Using Title IV Funds to Support STEM Initiatives

How to invest in student programs, materials, and teacher professional development

Using Title IV Funds to Support STEM Initiatives
How to invest in student programs, materials, and teacher professional development

By now, you probably know that Congress recently approved a whopping $1.1 billion for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant (SSAEG) program under Title IV-A. This new funding for FY-18 authorizes investment on activities in three broad categories: well-rounded education, safe and healthy schools and students, and effective use of technology.

This is particularly good news for administrators and educators looking to accelerate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming in their districts. In a recent Education Week webinar sponsored by DreamBox, presenter Jodi Peterson from the Legislative and Public Affairs National Science Teachers Association explained precisely how the block grant funds are allocated and what steps district leaders can take now to earmark dollars for vital STEM initiatives in their schools.

Specifically, the statute says districts can use block grant money to:

  • Expand high-quality STEM courses
  • Increase access to STEM for underserved and at-risk student populations
  • Support student participation in STEM nonprofit competitions
  • Provide hands-on learning opportunities in STEM
  • Integrate other academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM subject programs
  • Create or enhance STEM specialty schools
  • Integrate classroom-based and after-school and informal STEM instruction
  • Expand environmental education

Basically, if your district is eligible for Title IV funding and looking to prioritize STEM, you’ve now got the green light to invest accordingly.

And, while STEM is identified by name under the “well-rounded education” category of Title IV-A, it also falls neatly under the “effective use of technology” category too, which specifically calls out materials and professional development to support teachers, as well as digital content and devices.

In fact, this April 2017 U.S. Department of Education letter outlines specific ways state education agencies, districts, schools, and their partners can use Federal funds to support Science and STEM education strategies, including:

  • Increasing student participation in STEM courses and experience
  • Supporting educator knowledge and expertise in STEM disciplines
  • Increasing student access to materials and equipment for STEM

The seven-page letter contains thorough guidelines on how to integrate STEM using Title IV-A and other funds. Download and print the letter now to share with colleagues as you plan for the coming school year. Also, visit  the Department of Education website for additional Title IV-A resources. This page is updated frequently and provides important guidance on all things ESSA.

Finally, the earlier referenced Education Week webinar “How Can Districts Make the Most of Title IV Funding Under ESSA?” is now available on demand. Tune in at your convenience to explore the many opportunities, challenges, and possibilities the new block grant funding presents for leaders looking to advance STEM and other initiatives in their districts.

 

Get in on the DreamBox Learning 2018/2019 Fall Pilot!

Now through June 30th, districts can dedicate their leftover 2017/2018 funds to reserve a spot in the DreamBox 2018/2019 Fall Pilot, which allows schools and districts to try out our results-proven solution at a special low price. Save your space!

 

Kristen Ramaley

Kristen Ramaley

Sr Marketing Manager at DreamBox Learning
Kristen is a strong believer in the idea that every student learns differently and has spent the past 8 years working in edtech exploring different approaches to teaching and learning. When she is not behind a computer engaging with educators, she can be found hiking in the mountain passes surrounding her native city of Seattle, or on her paddle board with her furry companion Isla.
Kristen Ramaley