The purpose of this competitive grant program is to support civics teaching and learning, including but not limited to implementation of student-led, non-partisan civics projects. As stated in Chapter 296 of the Acts of 2018, "In all public schools, history of the United States of America and social science, including civics, shall be taught as required subjects to promote civic service and a greater knowledge thereof and to prepare students, morally and intellectually, for the duties of citizenship." This grant supports LEAs to strengthen civics teaching and learning in any grade level; in addition, this grant supports implementation of grade 8 and high school civics projects which are required by law.
DESE seeks to fund civics teaching and learning projects that exemplify:
- Equity. Civics is a core purpose of public education, and as such, all students should have access to high-quality, culturally relevant civics learning experiences. Grant-funded projects should create or deepen civic learning opportunities that are accessible to all students in a school, grade or district-- as opposed to opportunities that are optional or inequitably available.
- Deeper learning. Grant-funded projects should help students master civic knowledge, skills and dispositions, appropriate to grade-level standards, through active agency and opportunities to actively "do civics." Civic action should be student-led and meaningful to students as individuals, with relevance to their identities and lived experiences. Civic learning should be an integrated part of the larger curriculum, not isolated experiences, lessons, or units.
- Sustainability. Grant-funded projects funded through this grant should take steps towards long-term enhancements to civics teaching and learning. Investments such as professional development for educators or acquisition of needed instructional materials can provide benefits long past the period of this grant, as opposed to "one-off" activities.
- Competitive priority in the scoring process will be given to LEAs with at least one school identified as requiring assistance according to the state accountability system.
- Additional competitive priority will be given to LEAs with a student population in which greater than 40% are designated as economically disadvantaged.
- LEA partnerships are encouraged to facilitate local collaboration and capacity-building. A group of LEAs applying together will be given competitive priority. One LEA or collaborative should apply as the fiscal agent for the group.
All Massachusetts Local Education Agencies (districts, charter schools, and Collaboratives) are eligible to apply.
- Funding Type:
Up to approximately $850,000 is available. Total amount of awards will be determined based on quality of proposals received.
Maximum award size is determined by the total student enrollment of the applying LEA (or group of LEAs applying as a partnership).
Size Tier 1: LEAs or LEA groups enrolling up to 1,000 students (total)
May apply for up to $20,000
Size Tier 2: LEAs or LEA groups enrolling 1,001–6,000 students (total)
May apply for up to $40,000
Size Tier 3: LEAs or LEA groups enrolling 6,001 or more students (total)
May apply for up to $60,000
Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. Funds will be awarded based upon the number of high-quality proposals received.
- Fund Use:
This grant may fund projects within one or more of the following categories.
- Professional development and/or collaborative planning for teachers and/or administrators focused on instruction of civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions in any grade level
- Implementation of civics projects, as required by Chapter 296 of the Acts of 2018, in grade 8 and/or high school
- Civics learning experiences for students (e.g. field trips, special programs) that are designed to enrich core curricular learning, in any grade level.
Fund use may include, but is not limited to:
- Stipends for teachers and administrators to participate in professional development or planning
- Contracting with external partners, including non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and professional development providers
- Student transportation and/or costs associated with special events or experiential learning opportunities
- No funds may be dedicated toward salaries
- No funds may be used to purchase technology (e.g., Smart Boards, iPads)
- Project Duration:
Upon Approval (no earlier than July 1, 2021) – June 30, 2022*
*The trust funded awardees (FC: 589) will have the option to extend their fund use in FY2023 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023). In order to take advantage of this extension, awardees will have to complete the Multi-Year form in EdGrants in May of 2022. Once selected, grant recipients will be contacted with further information on the multi-year option.
- Program Unit:
Office of Literacy and Humanities
Center for Instructional Support
- Date Due:
Thursday, May 13, 2021
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
- Required Forms:
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Part II — Budget Details
Part III — Signature Page
Vendor Scope of Work — If the proposal includes contracting with an external organization, please submit a scope of work that includes that organization's planned activities and costs, on that organization's letterhead. Those costs should correspond to the budget submitted (Part II).
Please refer to resources provided by the Mass Civics Learning Coalition for information about the civics law, civics teaching and learning materials, and partners.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be evaluating the impact of this grant. Grant recipients may be required to share a description of the outcomes of the grant and/or to submit grant-funded products; recipients may also be required to provide an external evaluator access to observe or attend grant activities. Educators in recipient districts may be asked to complete surveys or respond to questions regarding their work with the grant funds.
Please email the required forms as listed above, attached to a single email, to . Please use the subject line: firstname.lastname@example.org
Civics Teaching and Learning Grant — Fund Code 589 — [Entity Name]
Please use the provided filetypes (word and excel). Please do not send jpgs or other filetypes. Signature pages may be sent as pdf documents.
Applicants will receive a confirmation when the materials are received. Early submission is strongly encouraged to ensure the complete application is received and confirmed by 5pm on the due date. Late and/or incomplete applications cannot be accepted.
Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget in EdGrants and upload required documents. Once selected, grant recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.