Details Emerging From ESEA Rewrite on Spending, Grants

US Capitol BldgNew details are beginning to emerge about the bill that would reauthorize for four years the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, renamed the Every Student Succeeds Act. It would provide mostly level funding for the Education Dept., while offering modest increases for some grants programs.

The bill, S 1177, is moving through House/Senate conference committee and is due to be on President Obama’s desk by the end of the year. Because this is a reauthorization, funding levels in the bill are subject to final approval by congressional appropriators. In general, ESSA would apply to all federal grants given out after Oct. 1, so most grants would still be under the No Child Left Behind version of the law for the FY 2016 funding year.

Overall, the bill sets aside $24.5 billion in FY 2017 discretionary funding for DoEd, which is about 5.3% above the level approved for FY 2015. Title I Grants To Local Educational Agencies, the largest single category of dedicated funding that goes to help disadvantaged students, would see a slight funding boost to $15 billion in FY 2017, up from $14.9 billion in FY 2015. The bill would make some big changes in the way grants are awarded.

For example, the $5 billion School Improvement Grant program, (CFDA Number: 84.377) has been consolidated into the bigger Title I pot, which helps districts educate students in poverty. But, states would be able to set aside up to 7% of all their Title I funds for school turnarounds, up from 4% in current law. However, the bulk of those dollars would be sent to districts for “innovation,” which could include turnarounds. It would be up to states whether to disburse that money by formula, to everyone, or competitively, as they do now with SIG dollars which amount to about $500 million annually.

The legislation creates a $1.6 billion block grant that consolidates about 50 funding programs like those for physical education, Advanced Placement, school counseling, and education technology. Some of these programs haven’t received federal funding in the past several years.

Some programs would live on. The 21st Century Community schools program, which pays for after-school programs and has much support in Congress would get a slight boost to $1.1 billion.

Other survivors: Promise Neighborhoods, and a full-service community schools program, would share a pot of about $70 million, which is about what the two programs are funded at for this year. The National Activities for School Safety would receive about $5 million in FY 2017 and Awards for Academic Enrichment, Assistance for Arts Education, and Ready to Learn television would receive about $5 million each.

The Rural Education Initiative would receive about $170 million in FY 2017 to enable rural districts to more effectively implement programs that meet the needs of their non-urban students. It would also update the Impact Aid program, which reimburses eligible local school districts that are near, or serve students from, military bases, federal lands, and Indian reservations, for the loss of property taxes due to certain activities of the federal government. It would receive about $70 million for direct aid efforts. Magnet Schools Assistance would see a slight increase to $94 million in FY 2017 and the main charter school funding program would get a to $270 million in FY 2017 from $253 million this year.  Grants for English Language Acquisition would increase to $756 million from $737 million this year.

The $2.3 billion Title II professional teacher development category would now include the Teacher Quality State Grants and the Teacher And School Leader Incentive Program, a discretionary grants program endorsed by the administration that promotes pay-for-performance for teachers and school principals. It would also include the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN).

On Early Education, the bill includes a special section on the early education component. This would be administered jointly through the Health & Human Services Dept. and DoEd. This includes the administration’s signature the Preschool Development Grants program (formerly called the Race to the Top grants). However, the bill sets aside no new funding. The preschool grants would vie for funding with HHS’ current stable of grant programs, which includes Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grants.

Districts getting more than $30,000 will have to spend at least 20% of their funding on at least one activity that helps students become well-rounded and another 20% on at least one activity that helps kids stay safe and healthy. Part of the money could be spent on technology, but no more than 15% can go for technology infrastructure.

The agreement would keep in place Maintenance Of Effort with some new flexibility added for states. MOE requires states to keep up their own spending at a particular level in order to tap federal funds.


Every Student Succeeds Act Authorization of Appropriations
Program ($ In Thousands) FY 2017 FY 2018 FY 2019 FY 2020
TITLE I Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged
Grants To Local Educational Agencies $15,012,318 15,457,459 15,897,371 16,182,345
Grants For State Assessments 378,000 378,000 378,000 378,000
Education Of Migratory Children 374,751 374,751 374,751 374,751
Programs For Children And Youth Who Are Neglected, Delinquent, Or At-Risk 47,614 47,614 47,614 47,614
TITLE I Evaluation 710 710 710 710
TITLE I Subtotal 15,813,393 16,258,534 16,698,446 16,983,420
Grants For English Language Acquisition And Language Enhancement 756,332 769,568 784,960 884,960
21st Century Community Learning Centers State Grants 1,000,000 1,100,000 1,100,000 1,100,000
Grants To Support High-Quality Charter Schools 175,500 175,500 195,000 195,000
Charter School Facilities Financing Assistance 33,750 33,750 37,500 37,500
Charter Schools: National Activities 60,750 60,750 67,500 67,500
Magnet Schools Assistance 94,000 96,820 102,387 108,530
Grants For Statewide Family Engagement Centers 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000
National Activities: Grants For Education Innovation And Research 70,467 70,467 90,611 90,611
National Activities: Community Support For School Success 70,467 70,467 69,037 69,037
National Activities: National Activities For School Safety 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,000
National Activities: Academic Enrichment 54,807 54,807 56,093 56,093
Rural Education 169,840 169,840 169,840 169,840
Indian Education: Grants To Local Educational Agencies 100,381 102,389 104,436 106,525
Indian Education: Special Programs And Projects 17,993 17,993 17,993 17,993
Indian Education: National Activities 5,565 5,565 5,565 5,565
Native Hawaiian Education 32,397 32,397 32,397 32,397
Alaska Native Education 31,453 31,453 31,453 31,453
Impact Aid: Payments For Federal Property 66,813 66,813 66,813 71,998
Impact Aid: Basic Support Payments 1,151,233 1,151,233 1,151,233 1,240,573
Impact Aid: Payments For Children With Disabilities 48,316 48,316 48,316 52,065
Impact Aid: Construction 17,406 17,406 17,406 18,757
Impact Aid: Facilities Maintenance 4,835 4,835 4,835 5,210

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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