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CALL TO ACTION: Robust Funding for Title IV, Part A

October 27, 2016

The Museum of Science through its National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®) is lobbying Capitol Hill with an informal coalition of organizations interested in securing maximum federal funding for Title IV, Part A of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which authorizes the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (SSAEG) program.

The SSAEG program, authorized at $1.65 billion for FY17, is the result of Congress's decision to consolidate more than 20 existing programs, most of which were competitive, including the United States Department of Education Math-Science Partnership program, into a single formula-funded flexible block grant program that allows districts to choose where best to spend their SSAEG dollars to help all students develop skills essential for learning readiness and academic success.

These programs include: safe and healthy students activities, such as providing mental health services to students; increasing student access to STEM, computer science and accelerated learning courses, physical education, the arts, music, foreign languages and college and career counseling; funds for an effective school library program; and providing students with access to technology and digital materials and educators with technology professional development opportunities.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to provide just $300 million dollars for this program, far below the bipartisan agreement of $1.65 billion in ESSA. Funding at such a low level would necessitate turning this program into a competitive grant program, which would significantly disadvantage smaller, more rural school districts, as they often lack the capacity to apply for funding and, even if they do apply, face the prospect of receiving no money at all. Underfunding this program in its first year of authorization severely hinders its effective implementation and sets the program up for steep cuts and lower future appropriations.

We urge all who care about STEM education to ask their Senators to support full funding for Title IV, Part A, or at least, the House-approved $1 billion appropriation. See below for sample call, email, tweet messages.

Related Links

The Museum of Science, Boston

  1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114  phone: 617-723-2500