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2018 Budget Update: Great News on Federal Education Funding

We have a budget for fiscal year 2018! After multiple attempts at finalizing spending levels, Congress finally passed the budget, and it has a nice surprise in the funding level for Title IV – the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program.

Before getting into those details, below is an image with an overview of ESSA’s spending levels. The main federal programs are in white, with notable increases are in blue and level funding in gray. In summary: Title I gets a small bump. Title II, Part A survived the threatened cuts and termination. Title III is level funded. Title IV is the big winner (more on that below).

Title I

Part A: Improving Basic Program, $15.75B
Part B: State Assessments, $378M(+9M)
Part C: Migratory Children:$374M
Part D: Neglected and Delinquent:$47M

Title II

Part A: Teacher, Principal Training and Recruitment, $2B
Part B: National Activities:$469M
Sub Part 1: Teachers and School Leadership Incentive: $200M
Sub Part 2:Literacy Education for all, Results for the Nation, $190M
Sub Part 3: American History & Civics, $3.5M
Sub Part 4: Program of National Significance (Supporting effective educator development) $75M (+10M)

Title III

Part A: Language Instruction EL & Immigrant Students: $737M

Title IV

Part A: Student Support & Academic Enhancement, $1.1B (+700M)
Part B: 21st Century Community Learning Centers, 1.2B (+2M)
 

A quick overview on Title IV, Part A: funds are distributed by formula proportional to the distribution of Title I funds. Districts that get more than $30,000 must conduct a needs assessment and submit an application to the SEA describing how they will use the funds across the three spending categories.

The $700 increase in Title IV should allow districts to add new investments into the three categories – particularly education technology. It is important to note that the three categories should align with the district’s work under Title I. The combined resources of Title IV and Title I can be a powerful catalyst for innovation and improvement.

As the Title IV funding coalition (https://www.titleiva.org/) states, “Investments in education technology ensure schools have technology-proficient educators, well equipped classrooms, sufficiently supported administrative structures, and a curriculum optimized to take advantage of the benefits technology offers to all students––such as closing opportunity and learning gaps and providing students with essential modern workforce skills.”

In fact, some districts across the country are already taking advantage of Title IV to do exactly this. Effectively implemented and leveraged by states and districts, ESSA’s policy and funding can help teachers become efficient and effective in improving student outcomes.

For more on ESSA, read our recent post: ESSA and data: How districts can seize the opportunity to go beyond compliance.