Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

21st CCLC and ASSETs FAQ's

Frequently asked questions for the 2017-18, 21st Century Community Learning Centers and After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens RFA.

These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below are based on helpdesk submissions to the EXLD regarding the Request for Applications (RFAs) for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) for Elementary and Middle Schools Program, and the 21st Century High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) Program. If you have additional questions these FAQs do not address, please submit them in writing to:


What impact does ESSA have on the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program?

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in 2015 and will go into effect for the 2017-18 school year. The new legislation expands state and local accountability for student academic achievement as well as overall success, and emphasizes the importance of adopting research or evidence-based practices. This also applies to the 21st CCLC program.

What changes have been made to the Cohort 10 21st CCLC and After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens (ASSETs) Program Request for Application (RFA) process?

Several changes have occurred since the previous funding cycle:

  • Applications are submitted using two online systems: application forms will be submitted through the Expanded Learning Division’s online reporting After School Support and Information System (ASSIST), and application narratives will be submitted through the Water Resources’ online Financial Assistance Application Submittal Tool (FAAST).

  • After being identified as a quality program, funding priority will first be given to individual school sites with the highest number of funding priority categories as defined in state and federal statute. A priority grouping in which there are more school sites than funding is available will be ordered and funded from highest to lowest Free and Reduced Priced Meals (FRPM) percentage. In the case of a tie in FRPM percentage between school sites, the quality of the program will be used as a tie breaker.

  • Grantees will be required to provide a funding match that is based on the school’s FRPM percentage.
What are the main differences between the 21st CCLC and ASES programs?

The ASES program is a state-funded grant program while the 21st CCLC program is federally-funded. The ASES program is based primarily on FRPM percentage whereas the 21st CCLC program requires a more competitive process as described above.Each program has specific eligibility and programmatic requirements such as attendance and evaluation reporting requirements that can be found in their respective RFA.

Can my organization request a time extension if we think we might miss the deadline?

No. All application forms are due to the CDE and all narratives must be uploaded into FAAST no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 21, 2016. Postmarks will not be accepted for packets submitted to the CDE and the online application system closes at 5:00 pm on the date listed above.

What is the geographic range that we should consider when identifying private schools? Is that something that the CMO can define? Would identifying all the private schools in each charter school’s zip code be sufficient?

To identify the private schools located in the attendance area, please visit the CDE California School Directory Web page. Applicants must retain documentation of private school consultation for audit and state monitoring purposes. Please see additional information and guidance regarding private school consultation requirements on the Guidance Document Web page. (Unavailable)

Do eligible schools need to have a CDS code to receive funding? We are working with a charter school that will open in 2017-18, when this funding will start, and are interested in applying.

Please refer to Page 31 of the 21st CCLC Elem/Middle RFA, which states: The school must have an active or pending CDS code or status as a charter school as verified by the CDE Charter School Division at the time the application is submitted or the site will be disqualified. Note: Although pending CDS codes are accepted during the application process, the CDE cannot provide funds to any school site unless the CDS code is active.

Is a Webinar is still being planned for the 21st Century Grant Program?

The 21st Century RFA webinar scheduled for release in October has been delayed due to the processing of transcriptions for closed captioning. Once this process has been completed and posted you will receive a notification of the webinar availability. Please note that the webinar only explains the RFA as printed with some minor modifications. Questions from the field are not addressed in this webinar. If you have questions regarding an application you are submitting you must email the help desk at

Does a private non-profit have to apply using the Non-Electronic Application if there are LEA involved schools with CDS codes?

Only those applicants with “pending” CDS codes would need to use the non-electronic application since a valid CDS code would be needed to generate an application in ASSIST

If there are two organizations applying together as co-applicants, can the partners be with just one of them, or do they have to have partnerships with both of the applicants?

All co-applicants are considered to be partners. Co-applicants are entities that apply together and are both responsible to the CDE for the implementation of the grant requirements. When describing potential partners in this question you may be thinking of those entities that you may have MOUs or other local agreements with who are not an applicant in the application submitted to CDE. There are no restrictions on these local MOUs or other agreements that you may enter into to supply services. However, to receive the joint partnership priority credit, at least one LEA and one eligible entity must be co-applicants.

If an LEA wants to submit the application with more than one applicant, is this allowable?

Yes, we used to call this a consortium. We do not disqualify or limit based on the number of co-applicants. Agencies can apply with multiple co-applicants as long as the co-applicants complete and sign all the necessary forms as stated in the RFAs.


Who is eligible to apply for 21st CCLC funds?

Public or private entities are eligible to apply for 21st CCLC funds (20 U.S. Code [U.S.C.] §7173[a][3]) provided that they propose to serve Title I schools that have schoolwide programs, or a Title I school with at least 40 percent of the students eligible for FRPM and the school is:

  • Either in Program Improvement, or

  • Determined by the LEA to be in need of intervention and support, and

  • All programs must serve the families of students at these schools.
Are schools eligible to apply for grant funding if they meet the Title I criteria but are not listed or designated in a formal manner as Title I?

Based on the federal law (see 20 U.S. Code [U.S.C.] §7174 [b][2][F]), a school must be designated as a Title I school in order to be eligible to apply.

Are we reading the CCLC and ASSETS RFAs correctly that only Title 1 schools are eligible to apply?

Yes. Only Title I designated schools are eligible for Cohort 10 funds.

We have a 501(c)(3) enrichment center. Do we apply as the agency or do we need to partner with a LEA?

Eligible entities may apply without an LEA partner, but the eligible entity will not qualify for the joint application priority funding category. When applying without an LEA partner, the eligible entity must still have approval to provide services at a public school from the public school’s LEA in the form of the LEA’s Authorized Signature on the cover page of the application.

Applications without the LEA approval will be disqualified with one exception. This exception is when the eligible entity intends to provide services at a site other than a public school, they do not need the LEA’s permission. Instead, they must have informed the LEA of their intention to provide after school services to the students at the public school site.

I have a K-12 school. Can I apply for 21st CCLC (for my elementary/middle school students) and ASSETs (for my high school students) using just one application in ASSIST or FAAST?

No. You will need to apply to both RFAs separately since each program may serve only specific grade levels.

My school doesn’t have a CDS Code yet. Can I still apply for 21st CCLC funding?

The school must have an active or pending CDS code or status as a charter school as verified by the CDE Charter School Division at the time the application is submitted. Although applications that have school sites with pending CDS codes or charter school status are accepted during the application process, the CDE cannot provide funds to any school site unless the CDS code is active.

Can an ASES program that is funded at the maximum level with a waiting list apply for this funding to increase the capacity of their expanded learning program?

Yes. A currently funded ASES grantee may apply for 21st CCLC funds in Cohort 10.

Are municipal departments allowed to apply for this funding, or is it just schools. In order to qualify, will the program need to take place at a school site—or will community centers and parks work?

Per the RFA Eligibility Requirements on pages 9-10, a public entity, city and county government agencies, organization, or other private entities may apply for 21st CCLC funds provided they propose to serve Title I schools that have schoolwide programs. However, in order to receive priority funding (see pages 32-33), the application must be jointly submitted by at least one Title 1 LEA and another eligible entity. Applicants proposing to operate an after school program at a site other than that of the regular school day activity must complete the Offsite Program Information form (part of the ASSIST forms identified in the Application Checklist in the RFA). The program site must be located at a safe and easily accessible facility.

Program Type

I've heard that there has been a modification to the ASSETs RFA and agencies can now apply for Equitable Access (EA) funds. Is this true?

Yes. An Errata was recently posted on our web page that allows ASSETs applicants to apply for Equitable Access (EA) funds. Please review the Errata for specific changes that can be incorporated into the originally-posted RFA. A revised RFA with the Errata changes will not be posted. The 21st CCLC High School ASSETS RFA errata can be found on the 2017-18 ASSETs RFA page.

Please note that for those ASSETs applicants that would like to apply for EA funds and have already created an application in the FAAST system, you will have to “start a new application” in order to see and complete the required EA questions. The “start a new application” option is located in FAAST on the main menu page. Once you have started and/or completed a new application, you must contact the FAAST helpdesk at and request deletion of your original application that does not contain the EA rubric questions. If you have responses to questions loaded into the original application, you can copy and paste into a Word document, then copy and paste into the new ASSETs application. For those that have not previously created an application in FAAST, you will be able to simply “start a new application” as the correct form with EA questions will appear.

In addition, you will also have to access the ASSIST system and complete the EA Grant Budget and EA Grant Assurances forms. These forms are required elements in the application process for EA funds. You will also have to update your status as applying for both an ASSETs and EA grant. For additional assistance please contact the ASSIST Helpdesk at
Can we just apply for a before school program or do we have to apply for a before school and after school program?

An applicant may apply for a before school program without having to also apply for an after school program.

We are interested in applying on behalf of three local high schoolsfor three different following funds: ASSETs: Core Grant, Equitable Access, and Summer Learning. Will one grant application suffice for all of these funds?

Yes you may apply for several school sites under one application.

What is the max cap for summer programs?

Summer grants may not exceed 30 percent of a school’s total annual grant amount.

If we have an existing after school program, we can use 21st CCLC to add a summer school program?

All applicants requesting a summer program must also be requesting funding for a before or after school program in this application, or be requesting a summer program for a site (either ASES or 21st CCLC based) with an existing before or after school program.

What is the difference between core: after school base and core: after school supplemental?

After School Base is an after school program during the regular school year.  After School Summer (also known as supplemental) is outside of the regular school year.

In the elementary and middle school RFA there is language for a large school adjustment but no such language appears in the ASSETs grant; therefore it appears that a small high school with 400 students and a large high school with 3000 students could both receive the same amount of funding.Is this correct?

That is correct. Refer to Program Types and Funding in the RFA for information on the minimum and maximum amount allowed for ASSETS programs.

When requesting summer funds that do not exceed 30% of the total grant amount--does that total include equitable access funds, or just the core and supplemental funding total?

Summer max cap calculations do not include Equitable Access, but do include all other before and after school programs including ASES (if a dual funded site).

Optional Grants

Are Family Literacy funds still available for 21st CCLC and ASSETs like they were in Cohort 9?

No. Family Literacy specific funds are no longer available for 21st CCLC or ASSETs due to statutory changes. However, family literacy activities may be carried out using 21st Century funding.

Are Equitable Access funds available for 21st CCLC and ASSETs in this Cohort?

Equitable Access funds are available for 21st CCLC and ASSETs applicants for up to $25,000 per school site per year.

Can we apply for just Equitable Access funds?

No. Only sites funded with a 21st CCLC or ASSETs after school grant through this RFA process will be considered for Equitable Access funds.

Funding Priority

What is the application review and funding determination process?

Applications are first reviewed for quality based on the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California External link opens in new window or tab.. Those determined to be of good quality are then considered for school level funding based on the priority categories for each school site contained in the application. The required priority categories are outlined in both state and federal statute (see the 21st CCLC and ASSETS RFAs for the specific categories). Those schools with the highest number of these categories are considered for funding first. If funding runs out within a category then those schools with the highest percentage of students eligible for FRPM are funded first. In the case of a tie in FRPM percentage between school sites, the quality of the program will be used as a tie breaker.

We do not understand how a school can meet all 7 priority items listed in the ASSETs RFA in order to receive first priority for funding. How can a school can meet all the priorities?

Each of these priorities are evaluated separately according to statute; therefore each site may receive priority for different circumstances compared to another site.According to both federal and state law, funding priority shall be given to 21st CCLC applications and/or schools if they meet any of the priority criteria. The breakdown of priority below the specific criteria listed in the RFA is to provide an example for what the process looks like and what possible priorities a site may qualify for.

The Funding Priority Signature Certification Form certifies only 4 of the priority items.There is another signature form to certify the partnering community-based organization for a 5th priority item. Why do the certification forms exclude 2 priority items (expiring & expanding) when meeting all 7 is required for first priority of funding?

Some of the priorities will be determined/confirmed based on the CDE’s records (expiring grant, expansion) and are therefore not required to be certified by the grantee.

Do we meet the priority if we (COE that is a non-title I LEA) are the lead applicant, applying to serve Title I schools and including a signed MOU with a CBO as well as MOUs from the districts? Or, does the CBO need to actually be a co-applicant and sign the "additional required information" form and assurances? Or do we also need to include one of the Title I districts as a co-applicant in order to meet that part of the priority?

The requirement to receive priority for that item is the application is jointly submitted by at least one Title I LEA and another eligible entity as full partners; so yes, you would have to co-submit with another eligible entity who would then also have to sign their own set of certified assurances. A signed MOU would not meet the priority requirements since that would only demonstrate a collaborative local agreement for services between entities.

Matching Funds

Is a match required for 21st CCLC and ASSETs applicants?

Yes. Applicants are required to provide a local match, and may not use matching funds from other federal or state funds (20 U.S.C. Section 7174[d][1]). The amount of the match is based on a sliding scale that takes into account FRPM percentage at the school targeted by the eligible entity. Match details are provided in both RFAs.

Will the FRPM percentage get rounded up if our FRPM is at 79.5% in order to determine if we need a match?

Yes, the standard rules of math will apply to FRPM percentages. The FRPM percentage will be rounded up into whole numbers as determined by the CDE at the time of award.

Can we use LCFF funds as part of our 21st CCLC or ASSETs match requirements?

ESSA does not allow matching funds from state or federal funding sources; however, LEAs can use the local property tax portion of their LCFF funds to meet the 21st CCLC or ASSETs matching fund requirement. Those would be considered local funds, not state funds.

FAAST System and Uploads

I’m having problems navigating in FAAST. What do I do?

All FAAST system questions should be directed to the FAAST Helpdesk at, or by calling1-866-434-1083. The FAAST Helpdesk is available Monday-Friday (8:00 AM - 5:00 PM).

Can we include letters of support in addition to letters of agreement from key partners (e.g., a letter from a senator in support of our program)? Is there a limit to the number/pages of letters, both partnership and general letters of support?

Yes. You may include letters of agreement and/or MOUs. Each file uploaded to FAAST must be <25 MB, but there is no limit on the number of files that can be uploaded under each attachment category.

Are we able to upload tables, graphs, or charts to our application narratives?

No. The FAAST system was developed to only allow for attachments that were identified in the RFAs’ scoring rubric. They include: the Core Budget from ASSIST, MOUs/LOAs showing collaborative partnerships, and the Equitable Access Budget from ASSIST (optional).

Are resumes or position descriptions allowed as supporting documents/attachments for this application?

The FAAST system was developed to only allow for attachments that were identified in the RFAs’ scoring rubric. They include: the Core Budget from ASSIST, MOUs/LOAs showing collaborative partnerships, and the Equitable Access Budget from ASSIST (optional).

What is the limit for the number of Letters of Agreement/MOUs that can be uploaded to FAAST as part of the application? 

Each file uploaded to FAAST must be <25 MB, but there is no limit on the number of files that can be uploaded under each attachment category. Documents uploaded that are not the required content (e.g. a budget or MOU) will not be read.

In prior cohorts, there has been the ability to submit both MOUs and Letters of Support, with the prior being signed by both parties and the latter just by one. Are you still accepting Letters of Support? if so, what is the limit for Letters of Support?

We do not require letters of support for this cohort.

Do the character limits in FAAST include spaces?

Yes, the character limits for each text box include spaces and punctuation.


I am entering grant award requests and finding that the math doesn't work out exactly right--for example, 180 days X 83 students =112,050, or not quite the maximum request. 180 days X 84 students=113,400. Can we request an amount over the limit knowing that it will be adjusted downward to the cap?

Yes, if you calculate over the maximum legislative cap, the CDE will adjust it back down to the allowable maximum.

We would like to know whether or not it is okay to have separate signature pages for each school or if all the principals need to sign on the same page. We have 37 different schools submitted in one proposal, we had separate signature pages in prior proposals and we just want to be safe since this RFA is totally different.

You may submit separate pages or have multiple signatures on one page.

Is it possible for an LEA to submit one CCLC proposal for schools that have a currently funded expiring program and then a separate CCLC proposal for summer only programs (for currently funded sites)?

The decision to submit separate applications is ultimately the LEA’s to make, but you do have that option through ASSIST.

Scoring Rubric

How was the scoring rubric developed?

The application scoring rubrics for both 21st CCLC and ASSETs were developed by subject matter experts based on the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California.

Where can I find the California Quality Standards?

The Quality Standards can be found on the Afterschool Network External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

Are the "key partners" mentioned in section 9 - Collaborative Partnerships on p 43 of the Elementary/Middle School application the same thing as the "jointly submitting entity" mentioned in the Funding Priorities on page 33 of the application?

Not necessarily. A partner may be a co-applicant as part of a joint application submission, but not all partners need to be a co-applicant. Collaborative partners can also be non-applicant organizations in your community that you work with to provide services to after school programs and students.


Will our school sites be disqualified if we don’t have the Principal’s signatures on the Signature and Approvals form?

No. Missing a Principal’s signature alone will not disqualify an application or individual school site. However, if the application is funded, then all signatures would be required prior to release of funds. Other disqualifications to the application/school sites also apply, so it is recommended that all applicants review the Application and Individual School Site Disqualifications sections, and Application Checklists in each RFA.

Questions:   Expanded Learning Division | | 916-319-0923
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Related Content
Recently Posted in
  • Res-20: Title III, Immigrant Education (updated 20-Oct-2020)
    Title III, Immigrant Education program funding results for fiscal year 2020-21.
  • Homeless 21 LEA RFA (updated 20-Oct-2020)
    The purpose of this program is to facilitate the enrollment, attendance, and success in school of homeless children and youth; and ensure homeless children and youth have equal access to the same free, appropriate, public education as provided to all
  • Res-20: Title III, EL Education (updated 20-Oct-2020)
    Title III, English Learners (EL) program funding results for fiscal year 2020-21.
  • Res-20: Title I, Part A (updated 20-Oct-2020)
    Title I, Part A funding results for fiscal year 2020-21.
  • Request for Applications (updated 20-Oct-2020)
    21st Century California School Leadership Academy Competitive Grant Program.