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Your Action Needed--Ask Your Member of Congress to Fund ESSA Title IV A Grants

by , posted on 9:22 AM, October 24, 2016
On October 26, thousands of K–12 educators, counselors, community partners, technology specialists, librarians and more will engage in a national “Day of Action” to urge Congress to fully fund the flexible block grant (Title IV, Part A) recently authorized in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
The ESSA Title IV/A grant, called the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant (Title IV A/SSAE), is designed to support a well-rounded education (that includes STEM programs) for students, create safe and healthy school environments, and improve the use of technology in every school district.  

Districts can choose where best to spend their Title IV/A dollars to help all students develop the skills essential for learning readiness and academic success. 

Starting in the 2017 school year, districts can elect to use Title IV Part A grants to improve instruction and student engagement in STEM  by expanding high-quality STEM courses; increase access to STEM for underserved and at risk student populations; support the participation of students 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 afterschool and informal STEM instruction; and expand environmental education. 
 
Contact your members of Congress and ask them to support full funding ($1.65 billion) for this block grant in the final FY2017 appropriations bill.
  • Send a pre-written letter to your Member of Congress via the STEM Education Coalition Congressional Action Center (remember to customize the letter with your story and how will you be able to use this funding)
  • Call or email the Member's office and ask to speak to the legislative assistant who handles appropriations issues. Call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your member of Congress.  If the legislative assistant is not in, you can leave a voicemail with your request.A sample script can be found here.
  • Send a tweet to your members of Congress.
  • Read the press release on the Title IV/A National Day of Action here.
It is important we get as many teachers as possible to contact their member of Congress. This is the first year for this grant program so it is critical that Congress appropriates a robust level of funding.