- Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the federal government has passed three separate stimulus bills. Combined, the three pieces of legislation have provided over $195 billion in funding for K12 schools - that’s almost double the $100 billion that schools received from the 2009 stimulus bill following the economic recession.
- The new legislation requires that at least 20% of the funds that school districts receive (and 5% of the funds that state education agencies receive) must address instructional loss using evidence-based interventions that respond to students' academic and social-emotional needs.
- The remaining funding can be used for almost anything that is an allowable expense from ESSA, IDEA, or other federal education legislation. Specifically, the legislation says that school districts can address instructional loss through:
- (i) administering and using high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable, to accurately assess students’ academic progress and assist educators in meeting students’ academic needs, including through differentiating instruction;
- (ii) implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students;
- (iii) providing information and assistance to parents and families on how they can effectively support students, including in a distance learning environment; and
- (iv) tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education.
- For school districts that are looking to improve their RTI / MTSS practice, these allowable expenses are a great way to start. High-quality, nationally-normed universal screeners and benchmark assessments can help you to know which students are struggling. Branching Minds can ingest this assessment data to help educators tier students and to then create intervention plans for those students with the most need.
- But keeping track of intervention plans for so many students can be challenging - even for the most organized educators. Branching Minds makes it easy to document and keep track of which evidence-based interventions and progress monitors are used for which students and when. This way, whichever investments your school or district chooses to make using the stimulus funds, you can know that the tools are being used with fidelity - and helping to support all students after a very challenging school year.
Title I Part A Funding
Title I Part A provides funding to schools with high populations of low-income students to ensure that all children have the opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.
Branching Minds and Title I Part A Funding
Branching Minds helps teachers to identify individual students’ learning challenges and provides differentiated instruction supports in the areas of greatest need to close the achievement gap
By identifying the root causes of students’ learning obstacles, teachers have more time to deliver appropriate interventions in small group instruction
Branching Minds helps teachers and schools to streamline the RTI process and to deliver RTI practices with fidelity, which research shows is correlated with improved academic outcomes
Title II Part A
The purpose of Title II Part A is to increase the academic achievement of all students by helping schools and districts improve teacher and principal quality and ensure that all teachers are highly qualified. This includes teacher preparation and qualifications of new teachers, recruitment and hiring, induction, professional development, and retention. In addition, Title IIA funds may be used to improve the skills and knowledge of principals for effective school leadership.
Branching Minds and Title II Part A Funding
Branching Minds provides high quality professional development sessions, ongoing teacher and administrator trainings, and 24/7 support to help teachers implement support strategies and assess progress effectively
In addition to the robust teacher training tools provided by the Branching MInds team, the platform itself supports teacher training by helping to identify best practices interventions and guide effective implementation
Branching Minds also supports administrators to get a comprehensive understanding of how their teachers are utilizing the tool and to be able to provide support as necessary to increase engagement and efficacy across their teacher users within the system.
Title III Funding
The Title III grant program is known as the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. Title III provides funding to help districts supplement their English language instruction programs.
Branching Minds and Title III Funding
Branching Minds provides math, literacy and behavioral supports that are all differentiated for English Language Learners
Branching Minds’ Issue Identification tool helps teachers to understand the degree to which a student’s learning challenges are ELL related versus cognitive or behavioral, so that the appropriate supports can be applied to help that student overcome challenges effectively
Branching Minds identifies supports and assessments that are tailored to the individual students’ learning struggles AND are fully differentiated for English Language Learners
Title IV Part B Funding
The 21st Century Learning Center part of Title I supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.
Branching Minds and Title I Part B Funding
Branching Minds works as an effective supplement to a student’s regular academic program and accommodates a broad array of technological classroom infrastructures
Branching Minds delivers real-time student usage and performance data via transparent online dashboards adding accountability to their weekly activities
Title V Part B Funding
Title V, Part B of the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015) - also known as the Rural Education Initiative - provides funding directly to states and to rural school districts that "lack the personnel and resources needed to compete effectively for federal competitive grants, and receive formula funds in amounts too small to be effective in meeting their intended purposes." (NASSP) This section of ESSA is comprised of two main programs: The Small Rural School Achievement program (SRSA), which provides funds targeted and designed for schools with small populations in lower-density areas, and the Rural and Low-Income Schools Program (RLIS), which provides funds for states to sub-grant to districts. RLIS funds apply more broadly and can be used for a number of purposes related to other titles of ESSA.
IDEA PART B: Assistance for Education of All Children with Disabilities
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes participation in the least restrictive environment, provision of services designed to meet their unique needs, and preparation for further education, employment, and independent living. IDEA state grants assist the states in meeting the costs of providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. Funds are used for salaries of special education teachers, speech therapists, psychologists, and other support personnel as well as other supports such as using technology in the classroom.
Branching Minds and IDEA Part B Funding
Branching Minds provides a comprehensive platform for schools and districts to implement a Response to Intervention plan, enabling schools to collect and track data on interventions, assessments, and meetings
Branching MInds helps schools to ensure that they are providing the appropriate level of services to students by accurately assessing needs and providing visibility around the duration of time and progress with various interventions
Provides analytic tools to help administrators identify trends in individual students or demographic groups, teachers, grades or schools to ensure that all students are receiving the most appropriate supports in the least restrictive environment
School Improvement Grants
The Office of School Turnaround provides School Improvement Grants (SIG) to support local education agencies that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to raise substantially the achievement of students in their lowest-performing schools and district efforts to turn around the lowest-performing five percent of schools in each state.
Branching Minds and School Improvement Grant Funding
Branching Minds streamlines the process of using research based supports and assessments, which is directly correlated with improved academic outcomes
The Branching MInds portal provides real-time progress monitoring so that teachers can collaborate with administrators, interventionists, and other classroom teachers to support student achievement
Branching Minds is used as a teacher training and support tool, by providing ongoing insight and guidance on implementation of best practices
By supporting schools in delivering the RTI process with fidelity, outcomes are significantly improved
Branching Minds can be implemented as a strategy to resolve issues related to insufficient or inappropriate service delivery for struggling learners; is frequently adopted by schools to respond to citation for over or under identification both of which negatively impede overall school performance
MTSS and RTI Federal Funding Overview
A broader overview of the federal MTSS and RTI funding landscape can be found here.
Foundation and Corporate Funding
Many schools have been successful in obtaining private foundation or corporate grants to support Branching Minds. Our team is happy to support you in identifying promising private funding sources in your area. In addition to helping you identify potential foundation and corporate donors, our team can help you develop proposals to integrate Branching Minds into your school or district.
Please feel free to contact us for more information about how Branching Minds could fit into your school or district’s funding strategy.