Grant Opportunities

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COVID-19 Update: In light of the growing concern surrounding COVID-19, TCSG’s Office of Adult Education has formally suspended its adult education grant competition until next fiscal year. More information regarding the new grant application timeframe will be available in the coming weeks.

The Office of Adult Education is pleased to announce its multi-year adult education grant competition. Eligible providers can apply to receive federal and state matching funds, provided under the Adult Education & Family Literacy Act, to provide adult education and literacy activities to individuals over the age of 16 without a high school diploma or who are basic skills deficient, as well as English language learners. There are two grant opportunities available:

  • General Adult Education Grants (provided with funds under WIOA Sections 231 & 225, as well as state matching funds) allow eligible adult education providers to offer adult basic education, adult secondary education, English language acquisition programs, integrated education and training, workplace preparation activities, corrections education, and family literacy.
  • Integrated English Literacy & Civics Education Grants (provided with funds under WIOA Section 243) allow eligible adult education providers to offer integrated English literacy and civics education programs in combination with integrated education and training.

Per section 203 of WIOA and 34 CFR § 463.23, an organization that has demonstrated effectiveness in providing adult education and literacy activities is eligible to apply for a grant. These organizations may include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 that is not described above and has the ability to provide adult education and literacy activities to eligible individuals;
  • A consortium or coalition of the agencies, organizations, institutions, libraries, or authorities described above.
  • A partnership between an employer and any entity described above.

Click here to apply for a grant.

Grant Application Timeframe and Materials

The chart below details the grant application timeframe. Please note all applications must be submitted through OAE’s online application site.
    Application StepTimeframe/Deadline
    Grant Applicant Technical Assistance DayFebruary 10, 2020 (see above for additional information)
    Online Grant Application Portal OpensFebruary 11, 2020
    Grant Application DueApril 1, 2020
    Grant Application Review and Local Workforce Development Board ReviewApril 6 – May 6, 2020
    Grant Awards AnnouncedMid May 2020
Technical Assistance Webinars & Resources
Technical Assistance Day Materials
OAE hosted a Technical Assistance Day for all interested applicants on February 10th, 2020. The presentation slides from the Technical Assistance Day are available here.
Click here to view the recording of the Technical Assistance Day. If you need a transcript of the session, please email
Adult Education Grant Application Basics
What is Adult Education?
What is an English Language Acquisition Program?
What is Corrections Education?
What is Integrated English Literacy & Civics Education?
What is Family Literacy?
Everything You Need to Know To Prepare Your Adult Education Grant Budget
Other Resources
Article: Adult Education Comes of Age
Local Workforce Development Area Map
Family Literacy Article: These schools are educating parents, as well as students

    Ask a Question

    Ask a Question
    If you have a question about the current adult education grant opportunities, please submit your question using the form below. OAE staff will review your question and respond on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers to Submitted Questions section of this page. Please be sure to check the FAQ and Answers to Submitted Questions section prior to submitting your question in case it has already been answered.

    Please note, in order to ensure all applicants have direct and equitable access to information about the grant opportunities, OAE Is not able to answer questions by phone.

    FAQs and Answers to Submitted Questions

    When will the Technical Assistance grant application materials be available?
    The technical assistance grant application materials will be available in late January or early February, prior to the Technical Assistance Day scheduled for February 10th.

    Will there be a live webinar for individuals who cannot attend the technical assistance day?
    The February 10th technical assistance day will be livestreamed for those that cannot attend. A link to access the livestream will be posted on the Technical Assistance Day section of this site prior to the Technical Assistance Day.

    Our organization has expanded service to include the two generation literacy approach. I heard that TCSG also offers a grant application for this approach. Can you tell me where to find more information about two-gen or family literacy funding?
    Information regarding funding for family literacy programs will be available in the Request for Applications (RFA). The RFA will be posted on the grant application materials section of this webpage in late January or early February, prior to the February 10th Technical Assistance Day.

    We have managed the Certified Literate Community Program since 2002 and have expanded to build a 2-Gen initiative. But, we are an organization with a staff of 2 and an operational budget of $133,000 annually. Should we even attend the webinar for this TCSG Family Literacy grant?
    We encourage any organization interested in applying for a grant – either as an individual organization or in partnership with a larger organization – to attend the Technical Assistance day either in person or via livestream. In addition, the Technical Assistance Day will be recorded and posted on our website.

    I am seeking to become a testing center and prep classes potentially. I wanted to know how that program was funded and what the process is to get approved for the funds.
    The Request for Applications provides additional information on how to apply for and receive funds to offer adult education classes. For information about becoming a GED Testing Center, please contact 1-800-94-MY-GED.

    We are a private non-profit adult learning center which for years has served all adults in our community regardless of legal residential status. On the assumption that federal and state funding could not be used to serve people who cannot prove legal residential status, could it be acceptable to the grantee that we devise a budget structure which demonstrably ensures that funding from this grant be used strictly in service of legal residents, while our service to others be funded through other sources?
    In the budget and application narrative, all applicants must demonstrate how they will utilize the grant funds to serve eligible individuals as indicated by state and federal law.

    May we use our current adult education grant funds to pay for the costs associated with writing the new grant?
    No. Current subrecipients of adult education grant funds may not use their current grant funds to pay for costs, such as a grant writer, associated with writing the adult education grant application.

    Just wanting clarification about the 5% administrative allowance…As an example: If a program receives $450,000 231, $20,000 225, $20,000 PD, $510,000 State totaling $1,000,000, would the 5% be $24,500 of the $490,000? In the past we have been able to put administrative salaries in state which did not affect the 5%, is that still allowable?
    The 5% is calculated based off of the total grant amount, inclusive of both federal and state matching funds. Therefore, salaries paid out of state funds would be counted towards the 5% administrative cost limit. For example, if a program received a total allocation of $1,000,000 ($490,000 of federal funds and $510,000 of state funds), then the 5% administrative cost limit for that program would be $50,000. As a reminder, the Budget Workbook you will submit as part of the grant application will automatically calculate your administrative cost percentage. If it appears your program will exceed the 5% administrative cost limit, your program will have the opportunity to submit a waiver explaining why the 5% administrative cost limit is too restrictive for your program (WIOA Section 233(b)).

    I am writing to confirm the application deadline. Is March 30 a hard deadline, or is it April 1? I am interested in submitting an application for the Integrated English Literacy and Civics Grant, specifically for education and training for the citizenship exam. Thank you for your assistance.
    The application deadline is April 1, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

    In the funding formula workbooks and demonstrated effectiveness table, some of the formulas do not seem to be calculating correctly.
    All of the formulas in the templates, including the General Adult Education Budget Template, the IELCE Budget Template, and the Demonstrated Effectiveness Table, should now be calculating correctly. If you experience any other issues, please let us know.

    If we apply for the General Adult Education Grants, Funding Amount ($430/student) and we will apply the IELCE as well. Will the funding Amount per student for the IELCE be $775 or $400? Will this be considering the General Adult Education Grants as “other federal or state dollars for adult education under this grant competition” with the IELCE?
    If you apply for and receive funding for both a General Adult Education Grant and an IELCE grant, your program would receive $400 per student for the IELCE grant. Please note, the funding formulas are for application purposes only and are subject to change during the allocation and budget negotiation process.

    If a current instructor is chosen as the Instructional Lead, what will be their required teaching percentage? Will it remain at 70% or be decreased in order to have time to perform additional duties?
    For the purposes of the application, please design your staffing structure in a way that will yield the best results for your program and be sure to provide a strong rationale for this structure. The assurances listed in the appendix of the RFA are subject to change.

    Can grants be eligible for new programs, or existing programs? Thank you for your assistance.
    Both adult education providers that currently receive Adult Education & Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) grant funds from TCSG and new providers are eligible to apply for a grant, provided that they meet the eligibility requirements outlined in 34 CFR § 463.22. These eligibility requirements are also outlined on pages 8 – 9 of the Request for Applications.

    How often can you apply for grants for adult education?
    Per WIOA Section 231(a), states must award multiyear grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible providers to develop, implement, and improve adult education and literacy activities within the state. The grants awarded from the current competitive application cycle will last for four years (July 2020 – June 2024), contingent upon an annual renewal process. The next competitive Request for Applications would open in 2024, depending on the availability of state and federal funding.

    For the Family Literacy grant how many hours per week must the class meet.
    Per TCSG policy, adult education students participating in a family literacy program would need to receive a minimum of six instructional hours per week. Children in a family literacy program must participate a minimum of twelve hours throughout the duration of the program (TCSG policy).

    Can a small portion of TCSG Adult Education grant funds be used to address student barriers in accessing transportation to the program (with funding allocated for bus vouchers, for instance)?
    While funds may be used for transportation for adult education students, OAE encourages programs to first partner with external organizations to secure funding for student wraparound services (such as transportation) as adult education grant funding is limited. In addition, please remember that all expenses paid for with adult education grant funds must be allocable, allowable, reasonable, and necessary.

    Program Overview, Question 3 a, please, provide clarity. Does this question involved an identified need such at starting an online program or digital literacy currently not in existence for our established program? Or would an example be a need for students requiring help with transportation or childcare in order to attend classes?
    For the Program Overview, Question 3a, applicants should discuss how their program will identify a need in the region in which they will serve students. Specifically, applicants should provide information that addresses consideration one, as outlined in WIOA Section 231(e): the degree to which the eligible provider would be responsive to— (a) regional needs as identified in the local plan under section 108; and (b) serving individuals in the community who were identified in such plan as most in need of adult education and literacy activities, including individuals— (i) who have low levels of literacy skills; or (ii) who are English language learners. For example, a provider planning to offer an English Language Acquisition program might discuss that its region has a high percentage of individuals in need of ESL classes.

    On the Risk Assessment Questionnaire, question 3 asks about a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). Is this the same as the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?
    No, a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) is different than a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). A CAP typically addresses areas of noncompliance while a PIP focuses on how to improve the program’s outcomes.

    When asked for “demonstrating growth in levels and or content domain” (located on the rubric for past effectiveness), does content domain mean scale score increase within the same NRS level?
    For the past effectiveness section, applicants must upload data that shows their past effectiveness in: (a) improving the reading, writing, math, or English language acquisition skills of basic skills deficient eligible individuals, particularly eligible individuals who have low levels of literacy, and (b) achieving outcomes related to employment, attainment of secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and transition to postsecondary education and training. Applicants may upload data specific to the content domains or other data such as increased performance on an assessment. Please note that in the past effectiveness section, applicants will need to explain how they determined student growth.

    On the demonstrated effectiveness table, since we are using a sampling of students, will the number of students served and the number demonstrating effectiveness bear weight on our 2021 service level projections?
    The demonstrated effectiveness table serves only as an eligibility screen for applicants. The 2021 enrollment projections should be discussed in question one of the Program Overview section of the application and should be based off of previous enrollment data.

    What is the wait time for the rest of the grant to be accessible after the Demonstrated Effectiveness Table has been uploaded?
    Once you have uploaded and submitted the Demonstrated Effectiveness Table, you should immediately be able to log into your account and click “start” to access the application. Please make sure that once you complete and upload the Demonstrated Effectiveness Tool, you hit “Submit.” For more information, please review the step by step instructions available here.

    For the Family Literacy Grant can food be purchased if it will be used for classroom learning activities. For example “Fractions with Food” – cutting up fruits and vegetables in fraction formats?
    If the food is used for instructional purposes as described and is allocable, reasonable, and necessary to the purposes of the family literacy grant, then a program can purchase food with its grant funds.

    For Question 1 under the Student Experience section, should we upload our Recruitment and Retention plan?
    On the online application site, you will not be able to upload a Recruitment and Retention plan. However, if the elements of your Recruitment and Retention plan adequately and fully answer the question, you can use language from the plan in your answer. Please keep in mind that each question does have a word limit.

    Is there a document (external to the online grants portal) that indicates character/word count limits for narrative responses?
    Yes. Under the Grant Application Timeframe and Materials section of this site, there are links to documents that contain the grant application questions as well as the word limits.

    Is there a way to make changes to forms that have been uploaded/completed?
    If you need to make changes to a form that has been uploaded or completed prior to the April 1, 2020 deadline, please email with the specific form and request.

    Our program’s Transition Coordinator is currently paid out of state funds. With the new Quarterly Career Report only counting those who are paid from federal funds, should the position be moved to federal?
    Applicants can make a determination regarding whether to pay a Transition/Career Services Coordinator out of state or federal funds. However, please note that if a Transition Coordinator supports students in multiple programs (Example: Corrections, Integrated English Literacy & Civics Education, and Adult Basic Education) and is paid out of federal funds, their salary would need to be appropriately allocated among those federal budgets (225, 243, 231).

    GALIS Report AL 125 for FY 19 is not working, and it is required to complete the “Demonstrated Effectiveness Table” for the RFA.
    GALIS (Georgia Adult Learners Information System) reports beginning with an “AL” have not been verified for accuracy and may not be functional at this time. Applicants should upload valid and reliable data available to them to complete the Demonstrated Effectiveness Table.

    The excel attachment for Course Plan Template and Staffing Table are one total document not two separate documents. Do we upload this one document in both the staffing and instructional program sections or do we need to try and separate the document into two separate pieces.
    Please upload the document in both the staffing and instructional program application sections. You do not need to separate the document.

    Are there any specific GALIS tables / ways to extract GALIS data that align with the Demonstrated Effectiveness Table (i.e.., broken down by subject area)?
    At this time, there are no specific GALIS reports that align directly with the Demonstrated Effectiveness Table. Applicants should upload valid and reliable data available to them to complete the Demonstrated Effectiveness Table.

    What is the process to request a waiver to negotiate administrative costs in excess of 5 percent?
    For the purposes of the application, you can include an explanation in your budget rationale regarding why you need to exceed the 5% administrative cost limit. Funded programs will go through a budget negotiation process during which they will have the opportunity to submit a formal waiver form.