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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: Targeted Assistance Grant (TAG)

Fund Codes: 222/325

Purpose:

The purpose of this targeted grant program is to provide funding to select schools/districts to support priorities each district identifies as most pressing to facilitate school and district improvement. Many of our center's existing resources have been consolidated and updated into the Coherence Guidebook which is available to support schools and districts in their improvement efforts. Districts will select activities that:

  • connect with the priorities already identified in the district prioritization submission;
  • incorporate evidence-based strategies;
  • advance equity and racial equity across schools
  • utilize a continuous cycle of improvement to implement and assess the outcomes of identified district priorities over time

This grant supports Massachusetts' goals for increasing student achievement by expanding school districts' capacity to support and educate students with the greatest needs.

Priorities:

Targeted Assistance Grant (TAG) funds are expected to support the development and implementation of district identified priorities. Examples of identified priorities that TAG funds can support are:

The TAG Grant Narrative and Fund Use Recommendations attachments provide additional details about the activities being supported by the grant.

Note: Recipients of TAG funding should expect to engage in assistance activities with Department staff from the Center for School and District Partnership (CSDP) and the Statewide System of Support (SSoS), and in DESE-sponsored progress monitoring efforts. More information on this year's progress monitoring expectations will be forthcoming.

Eligibility:

District-Level Eligibility: Districts with one or more eligible schools will receive a TAG allocation. Eligible schools are those with a designation of broad/comprehensive or focused/targeted support under the 2021 Massachusetts District and School Accountability System.

Districts can use TAG funds to support all schools, however, as per state and federal funding requirements, schools that meet the criteria above should directly benefit from TAG funding. A list of these schools is provided for context in the district allocation document in the Additional Information section of this RFP. Note that when 2022 accountability designations are available in the fall of 2022, districts will have the opportunity to revisit the distribution of TAG funds in consideration of newly eligible schools and file an amendment if necessary.

The following schools are not eligible for TAG as they are eligible for other grant funding:

  • Schools in the Strategic Transformation region
  • Charter schools and virtual schools
Funding Type:

Funding for the grant will come from federal and state funds:

  • Fund Code 325: Federal Title I Section 1003 School Improvement Reservation funds CFDA 84.010

  • Fund Code 222: State Targeted Assistance

Funding:

Approximately $3,575,000 is available, with approximately $2,560,000 available through Federal Title I School Improvement funds (fund code 325), and approximately $1,015,000 through State Targeted Assistance funds (fund code 222) to be distributed among the eligible districts.

The Department will list on this grant posting, on a rolling basis, any additional schools and/or districts and their designated grant allocations and application due dates as they are determined, and as new needs emerge and funds become available.

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 guidelines as listed in the initial RFP document.

Funding to individual districts will be approved only after programmatic and budgetary reviews by Department staff as noted above and upon review by the Office of the Governor.

Fund Use:

Allowable expenditures include district and school costs associated with:

  1. the implementation of key strategies described in the district prioritization submission
  2. the selection, training, implementation, and monitoring involved with delivering high-quality instructional materials to all students
  3. the social-emotional learning and mental health needs of students
  4. building capacity of instructional leadership teams
  5. strategic planning at the school and district level
  6. advancing equity, including racial equity across schools
  7. the promotion of a sense of belonging
  8. implementation of grade-appropriate instruction
  9. strategic planning and coherence

See the Fund Use Recommendations for Targeted Assistance Grants attachment in the Additional Information portion of this RFP for detailed examples of appropriate use of funds.

Unallowable Expenditures include:

  • Costs that supplant1 district allocations and expenditures to the school
  • Out of state travel
  • Contract buyouts
  • Capital expenses
  • Food or beverages
  • Pre-existing student transportation costs
  • Personal protective equipment

Fund use must be consistent with applicable state and/or federal requirements.

Funding used for such grants will conform to federal Title I Section 1003 School Improvement State Reservation requirements and/or to State Targeted Assistance funding requirements.

All expenditures will be closely reviewed as they relate to the priorities of this grant opportunity.

Project Duration:

Fund Code 222: (State funds): Upon Approval* – 6/30/2023**

Fund Code 325: (Federal funds): Upon Approval* – 8/31/2023

*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 using this grant funding prior to the approved start date. Funding cannot be obligated after the project duration end date.

**Note: DESE will allow state funded FC 222 applicants to reapply for unspent balances in FY24 (summer of 2023). To utilize this extension, grantees will need to reduce FY23 grant funds down in the spring to what will be expended through June 30, 2023. Once the FY24 funding opportunity is active in EdGrants, districts will be notified to enter in a grant for the balance. The project duration of those grants funds will be 7/1/2023 – 8/31/2023.

Program Unit:

Office of Effective Practices, Center for School and District Partnership

Contact:

School Turnaround Specialist
Michael Seymour

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3514

Date Due:

Proposals with all the required attachments must be uploaded to EdGrants before 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 3, 2022

Required Forms:
  • Budget Workbook
    • Part I Signed Cover Page: The district will submit a PDF of the Signature Page of the FY23 Budget Workbook as an attachment in EdGrants. The PDF must include a signature from the authorized signatory for the district.
      • FY2023 Part I Cover Page
      • FY2024 Part I Cover Page: only required if planning to obligate Fund Code 222 state funds 7/1/2023 – 8/31/2023.
    • FY2023 Budget — both 222 and 325 will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.
    • FY2024 Fund Code 222 Budget: only required if planning to obligate Fund Code 222 state funds 7/1/2023 – 8/31/2023.

  • Part III — Targeted Assistance Grant Narrative

Additional Information:
Submission Instructions:

Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants.

Districts are required to create and name the project in EdGrants. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

  • FY23 222 TAG (Applicant Name) or
  • FY23 325 TAG (Applicant Name)

All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature as well as the Part III Targeted Assistance Grant Narrative. The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.

For guidance regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides, Information and Trainings.

Please note: It is up to the district to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.



1 Refer to "Supplement, Not Supplant Quick Reference Guide" at General Resources for Federal Grant Programs

Last Updated: September 14, 2022

 
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