You have grand plans for your program, but money is tight. In 2015, music educators celebrated the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which calls for a "well-rounded education" that includes music and the arts.
But it's been almost five years since ESSA was signed into law, and your program is working to stretch every dollar.
ESSA included Title IV-A funds that school districts can apply to meet the mandates of the law. Allocation of these funds began in 2017.
How can you navigate through the red tape to access these Title IV-A funds? Where can you find information about ESSA and Title IV-A? What information is available that you can use when presenting your music program's needs to school and district administrators? How can you become a music advocate?
Title IV-A (read the complete Title IV law here) is currently funded at $1.16 billion but was authorized at $1.6 billion each year. It is a formula grant program that provides funding for three broad categories:
Get a printable fact sheet from the Title IV-A Coalition here.
As a music teacher, you can be a part of the process to bring these authorized dollars to your district and program.
There are many qualified needs that can apply to your school or district. Funding can be applied to many things, including:
Here are some program need examples in the Guidance for Music Education from the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
The Title IV-A funding rules are divided into two tiers:
The basic steps to access Title IV-A funding are:
In short, here is what the process looks like:
NAfME has built helpful toolkits and resources:
How and where has ESSA been implemented and how has funding been applied?
The National Arts Education Data Project is collecting and visualizing interactive arts data funding for many states. The project plans to complete all states' arts education data by 2022.
Use this data to help support the needs of your music program when you talk to leadership at your school, district and state.
Read Music Achievement Council Educational Advisor Marcia Neel's advice on how best to use stats at SBO Magazine.