What is the impact of funding for districts and schools?
If fully funded and administered as ESSA was written, nearly every school district in the country would receive an annual allocation that they could use to: increase student access to STEM, computer science and accelerated learning courses; provide mental health services to students; address drug and violence prevention and provide training on trauma-informed practices; provide physical and health education programs and more instruction in the arts, music, and foreign languages; provide college and career counseling; fund effective school library programs; and provide educators with professional technology-development opportunities, while providing students with access to technology and digital materials.
Strong evidence underscores the need for students to have access to programs that meet their comprehensive needs, including their mental and physical health and safety and providing a challenging learning environment that effectively uses technology.
Evidence supports a direct correlation between physical and mental health and learning that is essential to academic success, school completion, and the development of healthy, resilient, and productive citizens. Schools are uniquely positioned to promote student engagement and help them acquire life-long knowledge and skills through comprehensive health education, physical education, nutrition, comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services, counseling, and integration among all education and health programs.
In order to prepare all students for success in school and in life, they need access to a well-rounded and challenging curriculum. Funds through the block grant will help schools expand programs such as music, art, STEM, computer science, accelerated learning, history, and civics courses, as well as expand access to college and career guidance and counseling.
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.
Given the elimination through ESSA of numerous programs that support the overall health and safety of students, the investments in education technology, as well as helping districts ensure access to a well-rounded education, a robust federal investment in support of these programs is essential through Title IV, Part A.