Building capacity, advancing initiatives, and getting funding for new or existing SEL programs has always been challenging, but SEL is now included in many of the Covid-19 relief funding packages from Congress, according to Advocacy Director Jordan Posamentier from the Committee for Children (CFC), a global nonprofit whose work is at the forefront of the SEL movement.
To help educators better understand the complexities of current funding relief packages, CFC’s new webinar, “Where to Find Funding for SEL Programming,” is a guide on how to find funding for social-emotional learning programs.
In December 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA Act) which will provide nearly $82 billion to the Education Stabilization Fund. Three separate funding streams make up this act. First, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund sets aside $54.3 billion. Next, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund totals $4.1 billion. Both of these funds have specific funding categories for SEL. Finally, the $22.7 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund includes funding for teacher prep programs that include SEL. Additional appropriations total $338 billion, including funding for school-based mental health services, full-service community schools, education for homeless children and youth, and general impact aid.
When applying for funding and grants–schools need to think about “health dollars” and “education dollars” and determine an approach to understand what you can spend on shaping and improving the school environment. Committee for Children works with local, state and federal representatives to improve funding for SEL by helping schools determine how social-emotional learning will improve student outcomes. Visit their website and view their webinar for additional information and guidance.