FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Over 50 national organizations express deep concern and disappointment with FY17 funding level of ESSA's flexible block grant.
Washington D.C., May 2, 2017 –– On behalf of the undersigned members of the Title IV, A Coalition, we offer the following response to the $400 million appropriated by Congress and the language allowing states to change the structure of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program, authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act, for fiscal year 2017:
"We are deeply disappointed in Congress' decision to fund the SSAE grant program (Title IV, A of ESSA) at $400 million, which is just 25 percent of its ESSA authorization level. From our perspective, this level of funding undermines Congressional intent to give states and districts the flexibility to make meaningful investments in a range of programs that foster safe and healthy school climates, ensure students receive a well-rounded education, and allow for the effective use of technology.
Although we appreciate members of Congress seeking input on the most effective way to structure a competitive option, we maintain that they should fund Title IV, Part A at the fully authorized level in FY18 so the program can run as intended and benefits students across the country. We urge states to seriously consider the competitive option offered in the FY17 Omnibus Appropriations bill as a way to ensure that many, albeit not all, of their districts receive funding at levels sufficient to make a difference.
We hope that Congress and the Administration will provide full funding for SSAE next year and beyond, thereby obviating the need to offer the state competition option again."
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