The Cambridge Public Schools receives grant funding annually from federal, state, and private sources. Project descriptions for the district’s significant recurring grant programs are provided below.
Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund
ESSER II: Created through enactment of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), the core purpose of the ESSER II Fund is to provide direct money to states and districts to address the impact of the disruption, closure, and reopening of schools caused by COVID-19.
ESSER III: Created through enactment of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP), ESSER III provides aide to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of COVID-19.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Allocations
This federal entitlement program aims to ensure that eligible students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education that includes special education and related services designed to meet their individual needs. Funds are awarded based on a formula taking school enrollment and demographics into account. The majority of IDEA funding is utilized for out-of-district tuition. A portion of the grant is allocated to meet the required proportionate share of federal IDEA funds for equitable services for parentally placed private school children with disabilities and activities under the Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—Early Education Allocations
This federal entitlement program provides funding to support early childhood education for eligible students with disabilities A portion of the grant is allocated to meet the required proportionate share of federal IDEA funds for equitable services for parentally placed private school children with disabilities.
This federal entitlement grant funds academic and support services for students, professional development activities for staff, parent involvement activities, and the purchase of supplies and materials in the district’s six Title I (high poverty) schools. One percent of the grant supports family engagement, and grant funds also support eligible Cambridge students attending private schools.
Title IIA – Teacher Quality
This federal entitlement program, which aims to prepare, train, and recruit high quality teachers, funds stipends for CPS’s mentoring program for new teachers, as well as other professional development. Participating private schools are served in proportion to their enrollment.
Title III – English Language Learner Support
Funds from this federal entitlement grant support supplemental instructional services and supplies for after school and summer programs to improve the educational performance of English Language Learners (ELLs) in K-8 by assisting these students to learn English and meet State academic content standards. The grant also provides support for parent ESL classes and registration for Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) teachers to attend professional development conferences.
Title IV – Student Support
Part of the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), this federal entitlement program funds academic, social emotional and other supports for students. The district has elected to use Title IIA guidelines in the use of this funding.
Occupational Education Vocational Skills
This grant supports curriculum refinement and professional development for staff in vocational programs at the Rindge School of Technical Arts (RSTA). The grant also supports the purchase of necessary industry specific supplies for student use in Creative Design, Health Assisting, Printing, Automotive, Computer Science, Culinary, Biotech, Carpentry, Early Education and Care, Information Technology, Media Technology, and Engineering programs.
Special Education Circuit Breaker Reimbursement
The state's Special Education Circuit Breaker program, managed as a grant, reimburses local school districts for a portion of their costs of educating high-needs special education students. The state aims to reimburse, subject to budget appropriation, 75% of district costs in excess of a per pupil threshold as calculated under by the state. The Circuit Breaker budget in any given year reflects the district's reimbursement for prior year expenses.
This foundation grant supports the salary of two full-time grade K-2 Kodaly music teachers at the Peabody School and Fletcher Maynard Academy, as well as 0.4 of a 1.0 teacher FTE at the Tobin School. Funds are also used to purchase musical instruments and instructional materials.