ESSA, Title IV, Part A

Introduction / Overview

ESSA, Title IV, Part A

Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Program

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law in December 2015. It reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). Newly authorized under subpart 1 of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA is the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program.

Purpose

The purpose of the SSAE program is to improve students’ academic achievement by providing funds to increase the capacity of State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), and local communities to provide all students with access to a well-rounded education; improve school conditions for student learning; and improve the use of technology to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.


Well-Rounded Education

To ensure that every student has access to a well-rounded education, LEAs must work to develop activities that foster connections amongst students’ studies, curiosities, passions, and skills needed to become critical thinkers and productive members of society. In addition, funds should be used to promote a diverse set of learning experiences that engages students across a wide variety of courses, activities, and programs.

One goal of Title IV, Part A is to ensure that each LEA that receives an allocation under section 4105 (a) will use a portion of the funds to develop and implement programs and activities that support access to a well-rounded education and educational experiences for all students. Additionally, consistent with section 4106(e)(2)(C) of the ESEA, any LEA that has received a SSAE program grant of at least $30,000 must use at least 20 percent of SSAE program funds for activities to support well-rounded educational opportunities under Section 4107. (ESEA sections 4105(a),4106(e)(2)(C)and 4107(a)).

Safe and Healthy Students

To guarantee the safety and well-being of every student, LEAs must develop programs or activities that foster safe, healthy, supportive and drug-free environments, including direct student services and professional development and training for school staff. Consistent with section 4106(e)(2)(D) of the ESEA, any LEA that has received a SSAE grant of at least $30,000 must use at least 20 percent of SSAE program funds for activities to support safe and healthy initiatives for students under section 4108.

Effective Use of Technology

To increase access to personalized, rigorous learning experiences supported by technology, LEAs must develop programs or activities that improve the technology to improve the academic achievement, academic growth, and digital literacy of all students.  Consistent with section 4106(e)(2)(E) of the ESEA, any LEA that has received a SSAE grant of at least $30,000 must use at a portion of the  SSAE program funds for activities that support the effective use of technology for students under section 4109.

It is also important to note that any LEA, or consortium of such agencies, receiving funds under the Student Support and Academic Enrichment program, shall not use more than 15 percent of funds for purchasing technology infrastructure which shall include technology infrastructure purchased for carrying out blended learning projects. (ESEA sections 4106(e)(2)(E) and 4109(b)).

Role of the State Educational Agency (SEA)


The SEA:
  • Ensures equitable access to an excellent education (Section 4104(a) of the ESEA)
  • Awards SSAE subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) by formula in the same proportion as to the LEAs’ prior year’s Title I, Part A allocations (Section 4104(a) of the ESEA)
  • Develops and reviews the application for LEAs that they must submit in order to receive their funds (Section 4104(a) of the ESEA)Supports LEA activities and programs designed to meet the purpose of the SSAE program by providing technical assistance and monitoring (Section 4104(a) of the ESEA)

Role of the Local Educational Agency (LEA)


The LEA(s):
  • Submits an application to the SEA in order to receive their funding (section 4105(a)(1) and 4106(a) of the ESEA)
  • Engages in consultation with stakeholders in the area served by the LEA during the design and development of their application (section 4106(c) of the ESEA)


Contact Information

Jonathan Turner
Division of Student Support, Academic Enrichment, & Educational Policy
Specialist – School Counseling
Jonathan.turner@maryland.gov
410-767-0288

Barbara Scherr

Maryland State Ombudsman for Equitable Services

410-767-0291 (direct line) or
Email: barbara.scherr@maryland.gov