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  Funding Opportunity Details
 -193853-Adult Education and Literacy Federal Funds, WIOA Sec. 225 and 231 (July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2020)
  Adult Literacy
  Application Deadline: 05/01/2017 11:11 PM
Award Amount Range: $50,000.00 - $700,000.00
Project Start Date: 07/01/2017
Project End Date: 06/30/2020
Award Announcement Date: 06/15/2017
Eligible Applicant: See WIOA Sec. 203 Definitions of
Program Officer: Alex Harris
Phone: 515-281-3640 x
Categorical Area: Education


IDOE will award multi-year grants on a competitive basis beginning with an initial one year grant PY 2018 (July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018). Following the first one year grant, IDOE retains the right to fund the grant recipient for up to two (2) consecutive program years 2018-2019, and 2019-2020. 

The exercise of grant renewals after the first year of funding will be made on a program by program basis. Renewals will be contingent on the grant recipient’s ability to successfully implement the terms of the grant, to meet performance expectations, and to provide value to the community.

After this multi-year award cycle recipients may have the option of applying for a grant extension.  This grant extension can be renewed in subsequent years until the IDOE determines that a new multi-year competition for the grant needs to occur.   

Pursuant to 34 CFR Parts 463.20 through 463.26, the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE), Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation requests applications for funding to implement adult education and literacy activities throughout the state. The specific purpose of this grant application is to fund programs that can demonstrate effectiveness in:

  • Assist adults to become literate and obtain the knowledge and skills necessary for employment and economic self-sufficiency;
  • Assist adults who are parents or family members to obtain the education and skills that are necessary to becoming full partners in the educational development of their children and lead to sustainable improvements in the economic opportunities for their family;
  • Assist adults in attaining a secondary school diploma and in the transition to postsecondary education and training, including through career pathways; and
  • Assist immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners in improving their reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills in English; mathematics skills; and acquiring an understanding of the American system of Government, individual freedom, and the responsibilities of citizenship.


Eligible providers will be required to be a full-service adult education program providing instruction at ALL educational functioning levels (EFL) (six Adult Basic Education (ABE) and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) plus all six English as a Second Language (ESL)), based on identified needs of the region. Programs must also prepare adult learners for and support them in achieving successful transition to postsecondary education and training or employment. (For definitions see Appendix A.)

Eligible providers are required to offer these activities, per the Iowa WIOA Unified State Plan:

a.         Adult Education;

b.         English language acquisition activities;

c.         Literacy; and

d.         Workforce preparation activities.

Eligible providers may also offer any of the following, as needed, per 34 CFR Part 463.30, Subpart D:

a.         Integrated English literacy and civics education;

b.         Workplace adult education and literacy activities;

c.         Family literacy activities; or

d.         Integrated education and training.

Eligible providers may also offer up to 20% of their allocation on the following, as needed, per 34 CFR Part 463, Subpart F:

  1.          Corrections Education and Other Education of Institutionalized Individuals

                   i.            Adult education and literacy activities;

                   ii.            Integrated education and training.

Application Components

This is an open competition for all eligible providers of Adult Education and Literacy services as defined by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Sec. 202. Eligible applicants must submit by the established deadline a complete application in order to be considered for funding.The following application criteria are included in the Grant Packet: 

  • Contact Information
  • Assurance and Certifications
  • Minority Impact Statement
  • Narrative of Services (Sec.231)AEFLA Budget Summary
    • Learner Progress
    • Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development
    • Program Design and Leadership
    • Accountability
    • Community Interaction and Outreach
    • One-Stop Integration
  • Local Workforce Development Board (LWDB) Alignment Review
  • Integrated Education and Training Incentive Application (Optional)
  • Corrections Education and Other Education of Institutionalized Individuals (Sec. 225) (Optional)

Submission Guidelines

The Instructions for each of the components describes how to fill out the form. Within each section are criteria that describe the intent and content to be included in the narrative. These criteria will also be used by the reviewers to assess and score each narrative component. Applications must at least score 70 percent of the points available. These questions incorporate the seven requirements and thirteen considerations federally mandated by WIOA.

Application Review

IDOE will select awardees based on several factors, which may include the following:

In addition, IDOE may contact employees, board members, partners or business associates of applicant organizations to clarify or verify information and responses provided by applicants.

Each application will be evaluated solely on the criteria identified in this document. Receipt of a grant award in a previous competition is not, and should not be regarded as, a guarantee of funding in the current competition. Applicants not funded in previous competitions are not precluded and may apply for funding in the current competition. Once all of the applications have been evaluated, the review panel will submit to IDOE its recommendations. Final funding decisions will be made by IDOE and is considered final.

All lead applicants of this grant will be notified in writing whether their application(s) will be approved for funding. Applicants that do not meet the qualifications may reapply for future grant opportunities. IDOE is required by federal law to provide an opportunity for a hearing for applicants that are not approved for funding. The applicant must request the hearing within 30 days of notification of not being awarded. The hearing will be a conference call with a panel of reviewers. No later than 10 days after the hearing, IDOE will issue its written ruling, including findings of fact and reasons for the ruling. 

Award Amount

Multiple grants will be awarded. Award amounts will depend upon available funding and statewide need.  The individual grant amounts will be determined equitably. Funds available for this grant is awarded based on Sec.231. An applicant must be awarded this base amount in order to be eligible for incentive funds or to use funds for the purpose of serving those in correctional or institutionalized settings. Award amounts will be held steady for two years, after which time the performance of the provider may also be included in the funding formula.  “Held Steady” means that a service provider will be funded at approximately the same level for program years 17/18 and 18/19, proportionate to the projected participant enrollment and amount of funding available for allocation. Iowa has typically received $2,650,000 to allocate. (See Appendix D for approximate county distribution of the “base” funds). The allocations are based on a funding formula as follows:

  • Eighty-five percent (85%) of the funds available shall be allocated based on needs: institutional grant, target AEFLA population, and number of enrolled students served, of which 20 percent or less can be used for Correctional and Institutionalized services (Refer to Section III); and
  • Fifteen percent (15%) of the funds shall be allocated based on performance in subsequent years with year 1 and year 2 for incentive funding for the number of participants served through Integrated Education and Training programs (Refer to section II).

The IDOE reserves the right to fund any application in full or in part, to request additional information to assist in the review process, to require new applications from interested parties, to reject any or all applications responding to this announcement, or to re-issue the announcement if it is determined that it is in the best interests of the State of Iowa. Issuing this announcement does not bind the State to making an award. The IDOE reserves the right to adjust the dates for this announcement for whatever reasons are deemed appropriate. 


The following steps will be taken in conducting the AEFLA competition:

March 15, 2017: Department publishes Request for Proposals (RFP) aligned with the priorities in the approved State Unified Plan.

March 28, 2017: Department provides a bidder’s conference and technical assistance.

March/April 2017: Department establishes a review panel.

May 1, 2017: Due date for AEFLA grant applications.

May 2017: Reviewers review and score AEFLA grant applications.

June 10, 2017: Department announces AEFLA grant applicants that will receive funding.

July 1, 2017: AEFLA grant providers begin multi-year grant cycle, programming, and funding. 


 Click on the File Name to open attachment
Description File Name File Size
Iowa Core 21st Century Skills 21 century Iowa Core Standards.pdf 550 KB
Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation a-short-guide-to-monitoring-and-evaluation (3).pdf 813 KB
New abe and esl levels ABEandESLLevels.jpg 70 KB
Addendum Appendix L Addendum Appendix L.pdf 230 KB
Adult Education and Literacy State Report - 2016 Adult Literacy 2015-16 annual report.pdf 4.0 MB
Adult Education Fiscal Year 2016 Report Adult Literacy 2016 report (1).pdf 2.1 MB
AEFLA Financial Section Excerpts AEFLA Excerpts - Section 222 Matching and Section 241 Administrative.pdf 84 KB
AEFLA WIOA Sec. 231 Competitive Grant Application Package AEFLA Section 231 Competitive Grant Package2.pdf 1.9 MB
PY19 ABE and IELCE Federal Expenditure Report AELandIELCEtemplate(NEW) (PY19).xlsx 20 KB
NEW Federal AEL and IELCE Fiscal Report AELandIELCEtemplate(NEW)(PY 2019-2020).xlsx 21 KB
Adult Education and IELCE Expenditures Fiscal Report Form AELandIELCEtemplate(NEW).xlsx 13 KB
College and Career Readiness Standards CCRStandardsAdultEd.pdf 2.8 MB
Confidentiality Statement Confidentiality Assurances.pdf 46 KB
Coordinator Handbook 2017 Coordinator Handbook 2-17-17 Final.pdf 5.0 MB
IET documentation form DRAFT Pre-claim form for IET-IELCE 2 (1).docx 16 KB
English Language Proficiency Standards elp-standards-adult-ed.pdf 1.8 MB
Reading components essential-components-reading.pdf 270 KB
FAQ Federal Funds for Conference and Meetings FAQ Federal Funds for Conference and Meetings.pdf 63 KB
Explicit Instruction in Adult Education Feasibility of Explicit Instruction in Adult Basic Education.pdf 1.8 MB
NRS Grade Levels grade levels.jpg 84 KB
Grant Signature Page Grantapplicationsignaturepage18-20.docx 53 KB
DRAFT PY18 Assessment Policy Guidelines IA Assessment Policy PY 2018D.pdf 2.5 MB
Implementing a One-Stop MOU (DRAFT) IA-AEL-ONE-STOP-MOU Guidance-DRAFT.pdf 1.2 MB
IELCE (only) Expenditure Fiscal Report Form IELCEtemplate(NEW).xlsx 13 KB
Range of IET Award Funding IET Awards.jpg 17 KB
IET Checklist - for both IET and IELCE activities IET Checklist - 2-24-17.docx 25 KB
Implementation Research Implementation_Research_Full (1).pdf 2.2 MB
Instructor Agreement - Confidentiality Form Instructor Agreement.docx 13 KB
Instructor Standards Instructor StandardsFINAL2.pdf 760 KB
IAC Chapter 23 Adult Education and Literacy Programs Iowa Administrative Rules-Chapter23 Adult Education and Literacy Programs.pdf 131 KB
LWDB Review Rubric Sec. 231 Local Workforce Development Board Review of Adult Education Grant Application Rubric for 231 - FINAL.docx 19 KB
NRS Educational Functioning Levels to CASAS Scale Scores NRSCASASLevels_GradeLevels[1].pdf 118 KB
Past Performance Data Tables Past Performance Data Tables.xlsx 13 KB
Iowa's AEL Professional Development Standards PDStandardsFINAL (7).pdf 239 KB
State Benchmarks PY18 Proposed Targets.jpg 14 KB
NEW State ABE and ESL Fiscal Report StateAEL_ESLYearEnd-FundingReport (PY 2019-2020) (NEW).xlsx 47 KB
State AEL and ESL Combined End of Year Expenditure Report (updated - corrected ESL calculations) StateAEL_ESLYearEnd-FundingReport(PY19)(updated).xlsx 46 KB
State AEL and ESL Combined End of Year Expenditure Report (updated2 - corrected ESL calculations) StateAEL_ESLYearEnd-FundingReport(PY19)(updated2).xlsx 46 KB
State AEL and ESL Combined End of Year Expenditure Report StateAEL_ESLYearEnd-FundingReport(PY19).xlsx 46 KB
Training and Employment Guidance Letter 19-14 (Vision of WIOA) TEGL_19-14 Vision of WIOA.pdf 4.5 MB
Iowa's WIOA Unified State Plan USP Final Submitted 09 01 2016.pdf 2.7 MB
WIOA Title II WIOA_Title_II (12).docx 33 KB
 Website Links
 Click on the URL to go to website
URL Description§ion=1&topic=1&subtopic=0 Demonstrated improvement in literacy skill performance is measured by student educational functioning level (EFL) gain. Using the NRS benchmarks, program instructional personnel can determine when learners have made progress within an EFL, completed an EFL, and are ready to move to the next level. The 12 EFLs representing adult education literacy skills are explained on the Website for the National Reporting System. Evidence of Effectiveness - Definition and Implications of Explicit Instruction by Tracey Hall, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, NCAC Federal Registry of approved assessments for basic skill needs Quick Start Action Planner - One-Stop Center Delivery This Iowa Workforce Development Regional Development Board website consolidates all of the state and regional websites into one to make accessing information easier for all users. Navigation can be focused by choosing the desired region on the navigation menu on the left or clicking on a region on the home page. This is the address for the Iowa Department of Education's Adult Education and Literacy webpage. Information and forms are available for students, instructors and coordinators. This Joint WIOA Final Rule provides guidance for State and local workforce development systems that increase the skill and credential attainment, employment, retention, and earnings of participants, especially those with significant barriers to employment, thereby improving the quality of the workforce, reducing dependency on public benefits, increasing economic opportunity, and enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the nation. This web address refers to the official website for CASAS. CASAS —Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems —is the most widely used system for assessing adult basic reading, math, listening, writing, and speaking skills within a functional context. CASAS is the only adult assessment system of its kind to be approved and validated by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor to assess both native and non-native speakers of English.
  – The Official Website of the State of Iowa. Dulles Technology Partners Inc.