Today is the final in this series of emails on the consultation process. I hope you have found them useful and can refer to them in preparation for your consultation meetings with public school officials. As I mentioned in my very first email, the goal of consultation is to reach agreement. Going into the consultation meeting with strong knowledge of what your students deserve under ESSA programs, the rules that govern those benefits and services, and the ability to communicate your students’ needs in the context of federal education will help lead to a successful meeting with your district.

Title IVA is a new program under ESSA. At this time, its funding is uncertain, but it is still worth knowing about. Even a small amount of funding can lead to participation in a program that may grow and expand as the years go on.

Title IVA is 21st Century Schools. There are three parts to this program: a well-rounded education, safe and healthy students, and technology education. You can request an option to serve your students in any of these areas. If only a small amount of funds is initially appropriated by Congress, it is important to use Title IVA funds in a manner that concentrates rather than scatters the use of those funds. Within each category there are myriad uses that can benefit your students.

As with any federal education program, it is important to first determine your student needs in the areas of allowable expenditures. Are there ways that Title IVA can extend something you are already addressing? In this way, even a small amount of funds can have an impact. As noted in an earlier consultation tips email, it is possible to use funds from programs other than Title I to focus on your Title I needs. Would added professional development that focuses on your at-risk students be a good use of Title IVA funds?

This is an important new program to keep on the forefront of discussions with your public school district, even if there is only a small amount of funds appropriated. As with all things in the federal government, nothing is permanent. A small program today could be a significant program in the next budget cycle!

For guidance on the uses of Title IVA funds, consult the U.S. Department of Education’s non-regulatory guidance.