New 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|
|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|