For decades, district leaders have been clamoring for more say over how they spend their federal money. And when the Every Student Succeeds Act passed back in 2015, it looked like they had finally gotten their wish: a brand-new $1.6 billion block grant that could be used for computer science initiatives, suicide prevention, new band instruments, and almost anything else that could improve students’ well-being or provide them with a well-rounded education.
But, for now at least, it looks like most district officials will only get a small sliver of the funding they had hoped for, putting the block grants’ effectiveness and future in doubt.
The Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, or Title IV of ESSA, only received about a quarter of the funding the law recommends, $400 million for the 2017-18 school year, when ESSA will be fully in place for the first time…
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