Title IV-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a statute that provides $1.6B (billion) in funds for primary and secondary education, provides districts with funds to “build capacity and ensure that all students have access to a high quality educational experience.” As mandated in the act, funds are authorized to support well-rounded educational opportunities, safe and healthy students, and effective use of technology.
What Can Funds Be Used For?
Music programs are specifically called out in this package and funding can be applied to a number of expenses:
- Professional development
- Musical instruments
- Technology programs
- Upgrades to classroom and facilities
Read here for a more detailed explanation of how the Title IV-A funding rules work
There are two tiers of Title IV-A funding rules:
- If your allocation is below $30,000, you do not have to do an assessment and can spend funds in any of the three categories listed above, but with a 15% cap on Technology.
- If your allocation is above $30,000, you will need to do a “needs assessment.” You must show that 20% of the funds will go to Well-Rounded Program needs, 20% to Safe and Healthy Schools and the remaining 60% can go to all three areas with at least some going to Technology.”
How Can I Get These Funds?
Contact your state Title IV-A representative in this document to see how much money is available for your school and district.
If your district has already obtained funds, meet with your principal, district coordinator, and fellow music teachers to talk about Title IV-A. There is a chance that many of these people have experience, or are familiar with the process of, accessing Title IV-A funding. Oftentimes there is a lot of money waiting for you, but nobody comes and tells you. You must be proactive and ask for it!
It is worth keeping in mind, too, that this is an annual process. Applicants are encouraged to continue pursuing this funding yearly, even if you are unsuccessful at first. If you know that your program has a compelling case, you should continue expanding on your efforts to gain access to this funding each year.