How much has the block grant received to date?
Current Appropriation Level: $1.17 billion
The SSAE grant program only received $400 million in FY 2017. Funding this program at less than 25% of its authorized level in its first year presented serious implementation issues, including the need to allow states to allocate funds to districts competitively in order to give districts the opportunity to make meaningful investments in at least a handful of districts. Many districts did not receive the statutory minimums under ESSA and some received no funding at all due to the extremely low funding level.
FY18 and FY19 Appropriations
Despite the President’s request to eliminate the program two years in a row and the recognition that FY17 funding levels were simply too low to allow the program to operate as intended under ESSA, Congress recognized the importance of this block grant and provided $1.1 billion for Title IV-A in FY18 and $1.17 billion in FY19. At these funding levels, 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. Additionally, these funding levels obviate the need for a competitive option and allows the flexible block grant to operate as Congress intended, as a formula grant that benefits all districts equitably.