The purpose of Title II-A is to improve teacher and leader quality and focuses on preparing, training, and recruiting high-quality teachers and principals. The Title II-A program is designed, among other things, to provide students from low-income families and minority students with greater access to effective educators. It is critical that State Educational Agencies (SEAs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) consider how to best use these funds, among other sources, to ensure equity of educational opportunity. In general, Title II funds can be used to provide supplemental strategies and activities that strengthen the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
Every Student Succeeds Act
- Opportunities both in content and participation are expanding. The recommended strategies under Title II-A funds have widened to include early childhood education, STEM and CTE among others, signaling a shift away from an exclusive focus on core academic areas and toward a well-rounded education. Additionally, the definition of who can be supported has broadened to include all teachers (not just those in core content areas), principals and “other school leaders” which guidance defines as employees who are “…responsible for the daily instructional leadership and managerial operations in the elementary or secondary school building.” (Non-regulatory Guidance, p.16)
- Allocations are changing. Starting in 2017-18, LEAs will no longer receive a hold harmless (or minimum) Title II allocation. Instead, each LEA’s Title II allocation will be based on its number of 5-17 year olds (which will count for 20 percent of the formula), and its number of low income 5-17 year olds (which will count for 80 percent of the formula).
- Federal requirements that defined “Highly Qualified” teachers have been eliminated. Beginning in 2017-18 districts are required to ensure that teachers meet state licensing requirements as defined by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC). This means Oregon now has one system of licensure that meets both state and federal requirements. Districts are encouraged to access the “Course to Endorsements Catalogue,” a resource developed jointly by ODE and TSPC, for guidance in determining the licensure requirements for specific courses.
- ESSA and Equitable Share for Private Schools. ESSA changed the way LEAs must reserve funds for nonpublic school services. Under NCLB, LEAs only had to reserve a share of the Title II-A funds they spent on professional development. Under ESSA, the reservation is based on an LEA’s entire Title II allocation.
What it can fund
LEAs can use Title II-A funds for a wide range of strategies and activities to support the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals and other school staff. Activities supported with these funds must:
- Be consistent with the purpose of Title II-A (see above); and
- Address the learning needs of all students, including children with disabilities, English learners, and gifted and talented students.
The federal non-regulatory guidance for Title II (Building Systems of Support for Excellent Teaching and Leading) offers many new opportunities for districts. Divided into three sections – Support for Educators, Access to Equitable Educators and Strengthening Title II-A Investments – the guidance is designed to help districts think about how to use Title II-A funds more strategically and for greater impact.
LEAs are encouraged to prioritize strategies and activities that will have the highest impact on teaching and learning to result in the highest level of academic achievement. When determining which of the many allowable Title II strategies and activities will have the highest impact, U.S. Department of Education (ED) guidance suggests LEAs use a five-step framework:
- Choose interventions aligned with identified local needs;
- Consider the evidence base and the local capacity when selecting a strategy;
- Develop a robust implementation plan;
- Provide adequate resources so the implementation is well-supported; and
- Gather information regularly to examine the strategy and to reflect on and inform next steps.
LEAs must use data and ongoing stakeholder consultation to continually update and improve Title II supported activities.
Title II-A funds can be used for any of the following activities:
- Evaluation and Support Systems
- Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining Effective Teachers
- Supporting Educator Diversity
- Recruiting from Other Fields
- Class Size Reduction
- Personalized Professional Development
- Increasing Teacher Effectiveness for Students with Disabilities and English Learners
- Supporting Early Education
- Supporting Effective Use of Assessments
- Supporting Awareness and Treatment of Trauma and Mental Illness, and School Conditions for Student Learning
- Supporting Gifted and Talented Students
- Preventing and Recognizing Child Sexual Abuse
- Supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
- Improving School Working Conditions
- Supporting Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness
If you have questions about Title II-A, please contact the Director of Education, Christine Beck, firstname.lastname@example.org.