With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), new funding opportunities are available that could directly benefit music education. One of those is in Title IV of the law and known as Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG).
ESSA eliminated what we knew as “core” academic subjects and created what we now know as “well-rounded” subject areas. Music has, for the first time, been called out in federal law as a well-rounded subject. The SSAEG grants are designed to be used to ensure a well-rounded education and that means music is a part of it.
It’s important for music educators to explore using these funds because:
- Any additional funds can be helpful to music education programs
- Proving the value of this new funding stream may serve to increase the amount of funding in the future
- By asking for funding, you may find your administration will find ways to fund your program, even if it’s isn’t through these federal funds
Each state will have a different process to gain access to these funds. We have reviewed the way the Pennsylvania Department of Education will distribute these funds and compiled a to do list for music educators to attempt to use some of this funding for music education in their district.
We’ve spelled out the process in detail to help you get money for your music program. You can download a PDF of the process below. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Conduct a “needs assessment” to determine in what areas your program can be improved
- Present a case to your administration that you can use this SSAEG money for things or experiences that your district’s regular budget doesn’t support
- Provide supporting information to your adminsitration so they can include it on their Pennsylvania federal funds application
A list of suggested areas for funding and more on the specific process is available on the PDF below.