Advocacy in Action

Limited SEL Funds: 3 Ways to Get Funding for Your Students

Part of our job at Committee for Children is to lobby for federal funding that supports social-emotional learning (SEL). This funding helps educators like you better support your students, their families, and the entire community you serve. With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, it’s more critical than ever to provide adequate funding for programs that support SEL.

We’ve identified three major sources of financial support available to you.

1. Receive up to $8 Million
The U.S. Department of Education published a notice in the Federal Register inviting applications for the Education Innovation and Research program’s mid-phase competition. What does this mean for you? You could be awarded up to $8 million to fund your SEL curriculum. With only 16–20 grants expected to be given, get started with your application today:

Application Process

2. Apply for up to $6 Million
The U.S. Department of Education published an additional notice inviting applications for the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Programs. A SEED grant could give you up to $6 million in funding, with a maximum of 10 grants expected to be awarded. Here’s what you need to know:

3. Get Additional Funding
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Congress allocated roughly $3 billion to the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund and another $13.2 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. A total of $16.2 billion, this money’s sole purpose is to help governors and state education agencies (SEAs) meet the needs of their schools, from kindergartens to colleges.

Help ensure that SEL gets funded in your district by using this preformatted letter (and consider modifying the highlighted portions for your specific context and needs) urging SEAs to help students, teachers, and communities get the funding they need for SEL programs.

As you set budgets and make decisions about how to spend your portion, we want to make sure you and your students are covered when it comes to SEL. Here are a few needs to keep in mind as you build your game plan for addressing the challenges you, your staff, and your students are now facing:

  • Money for internet access, an online SEL curriculum, and devices (tablets, computers, and so on) teachers and kids can use for instruction both in and out of the classroom
  • Funding for more trauma-related staff, including school counselors, social workers, and mental health professionals
  • Support for continued professional learning and development, including social-emotional learning for adults
  • Financial backing for both in-school and out-of-school support, helping after-school and community-based organizations work together to help students thrive

For more ideas on line items to include in your budget, view our trauma and student wellness Policy Briefs.