Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Logo
Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: Adult Education Services Continuation Grant

Fund Codes: 340/671/345/661/359/285/563


The purpose of this continuation grant program is to fund free access for eligible undereducated and limited English proficient adults, age 16 and older, to highly effective adult basic education services in the sixteen Workforce Investment Areas in the Commonwealth previously funded in FY2019, FY2020, FY2021, FY2022, and FY2023. The purpose of the services is to assist adult students to achieve their educational and career goal as family members, workers, and community members, and prepare them to successfully take their next steps toward those goals, in college and further training, at work, and in the community.


The priority is to support programs and/or collaborations that provide, on a voluntary basis, adult education services provided by programs designed to serve a minimum of 50 students on an ongoing basis, that:

  1. assist eligible individuals to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency.
  2. assist eligible individuals who are parents or family members to obtain the education and skills that—
    1. are necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children, and
    2. result in sustainable improvements in the economic opportunities for their family;
  3. assist eligible individuals in attaining a secondary school credential and in the transition to postsecondary education and training, including through career pathways; and
  4. assist immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners to improve their:
    1. reading, writing, speaking and comprehension skills in English; and
    2. mathematical skills;
  5. acquire an understanding of the American system of government, individual freedom and responsible citizenship.
  6. improve and accelerate participant outcomes, especially educational functioning level completion, high school equivalency credential attainment, and enrollment in post-secondary education or training.
  7. design, implement, and evaluate adult education services guided by the priorities established in the:
    1. 13 WIOA Considerations
    2. Massachusetts Indicators of Program Quality
    3. Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education in Community Adult Learning Centers and Correctional Institutions, and;
    4. WIOA Massachusetts Combined State Plan.
  8. assist institutionalized individuals to obtain the education and skills necessary to reduce recidivism and facilitate:
    1. re-entry into society;
    2. further education and training or employment upon release;
    3. economic self-sufficiency; and
    4. smooth transitions in their roles as family members and citizens.
  9. serve individuals who are likely to leave the correctional institution within five years of participation in the program.

MassSTEP ABE FC 340/671/345/661/285/563:

The purpose of MassSTEP ABE services is to accelerate participants' educational and career advancement by providing eligible individuals with pre-ASE and ASE services offered concurrently and contextually with local area workforce preparation and training activities that result in students attaining one or more industry-recognized credentials required for local area employment in high-demand industries.


The purpose of MassSTEP ESOL (IELCE) is to accelerate participants' educational and career advancement by providing eligible individuals with ESOL services including civics education, offered concurrently and contextually with local area workforce preparation and training activities that result in students attaining one or more industry-recognized credentials required for local area employment in high-demand industries.


The purpose of outstationing is to help eligible individuals access adult education services by assisting MassHire Career Center staff with intake, assessments, and referrals to adult education programs in the local area and educate current students about career center services.


FY2023 is a continuation year grant. All recipients awarded through the Adult Education Services Open and Competitive FY2019, FY2020, FY2021, or FY2022 grant funding cycle who received grants in FY2022 are eligible to apply.

Funding Type:

Federal: CFDA 84.002 (Fund Codes 340,359, 285 & 671)
State: Fund Codes 345, 563 & 661


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.

See FY23 Table 1 for fund codes 340/671/345/661/359/285/563. Grant amounts were determined through a proposal review during the O&C process based on regional allocations, Massachusetts considered the regional educational need, the demand for services, and historical funding and score of the proposal. In addition, funding was adjusted based on programs performance in FY22.

FY23 grants will include additional funds to further build program capacity to meet the increased demand for adult education services, to develop curriculum and instruction, and increase program's ability to develop students' digital literacy skills through in person and remote instruction. Programs in corrective action are not eligible for funding increases.

Programs who have met or exceeded their enrollment target(s) in FY22 may request additional funding to address waitlist. Increases must be for a minimum of 10 seats for a single service delivery area ABE/ESOL. Please make request directly to state director , no later than May 5, 2022. Submit email request with subject line: FY23 target increase request.

Funding is subject to state and federal appropriation.

Fund Use:

Funds must be used in accordance with the FY19–23 Massachusetts Policies for Effective Adult Education in Community Adult Learning Centers and Correctional Institutions to provide adult education to eligible students; eligible students are:

  1. at least 16 years of age; and
  2. 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 an equivalent level of education or are basic skills deficient or are English language learners.

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, (including carrying out performance accountability requirements), professional development, providing adult education and literacy services in alignment with local workforce plans, carrying out one-stop partner responsibilities, and state approved indirect costs charged to the grant.

Programs may negotiate a higher administrative cost percentage by submitting a written request and rationale with application (see Appendix A).

The Adult Education Services is a restricted rate program that is subject to a statutory "supplement and not supplant" restriction. Grantees are capped at a restricted indirect cost rate of 8% . If your calculated indirect cost rate is less than 8%, then you must use the lower rate on your budget.

If you have an approved negotiated federal indirect cost rate, it must be submitted to DESE. If you do not have an approved indirect cost rate agreement, you 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. The Non-LEA Annual Application for Indirect Cost Rates for FY2023 will be posted at Essential Information once available.

A reminder, that if you do not have an indirect rate approved/on file with DESE, you should not budget for indirect. When designing the grant budget, use the Indirect Cost Calculation Worksheet to ensure that indirect costs are not exceeded based on the approved rate.

Applicants that are state agencies:

State Agencies with ISAs: These applicant types are required to file a waiver with the Executive Office of Administration and Finance (ANF) to reduce the amount of indirect that is automatically charged on these grant funds in MMARS. Once approved by ANF, you must send a copy of the approval letter to CTR. You must upload the filed waiver as part of your required documents in the EdGrants submission under attachments.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval (no earlier than July 1, 2022) – June 30, 2023
(State-funded — Fund Codes: 345, 563, and 661)

Upon Approval (no earlier than July 1, 2022) – August 31, 2023
(Federally-funded — Fund Codes: 340, 359, 285, and 671).

Program Unit:

Adult and Community Learning Services


Phone Number:

(781) 338-3803

Date Due:

Friday, May 20, 2022, for applications for grant recipients that are state agencies (use the state's accounting system MMARS) to allow sufficient time to process ISA's.

Applications for both federally and state-funded projects are due no later than Friday, June 3, 2022, at 3:00PM.

Proposals must be submitted into EdGrants and the online portal by 3:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:

Required forms must be submitted in two different places for complete grant submission: EdGrants and the Online Portal.

The following documents must be submitted in EdGrants:

  • 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 can also take electronic signatures such as Adobe or DocuSign. We cannot take digital signatures where the name is typed in with script font.

  • Part II — Class Plan and Budget Workbook
    • Complete and upload the Class Plan/Budget Workbook.
    • Providers must submit budget and match narratives that detail proposed expenditures, including hourly rates and weekly personnel time commitments for proposed activities for the grant.
    • Applicants must also enter a budget directly into the EdGrants application — Project Expenditures formlet — that aligns with the information included in the uploaded workbook.

  • Statement of Assurances

  • GEPA Statement
    (Due to system attachment limitations, please complete, scan and upload as one attachment in EdGrants labeled Assurances & GEPA)

The following documents must be submitted to the online portal:

Required forms for Colleges/State Agencies Only:

In addition to the above documents, Required in EdGrants:


State Agencies with ISAs: Waiver filed with ANF to reduce the amount of indirect charged to these grant funds in MMARS. It is the responsibility of the applying entity that is a state agency to file an indirect waiver request with ANF and send a copy of the approved request to CTR. DESE cannot request indirect waivers on behalf of state agencies. (See Fund Use section for more info; See Additional Information for Colleges/State Agencies section for the ANF Waiver Request Form)

Additional Information:

All grants issued to state colleges/universities or state agencies must have an executed ISA.

Additional Information for Colleges/State Agencies:

The information below is intended for state entities that require ISAs as part of their grant award process. Not intended for Private or Community Based Organizations.

  1. ISA process timeline
  2. MA Expenditure Classification Handbook
  3. MA Comptroller's Office Fringe Information
  4. ISA and EdGrants Amendment Requirements
  5. Process for waiving indirect costs (state agencies only)
  6. Indirect Waiver Request form (state agencies only)
  7. Section 5D: Indirect and fringe benefit costs expended from the General Fund: recovery by the comptroller (state agencies only)
  8. Federal Grants Cost Allocation
Submission Instructions:

Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants and/or the online portal as described above in the Required Forms section of this RFP.

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

FY23 (Insert fund code and full legal name of program)

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 can also take electronic signatures such as Adobe or DocuSign, but we cannot take digital signatures where the name is typed in with script font). 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 and Information.

Please note: It is up to the applicant to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users 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.

Programs will be notified by ACLS when EdGrants funding opportunity becomes available.

Last Updated: May 11, 2022

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.