ESEA Title II Part A Improving Teacher Quality Grants
The purpose of Title II Part A is to raise student achievement by improving the quality of teachers in the classroom. Any activity funded with ESEA funds must result in a measurable increase in student achievement.
Title II Part A Presentation
Final Program Reports and Final Expenditure Reports for the Title II, Part A program are due to OPI at the end of the project but not later than November 10 of each year. Both reports are found in the E-Grants System
Core Academic Subjects:
Core academic subjects are English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography. [ESEA Title IX, Part A, Section 9101 Definitions, (11)]. Please note that "social studies" is not a core subject; in the area of social studies, only the topics underlined above are core areas.
Supplement not Supplant:
Any activity funded with Title II, Part A must supplement, not supplant (replace), non-federal funds that would otherwise be used for activities authorized under Title II, Part A.
A teacher provides instruction in the core academic subjects to K-12 students and maintains daily student attendance records.
The projects and activities implemented must:
- Be based upon a needs assessment (refer to the Continuous School Improvement Plan).
- Be based upon a review of the scientifically based literature.
- Be aligned to Montana Content and Performance Standards.
- Have a substantial, measurable, and positive impact on student achievement in each subgroup.
- Target the lowest performing school, teachers, and students. These activities must be part of an overall education reform strategy to eliminate the achievement gap that separates low-income and minority students from other students.
Note: Title II-A may not be used to provide educational materials or direct services to students.
- Planning Committee
A committee composed of parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators and other relevant school personal (e.g., librarians or counselors) must design local programs and activities. This committee must include representatives from each core academic subject, at least one Title I teacher, a principal, and parents.
- Needs Assessment
The district committee designs activities based on the needs of the district. In making this needs assessment, the committee:
- Must follow the General Requirements listed above.
- Must take into account an analysis of the disaggregated data to identify students most likely to be at risk of not performing as proficient levels on measures aligned to state standards.
- Must identify the greatest need for activities to give teachers subject matter/teaching skills in order to increase student achievement.
- Use of Funds
- Any activity funded with Title II Part A funds must be used to supplement, not supplant (replace), non-federal funds that would otherwise be used for activities authorized Title II Part A.
- The planned use of funds must be based upon needs identified by the district committee. Title II Part A funds may be used for:
- Professional Development
Districts must ensure the professional development needs of teachers and principals are met by including them, as well as parents, in needs assessment and planning. Professional development must be regularly evaluated for effectiveness and must not be isolated one-day conferences or workshops. Training provided must be in the core academic subject taught and in teaching strategies that enable teachers to teach and address the needs of students with different distinct learning styles, improve student classroom behavior, and understand how to use data and assessments to improve classroom practice and student learning.
- Reduction of Class Size
- Highly qualified teachers may be hired to reduce class size, particularly in the early grades.
- This reduction must increase student achievement.
- Recruitment of Highly Qualified Teachers
- Bonuses and other financial incentives may be used to recruit highly qualified teachers in core academic subjects and/or schools in which a shortage of highly qualified teachers exist.
- No salaries may be paid.
- Retention of Highly Qualified Teachers
- The teacher must be highly qualified and have an existing record of helping low-achieving students improve academic achievement.
- No salaries may be paid.
- No raises may be given to all or selected staff.
- The principal must have an existing record of helping all students achieve, particularly of low-income, minority groups, and those with disabilities.
- No salaries may be paid.
- No raises may be given to all or selected staff.
- Professional Development
- Private/Nonpublic Schools
Serving private/nonpublic Schools: All districts must invite private/nonpublic schools, including home schools, within their boundaries to participate in professional development activities. Private/Nonpublic schools may not participate in any other Title II, Part A activities. If any indicate that they wish to participate, the public school must consult with them during the planning process for expenditure of Title II, Part A funds and continue consultation throughout the school year.
High-Quality Professional Development Activities Using Title II, Part A Funds Must Meet The Following Criteria:
The following criteria can be used to identify high-quality professional development:
- Actively engages teachers over time
- Is directly linked to improved student learning so that all students may meet the Montana Standards at the proficient level
- Is directly linked to district and building school improvement plans
- Is developed with extensive participation of teachers, parents, principals, and other administrators
- Provides time and other resources for learning, practice, and follow-up
- Is supported by district and building leadership
- Provides teachers with the opportunity to give the district feedback on the effectiveness of participation in this professional development activity
Some types of activities that might be considered high-quality professional development if they meet the above requirements are:
- Study groups
- Grade-level collaboration and work
- Content-area collaboration and work
- Specialization-area collaboration and work
- Action research and sharing of findings
- Peer coaching
- Vertical teaming
Topics for high-quality professional development may include:
- Core content knowledge related to standards and classroom instruction (Core academic subjects are English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography. [Title IX, Section. 9101 (11)]
- Instructional strategies related to content being taught in the classroom
- Improving classroom management skills
- A combination of content knowledge and content-specific teaching skills
- Research-based instructional strategies
- Strategies to assist teachers in providing instruction to students with limited English proficiency to improve their language and academic skills
- Instruction in methods of teaching students with special needs
- Instruction in the use of data to inform classroom practice
- Instruction in how to involve families and other stakeholders in improving the learning of all students
- Strategies for integrating technology into core content instruction
An activity must meet all seven of the first criteria and at least one in each of the other two sets of criteria to be considered high quality professional development. One-day workshops and short-term conferences or workshops are not considered high-quality professional development, unless they are part of an ongoing program or plan and may not be funded with federal funds. Finally, professional development activities should be regularly evaluated for impact on teacher effectiveness and improved student learning.
Title IX, Part A, number(34)
Montana Accreditation Manual, Section 10.55.714
Why Serve Private/Nonpublic Schools
The federal programs are supported from tax dollars; therefore all children and teachers are eligible to access these programs. NCLB requires equitable services be provided to private/nonpublic school students, teachers, and other educational personnel.
Private/nonpublic services should be equitable and should begin at the same time as the public school services. The E-Grants system calculates the equitable share to be used for services to private/nonpublic schools.
The key word is services. No public funds are distributed to private/nonpublic schools, only professional development services.
Public school districts must notify all private/nonpublic schools within the district boundaries of the professional development services available through Title II, Part A.
Private/nonpublic schools must submit the Intent to Participate forms by the spring deadline in order to qualify for services the following school year.
Public school districts must:
- Review Intent to Participate forms and determine which districts wish to participate.
- Contact private/nonpublic schools that indicate an intent to participate and begin consultation process (April-June). Consultation must start prior to submitting the federal grant application and continue throughout the school year.
Consultation between the public school and private/nonpublic schools during the design, development, and implementation of the programs:
- Must be timely and meaningful and must happen prior to district decisions being made to ensure the needs of the private/nonpublic school are considered when professional development.
- Must take place on an annual basis, and be documented by the district. The public school district should complete a written affirmation form (required for Title I) indicating the date the consultation took place between the public and private/nonpublic school. The affirmation of consultation should be signed by both the public and private/nonpublic school officials.
- Must continue throughout the year, to ensure the needs of private/nonpublic school teachers are being met. Consultation is an ongoing process and can occur in many ways. It can be phone calls, e-mails, or a site visit.
- Consultation must cover issues such as:
- How the private/nonpublic school needs will be identified
- What services will be offered
- How and where the services will be provided
- How the services will be assessed and how the results of the assessment will be used to improve those services
- Service delivery mechanisms used to provide equitable services
- Who will provide the services
- The amount of funds available to serve private/nonpublic school students and teachers - Public schools must discuss with the private/nonpublic school the amount of services available to them in each of the federal programs. This will allow the private/nonpublic schools to better plan appropriately and make careful decisions with the public school district to serve their students and teachers.
- The size and scope of the services to be provided - Each public and private/nonpublic school should have a written plan of services to be provided.
- Consideration of the views of the private/nonpublic school officials regarding the use of third-party providers
- How to resolve disagreements about provision of services: When the LEA disagrees with the views of the private/nonpublic school officials on the provision of services, the LEA must provide a written explanation of the reasons why the LEA has chosen not to use a contractor.If the private/nonpublic school officials are dissatisfied, they may file a complaint.
If private/nonpublic school officials believe that timely and meaningful consultation has not occurred or that the district did not give due consideration to their views, they should first contact the federal programs representative or superintendent at the school district to discuss their concerns.
In the event the concern is not resolved, the private/nonpublic school has the right to file a formal written complaint with the Office of Public Instruction (OPI). Section 200-4 of the OPI State and Federal Grants Handbook is the guideline for the complaint process.
The formal written complaint should include:
- A statement that the district, other educational agency, or in some cases the OPI, has violated a requirement of a federal statue or regulation that applies to a program requiring equitable participation;
- The specific requirement alleged to have been violated;
- The facts on which the complaint is based;
- The name and address of the complainant;
- The expected resolution of the alleged violation;
- The signature of the complainant.
The complaint should be sent directly to:
Title II, Part A Coordinator
Office of Public Instruction
P. O. Box 202501, Helena, MT 59620-2501
To provide an opportunity for private/nonpublic school teachers to participate in professional development to raise student achievement. (Under Title II, Part A private/nonpublic schools can only participate in professional development). Title II, Part A services to private/nonpublic schools are governed by the Uniform Provisions in ESEA Title IX, Part E.
Ways Services can be Provided
- Participation in scheduled professional development at the school district,
- Provision of services to private/nonpublic school staff by qualified school district staff
- Third-party services (registration for training or a contracted trainer).
Determining the Amount of Funds Required for Equitable Services
The public district must:
- Calculate a per-pupil share of the amount of funds the district plans to use for professional development.
- Compare this amount to the “hold-harmless” amount in E-Grants
- Provide services equal to the larger of the two amounts as the equitable share
- The E-Grants system calculates this for districts.
Public District Must Operate a Professional Development Program for the Participating Private/Nonpublic School Regardless of Public District Needs
Sometimes a public district wants to use Title II, Part A funds to reduce class size or for the purpose of another program. Before making this decision:
- The public district must hold back the equitable share for professional development of private/nonpublic school teachers before using the funds in any other way.
- The district must discuss any transfers with the private/nonpublic school before the application is submitted.
Professional Development Programs for Private/nonpublic School Teachers can be Different from that for Public School Teachers
- If the professional development needs of the private/nonpublic school teachers are different from those of the public school teachers, the district and the private/nonpublic school representative should develop a separate program.
- Consultation and coordination are essential to ensuring high quality, sustained, intensive, and classroom-focused professional development activities
Stipends may be paid to Private/Nonpublic School Teachers for Professional Development Activities
- The use of the funds for stipends must be reasonable and necessary. For example, if the professional development activity is conducted during after-school hours or in the summer, stipends may be needed to compensate educators for their participation outside their regular employment hours.
- Funds must be paid directly to the private/nonpublic school teacher, not to their school.
Substitutes may not be hired for Private/Nonpublic School Teachers to Attend Professional Development
- Funds may be not used to pay for substitutes for private/nonpublic school educators.
- To provide a substitute, funds would have to be given directly to the private/nonpublic school and this is prohibited.
Supplement, Not Supplant
As with all federal funds, Title II, Part A funds must supplement public and private/nonpublic district funds. It is the duty of the public district to ensure that funds used for private/nonpublic school services do not supplant private/nonpublic school funds.
OPI ESEA/NCLB Services to Private/Nonpublic Students and Teachers
Two federal documents govern providing Title II, Part A services to private/nonpublic schools:
- Title II, Part A Guidance, Section G at http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/guidif.html
- Title IX, Part E – Uniform Provisions Private School Guidance http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/equitableserguidance.doc
OPI State and Federal Grants Handbook
OPI Federal Programs Page
OPI Finance and Grants Page
OPI E-Grants Page
OPI ESEA/Title IX Services to Private/Nonpublic Students and Teachers
Title II, Part A Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education: http://www.ed.gov/programs/teacherqual/guidance.pdf
Private School Guidance: http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/equitableserguidance.doc
Guidance on the Transferability Authority: http://www.ed.gov/programs/transferability/legislation.html
Guidance on the Rural Education Achievement Program (REAP) http://www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/guid/reap03guidance.doc
Full Text of NCLB: http://www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA02/