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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2022: CVTE Equitable Access Grant

Fund Code: 106


The goal of this federally funded competitive grant program is to provide supplementary support to build school and district capacity to address issues around equity and access in Career Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) programs through three priorities; Analyzing Data, Enhancing English Learner Recruitment and Success, and/or Building Equitable Structures. These priorities are inclusive of:

  • Effectively using waitlist, enrollment, and outcome data to identify equity and access areas of need;
  • Engaging in reflective thinking, innovation, and ongoing continuous improvement;
  • Developing and/or strengthening systems to address gaps in equity and access;
  • Partnering in communities of practice in these areas;
  • Engaging student populations and communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has data resources available for districts to analyze enrollment trends and prioritize approaches in this work.

This grant offers schools and districts funding to build upon efforts to implement and sustain culturally responsive admissions and learning environments particularly for building equity in districts where potential student success has been most exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This in turn will help grow awareness of opportunities in college & career pathways as students prepare for the ever growing and changing labor market.


Through this grant, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and/or its partners will provide, in addition to the grant funds, technical assistance, professional development and/or coaching to support school and/or district teams in one or more of the following priority areas. Participation in these technical assistance activities is an expectation of this funding opportunity. Applicants can apply for as many of these priorities that are of interest to them and do not have to apply to all.

Priority 1 — Data-Informed Decision-Making in CVTE

Priority 1 is to strengthen districts' use of Perkins & other data to improve access to and performance of Chapter 74 programs for all students. Districts may accomplish this through examining waitlist, enrollment, and outcome data; re-thinking teaming or collaborative communication structures; enhancing data routines; and other justified innovations to improve access and outcomes aligned with a reflective/continuous improvement cycle.

Successful proposals should reference using a reflective improvement cycle or enhancing any of the steps of an improvement cycle.

Priority will be given to proposals that improve district data practices in examining CVTE waitlist, enrollment, and outcome data alongside other resources in a thoughtful cycle of inquiry throughout the school year.

Priority 2 — English Learner (EL) Recruitment and Success in CVTE

Priority 2 is to prioritize and strengthen EL recruitment and success. Districts will accomplish this through establishing an EL Recruitment Specialist or developing a creative approach using staff ; rethinking recruitment and local partnership strategies; and developing specific culturally responsive and collaborative practices.

Successful proposals should clarify the role of recruitment specialist; reference the use of data, feature collaboration with sending districts/schools and community stakeholders; and develop specific practices that strengthen EL recruitment and success across CVTE programs.

Priority will be given to proposals that provide for designated EL specialists to work with districts to develop targeted culturally responsive strategies to attract, recruit, and retain English Learners throughout the admissions cycle; ensure the admissions (recruitment through application) process is accessible, including access to materials in primary languages; and collaborate with the sending districts/schools to provide support to EL's and remove barriers to completing the process and participating in programs.

Priority 3 — Building Equitable Structures in CVTE

Priority 3 is to build equitable structures that strengthen the CVTE admissions and/or learning environment. Districts may accomplish this through rethinking collaboration and reflection routines and developing specific tools, practices, and professional development experiences to build cultural competency.

Successful proposals should reference the reflective use of data, for example district and program enrollment trends; collaboration with sending districts/schools, local organizations or other partners; and specific tools and practices that strengthen practitioners' ability to develop and maintain equitable structures across CVTE programs.

Priority will be given to proposals that include diversity, equity, inclusion, anti-bias and anti-racism training, with a focus on staff involved with recruitment and admissions, to improve practices such as tours, information sessions, interviews and application review.

Please see the Additional Information section below, as well as Part III — Required Program Information for full details about the key grant activities and grant requirements for each of the above priorities.


Districts with existing Chapter 74-approved secondary CVTE programs are eligible.

Funding Type:

Federal (CFDA) 84.425


Approximately $2,400,000 is available for districts with Chapter 74-approved secondary CVTE programs. One year of continuation funding will be available in year two (FY2023) contingent upon implementing grant requirements in year 1 (FY2022).

Funding priority will be for:

  • districts with demonstrated awareness, opportunity and enrollment gaps for multiple subgroups or over multiple years and
  • regional districts who submit applications in partnership with sending districts as demonstrated by a letter of partnership commitment
  • Districts serving students and sending schools/districts most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants may apply for one or more of the listed priorities as follows. Applicants' requests for funding should be commensurate with the scope of activities proposed.

  • Priority 1 — Data-Informed Decision-Making in CVTE: up to $30,000 (up to 15 districts will be funded under this category)

  • Priority 2 — English Learner Recruitment and Success in CVTE: up to $100,000 (up to 15 districts will be funded under this category)

  • Priority 3 — Building Equitable Structures in CVTE: up to $30,000 (up to 15 districts will be funded under this category)

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 must be used to implement systems and strategies outlined in submitted proposal. Grant funds may be used for staff stipends, consultants, substitutes, professional development, and materials to be used in the implementation of system-level changes.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval (no earlier than 7/1/2021) – 6/30/2022 with a potential for continuation for FY2023 (7/1/2022–6/30/2023)

Program Unit:

Office of College Career and Technical Education


Nyal Fuentes

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3593

Date Due:

Two rounds of applications will be open, to ensure funding for the beginning of the fiscal year, (7/1/2021), please apply for the first round, the second round will be for funds available by the beginning of November, 2021.

Round 1: Thursday, May 20, 2021

Round 2: Monday, September 20, 2021

Letter of Intent: Please complete an optional letter of intent up to a week previous to your proposed application date. This does not obligate you to apply.

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

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Excel Document
Part II — Budget Details
Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information


See Appendix 1 Download Word Document for additional planning considerations.


Please email the required documents as listed above, attached to a single email, to using the subject line CVTE Equitable Access Grant.

Early submission is strongly encouraged 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.

Contact Us

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

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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