Federal Policy and Legislation

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

In December 2015, Congress reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which authorizes federal programs that support and regulate PK-12 public education. The new bill is titled the “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA). Title II of ESSA, "Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High-Quality Teachers, Principals, or Other School Leaders," authorizes programs at the local, state, and national levels to support the preparation and professional development of school personnel.

The allotment of Title II funds for each state is administered through the state education agency, and 95% of the allotment goes to local education agencies for programming, with the other 5% at the state level for programming. The law offers 16 allowable uses of funds at the local level and 21 allowable uses of funds at the state level. In addition, Title II offers national programs: the Teacher and School Leader Incentive Program, Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation, American History and Civics Education, and Programs of National Significance.

It is critical that educator preparation professionals engage with PK–12 colleagues to continue to innovate and reform teacher preparation through Title II. AACTE encourages members to be proactive in working with state education agencies and local PK–12 partners to ensure that teacher preparation is at the table as ESSA is implemented.

How to Begin

  • Find out who at the state level is implementing Title II.
  • Discover how your state defines alternative routes to licensure or certification, which is the prevailing definition for Title II. You might even be offering such a program and not yet know it.
  • Review the allowable uses of funds for the state portion of the allotment and consider:
    • What are you currently doing that you would like to scale up for a region or all of the state?
    • What do you want to create within the 21 allowable uses?
    • Who are/could be your partners?
    • What need of your state could your idea meet?
  • Review the allowable uses of funds for the local education agency portion of the allotment and consider:
    • What do your LEA partners need that falls within the allowable uses of funds?
    • Who else in your department/school/college of education (or across campus) could you work with to meet these LEA needs?
    • Who else can partner with you to meet the LEA needs?
  • Find out what your state chapter is planning regarding advocacy and ESSA implementation to coordinate your efforts.

Quick References


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