Six months after the bi-partisan passage of ESSA, the proposed funding levels in the U.S. Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) appropriations bill threaten effective enactment of ESSA at the local school district level.
Despite a $50 million increase in Title I funding, ESSA increased the allowable state level set aside for state support and interventions for under performing schools. While this is needed, it is not recommended that this comes as another expense of school districts’ title I allocations. Title I currently needs an additional $150 million in annual funding to keep local school districts Title I allocations in 2017 the same as they were in 2016.
ESSA greatly increased the applicable uses of Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (Title IV) which help provide well-rounded education opportunities for all students. However funding remains level that is likely to make this a grant program and not a formula driven program available to all students.
NREAC and AASA believe the program should receive a higher allocation, at a level robust enough to support meaningful formula driven allocations. View the letter
MREA encourages members to discuss this with Representatives and Senators during the summer recess and with Representatives and candidates on the campaign trail this summer and fall.
Stay up to date by following the AASA Policy and Advocacy blog. The National Rural Education Action Coalition (NREAC) and AASA work closely together on federal issues affecting rural education. MREA is a member of NREAC.