Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
Grants to Massachusetts public school districts to meet the needs of preschool children (ages 3-5) with disabilities. Funding is intended to ensure that these children receive free special education and related services that meet their needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
The purpose of this federal special education entitlement grant program is to provide funds to ensure that eligible 3, 4, and 5-year-old children with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE). School Districts are required to ensure that children, aged 3 through 5, who need special education and related services, receive these services through free and appropriate public education (FAPE), in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - 2004 (IDEA-2004) and Massachusetts Special Education laws (M.G.L. c. 71B) and regulations (603 CMR 28.00).
Priorities of the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-2004) are to:
- Serve eligible children, aged 3 to 5 years old, with disabilities through the provision of special education and related services deemed essential for student success
- Ensure services and supports are available for eligible children with disabilities, aged 3 to 5 years old, that are developmentally appropriate and specifically designed for 3 to 5 year olds.
- Provide special education services and supports in accordance with the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-2004) and Massachusetts Special Education laws and regulations.
- Ensure young children have available to them a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special educational and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for future education.
- Support young children with disabilities, aged 3 to 5, in inclusive and natural environments.
- Ensure the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected.
- Assist localities and educational service agencies to educate all children with disabilities.
- Assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.
Funds available under this federal early childhood special education entitlement program are intended for use by districts in providing eligible students with appropriate special education services and activities to address the priorities as outlined in Section 619, Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004. Services and activities supported by this grant for students ages 3 through 5 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) and related regulations (34 CFR Part 300).
When considering fund use, each school district should review: results from its most recent Tiered Focused Monitoring Review (Coordinated Program Review or Mid-Cycle Review); its Determination of Need for Special Education Technical Assistance or Intervention Download Word Document; and district performance in relation to the indicators specified in the Massachusetts State Performance Plan specific to early childhood special education and family engagement (www.doe.mass.edu/sped/spp/). Specifically, consider the ECSE Strategic Areas:
1. Improving systems to engage effectively with families
2. Improving systems to assist transition from early intervention to prekindergarten and from prekindergarten to kindergarten
3. Improving instruction to increase educational outcomes in:
a. Social/Emotional Skills and Social Relationships;
b. Acquiring and Using Knowledge and Skills; and
c. Taking Appropriate Action to Meet Needs
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. Beginning with the FY19 grant application, all districts must submit the required proportionate share forms with the FY19 Fund Code 262 grant application. Child count and related information used to calculate the required proportionate share expenditures for eligible private school students ages 3 through 5 may be obtained from the proportionate share activities reported in the district's Fund Code 240 grant application.
GrantWatch ID#: 162297
The project duration is upon approval* through 6/30/2019 (Year 1).
*The period of availability for this grant award can be extended 15 months beyond Year 1 by utilizing the multi-year feature for this Funding Opportunity in EdGrants. Extended period is broken up by fiscal year, as follows: 7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020 (Year 2); 7/1/2020 – 9/30/2020 (Year 3).
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants:
FY 2019 Fund Code 262
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