Statement of the Title IV, Part A Coalition on the Release of the 48th Annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools

Will Congress again limit school funding and perpetuate what Americans say is the biggest problem confronting schools?

Washington, D.C. – The Title IV, Part A Coalition, which advocates for maximum funding for the flexible block grant found in the Every Student Succeeds Act and is comprised of more than 75 national organizations, released the following statement in response to the release of the 48th annual PDK Poll:

“For the 15th consecutive year, Americans say that a lack of funding is the number one problem confronting schools. Unfortunately, appropriations committees in Congress may aggravate the problem in the FY2017 appropriations process by failing to fund the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant (SSAEG) at the $1.65 billion level recently authorized in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Senate Labor HHS Education Appropriations Committee only proposed $300 million for the program. While the House Labor HHS Education Appropriations Subcommittee thankfully proposed a more reasonable level of $1 billion – both fall short of the authorizers’ intent to effectively carry out the programs the flexible block grant is meant to support.

“The PDK poll also asked respondents to make a difficult choice between three important goals––preparing students academically, for work, or to be good citizens––in determining what the main goal of public education should be. If Congress decides to fund SSAEG below the authorized level, our nation’s school districts will face similarly tough choices in deciding which important SSAEG program areas merit investment––safe and healthy school programs, well-rounded curriculum development, or the effective use of technology. No matter how schools make this decision, critical program areas will face limited investments – or none at all – shortchanging our students, educators, and communities in significant ways.

“Investing in this federal program is absolutely necessary to provide all students with the well-rounded education and support services they need and deserve from the public education system. When Congress returns from recess next week, we urge appropriators to fully fund SSAEG at no less than $1.65 billion in a final appropriations bill.”

Action for Healthy Kids

Afterschool Alliance

Alliance for Excellence Education

American Academy of Pediatrics

American Association of School Librarians

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

American Councils for International Education

American Counseling Association

American Dance Therapy Association

American Library Association

American Music Therapy Association

American Occupational Therapy Association

American Psychological Association

American School Counselor Association

American School Health Association

American Translators Association

Americans for the Arts

ASCD

Association for Computer Professionals/Northwest

Association of School Business Officials International

Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools

Character.org

Consortium for School Networking

College Board

Committee for Children

Communities In Schools

Council for Economic Education

Council for Exceptional Children

Essilor Vision Foundation

Futures Without Violence

Girls Inc.

Girl Scouts of the USA

Health Corps

Healthy Schools Campaign

Institute for Education Leadership

International Society for Technology in Education

Jobs for the Future

The Joyful Child Foundation

League of American Orchestras

Lions Clubs International

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

Museum of Science, Boston

National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships

National Association for College Admission Counseling.

National Association for Music Education

National Association of Elementary School Principals

National Association of Secondary School Principals

National Association of School Psychologists

National Association of Social Workers

National Association of State Boards of Education

National Association of State Directors of Special Education

National Center for Technological Literacy

National Coalition for History

National Council for the Social Studies

National Council of State Supervisors for Languages

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

National PTA

National Superintendents Roundtable

Partnership for 21st Century Learning

Safe Routes to School National Partnership

School Social Work Association of America

SHAPE America

Society of Women Engineers

Southern Conference on Language Teaching

Southwest Conference on Language Teaching

State Education Technology Directors Association

US Soccer Foundation

Wica Agli


The Title IV, Part A Coalition is an alliance of more than 75 national organizations that believe the SSAEG program has the potential to support school districts in their central mission of providing our students with the skills, resources, and support they need to succeed.