NAfME Unveils Title IV-A Toolkit & FAQ!

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has released its brand-new Title IV-A Toolkit!  This resource contains every bit of information you need to know about the Title IV, Part A block grant.

To access the toolkit, click here or visit our Everything ESSA page.

Photo credit: Ashlee Wilcox Photography |

What is Title IV-A?

Title IV-A is also known as the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grants.  As one of the new opportunities created by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), SSAE provides supplemental funding to school districts in three broad areas, including:

  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,

Because of the grant’s significant potential to improve access to music education for students and to support student success, Title IV-A is among NAfME’s top priorities in the annual federal budget process.

Toolkit Contents

NAfME’s Title IV-A Toolkit provides you with the policy expertise on how your district can apply for and use funds from the SSAE block grant.  The resource breaks down federal statute into a digestible manner for music educators and advocates to dig deep into the intricacies of Title IV-A.  Contents include eligibility for and distribution of funds, assurances, and allowable uses.

The toolkit also highlights the comprehensive needs assessment process, one of the key-provisions of Title IV-A.  This provision is exciting as ESSA explicitly states the need for teacher and stakeholder participation in a school district’s needs assessment.

Key strategies are provided within the toolkit to help you formulate the best plan to get involved with your district’s needs assessment, including using NAfME’s 2015 Opportunity to Learn (OTL) Standards.

Addressing Frequently Asked Questions

As you soak in all the information, you probably will have numerous questions about Title IV-A and how the grant process operates.  As a one-stop shop, our toolkit provides a comprehensive section of frequently asked questions.  Examples include:

  • How can I be involved within the process, so that my music program can access Title IV-A funds?
  • How can I learn what funds have been allocated for in my school district?
  • Is there a deadline to apply for Title IV-A funds?
  • What specifically can this funding be used for to benefit my music program?
  • What does funding support look like at a federal level for future years to come?

Have You Received Title IV-A Funds For Your Program?

If you have received Title IV-A funding previously or will receive funding for the upcoming school year, we want to hear YOUR story!

Visit to tell us your Title IV story:

  • How much funding did you receive?
  • What was the funding used for?
  • How has it benefited your students?
  • How has it benefited you as an educator in providing a well-rounded education?
  • By using these funds, are you closer to providing a “quality” music program, as outlined in the OTL standards?

Your stories are vital to helping NAfME advocate for music education!  Help us share your good work with members of Congress to help secure funding for Title IV-A next school year!

Ronny Lau, Assistant Director of Public Policy, November 6, 2018. © National Association for Music Education (