As reported in a recent article in School Board Notes, vendors or organizations, in addition to schools and districts that meet established, research-based criteria, can apply for up to $768,000 in funds as part of the state’s High-Impact Tutoring initiative.

The New Jersey Department of Education recently issued a special broadcast with details on how to seek high-impact tutoring funds, which are meant to support districts, charter schools and renaissance school projects to provide high-dosage, intensive tutoring by focusing on high-impact tutoring interventions for students disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

As per the broadcast, the grant opportunity prioritizes districts with elementary schools serving students in grades three and four; however, additional grants may be awarded for additional grade level priorities. The grant optimizes funding for targeted tutoring through vendors, organizations, or districts, that meet established, research-based criteria.

Due to the significant interest in this grant opportunity, the New Jersey Department of Education continues to prioritize the expeditious review of all competitive applications for award. Successful applicants will be informed through a notification from the Electronic Web-enabled Grant system when an update is made to the application status. As awards are being finalized, the NJDOE has collaborated closely with the Division of Local Government Services to provide a streamlined process for any districts whose requested funding amounts may exceed public bidding thresholds.

Procurement Guidance

Districts procuring private entity vendors for tutoring under this program are reminded that any requested funds that exceed public bidding thresholds must comply with the Public School Contracts Law (N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-1 et seq.).

To provide any districts that exceed this threshold with additional assistance in streamlining processes, a model Request for Proposals is available for use by districts in competitive procurement. DLGS has approved the use of competitive contracting under N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-4.1.k for procurement of tutoring vendors under this Program.

Districts are not required to make an individual request to DLGS. In addition to following the advertising requirements of N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-4.5, the NJDOE encourages districts to distribute the RFP to vendors on the list of those identified as meeting program requirements.

Following the adoption of a board of education or board of trustees’ resolution authorizing competitive contracting, the advertisement must be publicly posted for at least 20 days, with the contract being awarded within 60 days of receipt of proposals. Competitive procurement requirements do not apply to contracts with state agencies, state colleges/county colleges, or local government agencies. See this DLGS notice for additional information. Additionally, districts that will be required to complete the procurement process are encouraged to begin that process before a final award is granted with a formal contract award occurring after the final grant award.

The applicable statute is N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-4.5.

See the NJDOE’s Office of Grants Management webpage for more information about the High- Impact Tutoring Grant.

Interested parties may also want to read this Aug. 8, 2023, article in School Board Notes highlighting the High Impact Tutoring initiative.