DESE provides financial resources to Broad/Comprehensive and Focused/Targeted Schools through a series of competitive and allocation grants.
With an emphasis on improving equity and closing gaps, this competitive grant prioritizes the adoption of evidence-based programs that have proven to improve educational opportunities for all students. This grant will support the development or enhancement of district efforts to implement the following Evidence-Based Program (EBP) areas:
The RFP application for this grant.
Information on this grant can be found in the following webinar which was recorded on December 22, 2022:
The Targeted Assistance Grant (TAG) is additional funding for select Massachusetts school districts to support priorities each district identifies as most pressing to facilitate school and district improvement. The FY24 TAG combines funds for state targeted assistance as well as federal school improvement funding for over 150 schools that meet at least one of the following priorities:
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.
The TAG focuses on the development and implementation of district identified priorities, in alignment with ESSA mandates and Massachusetts' best practices as outlined in DESE's Educational Vision and the Coherence Guidebook.
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. This includes discussions about TAG options and how they can assist in efforts toward the development of grant proposals if needed. Districts are encouraged to strategically align TAG expenditures with other key funding sources (e.g., SOA, ESSER, other federal Title funding).
PowerPoint slides from TAG informational webinar on 9/13/23
View the recorded version of the webinar
School Redesign Grants (SRG) are federally-funded, competitive grants that support districts in improving their lowest performing schools. Grants are awarded to help districts and schools meet students' needs through funding improvement strategies such as increased time for student learning, professional development for educators, and academic enrichment programs for students. Each year eligibility is determined by the lowest performing schools in the Commonwealth based on our state's accountability system. While the last new cohort of schools was awarded in the 2019-2020 school year, another new cohort is set to be awarded in the 2023-2024 school year.
An integral component of SRG involves schools developing, implementing, and revising a sustainable improvement plan, which guides the approach to rapid school improvement. The sustainable improvement plan is to be updated each year. The sustainable improvement plan is couched in the research-based best practices for effective school improvement efforts. Our state has learned a lot since SRG was first implemented in 2010. A majority of the schools that have been identified as underperforming have been exited from underperforming status. Many of the lessons learned from what successful school improvement looks like can be found at Turnaround Practices Research and Evaluation Reports webpage.
The Making Money Matter (M3) project is part of the Massachusetts Results Driven Accountability (RDA) initiative. This initiative is intended to promote targeted use of federal special education funds in ways that are designed to lead to improved outcomes for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
M3 districts are required to direct at least 2% of their total IDEA special education entitlement allocation (Fund Code 240) toward targeted district improvement of performance outcomes for students with disabilities in order to create meaningful and sustainable systemic change and to accelerate progress for students with IEPs. The districts required to participate in M3 are those with a Needs Intervention (NI) Special Education Determination.
First year participants engage in a self-assessment and evidence-based planning process and create a 3-Year Strategic Plan and annual action Plan. For more information, please visit Making Money Matter (M3). For more information about the assessment and planning process, please visit First Year Participation and Planning Year Guidance. Continuing districts implement and/or re-assess their M3 Action Plan and 3-Year Strategic Plan, making data-based midcourse corrections as needed.
M3 initiatives should be coherent with district/school improvement plan(s) or Charter School action plans. Furthermore, districts engaged in sustainable improvement are encouraged to prioritize services at schools that have been identified for achievement gaps in the Students with Disabilities category under the MA Accountability framework. Districts engaged in sustainable improvement in partnership with the DESE Statewide System of Support (SSoS) are strongly encouraged to consult with SSoS regional representatives in the development, implementation, and review of M3 initiatives.
Please contact (Email: Abigail T. Slayton or Tel: 781-338-3517) with any questions related to M3.
April 2022 Special Education Assistance Webinar Slideshow: Presentation and recording: Presentation Recording
Making Money Matter (M3)
M3 First Year Participation and Planning Year Guide
M3 Video Conference Slides
Last Updated: September 27, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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