The Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant under Title IV-A of ESSA, a flexible
formula block grant program meant to support well-rounded academic programs, health and
safety programs, and the effective use of technology, is authorized at $1.6 billion for FY 2018.
However, in FY17 (its first year of funding), the program only received $400 million. Due to this
low appropriations level, Congress included language that allowed states to allocate money to
districts on a competitive basis so that they could receive larger allocations and make
meaningful investments in the three areas the program is meant to support. Because Congress
was so late in finalizing its appropriations bill for FY17, most states had not decided on whether
to distribute by formula or by competition by the time their ESSA plans were due. Many ESSA
plans simply reflected a Title IV-A formula distribution scheme and provided some details on
With states now having had a few months to consider their Title IV-A distribution options,
Bernstein Strategy Group, on behalf of the Title IV-A Coalition, reached out to state education
department officials to find out how they planned to distribute their FY17 allocations. Our
efforts yielded information from 48 states, with only Colorado and Minnesota failing to
respond. Of the 48 that responded, 39 states are distributing by formula, 8 indicated they are
distributing competitively (IN, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, OK and UT), and Massachusetts is
distributing via a hybrid method.
Below are the detailed results of our research:

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