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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: Adult Education: Primary Instruction by Volunteers

Fund Code: 287


The purpose of this grant program is to provide access to highly effective adult education services to eligible adults who cannot or will not enroll in class based instructional services at a Community Adult Learning Center.


The priority is to support one statewide stand-alone program that offers volunteer tutoring services to approximately 1,000 eligible adult students annually in cities and town in the Commonwealth including Gateway cities and that:

  1. provides one-on-one adult education instruction through the use of well-trained and well-supported volunteer tutors;
  2. for ABE services, uses the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE) to guide its curriculum and instruction;
  3. for ESOL services, uses the Massachusetts English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (MA ELPS) to guide its curriculum and instruction;
  4. provides services that are effective in assisting adults to develop the college and career readiness skills needed to successfully transition to higher education and stable jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage; and
  5. provides services that are aligned with the strategies and goals identified in the local plan packages.

FY2023 is the last continuation year of the FY2019 – FY2023 funding cycle. The recipient awarded funding in the FY2019 open and competitive funding process is eligible to apply.

Funding Type:



Approximately $491,616 of state funding is available to support the Primary Instruction by Volunteer services, subject to the appropriation of state and federal funds. See below.

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.

Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts/Boston$491,616
Fund Use:

Funds must be used to provide and support adult education instructional services for enrolled students who:

  1. are at least 16 years of age;
  2. are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law; and
  3. do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and have not achieved an equivalent level of education; or are basic skills deficient; or are English language learners.

For this grant program, adult education services will be delivered by well-trained volunteers and include basic skills, pre- adult secondary education, adult secondary education, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and the integration of digital literacy and workforce preparation.

Not less than 95 percent of funds must be spent on adult education direct services and literacy activities; not more than 5 percent may be spent on administrative costs (related to planning, administration, carrying out performance accountability requirements), professional development, service alignment with local workforce plans, carrying out WIOA partner responsibilities, and state approved indirect costs charged to the grant.

The grant recipient may negotiate a higher administrative cost percentage by submitting a written request and rationale with its application. The state will not grant administrative cost requests that exceed 25 percent of grant funds (state requirement).

The Adult Education Services is a restricted rate program that is subject to a statutory "supplement not supplant" restriction. Grantees are required to use a restricted indirect cost rate of 8%, unless the calculated indirect cost rate is less than 8%, in which case the grantee must use the lower rate for its budget. If the grantee has an approved negotiated federal indirect cost rate, it must be submitted to DESE. If the grantee does not have an approved indirect cost rate agreement, it must apply annually to DESE for an approved indirect cost rate. The indirect cost rate is calculated using costs specified in the grantee's indirect cost plan. Those specified costs may not be charged as direct costs to the grant or to any other grant under any circumstances.

Project Duration:

Upon approval (no earlier than 7/1/2022) – 6/30/2023

Program Unit:

Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)


Wyvonne Stevens-Carter

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3835

Date Due:

Friday, June 3, 2022

Required Forms:

Required documents to be submitted through EdGrants:

  1. Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
    Note: Part I signatures of CEO/Superintendent/Executive Director must be scanned uploads of wet signatures, we cannot take electronic signatures at this time.

  2. Detailed, line-item budget narrative (designed by applicant)

  3. Detailed, line-item match narrative (designed by applicant)

  4. FY2023 Fund Code 287 Statement of Assurances

  5. General Education Protection Act (GEPA) Statement

Required documents to be submitted in the online portal

Submission Instructions:

All grant materials listed in the Required documents to be submitted through EdGrants section of this RFP must be submitted through EdGrants.

In EdGrants, applicants (grant recipients) are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

  • FY23 287 ACLS (applicant's full legal name)

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 (Part I signatures must be scanned uploads of wet signatures; we cannot take electronic signatures at this time.) / Coversheet with CEO/Superintendent/Executive Director signature. 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, Information and Trainings.

Please note: It is up to the applicant 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 authorized users.

Last Updated: April 15, 2022

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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