Decades of research have demonstrated the effectiveness of social and emotional learning (SEL) for supporting students’ academics, behaviors, mental health, and long-term success. The ARP’s historic levels of K-12 dollars offer a critical opportunity to invest in a long-term foundation for evidence-based, systemic implementation of SEL that fully supports students and schools through the pandemic and beyond.

There are three key areas in which investments of ARP dollars could most effectively bolster systemic implementation of SEL: (1) promote SEL for students, (2) support adult SEL competencies and capacity building, and (3) align SEL efforts across schools, families, and communities.

This policy brief provides detailed recommendations for each of these areas, including specific guidance for districts and states.