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For professional learning budgets, more of the same is not enough

There are some things in this world that require annual care and feeding. Upgrading and increasing professional learning budgets are one of those things. For most school districts, though, the professional learning budget is often not growing to keep pace with educator needs. This needs to change. More of the same is not enough.

At the Learning Forward Annual Conference in St. Louis, we launched a new Preparing Educators to Prepare Students Increase (PEPSIncrease) petition to call on policymakers to address this gap. Here is what the petition says:

We, the undersigned educators, call on federal, state, and local policymakers to commit to an annual increase of at least 2% in funding for K12 professional learning programs.

We are deeply concerned that professional learning is underfunded at the federal level and many states and local districts provide little or no funding for professional learning.

For many U.S. states and districts, Title IIA represents the only source of funding for professional learning, but it has not received a funding increase in over a decade.

We believe this must change.

We are calling for an annual increase of at least 2% in funding for professional learning in education budgets at every level – federal, state/provincial, and local. This is more than a Cost of Living increase or COLA. For professional learning, it’s a PEPSI –increasing the annual budget at every level to ensure high-quality educator practice to support our students.

What are the next steps with the petition?

  • The petition will be open for signature until April 15. Don’t delay – sign today!
  • Share the petition with your colleagues and networks. The more signatures, the greater the impact.
  • Learning Forward is encouraging our members to take the petition to your state board of education, local school board and district leadership. Make the case for a PEPSIncrease in your state and district.
  • Build your data summary to accompany the petition. Share the data in your school or district that makes the case that an increase in funding for professional learning is essential because it is making an impact.

Melinda George is the chief policy officer of Learning Forward. Melinda leads Learning Forward’s national and state policy agenda as well as strategic partnerships to ensure collaboration and build support for great teaching and learning. 

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