ACA has been successful in advocating for increased funding for behavioral health services in schools; and we will continue to work for funding increases.
The bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes a flexible block grant program under Title IV, Part A, which was authorized at $1.6 billion through FY 2021. Title IV, Part A authorizes activities in three broad areas:
- Providing students with a well-rounded education (e.g., college and career counseling, STEM, music and arts, civics, IB/AP, computer science)
- Supporting safe and healthy students (e.g., comprehensive school mental health, drug and violence prevention, training on trauma-informed practices, health and physical education) and
- Supporting the effective use of technology (e.g., professional development, blended and personalized learning, and devices).
This additional funding will help provide all students with more access to mental health services within a school setting. Schools will be able to hire more school counselors, create more opportunities for mental-health –related programs and develop programs designed to help create a safe and healthy school environment and end school violence.
Background: The student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Grant Program
In FY 2017, the Elementary and secondary School Counseling Program was rolled into the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program under Title IV, part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
The American Counseling Association is successfully advocating to ensure full funding for the SSAE grant program. Working with the Title IV-A Coalition, ACA has encouraged Congress to provide adequate funding for school behavioral health programs and to reject the government’s initial piecemeal approach to funding.
With your help The American Counseling Association (ACA) can continue to advocate to ensure full funding for school counseling programs. Please help ACA in its advocacy efforts to provide more opportunity for our nation’s children.
Find more information on the student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Grant Program.
Please support new legislation to fund additional school counselors.