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Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits, CBOs, IHEs, and Agencies in Eligible Locations for Adult Education Programs

Adult Education and Family Literacy Services

GrantWatch ID# 207768
Agency: State

Funding Source
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
Funding or PIN Number: Fund Codes: 340/345/359
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Geographic Focus
USA: Massachusetts: Central Region, Bristol, and Berkshire

Important Dates
Deadline: 03/17/23 5:00 PM Eastern Save

Grant Description
Grants to Massachusetts community-based nonprofit organizations, faith-based entities, academic institutions, and government agencies in eligible locations for programs that improve access to adult education. Funding is intended to promote free access for undereducated adults, age 16 and older, to adult basic education services and ESL programs in the Central Massachusetts workforce area (Option 1). Grants may also be used for outstationing services in the Berkshire and Bristol Regions (Option 2).


  1. Deliver English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services; and
    • Assist eligible individuals to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency;
    • Assist eligible individuals who are parents or family members to obtain the education and skills that—
      • are necessary to become full partners in the educational development of their children, and
      • result in sustainable improvements in the economic opportunities for their family;
    • Assist eligible individuals in attaining a secondary school credential and in the transition to postsecondary education and training, including through career pathways; and
    • Assist immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners to—
      • improve their—
        • (1) reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills in English; and
        • (2) mathematical skills;
      • acquire an understanding of the American system of government, individual freedom, and responsible citizenship.
  2. To reduce disparity in education by providing, in collaboration with WIOA partners and others, high-quality AE programming that provides an inclusive and welcoming environment, rigorous curriculum and instruction, and related services responsive to and supportive of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).
  3. To support innovation in the development of AE services to effectively serve eligible individuals most in need of education services in the central mass local workforce development area through in-person and remote instruction and in coordination and collaboration with WIOA partner services.
  4. To improve and accelerate participant outcomes, especially educational functioning level completion, high school equivalency (HSE) credential or high school diploma (ADP) attainment, and enrollment in post-secondary education or training.

Outstationing: Proposals must demonstrate the capacity to collaborate and coordinate with local area MassHire Career Centers and adult education providers to support student access to services offered by adult education programs in the local workforce area and MassHire Career Centers.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible agencies/organizations that have demonstrated effectiveness in providing services for which they are applying, currently (FY23) funded by DESE, are eligible to apply.

Option 1 Eligible Agency: An organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities that may include:
- a local educational agency
- a community-based organization or faith-based organization
- a volunteer literacy organization
- an institution of higher education
- a public or private nonprofit agency
- a library
- a public housing authority
- a nonprofit institution not described in any of subparagraphs (1) through (7) and has the ability to provide literacy activities to eligible providers
- a consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described in (1) through (8)
- a partnership between an employer and an entity described in any of the above.

Note: As required by WIOA the applicant must demonstrate past effectiveness by submitting past performance data in serving eligible participants.

Option 2 Eligible Agencies:
ACLS will fund one agency per workforce area for outstationing services. Only funded agencies in the local workforce area without outstationing services are eligible to apply.

Berkshire Region:
- Berkshire Community College
- North Adams Public Schools
- Pittsfield Public Schools

Bristol Region:
- Bristol Community College
- SER — Jobs for Progress

Eligible students are:
- At least 16 years of age;
- Not enrolled or required to be enrolled in secondary school under state law; and
- Do not have a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent and have not achieved an equivalent level of education; or are basic skills deficient; or are English language learners.

Students under 18 must provide a letter of withdrawal from the local school district in order to enroll in the program. Students who are home-schooled must provide a letter from the local school district stating that they are not enrolled.

Pre-Application Information
Proposals are due Friday, March 17, 2023, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

The deadline for questions is February 17, 2023.

Additional information:

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
- Option 1: Up to $600,000 for ESOL services in Central Massachusetts
- Option 2: Outstationing: $18,000 Bristol Region, $18,000 Berkshire region

Term of Contract
Project Duration: Upon Approval (no earlier than July 1, 2023) through June 30, 2024. Conditionally renewable for up to additional four years.

Renewals are subject to satisfactory performance, the appropriation of state and federal funds, and the continuance of federal authorizing legislation. The total grant award duration will not exceed five years (initial year plus renewals).

Contact Information
Submit applications to

Submit questions to

Requests for assistance with submitting inquiries or locating the Q&A may be directed to the ACLS receptionist at (781) 338-3850.

Direct other technical questions to Paula Jurigian at

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