The competitive Teacher Diversification Pilot Program is designed to support local school and district efforts to strengthen and diversify existing teacher recruitment and retention programs. Through the use of state and federal funds, participating schools and 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 school's or district's qualitative and quantitative data related to teacher recruitment and retention efforts. In addition, identified strategies must be aligned to the school's or district's strategic plan.
In an effort to increase effective teacher recruitment and retention, participating schools and districts will be required to review school and district policies and procedures and identify the cultural proficiency training needs for hiring managers, teachers, and principals. Schools and districts will also be required to develop cultural proficiency training implementation plans. Additionally, grant recipients will be required to participate in a professional learning community hosted by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This virtual 1-year commitment will be held through the 2021-2022 school year to support schools and districts as they seek to develop or enhance talent diversification strategies. Additional details regarding the professional development series will be provided to grant recipients, including school and district team composition for the professional development series and session dates.
All individuals supported by Options B (financial incentives), C (financial support), and D (continued support) of this grant must commit to teaching in the school or district for a minimum of 4 years and demonstrate a commitment to supporting students from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.
Applicants may propose to use grant funds to strengthen existing teacher recruitment and retention programs in one or more of the following ways.
Option A: High School Education PathwayThe Department continues to support high quality and high-impact, grow your own strategies such as high school education pathways. High school education pathways can be a key strategy to support the development of a racially diverse and culturally responsive teacher workforce. These pathways have the unique ability to elevate the teaching profession for students who may not have considered teaching and/or need support to enter the profession. As such, high school education pathways are critical levers to support the recruitment and development of perspective teachers by implementing a model that is tailored to address the needs of the school or district. The proposed pathway must clearly articulate how students from traditionally underrepresented sub-groups will be provided access and opportunity to engage in the pathway.
While high school education pathways funded through this grant program do not have to adhere to a specific model, proposed models should include the following effective components:
Internships: The model should articulate how students participating in the pathway will receive opportunities to gain classroom experience.
Funding Range: Up to $20,000 per pathway per high school
Option B: Financial Incentives: Paraprofessionals, School/District Graduate or Other College Graduates, Provisionally Licensed TeachersSchools or districts may propose to use grant funds to support the recruitment of prospective teachers. Financial incentives that can be supported by this grant include:
Signing Bonuses: Schools/districts may provide signing bonuses to newly hired teachers.
Funding Range: Up to $25,000 per financial incentive
Option C: Financial Assistance: Paraprofessionals, School/District Graduate or Other College Graduates, Provisionally Licensed Teachers
Schools or districts will identify paraprofessionals with a bachelor's degree, provisionally licensed teachers, school/district graduates or other college graduates and provide tuition assistance to support enrollment into, and completion of, an approved educator preparation program. In addition, school or 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.
Funding Range: Up to $12,000 per individual (see eligibility list above) for each enrolled year.
Option D: Continued Support to FY21 Teacher Diversification Pilot Program Grant DistrictsFor Current Teacher Diversification Pilot Program Grant Districts ONLY: Current grant recipients can submit a proposal describing how the proposed grant funds will be used to develop a plan to sustain the successful elements of the grant program after the pilot ends. Funding will be prioritized for districts that are currently supporting paraprofessionals with bachelor's degrees, district graduates or recent college graduates, and/or provisionally licensed teachers in approved educator prep programs.
Funding Range: Up to $20,000
Competitive priorities for this grant will be given to:
This grant is open to all school districts, charter, career vocational technical education schools, and education collaboratives.
Fund Code 216: StateFund Code 210: Federal CFDA 84.425
Approximately $3,000,000 will be awarded to schools and 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.
The total grant award will be determined by financial needs articulated by eligible schools and districts and may be modified by the Department. The requested amount should be appropriate and reasonable for the size and scope of the proposed program.
Funds must be used to support local school or 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.
Options A through D: Grant funded activities must conclude by August 31, 2022*.
Option A and Option D (as applicable): Applicants may provide stipends to current educators to support pathway planning and implementation.
Upon approval – 6/30/2022 (if applicable through 8/31/2022*)
All grant-funded activities must be paid by August 31, 2022*. A report on grant funded activities and outcomes will be required. Additional details will be provided to grant-funded schools and districts.
Center for Strategic Initiatives
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Part III — Required Program Information Form
Part IV — Grant Assurances
Copies of district teacher recruitment and retention plans and accompanying documents.
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 CSI@mass.gov . 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: September 10, 2021
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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