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​Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE)

Funding Source: Subpart I of Title IV, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Grant Program Name: Title IV, Part A: Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE)

Period of Availability: Annually – July 1st through September 30th (15 months) with carryover available from October 1 through September 30 (12 months)

Application Deadline: No deadline, but funds are not available until the ESSA Consolidated Application is submitted on eGrants and approved by the Division of Federal Programs.

Application Information: Applications are submitted as part of the ESSA Consolidated Application on eGrants on an annual basis.

Program Description:  Authorized under subpart 1 of Title IV, Part A of the ESEA, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program is intended to help meet these goals by increasing the capacity of State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and local communities to: 1) provide all students with access to a well-rounded education, 2) improve school conditions for student learning, and 3) improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students. (ESEA section 4101). 
Federal Programs Consolidated Review:  Title IV is monitored as part of the regular monitoring cycles for the Consolidated Application programs.

Annual Evaluation:  PDE is required to submit an evaluation of the Title IV, SSAE program to USDE on an annual basis. At the current time, PDE is able to generate the data needed for the report from applications submitted on eGrants. If the requirements change, and the data is not available on eGrants, LEAs may be responsible for providing additional information on programs, services, staffing and/or other requested information.

Requirements for Funding:  LEAs receiving an allocation greater than $30,000 are required to set aside a minimum of 20% of the allocation for programs and services under both Well Rounded Education and Safe/Healthy Schools as well as something (greater than $0) under Effective Use of Technology.

Special Rule: An LEA may not spend more than 15% of the amount set aside in Effective Use of Technology for "infrastructure" which is defined in ESSA to include computing devices.

LEAs receiving an allocation greater than $30,000 are also required to target the use of Title IV funding based on the results of a Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) that considers data related to the three targeted areas (Well Rounded Education, Safe/Healthy Schools and Effective Use of Technology).

(Note: Funds transferred into Title IV from Title II using the transferability authority available in ESSA must be included in the overall total amount available for Title IV and may cause an LEA to qualify for the mandatory set asides, even though their Title IV allocation is less than $30,000.)

Eligible Entities and/or Partners:  School Districts, Charter Schools, and Intermediate Units. Nonpublic schools located within the boundaries of participating LEAs may be eligible for services (Equitable Services provisions in Title VIII of ESSA apply.)

Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) Stronger Connections Grant (SCG) 

Funding Source:  Federal (Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022)

Program Purpose: Establish safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments in public elementary and secondary schools. Prevent and respond to acts of bullying, violence, and hate that impact school communities at individual and systemic levels. 

Performance Period:  Stronger Connections funds are available for obligation through September 30, 2026. This period includes the additional 1-year period of fund availability provided under section 421(b) of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) (the "Tydings Amendment"). Grant funds span school years 2023—2025. 

Application Information: Applications must be completed and submitted through the PDE eGrants online grants management system.  Applications are by invitation only.

Eligible Applicants:  The U.S. Department of Education (ED) requires funding be competitively awarded to high-need local education agencies (LEA).

For the purposes of this grant, Pennsylvania has defined a high-need local education agency as a school entity that:

  1. Is a school district or charter school in Pennsylvania;
  2. Received ESEA Title IV, Part A funding in fiscal year 2022; and
  3. Meets one or more of the following "high-need" criteria:
    • A high rate of poverty;
    • A lack of mental health supports available to students;
    • High rates of violence and/or traumatic incidents in the school or community; and
    • High rates of school exclusion. 

Because of the limited amount of funding, LEAs that meet all four of the "high-need" criteria will receive first consideration for funding. Using data that it collects from LEAs, PDE has pre-identified whether each LEA meets each of the four "high-need" criteria.

Award Amounts:  Up to approximately $39 million in competitive funding is available. The amount that eligible applicants may request is based on the number of low-income students served by the LEA. 

Award Priority and Grantee Requirements:  Intent To Apply forms will be open to those LEAs who PDE determined for First meeting all four "high need" criteria.   First Consideration LEAs will be ranked according to their percentage of low-poverty students.  Applicants will be funded in rank order until the funds are exhausted. In the event there are insufficient funds to fund the next ranked applicant in full, the next ranked applicant will be given the opportunity to operate a smaller program using the remaining funds.
Funding and Eligible Uses:  Eligible school entities may apply to use funds for any of the activities under Section 4108 of the ESEA. See also the U.S. Department of Education Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Stronger Connections Grant Program - Freq​uently Asked Questions.

LEAs' planned activities to create safe, healthy, and supportive schools using Stronger Connections Grants should be evidence-based. LEAs are advised to consult the Pennsylvania Evidence Resource Center, What Works Clearinghouse, and Best Practices Clearinghouse. The Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network offers evidence-based webinars and courses that may be used to inform grant uses, including resources on restorative justice, alternatives to suspension and expulsion, emotional support services and special education practices for general classrooms.            

Eligible Uses:

Eligible uses will largely fall into these categories:

  • Promoting the social, emotional, physical, and mental well-being of students and staff
  • Addressing family and community engagement
  • Promoting equitable and inclusive policies and practices in the LEA 

Only items directly related to eligible programs and activities will be funded by the Stronger Connections Grant.  Funds allocated under the program must be administered and tracked separately from the school entity's regular Title IV, Part A formula allocation. The requirements of Title IV, Part A also apply to these funds, including but not limited to:

  • the supplement, not supplant requirement (ESEA Section 4110);
  • the maintenance of effort requirement (ESEA Section 8521); and
  • the requirement to provide equitable services to private school students and personnel (ESEA Section 8501 et seq.). 

Technical Assistance:  Please contact your Regional Coordinator with questions related to the grant application.

Grant Awardees

Ambridge Area SDBeaver$583,370.00
Bensalem Township SDBucks$1,833,360.00
Butler Area SDButler$1,382,353.00
Chambersburg Area SDFranklin$1,815,026.00
Chester-Upland SDDelaware$1,833,360.00
Frederick Douglass Mastery CSPhiladelphia$550,008.00
Greater Johnstown SDCambria$1,804,026.00
Greater Nanticoke Area SDLuzerne$426,211.00
Harrisburg City SDDauphin$1,833,360.00
Hazleton Area SDLuzerne$1,833,360.00
Imhotep Institute CHSPhiladelphia$366,672.00
La Academia Partnership CSLancaster$201,848.00
Lancaster SDLancaster$1,833,360.00
Mastery CHS-Lenfest CampusPhiladelphia$366,672.00
Mastery CS-Gratz CampusPhiladelphia$1,100,016.00
Mastery CS-Pickett CampusPhiladelphia$550,008.00
Mastery CS-Shoemaker CampusPhiladelphia$550,008.00
Norristown Area SDMontgomery$1,833,360.00
Northern Tioga SDTioga$1,100,016.00
Pan American Academy CSPhiladelphia$550,008.00
Philadelphia City SDPhiladelphia$1,833,360.00
Pottstown SDMontgomery$1,057,482.00
Pottsville Area SDSchuylkill$996,189.00
Reading SDBerks$1,833,360.00
Red Lion Area SDYork$1,100,016.00
Shamokin Area SDNorthumberland$995,322.00
Sharon City SDMercer$1,048,682.00
Southeast Delco SDDelaware$1,026,682.00
Southmoreland SDWestmoreland$550,008.00
Sto-Rox SDAllegheny$1,100,016.00
Trinity Area SDWashington$660,010.00
Union SDClarion$330,005.00
West Mifflin Area SDAllegheny$916,680.00
William Penn SDDelaware$1,833,360.00
Wyoming Area SDLuzerne$646,076.00
Wyoming Valley West SDLuzerne$1,393,354.00​