Advocacy Webinar! – ESSA’s First Year in Action, What to Know & What Has Changed?


Join us on May 24 at 7:00 PM (EDT) for our Quarterly Advocacy Webinar!

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is just over a year old. Join your NAfME policy team to learn what has changed and what YOU need to know to make the opportunities for music education come to reality in your state, district, and school for the coming school year!

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Funding Opportunites via Title IV, Part A

After nearly half a year of delay, Congress passed a spending proposal for Fiscal Year 2017. Unfortunately, in the FY17 proposal, Congress only appropriated $400 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program found in Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  SSAE is one of the new funding opportunities created within ESSA that may used to provide states and school districts supplemental funding to three broad areas:

  1. Providing students access to a well-rounded education (e.g. music and arts),
  2. Supporting safe and healthy students (e.g. comprehensive school mental health, drug and violence prevention, training on trauma-informed practices, health and physical education) and
  3. Supporting the effective use of technology (professional development, blended learning,

Originally, supplemental funding provided by SSAE was supposed to be provided in a formula-to-formula basis, where most school districts would receive some funding to support the three broad areas. Unfortunately, the current funding proposal severely under funds this major flexible block grant, which was authorized at $1.65 billion, but is only being funded this first year for $400 million. For that reason, as a one year solution, the FY 17 agreement provides additional language that gives states the option to create a competitive grant with the funds.  Our webinar will guide you on how this grant will operate for this unique fiscal year and provide you with insight on how to access these funds based on the FY 17 proposal.

ESSA State Plans and Music Education

On April 3, states began to submit their plans for how they will use their ESSA funding within their state boundaries. While ESSA outlines the overall use of federal education funds, the law places many areas of decision-making into the hands of the states. In order to access their ESSA funding, states must deliver a state ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for approval. As of April 27, 13 states and the District of Columbia have submitted plans for review by the ED.

Our webinar will feature some of the highlights we have found for music and arts education in the submitted state plans. Learn if your state has submitted, and how you use the language to bolster support for music and arts education – both in states that have already submitted their plans AND in states where this work is on-going.  This will make the case for both federal funding and for accountability about the provision of music education in your state’s public schools.

Ronny Lau, Public Policy Advisor, May 10, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (