This brief provides an overview of available funding for high-impact tutoring programs beyond Covid-19 relief funding (ESSER).
Many streams of funding, on their own or braided together, can pay for high-impact tutoring in U.S. schools.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to our partners at the National Education Association and AmeriCorps for their contributions to the brief!
Student Specific Funding
General Education Support and Enrichment
- School Improvement Grants under Title I Section 1003(g): Support for tutoring programs is an allowable expense if it targets high-needs populations. These funds can also be used for English Language Learners specifically.
- Title II, Part A: While these funds cannot pay for student services directly, they can provide funding for professional development for teachers and paraprofessionals to tutor and they can fund programs for teacher candidates to gain practical experience by tutoring students.
- Title IV, Part A: Tutoring is an allowable expense if it meets the broad program goal of providing student support and academic enrichment.
- Title IV, Part B: Tutoring is an allowable expense as it addresses the 21st Century Community Learning Centers' priority of providing opportunities for academic enrichment – specifically including tutoring for students who attend low-performing schools — to meet challenging state academic standards.
- Rural Education Programs (REAP-RLIS, SRSA): Tutoring is an allowable expense with these funds because the funds can be used to conduct activities under select ESEA programs including Title I, Part A; Title II, Part A; Title III; Title IV, Part A; and Title IV, Part B.
Economically Disadvantaged Students
- Title I, Part A: Tutoring is an allowable expense because Title I, Part A funds are intended to help close the achievement gap between high and low-performing students and increase achievement in academic subjects. LEAs may use Title I, Part A funds to cover the costs for direct student services including “components of a personalized learning approach, which may include high-quality academic tutoring,” (Title 1, Part A).
- AmeriCorps State and National Grants: Tutoring for economically disadvantaged students can be supported through a grant of federal funds to place AmeriCorps members in tutoring roles to improve educational outcomes. Please see Service Years as a Strategy to Improve Education Outcomes for details and examples of how to develop a tutoring program using AmeriCorps members and apply for funding. Additional information on leveraging AmeriCorps State and National and other AmeriCorps funding in school settings is available in Leveraging National Service in Your Schools: A Superintendent’s/Principal’s Toolkit to Utilizing National Service Resources.
- AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps VISTA members supported through a federal AmeriCorps grant can provide short-term resources to build long-term sustainability for tutoring programs to alleviate poverty for economically disadvantaged students, including recruiting, training, and managing other volunteers to be tutors.
- AmeriCorps Seniors: Tutoring can be supported through two AmeriCorps Seniors programs. The Foster Grandparent program supports AmeriCorps Seniors to serve in schools for 5-40 hours per week and receive a modest stipend. The AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP program can be used to support adults ages 55+ to volunteer as tutors (average length of service is eight years). Schools and districts can view a directory of AmeriCorps Seniors programs in their region through the AmeriCorps Seniors Pathfinder. Additional information on leveraging AmeriCorps Seniors and other AmeriCorps funding in school settings is available in Leveraging National Service in Your Schools: A Superintendent’s/Principal’s Toolkit to Utilizing National Service Resources.
- McKinney-Vento Homeless Education funds: These funds can be used to assist students that are experiencing homelessness and can be used toward providing tutoring services and supplemental instruction.
Newcomers and English Language Learners
- Title III: Districts can use Title III, Part A funds for tutoring to improve instruction for English learners, including those with a disability, by acquiring and upgrading curricula and programs.
- Title I, Part C: Migrant education funds can be used for tutoring to increase migrant student achievement.
Students Returning from Correctional Facilities
Title I, Part D: These funds can be used for tutoring to help children and youth returning to the school environment from correctional facilities to meet state academic standards and stay in school to complete their education.
Special Education Students
IDEA: Tutoring may be an allowable expense as long as the instruction is provided by a licensed special education instructor or aide under the supervision of a licensed special education instructor. Examples of allowable expenditures include expenses for tutoring included in an IEP for a student with disabilities, high-quality instructional materials, and staff professional development that provides training for tutoring students with disabilities.
- AmeriCorps State and National Grants: Tutoring for economically disadvantaged students can be supported through a grant of federal funds to place AmeriCorps members in tutoring roles to improve educational outcomes. See Service Years as a Strategy to Improve Education Outcomes for details and examples of how to develop a tutoring program using AmeriCorps members and apply for funding. Additional information on leveraging AmeriCorps State and National and other AmeriCorps funding in school settings is available in Leveraging National Service in Your Schools: A Superintendent’s/Principal’s Toolkit to Utilizing National Service Resources.
Post-Secondary Students as Tutors
- Federal Work-Study: Federal work-study funds can be used to pay qualifying college students to be tutors in K-12 schools.
- Educator Preparation Program Courses: Educator preparation courses can include tutoring for course credit or clinical hours as part of the degree requirements. See examples and guidance here.
Secondary and Post-Secondary Students as Tutors
- Community Service Credits: For secondary and post-secondary institutions that require community service credits, these community service credits can be earned by students for tutoring.
- Course Credit: Course credit for courses such as service learning, community-engaged learning, academic internships, volunteer credit, public service credit, independent study, or special studies can be earned by students for tutoring.
- Awards: Awards or formal recognition for community-based work can be given to students who tutor. See examples here.
- Co-curricular Record: Co-curricular records can be created for students who tutor to receive recognition for significant achievements beyond academics. See examples here.
Blending and braiding funds from different sources can be an effective way to use existing federal dollars to fund a High-Impact Tutoring program. Learn more about blending and braiding funds in this WestEd Webinar.
Funding sources have different restrictions, including if funding is allocated toward a specific population or is required to be used within a specific time frame. When using different funding sources, consider prioritizing the more restrictive sources prior to the less restrictive sources of funding.
ESSER III Spending Extension
Final Considerations from the National Student Support Accelerator
As ESSER funds come to an end, policymakers and school leaders will need to secure alternative funding and resources for research-backed high-impact tutoring to continue to make a difference in the lives of students. Leveraging existing systems, such as Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and resources, such as paraprofessionals, can be a sustainable, cost-effective way to sustain high-impact tutoring for the long-term. See Integrating High-Impact Tutoring into MTSS for guidance, action steps, and examples.
Funding Tutoring Programs (NSSA)
Identifying Funding Sources (NSSA: High-Impact Tutoring: District Playbook)