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Grant Opportunities (Adult Education and Literacy)


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  • In an effort to ease the burden for applicants during these times of self-isolation and closures, the previously required "original" signatures is being waived and scanned and/or electronic signatures will be accepted when submitting and mailing in the signatory page. This change will be reflected in
  • In response to the changing conditions and the recent demands of time by potential applicants in supporting state leaders who have been working collaboratively to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 the grant due date has been extended until May 1, 2020. This change will be reflected in The situation will continue to be closely monitored and any additional updates will be posted here.

Purpose and Background

The State of Iowa is seeking proposals to provide adult education and literacy programs, activities and services, including programs providing activities concurrently, which will improve adult education and literacy in Iowa.

A copy of the Funding Opportunity (FO), as well as the Question and Answer Summary and all amendments will be posted below.

A Bidders’ Conference will be held on Feb. 20, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for Sec. 231 and 225 funds at the following location: B50, Grimes Building, 400 East 14th Street, Des Moines, IA. A separate Bidder's Conference for Sec. 243 funds will be held on Feb. 20, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the following location: 2nd Floor ICN, Grimes Building, 400 East 14th Street, Des Moines, IA.

Proposals must be submitted to the Iowa Department of Education, via Proposal submissions must be received no later than 4:00 p.m., local time, on April 3, 2020, when they will be opened. Proposals will be opened at the Grimes Building, 400 E. 14th Street, Des Moines, Iowa. Proposals not submitted to the Department of Education by the aforementioned deadline will not be considered for contract award.

Contract Terms

The Department is seeking cost-efficient proposals to provide services, as defined in this FO, for the anticipated contract period defined in the table below. Please note that the dates below are estimated and may be adjusted, as necessary, in order to comply with all procedural requirements associated with this RFP and the contracting process. The actual contract start date will be established by a completed and approved contract.

Following the initial term of the contract and subject to continued availability of funding the Department retains the right to fund the grant recipient for up to four (4) consecutive fiscal program years. 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 and demonstrated effectiveness as determined by outcomes.

The term of the anticipated contract, is defined as follows:

Period Start Date End Date
Initial Period of Performance July 1, 2020 June 30, 2021
Renewal Period #1 July 1, 2021 June 30, 2022
Renewal Period #2 July 1, 2022 June 30, 2023
Renewal Period #3 July 1, 2023 June 30, 2024
Renewal Period #4 July 1, 2024 June 30, 2025

Number of Awards

The Department anticipates making multiple awards as a result of this FO. Award amounts will depend upon available funding. An applicant must be awarded in order to be eligible for incentive funds or to use funds for the purpose of serving those in correctional or institutionalized settings. (state requirement)

Iowa has on average allocated $2,900,000 to eligible providers. Federal allocations have historically been funded based on:

  • Eighty-five percent (85%) on needs: institutional grant; ACS data relative to serving adult education and literacy participants; and enrollment; and
  • Fifteen percent (15%) on performance in achieving the state’s targeted benchmarks and performance outcomes.

Suggested award amounts for each county served is included in Appendix A: Estimated Distribution of Sec. 231 Funds by County. Eligible providers may also offer up to twenty percent (20%) of the state allocation to serve those in correctional or institutionalized settings, as needed, per 34 CFR Part 463, Subpart F.

The Department reserves the right to award grant funds in amounts different than the applicant’s budget request and the suggested award amount. Such adjustment may be based on how the proposed budget and budget narrative will cover program expenses and whether the requested amount is appropriate, proportionate to the participants served, based on previous performance, and reasonable, as determined by the Department. (state requirement)

General Provisions

  1. From the time this FO is issued until award notification is made, all contact with the Department regarding this FO must be made through the aforementioned RFP Coordinator. No other person/ State or Department employee is empowered to make binding statements regarding this FO. Violation of this provision may lead to disqualification from the bidding process, at the Department’s discretion. (state requirement)
  2. Issuance of this Opportunity does not commit the Department to issue an award or to pay expenses incurred by an Applicant in the preparation of a response to this FO. This includes attendance at personal interviews or other meetings and software or system demonstrations, where applicable.
  3. All proposals should adhere to the instructions and format requirements outlined in this FO and all supplements and amendments, issued by the Department. Proposals are to follow the format and respond to all questions and instructions specified in each section of this FO.
  4. Applicants shall take careful note that in evaluating a proposal submitted in response to this FO, the Department will consider materials provided in the proposal, information obtained through interviews/presentations (if any), and internal Departmental information of previous contract history with the Applicant (if any). The Department also reserves the right to consider publicly available information in evaluating an Applicant’s experience and capabilities.


The following steps will be taken in conducting the competition:

Feb. 14, 2020: Department publishes the AEFLA Sec. 231 and 225 as well as the Sec. 243 Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education Funding Opportunity(s)

Feb. 20, 2020: Department provides a bidder’s conference and technical assistance.

March 1, 2020: Due date for questions.

May 1, 2020: Due date for AEFLA grant applications. This is an extended deadline.

June 10, 2020: Department announces AEFLA grant applicants that will receive funding.

July 1, 2020: AEFLA grant providers begin multi-year grant cycle, programming, and funding.

Grant Applications

Section 231 and 225 AEFLA Grant

Adult Education and Literacy Competitive Grant Application Package - 231 and 225 Funds

Section 243 IELCE Grant

Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education Competitive Grant Application Package - 243 Funds

Bidder's Conference


FAQ Section 231 and Section 225

FAQ Section 243

Amended Documents

Appendix C - Section 231 and 225

LWDB Review Recording

LWDB Review Form

How to Guide - Registration

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 27, 2021 at 11:47pm.