Scott D. Jones and Emily Workman – June 2016
ECS counts more than 20 references to a well-rounded education in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and so seeks to define that term in its report. Under ESSA, the academic subjects eligible for federal funding have been expanded from English, reading, language arts, science, civics, government, foreign languages, math, economics, history, arts, and geography to also include: writing, technology, computer science, engineering, music, career and technical education, and health and physical education.
States may add subjects of their own choosing to their individual definitions of a well-rounded education, adapting curricula to local needs. To improve student opportunities, ESSA’s Title IV Academic Enrichment Grants require districts receiving over $30,000 in grants to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment every three years to identify how the district can increase opportunities for students to access a well-rounded education. This will assist in serving student populations with distinct needs.