Support Student Success by Supporting Teacher Success – Title II Day of Action
By Liam Goldrick, Director of Policy
Teachers and school principals are the two most important school-based factors for student success. If we aren’t properly supporting our educators, we can expect that educational progress will stagnate and inequities will deepen.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law a year and a half ago, and Supporting Effective Instruction (Title II, Part A) was made a critical component of the law. However, the proposed elimination of $2.3 billion in Title II funding would greatly hamper states’ ability to incorporate job-embedded professional learning opportunities for beginning and veteran educators into their ESSA plans, and take away the resources for school districts and charter schools to implement them.
The Trump Administration’s proposed cut to Title II-A funding is shortsighted and will move dollars away from what works in improving schools and strengthening student achievement. Furthermore, it begs the question: Why are we now forced to effectively re-litigate a policy conversation that was settled a year and a half ago?
The President’s FY 2018 budget claims that Title II funding is “duplicative.” Education leaders would be expected to reallocate Title I funds to teacher development and support strategies. Historically, that’s not the goal of Title I. These funds bridge the resource gap between low-income students and their more advantaged peers. These proposed cuts would have a disproportionate effect on our neediest students.
Students and Teachers Have the Most to Lose
If approved, the large-scale cuts to federal education spending will most likely decimate schools in high poverty communities—rural and urban—take funding away from what research says works in improving student achievement, and inevitably widen the achievement gap.
The President’s budget suggests that effective educators are not central to teaching and learning, and comes as a slap in the face to our teachers at a time when the nation is grappling with a troubling shortage of candidates interested in joining the profession. Fortunately, bipartisan voices on Capitol Hill are rejecting the President’s budget priorities—including massive education spending cuts—by suggesting that his budget is “dead on arrival.”
Access to education is a right, not a privilege, and our country’s future is riding on continued federal funding going toward students who need it most, and toward what we know works. Through i3 and SEED federal grants, New Teacher Center (NTC) has been able to evaluate the success of our programs and gather evidence demonstrating that teacher induction achieves positive results for students and educators.
A Call to Action
Several national education organizations have banned together to coordinate today’s Title II Day of Action in order to bring attention to the importance of this federal funding and the guaranteed negative impact that the proposed cuts will have on our students. We at NTC stand with these organizations to advocate for the policies that could significantly impact school leaders, principals, teachers, other educators, and the students they serve. We urge you to join this effort and sign-up to participate through Thunderclap, which will allow you to pre-plan social media posts for the day of action.
We are confident that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C. will recognize this budgetary folly and will vote to restore critical funding in the FY2018 federal budget to allow our nation’s teachers and principals to do their best work on behalf of America’s children.