How the Federal Government Helps
Information and Assistance
Teacher Assistance Corps
At the direction of Secretary Rod Paige, the U.S. Department of Education formed the Teacher Assistance Corps (TAC), to assist states in implementing the highly qualified teacher requirements in the law. Consisting of practitioners, state and district officials, researchers, higher education leaders and others, TAC teams have provided assistance in understanding the law, shared innovative practices from other states and listened to states as they shared implementation challenges. Many states invited principals, superintendents and teachers to these meetings, allowing them a chance to ask questions and voice concerns. The TAC initiative will provide further assistance, as needed, while states are in the process of all phases of implementation.
Teacher-Quality Web Site
The U.S. Department of Education sponsors the Web site www.teacherquality.us. It includes links to information on many interesting state and district initiatives around the nation focused on improving teaching and learning, along with other information specifically designed for classroom teachers.
Teacher-to-Teacher Summer Workshops
The U.S. Department of Education has brought together some of the nation's most effective teachers and education experts to share with their colleagues research-based practices and effective methods of using data to inform instruction that have been successfully applied in the classroom.
The U.S. Department of Education will sponsor a Research-to-Practice Summit, where the latest findings of effective teaching and learning will be presented. Teacher practitioners will share how they have applied those findings in everyday teaching and how they have equipped their students to reach unprecedented levels of success.
|Teachers may sign up to receive electronic updates from the Department.These short e-bytes address some of the hot topics from our teacher outreach and provide links to resources to aid teachers in learning about the latest policy, research and professional issues affecting the classroom. Sign up at www.teacherquality.us.|
No Child Left Behind provides funds to states and districts to conduct a wide variety of activities aimed at supporting teachers. It is important to note that districts can transfer up to 50 percent of federal formula grant funds they receive under different parts of the law (Title II--Improving Teacher Quality and Educational Technology, Title IV--Safe and Drug-Free School Grants, Title V--Innovative Programs) to any one of these programs or to their Title I program (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged). This allows districts the opportunity to target resources as they see fit, including moving funds into Title II to provide even more support for teachers. This can be accomplished without separate requests and approval.
Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged (Title I)
Each district that receives Title I funds must spend at least 5 percent of its Title I allocation on professional development activities to assist teachers. In fiscal year (FY) 2004, Title I funding included about $605.2 million targeted to professional development alone. With a record request of $13.3 billion for the program in FY 2005, the amount targeted to professional development would be at least $653.7 million.
Improving Teacher-Quality State Grants (Title II)
No Child Left Behind makes funds available specifically to help all states support teachers and improve teaching and learning. Funding for FY 2004 was $2.93 billion; total funding from FY 2002-04 amounts to more than $8.7 billion. States have already submitted applications to the Department describing their annual goals for increasing the percentage of highly qualified teachers. States have also described how they will use funds to meet the teacher and paraprofessional requirements of the law and how they will hold districts accountable for their progress in helping all teachers reach the highly qualified standard for the subjects they teach.
|District Needs Assessment|
|To receive Title II funds, each district must conduct a needs assessment, outlining activities that must be implemented to give teachers the content knowledge and teaching skills they need, and to give principals the instructional leadership skills they need to help teachers. No Child Left Behind requires that teachers participate in the needs assessment process. Teachers should contact their state or district about getting involved in this process, if they have not already been invited to participate.|
Educational Technology State Grants Program (Title II)
Each district receiving Educational Technology State Grants funds must spend at least 25 percent (a total of $173 million in FY 2004) on high-quality professional development in the integration of technology into curricula and instruction, unless a district can demonstrate that it already provides such training.
English Language Acquisition State Grants Program (Title III)
In FY 2004, $548 million is available to states for English Language Acquisition State Grants under Title III of NCLB. States may use up to 5 percent of these funds for professional development and other uses to support teachers. In addition, more than $68 million dollars is available specifically for professional development projects to assist districts and schools in improving the teaching of English language learners. Of this amount, $39 million is available for project-grants under the NCLB Title III English Language Acquisition State Grants program. These competitive grants are awarded for up to five years to colleges and universities to provide professional development to improve instruction for English language learners. The remaining $29 million is available to continue professional development projects that were awarded under the 1997 version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, before it was reauthorized as NCLB.
Other Programs to Improve Teaching and Learning
The federal government supports several other grant programs for teachers, such as Teaching American History; Math and Science Partnerships; Troops for Teachers; Transition to Teaching; Teach for America; and the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence, among others. The U.S. Department of Education also funds programs to support school leadership, as well as the teaching of students with disabilities, English language learners, and Native American and migrant children. For more information on grants to improve teacher quality, recruitment and retention, visit www.ed.gov/admins/tchrqual/learn/tpr.