DESE provides financial resources to Broad/Comprehensive and Focused/Targeted Schools through a series of competitive and allocation grants.
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 FY23 TAG combines funds for state targeted assistance as well as federal school improvement funding for over 100 schools with a designation of broad/comprehensive or focused/targeted support under the 2019 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.
The TAG focuses on the development and implementation of district identified priorities, in alignment with ESSA mandates and Massachusetts' best practices. TAG funds will ensure there is a focus on at least one of the following:
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.
Statewide System of Support Regional Assistance teams can discuss TAG options and 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 9/13/22
View the recorded version of the webinar.
There is a body of research supporting the efficacy of Expanded Learning Time (ELT) in accelerating student achievement and closing gaps. Research suggests that, "ELT is especially beneficial for students from low-income families, students of color, and students who are academically behind" as it provides access to academic support, engaging enrichment opportunities, and high quality instruction by teachers who regularly participate in meaningful collaboration.
As we have learned in over a decade of funding the expanded day model through Massachusetts state funding (line item 7061-9412), successful implementation of additional time relies on a balanced and embedded allocation of additional time which includes one or more of the following ELT components:
Expanded Learning Time (ELT) for New Schools
Expanded Learning Time (ELT) for Veteran Schools
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. For the 2021-2022 school year, there will be no new cohort of SRG schools. All current SRG schools with funds remaining are eligible to apply for a renewal. School and district leaders will coordinate to submit a budget with an updated sustainable improvement plan in October 2021. In addition to the application, the school and district leaders will also participate in an interview process after the plan has been reviewed.
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.
2021-2022 School Redesign Grant Webinar
Note: due to COVID-19, this is the most recent year where we implemented the full SRG process.
Summary of the Review Process, Overall Scoring, and Results
2019-2020 SRG Written Applications
Turnaround Sustainability Toolkit
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: December 7, 2022
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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