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Grants to Massachusetts Public School Districts to Meet the Educational Needs of Students with Disabilities

CFDA or PIN Number:

Funding or PIN Number:

Fund Code: 240


Geographic Focus

USA: Massachusetts

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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #160597

Grant Description

Grants to Massachusetts public school districts to meet the needs of qualifying students with disabilities. The purpose of this program is to ensure that all students with disabilities receive appropriate and free public education, inclusive of special education and relevant services suited to their individual needs.

The priorities of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004) are to:

a. Ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living;

b. Ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected;

c. Assist States, localities, educational service agencies, and Federal agencies to provide for the education of all children with disabilities;

d. Assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to education children with disabilities.

Funds available under this federal entitlement program are intended for use by districts in providing eligible students with special education services and activities deemed essential for students' success in school. Services and activities supported by this grant for students ages 3 through 21 must ensure compliance with state special education laws (M.G.L. c. 71B) and regulations (603 CMR 28.00), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004).

When considering fund use, each school district should review results from its most recent Coordinated Program Review or Mid-Cycle Review, review district performance in relation to the indicators specified in the Massachusetts State Performance Plan, and review the 2017 Special Education Determination levels.

Additionally, to support effective planning and the strategic use of grant funds to support improved outcomes for students with disabilities, in FY19 districts required to participate in Making Money Matter (M3) are those with:

1. A 2017 special education determination level of Needs Technical Assistance (NTA), Needs Intervention (NI), or Needs Substantial Intervention (NSI); and
2. One or more schools serving grades 3–8 with 2017 MCAS English language arts (ELA) and/or mathematics achievement percentiles 1-10, and/or one or more high schools serving grades 9–12 only with 2017 accountability percentiles 1–10.

FY19 M3 districts are directed to use a minimum of 2% – 4% of the entitlement amount made available under Fund Code 240 for the improvement of student performance. (34 CFR § 300.600)

General Fund Use - All Districts:

Federal special education funds are given to school districts to assist them in providing appropriate special education services for eligible students and to address the priorities listed above. Districts are reminded of their responsibility to maintain state/local effort in special education.

IDEA also requires districts to designate federal funds to meet proportionate share obligations and expenditures for parentally placed private school students and home schooled students.

Additional Directed Fund Use — Making Money Matter (M3)

The directed fund use is to support the following program improvement activities in FY19:

1. Implementing the district's M3 action plan (developed through FY18 240 funds) and making data-based midcourse corrections, and

2. Maintaining the M3 multi-year strategic plan (developed or updated through FY18 240 funds) and updating it as needed, in consultation with David Parker at, in the office of Statewide System of Support.

As part of the Fund Code 240 application, identified districts must submit a completed M3 SmartForm. Districts must identify the percent and amount of funds being redirected for systemic improvement initiatives, complete a set of assurances, and project the district's FY19 M3 Spending Plan in the grant application.

Note: The optional use of some funds available through discretionary grant Fund Code 274 for M3 activities to offset the use of Fund Code 240 funds that was available in prior years is not available for FY19. All FY19 M3 funds must be identified from districts' Fund Code 240 allocation.

DESE will pursue opportunities for districts participating in this focused fund use initiative to engage in technical assistance, training, and networking throughout the year. More information about these opportunities will be forthcoming.

All districts identified for M3 that are already partnering with the DESE Statewide System of Support are directed to propose activities that target outcomes for students with disabilities and complement the district's or school's existing improvement process, initiatives, and outcome measures.

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Funds are awarded to public school districts with approved Special Education Program Plan Statements based on an allocation formula that takes into account total school enrollment in both public and private elementary and secondary schools, and the number children living in poverty, as determined by the State in those same groups.

Please note that the ESE reserves the right to require that these funds be used to correct areas of identified noncompliance.

FY19 M3 districts must submit additional information in order for funds to be awarded. Additional submission requirements for these districts are described below; and the FY19 M3 District List is available in the additional information section of this RFP, as an attachment.

Pre-Application Information:

Term of Contract:

The project duration is upon approval* through 6/30/2019 (Year 1).

*The period of availability for this grant award can be extended beyond Year 1 based on utilizing the multi-year feature for this Funding Opportunity in EdGrants. Extended period as follows: 7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020 (Year 2); 7/1/2020 – 9/30/2020 (Year 3)

Contact Information:

Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants:
(781) 338-6230

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