Gaggle Speaks

Ideas, news, and advice for K-12 educators and administrators to help create safe learning environments.

Written by Susan Gentz
on April 1, 2022

We all know the past two years have been a wild ride, and none of us are certain when it will stop being full of so many highs and lows. All of the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic has put a spotlight on social and emotional learning (SEL) and mental health. And after decades of trying to convince policymakers of the importance of funding these issues, it seems the message is finally being received.

Governors across the nation are putting an emphasis on SEL to support student well-being. In fact, the National Governors Association is just finishing up a cohort of six states that have spent the last year working on “strategies for equitably meeting the social-emotional needs of students and families during and beyond COVID-19.” Not only are states creating funding streams for SEL, but governors are using the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund money as well.

Along with more initiatives, there is additional funding to support these efforts. Last year, as plans for the Elementary and Secondary School Education Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund were submitted and approved, 11 states committed to spending a portion of their funds for SEL and mental health supports. 

As the first deadline for the ESSER I and GEER I funding approaches, it is important to examine all funding streams on the table—and ensure that each source is used strategically to offer the greatest impact for both students and teachers.

Want to learn more about how your district can access funding to support your mental health initiatives? Register for the upcoming Unmasking Funding Opportunities webinar on Tuesday, May 10 at 1:00 PM ET. Dr. Kecia Ray and I will be sharing the latest on the remaining funds, new funds out of the FY22 budget, and the president’s proposed FY23 budget. We'll also dive into state funding streams that are creating opportunities to support SEL and student mental health.


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