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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: Accelerating Literacy Learning through High Quality Instructional Materials

Fund Codes: 730 / 719


The purpose of this competitive grant program is to equip schools and districts with the high-quality core instructional materials needed to accelerate literacy learning, particularly as schools recover from extended closures and students require rich instructional support to accelerate their learning.

This grant will support schools and districts with 50% of the purchase price of new core instructional materials for literacy, and up to the entire cost of the initial professional development for educators to implement those materials (total for both not to exceed $200,000). High-quality core curricular materials for any grade, kindergarten through grade 12, are eligible.


DESE seeks to award Literacy Acceleration grants to entities (e.g., schools and districts, charter schools, collaboratives, approved special education programs) that:

  • Demonstrate a pre-existing priority on evidenced-based literacy practices, which the new curricular materials directly support, and evidence that implementation of the new resources will be sustainable;
  • Conducted and completed or nearly completed an intentional and inclusive process to select new curricular materials that meet local needs and priorities;
  • Articulate a plan to provide robust, ongoing and embedded support for educators who are expected to use new curricular materials;
  • "Will advance culturally responsive practice as part of implementing new curricular materials.

Competitive priority will be given to:

  • Entities serving at or below 6,000 students total (e.g., a district or charter school whose total student population is fewer than 6,000 students); and/or
  • Districts and schools in chronically underperforming status; and/or
  • Districts and schools in chronically underperforming status in Strategic Transformation regions; and/or
  • Districts and schools currently participating in the Evaluating and Selecting Network; and/or
  • Entities that are currently implementing literacy curricular materials that do not meet expectations for quality based on a third-party review and are planning to replace those with high-quality instructional materials. (See Additional Information below for more details.)

All Massachusetts public school districts, charter schools, collaboratives, and approved special education programs are eligible to apply.

All schools in the district serving the designated grade band must participate in the purchase and implementation of curricular materials under this grant. For instance, if the district is funded to purchase curricular materials for grades 6–8, all schools in the district that serve grades 6–8 must participate. Curriculum Data must be up to date on DESE District Profiles for K–8 ELA/Literacy, K–12 math, and 6–8 Science by five (5) business days after the due date of this grant. To check if this information is complete, check the statewide Curriculum report. Or visit your District Profiles page via Profiles Home, and select Curriculum Data from the left-hand navigation. If the required data is not complete or up-to-date, details and directions on how to enter or update this data can be found at Curriculum Data Collection.

Funding Type:

Fund Code 730 State
Fund Code 719 Federal CFDA : 84.425 Federal Coronavirus Relief Programs - Federal Grant Programs


Approximately $1,000,000 is available for schools and districts. The grant will support 50% of the purchase of high-quality instructional materials and up to 100% of the cost of initial professional development/training. The maximum award for any LEA is $200,000.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available, it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

Fund Use:

Funds may be used towards:

  1. Purchase of high-quality core curricular materials for ELA/Literacy in any grade or grade span

    Core curricular materials are used as the primary instructional material for core, or Tier 1, instruction.

    "High quality core curricular materials" is defined as: comprehensive curricular materials for ELA/Literacy that are rated "meets expectations" or "partially meets expectations" overall based upon a CURATE review. If a CURATE review is not available, materials must be rated "all-green" on EdReports' Gateway 1 and Gateway 2 to meet the definition of "high-quality."

    Comprehensive core curricular materials (K–12) and reading foundational skills core curricular materials (K–3) are both eligible.

    The purchase must be made, and materials must be received by June 30, 2023.

    If the selected curricular materials are hard-copy, this grant will fund purchase of all core components for all participating classrooms and schools for one year. If the materials are digital, this grant will fund up to a 3-year license package which includes all the program's core components for all participating schools.

  2. Initial professional development at all schools using the new curricular materials purchased as part of this grant.

    Curriculum publishers often offer initial professional development as part of the curriculum purchase package. That can be funded under this grant.

    Recipients may opt to purchase initial PD from any vendor listed on the Professional Learning Partner Guide instead of the publisher.

    Note: This grant funding must be spent by June 30, 2023, so only introductory PD occurring before June 30, 2023, will be eligible for funding.

Funds may not be used for:

  • Stipends of any kind as they are Not funded through this grant.

  • Technology (e.g., iPads, headphones, smart boards)

  • Substitute costs, consultants, or staffing

  • Pilot Materials

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – June 30, 2023

Program Unit:

Office of Literacy and Humanities, Center for Instructional Support


Dr. Mary L. Brown

Date Due:

Complete proposals are due by Tuesday, January 24, 2023*

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on the date due.

*All responses must be received by the due date listed above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Responses not submitted on time will not be reviewed. Applicants applying after the due date may be notified their application was received late and will not be reviewed. Applications must be submitted as directed in the Submissions Instructions below. Failure to do so may result in disqualification.

If you need assistance with submitting your application, please reach out to listed on this funding opportunity.

Required Forms:
Additional Information:

Questions and Answers — Please submit questions to by January 10, 2023. Responses will be posted on DESE's Literacy and Humanities webpage under the "News and Headlines" section by January 17th, 2023.

EdReports and CURATE provide curricular reviews and ratings. Educators should consult these reports to determine if the curricular materials currently in use meet expectations for quality. Some popular curricular materials that do not meet expectations for quality on EdReports and/or CURATE include the following. Schools and districts currently using any of these materials would receive priority for this grant to support replacing the low-quality materials.

Participation in Reporting Grant Activities
LEAs receiving this award will be required to assign an individual to be responsible for providing required data to the Department to evaluate the effectiveness of grant funds and activities. LEAs are required to provide evidence of fund use through the following:

  • Completing a DESE provided LEA Attestation Form which affirms grant participation and identifies how funds were utilized
  • Providing an agenda for at least one professional development opportunity funded through this grant
  • Administering a DESE-developed survey to teachers and administrators (results will be shared with the LEA)

Participation in Future Research
LEAs receiving this award will be required to participate in future research efforts related to early literacy assessment, including:

  • Providing student-level assessment data from early literacy universal screening assessment to DESE on an ongoing basis for research purposes. Analyses will only be reported in the aggregate (e.g., by grade-level, region, etc.) to meet state and federal confidentiality laws. The identities of districts and schools will not be reported. All reporting will protect the identities of students, educators, schools, and districts.

  • Participating in DESE's future research efforts to understand early literacy assessment, achievement, and instructional practices, which may involve surveys, interviews, and/or focus groups with LEA and school staff, including, but not restricted to district and school leaders, literacy and reading specialists, and classroom teachers.

  • Designating an individual to be responsible for data submission and to serve as a liaison between the LEA and DESE for communication about data collection and evaluation efforts.

DESE is working with early literacy universal screener publishers to set consistent reporting formats and schedules for submitting student-level assessment data. For data analysis, typically, DESE contracts with third-party, independent researchers selected as part of an open competitive bidding process. In some cases, Department staff conducts research directly. It is possible that Department research staff may access and analyze submitted data.

Any grant related questions must be emailed to . Questions and Answers will be posted to the Accelerating Literacy Learning with High Quality Instruction webpage as direct responses are not permitted.

Submission Instructions:

Please email the required documents as listed above, attached to a single email, to using the subject line FY23 ACCELERATING LITERACY LEARNING WITH HIGH QUALITY INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS FC730. Please use the provided filetypes (word and excel). Signature pages should be sent as word or 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 Eastern on the due date, Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Please use the provided original Word or Excel formats (e.g., not converted to a PDF; with the exception of the signed Part I and Part IV documents which should be converted to PDF).

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: March 7, 2023

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