Dallas, Texas – March 11, 2019


Stephanie Hirsh,executive director of Learning Forward, issued the following statement about President Trump’s proposed budget for FY20, released on 3/11/19:


“We’re furious that President Trump has completely eliminated funding for Title IIA of the Every Student Succeeds Act in his proposed FY20 budget. Title IIA funds are essential to educators at every level in schools, providing critical resources to help them improve teaching and learning for students.


“While the President’s elimination of the funds is outrageous, it isn’t surprising. The ongoing lack of support for our nation’s educators from this Administration is unconscionable. Even with all of the evidence that professional learning is necessary and effective, the President has decided — for the third time in his Presidency — that it does not merit even a single dollar of federal spending.


“Professional learning makes a major difference to teachers and students and the Trump Administration needs to understand the facts. According to a 2018 meta-analysis of 43 studies, researchers found that coaching, an ongoing, job-embedded type of professional learning, resulted in a positive effect on instructional practice. In addition, teacher coaching had an independent, positive effect on student achievement, as indicated by performance on standardized tests [Kraft M.A, Blazar D., Hogan D. (2018). The effect of teacher coaching on instruction and achievement: A meta-analysis of the causal evidence. Review of Educational Research, 88 (4) pp. 547-588].


“Additionally, multiple researchers have documented that teachers who collaborate in professional learning communities to continuously improve their practice and their students’ learning experiences have a measurable positive impact in schools. In one study – a two-year investigation of 1,014 fourth- and fifth-grade teachers that looked at changes in student math scores — researchers found that when teachers worked with high-ability teachers in purposeful, content-focused interactions, instruction improved, student scores improved and teacher performance improved [Saunders, W.M., Goldenberg, C.N. & Gallimore, R. (2009). Increasing achievement by focusing grade-level teams on improving classroom learning: A prospective, quasi-experimental study of Title I schools. American Educational Research Journal, 46(4), 1006-1033].


“In previous years, Congress has recognized the importance of fully funding Title IIA in the final budget. Learning Forward and our members will call on Congress to keep this critical funding intact for the coming years. Learning Forward’s vision – equity and excellence in teaching and learning – is one we know all educators share and it is disgraceful to deny them resources to achieve it. Supporting educators to ensure they are ready to provide effective teaching to every single child is a matter of importance both for the long-term economic health and national security of our country.”


To speak with Stephanie Hirsh, call 972-421-0900 or email stephanie.hirsh@learningforward.org.