The 101 on Title IV Part A Funding

What it is, how to get funding, and more.

During the summer of 2018 I had the pleasure of attending NAfME’s annual collegiate advocacy summit. Here I had the opportunity to learn about Title IV and how music educators could greatly benefit from this. At the time, the act’s funding had not been passed and it was our job to advocate for music education to be included in Title IV funding. It was joyous news when it was announced as passed after a full day of advocating on Capitol Hill. Now that this has been passed and in effect for a couple years, I am overjoyed by the success stories of music programs across the country. But there’s more to be done, read below to learn more about Title IV funding, how your program can apply, and many of the success stories from the past years. 

What is Title IV Part A funding?

Title IV Part A is also known as the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants. The grants are given out based on providing a well-rounded education to students (which you might remember from my ESSA blog post that well-rounded includes the arts!), supporting safe and healthy students, and supporting the effective use of technology. Art and music education can address all of the points in the Title IV funding grants and should be utilized as much as possible. Because of the potential these grants have for boosting the well being of music programs across, it will continue to be highly supported by groups such as the National Association for Music Education. 

How can you apply for Title IV funding?

Based on the 2019 fiscal year, Title IV Part A has $1.17 billion to fund the grants. You should absolutely request a grant for your school and art program. The grants will be distributed to states, and then school districts. As an arts educator, you must be at the forefront of requesting money from the district. The districts that receive more than $30,000 are required to provide a needs assessment. By providing the school district with the benefits your program has towards these needs could better your chances of the grants being distributed to arts and music programs. 20% of funds are required to go towards programs that are included in a well-rounded education for students. Advocate that a well-rounded education includes the art and music programs in the school. Another 20% is expected to go to programs that encourage safe and healthy programs for students. The remaining 60% must address any of the three points addressed in the Title IV Part A section of ESSA. Luckily, arts and music education addresses all categories, so the chances of getting funding is much higher if you address the needs listed in the grants. So get out there and advocate to receive that funding from the school districts!

How Title IV Part A funding has made a difference for art programs in the United States:

There has been a great amount of success from Title IV funding going to art and music programs in the country. According to the National Association for Music Education, the following are success stories from art and music educators in the nation:

  • “$137,000 in Title IV-A funds were utilized in Fort Bend ISD for an arts integration initiative in partnership with the Alley Theatre, as well as purchasing school instruments for an after-school El Sistema-type program at four elementary schools.”
  • “Title IV-A funds were utilized in Rutherford County Schools to purchase arts supplies and curricular materials for music and theatre. This included Art equipment and supplies for direct student use in artmaking, sheet music and class set of theatre materials (plays, anthologies, etc.) for enhanced student learning. As a result, students can participate in types of artmaking they might not have had access to previously. Students have access to a wider variety of curricular materials than in previous years, including pieces of music and theatre resources that are priced out of the range of many individual school budgets.”
  • “$200,000 in Title IV-A funds were utilized in Orange County to replace instrument inventory for band and orchestra programs at some older middle and high schools.”

What more can we do?

Though Title IV Part A is a wonderful source of funding for our public school art programs, there is more to be done. The authorized amount for the bill is $1.6 billion, meaning the government can approve up to that amount of funding for the grants. However, as of the 2019 fiscal year, only $1.17 billion has been approved. We need to continue to push that the federal government approve the full authorized amount of $1.6 billion in order to fund more programs in our country. I have hope that we can reach the full authorized amount in the coming years.

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