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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2022: School District Regionalization

Fund Code: 191

Purpose:

The purpose of this state-funded competitive grant program is to assist regional school districts, school districts, municipalities and other entities (applicants) that are (1) considering formation of a regional school district or enlargement or expansion of an existing regional school district, and/or (2) considering regionalizing services as a step toward regionalization, subject to the detailed categories and the priorities below.

Priorities:

Funds will be awarded to applicants on a competitive basis.

Applicants must apply under one or more of the categories listed below, in the "Fund Use" section of this RFP. Priority in awarding these grants will be given to school districts that have completed regionalization studies in the past three years (since December 31, 2018) and to school districts whose school committees or member towns have formed a regional planning committee and/or regional planning board as of June 30, 2021. Priority may also be given to districts with demonstrated significant enrollment decline; districts with demonstrated under-utilization of existing school space; and districts with a regionalization proposal that demonstrates significant expansion of available academic resources and supports as a result of cost savings.

Applicants that wish to demonstrate eligibility for one or more of the above priorities must include in Part III.B. of the application a narrative and supporting documentation demonstrating eligibility for one or more of the priorities listed above.

Eligibility:

Regional school districts, school districts, municipalities and other entities working with regional school districts on projects focused on one of the categories listed in the Fund Use section below.

Funding Type:

State

Funding:

Approximately $500,000 total funding is available for distribution to recipients, subject to appropriation, and distributed subject to the Department's discretion.

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.

Depending on demand and based on the nature and timelines of this competitive grant, the Department may not be able to award the amounts requested by applicants. Applicants should be aware that, following initial review of applications, the Department may request modified documentation, including revised Parts I, II and III, and applicants must submit modified documentation within timelines requested by the Department.

Fund Use:

Applicants must apply for funds under one or more of the following categories:

  • Category 1:
    Study and planning grants to allow for the formation of new regional school districts or the enlargement or expansion of existing regional school districts. Funds awarded to recipients under this category may be used for the purpose of implementation of steps toward regionalization, as indicated in recent regionalization studies or regional planning committee or regional planning board minutes, study and planning activities related to creating a new regional school district, adding new grade levels or new member town(s) to an existing regional school district, and/or merging regional school districts. Applicants must submit Parts I, II and III of the application.

  • Category 2:
    Grants to study, plan and implement innovative shared services plans in areas where regionalization has been determined to not yet be appropriate by either a study or a regional planning committee or regional planning board, but where regionalizing services could provide significant savings. Funds awarded to recipients under this category may be used to study or plan the formation or expansion of an existing superintendency union, to study or plan agreements for other shared services plans as a possible step toward regionalization, and/or to coordinate policies and procedures among elementary level school districts and an upper level regional school district that serves graduates of those elementary districts as a possible step toward regionalization. Applicants must submit Parts I, II and III of the application. Districts that apply under this category must, in Part III - Required Information, provide an explanation as to why the district has determined that regionalization is not yet appropriate, including documented studies and/or minutes from regional planning committee or regional planning board minutes, and must provide an estimate of the potential cost savings expected from the proposed shared services project(s).

Project Duration:

Upon approval of the Commissioner to 6/30/2022*

* Pending approval, DESE may extend these grant awards. If approved, recipients will be notified with further instructions.

Program Unit:

Regional Governance

Contact:

Michelle Griffin

Phone Number:

(781) 338-6515

Date Due:

Friday, September 10, 2021

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

Required Forms:

Additional Information:

Applicants that receive awards (recipients) under this Fund Code must provide a final report on the project following the close of the grant period. The due date and instructions for the final report will be provided to recipients.

Submission Instructions:

All Required Forms must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on September 10, 2021 to the Department via email to Michelle.L.Griffin@mass.gov and ChristineM.Lynch@mass.gov. Incomplete applications will not be considered. The Department hopes to select grant recipients by late September 2021.

All documents should be saved and submitted with the fiscal year, fund code, LEA Code and District name, and name of document. (For example, "FY22 FC 191 [LEA # District Name] Part I.docx.")

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and required forms including the Part I and Part II into Ed Grants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: August 10, 2021

 
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