Federal ABE Re-Compete Proposal

Federal ABE Re-Compete Proposal

Federal ABE Re-Compete Proposal


We propose to implement a competitive process for federal AEFLA funds, which is required under WIOA and allows eligible entities to compete for these funds by showing their proven success in providing adult literacy services and by indicating how their programming aligns to and supports the 13 considerations.


ACES TIF: Academic, Career, and Employability Standards Transitions Integration Framework, part of state ABE Content Standards

AEFLA: Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (Title II of WIOA), oversees ABE

CCRS: College and Career Readiness Standards, Federal and State ABE Content Standards

IEL/Civics: Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education, a program under AEFLA

MOU: Memorandum of Understanding, a collaborative agreement between entities

MWCA: Minnesota Workforce Council Association, a supplemental service provider and a workforce council representation organization working primarily with WIOA Titles I and III

WDA: Workforce Development Area

WDB: Workforce Development Board, state-level and local boards that help lead and implement WIOA

WIOA: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act


  1. The title of the application will beFederal Adult Basic Education ProviderGrant (WIOA Section 231 funds).
  2. Application Process: This will be a competitive grant that will be posted publically on the state department of education grants website. Applications will be submitted electronically as an emailed document (Word or PDF).
  3. Eligible Providers: Entities that can apply could include current ABE consortia or an organization that has demonstrated effectivenessin providing adult education and literacy activities that may include:
  4. a local educational agency;
  5. a community-based organization or faith-based organization;
  6. a volunteer literacy organization;
  7. an institution of higher education;
  8. a public or private nonprofit agency;
  9. a library;
  10. a public housing authority;
  11. a nonprofit institution that is not described above and has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals;
  12. a consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described above; and
  13. a partnership between an employer and an entitydescribed above.
  14. Federal ABE funding will be competed separately from state ABE funding, but state-funded ABE consortia are encouraged to apply for federal funds. All ABE consortia (regardless of state/federal funding mix) will be required to adhere to the same set of accountability measures and policies. State-funded ABE programs can continue to apply for and receive state ABE funding, even if they are not awarded or choose not to apply for federal funding. In addition, currently existing ABE consortia can collaborate to write a regional application for federal funding.
  15. Fund-Matching Requirement: Applicants will be required to match proposed federal AEFLA funding at a minimum level of 1:1 from a stable, ongoing source, e.g. state ABE funding, foundation funding, local funding or other funding.Higher scores will be given to entities that can dedicate proportionately higher amounts of funding for ABE activities.
  16. IEL/Civics(WIOA Section 243) will continue to be a separate two-year grant competition.
  17. Intent to Apply: The Minnesota Department of Education will publish an “intent to apply” on the MDE website and potential grantees will be asked to submit an “intent to apply” before the December Grant Application/Managers’ Meeting.The received letters of intent will be sent directly to the Minnesota Department of Education and will be forwarded to the local workforce development boards and MWCA so they will know how many proposals to expect in each area. This will allow MDE and local boards to plan their review processes. MDE will provide review templates to each local board that prioritizes the sections of the application that cover collaboration and alignment with local and regional workforce development plans.
  18. Applicationcontent will be based on the 13 considerations, as specified in WIOA. The application will have similar structure and content to the ABE Narrative.Additional questions and considerations will be identified as “state” priorities or questions.
  19. Coverage: Each awarded grantee will identifyageographic area of service, as defined by school district boundaries, unless they focus on a unique population not served by other ABE programs in the region/state. Not all geographic areas of service in a region are guaranteed federal ABE funding.
  20. Applications will be sorted and evaluated by WDA region. At least one (but not limited to one) applicant will be awarded funding in each region. Multiple awarded applicants are possible in each region. Regions will include:
  21. Central Minnesota
  22. Metro-East
  23. Metro-West
  24. Northeast Minnesota
  25. Northwest Minnesota
  26. Southeast Minnesota
  27. Southwest Minnesota
  28. Statewide Special Populations, including Incarcerated Individuals in State Corrections/Prisons, People with Disabilities, HomelessIndividuals and/or Other Special Populations
  1. WDA regional review teams will include multiple (3-4) local ABE staff from other regions, at least one state ABE staff and one from MWCA, and potentially one or two other representatives from partner entities. The review process will be similar to the narrative process with individual reviews followed by a joint in-person review.Each review team will receive the local application plus the local board reviews. Reviewers for both the review teams and the local boards will be offered training and technical assistance from the Minnesota Department of Education.
  2. State ABE database: Each consortium (state and/or federally funded) is expected to pay the licensing fee for the state ABE database.
  3. Alternative for Non-Awarded Programs: If a state-funded ABE consortium is not awarded federal ABE funding, that consortium can apply in subsequent years to join a consortium that has been awarded federal funding. The consortia would need to enter into an MOU and the “sub-grantee” would be subject to all federal requirements, as overseen by the fiscal agent.
  1. There will be a state ABE application process in 2017 that will include Tables A, 7, 13andpotentially additional tables. The state ABE application will be a formula grant application that is posted in April and due June 1, 2017.
  2. Reporting and Ongoing Applications: Beyond 2017, there will be a joint federal and state application process and report (with Table A, 7, 13, etc.) due June 1. Applications will allow applicants to choose between “federal ABE funding” and/or “state ABE funding.” Additional federal reports will be due August 1 through the state ABE database. All consortia, regardless of funding, will need to complete a narrative once every 5 years.
  3. Grantee Authorization: State will award multi-year grants renewable annually and distributed based on the formula for distributing federal AEFLA fundswhile WIOA is in effect. Grantees will be renewed annually as long as funds are available to distribute, local grantees comply with state and federal grant expectations including program quality, fiscal reporting, performance reporting expectations and/or grant assurances; until WIOA is reauthorized; and/or until the Minnesota Department of Education chooses to compete the federal funds again.

Proposed Application Questions

1) General information

Examples: region, geographic area of coverage, date the application was sent to local WDB, signed assurances required by MDE, budget information on how funds will be spent

2) Evidence of alignment to the 13 considerations

Examples: history of ABE instruction and programming, description of capacity to work with learners with disabilities, explanation of minimum teacher qualifications, description of minimum service level available to students, programming descriptions (based on 8 AEFLA activities), evidence of best practices in instruction, evidence of standards implementation (including CCRS, ACES, Northstar), PD plans, descriptions of collaborations and partnerships, evidence of effective use of technology, descriptions of career pathway programming


Date / Activity
November 2016 / Notice for Applicants to Submit Letters of Intent to Apply Published Publically
December 8, 2016 / Federal Grant Application Informational Workshop
December 2016 / Letters of Intent Due
January-February 2017 / Federal ABE Grant RFP published on Minnesota Department of Education website and sent to organizations that submitted letters of intent to apply
March 2017 / Applications Due to Local Boards and to Minnesota Department of Education
April-May 2017 / Review of Applications by Region
June 2017 / Awarded providers announced

For more information

State ABE Site (Policy Page):

Minnesota Department of Education’s Grants Site:

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Site for WIOA plans:

Federal WIOA AEFLA Site: www2.ed.gov/aefla