Since 2011 when earmarks were eliminated, Federal advocacy efforts by NCSS and the social studies community (civics, economics, geography, and history) have paid off in significant ways. Most important is the The Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA). Signed into law in December 2015, ESSA included authorization to fund three grant programs specific to the social studies, and one large grant that can be used to fund social studies education. May 5, President Trump signed the 2017 appropriations that included funding for these programs.
ESSA authorized grants to non-profit organizations that promote effective approaches to education in civics, geography and history, particularly for underserved populations.
- ESSA Authorized amount: $4.6 million
- Appropriated for FY 2017: $1.7 million
Congressional Academies and Presidential Academies
ESSA created two programs to provided grants to nonprofit organizations that run intensive summer institutes for teacher preparation in the social studies, particularly American government and history.
- ESSA Authorized amount: $1.8 million for each program
- Appropriated for FY 2017: $1.7 million total shared between the programs
Student Success and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Grants
ESSA provided for grants to school districts that can be used for multiple purposes, including improving instruction in civics, economics, geography and history. Due to small funding amount to be distributed to school districts by competition rather than by formula.
- ESSA Authorized amount: $1.6 billion
- Appropriated for FY 2017: $400 million
Through these appropriations, the social studies education community has an opportunity to continue pushing forward for program funding increases in future fiscal years. While the level of funding is low in comparison to what our community has requested through our our advocacy efforts, these funded programs are a critical step forward in providing needed teacher and student supports in social studies classrooms nationwide.
NCSS will continue to update you on federal-level support for social studies education.
More about Advocacy for Social Studies
NCSS Summer Legislative Institute, July 11-13, 2017
- Learn about the Federal legislative landscape that will impact social studies education in the coming year.
- Build and sustain relationships with Members of Congress and State Legislators.
- Develop advocacy resources to support social studies education in your state and district.
Registration still open for our annual advocacy program in the Washington, DC area.
NCSS Action Center
The NCSS Advocacy Action Center has the latest advocacy news, calls for action, and backgound information on how to be an effective advocate for your profession.