21st Century Community Learning Centers - Texas ACE

The federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program is authorized by Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. The program provides opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities that provide students attending low performing schools with access to academic enrichment and other activities that are specifically designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program to help students meet the challenging state academic standards. The program provides families of participating students with active and meaningful engagement in their children’s education as well as opportunities for adult literacy.

Local Programs:  In Texas, the 21st CCLC program is called the Texas Afterschool Centers on Education program, or Texas ACE. Texas ACE programs aim to improve student attendance, behavior, and academics, while providing safe supplemental learning space for students and families who otherwise would not have such opportunities. These grant-funded programs provide high quality supplemental enrichment activities that align with the regular academic program; and programs are encouraged to deliver those activities in creative, hands-on, and exploratory ways. TEA funds local Texas ACE programs through a competitive peer-review process.  

State Activities:  TEA monitors Texas ACE grantees for compliance with program and statutory requirements, provides robust training and technical assistance, and develops and manages program-related resources. TEA also conducts statewide evaluations of the Texas ACE program, and all grantees are required to conduct local program evaluations and make them available on local web sites. Results from statewide program evaluations of Texas ACE have shown that participants, when compared with non-participants had:

    • higher test scores in reading/English language arts and mathematics while in grades nine through twelve;
      • fewer disciplinary incidents while in grades six through twelve; 
      • fewer school day absences while in grades four through twelve; and  
      • an increased likelihood of grade promotion overall. 

      Prescreened External Organizations: TEA is required under ESSA to prescreen external organizations that could provide assistance with the implementation of 21st CCLC programs and make a list of prescreened external organizations available to the entities participating in the 21st CCLC program. ESSA defines an external organization as a nonprofit organization with a record of success in running or working with before and afterschool (or summer recess) programs and activities; or in the case of a community where there is no such organization, a nonprofit organization in the community that enters into a written agreement or partnership with an organization with a record of success to receive mentoring and guidance in running or working with before and afterschool (or summer recess) programs and activities.

      The prescreening process has no bearing on the awarding of any contracts with or funding from TEA or other state agencies. Subgrants awarded by TEA under 21st CCLC are not required to contract with organizations on the list. Listed organizations are not prohibited from entering contractual agreements with 21st CCLC or other federally-funded grantees or contractors. Completing an application or being listed as a prescreened organization will not result in funding from TEA. Inclusion of an organization on the list is not an endorsement of the organization, nor is it a certification or guarantee of the quality of service provided by the organization.

      Competitive Grant Applications: To determine whether TEA is currently accepting competitive grant applications, please visit the Applying for a Grant webpage at https://tea.texas.gov/grants or the TEA Grant Opportunities Page at http://burleson.tea.state.tx.us/GrantOpportunities/forms/GrantProgramSearch.aspx and use the drop down box to find current and past 21st CCLC competitions.

      To sign up for agency list serves, including competitive grant announcements, visit https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/TXTEA/subscriber/new.