SEL in the House: Democrats Approve Millions in Landmark Federal Funding for Social-Emotional Learning in Bill That Now Faces Test in Senate

In what’s been described as a landmark investment from the federal government in social-emotional learning, the House of Representatives approved a spending bill last month that included $260 million in funding for what it calls “whole child” initiatives within the Department of Education.

The funding is divided into four areas:

1. $170 million through the Education Innovation and Research program to provide grants for evidence-based innovations that support students’ social, emotional and cognitive well-being;

2. $25 million to support teacher professional development, which comes through the Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant program;

3. $40 million for the Full-Service Community Schools Program to support students’ and families’ holistic needs; and

4. $25 million for School Safety National Activities to add more school counselors, mental health professionals and social workers who are qualified to work in schools.

“Research shows that building the capacity of students to develop social and emotional skills, and take responsibility for their community, can reduce bullying, violence, and aggressive behaviors, making schools safer,” the House appropriations committee wrote.

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