Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B (IDEA) Federal Targeted Special Education Program Improvement Grant

Fund Code: 274


The purpose of the Fund Code 274 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B (IDEA) Federal Targeted Special Education Program Improvement Grant is to support districts to improve high quality programs that provide services documented on students' IEPs through in-person instruction, remote instruction, or a combination of both, with a strong emphasis on providing in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible.


The priorities of this grant align with the following DESE goals to support improved outcomes for students with disabilities in all modes of instruction (in-person, hybrid, remote) by:

  • Strengthening curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Promoting educator development
  • Supporting social-emotional learning, health, and safety
  • Using data and technology to support student performance
  • Providing school and classroom settings that have been appropriately modified to accommodate health and safety requirements

The following priority areas aligned with the above referenced goals have been identified by DESE as integral to build systems that strengthen and improve practices and outcomes.

Activities will be designed to increase educational outcomes and should focus on one or more of the following activities.

  1. Program improvement costs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Activities that address state, district or school health and safety requirements
  3. Activities to improve educational outcomes inclusive of all instructional models i.e. in-person, hybrid and remote learning models
  4. Activities related to the provision of COVID-19 Compensatory Services
  5. Professional development in and implementation of programs, policies and systems to increase equity and access to special education services in all instructional models
  6. The integration of technology to support data collection and analysis, and progress monitoring to support instruction
  7. Activities and programs to increase family engagement among families from diverse backgrounds, including, collaborating with families to plan and develop trainings and activities; providing workshops and trainings for parents and educators to develop and strengthen school-family partnerships
  8. Opportunities for trainings on evidence-based strategies to develop cultural competence and community inclusion


Grant funds are available to public schools, charter schools, education collaboratives and approved special education schools providing special education services for students with disabilities.

Grant proposals must provide a one paragraph memo explaining how proposed activities contribute to systemic improvement in at least one of the identified priority areas or to mitigate effects of COVID-19

Please Note: A large number of eligible grantees for this 274 grant do not have an FY2021 – FY2030 Standard Contract Form (SCF) on file with DESE. Please review this information and take action as soon as possible. Missing SCF can impact start dates on these grant funds.

Funding Type:

Federal U.S. Department of Education CFDA: 84.027

Download Excel Document
FY2021 Fund Code 274 District Funding List

An approximate total of $8,000,000 is available, subject to federal appropriation. A base amount was established; then additional funds were allocated based on special education enrollments.

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.

Fund Use:

Grant funds are to be used to support the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment (LRE), including special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs, including COVID Compensatory Services.

All expenditures must be for the excess costs of special education related to program improvement and the provision of FAPE.

The following are allowable costs:

  • Stipends and Salaries
  • MTRS/fringe
  • tuition costs for college/university courses
  • conference registration costs
  • supplies, materials, and books specifically for program improvement students with IEPs
  • supplies and materials related to state and district health and safety requirements, and other COVID-19 expenses, including COVID Compensatory Services.
  • printing and reproduction of training materials
  • consultant fees (e.g., professional development and program evaluation)
  • substitutes
  • travel for professional development activities
  • computer hardware or software, including site licenses

The following are not allowable costs:

  • food and refreshments
  • indirect costs
  • advertising
  • maintenance/repairs

Project Duration:

Upon approval – 8/31/2021

Program Unit:

Special Education Planning and Policy Development Office


Bob Hanafin

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3364

Date Due:

Monday, December 21, 2020

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)

Grant proposals must include a written memo of no longer than one paragraph uploaded to EdGrants. This one paragraph memo must articulate how proposed activities contribute to systemic improvement in the identified priority area(s) or to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

FY2021–FY2030 SCF (if applicable); see eligibility section for more information and link to documents. Do not upload these forms into EdGrants. SCF must be hard copy mailed with original signatures (no DocuSign).

Additional Information:

Instructions for Completing an Application Submission in EdGrants,
EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Requesting Grant Funds (payments),
EdGrants: User Security Controls. (EdGrants user(s) must be established in order to utilize EdGrants)

Budget Detail — Description of Line Item Information

Applications can legally claim expenses to the grant only as of the DESE approved start date.

Submission Instructions:

Submit all required grant materials through 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 274 [Applicant # District Name]

All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director and Required Program Information.

The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.

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 the 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.

This grant expires 8/31/2021 Districts must obligate these funds by 8/31/2021, funds not obligated by 8/31/2021 must be returned.


Amendments are to be submitted through EdGrants. Refer to EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Amending the Application Download Word Document.

If you have specific questions, please contact Bob Hanafin at or 781-338-3364.

Last Updated: November 12, 2020

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