal Grant Assurancesto be uploaded with the district's FY21 FC: 305 Title I submission in EdGrants. Signature Page (Page 1 only) completed and signed by the Superintendent/Executive Director. If your district does not receive a Title I grant, contact your district's DESE grant liaison Download Excel Document or the federal grants programs office at for submission instructions. We cannot approve any federal entitlement grant without a signed, properly dated and uploaded Federal Grant Assurance signature page.

Additional Information:
Download Word Document
Required and Authorized Activities
Download Word Document
Guidance to Consortia Memo (dated June 3, 2020)
Download Word Document
Title III, Part A Quick Reference Guide on allowable and unallowable costs
View HTML Page
Prenatal through Young Adulthood Family Engagement Framework in Massachusetts
View HTML Page
Private School Equitable Services under ESSA resources
View HTML Page
Budget detail and description of line item information

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 who can be reached in July and August to respond to questions, as needed.

Submission Instructions:

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:

FY21 FC 180 Title IIIA Applicant Number
For example, Abington (0001) would name the file as FY21 FC 180 Title IIIA 0001

In EdGrants, district staff assigned the role of "Front Office User" should enter the Title III grant budget, attach a PDF of the Signature Page with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director, a PDF of the signed FY21 Federal Grant Assurances Signature page, and a Schedule A form if it's applicable.

Note: The entire Consolidation Application Workbook must be uploaded with your Title I budget in EdGrants. This is the only place your entire FY21 Consolidated Application workbook will be uploaded.

For additional submission instructions, see the "Read Me First" tab of the FY21 Consolidated ESSA Application workbook.

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

Please note: It is up to the district to determine who they want 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 13, 2020

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

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