Tell Congress to protect the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program (Title IV Part A of ESSA)
This flexible funding supports schools in providing learning and enrichment, health and well-being, and education technology.
The Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program under Title IV-A of ESSA is a flexible block grant that is designed to provide support for much needed health and safety programs, well-rounded education programs, and the effective use of education technology. President Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have emphasized the importance of local decision-making in education, yet the FY 2020 budget proposal released by President Trump would eliminate the SSAE program. Thankfully, Congress has aggressively pushed back and the current appropriation level stands at $1.17 billion for FY19.
- In June 2019 the House approved $1.32 billion in funding for Title IV-A in the minibus budget bill (H.R. 2740) that includes funding for the Department of Education, an increase of $150 million.
- In September 2019 the Senate released its Labor-HHS-Education bill, proposing $1.2 billion in funding for Title IV-A, an increase of $50 million.
Many districts are receiving at least enough funds and have the flexibility to make meaningful investments in the program areas they need most (based off of their needs assessments).
SSAE is the single program that gives actual control and flexibility of education back to the local districts and schools. This program allows schools to make meaningful investments that matter most to their specific students, including learning and enrichment activities that can be delivered through summer programming. These can cover a wide range: educational technology investments, mental health and drug prevention (including resources to deal with the opioid crisis), and supporting a well-rounded curriculum with activities like arts or computer science. Luckily, Republican and Democratic leadership in the House Committee on Education and the Workforce agree that funding the SSAE program should be a top priority, especially as these funds would provide important well-being and support services to students during times of crisis.
You can make a difference: call on Congress to support summer learning by protecting and fully funding the Student Support and Academic Enrichment program.