The purpose of this targeted grant programi is to address inequitable school facilities' needs and repairs for improved ventilation and indoor air-quality to support healthy learning environments in districts and schools with high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students, English language learners, and communities disproportionately impacted by the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic.
Health disparities between historically disadvantaged populations, and those less disadvantaged, persist. Historically disadvantaged populations experience higher rates of poor health for a range of conditions, including airborne disease transmission and chronic breathing impairments such as asthma. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to more such disparities.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, research has demonstrated that the spread of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, occurs via airborne particles and droplets that are exhaled from infected individuals. While spread of such diseases may also occur through contact with contaminated surfaces, this transmission route is now considered less likely to occur than airborne transmission.
However, research has also shown that the layout and design of a building, as well as occupancy and type of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, can all impact potential airborne spread of diseases. Although improvements to ventilation and air cleaning cannot on their own eliminate the risk of airborne transmission, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends increasing ventilation with outdoor air and air filtration as important components of a larger indoor air quality strategy to improve the safety and health of students, educators, and any other building occupants.
In addition, any consideration and redesign of a school building's HVAC system should not ignore the long-term operational costs of mechanical systems and their impacts on their local environment. Indeed, under the Baker-Polito Administration, and within the framework of the Global Warming Solutions Act , the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has committed to achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 . Therefore, another purpose of this RFP is to take steps forward to reduce environmental impacts of outdated and/or inefficient air handling systems in Massachusetts public school buildings, thereby reducing unnecessarily high utility costs and contributing to healthier and more comfortable environments for students and educators.
Through this initiative, participating districts are asked to prioritize the following areas, as necessary, related to improve ventilation and indoor air quality in their school buildings:
Priority will be given to districts and schools in chronically underperforming status
Districts are eligible if they serve high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students and English learners , defined as their percentage of low income or English learners (the unduplicated, combined count) that is equal to or above the state average (46.1%) during the most recent statewide DESE data collection (March 2022 SIMS). Virtual schools are not eligible for this program.
Federal CFDA# 21.027
Approximately $100,000,000 is available.
Note: Efforts proposed through this funding opportunity must be supplementary and complementary to, and must not supplant, what is funded through other state and federal grants, including ESSERs I, II, and III.
Approximately $7,000,000 is available for schools and districts in chronically underperforming status
These funds must be used for stand-alone air quality improvement activities as well as to supplement other ongoing air quality improvement activities, as long as fund use is aligned with the grant purpose and priorities described above and that have reasonable likelihood of being sustained (and/or having impact) beyond the grant period.
Fund use may include, but is not limited to:
Upon Approval* to June 30, 2023
Awardees will need to re-apply for subsequent funding for each of the fiscal years (FY24 – FY27), until award is fully drawn down. These applications will be shorter than the initial application; DESE will ask about the progress the district has made. Funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 (mid-way through FY25) and must be liquidated by December 31, 2026 (midway through FY27).
* Grant start date cannot be prior to DESE receiving a substantially approvable Application Submission as directed in this RFP's Submission Instructions. Goods and Services cannot be procured prior to Grants receiving and approving an application submission. Funds cannot exceed the project duration end date.
Resource Allocation Strategy and Planning
Matthew Deninger; email@example.com
Friday, October 28, 2022
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund Terms and Conditions
Awardees procuring building projects, as defined by Mass. General Laws c. 7C, §6, that are over $100,000 are required to comply with the state's Affirmative Marketing Program (AMP). Districts must evaluate their projects to determine whether they are projects subject to the AMP requirements. Upon this determination, districts must set project goals for minority contractor participation and ensure they are complying with the requirements set forth in M.G.L. c. 7C, §6. Please contact Meghan Costa at the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) for assistance with goal setting and compliance as required by Mass. General Laws c. 7 § 61.
Districts procuring non-construction projects or construction projects under $100,000 are strongly encouraged to leverage the many comprehensive resources SDO provides to support a diverse and inclusive procurement plan (see below for links to resources).
SDO helps market opportunities to diverse businesses, provides a free-to-use directory to find diverse companies, and has created a free Municipal Supplier Diversity Playbook for guidance on planning, implementing, and monitoring contracting programs. Districts can find more information regarding SDO resources on its website: Supplier Diversity Office (SDO), including a directory of certified businesses.
Districts must follow federal and state procurement laws (Chapter 30B for non-construction procurements; Chapter 149 for construction procurements), as well as any local policies. Generally you will be required to follow the strictest of the three.
Awardees are strongly encouraged to review DESE's guidelines and tips for using federal funds for construction, minor remodeling, and repairs and maintenance, and DESE's resource guide for conducting procurements with federal funds to ensure they are in compliance. In particular, if a district intends to use existing service contracts for any grant-related activities, the district should ensure that the contract was originally procured in a manner that satisfies federal procurement law (and state law and local policy) and that the work being funded does not go beyond the scope of the original service contract (i.e., if the service contract only covers maintenance of existing systems, it would not be permissible to use the contract to cover installation of new systems).
Any capital expenditures or equipment expenditures that exceed $30,000 or any facilities improvement project on the grant application must be documented and justified on Capital expenditure (one for each project) and must be submitted with the grant application. Equipment is defined as "tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000." Id. Construction for purposes of this grant adopts the Impact Aid definition (Title VII of ESEA), and includes new construction, as well as remodeling, alterations, renovations, and repairs. Non-facilities capital expenditures of less than $30,000 will be approved as part of your grant application workbook budgets.
Awardees that use funds for the installation of new HVAC systems are strongly encouraged to engage in projects that use sustainable energy sources, rather than fossil fuels, for their operation. See more on this topic, visit Five Guiding Principles | U.S. Green Building Council and Clean Energy: Municipal Assistance | Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment at UMass Amherst.
The Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services has more information and suggestions for improving air quality through their Indoor Air Quality Program.
Districts may use these funds in coordination with MSBA projects, to pay for local share of itemized ventilation costs (i.e., HVAC systems) only.
Submit Application and required grant materials in EdGrants.
In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:
FY23 FC 209 Improving Ventilation and Air Quality LEA CODE
For example, Abington (0001) would name the file as FY23 FC 209 Improving Ventilation and Air Quality 0001
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 Superintendent's signature as well as Schedule A form, if applicable to your district. 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.
It is up to the district to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant applications as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.
i Enabling legislation
Massachusetts passed An Act Relative to Immediate COVID-19 Recovery Needs (Acts of 2021, Chapter 102), which calls for a reserve for grants to public school districts to address inequitable school facilities' needs and repairs for improved ventilation and indoor air-quality to support healthy learning environments in districts and schools with high concentrations of economically disadvantaged students, English language learners and communities disproportionately impacted by the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic; provided, that the department shall consult with the racial imbalance advisory council established pursuant to section 1G of chapter 15 of the General Laws on the development of the grant application; provided further, that not less than $100,000,000 shall be transferred to the department of elementary and secondary education for the planning and administration of said grants; provided further, that grants shall be made available to cover the cost of inspections, maintenance, installation, repairs or upgrades for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other needs and repairs approved by the department of elementary and secondary education for the purpose of improving school air-quality, including, but not limited to, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency; provided further, that grants awarded by the department shall maximize the total number of projects that shall be undertaken by public school districts; provided further, that such inspections, maintenance, installation, repairs or upgrades for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other needs and repairs shall be conducted in compliance with any relevant procurements laws including chapter 149 of the General Laws and all state and local building codes…$100,000,000
Last Updated: November 7, 2022
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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