Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Adult Education Services Continuation Grant

Fund Codes: 340/671/345/661/359/285/563


The purpose of this continuation grant program is to fund free access for eligible undereducated and limited English proficient adults, age 16 and older, to highly effective adult basic education services in the sixteen Workforce Investment Areas in the Commonwealth previously funded in FY 19 and FY20. The purpose of the services is to assist adult students to achieve their educational and career goal as family members, workers, and community members, and prepare them to successfully take their next steps toward those goals, in college and further training, at work, and in the community.


The priority is to support programs and/or collaborations that provide, on a voluntary basis, adult education services provided by programs designed to serve a minimum of 50 students on an ongoing basis, that:

  1. assist eligible individuals to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency;
  2. assist eligible individuals who are parents or family members to obtain the education and skills that-
    1. are necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children, and
    2. result in sustainable improvements in the economic opportunities for their family;
  3. assist eligible individuals in attaining a secondary school credential and in the transition to postsecondary education and training, including through career pathways; and
  4. assist immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners to improve their:
    1. reading, writing, speaking and comprehension skills in English; and
    2. mathematical skills;
  5. acquire an understanding of the American system of government, individual freedom and responsible citizenship.
  6. improve and accelerate participant outcomes, especially educational functioning level completion, high school equivalency credential attainment, and enrollment in post-secondary education or training.
  7. design, implement, and evaluate adult education services guided by the priorities established in the:
    1. 13 WIOA Considerations
    2. Massachusetts Indicators of Program Quality
    3. Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education in Community Adult Learning Centers and Correctional Institutions, and;
    4. WIOA Massachusetts Combined State Plan.
  8. assist institutionalized individuals to obtain the education and skills necessary to reduce recidivism and facilitate:
    1. re-entry into society;
    2. further education and training or employment upon release;
    3. economic self-sufficiency; and
    4. smooth transitions in their roles as family members and citizens.
  9. serve individuals who are likely to leave the correctional institution within five years of participation in the program.

Integrated Education and Training (IET) FC 340/671/345/661/285/563:

The purpose of IET is to accelerate participants' educational and career advancement by providing eligible individuals with pre-ASE and ASE services offered concurrently and contextually with local area workforce preparation and training activities that result in students attaining one or more industry-recognized credentials required for local area employment in high-demand industries.

Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education (IELCE) FC 359:

The purpose of IELCE is to accelerate participants' educational and career advancement by providing eligible individuals with ESOL services including civics education, offered concurrently and contextually with local area workforce preparation and training activities that result in students attaining one or more industry-recognized credentials required for local area employment in high-demand industries.


The purpose of outstationing is to help eligible individuals access adult education services by assisting MassHire Career Center staff with intake, assessments, and referrals to adult education programs in the local area and educate current students about career center services.


FY21 is a continuation year grant. All recipients awarded through the Adult Education Services Open and Competitive FY19 & FY20 grant funding cycle are eligible to apply.

Funding Type:

Fund Code 340, 359 285, and 671: Federal CFDA: 84.002
Fund Code 345, 563, and 661: State


See Table 1 — Funding Allocations Download Excel Document for fund codes 340/671/345/661/359/285/563. Grant amounts were determined through a proposal review during the O&C process based on regional allocations, Massachusetts considered the regional educational need, the demand for services, and historical funding and score of the proposal. In addition, funding was adjusted based on programs performance in FY19 and FY20.

Optional additional funding awarded to all programs (programs may opt to not take additional funding), in good standing to in FY21 to build capacity in addressing the following three priorities:

Option 1 — Increase current enrollment to existing approved class offerings (ABE/ESOL/DL)

Below is a list of currently DESE funded eligible agencies/organizations that have demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy services eligible to apply for Option 1. Eligible programs can propose to serve up to 50 additional seats. Cost per seat range $2300–$3300. Additional option 1 funding not included in Table 1.

ABE Eligible ProvidersESOL Eligible Providers
  • Bristol Community College — Taunton Public Schools
  • Bristol County Sheriff's Office
  • Brockton Public Schools
  • Cambridge Community Learning Center
  • CCAB, Inc. d/b/a Haitian Multi-Service Center
  • Charlestown Community Center
  • Framingham Public Schools
  • Hampden County Sheriff Department
  • Hampshire Sheriff's Office
  • Lawrence Public Schools Adult Learning Center
  • Lowell Public Schools (Frederick Abisi Adult Education Ctr)
  • Methuen Public Schools
  • Middlesex Community College
  • North Shore Community College
  • Pittsfield Public Schools
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • University of Massachusetts — Dartmouth
  • Webster Public Schools
  • Worcester County Sheriff's Office
  • Worcester Public Schools
  • Ascentria Community Services
  • Berkshire Community College — South County*
  • Boston Public Schools
  • Bristol Community College — Taunton Public* Schools
  • Brockton Public Schools*
  • Cambridge Community Learning Center
  • Cape Cod Community College
  • CCAB, Inc. d/b/a Catholic Charities South
  • Chelsea Public Schools
  • Clinton Public Schools*
  • Community Action, Inc.
  • East Boston Harborside Community Center
  • Framingham Public Schools
  • Holyoke Community College
  • Hudson Public Schools
  • International Institute of Greater Lawrence*
  • Jewish Vocational Service, Inc.*
  • Lawrence Public Schools Adult Learning Center
  • Lowell Public Schools (Frederick Abisi Adult Education Ctr)
  • Martha's Vineyard Public Schools
  • Methuen Public Schools
  • New Bedford Public Schools*
  • North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc.*
  • Notre Dame Education Center — Lawrence
  • Pittsfield Public Schools
  • Quinsigamond Community College
  • Randolph Community Partnership, Inc.
  • Springfield Technical Community College
  • Training Resources of America, Inc. — Brockton
  • Training Resources of America, Inc. — Springfield
  • Training Resources of America, Inc. — Worcester
  • University of Massachusetts — Dartmouth
  • Worcester Public Schools
  • YMCA of Greater Boston International Learning Center Woburn

Option 2 — Curriculum & Instruction - all CALC and AECI programs can apply for up to $5000 to address the following:

  • Complete curriculum alignment to the MAELPs in FY21 and/or
  • Development of science and/or social studies curriculum.

Option 3 — Online/Remote Learning - all CALC and AECI programs can apply for up to $5000 to address the following:

  • Develop online/remote learning opportunities for current and/or new students, and/or
  • Build infrastructure to provide rigorous online/remote learning e.g. increase internet bandwidth, high-speed routers, computers/laptops/tablets, online meeting software etc., and/ or
  • Develop a plan to provide online/remote learning to students address infrastructure, staffing, curriculum, online/remote technology and tools

Funding is subject to state and federal appropriation.

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:

Funds must be used in accordance with the FY20-22 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education in Community Adult Learning Centers and Correctional Institutions to provide adult education to eligible students; eligible students are:

  1. at least 16 years of age; and
  2. not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law, and
  3. do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and have not an equivalent level of education or are basic skills deficient or are English language learners.

Not less than 95 percent of funds must be spent on adult education direct services and literacy activities; not more than 5 percent may be spent on administrative costs (related to planning, administration, (including carrying out performance accountability requirements), professional development, providing adult education and literacy services in alignment with local workforce plans, carrying out one-stop partner responsibilities, and state approved indirect costs charged to the grant.

Programs may negotiate a higher administrative cost percentage by submitting a written request and rationale with application (see App. A — Administrative Cost — Negotiation Request). The state will not grant administrative cost requests that exceed 25% of grant funds (state requirement).

The Adult Education Services is a restricted rate program that is subject to a statutory "supplement not supplant" restriction. Grantees are required to use a restricted indirect cost rate of 8%, unless your calculated indirect cost rate is less than 8%, than you must use the lower rate for your budget. If you have an approved negotiated federal indirect cost rate, it must be submitted to DESE. If you do not have an approved indirect cost rate agreement, you must apply annually to DESE for an approved indirect cost rate. The indirect cost rate is calculated using costs specified in the grantee's indirect cost plan. Those specified costs may not be charged as direct costs to the grant or to any other grant under any circumstances.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval (no earlier than July 1, 2020) – June 30, 2021 (State-funded — Fund Code: 345, 563, and 661); conditionally renewable for an additional year.

Upon Approval (no earlier than July 1, 2020) – August 31, 2021 (Federally-funded — Fund Codes: 340, 359, 285, and 671); conditionally renewable for an additional year.

Renewals are subject to satisfactory performance, the appropriation of state and federal funds, and the continuance of federal authorizing legislation. Total grant award duration will not exceed four years (initial year plus renewals).

Program Unit:

Adult and Community Learning Services


Contact your Program Specialist

Date Due:

Applications for grant recipients that are state agencies (use the state's accounting system MMARS) are encouraged to submit applications no later than Friday, May 15, 2020 to allow sufficient time to process ISA's.

Applications for both federally and state-funded projects are due no later than Friday, June 5, 2020 at 3:00PM.

Required Forms:

The following documents need to be submitted in EdGrants:

Download Word Document
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Excel Document
Part II — Class Plan and Budget Workbook (v2.1) — updated April 29, 2020
  • Complete and upload the Class Plan/Budget Workbook.
  • ISA Budget/EdGrants Budget Crosswalk (only for entities who require ISAs). Included in Budget Workbook.
  • Providers must submit budget and match narratives that detail proposed expenditures, including hourly rates and weekly personnel time commitments for proposed activities for the grant.
Download Word Document
Statement of Assurances Fund Codes: 340/671/345/661/359/285/563
Download Word Document
GEPA Statement

The following additional submission requirements must be submitted using the online portal:

Download Word Document
Part III Questions — Required Program Information (complete in the online portal)
Data Checklist (complete in the online portal)
Download Word Document
Appendix A — Administrative Cost — Negotiation Request (if applicable) (upload in the online portal)
Appendix B — FY21 Continuous Improvement Plan or Corrective Action Plan (if applicable, see condition of grant funding) (program generated; upload in the online portal)
Appendix C — FY21 Waiver documentation (if applicable, see condition of waiver approval) (program generated; upload in the online portal)

Additional Information:
Download Word Document
State Director Letter
Download Word Document
Class Plan and Budget Workbook Instructions (v2) — updated April 28, 2020

This information is intended for state entities who require ISAs as part of their grant award process. Not intended for Private or Community Based Organizations.

  1. ISA process timeline Download Word Document
  2. MA Expenditure Classification Handbook
  3. MA Comptroller's Office Fringe Information
  4. ISA and EdGrants Amendment Requirements Download Word Document

Submission Instructions:

The RFP will be updated and programs will be notified by ACLS when EdGrants funding opportunity becomes available.

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

FY21 (Insert fund code and full legal name of program)

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 CEO/Superintendent/Executive Director signature. 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 applicant 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: May 7, 2019

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