Help Your School District Access Federal Funding to Incorporate Environmental Education

There is historic new federal funding available for environmental education through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The new grant program under Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants will help states, districts, and schools provide students with a more well-rounded education. It focuses on safe and healthy students, how technology can be integrated into schools to improve teaching and learning, as well as emphasizing a variety of disciplines that provide a well-rounded education — including environmental education.

In Alaska, this is a prime opportunity to help implement the Alaska Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Plan.

“A Message from Alaska Commissioner Johnson

ESSA is not Alaska’s vision for public education, but rather our goal is that it will support and nourish the vision of public education held by Alaska stakeholders.

Overview

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was passed by Congress and signed by the President in December 2015. ESSA reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and will replace No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Alaska’s current NCLB Flexibility Waiver. Alaska’s transition to, and implementation of, ESSA will be a thorough and thoughtful process informed by meaningful consultation with state and local education stakeholders.

ESSA requires that State Educational Agencies (SEAs) develop a State Plan addressing three components: Standards and Assessments; School, District, and State Accountability Systems; and School Support and Improvement.

SEAs must develop state plans “with timely and meaningful consultation with the Governor, members of the State legislature and State board of education, local educational agencies, representatives of Indian tribes located in the State, teachers, principals, other school leaders, charter school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, administrators, other staff, and parents.” (Every Student Succeeds Act, Sec. 1111).”

To read this message in its entirety, visit https://education.alaska.gov/akessa/#c3gtabs-stateplan

Here you will also find a copy of Alaska’s first draft plan and how to participate in the review process prior to final submission.

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED) has indicated to the Department of Education that Alaska will submit its ESSA State Application by the September 18, 2017, submission date.