Student Wellness and Success Funding

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OFT has compiled information for our members and other stakeholders on the student wellness and success funding that has been including in the new biennial state budget. Review this information so that you and your colleagues can have an informed voice in how student wellness and success funds are spent locally. 

Student Wellness and Success Funding FAQ

What is it?

The biennial state budget includes $675 million for student wellness and success. Of that, $275 will be distributed in the 2019-2020 school year and $400 million will be distributed in the 2020-2021 school year. This money will be distributed to districts based on the percentage of students with a family income below 185% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Will my district get money?

Yes, every district will receive money. The amount varies depending on the district’s poverty percentage, as defined above. Districts will receive money based on the student enrollment in the preceding fiscal year. 

When will we receive the funding?

For the 2019-2020 school year, the first disbursement will be in October 2019 and the second in February 2020.

What can we do with the funding?

Funds must be used on the following:

  1. mental health services;
  2. services for homeless youth;
  3. services for child welfare involved youth;
  4. community liaisons;
  5. physical health care services;
  6. mentoring programs;
  7. family engagement and support services;
  8. City Connects programming;
  9. professional development regarding the provision of trauma informed care;
  10. professional development regarding cultural competence;
  11. public hospitals;
  12. student services provided prior to or after the regularly scheduled school day or any time school is not in session.

The funding must be used in coordination with one or more specified community organizations. 

Will districts have to report on how the money was spent?

Yes, each district must submit a report to ODE at the end of each fiscal year describing the initiatives on which the funds were spent. 

Can the funds roll over from one year to the next?

Yes, the funds can be rolled over into the 2020-2021 school year. 

Can districts use this money to supplant local funding?

Yes, the money can be used to supplant local funds, freeing them up for other uses.

Having a Voice in Local Funding Decisions

As educators and as a union, we need a voice in determining how this money is spent so that funds can address the obstacles that our students are facing. 

First, contact your Superintendent and schedule a meeting to discuss the student wellness and success funds. 

Next, broaden the conversation to include all stakeholders. Parents, teachers, support staff, students, community partners, and service providers should all be part of the process. This could be done as a school board meeting, an evening event, etc.

In these conversations, aim to collectively identify the needs of the district by answering the following questions:

  • What are the needs of each building?
  • What data exists to determine the root causes of needs?
    • Trauma data
    • Health issues
    • School climate surveys
    • Attendance rates
  • Are surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc necessary to ascertain need?

Once the needs have been identified, how do we prioritize them with funding decisions?

Are there best practices at the state and national level for addressing the unmet needs in your district? 

As a union, you should make sure you have a seat at the table for these important decisions. Let us know how these conversations go by filling out our report-back form.

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