CASEL and Committee for Children Applaud Federal Investment in Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

March 22, 2024

CHICAGO – The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and Committee for Children applaud the FY2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies bill, which provides essential funding for K-12 education, including a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Initiative to support SEL and “whole child” approaches to education and other investments that support students’ academic, social, and emotional learning. CASEL, Committee for Children, and the Leading with SEL Coalition sent a letter to appropriators calling for investments in SEL. The SEL and Whole Child Initiative includes:

  • $87 million in SEL grants for evidence-based, field-initiated innovations that address student social, emotional, and cognitive needs within the Education Innovation and Research program;
  • $90 million for the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) program with a priority for teacher professional development and pathways into teaching that provide a strong foundation in implementing SEL and “whole child” strategies;
  • $174 million for Mental Health Services Professional Demonstration Grants and School-Based Mental Health Services Grants to help school districts directly increase the number of mental health and child development experts in schools; and 
  • $150 million for Full-Service Community Schools to provide comprehensive services and expand evidence-based models that meet the holistic needs of children, families, and communities.

The bill also provides $18.4 billion for Title I-A grants, $1.38 billion for Student Support and Academic Enrichment State Grants (SSAE), and $1.3 billion for Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (Title IV-B), which can support the social and emotional needs of students. To strengthen the educator workforce, the bill includes $15 million for Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence and $70 million for Teacher Quality Partnerships.

“This legislation provides critical investment in students’ academic, social, and emotional learning at a pivotal time in our nation. As states and districts work to address academic recovery and overall student well-being, these funds represent our nation’s commitment to support every child holistically,” said Dr. Aaliyah A. Samuel, president and CEO of CASEL. “We commend our congressional leaders and White House negotiators for these vital resources to help foster safe and supportive learning environments and accelerate student learning and engagement.” 

“This budget reflects the bipartisan commitment to ensuring every child and youth has the opportunity to thrive,” said Andrea Lovanhill, CEO of Committee for Children. “It acknowledges the challenges they face and underscores the vital role schools play in providing the instruction and support necessary for their success.”

We thank House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger, House Labor-HHS Appropriations Chair Robert Aderholt and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro, Senate Appropriations Chair Patty Murray and Vice Chair Susan Collins, Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Chair Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Senate Labor-HHS Ranking Member Senator Shelley Moore Capito, and all the members of both House and Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services and Education Appropriation Committees.Support for SEL investments was championed by Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Representative Jahana Hayes (D-CT), and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

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