ESSA Update

August 28, 2018

Title IV, Part A- Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program

All districts have the option to use their Title IV A funds to run a Title IV A program to support the needs of their local school district and community; however, all school programs can also move the funds to Title I or Title II.

Newly authorized under subpart 1 of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA is the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program. The SSAE program is intended to improve students’ academic achievement by increasing the capacity of state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and local communities to provide all students with:

  • ·Access to a well-rounded education

  • Improve school conditions for student learning, safe and healthy students

  • Improve the use of technology to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students

Montana used a formulary grant to ensure all districts in MT that received Title I allocations received funding under Title IV Part A. School districts that receive an allocation above $30,000 must conduct a needs assessment and must then spend 20% of their grant on safe and healthy school activities and 20% on activities to provide well-rounded education programs. The remaining 60% of the money can be spent on all three priorities, including technology. However, within technology there is a 15% cap on spending for devices, equipment, software and digital content. If districts receive an allocation below $30,000, the law does not require a needs assessment. Districts must spend money on activities in at least one of the three categories. If districts chose to spend in the well-rounded and/or safe and healthy students’ programs, an allocation must not be less than 20% of the total allocation. If districts chose to spend in technology, once again there is a 15% cap on spending for devices, equipment, software and digital content. School safety and climate are a priority in Montana and the OPI encourages all districts to use their new Title IV, Part A funds to ensure their students are learning in safe, positive school environments.



Three Categories of Spending under Title IV, Part A


Safe and Healthy Students

Well-Rounded Education Programs

Effective Use of Technology

Ensuring all students are healthy and feel safe and supported is central to the shared work across programs. Research shows that when schools and districts effectively focus on creating a safe, healthy, and supportive environment, students are more likely to engage in the curriculum, achieve academically, and develop positive relationships.

Providing all students with access to a well- rounded education as a means of improving academic achievement. Ensuring all students have access to a holistic well-rounded education is central to the shared work across programs.

Promoting digital literacy of all students and providing professional development to the educators that teach and support them. Ensuring that all students build the capacities necessary for thriving as 21st century learners and workforce contributors, program initiatives fall under three categories, Digital Citizenship, Personalized Learning and Improving Equity for All Learners.

Supporting safe and healthy students with comprehensive school mental health, drug and violence prevention, training on trauma-informed practices, bullying prevention, dropout prevention, re-entry programs & transition services, child sexual abuse awareness & prevention, promoting supportive school discipline, suicide prevention, health & physical education, mentoring & school counseling and schoolwide positive behavioral interventions & supports.

Supporting students with a well-rounded education including programs such as English, reading or language arts, writing, science, technology, engineering, mathematics, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, geography, computer science, music, career and technical education, health, physical education, and any other subject with the purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.

Supporting the effective use of technology that is backed by professional development, blended learning and education tech devices. cybersecurity should be considered within the larger framework of school and district emergency preparedness activities that address security, safety, and emergency management. Additionally, LEAs and schools must develop written policies and procedures, and measures to ensure safe and responsible uses of technology.


Please send general ESSA inquiries to: