The developing federal budget is a quiet win for needed programs

As states and school districts begin to think about life after ESSER, the current bipartisan government spending agreement is poised to increase federal education spending. In K12 it provides $45 billion, an increase of $2.4 billion over the fiscal year 2022 enacted level, for K-12 and special education programs.

Here are some highlights:

Formula Funding

Title I is set for a 5% increase or roughly $850M. Be on the lookout for changing allocations based on pandemic-related enrollment and population shifts.

IDEA and Special education will realize a much-needed increase of $934 million, for a total of $15.5 billion.

Competitive Funding

Full Service Community Schools that positions school campuses as community hubs grows to $150 million.

21st Century Community Learning Centers program would see $1.3 billion under the bill, an increase of $40 million above fiscal year 2022 funding levels.

Project AWARE is a mental health and wellness program designed to identify and help children and youth who need mental health care as part of funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This grant will see a $12M increase, well timed considering the ongoing youth mental health crisis documented by HHS and the Surgeon General.

Edu.Solve recommends three important considerations to make now, ahead of an approved federal budget:

  1. Plan now. Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment to document the current need and organize your plan with community partners.
  2. Consider competitive grants as part of your ESSER “step back plan”.
  3. Consider the ROI and LOI of what worked well in reopening and protect those resources from budget cuts.

For more information on comprehensive needs assessments or step back planning, contact me at