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Adult Education: Primary Instruction by Volunteers

Grant to a Massachusetts, Nonprofit, IHE, LEA,
or Library for Adult Basic Education Programs

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

12/22/17 3:00 PM


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Grant to a Massachusetts nonprofit, IHE, library, or local education agency for the provision of high-quality adult basic education programs for qualifying adults. These programs must serve qualifying adults who are unable or unwilling to enroll in an adult learning class at a Community Adult Learning Center.

The priority is to support one statewide stand alone program that offers volunteer tutoring services annually to approximately 1,000-1,100 eligible adult students in cities and town in the Commonwealth including Gateway cities and that:

1. Demonstrates past effectiveness in providing one on one academic instruction for ABE or ESOL students;

2. Provides one-on-one adult basic education instruction through the use of well-trained and well-supported volunteer tutors;

3. For ABE services, ensure the program implements a curriculum that is aligned with the standards of the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE)

4. For ESOL services, ensure that the program implements a curriculum that is aligned with the standards and benchmarks of the Massachusetts ABE Curriculum Framework for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and the standards of the College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education (CCRSAE) at all levels; and,

5. Provide services that are effective in assisting adults to develop the college and career readiness skills needed to successfully transition to higher education and stable jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage.

6. Provide services that are aligned with the strategy and goals identified in the Local Plan Packages.

Funds are contingent upon satisfactory performance, the appropriation of state and federal funds, and the continuance of federal authorizing legislation.

Funds must be used to provide Adult Basic Education instructional services, delivered by well-trained volunteers, including basic skills, pre- adult secondary education, adult secondary education, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Personnel costs may include paid staff time for: recruitment; volunteer/student orientation; volunteer training and ongoing support; required and ongoing assessment of student progress; establishing and maintaining tutor/student matches; advising; follow-up; referral; professional development data collection/entry; and, administration. A portion of the funds may be used to support non-personnel related costs.

Eligible students are

a. At least 16 years of age; and

b. are not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law, and either:
-Do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent;
-Are basic skills deficient if they have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent (Note: Students who possess a high school credential are required to assess at or below 10.9 grade level equivalent (GLE) in reading, writing, or mathematics and seek to maintain work certification and/or pursue postsecondary education or training in order to be eligible.); or
-Are English language learners.

All students need the skills to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Not less than 75 percent of funds must be spent on adult basic education direct services; not more than 25 percent may be spent on administrative costs, including indirect costs.

Agencies with an approved federal indirect cost rate shall not receive more than an 8% indirect rate for adult education programs. Agencies with an ESE-approved indirect cost rate (IDC) shall not receive more than a 5% indirect rate for adult education programs. The total of direct and indirect costs may not exceed the total grant award. In lieu of charging for indirect costs, grantees that provide an appropriate and detailed allocation of agency wide costs to their grant programs may receive ESE approval to include them as direct costs.

Upon notification of funding, successful applicants will be required to enter the approved number of tutors and tutor-student matches in the Primary Instruction By Volunteers screen in SMARTT Successful applicants must comply with Adult and Community Learning Services' assessment policies and reporting requirements.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 157080

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

The total allocation is available for one statewide program.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The total allocation available for one statewide primary instruction by volunteers program is approximately $400,000.

Term of Contract:

Project duration is upon approval through June 30, 2022; conditionally renewable annually for up to four (4) years, subject to satisfactory performance, the appropriation of state and federal funds, and the continuance of federal authorizing legislation.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants may include, but are not limited to: (a) A local educational agency; (b) A community-based organization or faith-based organization; (c) A volunteer literacy organization; (d) An institution of higher education; (e) A public or private nonprofit agency; (f) A library; (g) A public housing authority; (h) A nonprofit institution that has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals; (i) A consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described in any of paragraphs (a) through (h) of this section; and (j) A partnership between an employer and an entity described in any of paragraphs (a) through (i) of this section.

With the exceptions noted in the guidelines, no entity may receive an award unless the entity has provided a copy of the applying agency's latest completed audit report, issued by an independent certified public accountant. If this audit report is not included, the proposal will not be considered. Excepted from this requirement are state and local entities whose audits the Department accesses directly, such as state colleges, community colleges, and universities, state and county correctional facilities, local public educational authorities and city- or town-operated public libraries.

Compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, As Amended, is a pre-requisite to receipt of a grant award.

Pre-proposal Conference:

A Bidders' Conference for the ABE Primary Instruction by Volunteers grant program is scheduled for September 26, 2017 between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM at One Ashburton Place, Boston, 21st floor.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants are required to provide an auditable matching share of 20% of the total amount of the requested grant award. Currently funded grantees must provide a matching share that is not less than their FY 2017 matching share (maintenance of effort amount) or 20% of the requested amount, whichever is greater.

All inquiries must be submitted in writing via email to the address listed below. All answers will be posted to the Adult and Community Services webpage:

Submit an optional Letter of Intent to Apply via email by 3:00 PM on October 6, 2017.

Proposals must be delivered to the Department via email by 3:00 PM on the December 22, 2017 due date.

More information about Gateway Cities may be found here:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

(781) 338-3850

Funding or Pin Number:

Fund Code: 287

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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