Advocate for LGBTQ+ youth in K-12 schools

State Policies for Using Federal Funds

*Last Updated August 2021; last reviewed Spring 2023 (no changes)

K-12 public schools receive sustaining funding from the federal government under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended and reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. Under ESSA, all State Education Agencies (SEAs) operate under a state plan approved by the U.S. Department of Education, which details the state’s long-term goals and how they will use ESSA funds to address disparities and promote equity in student achievement and educational opportunities. Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) submit ESSA funding applications to be approved by their SEAs, which are informed by SEA guidance and resources on authorized uses of funds and statewide priorities under ESSA.

ESSA’s focus on equity includes addressing the needs of students who experience marginalization based on poverty, race, language, disability, homelessness, or other factors, which may include LGBTQ+ identities. This map shows what steps each SEA has taken to leverage ESSA funds and requirements to advance LGBTQ+ equity.

Learn more in GLSEN’s report, States’ Use of ESSA to Advance LGBTQ+ Equity.

Source: Analysis of state policy data by GLSEN.