Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Teacher Diversification Pilot Program

Fund Codes: 216/319

Purpose:

The competitive Teacher Diversification Pilot Program is designed to support local school district efforts to strengthen and diversify existing teacher recruitment and retention programs. With state and federal funds, participating pilot school districts will engage in thoughtful, high-impact approaches intended to increase the number of effective and diverse teachers in their schools.

Strategies must be informed by a review of the district's qualitative and quantitative data related to teacher recruitment and retention efforts. In addition, identified strategies must be aligned to the district's strategic plan.

In an effort to increase effective teacher recruitment and retention, participating pilot districts will be required to review district policies and procedures and identify the cultural proficiency training needs for district hiring managers, teachers, and principals. Pilot districts will also be required to develop cultural proficiency training implementation plans. Additionally, participating pilot districts will be required to participate in Year 2 of the Department's Diversity Network. The Diversity Network will be led by the Department's vendor, TNTP and will focus on retention programs.

Applicants may propose to use grant funds to strengthen existing teacher recruitment and retention programs in the following ways. All individuals supported by this grant must commit to teaching in the district for a minimum of 4 years and demonstrate a commitment to supporting students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Option A: Financial Assistance

  • Paraprofessionals: School districts will identify paraprofessionals currently employed by the district with a bachelor's degree and provide tuition assistance to support enrollment into, and completion of, an approved educator preparation program. In addition, school districts will provide these individuals with Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) preparation support through an approved Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) provider and pay for associated MTEL examination fees through the issuance of Department-provided vouchers.

  • District Graduates or Other College Graduates: School districts will identify district graduates or other college graduates currently employed or will be employed by the district with a bachelor's degree and provide tuition assistance to support their enrollment into, and completion of, an approved educator preparation program. In addition, school districts will provide these individuals with MTEL preparation support through an approved Department provider and pay for associated MTEL examination fees through the issuance of Department-provided vouchers.

  • Provisionally Licensed Teachers: School districts will identify teachers currently employed by the district with a "provisional" license and provide tuition assistance to support their enrollment into, and completion of, an approved educator preparation program.

Option B: Teacher Recruitment and Financial Incentives

  • Loan Payment Reimbursement: School districts may provide loan payment reimbursement to district graduates who return to teach and/or college graduates. All individuals supported by this grant must commit to teaching in the district for a minimum of 4 years and demonstrate a commitment to supporting students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

  • Relocation Assistance: School districts may provide relocation assistance for costs associated with moving to Massachusetts for newly hired out-of-state educators.

  • Signing Bonuses: School districts may provide signing bonuses to newly hired teachers.

Option C: Grow Your Own Initiatives — Education Pathways

  • The Department continues to support high-impact, grow your own strategies such as the development or enhancement of an education-specific pathway for high school students.


Priorities:

In Year 3 (September 2020 through August 2021) of the 3-year Teacher Diversification Pilot Program, districts should prioritize continued financial support and assistance to paraprofessionals with bachelor's degrees, district graduates or recent college graduates, and provisionally licensed teachers who received financial support in FY20.

Competitive priorities for this grant will be given to:

  1. Districts with established teacher recruitment and retention programs, which include, but are not limited to: paraprofessional-to-teacher programs.
  2. Development or enhancement of high quality, education-specific pathway programs for high school students.

Eligibility:

Districts identified as requiring assistance or intervention in the Massachusetts Accountability System and who received the grant in FY20 are eligible to apply. Please reference the Department's District and School Accountability webpage to access accountability lists, materials, and tools.

Funding Type:

State and Federal CFDA 84.010

Funding:

Approximately $2,000,000 will be awarded to school districts with the possibility of additional funding in subsequent years.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding is to become available it will be distributed under the same guideline as listed in the initial RFP document.

Fund Use:

Funds must be used to support local district efforts to strengthen and diversify existing teacher recruitment and retention efforts. Activities must be reasonable, appropriate, and consistent with all applicable state and federal requirements.

Option A: Grant funds must be used to provide financial assistance, including tuition payments to approved educator preparation programs, MTEL examination preparation support, and MTEL examination testing fees to support eligible paraprofessionals, district graduates or other college graduates, and provisionally licensed teachers and must be paid by August 31, 2021*.

Option B: Grant funds must be used to support district recruitment efforts through the implementation of financial incentives. Grant funded activities must conclude by August 31, 2021*.

Option C: Grant funds must be used to support the development or enhancement of high quality, education-specific pathways for high school students. Grant funded activities must conclude by August 31, 2021*.

Project Duration:

Upon approval – 6/30/2021 (if applicable through 8/31/2021*)

All grant-funded activities must be paid by August 31, 2021*. A report on grant funded activities and outcomes will be required. Additional details will be provided to grant-funded districts.

Program Unit:

Center for Strategic Initiatives

Contact:

MA_Educator_Diversification@doe.mass.edu

Date Due:

Friday, August 21, 2020

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:
 
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Word Document
FY2021 Upon Approval through June 30, 2021
Download Word Document
FY2022 July 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021 (if applicable) *
 
Part II — Budget Workbook
Download Excel Document
FY2021 Upon Approval through June 30, 2021
Download Excel Document
FY2022 July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021 (if applicable) *
Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information Form
Download Word Document
Part IV — Grant Assurances

 
Copies of district teacher recruitment and retention plans and accompanying documents.

Submission Instructions:

Email all required forms in their original Word or Excel formats (e.g., not converted to a PDF; with the exception of the signed Part I documents which should be converted to PDF), to MA_Educator_Diversification@doe.mass.edu. Note: Electronic signatures are required on the emailed versions.

Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget in EdGrants and upload required documents. Grant recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.


* Since these are FY2021 state funds, if the applicant wishes to expend a portion of these funds in FY2022: 7/1/2021 – 8/31/2021, both FY2021 and FY2022 Part I and budget workbooks must be submitted. This FY2022 summer budget is for planning purposes only and applicants will be able to modify these budgets when they are entered into EdGrants just ahead of FY2022.

Last Updated: July 27, 2020

 
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