The purpose of Title II, Part A is to meet the following goals: Increase student achievement consistent with state standards; improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders; increase the number of teachers, principals, and other school leaders who are effective in improving student academic achievement in schools; and provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
In North Dakota, a district’s Title II, Part A investment should align with the North Dakota PK-12 Education Strategic Vision with strategies to increase students who enter kindergarten prepared to learn, increase students who demonstrate reading proficiency in 3rd grade, increase students who meet expected learning gains each year, increase students who engage in learning, increase students who graduate choice ready, and reduce the disparity in achievement for students in poverty and for Native American students.
Activities supported with Title II, Part A funds must be planned through consultation with teachers, school leaders, paraprofessionals, special service providers, charter school leaders, parents, and community partners. The district must also engage in continued consultation with these stakeholders to improve supported activities.
Descriptions of funded activities are outlined within the Consolidated Application for Federal Title Funds and must align to the goals of the Title II program, including:
- Increase student achievement consistent with state standards,
- Improve the quality and effectiveness of teachers, principals, and other school leaders,
- Increase the number of teachers, principals, and other school leaders who are effective in improving student academic achievement in schools, and
- Provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
Funds made available under this title shall be used to supplement, and not supplant, non-Federal funds that would otherwise be used for activities authorized under this title.
Each district accepting Title II, Part A funds must also:
- Implement a system of professional growth and improvement for educators, including opportunities to develop meaningful teacher leadership;
- Prioritize Title II, Part A funds to schools that have been identified for comprehensive and targeted support and improvement;
- Provide equitable services to eligible non-public school teachers;
- Coordinate Title II, Part A funded professional development activities with professional development activities provided through other Federal, State and local programs; and
- Ensure Title II, Part A funded activities address the learning needs of all students, including children with disabilities, English learners, and gifted and talented students.
- Use evidence-based strategies, practices or activities that have been evaluated and proven to improve student outcomes.
Title II, Part A is a U.S. Department of Education (USDE) grant program that provides supplemental funding to help support effective instruction. The USDE awards Title II, Part A funds to state educational agencies which then sub-grant funds to local school districts through a formula allocation.
Title II, Part A is a formula allocation. The amount of Title II, Part A funds allocated to districts is calculated using the same US census data that is used to calculate Title I, Part A. Eighty percent of the district's Title II, Part A allocation is based on poverty and the remaining twenty percent is based on total population.
There is a provision of equitable services to non-public schools also defined in federal law and non-regulatory guidance.
Title II, Part A funds are not usually allocated to the school level. However, if the district decides to allocate to the school level it must prioritize funds to schools served by the agency that are implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities and targeted support and improvement activities and have the highest percentage of poverty children. Districts without schools identified for improvement who allocate to the school level must prioritize in accordance with Title II, Part A intents and purposes. Specifically, districts should prioritize funds to increase student achievement and provide low-income and minority students greater access to effective teachers.
- ESSA Title II, Part A Guidance – Supporting Educators (September 27, 2016)
- Non-Regulatory Guidance: Title II, Part A Slide Deck (October 13, 2016)
- ESSA Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments Guidance (September 16, 2016)
- ESSA Fiscal Changes & Equitable Services Guidance (November 21, 2016)
- U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality
On July 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education announced the Excellent Educators for All Initiative targeted to help states and school districts support great educators for the students who need them the most. As part of this initiative, North Dakota submitted the North Dakota State Plan to Ensure Equitable Access to Excellent Educators on August 28, 2015 to the U.S. Department of Education.
The plan was approved in October 2015 by the U.S. Department of Education.
High Impact Use of Funds – The state of North Dakota has the responsibility to provide stronger support and technical assistance and support to districts to ensure federal funds are leveraged to achieve local goals (such as those outlined in strategy maps). Although ESSA offers a broad menu for uses of funds, North Dakota recognized the following as high impact, evidence-based investments.
High Quality Professional Development – This includes the implementation of high-quality, personalized, evidence-based professional development for teachers, instructional leadership teams, principals, or other school leaders that is focused on improving teaching and student learning. This professional development must be sustained, personalized, and job-embedded initiatives that address identified needs gaps rather than stand-alone, one-day, or short-term professional development. ESSA states this professional development may include training teachers, principals, or other school leaders to do the following:
- Effectively integrate technology into curricula and instruction,
- Use data to improve student achievement (ensuring individual student privacy under FERPA),
- Effectively engage parents, families, and community partners and coordinate services between school and community,
- Help all students develop the essential skills for learning readiness and academic success,
- Develop policy with school, local educational agency, community, or State leaders, and
- Participate in opportunities for experiential learning through observation.
- The complete definition of professional development should be referenced to ensure the district is not using funds for stand-alone, one-day, or short-term professional development.
- Leadership – Leadership development for teacher leaders, principals, and other school leaders, to include:
- Professional development to improve leadership capacity;
- Leadership residency initiatives
- Leadership preparation academies
- Leadership mentoring
Research shows that strong school leaders have a powerful multiplier effect, dramatically improving the quality of teaching and raising student achievement in a school. Principals account for 25% of a school’s impact on student achievement, which is significant for a single individual. Moreover, 97% of teachers list school leadership as essential or very important for their career choices–more than any other factor. The bottom line: school improvement simply does not occur without strong leadership, particularly in underperforming schools.
A summary of research on Title II program-funded strategies is available for review.
Supplement, Not Supplant – Title II, Part A funds must only be used to provide additional services, staff, programs, or materials that are not provided with State or local resources absent federal funds; federal funds cannot pay for resources that would otherwise be purchased with State and/or local funds.
ESSA Use of Funds – The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) clearly outlines the allowable uses of Title II funds (Sec. 2101) outlined in each category below.
Evaluation/Support Systems – ESSA supports the development and improvement of a rigorous, transparent, and fair evaluation and support system for teachers, principals, or other school leaders that is based on evidence of student achievement and may include student growth. It should also include multiple measures of educator performance and provide clear, timely, and useful feedback to teachers, principals, or other school leaders.
Effective Teaching of English Language Learners – ESSA supports the development of programs and activities that increase the ability of teachers to effectively teach English language learners.
Effective Teaching of Children with Disabilities – ESSA supports the development of programs and activities that increase the ability of teachers to effectively teach children with disabilities, including children with significant cognitive disabilities. This may include the use of multi-tier systems of support and positive behavioral intervention and supports.
Increased Knowledge/Ability to Teach Early Childhood – ESSA promotes the development and use of programs and activities that may be geared toward increasing the knowledge base of teachers, principals, or other school leaders on instruction in the early grades and on strategies to measure whether young children are progressing. This may include increasing the ability of principals or other school leaders to support teachers, teacher leaders, early childhood educators, and other professionals to meet the needs of students through age eight, which may include providing joint professional learning and planning activities for school staff and educators in preschool programs that address the transition to elementary school.
Effective Instruction of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) – ESSA supports the development and provision of professional development and other comprehensive systems of support for teachers, principals, or other school leaders to promote high-quality instruction and instructional leadership in science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, and computer science.
Implementation of Formative Assessments – ESSA supports the training, technical assistance, and capacity-building in LEAs to assist teachers, principals, or other school leaders with selecting and implementing formative assessments, designing classroom-based assessments, and using data from such assessments to improve instruction and student academic achievement, which may include providing additional time for teachers to review student data and respond.
Supporting Students Affected by Trauma and/or Mental Illness – ESSA supports the provision of in-service training for school personnel in techniques and support related to identifying and supporting students affected by trauma or mental illness, including the use of referral mechanisms, partnerships with outside organizations, or addressing school conditions for learning such as safety, peer interaction, drug and alcohol abuse, and chronic absenteeism.
Identification and Support of Gifted Students – ESSA supports the provision of training to identify students who are gifted and talented, including high ability students who have not been formally identified for gifted education services, and implementing instructional practices that support the education of such students, such as the following examples:
- Enrichment, acceleration, and curriculum compacting activities.
- Dual or concurrent enrollment programs in secondary schools and post-secondary education.
Instructional Services Provided by Libraries – ESSA supports professional development intended to improve the instructional services provided by effective school library programs.
Training to Recognize/Prevent Sexual Abuse – ESSA supports the provision of training for all school personnel, including teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, and paraprofessionals, regarding how to prevent and recognize child sexual abuse.
Feedback Mechanisms to Improve Working Conditions – ESSA supports the development of feedback mechanisms to improve school working conditions, including through periodically and publicly reporting results of educator support and working conditions feedback.
Career Readiness Education – ESSA supports training teachers, principals, or other school leaders on strategies to integrate rigorous academic content and provide effective career/technical education and work-based learning to help prepare students for post-secondary education and the workforce.
Recruiting/Retaining Effective Teachers – ESSA supports the development and implementation of initiatives to assist in recruiting, hiring, and retaining effective teachers, particularly in low-income schools with high percentages of ineffective teachers and high percentages of students who do not meet the challenging State academic standards, to improve within-LEA equity in the distribution of teachers, such as the following examples:
- Providing expert help in screening candidates and enabling early hiring.
- Offering differential and incentive pay for teachers, principals, or other school leaders in high need academic subject areas and specialty areas, which may include performance-based pay systems.
- Teacher, paraprofessional, principal, or other school leader advancement and professional growth, and an emphasis on leadership opportunities, multiple career paths, and pay differentiation.
- New teacher, principal, or other school leader induction and mentoring programs that are designed to improve classroom instruction, student learning and achievement, and increase the retention of effective teachers, principals, or other school leaders.
Recruiting Individuals from Other Fields – ESSA supports recruiting mid-career professionals from other occupations, former military personnel, and recent graduates of institutions of higher education with records of academic distinctions who demonstrate potential to become effective teachers, principals, or other school leaders.
Reducing Class Size – ESSA supports the use of Title II funds to reduce class size to a level that is evidence-based, to the extent the State (in consultation with LEAs) determines that such evidence is reasonably available, to improve student achievement through the recruiting and hiring of additional effective teachers.
Carrying Out Other Evidence-Based Activities – ESSA supports carrying out other activities that are evidence-based, to the extent the State (in consultation with LEAs) determines that such evidence is reasonably available and identified by the LEA that meet the purpose of Title II.
- Hire an aide/paraprofessional
- Purchase instructional programs for students (e.g., licenses, software, curriculum)
- Strongly discourage food/beverage purchases, except in unique circumstances such as a working lunch for professional development
- Salary/Benefits for teachers, except Class Size Reduction that has proven evidence
- Materials and supplies not connected to professional development
- Equipment and/or technology (computers, iPads)
Professional Development Definition
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) §8101(42) defines the term professional development as activities that:
- are an integral part of school and local educational agency strategies for providing educators (including teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, and, as applicable, early childhood educators) with the knowledge and skills necessary to enable students to succeed in a well-rounded education and to meet the challenging State academic standards; and
- are sustained (not stand-alone, 1-day, or short-term workshops), intensive, collaborative, job-embedded, data-driven, and classroom-focused that may be included and may include activities that—
- improve and increase teachers’
- knowledge of the academic subjects the teachers teach;
- understanding of how students learn; and
- ability to analyze student work and achievement from multiple sources, including how to adjust instructional strategies, assessments, and materials based on such analysis;
- are an integral part of broad schoolwide and districtwide educational improvement plans;
- allow personalized plans for each educator to address the educator’s specific needs identified in observation or other feedback;
- improve classroom management skills;
- support the recruitment, hiring, and training of effective teachers, including teachers who became certified through State and local alternative routes to certification;
- advance teacher understanding of—
- effective instructional strategies that are evidence-based; and
- strategies for improving student academic achievement or substantially increasing the knowledge and teaching skills of teachers;
- are aligned with, and directly related to, academic goals of the school or local educational agency;
- are developed with extensive participation of teachers, principals, other school leaders, parents, representatives of Indian tribes (as applicable), and administrators of schools;
- are designed to give teachers of English learners, and other teachers and instructional staff, the knowledge and skills to provide instruction and appropriate language and academic support services to those children, including the appropriate use of curricula and assessments;
- to the extent appropriate, provide training for teachers, principals, and other school leaders in the use of technology (including education about the harms of copyright piracy), so that technology and technology applications are effectively used in the classroom to improve teaching and learning in the curricula and academic subjects in which the teachers teach;
- as a whole, are regularly evaluated for their impact on increased teacher effectiveness and improved student academic achievement, with the findings of the evaluations used to improve the quality of professional development;
- are designed to give teachers of children with disabilities or children with developmental delays, and other teachers and instructional staff, the knowledge and skills to provide instruction and academic support services, to those children, including positive behavioral interventions and supports, multi-tier system of supports, and use of accommodations;
- include instruction in the use of data and assessments to inform and instruct classroom practice;
- include instruction in ways that teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, and school administrators may work more effectively with parents and families;
- involve the forming of partnerships with institutions of higher education, including, as applicable, Tribal Colleges and Universities to establish school-based teacher, principal, and other school leader training programs that provide prospective teachers, novice teachers, principals, and other school leaders with an opportunity to work under the guidance of experienced teachers, principals, other school leaders, and faculty of such institutions;
- create programs to enable paraprofessionals (assisting teachers employed by a local educational agency receiving assistance under Title I Part A) to obtain the education necessary for those paraprofessionals to become certified and licensed teachers;
- provide follow-up training to teachers who have participated in activities described in this paragraph that are designed to ensure that the knowledge and skills learned by the teachers are implemented in the classroom; and
- where practicable, provide jointly for school staff and other early childhood education program providers, to address the transition to elementary school, including issues related to school readiness.