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Statewide System of Support (SSoS)

Grant Funding

DESE provides financial resources to Broad/Comprehensive and Focused/Targeted Schools through a series of competitive and allocation grants.

Targeted Assistance Grant (TAG)

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 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:

  • In the bottom 10 percentiles on the Massachusetts District and School Accountability System
  • Has a federal designation of CSI, TSI, or ATSI
  • Is identified as Underperforming on the 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 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).

Intensive Assistance Grants (IAG)

The Intensive Assistance Grant (IAG) is an updated model of the School Redesign Grant (SRG) that had been in place since 2010. IAG is a federally funded, competitive grant that supports schools that are persistently in the lowest percentiles on our state's accountability system. The purpose of this grant is to support the delivery of high-quality instruction for every student, in every classroom, every day.

An integral component of IAG involves implementing the district's identified instructional priority. With support from district leaders, identified schools will adapt the district's instructional priority to drive improvement. This priority is to be revisited each year to ensure it reflects the most important focus for improving educational outcomes for students.

This recorded webinar provides more details on the 2024-2025 iteration of IAG: March 2024 IAG Webinar

FY23–FY25 Evidence-Based Practice Grant (117/225B)

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:

  1. Co-teaching / inclusion for students with disabilities and English learners
  2. Research-based early literacy programs in pre-kindergarten and early elementary grades
  3. Strategies to recruit and retain educators/administrators in hard-to-staff schools and positions,
  4. Implement Expanded Learning Time (ELT) in the form of a longer school day or year

Grant Application:

The RFP application for this grant.

Informational Webinar:

Information on this grant can be found in the following webinar which was recorded on December 22, 2022:

Making Money Matter(M3)

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.

Helpful M3 Links

Federal Grant Reporting

Last Updated: July 12, 2024

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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