The purpose of Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act is to improve students' academic achievement by increasing the capacity of states, districts, schools, and local communities to provide all students with access to well-rounded education, improve school conditions for student learning, and improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students. (ESSA Sec 4101)
In North Dakota, a district’s Title IV, Part A investment should align with the North Dakota PK-12 Education Strategic Vision with strategies to:
- Increase students who enter kindergarten prepared to learn
- Increase students who demonstrate reading proficiency in 3rd grade
- Increase students who meet expected learning gains each year
- Increase students who engage in learning
- Increase students who graduate choice ready
- Reduce the disparity in achievement for students in poverty and for Native American students
- Increase access to behavioral health services for students and provided professional development for staff
Districts must consult with stakeholders in the three priority areas throughout the program development and implementation process. Activities and programs supported with Title IV, Part A funds must be planned through meaningful and ongoing consultation with teachers, school leaders, paraprofessionals, specialized instructional support personnel, parents, and community partners. The district must also engage in continued consultation with these stakeholders to improve supported activities
The three priority areas that must be addressed by Title IV are:
- access to well-rounded education,
- improve school conditions for student learning, and
- improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.
Each district accepting Title IV, Part A funds must also:
- Annually review and monitor the effectiveness of their Title IV Part A program or activities and engage in meaningful consultation to make adjustments throughout the Fiscal Year (FY).
- Prioritize Title IV, Part A funds to schools that have the greatest needs (as determined by the district), have the highest percentages or numbers of low-income children, are identified for targeted support, are identified comprehensive support, OR are identified as a persistently dangerous school.
- Provide equitable services to eligible non-public school teachers.
- Alignment of Funds - Programs and activities the LEA proposes to implement must have program objectives and intended outcomes that are aligned to the purpose of the grant.
- Ensure Title IV, Part A funded activities address the learning needs of all students, including children with disabilities, English learners, and gifted and talented students.
- Use evidence-based strategies, practices or activities that have been evaluated and proven to improve student outcomes. The evidence described in ESSA has generally been produced through formal studies and research. Under ESSA, there are four tiers, or levels, of evidence:
- Tier 1 – Strong Evidence
- Tier 2 – Moderate Evidence
- Tier 3 – Promising Evidence
- Tier 4 – Demonstrates a Rationale
Districts with an allocation of $30,000 or more must also met the following requirements:
- Conduct a Comprehensive Needs Assessment every three years to examine the needs for improvement of well-rounded educational opportunities, school conditions for student learning, and access to personalized learning experiences supported by technology.
If the district has an existing comprehensive needs assessment process, includes stakeholder involvement, and data elements relevant to the areas of allowable uses of Title IV funds (well-rounded, safe and healthy students, educational technology), then it is sufficient to leverage this existing process to satisfy the Title IV program requirement. However, if existing needs assessment processes do not address the content areas included in Title IV, then a separate comprehensive needs assessment should be conducted to ensure relevant needs are identified for use of funds.
*Districts whose Title IV allocation is less than $30,000 are not obligated to conduct a needs assessment.
Districts with a Title IV allocation of $30,000 or more, must:
- use at least 20% of Title IV funds on activities to support well-rounded education,
- use at least 20% of Title IV funds on activities to support safe and healthy students,
- a portion of funds on activities to support the effective use of technology AND of this portion, no more than 15% can be used on technology infrastructure.
If an LEA receives an allocation of $30,000 or more in a given year, it must meet the required minimums for each content area – 20% for Well-Rounded Education, 20% for Safe and Healthy Students, and some portion for Effective Use of Technology – based on the allocation for that year. LEAs must ensure that they have a process and internal controls in place to track the funding requirements in each content area.
Districts with a Title IV allocation of less than $30,000 may spend funds in all three allowable areas or may choose only one area; however the 15% cap on technology infrastructure still applies to the portion of funds used within the technology strand.
*Technology infrastructure includes devices, equipment, software applications, platforms, digital instructional resources and/or other one-time information technology purchases.
Title IV, Part A is a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) grant program that provides supplemental funding to help improve student academic achievement by increasing the capacity of state and local educational agencies in the following areas by:
- providing all students with access to a well-rounded education,
- improving school conditions for student learnings to support safe and healthy students, and
- improving the use of technology in order to advance digital literacy of all students
The USDE awards Title IV, Part A funds to state educational agencies which then sub-grant funds to local school districts through a formula allocation. The amount of Title IV, Part A funds allocated to LEAs is calculated using the same formula that is used to calculate Title I, Part A. Districts that received a Title I allocation the prior school year are deemed eligible for a Title IV grant the subsequent year.
Regarding 2018-2019 funding, districts that generated a Title I allocation and declined receiving the funds as well as districts participating in a cooperative agreement are not considered eligible to generate a Title IV allocation for school year 2019-2020.
Title IV, Part A is also Title V REAP eligible. Title V REAP provides eligible LEAs with greater flexibility in using the formula grant funds they receive under certain State-administered federal programs.
Title IV, Part A is a formula allocation. The amount of Title IV Part A funds allocated to districts is calculated using the same US census data that is used to calculate Title I, Part A. North Dakota receives its Title IV allocation from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) in the form of a block grant. The state then allocates 99% of these funds to North Dakota districts based on the above eligibility criteria established by the USDE. The amount of Title IV funds allocated to districts is calculated using the same formula that is used to determine district Title I allocations. The minimum allocation to any district is $10,000.
Ensuring all students have access to a holistic well-rounded education is central to the shared work across programs in ESSA. Allowable uses of funds for the SSAE program under each of the three content areas may include but are not limited to: direct services for students, professional development for teachers and administrators, salaries of personnel to carry out identified programs and services, and supplemental educational resources and equipment.
Well-Rounded Educational Opportunities
- STEAM programs
- Music and art programs
- Foreign language offerings
- The opportunity to earn credits from institutions of higher learning
- Reimbursing low-income students to cover the costs of accelerated learning examination fees
- Environmental education
- Programs and activities that promote volunteerism and community involvement
Safe & Healthy Students
- School-based mental health services
- Drug and violence prevention activities that are evidence-based
- Integrating health and safety practices into school or athletic programs
- Nutritional education and physical education activities
- Bullying and harassment prevention
- Activities that improve instructional practices for developing relationship-building skills
- Prevention of teen and dating violence, stalking, domestic abuse, and sexual violence and harassment
- Establishing or improving school dropout and reentry programs
- Training school personnel in effective practices related to the above
- Building technological capacity and infrastructure
- Developing or using effective or innovative strategies for the delivery of specialized or rigorous academic courses through the use of technology
- Carrying out blended learning activities (must include ongoing professional development for teachers)
- Providing professional development on the use of technology to enable teachers to increase student achievement in STEAM areas
- Providing students in rural, remote, and underserved areas with the resources to take advantage of high-quality digital learning experiences
- Providing educators, school leaders, and administrators with the professional learning tools, devices, content and resources to:
- Personalize learning
- Discover, adapt, and share relevant high-quality educational resources
- Use technology effectively in the classroom
- Implement and support school and district-wide approaches for using technology to inform
- Instruction, support teacher collaboration, and personalize learning
*Sustainability will be key; salaried positions paid exclusively through Title IV could be difficult to sustain in future years without alternate sources of funding.
The determination of the allowability of funds for program costs will depend on a number of factors, starting with whether all statutory requirements are met. Assuming that the activity is consistent with the purposes of one of the three content areas, as applicable, the SEA must make further determinations as to the allowability of costs in accordance with the cost principles in the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance) at 2 CFR Part 200, Subpart E. Specifically, the cost of an activity is allowable under Title IV-A if it is reasonable and necessary for performance of the grant and allocable to the grant. Also, because section 4110 of the ESEA prohibits supplanting, the funds must supplement, and not supplant, other non-Federal funds that would otherwise be used to pay for the allowable activity. Allowability will be determined on a case-by-case basis and may require further consultation with the LEAS.
Please note that ESEA funds may not be used: 1) to develop or distribute materials, or operate programs or courses of instruction directed at youth, that are designed to promote or encourage sexual activity, whether homosexual or heterosexual; 2) to provide sex education or HIV-prevention education in schools unless that instruction is age appropriate and includes the health benefits of abstinence; or 3) to operate a program of contraception distribution in schools. (ESEA sections 8526(3), (5), and (6)).
In addition, SSAE funds may not be used for medical services or drug treatment or rehabilitation, except for integrated student supports, specialized instructional support services, or referral to treatment for impacted students, which may include students who are victims of, or witnesses to, crime or who illegally use drugs. (ESEA section 4001(b)).
- USDE Non-Regulatory Guidance for Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants
- USDE Non-Regulatory Guidance Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments
- USDE Office of Non-Public Education
- USDE Office of Safe and Healthy Students
- USDE ESSA Title IV SSAE Webinar Series
- Guides and Toolkits
- School Climate Improvement Quick Guide
- Safe Place to Learn: Prevent, Intercede, and Respond to Sexual Harassment of K-12 Students
- Addressing the Root Causes of Disparities in School Discipline
- Safe Place: Trauma-Sensitive Practice for Health Centers Serving Higher Education Students
- Training Products
- Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package
- Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment in Our Nation’s Classrooms
- Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment on Our Nation's School Buses.
- Get Smart, Get Help, Get Safe