New Federal Funds to Expand Arts Education

As you may know from GIA’s previous webinar “New Horizons in Arts Education: The Student Support and Academic Enrichment program,” the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program, authorized under Title IV, Part-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) established flexible formula grants to support the following three areas of activities – well-rounded educational opportunities, which include the arts as defined by ESSA; safe and healthy students; and effective use of technology.

With the recent passage and the President’s signing of the Fiscal Year (FY)2019 Defense / Labor, HHS and Education bill, the Title IV program has received a $70 million increase, from $1.1 billion to $1.17 billion. This is on top of a $700 million or 175% increase the program received in FY2018, and shows Congress’ continued and increased support for the grant program.

What does this mean for you as a funder group or organization engaged in arts education work?

Title IV, Part A grant funds flow to States and are then distributed to Districts based on their student need (share of Title I formula). Within the SSAE program, districts may utilize funds within the “well-rounded education” bucket to develop and implement arts programs and activities, as well as improve access to the arts by working with a variety of partners, e.g. nonprofit organizations, community-based organizations, or other public / private entities with demonstrated records of success in implementing these activities.

Seize this opportunity now to leverage this increased funding available in the SSAE program by reaching out to your state department of education to see how you can help schools use these funds to augment an existing arts program or to start a new effort. The increased funding provided in the last two appropriations bills means new funds will flow into virtually every school district under this program. These funds have not yet been obligated to be spent on a particular activity or need, and therefore represents a great opportunity to start or expand the use of these funds for the arts.

To learn more about how your State is using federal funds under ESSA to support arts education and programming and learn how you can engage, please visit GIA’s Guide on use of Federal Funds for Arts Education. To revisit GIA’s webinar on the SSAE program, including effective strategies to engage districts and engage in this work, click here.